Thursday, January 27, 2005

NEVER FORGET Posted by Hello

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Ok went to the cinema on Monday night in the IFI (arty farty) and saw “2046” which for some reason really resonated. I come out and what do I see only snow pelting down out of the heavens. Wonderful, wonderful. Where’s a camera when you need one.

Finished reading “The Bridge of San Luis Rey” by Thornton Wilder, hmmmm.

Currently reading “Brothers Under The Skin, Travels In Tyranny” by Christopher Hope. Words fail me on this one. Mr. Hope lived in South Africa during the darkest years. This work though concentrates on Robert Mugabe current president of Zimbabwe. If you want to find out how modern tyrants operate read this book and be prepared to think.

And on the fiction side I have a Murakami lined up.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Coffee Shop by Aligi Sassu Posted by Hello

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Did I hear a report on the radio this morning stating that because of the tsunami disaster and the amount of money coming into Sri Lanka in the form of relief the IMF had asked the Sri Lankan government not to accept this monitory relief aid because it was strengthening the local currency in relation to the dollar?

Friday, January 07, 2005

Since the demise of Bewleys coffee shops in Dublin one thing that’s really hit home for me is the near impossibility to go into a coffee shop in the city centre and have a quiet cop of coffee. Each and every café I enter from the Winding Stair, to Simons, to The Metro to Lucky Coadys either has a radio blaring somewhere or else someone else’s choice of C.D. assaulting my ears.

No thank you I don’t want to hear your music collection. After a hard day working and getting abuse down the phone I just want to sit and enjoy 15 minuets or half an hour of peace.

However bad the coffee was in Bewleys, and at times it was woeful, the one guarantee you had was that you’d be able to have a quiet cup of coffee or tea.

I'm on a major poetry vibe these days. So two more poems are viewed for all to see. The first is written by young American poet Lucien Zell, who resides in Prague. It is entitled Quatrain "XIX". A collection of his poetry entitled "Eden's Midnight Playground", is currently on sale in Anthology Books here in Dublin.

The second is entitled Wine and is by Raymond Carver, who of course needs no introduction. I can't help thinking of Colin Farrell every time I read it. Enjoy!

Quatrain XIX

There are some trees whose only fruit
is the shade they give to passing strangers.
The best way to keep a secret
is to forget that you have one.


Reading a life of Alexander the Great, Alexander
whose rough father, Philip, hired Aristotle to tutor
the young scion and warrior, to put some polish
on his smooth shoulders, Alexander who, later
on in the campaign trail to Persia, carried a copy of
The Iliad in a velvet-lined box, he loved that book so
much. He loved to fight and drink, too.
I came to that place in the life where Alexander, after
a long night of carousing, a wine drunk (the worst kind if drunk-
hangovers you don’t forget), threw the first brand
to start a fire that burned Persepolis, capital of the Persian Empire
(ancient even in Alexander’s day).
Raised it right to the ground. Later, of course,
next morning – maybe even while the fire roared – he was
remorseful. But nothing like the remorse felt
the next evening when, during a disagreement that turned ugly
and, on Alexander’s part, overbearing, his face flushed
from too many bowls of uncut wine, Alexander rose drunkenly to
his feet,
grabbed a spear and drove it through the breast
of his friend, Cletus, who’d saved his life at Granicus.

For three days Alexander mourned. Wept. Refused food. “Refused
to see to his bodily needs.” He even promised
to give up wine forever.
(I’ve heard such promises and the lamentations that go with them.)
Needless to say, life for the army came to a full stop
as Alexander gave himself over to grief.
But at the end of those three days, the fearsome heat
beginning to take its toll on the body of his dead friend,
Alexander was persuaded to take action. Pulling himself together
and leaving his tent, he took out his copy of Homer, untied it,
began to turn the pages. Finally he gave orders that the funeral
rites described for Patroklos be followed to the letter:
he wanted Cletus to have the biggest possible send-off.
And when the pyre was burning and the bowls of wine were
passed his way during the ceremony? Of course, what do you
think? Alexander drank his fill and passed
out. He had to be carried to his tent. He had to be lifted, to be put
into his bed.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

My favourite books of fiction and non-fiction that I read in 2004 were and there are two of each

“My Last Breath” by Luis Bunuel
“Picasso’s War” by Russell Martin
“Hicksville” by Dylan Horrocks
“Dreams From Bunker Hill” by John Fante

A large Spanish influence with “My Last Breath” by Spanish surrealist film maker Luis Bunuel and “Picasso’s War” the story of Picasso’s artistic masterpiece Guernica. Last year I was privileged to see Guernica on two occasions.

“Hicksville” by Dylan Horrocks is a graphic novel and if you ever read one graphic novel in your life this should be it. “Dreams From Bunker Hill” is by John Fante and what can I say, an emotionally raw roller coaster of a book which is 100% pure artistic genius.

Did I mention I finished “Ulysses” by Jimmy Joyce as well last year.

On things artistic RTE had a good documentary on last night about Irish writer Sean O’Casey. Well done to our state tv station.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Ah well back in work this morning another year ho hum.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Happy New Year? Well that’s a matter for debate. The events in South East Asia can only be described as catastrophic. The countries effected by the tsunami spread from Somalia to Indonesia. Over a hundred thousand are dead and I suspect that the real death toll is much, much more.

The response of ordinary people once more is amazing. How much has been raised worldwide by people digging into their pockets? The various governments have donated millions also. Every little bit helps.

But it doesn’t end there. This disaster will have aftereffects which will last for many years. Soon the bosses of Sky News and co. tell their reporters to wrap up and go home or move on to the next war or disaster. That I suppose is the nature of their job. Old news doesn’t sell. But well done to those reporters who have highlighted the plight of the ordinary people.

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