Thursday 25 November 2010

New National Anthem

As another chapter is written into the Book of Invasions as the IMF and the EU become the latest wave of invaders to storm the shores I would like to respectfully suggest a new National Anthem.

"Lay down your silver and your gold.
I'm a man who can't be sold.
And, even when my heart grows cold,
I'll curse your evil stranglehold."

Wednesday 24 November 2010

The National Death

I keep thinking of Saul Bellow's great Herzog when I sit down to write a blog. The titular character is constantly drafting letters on all sorts of subjects but never finishing or posting them. Is this irritability with the world a function of male middle age. For some I fear it is.

I am one of them and my advice is to read no further. This is the verbal equivalent of bursting a boil. It should have ended up in the wastepaper basket. And many many people are saying these things.

Irritability with the world has a very clear target in Ireland at the moment. Vast sums of money in excess of what the government earns or can draw on have been guaranteed to the very financial system which caused the recent shock to the world economy. These people have now refused to lend to Ireland at rates which could possibly be afforded and driven us into the warm embrace of the IMF and the EU.

Wednesday 17 November 2010

til the money runs out

You just can't seem to get away from the rumblings of national bankruptcy these days and some songs suggest themselves as a soundtrack.

Thursday 4 November 2010

Ain't That Good News

I have just finished reading John Pilger's collection of some of the best in investigative journalism since the Second World War. Ezra Pound famously said that literature is news that stays news. By that criteria there is a lot of literature here.

There are many crimes outlined here, and in a way that pushes you to face the truth that is often obvious but usually ignored.

Dachau, Hiroshima, McCarthyism, Cambodia, Mai Lai, Beiruit, Rwanda, Checnya, Iraq, how our food is produced, american funerals, how drug companies and governments try to hide their actions behind a wall of disinformation and secrecy etc etc.

The way in which words can be used to hide the truth is examined relentlessly perhaps nowhere better than in an extract from Robert Fisks magesterial Pity the Nation where he stumbles onto the scene of a massacre in a Palestinian refugee camp in Beiruit and meets some eternal companions of death.

"If we did not move quickly enough, they bit us. Mostly they stayed around our heads in a grey cloud, waiting for us to assume the generous stillness of the dead. They were obliging, these flies, forming our only physical link with the victims who lay around us, reminding us that there is life in death. Someone benefits. The flies were impartial. It mattered not the slightest that the bodies here had been victims of mass murder. The flies would have performed  in just this way for the unburied dead of any community. Doubtless it was like this on hot afternoons during the Great Plague."

Monday 1 November 2010

Addictive Tunes

Listening to the great Buzzcocks album Another Music from a Different Kitchen I was particularly struck by I Need and it's great dissectation of all forms of consumption :

"The things I used to want - I need"

It inspired a quick (and short) playlist on addiction that I place here for your delectation. Addiction and withdrawal.