Monday, July 26, 2004

Forgot to mention that the beautiful bridge in Mostar was opened this weekend. As symbols go when this ancient bridge was destroyed by Croats in 1993 the Bosnian government declared three days of mourning. The original bridge was built by Suliman the Great in 1566.

Believe me when I say that this wont fix the wounds in Mostar as the city is still divided along Croat, Bosnian lines. But to those who struggle to repair the country, this will offer a hope of sorts.

Another wonderful weekend for sport. Clare stop the Kilkenny juggernaut in hurling while in Gaelic, Westmeath win their first ever senior title. 120 years and success finally comes. Way to go Paidi and the boys.

Great to see that the old tradition of climbing Croagh Patrick for the annual pilgrimage is alive and well. I climbed it only once. That was on a terrible summers day six years ago when you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. Not that yesterday was any better by all accounts but for those who succeeded in making it to the top, it will have been worth the effort.  And to think once upon a time there was a proposal to put a gold mine on the sacred mountain. Incredible.

Am a bit hung over this morning was out yesterday for some libation in The Long Hall and Grogan’s. But it was worth it.

To end on a happy note Feni Liu a Chinese practitioner of Falun Gong who was imprisoned and tortured for his beliefs flew into Dublin last night to resume his studies in Dun Laoighre.  Welcome back Feni Liu.

Friday, July 23, 2004

If you get the opportunity make your way to the James Joyce exhibition in the National Library, Kildare Street. It's a wonder in itself!

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Well watch out Brussels Charlie McCreevey is on his way there after all. Well one person at least got decentralised/ told to move job when they clearly didn’t want to.
Ironic? Justice? Frightening? Laughable?

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Charlie McCreevey the current Irish Minister for Finance is rumoured to be Ireland’s next EU Commissioner. Be afraid, be very afraid. Since Charlie became Minister for Finance funding for essential social services has been slashed to an unprecedented degree. With the right contacts you can become part of a dynamic, fast paced, dog eat dog economy. Mr. McCreevey likes to claim credit for our economic success. Hard luck if you live on the wrong side of the tracks, are relying on public healthcare, or living on the street. Inequality is the sign of a successful economy.
Lets face it the EU is far from perfect, but with the thoughts of Charlie McCreevey as one of the Commissioner’s in Brussels frightens me. European social policy, what European social policy?

Here's another poem to digest, more culture........
Refugee Blues By WH Auden

Say this city has ten million souls,
Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
Yet there's no place for us, my dear, yet there's no place for us.

Once we had a country and we thought it fair,
Look in the atlas and you'll find it there:
We cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there now.

In the village churchyard there grows an old yew,
Every spring it blossoms anew:
Old passports can't do that, my dear, old passports can't do that..

The consul banged his hand on the table and said:
"If you've got no passport, you're officially dead":
But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive.

Went to a committee; they offered me a chair;
Asked me politely to return next year:
But where shall we go to-day, my dear, where shall we go to-day?

Came to a public meeting; the speaker got up and said:
"If we let them in, they will steal our daily bread";
He was talking of you and me, my dear, he was talking of you and me.

Thought I heard the thunder rumbling in the sky;
It was Hitler over Europe, saying: "They must die";
We were in his mind, my dear, we were in his mind.

Saw a poodle in a jacket fastened with a pin,
Saw a door opened and a cat let in:
But they weren't German Jews, my dear, they weren't German Jews.

Went down to the harbour and stood upon the quay,
Saw the fish swimming as if they were free:
Only ten feet away, my dear, only ten feet away.

Walked through a wood, saw the birds in the trees;
They had no politicians and sang at their ease:
They weren't the human race, my dear, they weren't the human race.

Dreamed I saw a building with a thousand floors,
A thousand windows and a thousand doors;
Not one of them was ours, my dear, not one of them was ours.

Stood on a great plain in the falling snow;
Ten thousand soldiers marched to and fro:
Looking for you and me, my dear, looking for you and me.

Monday, July 19, 2004

It was a weekend of Fahrenheit 9/11 and old girlfriends, and the least said about old girlfriends the better. Suffice to say that as we're both working as volunteers for the same NGO it doesn't pay to be angry. Will I go to a party in her house in a two weeks time? I politely refused.
I went to see Fahrenheit 9/11 last night. A satirical look at the Bush regime by Michael Moore. I can’t understand all the criticism of MM. Everyone knows what he’s about. Or is it a case of the empire strikes back.
My favourite scene in Fahrenheit 9/11 was when MM asked senators (or was it congressmen/women) would they be prepared to send their sons or daughters to Iraq. The look on one guys face when MM posed this question to him was priceless. Roll on November!
I’ve put Ulysses further dawn the long finger, currently reading “I’m Not Scared” by Niccoló Ammaniti.  To be honest I'm starting to feel guilty about abandoning Ulysses but will return. 
What a lovely morning it is in Dublin. Wonder when it’ll start to rain?

Friday, July 16, 2004

I’ve stopped reading Ulysses for the moment though I do intending to picking it up again soon. In the mean time I’ve had other literary distractions, which are listed below……
After the dance: A Walk Through Carnival In Haiti by Edwidge Danticat
Born Bad by Andrew Vachss
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
My Dark Places by James Ellroy
Dreams From Bunker Hill by John Fante
After the Dance by Edwidge Danticat is part autobiography part travel log concerning the author’s return to the Haitian city of Jacmel during carnival season. Be prepared to be amazed at the author’s lyrical descriptions of the city during the time of festival.
Born Bad by Andrew Vachss is a collection of short stories reflecting the dark side of American life. Redemption in Vachss’s world when it comes, is often brutal. However Vachss’s writing at times has glimpses of pure poetry.
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler introduces the private detective Philip Marlow and is a murder mystery set in Los Angeles in the 1930’s On its own Chandler’s writing is razor sharp, though when compared to Vachss’s it resembles comedy.
My Dark Places by James Ellory America’s premier crime writer is a no nonsense investigation by Ellroy into his mother’s murder in California in 1953. A tale of loss and salvation.
Finally we have Dreams from Bunker Hill by John Fane.  In 1978 Fante started dictating this novel to his wife. He was sixty-nine, blind from diabetes and confined to a wheelchair. His writing was long forgotten, his health was broken and he was bitter. Knowing this, you read this novel thinking that it should have been written by a man in his early twenties such is Dreams From Bunker Hill’s vitality and emotional bravery. It tells the struggles of a young writer in the early 1930’s in Los Angeles. 
Also on the go Voices Made Night a collection of short stories by Mozambique writer Mia Couto and New Poems Book 1 by Charles Bukowski.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Shortly after the results of the citizenship referendum were announced a guy I know told me in no uncertain terms that he voted yes. The term he used was that voting yes was the lesser of two evils.

I picked up this morning's Irish Examiner newspaper and read the front page headline. It ran "KKK hails McDowell for citizenship vote". The McDowell in question is Michael McDowell, the Irish Minister for Justice.

As for the lesser of two evils I know exactly where I stand.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Me In The Park, the band I wrote about on a previous post will feature on Jenny Houston's The Waiting Room on 2FM radio, tonight, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night. The broadcast goes out between 10 pm and 12 midnight gmt. You can listen to it here . But you will need a real one player. If you do get to listen, hey go crazy and enjoy this happening band.

Went to a play last night "The Virtuous Burglar", by Dario Fo. It's running tonight and Tuesday night. It starts at 8.30 and runs for an hour. A friend of mine P has a part in it, go and give him a cheer. It's €10 in but well worth the price. It takes place in The Bank of Ireland, Arts Centre in Foster Place.

Hey and a big well done to Cork City Football Club. Yesterday they beat NEC Nijmegen from Holland to reach the quarter final of the Inter Toto Cup. Wonderful! A League of Ireland team in the quarter final of a European competition, who'd have thought it! Even my beloved Saint Pats won and I'm on the verge of restoring diplomatic relations with the GAA. All is well with the world.

Friday, July 09, 2004

I was on a Johnny Cash vibe last night. I’d a few beers and listened to all two albums I have recorded by the man in black.

On his last album Johnny does a version of a Hank Williams number. One line in the song I thought was pure poetry it goes ......

“The silence of a falling star
Lights up a purple sky”

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

The Dandelion second-hand bookshop and Smile Records second-hand record, CD and bookshop, both of Georges Street Dublin closed for good recently. Where are we going to sell our old CD’s and books now?

Monday, July 05, 2004

I was out with my friend D in Rathmines on Saturday night. We were in Slatterys. We decided to go upstairs. There was a band setting up. They were a three-piece combo. Bass guitar, lead guitar and drums. They started up. Wow they really had the place going I found out their name "Me In The Park". I've put up a link to them. Go see if you get the chance.

Yesterdays Sunday Tribune had an opinion piece in it by Diarmuid Doyle. It centered on former Irish international Ray Houghton's appearance on Fantasy Football. Houghton had to appear in a sketch re-enacting his goal against England in the 1988 European championship. Ray turned up on the set dressed as a leprechaun. He dressed up in turn as a potato, and then as Jean Butler star of Riverdance. Apparently he next of all shows up standing beside someone dressed in a balaclava and military uniform. In short Mr. Houghton made a bit of a fool of himself.

The point of Mr. Doyle’s article was that Ray Houghton is not Irish, he never was and he never will be. Ray Houghton used Ireland as a flag of convenience to play international football. Taken in the context of the recent citizenship referendum and the argument the we should place a value on citizenship and the dangers of not respecting it, is Mr. Houghton's publicity stunt not a devaluation our citizenship?

I do not agree with all of Doyle's argument especially the piece concerning Houghton not being Irish, but I can see his point. I'll end this with a quote from John Waters in today’s (05-06-04) Irish Times "Only by constantly allowing beliefs to be challenged do we ensure the quality of freedom."

I read that Mary is soon to return to posting regularly on her blog. I look forward to reading her posts once more and viewing her many fine photographs of this fair country. Hope you are keeping well Mary, best wishes.

I've put up a few new links. One to "That Girl" and another to the CCST as well as ME.IN.THE.PARK.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

And may thanks to Annette and Mary for the birthday wishes.

There's a character who's just arrived in Dublin or else he's been here a while and I've only noticed him now. He's a young guy, only in his early 20's. He's heavy set and slightly stooped. He wears an oldfashioned brown hat and a blue jacket. He wanders the streets playing the guitar and singing silently to himself.

Tuesday morning I was in a newsagents on the quays. I bought a paper and some milk. I appreached the counter and heard the newsagent say "Well done". I handed the newsagent some money. "Well done" he said again. I thought to myself, had I heard him right did he say "Well done"?. He handed me the change and again said "Well done". I wondered, what had I done to merit such praise. A rather unusual start to the morning but hey better than nothing.

Dublin city, alive and kicking wiht characters.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Technorati Profile