Thursday, August 21, 2014

THAT'S HOW WARS ARE WON


I'm really looking forward to Fine Gael's John Redmond centenary in 2016. It'll put more distance between us and the Easter Rising thugs. Chances are that World War Three will have kicked off by then too and encouraging a load of youngsters to go off and take part in that should not only be character building but also act as a neat tribute to Mister Redmond. Redmond told the young men of his time to go to war and that 'the task is not difficult'. Redmond's advice was a bit more positive than the promises of martyrdom made by the other lot and, as long as you didn't die or go mad from shell shock, the task wasn't 'difficult' at all.

Although, back then war was simpler, not like now where one side is getting blown to bits by robots operated by people playing Nintendo Wii a continent away. Back then, one hundred years ago, all you had to do was shoot a fella in a vital organ or maybe step forward, thrust your bayonet into his belly, place your foot on his chest and then pull the bayonet back out again. Then you'd proceed to the next fella and do the same to him. Not difficult at all that. Even a child could follow those instructions and some children did. As long as the young men and kids steered clear of the phosgene and the bullets and bayonets of the other side, World War One was quite a nice war to be part of. It was fought in some very scenic places too.

Overall, the 2016 celebrations should be lovely. Enda's asked the Queen of Britain over and she'll probably say a few words about how war is a grand old thing when done properly. Then a few cannons will be fired and then we'll get down to the business of sending our young away to fight, just like some of their forefathers did.

Like I said though, the next world war will be fairly different to the last. It won't just be the technology, it'll be less straightforward in all sorts of ways. It'll be hard to tell who's on whose side for a start. You'll see a Russian fella and you kill him, that part should be grand but the fundamentalist shower, the Arabs and all that crowd, they could be on anyone's side. Isis might be on our side in one country and against us just over the border in another. That'll be hard to cope with. I suppose the youngsters will just shout out 'friend or foe' and the Arabs will answer honestly. Israel will no doubt be getting stuck in too. Religious death cults love a bit of carnage and Abraham's heirs are certainly no exception. Israel will be on our side I'd imagine but they'll probably try and kill us anyway. They're very keen on just letting anyone and everyone have it. That's their technique. It's asymmetric you see, which makes a lot of sense if you think about it asymmetrically. Israel will probably lay into the child troops the most. There's nothing like a dead nipper as far as the Holy Landers are concerned so the kiddie platoons will have to be on the look out for them.

Of course, we'll have to put up with some anti-war sentiment at home. Not much, you never hear a peep out of artists or the like these days, but a certain amount of cribbing is unavoidable. There'll be malcontents and weirdos saying that it's wrong to go fighting and to kill children and all that. They'll focus on the child fatalities the most I suppose but, the way I see it, we may as well send the kids into the field of operation, as it's called in the trade. The kids may as well get involved in the killing because they're going to die anyway. At least this way they might kill a few of the enemy too and killing is what it's all about. Killing. Killing Killing Killing KILLING!

Yeah. That's how wars are won so get the children armed up and get them out on the field. Their deaths will be for their own good and we can always commemorate them in another one hundred years when we're sending off the next lot.

Can't wait!

Monday, August 18, 2014

DREAMS UNWORTHY OF ANALYSIS


My Dream Diary – Week 9


Monday:
A man walks into my apartment. He says he lives here. He's right. He's me. I wish he'd go away but deep down I know that without him I'd be nothing.

Tuesday:
I am running a security firm. It's an ontological security firm. Instead of installing house alarms, I instill senses of identity. My phone keeps ringing but I don't dare answer it. It's furious clients and they are demanding their money back.

Wednesday:
A woman I am in love with is watching television. I am on the television. I wave at her from the screen. She picks up a remote control and changes channel to watch Top Gear instead. I remember her saying how much she hates Top Gear.

Thursday:
I am high up a tree, hiding from a grizzly bear that stands at the bottom of the tree. The grizzly bear tells me to come down and stop being so ridiculous. It says that it has no intention of attacking me. 'I just want to talk', says the bear so I climb down from the tree. The bear waits until my trembling feet reach the ground before it attacks me. Then the bear stands over my corpse and laughs. 'Who the fuck ever heard of a talking grizzly bear?', it says and I'm left feeling that no one can be trusted.

Friday:
I am a Middle Eastern refugee escaping a marauding army. My battered vehicle rumbles around an infinity of mountain corners. The skeletons of Bart and Lisa Simpson yell from the backseat: 'Are we dead yet? Are We Dead Yet? ARE WE DEAD YET?'. I tell them to be patient. Danny Elfman's frantic theme music fills the air but you can still hear the drones beneath it.

Saturday:
The entire human race undoes a series of clips that it discovers on its backs and slips out of its skins like you would a wetsuit. The human race stacks its bones like tentpoles and flushes its muscles and internal organs down the toilet. Then, like a bad smell, the entire human race gradually fades away. Wild animals tentatively emerge from undergrowth. A fox turns to a badger and whispers 'I think they're gone'.

Sunday:
I visit my doctor. He smiles and says that my test results are 'out of sight' but then he frowns and warns me that out of sight is out of mind so I better mind out because I'm out of my mind.

Then I wake up. My bed is on fire. I go back to sleep.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

NAUGHT TO FREEDOM


The primary measure of a man (and perhaps these days a woman too – who knows?) is his ability to drive. Although important, the quality of a man's car is secondary to his ability to use it. Third in importance is a man's home. A man's home is a place where he can watch cars on television. After these things comes a man's job. What does he do? Is he in a prestigious profession? Perhaps he does something he loves, like selling cars. He drives his car to work where he sells cars to earn the money to pay for a home where he can watch cars on television. This is the contented man. This is a proper man. This is the car man.

Others perambulate along the jagged winding pavements of their civic existences trying not to trip on the cracks, stand in the dog crap or lose their way. But the car man never falters or sullies his person and the car man always knows where he is. He is in his car. He has his hands on the steering wheel. He has his feet on the peddles. He is in control. As long as he is not in a traffic jam, the car man has peace of mind. The car man is content. Society is designed to accommodate the car man. Roads are cut into the Earth like whip welts so the car man can drive through them on his way to work or on his way home from work or on his way to God knows where.

You know, I bet God is a car. I bet God's eyes are shining headlights that look right into your soul and judge your driving ability, your measure as a man. I bet God's mouth is a grinning grille and I bet God's voice sounds like a revving engine. God loves the car man and the car man loves God because every time the car man drives he is 'Nearer My God, to Thee'. Oh yes, the car man is God's favoured son and, although the car man is as boring as fuck to have a conversation with, the world belongs to the car man and, despite the fact that his car is his cage, the car man is free. Naught to freedom once the pedal is to the metal. Or at least it feels like freedom and isn't the feeling enough? Isn't life all about how you feel?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

FROM THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING


From the minutes of the meeting – Some things are said that perhaps shouldn't be said. Opportunities to take them back are declined and people become upset. Nobody mentions the blood. At least nobody mentions the blood that fills the room to our knees. The blood we wade through to get to our seats. To get to this sorry impasse. 'We have reached a sorry impasse', the chairperson says and we all know it, ...again. It's not the first time and it won't be the last. It's every time: the present, the future, the past.

As we stand to leave, I feel my feet sink into the cadavers that comprise the floor and hear the soft crunch of child skulls that lead to the door.

Turtle Bay tombstone. Babylonian whore. Facade of peace. Engine of war.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

...DiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiNG!


What I want you to imagine today is an orchestra. An orchestra that doesn't know it's an orchestra. An orchestra of competing sections: brass, woodwind, percussion and strings. Each of these sections thinks the other sections are stupid and doing everything wrong. The brass wonders why the string section isn't blowing into its instruments and the percussion wonders why everyone isn't just hitting their instruments with sticks. The woodwind thinks the brass lacks decorum, a bit 'brassy' if you like, and the brass thinks the woodwind is really 'stuck up'. As far as each section is concerned, it is engaged in a sonic war against the others. Each section attempts to assault the others with waves of sound. The loudest is the victor and each section feels it is always winning because, from where a given section's musicians are sitting, they are the loudest. No one gets discouraged and the war goes on. Kettledrums rumble like tanks. Violin bows are drawn like arrows. Brass blunderbusses blast and clarinets, flutes, oboes and bassoons are raised and fired like guns, rifles, mortars and bazookas.

The conductor is there too of course, on his podium. A stressed out secretary general of sorts, attempting to maintain some kind of order. He waves his baton frantically, favouring one section one moment and another the next. He doesn't really know what's going on. He clumsily turns sheets of notation as he mops his brow. He wishes the whole zero-sum composition would just fucking end.

And the cruel joke is that from a distance all this tumult and enmity harmonises into a single stirring composition, the woodwind soaring over the strings and the percussion and brass propelling things forward. From the seats in the auditorium, the ominous score builds to an unnerving crescendo that explodes and then lulls into the saddest adagio ever heard that then fades before it all happens again but in a different order and with some variations. It's such a tragic twist that those upon the stage are unaware of this and labour in the mistaken belief that they are separate competing entities and not, simply, 'one'. The sections do not know that they are all playing the same music and that the music could be joyful and celebratory instead of frightening and heartbreaking.

But there is one musician who knows the truth. An orchestra member who realises that every orchestra member, no matter what section, is part of an indivisible whole. One guy, sitting all by himself, down the back and to the side a bit. One fella who knows it would be a waste of time to share his wisdom with the others because he'd be laughed out of the concert hall. One member of the orchestra who, quietly and in his own mind, has it completely and utterly right.

He stands there, stoic, poised and mindful. He understands the great cacophony as a symphony and bides his time to prove this to the others. He waits and waits and waits until a great musical swell rises and then crashes. As the crescendo subsides he raises his instrument, holds out his wand and strikes once. Only once and with a perfectly restrained amount of force. The rage from the rest of the instruments dies out and silence rules but for the fading resonance of his modest contribution. The triangle goes ...DiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiNG!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

BANAL FROM THIS DISTANCE



The calls to prayer and the omni-drone combine to hum the Anti-Om. The last vibration. The frequency of wrong. The remote sound of death and razed rubble homes. Distant embers. Ribbons rise to oblivion. A dark cloak suffocates unseen desperation. Subdued pops denote the ease of destruction and the absence of any significant resistance. It's the antithesis of coexistence. Evil looks so banal from this distance.