The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Maisie Brogan, a sixty five year old woman in her prime, entered my kitchen, kissed me, and then let fly with both barrels about this website.
She told me in no uncertain terms that she considered The Heelers Diaries to be nothing but wall to wall hate.
I was astonished.
For the first time in a long time, a citizen criticising my writings gave me pause.
Normally I take criticism as flattery.
If they love me or if they hate me, it's all good.
Indifference is the reaction I can't stand.
But this hit too close to home.
Actually because it was in my own home.
And also because I had heretofore held the woman in some regard.
I ask you, gentle travellers of the internet, to consider a most telling moment in the overly violent, though sometimes effective, Brian De Palma thriller called The Untouchables.
Yes the gangster film with the self parodaical music score by Ennio Morricone.
It works, doesn't it.
The Untouchables are a crime fighting team consisting of Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin and Ron Baines.
As soon as I saw that Ron Baines was being teamed in the Untouchables with Kevin Costner, Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin, I thought Mr Baines might as well have been wearing a target on his back.
I felt he was not long for this world.
(cf: The old Star Trek television series. Whenever Captain Kirk ordered Mr Spock, Lieutenant Uhuru, Doctor McCoy and Ensign O'Toole down to check out the planet surface, you knew it was time to say goodbye to Ensign O'Toole.)
So it proved in The Untouchables.
Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, and Alec Baldwin soon found their colleague the unfortunate Mr Baines shot most bloodily to death in a lift.
On the wall of the lift, his murderer had scrawled in blood the word Touchable.
Back to my kitchen.
Maisie Brogan is holding forth about such subjects as: Heelers' inhumanity to O'Brolchains, Heelers' inhumanity to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Heelers' inhumanity to the Irish Police Force, Heelers' inhumanity to Irish parliamentarians, Heelers' inhumanity to the banks, Heelers' inhumanity to... but you get the idea.
My jaw had dropped.
I let her speak.
A part of me marvelled at such free expression.
A refined, respectable, charitable, community minded, countrywoman, giving me what for.
She was eloquent, I give you that.
It was a spectacle to behold.
Rum and rummer.
Half of these people are terrified of their own husbands and of their own children but they feel free to speak their minds to me.
There's a compliment for me in there somewhere.
Her words were ringing in my ears.
Now she upped the ante.
"There's no economic collapse," she cried. "The only thing causing an economic collapse is people like you claiming there is one. Look at us. We're all alright. Nothing has collapsed."
And finally I raised an admonishing hand.
"Listen," I said quietly. "A few weeks ago in this very town a man poured petrol over himself and set himself on fire. He self immolated. He burnt himself to death. Do you think he did that because there's nothing wrong with our country? Because there's no corrupt bullying thug police? No recession? Really? You know, they heard his death screams at both ends of the town. But of course it wasn't reported in any of our newspapers. Now, a man burnt himself alive in Tunisia last year after being hassled by a bitch police officer and you know what happened? The government of Tunisia fell. The people tore it down. A man burns himself alive here in Kilcullen and what happens? Our newspapers, our televisions stations, our radio broadcasters, all of them collude to conceal it. Along with nice civilised people like you. All of them deliberately ignore it. All of them pretend it never happens. It only happened a few weeks ago but to this day the people of Ireland don't suspect a thing about it. You think speaking the truth is hateful. But I'm telling you what's genuinely hateful and hate filled is concealing the truth."
She stood up and made for the door at warp speed.
I followed.
"I'm a bit suprised at your attitude," I addressed myself to her fast disappearing form.
From my front garden she called back: "Well James, what did you expect?"
"I expected you to thank me," I stated without rancour.
Back in the kitchen I sat down in a pool of great sadness.


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