Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remember Ronnie

'Tis a windy night to be a swing,' me old mate Leon used to say.
Hurricane Katia's tail-end is supposed to hit shore sometime tomorrow evening with winds of up to 160km an hour, traveling across the country on into Monday, before making its way across the water. That's a pretty snappy tail in any one's terms and you just hope whatever is up there will suck it up. Maybe the ghost of Ronnie Drew? Knock the whip out of her because the country seriously doesn't need another weather event like the ones experienced over the last few years here in Ireland.
I'd have been a climate skeptic in my day, partially because of historical fact and partly because academics were caught manipulating the numbers. That kinda craic should get a Professor sent packing, but hey, it didn't take long for that story to disappear.
The one thing I am certain of is man's contribution to the current, shall we say, turbulence. The planet and the immediate outer space is being choked to death. I'm sure the Outer Space doesn't mind too much, as well, for all human purposes it's as dead as a .... but for us here down in Ireland, we like the mildness of our incessant rainfall and we'd like to get back to that.
I mean, what's the story? What's a planet without a human? I'll leave that up to the individual to answer. And why the hurry? What does all this money guarantee at the end of the day? It's definitely not to get off the planet anyway. With the amount of junk floating about up there, that would be a dodgy ride. It will probably be left to Richard Bronson now to clean it up. I'm sure he won't mind. He's Tthat kinda man.


Today or yesterday, depending on where your reading from was World Suicide Prevention Day. This blog is almost two years old now. The first post recorded here dealt somewhat with the issue. It was around the time Irish Olympic hero, Darren Sutherland took his life. Every instance of suicide I come across always leaves me cold. Sense of disbelief, best swept to the back of the mind, in a place not often visited. Here's a few statistic's concerning the issue.
In Ireland it has been described as an epidemic. Long swept under the carpet which is down to multiple factors, the stigma is lifting, but as the statistics suggest, the efforts are to slow and although their was a decrease from the 2009 high, when it's human lives we are speaking of, it's an extremely weak Minister that will cut funding to vital services. It's too important an issue to be a minority issue. The constitution states a desire for an equal society. It's how those who wrote it wanted it to be.
I dealt partly with the issue in Booker's World. From the viewpoint of someone left behind and from a male standpoint. Terribly selfish of me, but there you go. Why I chose to write about it somewhat really doesn't matter. It was my interpretation of perhaps where some mind-sets perhaps are even in 2011. I think the problem can be addressed by continually making people aware that it is a serious issue that has scarred families, defiant of class and stature in every corner of this country.
A greater understanding as to why is important, but so too the feelings of those left behind who are left to carry the questions inside, sometimes on their own. There is great work being done and more is needed.
I also believe work toward a cognitive approach through the Arts can be of great benefit to someone reaching out. That's a personal opinion, but I think I've read enough material at this stage to laud some worthwhile benefits. To often people just get lost. To often we can be too busy to see. Too often we only see the signs when it's too late. Not that we didn't want to see them, but because life got to unmanageable keeping everything together under the stress and strain of daily living.
I hope James Reilly stands up and is counted on this one. He'd get a hell of a lot of good press here anyway if he did. Reilly for Taoiseach. I can almost see it now.
He got the poison chalice that is the HSE. Harney's legacy as she enjoys the fruits of her progressive democracy, or Independence, or whatever she counts herself as these days. There's many things Reilly has to address...and fast. Everything's against him. But on this issue he should not fail. Legacy can bring its own stigma and legacy stretches further than the in-club of the time. Though we know History lies even to this day, you'd have to say we are getting better at recording it for future generations to ponder over. As Leon Jackson once said, 'It's what you leave behind.'


The three best sporting moments Ireland has delivered over the course of my own lifetime are recorded here. Opinions vary, as do reasons, but I'd still stand by them today.
In a few hours time Ireland kick off their Rugby World Cup campaign against the good ol' USA in New Zealand. Coming off the back of four straight defeats there is cause for worry. I got to be honest. Anything but a semi final and perhaps the money sending them there might have been better spent. But no point being negative, hey?
Sport throws up surprises and moments that unite people. It has the capacity for that. I hope whoever speaks in those dressing rooms over the coming weeks wakes a spark inside our men down there. The country could do with the lift.
At club level Ireland is a powerhouse. That hasn't reflected nationally despite the Slam in '09. When i again reflected after a drubbing by the French last year it was from a bath tub in Booker's World... but that's another story.
Maybe we can do a Denmark. Or a Greece. But with an oval ball. Sometimes it's ok to bleed for your country. Hopefully Brian, Paul and Deco can stoke a little national pride and give us all something to be proud of over the coming month. In language we can all understand too.


It's 3-13 on a Saturday morning now. What the hell, I was always fond of a late Saturday night. A lot of good ones too, mixed in with the ones sometimes forgotten.
Things are calmer this windy weather. The wind has any cloud cover dispersed and it's as clear a night I have seen this year.
It's also the 10th anniversary of 9-11, an event that changed the world in so many bad ways. Just when perhaps we might of thought we'd move away from wars fought to show who had the bigger tech member, or who indeed were the brave souls high-fiving to the reign of a missile down on civilians from the safety of a calm sea.
A war on Terror, as a war on Drugs are not winnable. In my world, it's the sole reason they are fought. It may be our eventual downfall. That need in some for power and control. Perhaps genetics will explain much in the decades to come. Perhaps computers will provide us with the answers to much. It should - and could - be an exciting time in the history of things.
Perhaps ten years on we'll do more than remember those who died that day - however they died - and actually set the wheels in motion of restoring some sort of order to the economic and social mess we are in today. Maybe Obama in his final year in office will call it as it is and be that leader that promised much just three short years ago.

The world's a bit like Sky News and Sports. The world could do without one and couldn't possibly survive without the other. One serves the worst in us, the other the best.
Quotes often grab my attention. Today, two passed my way. They both just seemed to fit into the day that's in it. For this fictional has-been anyway.

'Enjoy life now .. it has an expiration date.'
Thanks John F. Kennedy for that one. I lie not, for the F is not Fitzgerald, but a noble practitioner of life all the same.

'Better to write for yourself and have no public than to write for the public and have no self.'
Thanks to Damauri Dreved (more later) for that one. He advised me it was Cyril Connelly who bestowed such profound wisdom on us lesser mortals. It kinda fits in to the realities of the day. But such are the joys of the absurd path. You get to create your own meaning. And there's no greater freedom than that.


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