Friday, April 18, 2014

WHAT SEANIE DID


Some movie gossip today Fuggers and Fuggettes. Lenny Abrahamson (the Irish movie supremo who transformed Frank Sidebottom into a quirky American style indie movie character) has a new film in the works. It's called What Seanie Did and is about an ultimately decent guy dealing with the consequences of a bad decision. There will be lots of scenes of Seanie wearing a really smart double cuff pink herringbone formal shirt with his head in his hands and shots of free floating blossoms from the cherry tree in Seanie's garden intercut with shredded documents and ashes from a suspicious house fire. There will also be sad piano music throughout the film and no custodial sentence whatsoever at the end.

Tara Brady of The Irish Times has already declared the film to be 'the greatest drama ever viewed with eyes'. When asked if he was worried the film might be considered an apologia for white collar chicanery, Abrahamson pointed out that the film is in no way based on Sean FitzPatrick of Anglo Irish Bank but actually based on a dream he had that was based on Sean FitzPatrick of Anglo Irish Bank. 'The bank even has a different name' said Abrahamson, 'the bank in my film is called Danglo and the guy gets let off the hook because the DPP purposefully brings the wrong charges against him. It's nothing like what happened in real life at all'.

'My main worry would be the public greeting the film with the same apathy they greeted the recent verdict', said Abrahamson whose next project is rumoured to be titled Good Man Yourself: The Larry Goodman Story

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

WATCH WHERE YOU POINT YOUR HEAD


The other night I saw a fox sitting completely still in the middle of the road. Sodium streetlight spilled through tree branches and caused a nervous system to dance across the tarmac. There was a full moon above. A really really full moon. Fuck, that moon was full. Earlier, at dusk, I watched the city from a hilltop as it turned into a web of stars. The wind was just about cold enough to remind you that there is such a thing as cold and to remind you that you are warm.

The next day I woke up and so had the world, ahead of me. Birds were sending beautiful code. Clouds clumped and swirled and sent smoke signals beyond human ken. The burning ball of the sun sometimes showed itself but mainly hid. And the sea too, different to the day before or even the minute before or the second. Ever changing and never the same. It made the soaking sound of a stadium roar. Foamy fractals dissolved on its glistening shore.

And back inland, the flowers are coming. All different colors. All different sizes and shapes and permutations of those sizes and shapes and permutations of those again, an endless variety, endlessly. And if we're miserable it's because our heads are pointed at the wrong place. Not everything is a given but these things are guaranteed. These things are free. So much to see. Seriously, you'd never catch up. How could you ever leave?
Watch where you point your head. Please. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

SOMETHING ABOUT A BILLION EURO


We drove past the big shut down factory in the forest and my brother started talking. I couldn't hear him over the sound of the engine and with the wind coming through the broken window. As well as all that, I'm a bit deaf. I spend a lot of time faking that I know what's going on. My brother is one of the few people who knows this but he rarely takes it into consideration. I know that if I ask him to speak up I still won't be able to make out what he's saying. I also know that if I tell him I can't hear him he'll just keep talking anyway. So I just leave him keep talking. He seems to be enjoying it. He seems quite into whatever it is he's pretending I can hear. The only thing I think I hear him say is something about a billion euro. I decide that I'll ask him what he was talking about later, when it's quieter. When we've stopped for something to eat.

So, we stop for something to eat and it's quieter and I ask my brother what he was talking about.
'When?'
'As we drove by the factory.'
'What factory?'
'The factory in the forest. The shut down place.'
My brother looks puzzled and shrugs.
'You said something about a billion euro.'
'I did?'
'Yeah.'
He still looks puzzled. He shrugs again. He says he can't remember.
'Well, you seemed pretty worked up about whatever it was.'
'Well sure, who wouldn't be?'
'How do you mean who wouldn't be? You don't even remember what you were talking about.'
'Well, you said I was talking about a billion euro, who wouldn't get worked up over that?'
I nod my head. 'I suppose', I say.
We finish eating in silence and then get back in the car. Once the engine is on and the wind is white noising through the broken window, my brother starts talking again. I watch him as he emotes. He's doing a lot of emoting. He's getting whatever it is off his chest. I can't hear a word he's saying but, you know, I'm glad I can be there for him.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

SUNDAY ADVENTURE


I'll never forget our Sunday adventure. Gazing at each another over macchiatos. Froth on your nose. 'Hey, let's do something.' Gliding through a lens flared afternoon on our fixies. Bon Iver on the soundtrack. 'Yeah, I feel that exact same way too.' The incline of your flannel hat. #CuteOverbite. Meeting Gustav and Annabelle at the organic food market. He's getting back into puppeteering and she found this awesome Il Duce tee. We compare apps. We get toffee apples. You tell me about when you lived in Budapest and I tell you about my year in Brooklyn. 'I've been thinking about reading about physics.' We grab a taco and go see the new Spike Jonze. An Instagram sunset. A bench on the bank of the canal.
'I'm not sure I'm looking for something serious right now.'
'Me too, I'm like kind of like really busy and stuff.'
So it's an unremarkable goodbye that I'll write a remarkable song about and I'll perform it at Kabbรกge and you say that you'll be there but I know that you won't and neither will I but I'll think about today all day tomorrow while I'm processing gypsies at the death camp.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

PAINT PISSED


It seemed to me that troglodytes painted the things they saw to better understand them. If they saw some kind of massive elk or boar in the forest they'd go home and paint it on the wall of their cave. Reducing the animal to a simple image might've made it comprehensible to a troglodyte's rudimentary cognitive abilities. That was my theory anyway. You see, I too found the world outside my flat to be an incomprehensible place and that's why I thought cave painting might be of similar benefit to me. As I said to the nervous looking girl who sold me the poster paints down the pound shop, 'maybe it is the purpose of art to make sense of reality'.

I decided I'd go out and do whatever it is I do all day and then come home and paint what I saw on my walls. Rather than sabre-tooth tigers and mammoths, I covered the walls of my flat with depictions of suburban life - things like bent bus stops, crumpled bags of Tayto, an umbrella I saw stuffed down a drain and a schoolgirl that gave me the spaz face from the window of a passing SUV.

However, I started noticing how the bulk of my work related to the gigantic shopping centre that towered over the leafy streets of my timid village. Almost all of the images were nothing more than replicated brand logos - Harvey Nichols, H&M, HMV, Hollister, House of Fraser, Little Hitler's Haute Hut - all the well known names. I realised that my environment was thoroughly colonised. A few questions occurred to me. Were these logos art? In my attempt to make art that recorded life, was I merely making art that was a record of other art? Was the ultimate aim of art, from its inception to now, to replace reality entirely? Is art the creator of reality and not its reflector? Trees, clouds, animals, even people (genuine living people, not people on billboards or people who may as well be on billboards) didn't really get a look in. My surroundings were a prescribed range of aspirations and aesthetic ideals. I found it all a bit alarming. In fact, I found it fucking shocking.

There was only one thing for it. With resolute determination, I decided to get pissed out of my mind. Booze had provided great succor to those before me who had lost their environments to colonial forces. Many Australian Aborigines and members of native American tribes spend their time staggering about the place in piss stained slacks so ...when in Rome.

I went to the pub.

I found Professor Isaac Delahunty sitting up at the bar. I was delighted. He was just the man to confide in. Isaac had been the head of an anthropology department before the university closed it down to fund more vocational pursuits. These days, Isaac could be found drinking away his redundancy as he scribbled notes for a study he claimed to be making on the life of the suburban sop (a study that I suspect will never be completed). Isaac jokingly referred to himself as as an anthropolopissed but he was the only one who laughed at this little joke. His was a terrible wounded laugh.

I told Isaac what I had been up to and what it had got me to thinking and he told me something astonishing. Isaac said that the troglodytes of yore weren't painting what they saw but actually painting what they wanted to see. Isaac said that the troglodytes were the 'ne plus ultra of solipsism' (he spoke in that fancy way you'd expect of an academic, albeit with a slight slur) in that they thought the world did not exist until they witnessed it and that the world was influenced by their expectations. That's why they only painted animals. They were painting what they hoped to catch for dinner. By meditating on it, the troglodytes believed they were bringing the creature into being. 'Why didn't they just paint the thing ready cooked and save themselves the bother of having to go out and kill it?' I asked. Isaac shrugged and said 'they may have been the precursors of those that theorised the Observer Effect but that doesn't mean they weren't a bunch of dopes. I mean they lived in caves for fuck's sake'.

I thought about what Isaac had told me and, after about fifteen pots of porter, I made it my business to go home and fashion a new reality, one free of consumerist colonisation. I staggered back to my place and on all the walls of my flat, every inch, I painted a jungle. A wild jungle, overrun with all sorts of exotic creatures from past, present and God knows when. I was working away for hours, accompanied by Krautrock classics on shuffle and several bags of carry out. I worked fast. I was in a frenzy. I eventually collapsed.

I woke up hours later and saw what I had done. It was quite a sight but it beat what was there before. My head hurt though. It was all a bit hard to take in so I got to my feet and left my place in search of Solpadeine and a breakfast roll. Once I was on the road I was, well, how should I put this? Taken aback? Shocked? Absolutely fucking traumatised? I think the latter sums it up best. Yes, once I was on the road I was absolutely fucking traumatised to see every inch of my suburban village tangled up in vines. I could hear the screeching calls of monkeys and the distant roar of lions. Pterodactyls wheeled in the sky above me and a couple of Triceratops were fucking outside Spar. When I reached the shopping centre I saw a pack of jackals chasing a zebra down an escalator and a Siberian god-bear futilely trying on a pair of slim fit chinos. There were people around of course but they were in pieces, scattered limbs and organs.

I felt bad. I could have painted an equitable Anarchistic society living in peaceable harmony but in my drunken state I had opted to create this feral barbarity. Many people had lost their lives. The army were probably on the way and the whole thing was bound to end in an appalling conflagration. I'd be lucky to survive myself. Worst of all though, the most tragic thing about the entire scenario to me, was how badly rendered everything was. It all looked like it was painted by a demented child. If this was to be the end of what passed for civilisation, it could at least have looked nice. All the creatures had bandy limbs and lumpy heads. The vines were scribbly and unimpressive. You couldn't even tell what a lot of the stuff was supposed to be. At one stage, I was chased down the road by something that looked like an enormous lobster crossed with an elaborate mathematical equation performed by Jackson Pollock. It all looked completely crap and it was all my fault. It all just amounted to so much sigil bullshit. Even the pub had been destroyed by, ...well I'm not sure really. They looked like musical notes, octave clefs I think, covered in fur and with fangs. Who knows what they were meant to be. Beats me, ...I never could paint pissed.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

MONSTERS ON THE ROAD


The monsters were on the road again the other night. Everyone turned out their lights and hid under their beds. They took the MacManus family from number twelve, dragged them out onto the pavement and started butchering them right there. The screaming went on forever. I covered my little one's ears. One of the flying types took off with young David in its talons. Mercifully, I think the poor kid was already dead. We saw it on CCTV the next day and he looked pretty limp as he dangled from the claws. We hosed the gore from the road. Some of it went down the drain and Maurice went crazy, saying he saw one of the spidery looking ones down there once and that the guts attract them. We bagged up most of the innards and threw them on the pyre. Someone suggested we say a prayer and some of us did. Darcy started banging on about how we should fight back but, yeah, ...whatever. Mary said we should get an online petition together and send it to the Monster King. A few of us thought that might be a good idea but then we forgot about it. Really we were just glad it wasn't our families. We'd survived another night. Most nights the monsters don't even bother with our road anyway. They prefer the estates further up on higher ground, nearer Monster Mountain.

We boarded up the windows and doors on number twelve just like we did with numbers five, seventeen and thirty six. Then we all went indoors to watch TV and pretend nothing happened. That new show about the invisible dog was on and we all enjoyed trying to laugh at that. The laughter sounded out from our houses and filled the night. Some believe the sound of laughter is another thing that attracts them but I only think it counts if the laughter is genuine and ours isn't. Ever. If it was gentle sobbing that brought the monsters we'd be done for though.

I'll never forget the night one came sniffing at our place. Jesus, it was tense. You could hear this great snuffling sound and see the colossal twisted shadow of the thing through the frosted glass. Kevin bolted out from next door and took the creature's attention away from us. Kevin was a good friend but I wonder why he did that. I mean, he wasn't that good a friend that he'd sacrifice himself for us. Maybe he was just tired of living this kind of life. I think it's worth it though. It's all part of the trade off. Without monster shit, how would we fertilise our allotments or fuel our cars? How would we heat and power our homes? We'd be back living in the stone age. So yeah, once and a while they take us and eviscerate us and spill our guts out on the tarmac and concrete. And sure, our kids are showing signs of trauma but our kids also eat well and don't freeze at winter. Our kids get driven to school.

When the kids get older they'll understand why we made the monsters and why we put up with them. They'll see the Monster King attending the trade meetings with our leaders and see that he is not all bad. They'll understand that for the monsters to give they have to take. Personally I think they give more than they take. Some say they are taking more than they used to but to me the balance is still in our favour. Anyway, even if we wanted to stop them, what could we do? Seriously, what? Most of us would die fighting them and what remained of us would be left with nothing but ash, debris and huge corpses to clear away. Those proposing the fight back don't think things through. I heard one say we could eat the monsters once we killed them. He didn't even know that their flesh is poison and their blood scalding. We made them like that especially so they wouldn't eat each other. We didn't think they'd grow tired of the slop we fed them and start eyeing us up as a possible alternative.

So, this is the way it is and the way it has to remain. No one leaves their house after dark, staying indoors, wilfully enjoying primetime and hoping one of the snake types doesn't come slithering down the chimney. Every night is imbued with an unacknowledged horror but in the morning, once the sun comes up, it all seems worth it. We get up and we leave our homes and we find the great mounds of shit that make our lives worthwhile. Great big mounds of beautiful fantastic shit, that's what it's all about. We take our shovels and we shovel that shit all day long. Yes sir. We shovel that wonderful foul stenched shit all day till teatime when the sun starts going down. Then we push our wheelbarrows of shit home and bolt our doors. We bolt our doors and pull down the shutters and we settle in for another night of attempting to enjoy the TV. Feeling wealthy and feeling scared, at the same time.

We turn up the volume. We drown out the sound of something scuttling across the roof.