The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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

Saturday, December 23, 2017

the waiting

grey light upon sleeping fields
the stillness i have come to love
time and tide cease surcease
peace sits like a glove
shadow sifts like memory
the dog stirs at his chain
and whines and lifts his eyes
for the walk he knows we'll take
though storm clouds steal the skies
and grey light curtains into rain
so waits the world tonight
in darkness and in pain
the world waits for christ

and finally

The musician Jona Lewie who promised in his 1982 Christmas hit song Stop The Cavalry, to stand for election for all Presidencies so that he might abolish war, has been beheaded in Iran after attempting to register to run for the Presidency there. This follows his previous unfortunate experience when he attempted to run for the Presidency in North Korea and was tortured for six months by Kim Jong Un's secret police. In a posthumous tribute, the Swedish furniture store Ikea are now producing a new version of Mr Lewie's other song, the one about always finding him in the kitchen at parties, which will now have the refrain: "You will no longer find him in the kitchen at parties."

Friday, December 22, 2017

film review

Braveheart. Directed by Mel Gibson. Written by Somebody Wallace. Starring Some Quite Likeable Actors, Some Irish Actors, A Good Looking French Actress Or Two, A Very Appealing Girl As Muireann, as well as Mr Gibson himself.

Braveheart came out twenty years ago but bears repeated viewing.
The violence is a bit too entertaining for moral comfort and I always felt this was a movie that would engender violence through the socialisation of its more docile audiences.
It also seems to have driven a segment of the Scottish population absolutely spdoodlums in their attitude to the English with its romanticisation of separatism.
Sort of the in same way that Thelma And Louise made suggestible idiots hate men.
The enjoyable bits are when Mel Gibson in the role of Braveheart keeps winning battles against superior English armies by using clever tricks at vital moments.
The English would be about to win, and Mel's character would distract them by saying: "Look, there's a cricket match over there," or "I say there's Maggie Thatcher," or "wow, free abortions," whereupon the English would lose their concentration and the tide would turn.
Clearly the English armies were superior only in the sense of being snobs with faux upper class accents. According to the Mel Gibson version of history they couldn't fight their way out of wet paper baggies.
Some of the tricks Mel's character plays were later used by the Spartans in an Italian 1950's sword and sandals epic about prehistoric Greek resistance to Persian invaders in the Pass of Thermopolae.
It was certainly plagiaristic and indeed anachronistic of the Italian film makers in 1958 to copy verbatim plot twists from Mel Gibson's Braveheart of 1995.
There are more anachronistic pilferings from Braveheart in the 1980's BBC drama Massada where Peter O'Toole snarls with vengeful Shakespearian grandeur in reference to a Jewish fortification "Burn it," a line he obviously stole from Mel's character who delivers it with the same resonance and vengefulness a decade later re a Brit castle he's just captured.
Braveheart is a bravura piece of film making with very attractive actors, a merry linear narrative script, and the whole thing superbly wrought by cinematographers, editors and camera men at the top of their game.
The visuals are gorgeous.
Ireland in the role of Scotland has never looked so good.
Aside from the dubious ambiguity one experiences when being thoroughly entertained by its casual incitements to violence, Braveheart may be cited for one other teensy weensy failing.
It's a plot twist that is essential but grates.
Throughout the film Mel's character keeps trusting the character of Robert the Bruce who as per certain normative traditions in this sort of film making, keeps betraying him.
It gets really annoying.
(cf the Amityville Horror and comedian Eddie Murphy's assessment of generically annoying horror movies where white guys refuse to leave the house even when the house itself says in a really scary voice GET OUT. If a house say to you GET OUT, Eddie counsels, get the **** out.)
Every time Mel goes to be ambushed yet again by the Bruce or the Bruce's treacherous upper class accented but not really superior in any meaningful way English paymasters, the audience wants to shout: "Don't trust the Bruce. The Bruce is an evil devil worshipping IRA ****. Don't trust her. Don't join her prayer group. Don't let her into your charity. Don't let her into your church. And stay the **** away from her IRA skanger devil worshipping skanger friends. And as for that IRA lowlife skanger priest Ruairi O'Domhnaill she hangs out with, ah for ****'s sake. I mean I don't want to go casting no aspoyshuns."
Mel trusts the old skank and it ends badly.
All this aside, the casting of Angus Macfadyen as Robert the Bruce actually had a touch of cleverness and likeability to it. The actor was very much a matinee idol type and Mel was getting a bit long in the tooth for buckling swashes.The disparate comparison was apparent but it didn't harm the movie. A less confident actor/director might have opted for an obviously less striking hunk among his protagonists.
It was as though Mel was saying: "Look, I'm secure enough to let another guy shine alongside me."
Yes, a genuinely likeable casting decision which I dare say probably gives a rare insight into Mel Gibson's real persona.
As an actor/director/producer, Mel Gibson surrounds himself with good people. He lets them shine, and he knows full well in doing so that everyone is winning.
It goes to character.
It is a measure of the man.
Compare and contrast without disrespect another matinee idol Mr Kevin Costner's actions in similar circumstances. He's probably as capable a performer on his day as Mel Gibson, every bit as much a heart throb, and his fame at some times has been greater, but I'll hazard he's perhaps not so generous to those around him.
In Robin Hood the actor Hans Gruber supposedly had many of his scenes cut simply because of fears he was overshadowing the Bold Sir Kevin.
But I digress.
Another fine casting choice in Braveheart, presumably attributable to Mel Gibson, is the French bim who plays the princess. She is a strikingly good looking woman and can also act. She did let herself down a bit though in the riding scene with James Bond.
I'm recommending Braveheart but that you view it with a critical eye.
When all is said and done it's an interesting movie with some golden Hollywood touches all the more surprising in an era when cinema through repeated debauches and excess, has grown unutterably tedious. There are resonances and nuances in Braveheart which touch on various cinematic traditions., from romance to costume drama to historical bio pic. The resonances are sometimes unexpected. You might even see how Mel's early work with Australian director George Miller in the exploitation movie Mad Max 2 has influenced his undeniably poetic vision in what remains essentially an historical whap bam thud action flick.
Allow me one final quibble about Braveheart's potted history lesson voice over at the end.
Mel is dead but before we go, his disembodied voice gives us a further half wit's guide to Scottish secessionism.
He says:
"Led by Robert the Bruce the Scots fought like plagiarist poets to win back their country."
Bit too confessional for my liking.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

tis the season to be jolly

"Hey Heelers, what did you think of the carol service?"
"Well I liked the repressed tigerish secretary one with the horn rimmed glasses and the leopard print top. And there was a blonde as well who wasn't bad."
"Did you even listen to the carols?"
"Well, I mean, you know, it's difficult to avoid hearing something when they're infernal tootling away to beat the band and my cousin Hector is doing his phantom of the opera routine on the organ. But I managed to drown most of it out. The secretary one was a honey."

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

is the jewish bible true

The Jewish Bible is often referred to by Christians as The Old Testament.
Is it true?
Some thoughts.

1. Nobel Prize Winner Arno Penzias whose work identifying cosmic background radiation is regarded by many as having established the historicity of the The Big Bang, once stated: "The best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted had I had nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole."

2. Anthropologists claim that stories of a world wide flood are found in the ancient traditions of tribes and peoples on every continent. Some claim that the similarities between these widely dispersed ancient accounts imply an historicity for Noah's Flood.

3. Werner Keller is of interest for, among other things, organising a resistance group to the Nazis in Germany during World War Two. In 1955 he published a book called The Bible As History. His book cites data from modern archaeological explorations along with historical evidence from various sources as confirming many details contained in the Bible. A similar argument suggesting that archaeological and historical evidence being collected in the present era verify what was written in the Old and New Testaments thousands of years ago, is advanced by the British academic Ian Wilson in his book The Bible Is History which was published in the year 2000.

4. The writer David Berlinski has remarked that the cosmologies being advanced by atheistic scientists have more in common with pagan myths than with anything we might call science. In describing quantum cosmology Mr Berlinski felt it necessary to advise his readers: "This is not a parody of quantum cosmology. This IS quantum cosmology."

5. After a life time of atheistic advocacy, British philosopher Anthony Flew in 2004 wrote a book entitled There Is A God, How The World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. In it he asserts that increasing scientific knowledge about the nature of matter and life itself has led to his repudiation of atheism. Mr Flew suggests that the complexity of what we call DNA molecules alone points directly to the existence of a designer who is in his attributes identifiable with the God of the Hebrews as described in the Bible.

Monday, December 18, 2017

strange visitors

come with me
to the darkest most beautiful night
that the world has ever seen
and ever might
we can sit on the straw
we'll get warm from it
and watch the stillness draw
a cloak of peace
through a time of war
lambs are calling in the fields
that this night is forever
and forever yields
to this night
we are there
hid in the warmth
from things that are old
and things that are rare
look look my friend
and myrrh

call for a boycott of the facebook website

Five years ago Darren Gibson was found dead.
He was 17 years old.
He had been murdered by a cabal of people using messages placed on the Facebook internet website and other methods to harass him to death.
The American owners of the Facebook website initially refused to help Ireland's perennially useless police force to identify the murderers who had orchestrated the campaign on Facebook's website to cause Darren's death.
For several years the Facebook corporation refused to help the Irish police identify Darren's persecutors while the trail turned cold.
The Irish Department of Public Prosecutions is currently dithering in a similar fashion over the police file on the case which was finally submitted to it last year.
Mark Zuckerberg the owner of Facebook is a billionaire.
I cannot see why anyone with a conscience would add a penny to Mark Zuckerberg's ill gotten fortune.
I call on the citizenry to boycott Facebook.
End access to Facebook from Ireland.
Arrest and incarcerate permanently the murderers of Darren Gibson.