What’s left of Ireland for those under 30?

Tonight, via Twitter, RTE’s Frontline (a program I’ve never seen and will never see) asked “What’s left of Ireland for those under 30?” (topic of next Monday’s show).

“Splutter!”, I spluttered derisively, “Typically absurd & reductive meedja question”. At least that was initially. Then (after a few minutes) I stopped spluttering and started getting the fear. What if…?

I rose gingerly from the couch and tugged the curtains a lickle bit apart with a shaking index finger. And that’s when I saw it. Or didn’t see it.

There was nothing out there. Just a void where the street used to be. Even the wheelie bin was gone. Turned, now, into a sickly (and not even there) non-mass of trans-dimensional quarks and gluons. The neighbours’ Ford Focus? A shimmering un-black no-puddle.

It was like the head-fuckingest Sapphire & Steele episode ever. Without the laughs. Or David McCallum.

And I’m over 30.

Says He to Me

Ould Mr Brennan. Twinkly-eyed keeper of the flame of Dublin wit? Harmless ould codger? Mawkish summariser of our national obsessions and preoccupations? Crusty auld triangular everyman with a voice like a plate of hot coddle? Is that all he is? Don’t you believe it.

He may sound like a cuddly Irish fusion of Mr. Kipling, the Werther’s Original granddad, and a slice of Hovis bread (all mashed together by way of a Fly-style teleportation accident), but he’s probably just another ruthless corporate autocrat in disguise. What are the secret ingredients that make Brennan’s bread so fresh? Third world orphan tears and the bottled sighs of widows. Fact.

Lately he’s switched from wittering & chuckling about “de Bebos” and “de facebukes” to wittering & chuckling about (surprise, surprise) “de recession”. His solution to recession-induced angst and anguish? A luv-eh-lee warm sly-es of toasted Brennan’s bread (“Sure it’s yer only man. Didn’t it cheer the lot of us up during de Dublin lockout and the 1949 rasher shortage? Be the hokey! Janey macaroons! etc.”)

Forget yer bagels, panini(s) and other “fancy” Celtic Tiger fare. In times of uncertainty and stress let’s wind back the (analogue) clock to more innocent days, when de weekly highlight was mass of a Sunda, a gorgeous tripe sangwich and a belt round the head from the da.

Oh how the ghost of you clings.

Lovely Things & their Importance

Artists? Yuk. They’re a bit fruity and weird.

Art? Yum. Back in vogue now “we’ve” rediscovered the quiet philosophic joys previously devoured by the Celtic Tiger. Ohhhhmmmm…

Flagging spirits? Easily restored with a trip to the Nooooraaaah Dunne Galll-uuuhhh-rrreee.

Here you’ll find art as it should be. Affordable, bland, decorative, and reassuringly inoffensive. The perfect gift for a pal/colleague who doesn’t like art but feels that he/she should.

Cos, y’know, “we’re” all mad on “the culture” again (apparently).

You, Me, Tits & Golden Showers

We fucked it up. Or so the meeja tells us.

We got giddy and greedy, scarfing peacock burgers by the tonne as we soared sunward on handmade wax wings. We never had it so good.We glugged from the bloated tit of plenty but forgot to wind ourselves. We holidayed long & hard on the Côte D’Swank – dripping in organic honey suncream.

And now? It’s all gone. All gone forever.

*crysies*

But wait! Let’s loose the nooses from our necks for a moment. Let’s stay our self-strangling hands. There’s an upside to all this misery and dark despair!

We’ve been taught a harsh lesson and it’ll, like, make us grow and stuff. We worshiped at the altar of chocolate shoes, bags that were not bags, and wine-snorting weekends with the boys. It now turns out though that all this stuff was, y’know, like totally shallow or something?

Thanks global financial apocalypse! You’ve shown us the path to self-satisfaction of a different order. Wiser, more mature.

We finally realise what had been missing from our lives during those spiritually impoverished years when we frolicked and splashed under the Celtic Tiger’s golden shower. Ogham stones, walks on the beach, trees, mass, nature – shit like that. The gaudy house of cards that was our (so-called) lives has been toppled – but the veil has been lifted from our eyes. We’re free.

*crysies* (again)

This is us. This is me. This is you. We’re all part of that “We”. Read the broadsheets and listen to talk radio if you don’t believe me.

Embarrassingly, I hadn’t realised it myself till the Sindo‘s lifestyle section confirmed it. Who knew I had so much money? Who knew I was such a crass, ostentatious bastard? Who knew I was a smug, superficial cunt?

The meeja, that’s who.

Except perhaps Cromwell

Noel Dempsey’s introductory speech at Fianna Fáil’s 72nd Ardfheis was a demented classic. Its tone veering wildly from boo-hooing/”crying as I read this” self-pity; to cock-thumping, “people now seem to think we’re shit, but we’re brilliant” bullishness; and on to “We may have played the odd game of pass the ivory back-scratcher with Anglo Irish Bank nogoodniks but, y’know, we never sucked ’em off” denial. Mad & hilarious words, for mad & hilarious times.

A few choice extracts.

We cannot be defeated – because we absolutely refuse to accept the possibility of defeat.

This is bonko-hubris on a Hitler/Darth Vader-esque level. Allow me to translate.

Should the results of the next general election indicate to us – the party of eternal (and, like, totally deserved) power – that we are (apparently) no longer in government, we shall (like the disbelieving Bishops in Brecht’s Galileo) answer that such a thing cannot be so. We will not allow it to be so. We’ll block our ears, shut tight our eyes, and make raspberry sounds with our tongues till the bearers of this apparent bad news go away. We’ll then continue doing what we do best. Whatever that is.

Keep the heads down lads. Say nothing. Storm in a teacup.

Whatever problems we have and wherever the blame may fall for those problems: this party and this Government is – by a mile – the best that can be offered to the nation at this time.

Delightful use of “by a mile”. Translation:

How good is this party? Fucking deadly!

or…

How much do we all love Fianna Fáil? Shitloads!

And finally.

Real leadership is about being steeped in Fianna Fáil’s values.

Yes. Up to your fat necks in rancid faeces.

Not steeping but drowning.

Are the fires of hell a glowing?

Another plant closes. Fatso industrialists guffaw themselves sick and offer blood-oaths to the dark god Mammon. We’ve seen it all before.

Cast your minds back to 1971. Malnourished urchin Charlie Bucket scrapes together pennies delivering papers. His mother’s hands red raw from wringing rags in fetid water. Four grandparents to a bed.

Who’s responsible for such misery and hardship? Egomaniacal factory-owning tyrant Willy Wonka, that’s who.

Realising that his workforce of minimum-wage drones was placing too great a strain on company finances, Wonka concocts a convenient conspiracy narrative. Armies of Slugworth spies are infiltrating his factory, pinching secrets left, right and centre. “I shall be ruined!”, he cries, “Close the factory!”.

So they did. Thousands laid off. A town and community decimated. Four grandparents to a bed. Charlie ridden with rickets.

3 years later, and the chimney stacks are belching out smoke once more. Production is doubled. Trebled. While vast numbers of unemployed locals lie expiring in filthy gutters, Wonka grows richer than Midas. Another truffle & gold sandwich? Don’t mind if I do.

The secret of his success? A quick trip to Loompaland and the following offer and promise:

“Come and live with me in peace and safety, away from all the Wangdoodles and Hornswogglers and Snozzwangers and rotten Vermicious Knids.”

A willing workforce of low-paid (or no-paid) slaves. Asking for little. Members of no union.

And how to keep disgruntled locals pacified? Stuff a few shiny tickets in your choccie bars. A trip round the factory. Free sweeties for life. PR gold.

The genius of evil. Mammon be praised.

WAG! Crunch! Chops! Smash!

The end may be nigher than we think. Sky News has this:

Alex Curran, wife of the Liverpool and England midfielder [Steven Gerrard], has said she now does her own nails and only visits the hairdressers twice a week.

1,200 workers at SR Technics about to be flung out on their ear-holes? Small (tiny) potatoes when compared to the depths of Alex’s suffering (and the indomitableness of her Blitz spirit).

Says Ms. Curran:

“I think everyone, especially Wags are becoming more conscious of spending now.”

If you just did a double-take, join the club. She calls herself a WAG.

Playing devil’s advocate one might argue that this represents a sophisticated attempt, by WAGs, to seize control of terms used to reduce and debase them. Like many a marginalised and discriminated against group before them, WAGs are claiming ownership of the language of their oppressors.

Or, y’know, she could just, like, be a fucking idiot.

One or the other.