I saw in the New Year with Montrose. Did you see it yourself? Some chat, some song, and (insert a gentle chuckle of fond recollection here) more than a little laughter. Oh, a fantastic time was to be had. That’s the great thing about Montrose, it’s like a wonderful party and they allow you look in the window.
The night was made up of the cream of Montrose, past, present, and future. The faces of the future provided the highlight of the night for me. Just before midnight, during the countdown, The Joe O’Shea was wheeled out and it smiled and waved at the audience and then Miriam kind of twisted off the top half of it and inside it was The Craig Doyle and that waved too and got applause and then Miriam twisted the top off The Craig Doyle and inside it was The Brian Ormond and that did a little wave and everyone clapped and then Miriam unscrewed the top off The Brian Ormond and inside it was The Aiden Power and that waved at the audience and got a clap and then, as if that wasn’t enough, Miriam twisted open The Aiden Power and inside that was The Donal Skehan and it sang Auld Lang Syne and then Miriam breastfed it and put it in a little cot and everyone in the audience went ‘ahhhhh’.
Bowman was on too. He has intelligence. He spoke about his book. It’s about the history of Montrose and it’s called Fifty Years in Plato’s Cave by John Bowman (aged 69 and a half) Montrose Books, €99.99. It sounds brilliant. There’s pictures in it and you can colour them in and everything.
Did you know they’ve been making telly out in Montrose for fifty years? Yeah! Fifty years. You wouldn’t know it though. It doesn’t show through all the vitality. ‘Daytime Telly, All Day, Every Day’, that’s what it says on the plaque over the foyer door. Miriam spoke of the early days of Montrose and how deValera was wary of the telly’s potential influence. I felt like telling Miriam that Dev needn’t have worried. He need not have worried at all. The telly is in safe hands in Montrose. Very safe hands. Incredibly safe telly altogether.
Anyway, then everyone did the Huckle Buck and said goodbye and then it was closedown so I said my prayers and went to bed and looked forward to waking up the next day in 2012. The future! It's going to be great!!!
Hold on a second! Was that a dirty prod presenting Night Light? Ah listen, all this multiculturalism is going too far. Dev wouldn’t have liked that at all. I’m writing to Arthur in Mailbag!
The Christmas family reunion and the niece and nephew were being very sullen and uncommunicative. They are at that difficult age. You know the age. Forty somethingish. Anyway, I was told that if I wanted to get through to them I’d have to do it on their turf. ‘Turf?’ I asked, confused. ‘Yes, the virtual world of the computer game they got for Christmas.’ So, I went to the other room and found the pair of them sat in front of the telly, which was hooked up to some sort of apparatus. They were holding control consoles and moving little animated creatures around the screen. ‘What are you doing?’ I asked them. ‘We’re playing Beaver Bedlam’, one replied. Their game shared the same name as a short film I had recently enjoyed on Spankwire but I thought better of mentioning the coincidence. ‘Can I join in?’ I asked. They threw me a console and I sat between them. There were little beavers swimming around in a river on the screen. ‘What do I do?’ ‘Collect the wood.’ ‘What wood? Where?’ ‘Collect the wood! COLLECT THE WOOD!’ ‘I don’t see any wood.’ There was the sound of a squeal and blood filled the screen. ‘Jesus, what was that?’ ‘You’re dead. Here, give me the thing.’ The nephew grabbed my console. He sighed and pressed a button or something that brought me back to life. Then he handed me back the controls. ‘OK, where’s the wood?’ ‘There! Look! See?’ ‘I see it!’ ‘Collect the wood! Collect the wood!’ Sweaty and anxious, I managed to collect some wood. ‘Now what?’ ‘Build the dam!’ ‘A dam? How?’ ‘Apply for planning! APPLY FOR PLANNING!’ ‘Quit shouting at me.’ ‘JESUS! APPLY FOR PLANNING NOW!’ There was the sound of a squeal and blood filled the screen. The niece obliged and brought me back to life this time.
I was in the panicked process of applying for planning when everything started flashing and this demented electronic melody filled the room. Then a badger appeared in the corner of the screen and it started dancing. Then the niece got up and started copying the badger’s every move. ‘What’s going on now?’ ‘BOOGIE BADGER! BOOGIE BADGER!’ ‘What badger? Badger what?’ ‘COLLECT THE WOOD! COLLECT THE WOOD!’ ‘What about the badger?’ ‘COLLECT THE WOOD! BOOGIE BADGER!’ ‘Just calm down a sec and let me know what’s going on?’ My heart almost stopped at the dreaded sound of that familiar squeal. Blood filled the screen. ‘YOU’RE DEAD! YOU’RE DEAD! YOU’RE DEAD!’ ‘Right. OK. Relax. Bring me back!’ ‘No.’ ‘No?’ ‘No.’ ‘Why not?’ ‘You’ve used up your lives.’ ‘Well, can you give me a new life?’ ‘Don’t be stupid. That would be unrealistic.’ ‘. . .oh, right.’ I got up and was leaving the room when the niece called me back. ‘You owe us a tenner each,’ she said. ‘Me? How come?’ They both made the spaz face (the one where you tuck your tongue under your bottom lip) and waved their arms about going ‘nuuuhhhh’. This did little to illuminate me. Finally the nephew spoke up. ‘You built the dam without planning. You were fined. Weren’t you paying attention?’ I shrugged and paid up. I left the room. My heart was a little heavy at the thought of the distance that had grown between us. Back in my day you’d be happy with a Boba Fett figurine and a can of Lilt. These days you are lost in a bewildering virtual universe with bizarre rules and requirements. These days you are a panic stricken God, looking through a window into another world, urgently trying to alter the fate of dam building beavers and dancing badgers. ‘It’s no wonder they keep failing the Junior Cert’, I said to myself as I sloped off to my quarters to enjoy the other Beaver Bedlam that’s more to my liking. I couldn’t get into it though. Just as Daphne Delights was hitting her stride, I heard the little shits in the other room: ‘BOOGIE BADGER! BOOGIE BADGER!’ I found myself panicking and pressing any key in sight in a futile attempt to get Daphne to put down her rabbit and collect some wood. She didn’t of course. She was preoccupied. Lost in her own little world.
Are you looking forward to the fuckin Crimbo yourself? I bet you are. You look the sort. Family reunion this year is it? Are you going to eat up your pudding with a little spoon and pat your little belly? Are you going to pat your little belly and wander around the sitting room with a hot toddy in your hand talking about the year you’ve had? I bet you are. I can hear you now: ‘Oh, 2011 was rough on the office stationary supply game but we knuckled down and things will pick up again next year please God.’ You’ll be going on like that to your siblings but they won’t be listening. They’ll be thinking about something else. Your mother will be smiling at you though. She’ll be smiling and nodding encouragingly but make no mistake, she’ll be silently wishing you were struck with a sudden case of lockjaw and forced to shut your yap. You’ll eventually notice that you’re not appreciated of course. After about eight hot toddies you’ll notice and you’ll emit some cutting remark about your sister’s choice of career. It’ll all kick off then. Oh, there’ll be shouting alright. It’ll be like the final scene in a Mike Leigh film. Everyone’s kids will get upset because the grown-ups are fighting and your mother will sigh and go to bed early.
It’s going to be a disaster. Mark my words. You, in your little party hat, trying not to look at your Uncle Gerry as he sits there next to you adjusting his newly fitted colostomy bag for comfort. That won’t stop you stuffing your fat face though. It’s the same every year: your lips smeared in chocolate while homeless people are turfed back out onto the road, freezing to death after being served a paltry plate of mechanically separated meat product by the Knights of Columbanus. Jesus wept. Enjoy your fuckin Crimbo! . . .sucker.
The following embedded video features the sound of the Universe (Caution, flashing lights and groovy effects):
That is it. The sound of the Universe. The overarching and comprehensive sound of everything in existence. NASA pick it up on their radio telescopes. It’s a bit 2001: A Space Odyssey isn’t it? It’s kind of weird and sci-fi-ish. There’s a strange harmony to it. It’s exactly the kind of cool sound you’d expect. Imagine if farts sounded like that. I don’t think people would find farts so funny or humiliating if that was the sound they made. I think letting a really big one rip would make you seem pretty cosmic and mystical. Farts would be a status symbol if they sounded like that. We’d be shovelling the beans down us if arse coughs made that kind of noise.
But I’m digressing. I’ll get to the point. The point is that NASA trained their radio telescopes on the planet Earth, seeking not to hear the sound of the planet itself and everything on it but just to record the sound of humanity. The exclusive and overarching noise of human beings. The combined symphony of men, women, children and babies, their actions and interactions. Here is what NASA picked up:
Yeah, that’s it. The sound of humanity. The sound of an avant-garde jazz band tripping in the dark and falling down a long flight of stairs. It’s a bit of a cacophony. I’d imagine farts would be considered in even less esteem if they sounded like that. Imagine if you were at an important job interview or sitting in a silent meditation group and that racket escaped from the back of your trousers. You’d never live it down.
But anyway, I don’t think we should despair. I reckon one day the avant-garde jazz band that is us will reach the bottom of the stairs and rub our heads and replace the cracked symbols and broken drum skins and fix the dints in the trombones and we’ll get our act together and start to make a noise that sounds half decent. I mean, that’s got to happen eventually. I’m just not sure how far down the stairs we are yet or how far we have to go. There’s no way of knowing. We can’t see what’s to come. God turned off the lights. God probably pushed us. Maybe God is a fan of avant-garde jazz bands making that kind of din. Maybe he likes to freak out to that kind of stuff when he’s not chilling out to the Universal vibe. Takes all sorts I suppose.
Continued from the Previous Post. . . Chapter Three: The human brain is mainly concerned with two things. The survival of the human body is the first and making the human body’s survival an enjoyable experience is the second. The human brain learns how to do the latter with the information it receives from the telly. The telly knows how to make the human body’s survival an enjoyable experience because it was told how to by the shops. The shops are collectively known as The Market and The Market is controlled by a collection of human brains that have gone insane because they have taken in too much information simultaneously (see chapter two in the previous post). Chapter Four: Sane human brains being guided by the insanity of The Market is one of the many paradoxes the human brain must endure in its search for ways to make the survival of the human body enjoyable. Another paradox is found in the existence of consciousness and indeed conscience. Conscience is a by-product of consciousness and serves to create moral and philosophical reasoning that may or may not be reasonable. Different human brains will favour different reasonings and often find themselves in disagreement. An example: Wife: I think the people of the world would find contentment in a non-merchant capitalist society based on a principle of direct and inclusive democracy. What do you think? Husband: I think you should quit yer yapping coz I’m trying to watch the golf. Wife: I think you’re a monster. Husband: I think that cat you adopted is a monster. Now make me a sandwich. Disagreements like the above can lead to the survival of the human body being a less enjoyable experience. To prevent this, human brains, once again, resort to the information filter known as the telly for guidance and the telly resorts to the shops which are collectively known as The Market and The Market is controlled by a collection of human brains that have gone insane because they have taken in too much information simultaneously (see chapter two in the previous post). But: There Is No Alternative! And that is the story of the human brain. The End.
Introduction: The human brain is the most important organ in the human body. This is because it tells the other organs what to do. The human brain tells the whole human body what to do. The human body is just a vehicle and the human brain is its driver. The human brain tells the human body to do things like sit down or get up or stand up, stand up for your rights, get up, stand up, don't give up the fight. Ah no. That last part is a joke. I’m only having a little joke. The human brain doesn’t tell the human body to do things like that. No. Most of the time the human brain will just tell the human body to do things like get out of bed, go to work, make a cup of tea, insult the wife, and all that sort of thing. Chapter One: The human brain decides everything. The human brain decides what is nice and what is not nice. The human brain decides what is scary and what is funny. An example: The human brain uses the human eyes to watch the human body’s wife coming in the door with a large bag of groceries. She suddenly trips over a mangy stray cat that she insisted on adopting even though it is unfriendly and ugly. The human body’s wife lets out a yelp before landing flat on her ass. The groceries fall out of the bag and roll about on the floor around her. The cat hisses and runs away. The human brain decides that this is funny and laughs. ‘Ha Ha Ha!’ goes the human brain and then the human mouth copies the human brain and says ‘Ha Ha Ha!’ Then the human body’s wife nurses her sprained ankle as her human brain wonders how her human body came to be married to someone so inhuman. Chapter Two: The human brain makes decisions based on information it receives. The human brain is designed to take in information. The Universe is huge and full of incredible events and observable phenomena, all unfolding and taking place at once. If the human brain was to absorb the events and phenomena of the Universe all at once then the human brain would cease to function properly. This is called going insane. To make sure it does not go insane, the human brain absorbs information in small doses and places that information in context. The human brain does this by using a filter and that filter is called the telly.
Please return for the rest of the story of the human brain in the next post. To be continued but, for now, here’s a song. . .
I'm in Dundrum Town Centre. The usual thing. A look around. Meet the girls for a latte. Away In A Manger is wafting from the PA system. Little Saoirse is being a pain. Banging her fists on the buggy. Banging her fists on the buggy and wailing like a wild thing. Away In A Manger, I wish, I wish. That man is here. You know the one. The oddball. The one who looks right at you and roars things. His eyes. That stare. ‘Playing holy songs’, he says. ‘They’re playing holy song and the Antichrist owns the place’, he bellows and laughs. Laughs a big mental laugh. Saoirse wails louder and the place is packed and I’m feeling a bit unhinged. I can’t face the girls like this. I go into the toilets and roll the buggy into the disabled cubicle. I take a deep breath and wee snort of Peruvian. I’m back on form. I’m ready for anything. I meet the girls and speak about myself and boots and bags and bags and boots and myself. ‘You’re on rare form Collette’, says Mairead and tells me how she found little Kirsten’s lost mitten down the back of the Corsa and how the poor mite got streptococcal throat. Then a silence falls and we know it is time. We stand and leave and head up to the top floor for a dose of henbane. We park the buggies, climb out the skylight and strip off. We perch naked on the parapet and squawk like mighty birds of prey. The henbane’s really complimenting the coke and I am soaring over the world. I am the air and the cosmos. I am the wings in the night. I am the moon. I am the Goddess. I am RAGE! And I will swoop down and behead the tubby pieces of shit in tight fitting soccer tops that pass for men below me. They are looking up and imploring us to come down. ‘Jesus girls, come down. What are you at? Come down’. I’ll come down. I’ll come down alright. I’ll swoop down and rip their heads from their fucking necks. I’ll shower the upper mezzanine in thick dark blood. I will no longer be tethered. I will no longer be tamed. I will no longer be marshalled and corralled. I will no longer push that squealing tyrant throughout the obstacle course of boots and bags and bags and boots. A new day is coming. A new day. And the suburbs will know fear and they shall abase themselves before The Ballinteer Recreation Centre Mother and Toddlers Coven of the Dark Lady Lilith. Lilith who spurned the obsequious Adam. Lilith who defied God. We, the sisters of Lilith, will shake this world and rule over those who cower within it. They will awake and hear us cackling in the starry sky above their homes. Soaring and swooping over the uniform rooftops of their battery farm estates. And they shall worship us, as sure as they worship their soccer teams and their boots and bags and bags and boots. And we will suck their souls dry of what little nutrition remains. And we will take them in our talons and we will carry them into the cold black air and we will release their carcasses and howl as they plummet down down down onto the sad little automobiles that scurry along beneath us and lo’ there will be an unmerciful pile up on the M50 and screaming and flames aplenty.
Remember now, that’s The Ballinteer Recreation Centre Mother and Toddlers Coven of the Dark Lady Lilith. We meet every second Wednesday morning. Perhaps you’d like to join us. Call Emer or Toiresa for details.
I was talking to this elegant woman at a party recently. She was very successful and dynamic. I knew she was successful and dynamic because she kept mentioning how successful and dynamic her life was. All her talk made her seem kind of insecure to my eyes but that’s grand if not a tad endearing. We’re all a bit fucked up. Well, you lot are. I’m grand.
Anyway, it dawned on me that I quite fancied this insecure woman. She was nice looking and made me feel like she needed protecting in a way. ‘If I wasn’t so lazy I could probably be the guy to protect this woman’, I found myself thinking. Then she seemed to realise that she’d been talking about herself for a while so she asked about me. ‘So Mr. Fugger what is it you do?’ she asked. I was at a bit of a loss. I gave an awkward chuckle as I mentally scanned the litany of defeat that had comprised my life up to now (I certainly wasn’t going to mention this blog). I found myself blurting out the line: ‘oh, not much, y’know, I’d rather be happy than successful’.
Then there was a bit of a lull in the conversation. I crouched down to get another can of Royal Dutch from my hold-all. As I came back up, I saw her observing me over the glass of wine she was sipping. Observing me through narrowed eyes. Then she mumbled something about having to catch up with the party’s host and walked off into another room. ‘Grand’, I said and gave her a thumbs up as she departed.
I saw her once more before she left. She air kissed me goodbye and said it had been great chatting. I stayed on at the party after that. I found some Captain Beefheart CDs and insisted they be put on. I ended up being the last to leave. I was pretty drunk but, y’know, it was a party. Eventually the host showed me to the door. He said he was tired and had to get some shut eye. ‘Ah, no worries’, I said, ‘I was bored anyway’. I gave him a thumbs up.
The host seemed a bit uptight as he waved me off. He’s a fairly uptight guy at the best of times but sure we’re all a bit fucked up. Well, you lot are. I’m grand.
I finished my last Royal Dutch on a bench by the Grand Canal. I spoke to a few swans but they were sleeping with their heads tucked under their wings. ‘Stuck up arseholes’, I shouted at them and flung an empty can in their direction. Then one of the swans popped its head out and peered at me. I could’ve sworn it rolled its eyes. I finally realised it was time to go home. I gave the swan a thumbs up and wandered off in some direction or other.