The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Friday, December 11, 2009

window

 

a satire on the reporting style of independent newspapers with regard to pope john paul the second

the pope looked old
the pope looked very old
the pope looked very old and walked with a stick
the pope looked old very old walked with a stick and is going to die soon
soon the pope will die
the pope is reeeeeeeeeaaaalllly verrrrry old
soon he will be an ex pope
the pope is decaying
the pope is ancient
the pope is decrepit
bye bye popey bye bye
come on we're waiting
surely he'll be dead soon
he is soooooooooooooo realllllllllly verrrrrrrrrrrrry old
not like tony o'reilly
that gay young thruster
with his shock of golden hair
glinting in the sun
like a field of ripe corn
and his fascinating stories about rugby players
and his amazing stack of cash
and his beautiful plummy accent
and his school tie
and his newspaper group
and and and
loved by millions

obitcheries

Margaret Lord is dead.
Her funeral mass is this morning at the Church of Our Lady of Consolation in Donnycarney.
She will be buried in Saint Fintan's cemetary.
Margaret Lord's daughter is a journalist called Miriam Lord.
Miriam Lord writes a sad atheistic rip off of this blog for the Irish Times.
A few days ago Miriam Lord asserted in her column that "religion is the last refuge of a scoundrel."
I wonder does Miriam Lord include her Mother in that assessment of those who believe in the ancient truths of the Catholic faith.
I wonder will Miriam Lord be propping up a pew this morning in the Church of Our Lady of the Liberals at Donnycarney.
I wonder is Miriam Lord the ultimate anodyne pious atheistic hypocrite.
Excuse me.
I have to vomit.

the monica leech laugh in

Well known accomodator of liberals, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin was sitting on a plane at Dublin airport.
His private secretary Father Snurdlingham noticed that the Archbishop was staring fixedly out the window.
"What are you looking at?" wondered the private secretary.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin sat back in his seat.
"I was looking at that other plane," he explained, "to see if I was on it."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

how corrupt is the irish police force

Coffee with Doctor Barn.
I am complaining about the Irish police force, known incomprehensibly to most, by its Irish title An Garda Siochana.
A rough translation is guardians of the peace.
Dog rough.
I am fuming.
"They have replaced the international motto of policing, To Protect And Serve with a new motto of their own," I tell the brother hotly. "The Irish cops motto now is, To Harass And Intimidate."
Daktari remains non committal.
"You just don't like the police," he charges.
"I think they're individually and institutionally corrupt," I shoot back.
"They've brought down the road death rate," he persists.
I nod grimly.
"Mussolini made the trains run on time and put a temporary stop to the Mafia," I observe. "It wasn't worth it."

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

christmas at the old chateau

He's making a list. He's checking it twice. He knows everyone who's been naughty or nice...

dawn becomes a budgie

It is morning at the chateau.
The budgies are chattering for their croissants.
I'm sitting in the kitchen with the Mammy quaffing coffees.
"What are you going to call them?" asks the aged parent.
"I was thinking of Onan and Potiphar," sez me.
"You can't do that," asserts the Mammy.
"Why not?" interrogatives I.
"Because your nephews will want to know where you got the names," expostulateth she.
I grin above the din.
"Then I'll just tell them the truth," I insist, " which is that when their granny was young, a priest called to the house and asked what her canary's name was. And your granny said: Onan, because he keeps spilling his seed."
The lady known as Lil favours me with a severe look.
"Ah you wouldn't," quoth she.
"I think I would," sez me.
"Then I'll start calling you Onan Na Nein," threateneth she.
This is an interesting twist.
Vintage Lillism, you might say.
Onan Na Nein is Irish for Onan Of The Birds.
It's a pun on the title of a Padraic Pearse short story called Eoghaneen Na Nein, or Little John Of The Birds.
As nicknames go, it lacks something in the sort of grandeur I have come to expect in my monickers.
I mean, it's a bit of a comedown after Dracula, Yakkie, Smiler, The Dasher, The Jumpen, Batman, Tasmanian Devil, and Heeler The Peeler.
Also, due to a small fallng out with Padraic Pearse in my youth over the use of violence as a means to an end, I have no wish to be nicknamed after any character in one of his short stories.
"I'll call the budgies Green and Blue," I tell her dourly.
The Mammy's laugh is positively triumphal.
 

two

two lovers walk the claddagh
ruffed and ragged by a winter breeze
they're as much a part of galway
as the wildern wintern seas
their laughter echoes gleaming
like the verses of a song
their image held and bade me
scorn the wealth of solomon

a strange high bastardy

A lawyer called Pearse Mehigan had an article in the Irish Times on Monday.
The article was headlined: "JAIL IS PENALTY FOR CONCEALING SEX ABUSE."
The thrust of the article is that Bishops who didn't handle reports of sex abuse the way Pearse Mehigan and his plush bottomed liberal lawyer friends claim they should have been handled, Bishops who sought to be discreet or who simply accepted poor legal advice on what to do, Bishops who didn't instantly assume every allegation was true, well then those Bishops should now be considered criminally liable, guilty in fact of concealing sex abuse.
Nice one for Pearse Mehigan.
Anyone Pearse Mehigan and his friends say is guilty, goes straight to jail.
That means anyone who ever sought to deal with a sex abuse allegation discreetly would be liable to lose their freedom.
Which means I'm going to jail for a start.
Because back in the 1980's a young man came to me in Kilcullen.
We discussed sex abuse issues.
I said: "Sex abusers should be shot."
The young man said: "No James, it's just a weakness, you couldn't shoot someone for that."
I was outraged and asked him how he could justify that position.
The young man said: "Well, I was molested as a child by someone down the fields. I don't want him shot."
I never asked him to identify his abuser.
I never informed the police.
By the Pearse Mehigan standard, I'm going to do hard time.
A few years later, a teenage girl from a local school came to me.
She said that one of the temporary teachers had been entering the girls' toilets at the school.
She was a prefect and some of the girls wanted her to go to the Headmaster about the situation.
I asked her had the teacher touched anyone.
She said no, that his behaviour seemed more pathetic than dangerous, and that she felt sorry for him.
She told me she believed the girls at the school were excited by the whole notion of having him thrown out of the school, but that he would be leaving in a few weeks anyway.
I took no further action after what that girl told me.
By the Pearse Mehigan standard, again I'm facing hard time.
And finally.
Around 1991.
A teacher in a primary school asked me for advice.
She said another teacher was sitting children on his knee in an inappropriate way.
She told me the staff were keeping a close watch on him and that he too would be leaving the school in another few weeks.
I asked were any efforts being made to warn other schools.
She threw up her hands and said: "Oh we couldn't do that."
And I didn't do it either.
I made no attempts to warn other schools.
So by the Pearse Mehigan rule of law, I guess I'm due the electric chair.
Bloody hell.
I mean who needs the f---ing rule of law anymore when we've got Pearse Mehigan and his kangaroo court of Dublin Four atheistic liberals.
Good God.

Even the Soviets and the Nazis had more honour than this shower when they went about their own murderous persecutions of the church.
Pearse Mehigan works for a group styling itself One In Four, a group which claims to represent sex abuse victims.
I do not hold this group in high regard.
Other media commentators subject them to zero critical scrutiny.
Strangely enough, I have this persistent memory of a sex abuse activist group which was set up by a gangster involved in prostitution, drug dealing and murder.
The general public had no knowledge of this gangster's career as a gangster.
The public only knew him as an activist on sex abuse issues.
The media knew he was a gangster.
But the media chose to conceal that fact.
The media didn't consider the gangster's career in murder, prostitution and drugs, to be relevant information for the public to know when assessing the gangster's attempts to incriminate the Catholic church for abuses he claimed to have suffered as a child.
The media concealed the gangster's gangsterism from the public right up until the moment the gangster was gunned down on his doorstep by another gangster.
At this point, his gangsterism could be concealed no more.
I can't remember what sex abuse group the gangster was involved with.
I wonder was it the One In Four.
I say again.
I do not hold them in high regard.
A sex abuse victim who collaborates with the Nazis is still a Nazi in my book.
Even if he's a Nazi with a good excuse.
Yes indeed.
The problem with Pearse Mehigan's suggestion that Irish law permits the incarceration of Bishops whom Pearse Mehigan believes didn't properly handle sex abuse accusations against priests in their employ, the problem with all of this as an interpretation of law, the serious and profound problem I say, is that it would give the likes of Pearse Mehigan limitless power to imprison whoever he likes.
If we are now to imprison Bishops at the whim of this profiteering activist tripe hound (I'm sure Pearse Mehigan won't mind a little robust language since he's at present trying to criminalise an entire generation of priests, nuns and Christians, I mean he's accustomed to dishing it out, perhaps it would be good for him to know what it feels like, after all as far as I'm concerned, he's just another low rent social Marxian guttersnipe inventing new crimes to humiliate the great generation in their old age while simultaneously trying to piss me off, but I digress), if we are to imprison Bishops whom the immortal Pearse Mehigan and his liberal friends deem to have concealed sex abuse, should we not then imprison other people who have facilitated the freedom and actions of much more dangerous criminals?
Should we not imprison the Liberal Judges and Defence Lawyers who for years kept psychotic killer Gerald Barry free, got him out of jail quick every time he murdered somebody, facilitated Gerald Barry's rights in such a way that Gerald Barry's murders were never called murders, ensured through their legalistic skills that Gerald Barry was free to kill, kill, assault, grievously bodily harm, kill again, rape, rape, assault, deal drugs, blind a pensioner, rape, rape, assault and rape, with gay abandon until he finally raped and slaughtered 17 year old Manuela Riedo down by the rail road tracks and the rest of us woke up.
I gotta tell you folks.
There's a real scandal for you.
Nothing the few old Bishops did in their attempts to deal with allegations of sex abuse against priests in their employ, no alleged incompetence by those Bishops, not one of the Bishops' sins of omission or commission, not one of em I say, comes close to the mayhem inflicted by Pearse Mehigan's friends the Liberal Judges of the Irish Republic, inflicted by these same corrupt clownish criminal Liberal Judge incompetents on the people of Ireland for decades through these same Liberal Judges' ongoing practice of releasing psychotic murdering raping swines into the general community, these same Liberal Judges' habitual commutation of Killers' sentences on technicalities, these same Liberal Judges crass payments to themselves of million dollar salaries, these same Liberal Judges' failure to impose heavy sentences on the drug dealers who've bought them off, these same Liberal Judges' refusal to call murder "MURDER," preferring instead the cute get out of jail free card MANSLAUGHTER, or even the more obscene get out of jail free euphemism ACQUITTAL DUE TO DIMINISHED RESPONSIBILITY.
Nothing the Bishops did, or didn't do, even comes close.
I say more.
Nothing the child abusers did comes close.
Yeah there is a scandal here.
The church is being persecuted by scoundrels.
I mean you Pearse Mehigan.
I don't believe for a second that you care one whit about sex abuse victims.
If you did, you would have made it clear to the general public that all sex abuse victims are equally important.
You would have pointed out that the vast preponderance of sex abuse cases have nothing to do with the church.
You would have made it clear that we must do something about the 99.99 percent of cases that occur in the home or at the hands of paedophile rings in the community.
And you would have made it clear that right this moment in Ireland, sex abuse levels have sky rocketed.
If you cared about the truth Pearse Mehigan, you would have told the truth.
Shame on you.
Can you hear me, you cur.
Shame on YOU.
If we insist on recognising some victims as more important than others, then surely this greater importance should be applied not to the victims who can generate the most money for Pearse Mehigan and his liberal lawyer friends through law suits against the church, but to the victims who have suffered the most.
And to the victims who are most numerous by a factor of 99.99 percent.
Surely the 99.99 percent of victims of sex abuse have some relevance, possess some rights, and deserve some justice, not just the 0.01 percent of victims that are useful to the Irish Times, Independent Newspapers, and RTE in their proxy war against Catholicism.
The real victims of sex abuse are still ignored in Ireland.
Meanwhile the dying debt laden media groups continue their pre Christmas persecution of the ancient church.
A few weak and trendy Bishops and Cardinals seek to mollify their media persecutors by accepting false ascriptions of wrong doing against their clerical predecessors in the church.
It's diabolical.
Let this never be forgotten.
As Ireland drowned in a sea of violence, suicide, promiscuity, murders, drug dealing, sex abuse, elder abuse, militant trade unionism, corrupt politicians, corrupt banks, corrupt Judges, thug police officers, gutty Lawyers, and the like, as the country was in its darkest hour, RTE, Independent Newspapers, and the Irish Times sought to destroy the one force for good that might have brought us safely through the maelstrom.
They sought to lay low the faith of our fathers.
Let it never be forgotten of them.
And let the tyrants beware.



(Copies to: The Sun, The Daily Star, The Daily Mail, The Daily Mirror.)

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

me and the night and the music

Little Concita Gonzalez fixed me with a poignant stare.
"James," she said softly. "Would you ever go out with a girl who didn't believe in God?"
Her eyes had a pleading quality.
Ah yes.
Heelers dazzles another love struck atheist.
I leaned back leaning backingly.
"Of course I would," I told her kindly.
And then by way of clarification I added in a confidential voice: "If she was that sexy Russian one I was telling you about, I'd go out with her right this moment."

Monday, December 07, 2009

hamilcar barca surfing the net



john

you were saying about the meadow
how the grass would get tall
but it was only dull wind in the grasses
not you at all
 
you were talking about school days
but when you were done
i heard the traffic sighing in the street
and knew you were gone
 
the world is in winter
and i must be getting old
for birds across the grey sky
remind me of souls

memories at midnight

When my brother John was five, Mammy and Daddy took him to visit Grandad on the farm.
John immediately headed off with Uncle Tom and Uncle Jim to do some farm work.
The Uncles were a bit rough hewn.
When John rejoined the family for tea, Granny put him at the head of the table.
No one suspected that John had already absorbed some of the Uncles' linguistic peculiarities.
Granny put a plate of peas in front of him.
John looked at the peas.
"Bugger!" he said with feeling.
My Dad, who had a more authoritarian tendency in those days, started from his seat.
"What did he say?" cried the Dad.
The Mammy interposed herself between father and child.
"He said bubblecar," she lied coolly.

are you a jihadi or a googlebot?

Social scientists now believe that the followers of James Healy's blog can be divided into two primary categories, either Googlebots or Jihadis. Are the pseuds of science correct in their assessment? And if they are, what does this make you bold reader? Are you a Googlebot or a Jihadi? Take the Heelers Diaries quiz and find out. If you dare!


1. When you get up in the morning, what is the first thing you do?
(a) Go surging down the telephone lines as a softare originated electrical impulse with the express intention of monitoring information stored on random websites.
(b) Shout Allah U Akbar, death to America, we will destroy the State of Israel, nyah ha ha G Force.
(c) Put on your John Fry monogrammed bath robe and phone your life style investigator to see if he's picked up anything new from the phone tap on James Healy.
(d) Check out the Heelers Diaries looking for story ideas.
(e) Take the blanket off the budgies.

Your score.
Mostly A's: You're a googlebot.
Mostly B's: You're possibly a Jihadi, or maybe just a merry fellow with a wry sense of humour. You should consider applying for a job in the United States army. Expect to advance to the rank of Major very quickly.
Mostly C's: You're a bollocks.
Mostly D's: You're Ian O'Doherty, Miriam Lord or some other uninspired anti Catholic abortionist craven working for RTE, Independent Newspapers, The Irish Times or The Daily Mail.
Mostly E's: You're James Healy. You handsome dog.

****THEATRE REVIEW****

GAME OF TWO HALVES FOR KILCULLEN DRAMA GROUP
By James Healy

The latest production from Kilcullen Drama Group, a comedy thriller entitled Theft, opened in early December for a two week run at the local theatre.

The storyline features a burglar caught in the act of breaking and entering by a group of householders. The burglar is a talkative fellow with a wry take on life and the householders guarding him end up learning more about themselves than they ever really wanted to.

The premise of the play might be summed up with a line from the burglar: “When our leaders become thieves, then our thieves must become leaders.”

I attended the Friday night Gala performance of Theft which saw an able cast quickly getting to grips with this intriguing concept.

Some of Kilcullen’s most well walked actors took on what was assuredly a challenging script and brought it to rib tickling life.

Vivian Clarke, played John the owner of the burgled house. Mr Clarke evoked the character of a ruthless businessman with gusto. The audience was left in no doubt as to who was the real thief. As an actor, Mr Clarke clearly enjoyed the contradictions of the role from the word go. His maniacal brandishing of a gun at the poor burglar provided some chaotic moments of high comedy. Mr Clarke has a talent for ensemble playing and is at his best in the scenes with Fergal Sloan and Philomena Breslin.

Fergal Sloan as Trevor wrestling with an unexpected temptation to steal from his oldest friend.

Fergal Sloan as John’s friend Trevor revelled in his role. He is a physical actor with a striking presence on stage. Mr Sloan’s character knew John at school but now has been surpassed by him in adult life and career. The two have remained friends, but each is having an affair with the other’s wife. These complications only emerge as the burglar subtly reveals to his captors one by one that he knows all about them. Mr Sloan communicates a boundless energy at all times on stage. In the midst of the mayhem with gunshots going off and bodies falling over, he also manages to produce some effective character acting to counterpoint the comedy. There was a particularly well observed poignancy to his playing as he considered stealing half a million Euro from the safe of his, now former, best friend John.

Esther Dooley as Trevor’s wife gave a career best performance in my opinion, evincing moments of pathos, comedy and genuine emotion with poise, grace and an indubitable elan. Ms Dooley has a pleasing stage presence, all the more so because she has grown over the years from a talented ingénue into an assured and capable actress. Sometimes her voice is a little weak and I was not sure how she’d handle the challenges of playing alongside four actors whose playing definitely tends towards loudness. But she dovetailed neatly with each of them. Her confidence and assurance were a very important factor in the overall success of the present production. Even when her character is discovered to be having an affair, the audience never quite loses sympathy with her. At that point, they’d have followed her anywhere. Now that’s what I call theatre magic. This almost spiritual quality in an actress is a subtle and rare gift. At all times Ms Dooley appears completely at home on stage, without a trace of nerves or strain.

Philomena Breslin as John’s wife Barbara rejoiced in the comic opportunities offered by the role of a woman more than a little keen to steal some of her husbands assets. Clearly enjoying herself at every turn, Ms Breslin switched neatly from histrionics to romance then back to histrionics again as the part demanded. She was quintessentially adroit in her use of the stage, perhaps because of her training as a classical singer. Her best acting came in her interactions with Mr Berney. There was a lovely quietness as she realised the burglar knew everything about her own dishonesty. This was really fine acting. Worth the price of admission. The playing here was near perfect. Ms Breslin has a diva like authority (because she is a diva) and can command the audience’s attention, but she is ever generous to her fellow players.

Philomena Breslin tries to persuade the burglar to see things her way.

Bernard Berney (who is the uncle of this reviewer) played the burglar and raised the stakes right from his entrance. His sly attempts to persuade each of his captors in turn to let him go, instantly engaged the audience imagination and brought us heart and soul into the world we were viewing. The problem with British comedy is that, even at its best, it can be a bit anodyne, flat, wordy, joyless and remote. Mr Berney brought the unlikely “burglar captive in the drawing room” scenario alive. His playing off each of his fellow actors had a relaxed quality that was tremendously effective. He was not fazed by the lack of jokes in the script. He brought humour from every situation and every encounter. And he made us believe it was all happening here in Ireland right now. His performance was the key to the success of the First Act.

Theft is not a conventional farce. It is a British comedy written by a television scriptwriter called Eric Chappell. Bernard Berney himself had made the decision to move the scene to Ireland. In so doing he added some relevant contemporary references to the original script.

Making these sorts of changes to a play can be very risky. I groaned when my spies informed me the play was being rewritten. Plotlines can be disrupted, continuity adversely affected and so on. But the changes added by Mr Berney worked to a tee. When the burglar makes an impassioned speech about the banking and political corruption in Irish society, instead of standing out like a sore thumb, it produces an instant burst of applause from the audience. Mr Berney’s script changes tapped into the zeitgeist of the moment. He spoke for so many of us who believe we have seen our country sold down the river for a mass of pottage.

And it works too as drama. It works as part of this play. It works as a moment of pure theatre. Mr Berney’s acting at this stage remained nicely controlled. He did not let his character become self indulgently preachy. He succeeded in saying in succinct terms what has for too long been unsayable in this country.

He had not only written these script additions, he acted them as well. It was his finest hour.

The funniest line written by the original scriptwriter Mr Chappell, came when the burglar faced the horror of being guarded alone by an inebriated housewife. The burglar said: “You can’t leave me with her. If a drunk driving a motor car is as dangerous as a man with a loaded gun, how dangerous is a drunk with a loaded gun?”

I should have mentioned earlier, that the play bears the hand of two directors. Initially Bernard Berney helmed the production and his layered polished workmanship shows throughout. The Berney influence is particularly evident in the confident interplaying between Fergal Sloane and Vivian Clarke. Later Mischa Fekete came on board to direct while Mr Berney was away on business. Mr Fekete has a certain creative zest, and this too bubbles to the surface here and there. At various points I was intrigued trying to figure out which director to praise and which one to blame. Neither director accepted a director’s credit on the programme, a fact which caused me some mild irritation. I suppose I could have asked them who was responsible for what if I really wanted to know badly enough.

There were some elements of the production that could have been improved.

The opening scene would have benefited from a nice loud and clear exclamation of “We’ve been burgled.”

The rather splendid set (designed, built and decorated by Mr Fekete, Levi Doyle, Ger Doyle, Sean Crowe, Paudge Byrne, Joe Dooley, John Berney, Letitia Hanratty and Nessa Dunlea), this sumptuous set I say, just wasn’t messed up enough. It didn’t look burgled. It took me about five minutes to realise a burglary had taken place.

When the gun, so prodigiously brandished by Mr Clarke, was finally fired, we needed good loud Magnum 44 bangs. Instead we got something a little too discrete.

The second half of the play never entirely recovered the pace and verve of the first half. Always dangerous to have an intermission in a comedy. It's hard enough to get people laughing. Risky business telling em to stop for fifteen minutes.

And a reprise scene after the final curtain, where we saw the main plot points mimed to the tune of The Pink Panther, well it was a bit long and I don’t think it could ever have worked, and frankly old beans it shouldn’t have been there.

I throw in these few mild criticisms because I’d hate Kilcullen Drama Group to think I like everything they do. I recognise that the actors had a lot on their plate having to soldier through a production without me in the cast. In truth they rose to the challenge admirably.


The production of Theft was of course a massive logistical operation. Back stage crew Joe O’Connor, Herbert Sheehan, and Ger Kelly were slick about their business.


Lighting and sound from Frank Mitchell were well judged and timed to precision.

The professional veneer over the whole production was upheld by a continuity group consisting of Joan Clarke, Eilish Phillips and Catriona Poufong. There was a sublime moment on Gala night when Bernard Berney loudly demanded “Give me a prompt Joan,” from Joan Clarke, who equally loudly responded.

The front of house team included Madge Clarke, Nuala Egan, Nessa Dunlea, Maurice O’Mahoney and Eithne Dempsey. Refreshments came courtesy of the unfailingly cheerful Lucy Mackey and Teresa Meaney. I thought Teresa stinted on the cup of tea she gave me but she seemed to treat everyone else alright.

Checking tickets at the entry to the auditorium were none others than Sean Crowe and Ger Kelly. The problem for me in the choice of these two gentlemen for this particular job, is that neither is capable of allowing me to enter any building, or indeed room, without delivering a good ten minute slagging first. Their motivation for this behaviour may have something to do with the fact that in the dim and distant past, I got their names wrong in an article for the Leinster Leader, a newspaper from which I’ve since been fired, for reasons, I might add, other than getting Ger and Sean’s names wrong. In any case when I saw the pair of them waiting at the door I made an executive decision to enter by another route. I went backstage through the actors’ entrance and from there found my way into the auditorium via the stage. Saint Joseph would have been proud.

Esther Dooley, Bernard Berney and Vivian Clarke at the climax of Theft.


Theft is continuing at Kilcullen Theatre this week on Tuesday 8th, Thursday 10th, Friday 11th, and Saturday 12th December. Tickets available from Berneys Pharmacy or by phoning (045) 481497.

that was the week that was

These past few days we've been celebrating John Fry Week at The Heelers Diaries. (Along with Hamster Week, which is a much more popular festival.)
Yes it's that time of year, that fateful anniversary, when we commemorate the Johnston Press takeover of the Leinster Leader and my subsequent firing from that august organ three weeks before Christmas 2007.
Ah we were younger men then.
Within a year of that brilliant decision to fire me, the Johnston Press share price had collapsed from four quid to four pennies.
The value of the Irish titles had collapsed to zero.
And the editor whose name was on the firing letter was himself being filmed by RTE the Irish national broadcast network, signing on at a Dole office to collect unemployment benefit.
Oh the humanity.
You gorra larf.
Shortly thereafter the Chief Executive of the Johnston Press stepped down for a retirement which the company said had been planned all along.
And I'm the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The outgoing hipster doophus was replaced by one John Fry.
Two John Fry's would have been excessive.
Still they might at least have tried to lease a second one.
John Fry indeed.
A name that will live in infamy.
At least it will if I have anything to do with it.
The geniuses of the Johnston Press then attempted to put all the Irish newspapers they'd purchased back on the market.
They didn't find a buyer.
What they paid 250 million for, was now apparently worth diddlysquat.
Hilarious, no!
Not as hilarious as the fact that in paying 138 million for the Leinster Leader group alone, they hadn't even secured title to the buildings in which the Leinster Leader is based.
Yes, that's right.
They paid 138 million which they borrowed from idiot banks who have themselves subsequently collapsed, for a newspaper that was generating about a million a year (if you believe our accountancy department), and they then ended up paying a monthly lease on the buildings which housed that same priceless newspaper.
Sheer unadulterated inspirational genius.
Give those parvenus a cigar and a fat pension.
Bloody hell.
Clowns is not the word.
So they'd bought a newspaper for 138 million which in its best year, and with a little imagination, might conceivably at one time have given them back a million a year.
What else could they do?
Wait 138 years to break even on their investment?
They started firing people.
By the way 250 million is what the Johnston Press claims to have spent on all its Irish titles.
I believe the true figure is substantially higher.
But we'll know for sure on Judgement Day.
I ask you bold readers.
I ask you.
Is it just the teensiest weensiest bit possible that the wrong people have been getting fired?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

the persistence of hamsters

 

bollardology

Driving up to the door of Newbridge Silverware in the rain.
Lil and me have come in search of coffees at the Cafe Des Beaux Parvenus which is contained in these here premises.
But there is no parking space.
At least none that will not necessitate a walk through the rain.
And lo!
What's this I spy.
One emply parking space.
It is the manager's parking space right at the door.
It is protected by a portable orange bollard.
"Park there," instructs the lady known as Lil.
"I will not," sez me.
"Why not?" quoth the Mammy.
"They'll clamp me," sez me.
My 81 year old mother scrambles out of the car.
While I watch, she wrestles the bollard to one side.
"Hurry up," cries the aged parent.
"I can't," insisteth me.
"Of course you can," proclaims she.
"I'll be fined," mewls me.
 "It's nothing to do with you," assures she.
"It's my car," sez me.
"Yes, but you didn't move the bollard," triumphs she.
I park in the manager's space.

a poem by Divyavibha Sharma

greek love

this love for you I have is
greek love. Because
there isn't one word
to say what this love
for you means.
so I thought better to give away
a few more than one.

this love I have for you is
greek love. Because
you dubbed me Aphrodite
and I wished we were
platonic,
this love for you is greek, definitely.

Agape, a gaping hole that
that consumes us in dark when
we are close
and shines the light on the distance.
Eros, for we love truly, only when
we are away.

this love is greek for sure, says Aristotle.
Philia, a general type love from a bottle
strong enough to suffer for,
weak enough to stay nameless.
this love is love as much love
as love in love can be
storge or thelema or khaos
this love I have for you is,
greek positively.
(because I just don't get it.)

the monica leech laugh in

Question: Why did the Johnston Press cross the Irish sea?
Answer: To bankrupt twenty seven provincial newspapers that had been independently trading for 150 years, on the other side. Cor blimey.