Monday, April 15, 2013

Goldilocks & The Dalai Llama

"Why did you call me here?" Goldilocks asked eventually after a minute passed in relative silence for the first time since her arrival. Papa Bear smiled warmly as his eyes met hers, & he reached out to take her hand.
"I was wondering when you were going to ask me that," he said softly, & at once she felt at ease with his mind, in that rarest of moments when people are fortunate enough to meet others of true wisdom. "Why do you think we called you here?"
"I don't know. Nothing makes sense to me."
"So you do know."
"Nothing makes sense to anyone really, & from that nothing everything comes. The salmon isn't all wrong, for all the shite he talks!" he laughed as he turned to wink at the fish, still bubbling in laps of the aquarium.

Mama Bear sat swaying from side to side, as herself, Baby Bear, the ferret & three of the huskies sang a passing rendition of 'Om Mani Padme Hum' in a harmony few would have expected from the sextet starting out. Even the toad was puffing out his cheeks to the rhythm as he stared at the temple that had shared his suffering earlier in the day. He tried to sing himself but discovered that his mouth was glued shut by a build-up of mucus that had been let go for too long.
"Everything doesn't come," Goldilocks said when they finished.
"Yes, it does. You just have to be open to the uni..."
"She's right in a way," the salmon interrupted, popping his head back out of the tank.
"How?" Papa Bear & Goldilocks both said as they turned to face him.
"Everything doesn't come. It's already here. Already everywhere."
"That's not what I..." she tried to say before the salmon raised his voice above hers & told her to stop putting herself down.
"Look, if we were only ever to say what we mean, we'd either be mutes or the Dalai Lama!" The toad tried to laugh but couldn't because his mouth was glued shut, so he shot snot out his nostrils that landed at his feet in an oozing pile of green goo that looked similar to what the toad might use as a backpack were he ever to pack his things together & head off on his travels to somewhere exotic.
"That's disgusting!" Mama Bear squealed, her eyes taken by the bubbling glop at his feet, but the toad just shrugged & went back to staring at Shiva.
"I didn't say I was the Dalai Lama!" Goldilocks said as she grimaced at the toad.
"I shouldn't think so," the salmon replied. "For a start, you're very woman to be him. I'm not sure how focused the monks would be if you were leading them in prayer!"
"They'd be focused alright," Papa Bear chuckled, "But possibly not the way Gotama had in mind!"
"Stop it!" Mama Bear said, jumping to her defence as the others were having a laugh at her expense.
"I knew a llama once," Baby Bear said casually, looking up from a notebook where he'd been busily writing a list of the house rules for the ferret. "But she was the least Buddhist creature I've ever met!"
"Not that sort of llama!" Goldilocks said haughtily, getting visibly defensive as the apparent abuse continued.
"There's other kinds?!"
"The Holy kind."
"Shit, like a llama riddled with bullets?"
"NO!" She shouted loud enough to make the toad sneeze again & the bubble to grow. Papa Bear put his hand on her knee to settle her. "I know what you mean," he said reassuringly as her blood pressure calmed.
"I've been wondering for the last five minutes where Dalai is. It sounds like a much more spiritual llama colony than the one I've been to but maybe that was partly my own fault.." Baby Bear continued, blissfully unaware of his ignorance.
"Dalai isn't a place, well it might be but not to the best of my knowledge," the salmon said, attempting to straighten things out. "Anyway, the llama you're thinking of kind of looks like a cross between a camel & a good big hairy lump of a deer," he continued, looking at Baby Bear, "& the Lama you're talking about.." he turned, "is the recent, & still spiritual, head of state of the Tibetan people.
"Ahh!" Baby Bear said, his eyes returning to the notebook. "You should be more specific next time."
"Nobody's asking you to be the Dalai Lama, a mute, or a llama," Papa Bear said fondly. "I only ever asked why we called you here."
"I haven't been here in sixteen years & yet you know where I live? That's what doesn't make sense to me! Any of it."
"We've been looking after you." He fixed his eyes on her as he spoke. Goldilocks found herself starting to laugh in spite of herself at the absurdity of it all.
"I see that alright, & a grand job ye've been making of it!"
"To be the animal you must first live the life. To gain you must always know what it is to lose, so the fear of that failure keeps you clinging to the mountain. What you experience is what creates you. All animals exist in environment." He reached over with a tissue to the coffee table, where an army of ants had arranged themselves in squadrons around the snot, radioing back to the colony on tiny walkie-talkies to check if they could find any viable use for the unidentifiable substance that was jelly like to the touch. Within seconds they were filing out around it, hauling it up onto their backs from all corners as they began to carry it off, chanting "Mortar!" as they went.
The snot quickly disappeared off the table, but the toad was oblivious to the whole episode, as he was generally oblivious to most aspects of existence if truth be told. Papa Bear still held the tissue in his hand so he shrugged & decided to blow his nose instead. They all had the sniffles. It was that time of year.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Goldilocks; The College Years

She sat for hours at her kitchen table, drinking endless chai as she wondered who would have summoned her to the mountains, & why her of all people. A week after getting kicked out of college, when one of her professors found out about her habit & her means of supporting it when he happened across her late one night.

Did they know what happened? She hadn't been to the Himalayas since she was a little girl & even then it was just for a family holiday that got cut short when she misbehaved.

The sun rose & fell in the day, but these days she never noticed, her basement flat dark enough at the best of times, darker again when she pulled the blind down one day & didn't pull it up the next. The single fluorescent bulb that lit the room hummed light in an aura around itself, leaving large swathes of her bedsit in murky shadows, one of which included the kitchen table where she now sat, staring at the letter. She looked from it to the train ticket that was stapled alongside it. Old Delhi Station, around the corner from where she lived in a rough part of town, to Pathankot, an open return. She needed a reason to leave, & now she had one, albeit one that looked like a drunk four year old had written it blindfolded with the stub of a crayon.

She got up to bring more milk to the boil in a pot on her two ring stove that sat on the drying rack of a sink that constituted the entirety of her kitchen. A black bag clung to the sink's edge, teeming with all manner of new civilisations beginning to form constitutions in their mother tongue in the mould that hugged the pizza boxes & the half-full cartons of gone off milk, separated into layers from the length of their presence; cheese & water, a noble diet. Taking her chai to the bedroom, (a two step journey to the left of her kitchen), she put it down on a bedside locker in the shadows, pulled out a backpack & started throwing clothes around the room in a frenzy to make all proven psychopaths look like solid citizens with upstanding roles in the community.

That was two days ago. She didn't need to arrange much, there wasn't anyone who really cared whether she came or went anyway. An only child, orphaned at twelve when her parents died in a terrible accident involving an alligator & a banjo, she learnt the way of the world from a young age & grew into a beautiful & educated young woman with the taint of the human condition ingrained in her reckless abandon. The people who did care, she pushed away, fearing the feeling of getting too close to someone when you've seen how quickly life can take them from you. She took to reading, that break from the everyday & trip into the magical world of another's imagination drawing her from her own harsher realities. She was insightful, clever & had developed a dry wit of which her parents would have been proud had the octopus not taken exception to the alligator playing the banjo. Wrong place at the wrong time. It happens everyday.

Two days ago & still she wondered, looking at the letter as she climbed onto her bus. 'The world works in its own ways,' she said to herself as the only other passenger on the bus turned around to stare at the foreigner's arrival.

Friday, March 8, 2013

The melting pot

A sequel to a tale where 'Atime' is recognised as a huge oak table on which life, the universe, & everything have come to exist...

Once upon Atime, in a village near a lake, there lived a very small caterpillar called Jenny & a parakeet named Sam. One day, while they were resting together in the shade of a chestnut tree, Jenny said "I wish I wasn't so hairy. All the older girls are beautiful, but I'm hairy & fat."

Sam, perched on a rock drinking a coconut through a straw, said nothing for a moment as he finished chewing on a slice of pineapple. He sat there, his little beak rotating like a cow salivating in a field, staring at a loose stone in the wall that he was sure looked like a cheetah. "D'ya think that rock over there looks funny?" he asked eventually, after a couple of minutes passed in silence, "Or is it just the sugar going to my brain?"

Jenny, with little caterpillar tears forming on her little caterpillar cheeks, refused to look at the wall but instead turned to Sam & sobbed, "You never listen to me anymore!"

Sam continued his intense study of the rock, tilting his head to the side on occasion to see if the perspective would change his observations. "I suppose," he said, in a matter-of-fact manner befitting of a wisened teacher, "If you look at it from the side t does look quite like a whale drinking tea."

He turned his head to Jenny for the first time, her little caterpillar body shaking with rage & followed her eyes down as she lowered them toward the ground. "You are not yet any more to listen to, my child," he said softly in a failed attempt at compassion, 'my child' used more as a turn of phrase more than a literal idea. Jenny's parentage, whilst relatively unknown, wasn't thought to have held any parakeet ancestry.

"When you see what is older, you see what is change. That change is not better nor worse, it just is. Soon you will no longer be hairy, but the soil that you crawl across will miss you. You are growing, it's life. Nothing lives that cannot grow." He held his head once more to the strange rock, & pointing his wing towards it continued; "This cheetah, for example, cannot live because it cannot grow, but if it is helped to do so, it will flourish & thrive."

Jenny, by now recovering from her selfish pout & replacing it with a quizzical furrow of her little caterpillar brow, rose up on her legs, sucked in her cheeks & turned around in circles. "There are no cheetahs here!" she squealed dizzily, steadying herself from the spin. "You are wise in many ways but on this I am lost."

He pointed again at the rock, this time with both wings. "But that's a rock!" She would have shouted, if little caterpillars could shout but instead just eeped. "Ah yes," he replied, "but a rock with the potential to be more."

Together, with a decent amount of trouble considering their physical limitations, they maneuvered the rock back to the home they they shared with a small frog called Boris & a cat with a caffeine addiction. "Two weeks," Sam assured her. "No more, no less. Love, nurture, water & a small mixture of spices ground into butter. The occasional walk, a daily bath, & music to help it sleep."

So they waited for two weeks. Every day Jenny came into the room with the rock. She looked at it, poked it, & even once licked it to see if she could taste a difference. Together they took it for walks around the market & down to the river for lunch. Sometimes in her excitement she even asked Sam if she could bring the rock for a swim, but he was quick to remind her that neither caterpillars nor cheetahs were noted for their swimming. They washed it, they groomed it & once tried to teach it Swedish but it struggled terribly with pronunciation.

On the morning of the second full week, Sam was up early preening his feathers & spreading jam on toast. When it came early into the afternoon & Jenny was nowhere to be seen, he sent to her room to see if she was there. On the ceiling of her little caterpillar room he found her hanging in a cocoon.

He closed the door, went into his room & lay in bed. "Life is what happens when you're not paying attention," he said to himself before the cheetah ate him for his lunch.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Like a fox.

I've been lax with this blog, like with a lot of other things I guess. I started it as a means to group happenings in Korea into bulletins, some class of a newsletter from the far side of the planet. For a time it worked, as the novelty of the place, the smells, sounds and tastes were still fresh and new. Familarity has got the better of me. It happens too much.

I walk the streets of Seoul these days with an apathy that I attribute to my eventual leaving. The place is the same, the looming of concrete monstrosities a far cry from the forests of Leitrim and the salt air of the Atlantic ocean that shaped me. The idea of it not being the place you're in but the people that surround you is a nonsense. Categorically. I am blessed to have the most beautiful company I could wish for, yet I could never imagine settling here, and for as long as life sees fit for me to stay here it will always be a surreal means to an end. As time's passed, I've grown concerned by the haunting prospect that travelling back across the world is such an ordeal that the only time I'll actually be fit to do so is for family weddings. As lovely as it was to be back for my brothers' weddings at the end of April and the beginning of September, and to catch up with the family and friends I left behind to come here, I can't help but feel aggrieved that all it is is a passing glimpse of the world I belong to before returning to a world that I never will. Others I know are happy here, have found whatever niche they were searching for and have tied themselves to the peninsula, and good luck to them for doing so. I'm not them, nor would I wish to be, my mind is too entrenched in Ireland not to spend the best days of my life there.

For a while now I've been known to wonder whether the city fox dreams of rummaging in dustbins or of the open fields of its ancestors. I guess it's a means of coming to terms with man's inherent complex of nurture against nature. It's something that I first thought of whilst living in London. I've seen no foxes in Seoul, but in spite of myself the longer I'm here, the more the question answers itself; you can take the fox out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the fox.

Maybe it's Seoul, the self-proclaimed 'Soul of Asia', a title beautifully accurate in its parodic lack of originality that has me feeling the way I do. I've lived in cities before, but none so crushingly bland nor uninspiring as this one; where the streets of the truly deplorable foreigner centre are patrolled by the US military, "making sure nothing gets out of hand", and the idea of a good night out centres on  repetitive obliteration in pubs and clubs that lack the authenticity of a fart. For a city of supposedly 10 million+ inhabitants, the apparent lack of anything worthwhile to do within it is galling. Highlights stretch from a walk to the Han river, where fish casually float by belly-up as the fishermen cast for life, or a trip to a zoo that made me criminally ashamed to be complicit in a species that claims compassion as one of its characteristics.

Perhaps it's an issue of mind over matter, and I'm being overtly harsh on the city. My reading list over the past month has been heavy going; Greg Palast's 'Armed Madhouse ', Andrew Ross Sorkin's 'Too Big To Fail', Ron Paul's 'End the Fed' and Naomi Klein's sublime chastisement of Friedmanist economics 'The Shock Doctrine', culminating in a sense of self that wishes only for land enough to grow food, a fluency as Gaeilge, and a place where simple realities trump the grandiose delusions that are pushed daily upon us by the US led military industrial complex that drags us all closer to a precipice of planetary meltdown. Maybe it is being harsh on Korea to speak of its capital with such negative association, but as a pretext for the globalised dream of consumer culture, this city is the glass slipper. With that said, I don't mean to defame the Korean people in any way, who on the whole have been a lot more embracing to myself as an occupier of sorts than I would be in their position. Their continued decency at every turn has made making a life here possible. I speak more of self-realisation; that my own presence here takes a form similar in many respects to the contractors in Iraq attempting to reshape the country to Friedmanism. In truth I was under no illusion before coming here that it would be much different, but desperate for a change of scene to unemployment in Ireland, something had to happen so i took the plunge. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have met Chelsea, and for that alone I shall always be grateful that the decision was the right one. The politicisation of self that I've come to has just reaffirmed the truisms that I've long known, and to continue propagating the ideals further than the end of this contract isn't something I would be comfortable in doing. It isn't for me to speak for others, and to each their own in all regards, but the greatest knowledge I've ever come upon is the understanding of my own mind and the needs there-of.

I've often been accused here of being unnecessarily vocal about my views on all things imperial. An obvious enough accusation, considering the majority of friends I have here are English, and it remains difficult to talk about geo-politics without referencing the history of the British empire within it. Some are so entrenched in their own mindset that they've already pulled the blinkers down on the supposedly open and shut case that I'm anti-English. It couldn't be further from the truth but happens to be a greater indictment of their own world-view than of mine; an inability to distinguish the difference between being British and being English being something I would attribute to an historical upbringing that clouds perspective with a skewed vision of the past; my rationale being that surely those with a composite understanding of the empire's sins would seek to disown it rather than to actively embrace the tag and all that goes with it, up to and including the present day. The best analogy i can link it to is my feeling toward its trans-Atlantic guide dog. Whilst Chelsea, and other American friends I have both understand and empathise with my views on the fascistic crusades of the government acting in their name, there seems to be a stronger resistance among the English to recognise the disparity between pride of place and repulsion of governmental endeavour. If it was a case that I held entire nations of people accountable for the actions of their figureheads, fuck knows I'd have to hate myself for the treason committed in Ireland's name by Taoisigh current and former who serve(d) to act against the best interests of the state in favour of personal gain, which would of course be absurd.

I've been advised by those left behind that 'there's nothing here anymore', that Ireland is akin to Kavanagh's 'The Great Hunger'  and the best thing I could do for my future is to make hay while the sun shines elsewhere because there's nothing to go back to. I would argue that it's exactly the reason to go back, although there are many. The systematic rape that Ireland is being subjected to by the Chicago school body that labels itself the IMF is reliant on emigration to quell the numbers of the badly needed mass demonstrations against the privatisation of national resources, and the explicit transfer of public funds to private black-hole banks. I was criticised, correctly, by a friend of mine for suggesting that the legacy of Ireland as female perhaps attributed to her inability to maintain an independence. A brazenly sexist remark out of context, but within it I would liken figures such as Yeats' depiction of Cathleen Ni Houlihan not so much as the 'sean-bhean bhocht' but more akin in our historical sense to the figure of a victim of abuse who keeps returning to her husband because it's all she knows, and grew up in a household where the mother(land) was subjugated to the extent where it became normal and an accepted reality. I would extend the analogy, however much I've already lost people already to the cries of 'sexist <insertswearwordhere>' to the current occupation of Eire. There's a worrying acceptance of the IMF's unelected presence in Ireland, governing with impunity and dictating national direction; a sense that 'sure fuck it lads we had it good for long enough but we've been found out and it's a fair cop' that smacks of the same sense of demurement with which the battered wife returns to her husband, with the implicit understanding that she must have deserved it for having the audacity to want something for herself.

The euphemism extends to the commonly held ideas in Ireland that we should be thankful that the likes of Royal Dutch Hell should consider us attractive enough to rape us to begin with, the perverse logic seemingly lodged in the ideas that we're so helpless a nation as not to be able to develop the infrastructure for ourselves, ever reliant upon the global corporations to save us from the terror of independence. The reality is different. With a sound and rational approach, ie. the nationalisation of resources, withdrawal from the European Union and re-establishment of a truly socialist republic in accordance with the foundation of the free state, the island of Ireland could not only be amongst the most thriving independent countries in the world, but entirely self-sustaining within 20 years, if projects such as The Spirit of Ireland  were taken seriously as opposed to being castigated out of hand by the increasingly partial media outlets that the people of Ireland unfortunately still consider as reliable sources of information. If the Corrib Gas project, (the estimated value of oil and gas reserves off the north west coast stands at 420 billion euro), was harnessed by, and for, the people of Ireland, the resultant profits would not only see the island as debt free, but invested in renewable resources of energy would see us as entirely self-sufficient within 20 years at most. With enough nationalistic self-awareness, and a political class that we demanded worked for us rather than allowing them to work against us, the potential exists to create a fundamentally renewable island,  (complete with the reclamation of the Vatican controlled education system that has seen thousands of lives destroyed), where the Irish people, instead of moving to the far side of the world to seek employment and a new life, could stay where they belonged and thrive where they felt most at home.

“An Irish Republic, the only purely political change in Ireland worth crossing the street for will never be realised except by a revolutionary party that proceeds upon the premise that the capitalist and the landlord classes in town and country in Ireland are criminal accomplices with the British government, in the enslavement and subjection of the nation. Such a revolutionary party must be socialist, and from socialism alone can the salvation of Ireland come.”

James Connolly, 1909.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

thoughts from the peninsula (part one)

'There's a madness in Norea, that none but Noreans know..'

All set to attribute an acknowledgement to the scribe of the paraphrased quote above, our hero returns with an awareness that it's a truism that has likely been around as long as language itself, though potentially not in the format I've adapted for the purpose of this blog.

It's true what they say about Wart Norea, it's a terrible place. I was a-wandering, as you do, through the expansive streets of Soul th'other day, with a pocket full o' money & an ego the size of Tupac's bullet wound, when a harsh realisation smacked me in the face with a cabbage leaf the natives call 'Kimchi'. 'It's feck the much wonder,' it said, in an accent akin to a newt laying a frog, 'why those Commie recluses are struggling to stick a loaf on the table.

'The Mouth,' it said, now mimicking the revered Eddie Hobbes, (no relation to his actually intelligent philosopher namesake, Thomas), but still sounding like the labouring newt, 'is a thriving industrial nation, a wondrous place that should serve as a blueprint for all developing nations. It is epitomised  by its capital, alive with endless entertainment and a level of cosmic vibration bettered only by the thud of a wet sock on a concrete slab.'

I, being of a sound and rational marketing generation, measure distance in two units; Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks. It's two dunkins' to the drivethru', four 'bucks to the bar. With the sickening gall the Wart portrays in opposing these friendly neighbourhood franchises, the current famine was always the inevitable outcome. How a people could expect to survive without a chunky-chocolate daily delicacy washed down by a reservoir sized mochachocawoccalatte is anyone's guess. My heart goes out to them, or would, were it not slightly distracted by the threat of imminent warfare. Still though, it's the thought that counts. Every little something or other.

As it's true that no good scone is complete without a hefty smatter of cream, so too could it be said that no good city is complete without a hefty presence of the Vaulted Dates military. Fortunate it is then, that Soul is thronged full with the calming influence they bring to any potentially sticky situation, backed by a flawless record everywhere else their shit was labelled democracy. It is with a softness of mind I lay my head to rest these nights. 'Not to worry,' I say, facing poignantly with my back towards Mecca in a bid to appease everyone's favourite uncle, 'Sam'll save me.'
Everyone knows the border was drawn up fairly, though perhaps not squarely, between the Noreas, by the VD circa 1950. Even if it may appear that the mapper given the responsibility suffered a stroke while drawing the line from right to left, causing the pen to slide unfortunately upwards from the Wart's perspective, seemingly someone died and made the VD god, and so it was written. Still though, one man's poison is another man's military weapon. 
The official version of events, as documented through the whistleblower WeeklyLicks, is that the map was drawn up in a UN jeep cruising along smoothly until it hit a crossing badger. On closer inspection the badger was found to be sporting a red star bandana, a vest sporting the slogan 'You say Alabama, I say Ali Baba', and a bumper sticker across its arse that read 'FRAUD'. It's unclear as yet as to whether the bumper sticker was originally adorned by the badger or transferred from the jeep during the impact. In the latest press release, Bobbing Ribs expressed his sympathies for the family of the badger, who showed no ill effects from the crash itself but was shot 11 times in the head as 'a matter of National Security'.
"He didn't look human. It had to be done. He snarled angrily at our officers and threatened to defend himself. It was either him or us. It's a dark day for all of us. No charges will be brought against the troops involved, but we do expect a hero's welcome awaits them for their actions here today. In Rust We Trod."

Many have accused me of cynicism in the past, but that was then. Now there exists a whole new me, who unconditionally accepts the need for, and divine intervention of, a global task force to protect us from the darker forces of well, the darker forces. Lately I've been down to the doctors and got 14 swine flu jabs, just in case the first 13 don't work. I've installed the latest app on my phone that detects all major fertilisers within a mild radius, so I'm informed of any bearded chaps who wish to redistribute my limbs. Granted the app played up a bit on a recent visit to a quiet country farm, but one can't be too careful, it's a dangerous world out there.

I'm at the platform waiting for the Norvos Ordo train to bring me to Seclorum. I have recently taken to whistling the star spangled banner and crying bagels at the mere sight of the harbringer of change we can believe in. A gospel singer of belief, I swing my hips to the rhythm of every village that gets flattened, happy in the knowledge that Reuters and AP are keeping the messy stuff from the eyes of the prying public.

*most names above are completely fictitious and bear no relation to actual things or places.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Toasting Joe Duffy at the G20.

I'm not all that well clued in some times, by my own admission. Stuff tends to pass me by in a blur of either apathy or ignorance, and i go about living in accordance to my own whims. Troubled only by my constant struggle to keep time and maintain feeling in my fingers, life keeps its own balance. I've got it good. Quick backtrack, what was that about feeling in the fingers? I'm sure that wasn't the case 2 months ago..hmmmm... something's changed around here, and it may be in my best interests to investigate the matter.

I'm pretty sure it's no more than a fortnight since the walk home around christmas with my jacket up around my ears to keep out the -16 degree temperatures on the road back to Lurganboy from another fluthered night in Manor. I'm not good with time, so it could be a month ago, but it's hardly 10 months already, it couldn't be, it's taken 'til last week for my ears to thaw, and just when i got comfortable with going outside again, the temperature plummeted and I somehow landed in Korea. The things you do while hypothermic constantly amaze me. Word is I had a heart attack two days before my 26th birthday too, but I'm sure that was a dream, it'd be a bit surreal to have spent time in the CCU of Sligo general as the youngest person in the ward by a good 40 years. Couldn't be right. To think, and in the dream for a supposed professional consultant to make accusations of my taking cocaine, ah now, i'm sure the HSE are a more thorough bunch than to idly throw slanderous comments around. They could be sued for defamation. Christ I wish I'd sued them for defamation...

Anyhow, I survived, and have the official documentation of the remarks, which I wouldn't think have a time frame of which to be acted upon. I'd be happy to take Murray to the cleaners, feeling, as I would, that I'd done a service to the north-west of Ireland by removing him from medical practices. I'll keep it in the pipeline, being alive seems to consume my time these days, whatever else is going on can hang back.

So anyway, it's come to my attention that the world leaders have taken to following me around. Following on from the successful murder of Ian Tomlinson by members of the City of London Police force on April 1st last at the G20 summit in Lahndin, similar ructions took place in Seoul last week. Nobody killed to the best of my knowledge, but if there was there probably wouldn't be much reported about it. This is a country that pretty much encourages suicide by insisting on a 'depression is weakness' policy, so the death of citizens at the hands of the police would probably be seen as swings to the roundabouts. I'm coping fairly well considering, though possibly only as a transcript of what Obama said to Merkel about me hasn't yet found its way into my hands. Dammit. I knew when I called Alex Jones a hypocrite back in the day it would lead to my being left out of the paranoid conspiracy loop. The crux of the craic from the summit seems to have been something along the lines of;

'China: We own the world... na na na na na na...
Everyone else: Oh shite, this debt based economy seems flawed...
China: Bow down to our mighty wall...
Everyone else (except the states): fair enough so...
The states: Nah, nah. F*ck you Wong
The UN: Eh Mr. President, sir, i think the Chinese have a point, innit...
The states: Yeah, well, it's my ball and I'm going home...
China: Well actually, if you check the label on that ball...
The states: Yeah, well, screw you commie.'

And so they all came and went without being fit to resolve anything at all, spent a tonne of cash policing farcical talks and went about their merry way. again. I didn't go down to the hoo-hah protests to lend my voice to the 'we're all going to hell on the back of the dollar bill' brigade. I would've, but I was partaking in the working world at the time, I find it difficult to argue my case for a bag of sugar in the local shop here nevermind not getting arrested by some chump with a baton who doesn't speaketh the lingo, and well, after last year's debacle in London, I've realised that organised anarchic protests are a walking contradiction. If that's your thing, which it wouldn't be mine anyway, you're as well off lobbing a molatov cocktail through the local bank window on a quiet monday when the fuzz aren't expecting it. Yet remarkably, that never seems to happen. It ain't true anarchy unless you get banged up by the cops and get to shout that it should be the cops who are locked up for brutality, yada yada <insertflyingfireextinguisherhere>. Down with that sorta thing. Careful now.

Besides, there's always Joe Duffy, if things get really bad. I tried calling last week but they wouldn't accept reverse call charges from the flip side of the globe. I had it all meticulously planned out;

Me: Oh hi, I was just wondering if I could talk to Joe about my local love-in with    anything that can be deemed uncontroversial...

Researcher: That's cute. I'm sure the country could do with a bit of cheering up. Christ if I here another stinking pensioner whinging about the state of the nation I'll choke on my tofu. Hold the line, what did you say your name was...

Me: Barabas. Ba-ra-bas O' Shock-neh-see...

Joe: Good afternoon, you're through to live-line. Barabas, (giggles), so I see here that you're a hard-working, run of the mill chap who sees no ill in the world. good for you. My researcher also tells me that you're in Korea, how's that going for you?

Me: Ara grand joe, y'know yourself. It's a biteen disheartening reading the times online to see that the nation's being sold down the swanny but sure thems the breaks. Sure we all knew that independence as a nation would never last for the long term anyway...

Joe: sure, sure...

Me: How's the wage these days Joe? I was having a gander on the google but I couldn't be arsed pursuing it, how many hundred thousand was it the state were paying you to act as a telephonist for those torn to bits for the price of a litre of milk...

I figured around then the line would cut, but if it didn't I'd be well fit to tear him a new one, being well into the swing of the gross divide that exists between those who have in Ireland, and the new up-and-coming peasant class who were allowed to pretend they had by a series of irresponsible governments who insisted that the only sensible thing to be at was to buy into a grossly inflated property bubble that in their eyes would never come a-tumbling. Up she flew like a hullabaloo.

If I lean out the window here I can hear Nero fiddling in the distance. In many ways I wish I was toasting marshmallows instead. It scares me to think that when I'm next in Ireland, in April next year, it's going to be a shell of a country, completely desolate and possibly relabelled as the People's Republic of the International Monetary Fund. What makes me sad is that there's shag the bit I can do about my beloved island hitting the wall. It makes me sadder to think that the only supposed defenders of the island are all standing on the border wondering how to reclaim the North while the thieves are busy at work selling the south to the highest bidder. Apocalyptic? Nah, not a bit, sure the 10 year corporate tax breaks aren't up yet. If you wanna see the apocalypse, head to Carrick on Shannon once the B.O.A. constrictor pulls the plug. As it is though, I'm well, and all belonging to me are reasonably well and healthy. It's a time of being grateful for small luxuries, and hoping that when the inevitable war breaks out, they'll march the main road from Manor to Sligo and leave Lurganboy to its own devices. I'm off to make tea in the hope of restoring feeling to the fingers, and in the absence of the green flag, wrap the quilt around me.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

North Korea: Longford with nukes?

It's been a while. There was always the danger I'd slip into blog apathy once I found my feet here & dug out a groove in the locality. Better stuff to be at than sitting in front of a computer screen I guess, though in ways perhaps i should've assumed a permanent hermitage. I've been busy. Living y'know. Acquainting self with surrounds. It's been a bit of a mad time of it, if I keep going at this rate I could well be smoking cigars with Kim Jong Un at his inauguration ceremony. Very few things would surprise me. Where to begin. Think structure. Chronology. Or not.

I don't go looking for trouble, but it has an uncanny knack of finding me of its own accord. It's a strange one. Maybe a moral conscience would be a positive thing to acquire. I'll head down to the market and see if I can pick one up on the cheap during the week. Considering the other random stuff they flog down there I assume they'll have an entire street dedicated to all things morality. On the upside, it's been good craic, which is what it's all about. The glint is back in the eye & the bouldness makes me laugh. Better that than leading a quiet life in the country, which has its perks but isn't the natural environment for my penchant for divilment and talking shite. Strange feeling to censor the self, it isn't exactly what i'm noted for traditionally but 'tis as well to do so. A biteen shook today after the antics of last night, a one man crusade to Hongdae that took a turn for the better after starting out meeting 2 of the greatest tossers i've ever had the pleasure of sharing a beer with. I should've known it wasn't gonna' be the best of company once the english bloke announced his dad was from county londonderry. May the fleas of a thousand afghan camels crawl up his arse & procreate. I've always maintained that some of the best people I know are English, but I hold around the same amount of respect for brits as I do for cauliflower. I used them as a catalyst to locate other people and took it from there. Good night by all accounts!

I seem to have a mental block of what happened prior to the weekend, just cause the weekend itself was eventful. it's amazing how much stuff gets packed into the space of a couple of days, especially when ya sleep throughout the day parts. I've always come alive at night but this is especially the case when only waking up around 6pm, not good, best sort that out. Sure it's all the one, what with this new-fangled 'electricity' racket that's all the rage. it's like the day never ends. Times are quiet in the school house, well fairly quiet anyway, aside from the matter of the principle duking off to hospital tomorrow for an operation to attempt to get rid of cancer. it worries me, i like him, the feeling's mutual, he seems to treat me as the son he doesn't have and has helped make the settling in period that much easier by sorting out stuff i've needed sorting. I tend not to pass too much heed to the work itself, it's a job, pays the way etc. When I start living to work, I hope someone will have the good manners to give me a solid beating.

I've been back playing football again and attempting to get fit, between the debauched episodes, which are many and frequent. The two don't mix that well, there's a mind/body conflict ongoing where the body is aggrieved by the mind's penchant for lunacy. Normally after running for 2 hours I feel like someone's ripped out my lungs & fashioned a grill outta' them. Might try behaving myself for a few weeks now, see how that works out, i say that but already the mind is hmmming at it coming to pass. Life finds its own balance, and it happens that the boredom of the working week lends itself nicely to seeking a bit of madness on the weekend. Society has long such functioned in such a manner. perhaps just as well that the weekend is the shorter of the pairing, though a 3:4 ratio would still work better in my mind.

I was tempted to run through a check list of stuff for folk intending on busting a groove out here at some point, have it bearing some resemblance to a travel blog etc, but I can't be arsed. The only thing I would say is that if you find yourself here thinking that you've got a fair idea of the place and its goings on, it may well be a sign that you're developing dementia. Try not to trip over folk sleeping in the street, be polite to the 70 year old women collecting the rubbish at 5am & remember that you'll be dead long enough, live it while it's there to be lived.

I'm aware that at no point have I attempted to answer the question in the title. Sure ya'll have that.