Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Farethee well

Graduation Day Blackrock College 2011 - and to think all we got was the opportunity to steal a cup and saucer from the parlour on SCT final day.

And finally before we finish on school related matters for a while, they gave Eoin his Paul Stanley medal on the pitch after the final, having learned the lesson from the grassy knoll. Art and Rich have changed history.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Digital Age

A little bit further on from those lovely framed pictures of the exalted SCT teams of yesteryear, there's a small little insignificant cubbyhole in which sits a digital screen with touchscreen capabilities.

Brush away the cobwebs, set your mind back thirty five years and type in the name of your old school mates ------ hey presto up comes their finest achievements for all to see. Brusselsblue pushing the pen in second year exams (straight from the B class in the Nasher) takes us back to simple days in a bygone era. No personal computers, Ipods or mobile phones, four channels on the TV and collecting Batman cards. Christmas exams in the big school for the first time and "I have top get into 35, there's too many stupid boarders dragging me down in this class".

Type in the name of Chelski and you learn what he's kept quiet for years - two of the three references relate to his budding exploits as a piano virtuoso. First class honours in the Leinster School of Music Examinations twice in a row, and us looking for someone to front for the four poofs and a piano in Liverpool, and him remaining silent, I ask you.

Didn't bother typing in Mise le meas on the basis that he can fulfil that pleasure himself on a visit there soon whereas the Brussels and Sandymount lawyers have no right to go near the Old Alma Mater again, having chosen to educate their offspring in foreign fields.

From the halls of Blackrock College

I promise - I'm not following Philly around....

Friday, May 20, 2011

White collar boxing in Dublin

Would you fight this man for Joycelyn Roberts?

Milo winning his bout by a comfortable margin.

Brilliant entertainment at the Blackrock for Kenya fundraiser last night - serious fights (think Molloy Pollard; Cantrell Norton; O'Brien McCool), dolly birds in Rock rugby kit (think David Mellor); a gaggle of sexually frustrated housewives in the front row; ex-teachers hoping for revenge; and a brilliantly humorous end (see later post).

Would Joycelyn have been worth it?

Rock boys are we

Neil Francis - snots running down his nose

The Leinster Mullet

Scrappy Burns in the crowd

Came expecting to see the cream of 65 English and again 66 grab the limelight.

Mad Dog takes over

The night was following a predictable schedule until the middle of the sixth bout when a member of the audience appeared from the crowd and announced himself on stage, with a demented dance and a somersault off the corner post, landing literally on the flat of his back - to tumultuous applause from the frenzied audience.

I knew immediately who this was without any need for hesitation - Mad Dog McCooey had arrived. I thought of Art sitting at home planning the end of the world and working out mathematical coincidences based on the dates in the Gregorian calendar.

All very well for Mad Dog but it won't look that cool when he's bald in about three years time.

Just take a look at the dolly bird's reaction - just brilliant. And then her vague smiles as he tries to pull the knickers off her.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Poetry - On Monsieur's Departure by Queen Elizabeth I of England

I grieve and dare not show my discontent,
I love and yet am forced to seem to hate,
I do, yet dare not say I ever meant,
I seem stark mute but inwardly to prate.
I am and not, I freeze and yet am burned.
Since from myself another self I turned.

My care is like my shadow in the sun,
Follows me flying, flies when I pursue it,
Stands and lies by me, doth what I have done.
His too familiar care doth make me rue it.
No means I find to rid him from my breast,
Till by the end of things it be supprest.

Some gentler passion slide into my mind,
For I am soft and made of melting snow;
Or be more cruel, love, and so be kind.
Let me or float or sink, be high or low.
Or let me live with some more sweet content,
Or die and so forget what love ere meant.

In recognition of the Queen's return home today after a long absence, our poetry corner today features one of her predecessors - arguably one of the more evocative monarchs that England has had - the Virgin Queen, Eliabeth Tudor.

The Elizabethan era is one in which drama and literature flourished and in between slaughtering the peasant Catholics in Ireland and taking on the might of Spain at sea, she penned a few little verses herself. This one by all accounts laments the departure of her suitor, Francois of France, Duke of Anjou, after failed marriage negotiations. Elizabeth was keen to rid herself of the moniker of Virgin Queen and the Duke was one of the last to "come calling".

Blackpool at it again

A little bit more humourous this one - one of their fans obviously works in the production team at Countdown TV program (the one that gave us the lovely Carol Vordeman) and came up with the starting board below. Maybe these sea-siders deserve a little more credit than we give them.

I wonder did he hold his job?

Monday, May 16, 2011

White collar boxing in Amsterdam

The Beautiful Game

Top photo - Blackrock College Sports Day 15 May 2011
Bottom photo - Sunday Times Magazine 15 May 2011

I couldn't help but see the similarity in pose of the player striking the ball. That's where the similarity ends. There are no flares created by an Italian oil company extracting billions of dollars from the ground and destroying the local environment in Blackrock, whereas there is in Oshie, Nigeria. Still maybe our Government will soon by going down that road in an effort to restore the country's finances.

Where was Mise le Meas?

Blackrock College Sports Day and as can be seen anyone who was anything to the old Alma Mater was there.

When then was mise le meas?

While some clearly came with flexible plans as to the rest of the day, and the night, most were there to watch the cream of the Irish educational system try their hand at "track and field sports". Tea and sandwiches were served in the quadrangle, and all agreed it was a most splendid event. In a week when we have loyal visitors, it made one proud that the old "Kingstown" habits lived on, quipped a member of the local constabulary, who was on door-duty to prevent Bob Geldof entering the area.

Return to the grassy knoll

I returned yesterday to the scene of most notorious crimes committed in the twentieth century, or arguably, in civilisation.

The Castle Building on Dealey Plaza is bounded on the south, east, and north sides by 100+ foot (30+ m) tall buildings. One of those buildings is the former Texas School Book Depository building, from which, both the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded, Rich Hudson and Art McCooey dropped the firework which nearly blew the cassocks off the President of Blackrock College, Fr John F. Kennedy.

There is also a grassy knoll on the northwest side of the plaza, from which, the House Select Committee on Assassinations determined, based on controversial and disputed acoustic analysis, there was a "high probability" that an accomplice lobbed a stink bomb which dispersed the crowd in about ten seconds flat.

Today, the Castle Building is still occupied by students visiting the assassination site and statistics indicate that since 1975, more than 6 million people have visited the museum, the only female being the college matron to stick a needle in Sean Doyle's arse on the eve of the SCT Final the following year.

The National Park Service designated Dealey Plaza a National Historic Landmark District in 1993, roughly encompassing the area between Pacific Avenue, Market and Jackson Streets and the former railroad tracks. Visitors to Dealey Plaza today will see street lights, street signs and teachers that were in use in 1975, though some have been moved to different locations and others removed entirely (shipped off to Clareville or to the missions in Africa). Buildings immediately surrounding the plaza have not been changed since 1963, presenting a stark contrast to the ultra-modern Blackrock skyline that rises behind it.

Plans are afoot to erect a plaque to mark the site and funds are currently being collected by the Black and Blue Society, the local charity which does tremendous work for those ex-pupils who through no fault of their own, find themselves living in Westport or some godforsaken shithole island off the coast of Antrim.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Liverpool and the Vietnam War

Humorous behaviour from the United supporters who have launched a campaign which intends to get Paul Hardcastle's song "19" to number 1 immediately after United wrap up the Premiership with (presumably) victory over Blackburn.

United's rivalry with Liverpool is the chief motivation behind the move. This win will take United to 19 titles, one ahead of Liverpool, whose supporters famously taunted United fans in 1994 with the banner below:

According to the Guardian, Alex Ferguson stated that his greatest achievement was "knocking Liverpool right off their fucking perch" - in an interview from 2002.

The song itself, while having the perfect title for their intent, sadly has a subject matter poorly suited to the whole issue of sporting rivalry. It highlights the average age of the American soldiers who lost their lives in the Vietnam war and remembering that it is an average, and that the distribution around the mean would have been far wider on the older side of 19 than on the younger side, it is a frightening statistic. The thought of kids of this age being conscripted, and then shipped thousands of miles to fight in hostile terrain for a cause which was substantially politically remote to them, is bordering on criminal. Several of the United fans have recognised the moral dichotomy in trivialising such a subject matter and have voiced concerns over the No 1 campaign on United forums and discussion pages.

Chelsea-supporting Hardcastle himself is not unaware of the issue and has asked EMI (who own the rights to the song) that proceeds from the sales be donated to Vietnam Veteran charities. "I see it then as a good cause. Anyway, we [Chelsea] will have the title back in 2012." It remains to be seen whether EMI oblige.

I was tempted to end this with the video of the song under debate, but opted instead for the classic anti-war song from the era Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction". Just listen to the lyrics and think how lucky we are to have our teenage children around us, safe from he horrors of war, and federal interference.

People in glasshouses

I really hope Blackpool go down, despite all the romantic notions currently being associated with them.

First they come to London, take two points off us - I'm not bitter - and thug Charlie Adam tries to end the career of the Player of the Year by going over the ball at the flying wizard. Then they have the stupidity to taunt near rivals Preston on their relegation by flying a airplane over Deepdale with banners reading "Poor little Preston enjoy League One" and "We are superior love Blackpool FC."

Methinks they might be crowing too soon.

Keano, there's only half a Keano ......

After his unbelievable miss against Blackburn on Saturday, the boywonder explained clearly what happened.

'I wish I knew why I missed,' he told his manager, Avram Grant.

The West Ham boss added: 'Football is a game of chances. And then it's a game of using chances. All the season we are not using even 20 per cent of chances. And this is maybe the story of our year. Robbie is not happy. He came here to score. The last three games he had three big chances to score, but I cannot blame him that he doesn't work. I feel sorry for him, but he did everything good. But it doesn't count. He's a good lad. I don't have any intention to kill him.'

You're fuckin right Avram - none more so than the 10/3 miss at the City of Manchester Stadium. Sod your survival chances, that miss screwed up our winning betting streak. And by the way, please stay up cos' otherwise the Crumlin genius will be doing that for our reserves next season.

Poetry - Dublin by Louis McNeice

Grey brick upon brick,
Declamatory bronze
On somber pedestals -
O'Connell, Grattan, Moore -
And the brewery tugs and the swans
On the balustraded stream
And the bare bones of a fanlight
Over a hungry door
And the air soft on the cheek
And porter running from the taps
With a head of yellow cream
And Nelson on his pillar
Watching his world collapse.

This never was my town,
I was not born or bred
Nor schooled here and she will not
Have me alive or dead
But yet she holds my mind
With her seedy elegance,
With her gentle veils of rain
And all her ghosts that walk
And all that hide behind
Her Georgian facades -
The catcalls and the pain,
The glamour of her squalor,
The bravado of her talk.

The lights jig in the river
With a concertina movement
And the sun comes up in the morning
Like barley-sugar on the water
And the mist on the Wicklow hills
Is close, as close
As the peasantry were to the landlord,
As the Irish to the Anglo-Irish,
As the killer is close one moment
To the man he kills,
Or as the moment itself
Is close to the next moment.

She is not an Irish town
And she is not English,
Historic with guns and vermin
And the cold renown
Of a fragment of Church latin,
Of an oratorical phrase.
But oh the days are soft,
Soft enough to forget
The lesson better learnt,
The bullet on the wet
Streets, the crooked deal,
The steel behind the laugh,
The Four Courts burnt.

Fort of the Dane,
Garrison of the Saxon,
Augustan capital
Of a Gaelic nation,
Appropriating all
The alien brought,
You give me time for thought
And by a juggler's trick
You poise the toppling hour -
O greyness run to flower,
Grey stone, grey water,
And brick upon grey brick.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

At the risk of repeating myself

Look I told you already son, when I went to Spain we were home and hosed..... how many times do I have to tell ya, lad?

You're as daft as a brush you mad Irish twat.

A moral dilemma while we travelled rom Manchester

Look it's not my pinko left side coming out here and let's face it I'm on their side in the ultimate Jihad, but do the Yanks have to make a playstation game out of everything?

There they are in the White House, watching Osama get zeroed from a camera strapped to the top of a marine's helmet, all controlled by the army geezer who just can't take his eyes off the controls. Go for it Chuck, you're nearly on Level 16 with the extra ammo that goes wit it.

My kids play console games exactly like that - simulation based where you're helicoptered in behind enemy lines with night vision googles and you've got to take out the enemy before he gets you. I think it's called Black Ops II or something like that. It's not PG - no, it comes with a stronger warning - 18's only - and you definitely lose points if you accidentally shoot the women and children. And now what have the Yanks done, or what has their psyche created - a nation-embracing, age-neutral state of euphoria over the execution of a criminal without due process.

I don't see anything wrong with the need to strike, but I see a lot of evil in the circus that appears to be following the action. There should be no triumphalism in death, even if it does involves the elimination of a barbaric sub-human criminal.

I am reminded of the words of Kamal Ataturk, who remembered compassionately the dead ANZACs who had sought to invade his country at Gallipoli, with the following words:

Heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives! You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace.

There is no difference between the Johnnies and Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace.

After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.

Death shall have no dominion, and core Christian values must always have their place. Otherwise we become worse that those we seek to overcome.

Save Blackcock's Feather

I first saw my husband in Blackrock Baths. He was twenty two and I was eleven. If anyone told him then that he would marry that skinny kid with freckles, glasses and braces on her teeth he would probably have run a mile. Standing behind him was this other skinny kid, with an inverted chestbone and a nose the length of concord. He doesn’t remember this but everyone was laughing at the contrast. I made my choice there and then. Little did I know that this other kid would traipse around Dublin after me with his gob open and an unfilled, hungry desire in his eyes as he observed my every move.

I want to reopen the Blackrock Baths and drown him in there, in the kiddies pool half filled with piss.

Then I want to go up to the chipper in Georges Avenue and meet the Teddy Boys or maybe the Bay City Rollers – dangerous, maverick, and aloof - me any my cousin secretly thought they were gorgeous and went out of our way to walk by them feigning indifference but looking unbelievably grown up and seductive, or so we thought holding a bag of soggy chips. Except the skinny guy pretending he was Les McKeown – he was a total dick and I have spent the rest of my life avoiding his unwanted affections.

Please help me get this problem resolved for once and for all. If you have any old memories or him, or photographs, or Bay City Rollers memorabilia, please send them to Sydney Parade Avenue immediately. He has nothing to do on Saturday afternoons, as his wife has gone to play golf.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Keep the home fires buring - the real Irish diaspora

"I'm really worried about your friend from Brussels you know, if he doesn't get the thatch on his new (third) house before nightfall, his English breakfast will have gone awfully cold" repeated Vera, whose genuine Irish hospitality and warmth was something which Brusselsblue could no longer comprehend, having accepted d'Estaing's Euro several years ago.

Billy, don't be a hero

The absolute embarrassment of it all.

Thanks for talking to us, Mr. Deane

Fuck man - I've really no idea why I wasn't in the 1971 Soccer Stars in Action sticker book, now leave me alone will you, you bunch of Irish post-Celtic Tiger has-beens. Especially you, mate (ponting to Gerry).

Make-a-wish fulfils another kid's dream

Mike cheers because this is the first time he's been to Elland Road. Brian cheers because it's the last time he's going to Elland Road.