Sunday, November 29, 2009

Collar me blind

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has said that at this moment, he believes that decisions on whether to resign by Cardinal Desmond Connell and others mentioned in the Murphy Report should be personal.

Well, I'm not going to put any of this as well as himself, but nothing about the aftermath of last week's Murphy Report doesn't make me ashamed to be Irish.

I'm talking about the sycophance, deference to the Church, the cowardice of the government, the disgusting cover-ups and excuses made, the cushy parish to parish relocations of these rapists and molesters (and they are nothing more than that) and the turning of the cheek.

It is, of course, all abhorrent to those of us that never drank the Kool Aid, never invited these people in to talk down to us at our kitchen tables. To those of us that wouldn't be told when to stand, to kneel and to "sit, Ubu, sit." To those among us that chose never to gawp for an hour, of a Sunday, at some papal miscreant, for those of us wise to the hypocrisy.

It is, was and has been sickmaking and worst of all is the collective shirking of responsibility by those who thought the bodies of these children were their God-given right.

In a way, it's hard to blame them because lots of lay people thought it too, that it was the done fucking thing if Fr. Friendly deemed it so.

In a far bigger way, though, it would be right and proper for those priests - those that raped, fiddled, molested and those that covered for them - to be subject to the full force of Irish justice, whatever that could be.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

80 minutes

My worst class.

I felt well prepared beforehand, notes demonstrating how major sporting events can instigate societal changes using the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa as the best example. Mandela and all that.

I also had last week as leverage and the killer opening line as the class simmered down to a gathered hush.

"So, quiet week in sport. Nothing to see here."

It got the requisite laugh and I asked them all to commit their thoughts on the Ireland match itself, coupled with the media response, to paper. Some good impromptu pieces but it left me with an hour and a half to kill and the ill-will to switch to the rugby topic.

It all went so-so until my monumental fuck up.

"So, you see that when Mandela mentioned the fact that he was more tense before this iconic rugby game than at any other stage in his life, it was because this event, this 70 minutes, was the tipping point of all that he had strived for throughout his..."

I heard some sniggering and immediately realised what I'd said.

"80 minutes. Fuck. 80 minutes. I was thinking of... I'm tired. It's the weather. It's... Oh shut up. No you shut up..."

My cover blown, I let them off early, waiting until they'd left the room to take a long and hard look at my reflection in the window. Soul searching completed I legged it, got into a taxi and caught the end of the Liverpool match. More humiliation and not a drop of whiskey in the flat.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Word verification

I've turned on word verification for comments. I don't like it but I've had a flood of viagra merchants spamming me in the past week or so, and I'm insecure enough as it is.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


There is no escape.

If you've no interest in the football, like the lad I found myself sat aside last week in the Morkesh Bor, then you're drowning in a sea of hyperbole. You seek solace away from the indignation of the media and head for town in the pissings of rain only to find a sea of Euro 88 replica shirts with torches at the ready, ready to march on the French embassy, citing the blood (fucking BLOOD, like!) on the hands of Henry as their imperative.

If you love your fitba, you've to put up with the so-called reasoned heads telling us all to cop on, that babies are dying in Bi-Africa, that Brian Cowen is trying to eat the country, that NAMA is coming to steal our beer money, that people are being airlifted from their homes in Cork, that the public sector and the private sector and the soccer sector are all going to converge in a glorious re-enactment of the opening scene of 'Gangs Of New York' - 'Gangs Of Westland Row' - unless we cop the fuck on and go back to worrying about our future without doing a fucking thing about it.

Where do I stand? I've moved on to worrying about what I'll have for lunch. Soup is the frontrunner but I'm open to cheese on toast.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A blog, on the internet

It really won't be long before there's an application on Facebook that accesses a page on Twitter that goes into a Wikipedia entry that redirects to an application on Facebook that accesses a page on Twitter that makes the whole internet collapse in upon itself leaving us with, well, our own, like, imaginations. The horror.

I'm giving some thought to giving up my mobile phone for one month and blogging about it. The possibilities are nul. Scratch that idea. It's shit. Which leads me, in no way, on to the subject of...

Katy French. I wonder if she was just a model who died from a drug overdose and not an allegory for the death of the Celtic Tiger. I wonder that.

Moving on, I've finished the first series of 'Flight Of The Conchords.' It was...alright, really. The two best bits I'd seen on YouTube months ago.

I felt dirty and used after work today.

Literarily, 'Blood Meridian' is beside my bed and has been for the last fortnight. Twenty pages in, the fucker's taunting me and I still can't decide if Cormac McCarthys casual attitude to the apostrophe is a triumphant device or a cynical little affectation.

I get very, very fucked off when I come across terms such as 'micro cleaning crystals' and 'auto hyleronic shimmer pustules' on television ads.

Garrett Fitzgerald, 127, is an impressive man, isn't he?

Earlier this evening, I caught myself wondering what I'd wear tomorrow night before inching my right hand down towards my scrotum. They were still there. Crisis averted.

When I was young I wanted to be nearly 31.

I had a chilli chicken ramen yesterday and it was the best thing I've eaten since 2002. I'm hungry now but if I eat anything between midnight and 6am I turn into Ryle Fucking Nugent.

Still no sign of the redundancy or the month's notice or the holiday pay but, fuck it, I've enough to get by on since I managed to kick that nasty Magnum Classic habit I'd cultivated since childhood.

I cut out less than I leave in.

'Movember' is a NAMA-distraction-ploy. Trust me on this.

For those who can't take a hint, I'd like a cohesive narrative for my birthday, please. And a water pistol.

Bittersweet me

There's a cracking, deviant niceness to still being in bed at the exact moment you should be turning on your computer at work, mainlining coffee and sneezing out the excesses of the weekend.

An hour and a half late today and I was still the first one in, giving giant yawns out to the open plan banality before the dribbity drab of leftover weekend effluent.

My idyll was spoiled, however, by the overhearing of the following exchange. For handiness' sake I'll reprint the email I sent to Fitzbollix in its wake.

'We're moving office shortly, and some lads have just come in looking around the place.

They asked one of my colleagues...

"Will these televisions be going to the new building?"

He replied...

"I'm not sure, I'll have to firm up with you on that."

Jesus fucking wept.'

For those of you that take the helicopter view, liaise with each other, run this item and that up the flagpole and get a steer on the latest figures...

...your face, my stick of justice.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Timing minute silences

"Where will you watch the match tomorrow night?"

"I don't really follow the football. Like, when there's a big game on I might sit through it but normally I don't... eh... who's playing?"

"Ireland are playing France in a play-off to get into the World Cup."

"Oh right, when's that on?"

"Next summer. In South Africa."

"Oh that'll be good. Do you think we'll get through?"

"It's hard to know, really. There are definite pluses and minuses. I mean, we look fairly defensively sound and Keane - if he's on his game - can really exploit the fact that they're going to use Abidal centrally. Decent player, Abidal, but bring him in from the left-back position and he could be exploited. France are also going to miss Toulalan. He is, for me, the closest thing they've had to a Makelele since Makelele retired. On the other hand St. Ledger is prone to lapses of concentration at the highest level and Keith Andrews is an imposter. You know?"

"I really don't. As I said, not really into the football. I'm just looking forward to the rugby on S..."

"Go away."

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday. 16.32.

I couldn't find a Leona Lewis track to suit my mood - somewhere between 'a little off' and 'biblical' - so I figured I'd go back to an old favourite of mine and Elmo's.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Shoot me now, but...

Had a good long ramble on the interweb chattamajob with 5X tonight. By my calculation he's been living in Paris nigh on three and a half years.

I was telling him about the public sector ballyhoo, the threatened strikes and the general pox surrounding the country, not to mention tax levies, child benefit cuts and everything else that makes us get drunk and bend over.

On the French tax system, he wrote:

'Here, you not only pay tax on your earnings which you see on your pay sheet at the end of the month, which is considerable, but you also pay les impots sur le revenue, which you have to declare for every year.

They calculate that and send you back the bill, then you also have to pay the tax d'habitation for HAVING somewhere to live, then I pay Paris municipal taxes for living in the city, then le devance audiovisuelle which is also a spicy meatball.

Serge Gainsbourg was right when he burned that 500 Franc note. I'm going to a fiscal paradise as soon as I make it big.'

We're not the only ones being sodomised, it seems.

Monday, November 09, 2009


The Lord Edward pub. By some freakish turn of happenstance I'd never set foot inside it before last night, another one ticked off the list.

The bar was well stocked with worldly ales, whiskeys and vodkas for the Christchurch converts. Of course, you'd expect such things, what with the general publiness of the surrounds.

We took a seat near the door and immediately set to discussing the events of the day. A crashing bore of a football match, the nip in the air, the fact that my belt had missed a loop in my trouserwear. That kind of thing. Politics, both sexual and governmental, left unspoke.

The air changed some time around 8pm. A frisson of excitement, a definite heightening of the atmosphere. Pints were left at tables untended, beermats left atop to give the illusion of smoking outside.

It was not so. No.

No, they, the men with full grey stubble and betting slips, were huddled around the television three deep.

What great calling was this? What was causing these obvious grandfathers, these drinking men, these old time Dubliners to abandon all discourse in favour of the widescreen wankbox overhead?

It wasn't the Spanish football. They turned that off. It wasn't racing from Wolverhampton or Kempton. No. It wasn't even Anne Doyle and the stiffy that dare not speak its name.

It was, of course, the worst centre parting in the history of television, two little gimps that would be Bros and the shattered dreams of a girl called Lucie.

The Lucky Leopard's alive and well, pissing on O'Leary's grave.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Take that, Rico Suavé

It's a good thing that 'it's only a game' and 'there's always next season.' It's really a very good thing indeed because, otherwise, I'd be foetal right now.

I'd be typing out this little paean to Liverpool's capitulation with my twiddling toenails but thanks to the urgings of those who put more stock in things like real life, the economy, shoes, the Norwegian leather industry and hats I can see the wooded area for the trees.

What nonsense.

In truth I want to find the nearest clocktower, dust down the old Radge rifle and spray the masses beneath. "You're Andriy Voronin - boom!"..."You're Andriy Voronin - KABLAMO!"..."You're Andriy Voronin - rat a fucking tat..." until I'm accosted by six heavy men in SWAT garb called Earl.

I'm going to bed.

Suddenly, things are looking up

Im a fun luving typ f prsn who gets n wit evry1, my frends allways say Im lyk de bel f de ball. I lyk goin 2 d cinma n sumtimes goin 2 d pub wit my gurlies. My m8 sharon gets all d fellahs but Im d one who is dancin on d tables lol n havin d crack. Also lyk a nice nite in n watchin d x Factor i tink Simon Cowell is my ideel man hes gorge.

Im lukkin for d knd of fellah who nos how 2 treat a gurl rite, no messers need apply. N if u wanna pik me up in a pink limo all d better n sho me d sites of d town i liv in Blanch lol.

O n' Ive kist a lot of frogs :) but hopin 2 find d 1.

It cud be u.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Back in the game

These are the incontrovertible laws of i*t*rn*t d*t**g.

1) Lie.

Never tell the truth in your profile. If, like me, you're a touch on the diminutive side, attest to the fact that you're six feet and three inches tall and you have been this size since birth. If you're a tad on the bookish side, write that you spend all your free time feeding sliotars to the homeless and playing rugby with the huddled elderly masses while making soup from scratch and simultaneously rescuing kittens from something either tall or burning or both. Women love a sensitive sportsman.

2) Never lie.

When the time comes where you've arranged to meet someone to go to the panto, if she sees that you're really an average sized John Doe she WILL walk onwards, pretending that she only paused briefly to get something from her purse. You'll be left with the saddest bunch of carnations in Dublin and a half sunk bottle of Johnnie Walker Red before sundown.

3) Dress well.

Oh this is very important. While full top and tails may overreach a smidgeon, definitely clad yourself in a natty suit of dark colour and white shirt with the buttons casually left unjointed at the top. Shoes are important. Wear several pairs at once because women, as we all know, fucking love shoes.

4) Do not dress too well.

You're already not a rugby player, nor are you over six feet tall, so don't make matters worse by pretending to be something you're not. Day old socks add character and the very small tomato sauce stain on the sleeve of your long sleeved Next t-shirt will hint at a culinary prowess that isn't quite there but she doesn't know that.

5) Tell her she looks great.

You'd be a right old bastard if you didn't acknowledge the fact that she spent 17 minutes ironing the crinkles out of her eyelids before she came out. You don't want to be a right old bastard, do you?

6) Do not, under any cicumstances, compliment her on her looks.

First she'll smell the socks, then she'll sniff the desperation.

7) Ask her about her past relationships.

She'll think you're confident and fearless and not at all bothered that her last boyfriend only dumped her because he had a shot at Jessica Alba which he ultimately fucked up but she wasn't taking him back but you so don't want to go there.

8) Don't mention exes.

'You so don't want to go there.'

9) Ask her what she's reading.

This is always a conversation starter and lets you play to your strengths, or at least would do if the last book you read hadn't been the life story of the nearest deceased football player.

10) Don't ask her what she's reading.

If you hear the words Jade and Goody you'll immediately have to flee. Ignorance is bliss.

11) Ask her what her parents do.

This will give her the chance to wax on and wax off about her folks while you settle into your brand new arse groove somewhere cosy, but not too cosy, while you silently get drunk, but just drunk enough.

12) Do not ask her what her parents do.

They could be dead. And that's just awkward right there.

13) Pretend to fall asleep while she talks.

She'll find this disarming.

14) Don't actually fall asleep while she talks.

You'll wake up to a bill and no wallet.

15) Ask her if she wants to share a taxi home.

She'll be insulted if you don't and she will end up in Coppers, later that night getting sired by the exact person you pretended to be in your original profile.

16) Do not ask her to share a taxi home.

She'll see this as presumptuous in the extreme and it's a real pity because if you'd been a gentleman and waited until the next time - and there WAS going to be a next time - you'd have been doing the no-pants-dance in the flicker of one perfectly smoothed out eyelid.