apolla: (Default)
I also found this that I never posted, written when I was on my solo Cork to Dublin Extravaganza back in August:

Sitting in Cork City Grieving a Close Stranger

I suppose I should be glad, in a bitter sort of way, that Ronnie Drew died the afternoon before I came to the far-famed land of my people.

The death of an old man is not a tragedy, but when that old man is one of the towering figures of Irish music... you might be able to see where I’m going. I won’t lie to you: when I clicked on BBC News Online yesterday at about six o’clock, I was already in a bit of a sad mood... and when I saw that Ronnie had bought it, I sat in front of the computer and cried. I wasn’t surprised, because your man had been ill two years – I got over the shock of it when I saw him on Irish TV with all his hair and famous beard gone from the chemo back in January.

Like all my favourite voices (and Ronnie is firmly in that group), I don’t remember hearing Ronnie the first time. I remember once being very young and stupid and hating Irish music. When I was a child, I associated Irish people, Irish music and Irish things with the Roman Catholic Church... and I detested the Church. The Irish in England are a very particular species of people and I didn’t realise that those people in the Church’s Family Centre weren’t representative of the entire gang. Fortunately, the love and pride and affection for Ireland were hard-coded and the yearning pulled me closer. Further away from the Church, but closer to Ireland.

Some years ago, I downloaded ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ by the Dubliners, probably because of Thin Lizzy. I didn’t like that particular version nearly as much as Lizzy’s... but I can tell you that something sparked in my brain.

An article about the Pogues in MOJO magazine helped, although I think it was before that when I downloaded some of their songs too... including at least two versions of ‘The Irish Rover’. I do remember loving the Pogues-Dubliners cover and I also remember not much liking another version by the Dubs. I remember wondering who the hell this guy was who was putting the emphasis on the wrong place on the refrain. He was singing Irrrr-ish Rover instead of Irish Rooo-ver. It wasn’t wrong, it was just different. That was Ronnie, you know. I’ve since rediscovered the version I think that was and I like it perfectly well.

Whatever it was, and whyever I searched for them, I ended up buying Spirit of the Irish at the now-gone music store in town – the same place I bought two little records called Led Zeppelin IV and Jailbreak.

Anyway, when I finally went to see my Jim in August 2004, I wasn’t listening to the Doors or to Lizzy or to Zeppelin or the Beatles. All the way from London to Paris and back, I listened to the Dubliners. It was Ronnie’s voice that pulled me in and his voice I fell in love with. The late, near-sainted Luke Kelly had a clear, wonderful voice which I really adore, but it was Ronnie’s deep, gravelly, coal-being-ground-underfoot voice that I really fell in love with. It was voice that sounded like it had been dug out of the earth of mother Ireland herself.

For all that, I never tried to find out who he really was. In some ways it seemed unimportant – you’d only to listen and know.

He didn’t give a fuck. He was absolutely himself whether it pissed people off or not. He was the towering measure of man that rebellious rock types hire PR companies to help with. The Dubliners weren’t solely responsible for the resurgence of Irish folk music, but they were the figureheads. Until yesterday afternoon, I had maintained the hope that Ronnie would return to the Dubs so I could see live the power he had. As it is, I’ll have to resign myself to two excellent shows by the (one of which I travelled to Dublin specifically for) without him

As is so often the case when a celebrity (for want of a better word), my grief is selfish. I shan’t get to see him, I won’t, I can’t... but I know that my slight sorrow is a pale reflection of a shadow of how his family and friends must feel.

Last year, in what might be called an ‘emotional state’, I compared how I felt about Jim to the agony of losing my granddad. If Ronnie’s family feel for him even a fraction of what I did for Granddad, they have my complete and most sincere condolences.

There was just a Ronnie Drew documentary on TV here and I’d never have seen it if I was in England. He was blunt, foul-mouthed, honest and fierce as fuck. It didn’t tell me much about the Dubs that I didn’t already know, but it was interesting to learn more about him. Sans beard, he almost reminded me a little of Granddad – but most people over 70 seem to do that these days.

Much as Cork seems like a nice little city, I really just want to get up to Dublin. I’ll be there on Tuesday, and when I get there I’ll find myself a pub, maybe O’Donoghue’s but maybe not. I shall buy a glass of something and raise it to Ronnie Drew.

I was listening to the Dubs on Saturday morning, just as I had been the day before. Ronnie’s performance of Sean O’Casey’s ‘Red Roses for Me’ makes me want to cry. His go at ‘The Parting Glass’ has done in the past.

There are songs best done by the Dubliners that I’ve myself performed or working on getting performance ready. They’re often songs that Luke sang because I have no chance of singing like Ronnie.

That said, I sang ‘Love Is Pleasing’ and it became a different song. In his hands it was cynical, tired and resigned. In mine it was probably plaintive. Whatever he sang it sounded honest, whether it was or not. I don’t know how. He sang as if he was just talking to you – that’s how much effort seemed to be put in – and yet it was always undeniably brilliant and familiar. His voice felt like it was an old friend, even if you’d never heard the song before.

The thing for me is the voice. A group can have a master guitarist, or a songwriter par excellence, or whatever their gimmick is... but if there’s not a great voice for me to latch onto, there’s little hope. I didn’t latch onto Ronnie’s voice, I clung to it for dear life.

I hope... I hope you understand what this is for me. It’s not just some old guy or some celebrity. This is one of an incredibly select group that I do not want to (probably cannot) exist without. Jim Morrison. Philip Lynott. Dean Martin. George Harrison. John Lennon. Dylan. Robert Plant. Ronnie Drew. That’s it. That’s all there is, of all the voices in the world. I could live without Luke Kelly, Steve Marriott, Lanza and Connick. I wouldn’t wither if I never heard Elvis again.

I’m really lucky – the death of Ronnie is not the death of his voice. That will go on, as far as I’m concerned, forever. But understand that the world just got a bit grimmer, less interesting and less honest.

I came to Ireland to celebrate the birthday of one dead Irish singer – I will have to add ‘mourn another’ to the list of things to do. Still, there really is nowhere I’d rather be for Ronnie. He really is one of Those Voices. He was before he died, will continue to be so after it.

Ronnie, may you be reunited with those you loved and lost, may you be given a good spot in the celestial house band. With all my gratitude and affection, Clare.

Cork City, Sunday 17th August 2008.

*

On the way to Cobh – Monday 18th August 2008

I always feel most English when I’m in Ireland. Mind you, I feel more Irish everywhere else...

For all my tricolour-waving, rebel-song-singing and entrenched disdain for The Empire, I’ll never really belong here. Not because I’m not Irish enough but because I’m too English. I was born in England to an Irish woman – I can only assume she returned to Ireland but have no absolute idea – and I was raised in England by people who were second and third generation – I don’t know for sure. My granny grew up in Derry before and after Partition but left in 1934 and never lived there again.

Maybe I’m part of the diaspora, I don’t know. I have no family left – anyone my mammy knew is dead or contact was lost forty years ago.

My personality has many what you might call ‘Irish’ traits. The fucking melancholy, for one. The gob on me. Some of my Irish traits have been ‘developed’ by me, some are just there. But I’m too English – I’m too uptight, too concerned with time, too closed off. That I may have taken these traits from my Granny is an irony not lost on me.

Question, then: that thing we call the Irish Personality – isn’t it just a stereotype? There are all sorts here – uptight bastards, blarney-peddling charmers, boozers, prohibitionists, nationalists, anglophiles, geniuses, bitches, bores, whores, users, losers, grafters, swindlers.

I love this country. I could’ve left it behind completely, been absolutely English. It was a choice I made to be Irish. I’ve had what basically amounts to racism flung at me (most notably by a teacher at school), but I chose to be this person. I’ll never truly, absolutely belong here, but I’ll never be truly at home in England either.

Maybe I should use my handy third option and bugger off to Croatia.

I don’t belong anywhere and never have... the closest thing is that tiny pocket of London where the Worleys have been for at least a century... but I don’t belong. It used to really bother me, but maybe... just possibly it means that I can see all sides as they really are. I’ve kept myself an outsider in so many years, and in this way it was foist upon me.

Maybe it’s liberating: if I don’t belong anywhere, I can take myself everywhere. For now, I’ll explore the motherland. One day I want to cycle the entire coast of Mother Ireland – this will take some time.

I am a Worley of St Luke’s, an O’Driscoll of Cork. I’m a Hassan of Derry, a Cobaich of Pula. I’m even a Hayward of Shoreditch, and even a Walsh of Galway.

Belonging is overrated and I’ll tell myself that until the aching goes away.

*

On arriving in the Black Pool, Tuesday 19th August 2008

It has to be said that I’ve felt the presence of some black clouds since Saturday. I can’t say it’s all because of the lately late Ronnie Drew, but that even certainly made me impatient to get back to Dublin. I must even admit that it hampered my ability to enjoy Cork – though the great exhaustion I felt surely played its part.

This is not to say I had a bad time – I had a good time, but I also felt the constant knowledge that it could’ve (should’ve) been better. I will certainly return there – possibly with friends.

Now, I’ve been in Dublin for just over an hour. I got on the bus from Heuston Station, checked into my room, almost bought an Elmo cuddly toy (baulked at the price), and did buy my dad some tea, my mammy come coffee and I now sit in possibly my favourite restaurant in the entire world, Gallagher’s Boxty House.

And for the first time since Saturday, I feel something akin to joy. Sure, wasn’t I smiling as I crossed Dame Street into Temple Bar? Didn’t I grin up at Philip and Luke as I passed the Music Wall of Fame?

I love all of Ireland, the bits I’ve seen and the bits I haven’t. There are few places though, that give me such a smile as Dublin can. It’s changed, even in the few years since I’ve been coming here, but I think a sizeable slice of my heart will always belong to her.

It’s Philip’s city after all. When I’m done with boxty I’ll head north over the Liffey to the Collins Barracks. Later, I’ll get a new O’Driscoll keyring and go see Philo’s statue. Tomorrow is his birthday and I’ll go and see himself out in Sutton. By the end of tomorrow, though, I’ll be back in London. I very much suspect that I’ll have lost this joy I feel right now.

“I’ve been spending my time in the Old Town... It’s not the same honey, now you’re not around...”

*



apolla: (Default)
I also found this that I never posted, written when I was on my solo Cork to Dublin Extravaganza back in August:

Sitting in Cork City Grieving a Close Stranger

I suppose I should be glad, in a bitter sort of way, that Ronnie Drew died the afternoon before I came to the far-famed land of my people.

The death of an old man is not a tragedy, but when that old man is one of the towering figures of Irish music... you might be able to see where I’m going. I won’t lie to you: when I clicked on BBC News Online yesterday at about six o’clock, I was already in a bit of a sad mood... and when I saw that Ronnie had bought it, I sat in front of the computer and cried. I wasn’t surprised, because your man had been ill two years – I got over the shock of it when I saw him on Irish TV with all his hair and famous beard gone from the chemo back in January.

Like all my favourite voices (and Ronnie is firmly in that group), I don’t remember hearing Ronnie the first time. I remember once being very young and stupid and hating Irish music. When I was a child, I associated Irish people, Irish music and Irish things with the Roman Catholic Church... and I detested the Church. The Irish in England are a very particular species of people and I didn’t realise that those people in the Church’s Family Centre weren’t representative of the entire gang. Fortunately, the love and pride and affection for Ireland were hard-coded and the yearning pulled me closer. Further away from the Church, but closer to Ireland.

Some years ago, I downloaded ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ by the Dubliners, probably because of Thin Lizzy. I didn’t like that particular version nearly as much as Lizzy’s... but I can tell you that something sparked in my brain.

An article about the Pogues in MOJO magazine helped, although I think it was before that when I downloaded some of their songs too... including at least two versions of ‘The Irish Rover’. I do remember loving the Pogues-Dubliners cover and I also remember not much liking another version by the Dubs. I remember wondering who the hell this guy was who was putting the emphasis on the wrong place on the refrain. He was singing Irrrr-ish Rover instead of Irish Rooo-ver. It wasn’t wrong, it was just different. That was Ronnie, you know. I’ve since rediscovered the version I think that was and I like it perfectly well.

Whatever it was, and whyever I searched for them, I ended up buying Spirit of the Irish at the now-gone music store in town – the same place I bought two little records called Led Zeppelin IV and Jailbreak.

Anyway, when I finally went to see my Jim in August 2004, I wasn’t listening to the Doors or to Lizzy or to Zeppelin or the Beatles. All the way from London to Paris and back, I listened to the Dubliners. It was Ronnie’s voice that pulled me in and his voice I fell in love with. The late, near-sainted Luke Kelly had a clear, wonderful voice which I really adore, but it was Ronnie’s deep, gravelly, coal-being-ground-underfoot voice that I really fell in love with. It was voice that sounded like it had been dug out of the earth of mother Ireland herself.

For all that, I never tried to find out who he really was. In some ways it seemed unimportant – you’d only to listen and know.

He didn’t give a fuck. He was absolutely himself whether it pissed people off or not. He was the towering measure of man that rebellious rock types hire PR companies to help with. The Dubliners weren’t solely responsible for the resurgence of Irish folk music, but they were the figureheads. Until yesterday afternoon, I had maintained the hope that Ronnie would return to the Dubs so I could see live the power he had. As it is, I’ll have to resign myself to two excellent shows by the (one of which I travelled to Dublin specifically for) without him

As is so often the case when a celebrity (for want of a better word), my grief is selfish. I shan’t get to see him, I won’t, I can’t... but I know that my slight sorrow is a pale reflection of a shadow of how his family and friends must feel.

Last year, in what might be called an ‘emotional state’, I compared how I felt about Jim to the agony of losing my granddad. If Ronnie’s family feel for him even a fraction of what I did for Granddad, they have my complete and most sincere condolences.

There was just a Ronnie Drew documentary on TV here and I’d never have seen it if I was in England. He was blunt, foul-mouthed, honest and fierce as fuck. It didn’t tell me much about the Dubs that I didn’t already know, but it was interesting to learn more about him. Sans beard, he almost reminded me a little of Granddad – but most people over 70 seem to do that these days.

Much as Cork seems like a nice little city, I really just want to get up to Dublin. I’ll be there on Tuesday, and when I get there I’ll find myself a pub, maybe O’Donoghue’s but maybe not. I shall buy a glass of something and raise it to Ronnie Drew.

I was listening to the Dubs on Saturday morning, just as I had been the day before. Ronnie’s performance of Sean O’Casey’s ‘Red Roses for Me’ makes me want to cry. His go at ‘The Parting Glass’ has done in the past.

There are songs best done by the Dubliners that I’ve myself performed or working on getting performance ready. They’re often songs that Luke sang because I have no chance of singing like Ronnie.

That said, I sang ‘Love Is Pleasing’ and it became a different song. In his hands it was cynical, tired and resigned. In mine it was probably plaintive. Whatever he sang it sounded honest, whether it was or not. I don’t know how. He sang as if he was just talking to you – that’s how much effort seemed to be put in – and yet it was always undeniably brilliant and familiar. His voice felt like it was an old friend, even if you’d never heard the song before.

The thing for me is the voice. A group can have a master guitarist, or a songwriter par excellence, or whatever their gimmick is... but if there’s not a great voice for me to latch onto, there’s little hope. I didn’t latch onto Ronnie’s voice, I clung to it for dear life.

I hope... I hope you understand what this is for me. It’s not just some old guy or some celebrity. This is one of an incredibly select group that I do not want to (probably cannot) exist without. Jim Morrison. Philip Lynott. Dean Martin. George Harrison. John Lennon. Dylan. Robert Plant. Ronnie Drew. That’s it. That’s all there is, of all the voices in the world. I could live without Luke Kelly, Steve Marriott, Lanza and Connick. I wouldn’t wither if I never heard Elvis again.

I’m really lucky – the death of Ronnie is not the death of his voice. That will go on, as far as I’m concerned, forever. But understand that the world just got a bit grimmer, less interesting and less honest.

I came to Ireland to celebrate the birthday of one dead Irish singer – I will have to add ‘mourn another’ to the list of things to do. Still, there really is nowhere I’d rather be for Ronnie. He really is one of Those Voices. He was before he died, will continue to be so after it.

Ronnie, may you be reunited with those you loved and lost, may you be given a good spot in the celestial house band. With all my gratitude and affection, Clare.

Cork City, Sunday 17th August 2008.

*

On the way to Cobh – Monday 18th August 2008

I always feel most English when I’m in Ireland. Mind you, I feel more Irish everywhere else...

For all my tricolour-waving, rebel-song-singing and entrenched disdain for The Empire, I’ll never really belong here. Not because I’m not Irish enough but because I’m too English. I was born in England to an Irish woman – I can only assume she returned to Ireland but have no absolute idea – and I was raised in England by people who were second and third generation – I don’t know for sure. My granny grew up in Derry before and after Partition but left in 1934 and never lived there again.

Maybe I’m part of the diaspora, I don’t know. I have no family left – anyone my mammy knew is dead or contact was lost forty years ago.

My personality has many what you might call ‘Irish’ traits. The fucking melancholy, for one. The gob on me. Some of my Irish traits have been ‘developed’ by me, some are just there. But I’m too English – I’m too uptight, too concerned with time, too closed off. That I may have taken these traits from my Granny is an irony not lost on me.

Question, then: that thing we call the Irish Personality – isn’t it just a stereotype? There are all sorts here – uptight bastards, blarney-peddling charmers, boozers, prohibitionists, nationalists, anglophiles, geniuses, bitches, bores, whores, users, losers, grafters, swindlers.

I love this country. I could’ve left it behind completely, been absolutely English. It was a choice I made to be Irish. I’ve had what basically amounts to racism flung at me (most notably by a teacher at school), but I chose to be this person. I’ll never truly, absolutely belong here, but I’ll never be truly at home in England either.

Maybe I should use my handy third option and bugger off to Croatia.

I don’t belong anywhere and never have... the closest thing is that tiny pocket of London where the Worleys have been for at least a century... but I don’t belong. It used to really bother me, but maybe... just possibly it means that I can see all sides as they really are. I’ve kept myself an outsider in so many years, and in this way it was foist upon me.

Maybe it’s liberating: if I don’t belong anywhere, I can take myself everywhere. For now, I’ll explore the motherland. One day I want to cycle the entire coast of Mother Ireland – this will take some time.

I am a Worley of St Luke’s, an O’Driscoll of Cork. I’m a Hassan of Derry, a Cobaich of Pula. I’m even a Hayward of Shoreditch, and even a Walsh of Galway.

Belonging is overrated and I’ll tell myself that until the aching goes away.

*

On arriving in the Black Pool, Tuesday 19th August 2008

It has to be said that I’ve felt the presence of some black clouds since Saturday. I can’t say it’s all because of the lately late Ronnie Drew, but that even certainly made me impatient to get back to Dublin. I must even admit that it hampered my ability to enjoy Cork – though the great exhaustion I felt surely played its part.

This is not to say I had a bad time – I had a good time, but I also felt the constant knowledge that it could’ve (should’ve) been better. I will certainly return there – possibly with friends.

Now, I’ve been in Dublin for just over an hour. I got on the bus from Heuston Station, checked into my room, almost bought an Elmo cuddly toy (baulked at the price), and did buy my dad some tea, my mammy come coffee and I now sit in possibly my favourite restaurant in the entire world, Gallagher’s Boxty House.

And for the first time since Saturday, I feel something akin to joy. Sure, wasn’t I smiling as I crossed Dame Street into Temple Bar? Didn’t I grin up at Philip and Luke as I passed the Music Wall of Fame?

I love all of Ireland, the bits I’ve seen and the bits I haven’t. There are few places though, that give me such a smile as Dublin can. It’s changed, even in the few years since I’ve been coming here, but I think a sizeable slice of my heart will always belong to her.

It’s Philip’s city after all. When I’m done with boxty I’ll head north over the Liffey to the Collins Barracks. Later, I’ll get a new O’Driscoll keyring and go see Philo’s statue. Tomorrow is his birthday and I’ll go and see himself out in Sutton. By the end of tomorrow, though, I’ll be back in London. I very much suspect that I’ll have lost this joy I feel right now.

“I’ve been spending my time in the Old Town... It’s not the same honey, now you’re not around...”

*



apolla: (Default)
Ages ago, maybe early 2007 maybe earlier, I bought a song on iTunes called 'Born on the Wrong Side of Time'. I liked it but hardly listened to it unless it came up on shuffle. You might say I appreciated the sentiments.

I'd heard of the performer along the long road they call the rock historical world; had heard his name get checked in a live version of a Thin Lizzy song called 'Sugar Blues'.

If you've been hanging out with me long enough, you can see where this is going. You might be shaking your head sadly because you know where it's going, where it will go and what'll happen to me in the meantime.

I was in Cork this summer. It was a cold, wet day that one expects from Mother Ireland. I was wandering, had wandered and would continue to wander through the Huguenot Quarter and so forth. I was soaking wet, cold, getting towards tired and hungry, was listening to my iPod. I'd probably just come back from the main city museum. My feet ached, I know that much. I was still mourning Ronnie Drew, so I was listening to the Dubliners almost incessantly. I was keeping Thin Lizzy for when I was in Dublin for Philip's birthday, like.

As I turned the corner, I think to go to Tesco's for some food and I saw that the square I was in is called Rory Gallagher Place. For some reason, cold, wet, hungry and weary though I was, I turned in the opposite direction to go to HMV. There I marched straight to the G section and within about two minutes (less if I hadn't stopped to admire the massive Ronnie Drew 'inspirations' poster they had. It's Nora by Sean O'Casey if you care) I walked out having purchased The Essential Rory Gallagher. I couldn't play it of course, until I got home. It went straight on the iPod. I figured if I was going to buy a Rory Gallagher CD anywhere, it should be in Cork.

Since August, I've been fighting a pointless and vain battle against what has come. On and off, and more on, I've been listening to my Rory playlist. Certain songs, particularly, at first. 'Moonchild' and the first song of his I truly loved, 'Barley and Grape Rag'. If I have a Christmas gig to perform at this year, I'll be singing that. Incidentally, it turns out that my own loved Dubliners have covered the song although I can't find it online.

I've been joking that that the last thing I need is another dead Irish musician to care about since then. Problem is, I already do. I realised when I started watching Rory videos on YouTube earlier: I already care. It's already fucking happened.

He was amazing. I mean honestly, I don't know why he's not mentioned more in the annals of Great Rock Guitarists (not even on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 best, although they're fucking idiots generally). He could play pretty much everything and anything, although it seems his heart belonged to the blues. His voice isn't anything special but it's unmistakably his. There are songs on that Essential that have moved me more than anything since... since Philip's little band tore my heart of my chest and refused to give it back when I ask. I must have looked and sounded a sight when I walked home last night, screaming along to 'I Could've Had Religion' as I walked through Holborn. I didn't care.

Not add Rory to The List? I'd have more luck trying to hold back the tide in the Severn Estuary. Not take Rory to heart? That battle was lost when I bought that CD. It was probably lost back when I heard Philip yell "the Rory Gallagher Blues!" during Sugar Blues live.

The music of Rory Gallagher makes me feel alive. That's the thing. I knew it had happened about two hours ago when I started checking out the Rory vids on YouTube and I got that feeling... that terrible, too-familiar feeling. The pull, the grip, whatever it is... that quiet melancholy of "Bloody hell, he was wonderful and he's gone and I'm too late." It's the feeling that I'd cry for the loss if I wasn't too busy smiling at the brilliance. Like when the only thing that stopped me feeling sad that George was dead back in 2001 was George himself.

You know, it's the same thing I had in 1997 for John Lennon and the Chosen Ones since. Just this Friday I told someone that it had to stop, this ridiculous clinging to people who don't and never have and never would have given a damn about me... the constant looking to them for whatever it is... the incessant reaching for a past that I can never, ever reach. A mere five days later it would appear that I've caved to another.

It was bound to happen: only last week I started reading a book about Bill Hicks to discover that he listened to Rory's album Deuce so often that his copy of it wore out. It can't be too bad to join a club Bill was signed up to... can it?

I don't think I have the energy or the strength to go through this again. I cannot become obssessed again, I cannot become consumed. Please. If you see me buying books about Rory, kick me in the shins. I'll probably buy a couple of the records at HMV, but please don't let me fall down the hole again.

Isn't it funny that I say that as if I have a choice? I didn't before, why should now be any different. I don't learn. I don't change. I'll fall down the hole, I'll drink when the label says so and the Walrus and the Carpenter will have me, just like always.

Fuck.
apolla: (Default)
Ages ago, maybe early 2007 maybe earlier, I bought a song on iTunes called 'Born on the Wrong Side of Time'. I liked it but hardly listened to it unless it came up on shuffle. You might say I appreciated the sentiments.

I'd heard of the performer along the long road they call the rock historical world; had heard his name get checked in a live version of a Thin Lizzy song called 'Sugar Blues'.

If you've been hanging out with me long enough, you can see where this is going. You might be shaking your head sadly because you know where it's going, where it will go and what'll happen to me in the meantime.

I was in Cork this summer. It was a cold, wet day that one expects from Mother Ireland. I was wandering, had wandered and would continue to wander through the Huguenot Quarter and so forth. I was soaking wet, cold, getting towards tired and hungry, was listening to my iPod. I'd probably just come back from the main city museum. My feet ached, I know that much. I was still mourning Ronnie Drew, so I was listening to the Dubliners almost incessantly. I was keeping Thin Lizzy for when I was in Dublin for Philip's birthday, like.

As I turned the corner, I think to go to Tesco's for some food and I saw that the square I was in is called Rory Gallagher Place. For some reason, cold, wet, hungry and weary though I was, I turned in the opposite direction to go to HMV. There I marched straight to the G section and within about two minutes (less if I hadn't stopped to admire the massive Ronnie Drew 'inspirations' poster they had. It's Nora by Sean O'Casey if you care) I walked out having purchased The Essential Rory Gallagher. I couldn't play it of course, until I got home. It went straight on the iPod. I figured if I was going to buy a Rory Gallagher CD anywhere, it should be in Cork.

Since August, I've been fighting a pointless and vain battle against what has come. On and off, and more on, I've been listening to my Rory playlist. Certain songs, particularly, at first. 'Moonchild' and the first song of his I truly loved, 'Barley and Grape Rag'. If I have a Christmas gig to perform at this year, I'll be singing that. Incidentally, it turns out that my own loved Dubliners have covered the song although I can't find it online.

I've been joking that that the last thing I need is another dead Irish musician to care about since then. Problem is, I already do. I realised when I started watching Rory videos on YouTube earlier: I already care. It's already fucking happened.

He was amazing. I mean honestly, I don't know why he's not mentioned more in the annals of Great Rock Guitarists (not even on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 best, although they're fucking idiots generally). He could play pretty much everything and anything, although it seems his heart belonged to the blues. His voice isn't anything special but it's unmistakably his. There are songs on that Essential that have moved me more than anything since... since Philip's little band tore my heart of my chest and refused to give it back when I ask. I must have looked and sounded a sight when I walked home last night, screaming along to 'I Could've Had Religion' as I walked through Holborn. I didn't care.

Not add Rory to The List? I'd have more luck trying to hold back the tide in the Severn Estuary. Not take Rory to heart? That battle was lost when I bought that CD. It was probably lost back when I heard Philip yell "the Rory Gallagher Blues!" during Sugar Blues live.

The music of Rory Gallagher makes me feel alive. That's the thing. I knew it had happened about two hours ago when I started checking out the Rory vids on YouTube and I got that feeling... that terrible, too-familiar feeling. The pull, the grip, whatever it is... that quiet melancholy of "Bloody hell, he was wonderful and he's gone and I'm too late." It's the feeling that I'd cry for the loss if I wasn't too busy smiling at the brilliance. Like when the only thing that stopped me feeling sad that George was dead back in 2001 was George himself.

You know, it's the same thing I had in 1997 for John Lennon and the Chosen Ones since. Just this Friday I told someone that it had to stop, this ridiculous clinging to people who don't and never have and never would have given a damn about me... the constant looking to them for whatever it is... the incessant reaching for a past that I can never, ever reach. A mere five days later it would appear that I've caved to another.

It was bound to happen: only last week I started reading a book about Bill Hicks to discover that he listened to Rory's album Deuce so often that his copy of it wore out. It can't be too bad to join a club Bill was signed up to... can it?

I don't think I have the energy or the strength to go through this again. I cannot become obssessed again, I cannot become consumed. Please. If you see me buying books about Rory, kick me in the shins. I'll probably buy a couple of the records at HMV, but please don't let me fall down the hole again.

Isn't it funny that I say that as if I have a choice? I didn't before, why should now be any different. I don't learn. I don't change. I'll fall down the hole, I'll drink when the label says so and the Walrus and the Carpenter will have me, just like always.

Fuck.

(no subject)

Friday, 10 October 2008 21:00
apolla: (Default)
I realised something earlier, reading my Facebook news page. One of my old friends had been to Hawaii - another two had just been to Mexico. Another lives in Australia. Rich, of course, seems to spend most of his life clambering around the world in neon Shoreditch Shades. Dearest[livejournal.com profile] marquiserachel has been back from Peru about two months. 

This is nothing particularly outstanding really. Everyone is, as far as I know, in that delightful state of being in their mid-twenties, presumably having had at least a half-decent job for awhile, without silly things like children to suck away their money. Many of them are in two-salary homes or have friends they like well enough to travel the globe with.

Once upon a time, I wanted to see the world. Really I did. I loved America and longed to see its all. This was before Bush, before the war. I wanted to see the great sights of the world. Then I did something that in hindsight might have actually been very stupid.

I went to Ireland.

At the time, it felt like I couldn't get there soon enough. It felt like I'd already missed out by not being there. I was twenty-two when I first, at last, and finally, made it there. I went to Dublin with my mother. Then about three months later I went again with Ebony. A few months after that, I went with Rachel. In January 2006 I went with Natasha. I managed to go over a year without Ireland before I caved and went to see the Dubliners there in July 2007.

This year, I couldn't handle it. Despite being booked on a holiday to Co Kerry in September, I couldn't stay away and made my excuses and headed to Cork and Dublin in August. At the moment, I'm on the verge of going again in December, just to see Thin Lizzy. Technically, because I've seen their current Sykes/Gorham incarnation twice before, I'd be going to see Scott Gorham's beard. So far, I haven't booked anything but the two days off from work which I think says a great deal about my willpower.

I have not lost my desire to see the world, really I haven't. Unfortunately, my desire to see Ireland first trumps everything. I've been to Detroit, Florence, Venice and Pula since first seeing Dublin and I loved each of them. Did I go to Rome before Dublin? I can't remember.

Now, I don't have much in the way of money, certainly not since Granddad died and I suddenly became responsible for all those bill things. I'm on my own, so am either dependent on going with family, persuading friends (and I've exhausted, I think, the list of people willing to come to Ireland with me) or being incredibly frugal and going alone as I did for the Corkublin Extravaganza. At least the country I love so well is nearby and therefore sort-of-cheap.

Actually, Ireland's really fucking expensive, but I pay my money and make my choice, right?

I suppose I'm more concerned that my desire to see the world has been almost quashed by Ireland. I mean, I know that nothing can compare to Ireland as far as I'm concerned.

Watching Who Do You Think You Are? lately has got me thinking: what if I'm not really all that Irish after all? It's a bit of a ridiculous notion, knowing what I do, but maybe not that ridiculous. Then again, I also know that my love and devotion to Ireland are not dependent on some spurious 'genetic' link to the place. If I'm told tomorrow that I'm actually Welsh, or Scottish, or Italian or heavens forfend, English... then that does not change the way I felt mountain biking in Killarney, or that warmth I have when I'm in Philip's town. That can't be taken away from me by anyone.

When I was a teenager, I got quite involved in the whole "Well, I'm actually Italian as well" thing. Suddenly all the stories I wrote featured characters with names like Alessandra or Apollonia (see my long-time screenname, right?). And I am, just a little bit, Italo-Croat. I loved Pula because it's my grandmother's town, loved Istria because it's beautiful and was desperately sad because I was there without the old man.

Speaking of, my granddad used to tell me that I wouldn't like living in Ireland. He was quite certain about it, but was always quite vague when I asked why. Perhaps he was thinking of the Republic he knew in the forties, when he'd have to be sure he was completely out of military wear when going from the barracks in Ballymena down to Dublin. I can only assume that with his London accent he was treated in a particular way. Maybe he was thinking of the Ireland of now, though, and was right. I hope not.

Have I ever told you the real reason I always wanted to be rich and famous? It's not for adulation, nor even to be thrown in the way of Handsome Movie Stars That Will Remain Nameless. No, it was so I could afford to disappear to some remote part of Ireland. As we were driving around Kerry, I was trying to explain that pretty though the houses we could see on the sides of hills were, the fact that we could see them rendered them not remote enough. I suppose then, what I want is just the riches... not for their own sake, but to give me my Ireland.

I want to be able to disappear there, knowing as I do that I will never truly belong there. I feel it every time I'm there. I'm never more fucking English than when I'm in Ireland, irony of fucking ironies. Of course, I enjoy irony and sod's law, so I can't feel too down about it. I have an English sense of punctuality and that sort of closed-off way of being.

Another irony: that closed off thing? That finds-it-hard-to-talk-to-humans thing? I think I probably learned it from Granny who was, of course, Irish. Mind you, she grew up in the North and They Do Things Differently There. I used to ask her all the time what it was like to be a girl there, because I've always been so fucking proud of being fucking Irish.

Proving of course, that I'm Diaspora Irish. I was proud of it when it wasn't really fashionable: when 'our' people were blowing up Canary Wharf, and Bishopsgate and Warrington and Manchester. When I was very young, Irish people were terrorists, case closed. Even when I was wound up by those bloody London Irish Catholics (a whole separate sub-species, I swear to fucking God) and wished they'd bugger off - or rather, that I could leave Church and bugger off myself - I was proud of being Irish. Not because of the terrorist bastards who have torn apart so many lives, but in spite of.

I never felt like I belonged in Hertfordshire. I was a London child, but I was Irish too. Now, I know that a fair number of the other kids had a decent amount of it going on too, but it mattered to me. It was important to me. Some of the exclusion was done to me, but I suppose I kept myself apart. I suppose I didn't want to get too attached to the place when what I really wanted was to be in London and/or Ireland.

It's always been there, man, just waiting dormant. Waiting for me to find Ronnie Drew. Waiting for Luke Kelly, and Sweeney's Men. Waiting for me to understand how to feel when handed the Lakes of Killarney. Waiting for me to find my most beloved, so very much missed Philip. Waiting for me to be ready for it, I suppose.

By coming to Ireland so 'late', I think I've been able to see it fairly. I don't need to say it's the best place in the world ever: I understand that it's imperfect but I can say it's my favourite place. I don't have to close my eyes to the bad bits to love it. I still have that ridiculous thing of tearing up when a lachrymose auld Oirish song comes on my iPod - it happened today actually with a song called 'My Heart's Tonight In Ireland' and when I realised that the melody of 'The Minstrel Boy' must have been hard-coded in my brain somewhere a long time ago.

I'll never absolutely belong in Ireland but that might just be OK. I love her just the same.

(no subject)

Friday, 10 October 2008 21:00
apolla: (Default)
I realised something earlier, reading my Facebook news page. One of my old friends had been to Hawaii - another two had just been to Mexico. Another lives in Australia. Rich, of course, seems to spend most of his life clambering around the world in neon Shoreditch Shades. Dearest[livejournal.com profile] marquiserachel has been back from Peru about two months. 

This is nothing particularly outstanding really. Everyone is, as far as I know, in that delightful state of being in their mid-twenties, presumably having had at least a half-decent job for awhile, without silly things like children to suck away their money. Many of them are in two-salary homes or have friends they like well enough to travel the globe with.

Once upon a time, I wanted to see the world. Really I did. I loved America and longed to see its all. This was before Bush, before the war. I wanted to see the great sights of the world. Then I did something that in hindsight might have actually been very stupid.

I went to Ireland.

At the time, it felt like I couldn't get there soon enough. It felt like I'd already missed out by not being there. I was twenty-two when I first, at last, and finally, made it there. I went to Dublin with my mother. Then about three months later I went again with Ebony. A few months after that, I went with Rachel. In January 2006 I went with Natasha. I managed to go over a year without Ireland before I caved and went to see the Dubliners there in July 2007.

This year, I couldn't handle it. Despite being booked on a holiday to Co Kerry in September, I couldn't stay away and made my excuses and headed to Cork and Dublin in August. At the moment, I'm on the verge of going again in December, just to see Thin Lizzy. Technically, because I've seen their current Sykes/Gorham incarnation twice before, I'd be going to see Scott Gorham's beard. So far, I haven't booked anything but the two days off from work which I think says a great deal about my willpower.

I have not lost my desire to see the world, really I haven't. Unfortunately, my desire to see Ireland first trumps everything. I've been to Detroit, Florence, Venice and Pula since first seeing Dublin and I loved each of them. Did I go to Rome before Dublin? I can't remember.

Now, I don't have much in the way of money, certainly not since Granddad died and I suddenly became responsible for all those bill things. I'm on my own, so am either dependent on going with family, persuading friends (and I've exhausted, I think, the list of people willing to come to Ireland with me) or being incredibly frugal and going alone as I did for the Corkublin Extravaganza. At least the country I love so well is nearby and therefore sort-of-cheap.

Actually, Ireland's really fucking expensive, but I pay my money and make my choice, right?

I suppose I'm more concerned that my desire to see the world has been almost quashed by Ireland. I mean, I know that nothing can compare to Ireland as far as I'm concerned.

Watching Who Do You Think You Are? lately has got me thinking: what if I'm not really all that Irish after all? It's a bit of a ridiculous notion, knowing what I do, but maybe not that ridiculous. Then again, I also know that my love and devotion to Ireland are not dependent on some spurious 'genetic' link to the place. If I'm told tomorrow that I'm actually Welsh, or Scottish, or Italian or heavens forfend, English... then that does not change the way I felt mountain biking in Killarney, or that warmth I have when I'm in Philip's town. That can't be taken away from me by anyone.

When I was a teenager, I got quite involved in the whole "Well, I'm actually Italian as well" thing. Suddenly all the stories I wrote featured characters with names like Alessandra or Apollonia (see my long-time screenname, right?). And I am, just a little bit, Italo-Croat. I loved Pula because it's my grandmother's town, loved Istria because it's beautiful and was desperately sad because I was there without the old man.

Speaking of, my granddad used to tell me that I wouldn't like living in Ireland. He was quite certain about it, but was always quite vague when I asked why. Perhaps he was thinking of the Republic he knew in the forties, when he'd have to be sure he was completely out of military wear when going from the barracks in Ballymena down to Dublin. I can only assume that with his London accent he was treated in a particular way. Maybe he was thinking of the Ireland of now, though, and was right. I hope not.

Have I ever told you the real reason I always wanted to be rich and famous? It's not for adulation, nor even to be thrown in the way of Handsome Movie Stars That Will Remain Nameless. No, it was so I could afford to disappear to some remote part of Ireland. As we were driving around Kerry, I was trying to explain that pretty though the houses we could see on the sides of hills were, the fact that we could see them rendered them not remote enough. I suppose then, what I want is just the riches... not for their own sake, but to give me my Ireland.

I want to be able to disappear there, knowing as I do that I will never truly belong there. I feel it every time I'm there. I'm never more fucking English than when I'm in Ireland, irony of fucking ironies. Of course, I enjoy irony and sod's law, so I can't feel too down about it. I have an English sense of punctuality and that sort of closed-off way of being.

Another irony: that closed off thing? That finds-it-hard-to-talk-to-humans thing? I think I probably learned it from Granny who was, of course, Irish. Mind you, she grew up in the North and They Do Things Differently There. I used to ask her all the time what it was like to be a girl there, because I've always been so fucking proud of being fucking Irish.

Proving of course, that I'm Diaspora Irish. I was proud of it when it wasn't really fashionable: when 'our' people were blowing up Canary Wharf, and Bishopsgate and Warrington and Manchester. When I was very young, Irish people were terrorists, case closed. Even when I was wound up by those bloody London Irish Catholics (a whole separate sub-species, I swear to fucking God) and wished they'd bugger off - or rather, that I could leave Church and bugger off myself - I was proud of being Irish. Not because of the terrorist bastards who have torn apart so many lives, but in spite of.

I never felt like I belonged in Hertfordshire. I was a London child, but I was Irish too. Now, I know that a fair number of the other kids had a decent amount of it going on too, but it mattered to me. It was important to me. Some of the exclusion was done to me, but I suppose I kept myself apart. I suppose I didn't want to get too attached to the place when what I really wanted was to be in London and/or Ireland.

It's always been there, man, just waiting dormant. Waiting for me to find Ronnie Drew. Waiting for Luke Kelly, and Sweeney's Men. Waiting for me to understand how to feel when handed the Lakes of Killarney. Waiting for me to find my most beloved, so very much missed Philip. Waiting for me to be ready for it, I suppose.

By coming to Ireland so 'late', I think I've been able to see it fairly. I don't need to say it's the best place in the world ever: I understand that it's imperfect but I can say it's my favourite place. I don't have to close my eyes to the bad bits to love it. I still have that ridiculous thing of tearing up when a lachrymose auld Oirish song comes on my iPod - it happened today actually with a song called 'My Heart's Tonight In Ireland' and when I realised that the melody of 'The Minstrel Boy' must have been hard-coded in my brain somewhere a long time ago.

I'll never absolutely belong in Ireland but that might just be OK. I love her just the same.

apolla: (OTP)
This time last Sunday, I was curled up in a bed in Cork City watching RTE One. Now, I'm in my own living room watching a really, really old Miss Marple. It's from 1985, according to The Great Wiki.

I miss Ireland so much that I actually started missing it about six hours before I left. Anyway, I had a perfectly nice time although I didn't do as much as I wanted to. Holidays on your own are a bit weird, also, but I liked being able to do exactly what I wanted to.

*

Went to some movies while I was in Dublin. I started off thinking I'd just go see The Mummy 3 but it was so awful that I ended up marching straight back into the box office and getting myself a ticket for Mamma Mia also. Then the next day I was so knackered that I killed some time by catching The Dark Knight a second time.

The Mummy 3 is so absolutely fucking awful that for the first time ever I considered leaving the cinema. I didn't, if only cos I'd spent 9 euro on the ticket. It is so beyond bad... Remember what we all loved about the first two movies? It was ALL thrown out of this movie to be replaced with absolute tosh. Alex is so absolutely different (in all sorts of bad ways) that he might as well be someone else. Maria Bello is all right but not exactly awe-inspiring... and somehow insipid next to the old Evy O'Connell.

When we were first introduced to Evy Carnahan, she was a dowdy, clumsy librarian to be sure... but she had her dreams and her aspirations. She knew she was going to have great adventures, and went after them. I loved her in The Mummy Returns because she'd blossomed into this wonderful, feisty, successful lady. It was a mark of how interesting and rounded she was that when it turns out she was the reincarnation/descendant of an ancient Egyptian princess, it made a certain amount of sense. It was OK, you know? Not Mary-Sueish.

Maria Bello's Evy was... suburban. I found it hard to believe that this Evy had been a spy or whatever during the war. She exhibited none of the spark of the 'real' Evy... and none of the depth of knowledge, the sense, that the old one had. I don't think it's entirely Maria Bello's fault - the story and the script were the kind of cack you'd expect from anything else, not the Mummy movies.

Rick was OK. He was the same old, same old. He was fine, although doesn't seem to have aged at all since, you know, the thirties!

Alex. This is what made me really, really pissed off. I don't care that they skipped ahead so that he was basically an adult now. I don't care, really I don't., What I really hated though, was that they took the once precocious, intelligent, thoughtful little boy with an English accent... and turned him into a gun-loving, brutish dolt with no sensitivity and an American accent. Where'd he pick that up, exactly?

I could almost believe that Rick and Alex had some sort of falling out, or drifiting apart since the second movie - but Rick had no problem showing the old Alex affection. Clearly Rick knew that the New Alex was an idiot and wanted the old one back.

Add in a few tired cliches: the handy pilot that Rick already knew, the mummy's henchman - and some new nonsense: the chemistry-less romantic subplot, a vaguely interesting subplot between the general and the witchy woman - and it's basically shit.

There were a few things I liked, but they weren't used - they were at SHANGRI-LA and they just switched to the Great Wall instead! The General guy was there, brought back, and yet nothing was done with it except to explain why those mummies don't kill Rick and 'Evy'.

It was one of those movies that basically shouldn't have ever been made... but to make it so badly is unforgivable.

[personal profile] logansrogue: DON'T WATCH IT!!

*

Mamma Mia was OK. It took me a long time (at least half the movie) to get into it. The singing was adequate but not excellent, the dancing was lacklustre and the scenery was the best thing of the whole movie. I didn't dislike it, certainly.

I have issues with Abba anyway. When I was about ten, I really got into them - I wanted that red spiky hair that Frida had in the latter days. I even saw Abba: The Movie more than once. Problem was, at the first music lesson we had at secondary school we were asked what music we liked. I said, without shame: Abba. This was 1993 and they were not held in the esteem they now possess. This was 1993, before they became cool again, before Mamma Mia and dozens of shit weekend TV programmes featuring 'celebrities' talking about and performing Abba songs. This is before they were on the cover of MOJO magazine and before they were being called 'perfect pop'.

Still, this was before X-Factor and Popstars, so there wasn't anything truly, truly heinous to compare them to.

This would be fine... except that this one answer to one question shaped, more than almost anything, the way my scholastic career was to pan out. 'Abbafan' became a great insult and it was flung at me time and time again. Sure, my wearing of shocking pink baseball boots a few weeks later was to make things worse... but that one answer to one question set the scene. I'm sure I would've had a miserable seven years even if I'd answered 'rave music' like so many of the others. At the time I remember thinking: "You're eleven fucking years old, you don't go to fucking raves, you lying fuck."

Incidentally, those shocking pink Chuck Taylors now retail for £45 in the shops. I have a new pair, too. Those sneakers are fashionable (to a point) and Abba are 'cool'. I was fifteen years ahead of the curve (or indeed, thirty behind it)... and unfortunately, Abba have borne the brunt of this. I can't listen to them anymore without feeling the pain. I have a couple of their songs on my iPod actually - the depressing stuff - The Winner Takes It All and The Day Before You Came. But I don't know where my copy of Abba Gold is, even though it was one of my first ever CDs (as opposed to vinyl or cassette). I was a little surprised by the fact I still knew all the words to all the songs in the movie... but Abba will inextricably be linked to a time in my life I'm still trying to recover from.

No, I can't really blame Abba, of course I can't. Perhaps I should blame the cruelty of sheeple children. Perhaps I should blame myself. I don't know... but I can't help wonderign what would've happened if I'd answered that one question differently.........

*

Ronnie Drew
died the afternoon before I went to Ireland. He was 73, had been ill for two years and so it can hardly be considered a 'tragedy'... but I'll admit to you I saw the news on BBC News Online and sat and cried. When I tried to tell my mum what had happened, I started crying again... and she proceeded to explain to Mikey's girlfriend in a manner I considered 'belittling'. She simply doesn't understand why I feel so attached to musicians or whatever - she called them 'celebrities' and didn't even lower her fucking voice so I couldn't hear.

I wrote a post about this while I was in Ireland which maybe I'll post... but the simple fact is that Ronnie was one of Those Voices as far as I'm concerned. I didn't talk about him as much as I did people like Jim or Philip, or even your man Flynn... but his is one of the voices I love so much I can't imagine living without it. I like Luke Kelly's voice, I think it's one of the best ever, but I love Ronnie's.

The only real 'positive' I can see to this is that the timing meant that I was in the right country at the right time - Ronnie's death was covered briefly in Britain but the Irish loved the man and it was everywhere. I must've spent ten euros on newspapers over the course of my time there to get the coverage. In fact, this time last Sunday I was watching a Ronnie documentary on RTE One which I'd never have seen on British TV.

Anyway: Jim. Philip. Dino. John. George. Plant. Dylan. Ronnie. Those are the voices I don't ever want to live without, and I don't say this because Ronnie's dead. I was saying it last week. In fact, last Saturday morning I walked to my mammy & daddy's house from the town centre singing along with him. Four hours later, he was dead.

I hope he's been reunited with those he loved and who loved him that went before. He deserves naught less.

*

It was Philip Lynott's birthday on 20th August, and it was one of the reasons I chose to go to Ireland when I did. I was vaguely thinking of not going up to see him... but I woke up early, checked out and got onto the DART. I know it was only half past ten when I arrived at the cemetery (St Fintan's, Sutton) but there was nobody there! Someone had left flowers fairly recently and there was all sorts of stuff left for him as usual - you can see which is his grave from far away in the cemetery because of all the stuff around it...

But there was nobody else there! It was nice that I was there on my own, just me and my hero... but I don't want him to be forgotten. Anyway, I left him a note, as I did last time, and as I had a bunch of bracelets on, I slid the little white one off my wrist and added it to the collection of bracelets left by fans. I can live without it, after all. I hope people did go up there later in the day, because he shouldn't be forgotten. I noticed later that day that the pub near his statue was full of people outside smoking, but they were paying no attention to the statue. Fair enough, but don't forget him!

[profile] marquiserachel is right - statue does have two left feet, but it's not totally noticeable. I pointed it out on Tuesday night to some guys stood by it and we ended up conversing about Rory Gallagher, who was from Cork.

I bought myself The Essential Rory Gallagher while I was in Cork, but... I don't think I can afford to get sucked in by another Dead Irish Musician.

Speaking of Rachel: I must take you to Cork, but also to Dublin again - you'd really get a kick out of the National Museum 'annexe' at the Collins Barracks.

*

Speaking of the National Museum, I arrived there on Tuesday, fresh off the train from Cork. There I was in my big, burnt orange (Mammy swears it's 'brick' coloured) rain jacket... my Louise Brooks hair was ruined by not having straighteners with me... I felt exhausted...

And there were the 31 contestants for the Rose of Tralee for a photocall.

Now, I know that I'm no beauty, really I do. But I have never felt quite so ugly as when they trooped past me into the museum. I actually waited to see what direction they went in so I could go in the opposite.

I have never EVER wanted to be part of some idiotic beauty contest before... but I felt so... not jealous but wistful perhaps. Why? Not because they're beautiful but because it's about being Irish...

The BNP apparently tried to intercede because this year's London Rose has a Jamaican father. Quite aside from the fuckwittery of telling a black girl she can't take part in an Irish thing because she's black... they're the BRITISH National Party! What fucking business is it of theirs to dictate ANYTHING to the Irish? That's what started all the trouble before!

*

I always feel most English when I'm in Ireland. All the rest of the time I feel whatever it is I am (Irish-Anglo, I suppose)... but in Ireland I can feel all the most English traits of mine - being a bit uptight about the time, especially for trains and buses etc, whatever. But then again, i think I developed some of those from my granny, who grew up in Co. Derry, so maybe it's nothing to do with 'Englishness' or 'Irishness' at all.

I just... a bit like the Abba question, I wonder what manner of person I would be if I'd been brought up in Galway after all?

*

My friend Louise is back in England for the first time since moving to Australia. I'm off to see her on Thursday and can't wait...

Other than that, nothing interesting. How about you lot?
apolla: (OTP)
This time last Sunday, I was curled up in a bed in Cork City watching RTE One. Now, I'm in my own living room watching a really, really old Miss Marple. It's from 1985, according to The Great Wiki.

I miss Ireland so much that I actually started missing it about six hours before I left. Anyway, I had a perfectly nice time although I didn't do as much as I wanted to. Holidays on your own are a bit weird, also, but I liked being able to do exactly what I wanted to.

*

Went to some movies while I was in Dublin. I started off thinking I'd just go see The Mummy 3 but it was so awful that I ended up marching straight back into the box office and getting myself a ticket for Mamma Mia also. Then the next day I was so knackered that I killed some time by catching The Dark Knight a second time.

The Mummy 3 is so absolutely fucking awful that for the first time ever I considered leaving the cinema. I didn't, if only cos I'd spent 9 euro on the ticket. It is so beyond bad... Remember what we all loved about the first two movies? It was ALL thrown out of this movie to be replaced with absolute tosh. Alex is so absolutely different (in all sorts of bad ways) that he might as well be someone else. Maria Bello is all right but not exactly awe-inspiring... and somehow insipid next to the old Evy O'Connell.

When we were first introduced to Evy Carnahan, she was a dowdy, clumsy librarian to be sure... but she had her dreams and her aspirations. She knew she was going to have great adventures, and went after them. I loved her in The Mummy Returns because she'd blossomed into this wonderful, feisty, successful lady. It was a mark of how interesting and rounded she was that when it turns out she was the reincarnation/descendant of an ancient Egyptian princess, it made a certain amount of sense. It was OK, you know? Not Mary-Sueish.

Maria Bello's Evy was... suburban. I found it hard to believe that this Evy had been a spy or whatever during the war. She exhibited none of the spark of the 'real' Evy... and none of the depth of knowledge, the sense, that the old one had. I don't think it's entirely Maria Bello's fault - the story and the script were the kind of cack you'd expect from anything else, not the Mummy movies.

Rick was OK. He was the same old, same old. He was fine, although doesn't seem to have aged at all since, you know, the thirties!

Alex. This is what made me really, really pissed off. I don't care that they skipped ahead so that he was basically an adult now. I don't care, really I don't., What I really hated though, was that they took the once precocious, intelligent, thoughtful little boy with an English accent... and turned him into a gun-loving, brutish dolt with no sensitivity and an American accent. Where'd he pick that up, exactly?

I could almost believe that Rick and Alex had some sort of falling out, or drifiting apart since the second movie - but Rick had no problem showing the old Alex affection. Clearly Rick knew that the New Alex was an idiot and wanted the old one back.

Add in a few tired cliches: the handy pilot that Rick already knew, the mummy's henchman - and some new nonsense: the chemistry-less romantic subplot, a vaguely interesting subplot between the general and the witchy woman - and it's basically shit.

There were a few things I liked, but they weren't used - they were at SHANGRI-LA and they just switched to the Great Wall instead! The General guy was there, brought back, and yet nothing was done with it except to explain why those mummies don't kill Rick and 'Evy'.

It was one of those movies that basically shouldn't have ever been made... but to make it so badly is unforgivable.

[personal profile] logansrogue: DON'T WATCH IT!!

*

Mamma Mia was OK. It took me a long time (at least half the movie) to get into it. The singing was adequate but not excellent, the dancing was lacklustre and the scenery was the best thing of the whole movie. I didn't dislike it, certainly.

I have issues with Abba anyway. When I was about ten, I really got into them - I wanted that red spiky hair that Frida had in the latter days. I even saw Abba: The Movie more than once. Problem was, at the first music lesson we had at secondary school we were asked what music we liked. I said, without shame: Abba. This was 1993 and they were not held in the esteem they now possess. This was 1993, before they became cool again, before Mamma Mia and dozens of shit weekend TV programmes featuring 'celebrities' talking about and performing Abba songs. This is before they were on the cover of MOJO magazine and before they were being called 'perfect pop'.

Still, this was before X-Factor and Popstars, so there wasn't anything truly, truly heinous to compare them to.

This would be fine... except that this one answer to one question shaped, more than almost anything, the way my scholastic career was to pan out. 'Abbafan' became a great insult and it was flung at me time and time again. Sure, my wearing of shocking pink baseball boots a few weeks later was to make things worse... but that one answer to one question set the scene. I'm sure I would've had a miserable seven years even if I'd answered 'rave music' like so many of the others. At the time I remember thinking: "You're eleven fucking years old, you don't go to fucking raves, you lying fuck."

Incidentally, those shocking pink Chuck Taylors now retail for £45 in the shops. I have a new pair, too. Those sneakers are fashionable (to a point) and Abba are 'cool'. I was fifteen years ahead of the curve (or indeed, thirty behind it)... and unfortunately, Abba have borne the brunt of this. I can't listen to them anymore without feeling the pain. I have a couple of their songs on my iPod actually - the depressing stuff - The Winner Takes It All and The Day Before You Came. But I don't know where my copy of Abba Gold is, even though it was one of my first ever CDs (as opposed to vinyl or cassette). I was a little surprised by the fact I still knew all the words to all the songs in the movie... but Abba will inextricably be linked to a time in my life I'm still trying to recover from.

No, I can't really blame Abba, of course I can't. Perhaps I should blame the cruelty of sheeple children. Perhaps I should blame myself. I don't know... but I can't help wonderign what would've happened if I'd answered that one question differently.........

*

Ronnie Drew
died the afternoon before I went to Ireland. He was 73, had been ill for two years and so it can hardly be considered a 'tragedy'... but I'll admit to you I saw the news on BBC News Online and sat and cried. When I tried to tell my mum what had happened, I started crying again... and she proceeded to explain to Mikey's girlfriend in a manner I considered 'belittling'. She simply doesn't understand why I feel so attached to musicians or whatever - she called them 'celebrities' and didn't even lower her fucking voice so I couldn't hear.

I wrote a post about this while I was in Ireland which maybe I'll post... but the simple fact is that Ronnie was one of Those Voices as far as I'm concerned. I didn't talk about him as much as I did people like Jim or Philip, or even your man Flynn... but his is one of the voices I love so much I can't imagine living without it. I like Luke Kelly's voice, I think it's one of the best ever, but I love Ronnie's.

The only real 'positive' I can see to this is that the timing meant that I was in the right country at the right time - Ronnie's death was covered briefly in Britain but the Irish loved the man and it was everywhere. I must've spent ten euros on newspapers over the course of my time there to get the coverage. In fact, this time last Sunday I was watching a Ronnie documentary on RTE One which I'd never have seen on British TV.

Anyway: Jim. Philip. Dino. John. George. Plant. Dylan. Ronnie. Those are the voices I don't ever want to live without, and I don't say this because Ronnie's dead. I was saying it last week. In fact, last Saturday morning I walked to my mammy & daddy's house from the town centre singing along with him. Four hours later, he was dead.

I hope he's been reunited with those he loved and who loved him that went before. He deserves naught less.

*

It was Philip Lynott's birthday on 20th August, and it was one of the reasons I chose to go to Ireland when I did. I was vaguely thinking of not going up to see him... but I woke up early, checked out and got onto the DART. I know it was only half past ten when I arrived at the cemetery (St Fintan's, Sutton) but there was nobody there! Someone had left flowers fairly recently and there was all sorts of stuff left for him as usual - you can see which is his grave from far away in the cemetery because of all the stuff around it...

But there was nobody else there! It was nice that I was there on my own, just me and my hero... but I don't want him to be forgotten. Anyway, I left him a note, as I did last time, and as I had a bunch of bracelets on, I slid the little white one off my wrist and added it to the collection of bracelets left by fans. I can live without it, after all. I hope people did go up there later in the day, because he shouldn't be forgotten. I noticed later that day that the pub near his statue was full of people outside smoking, but they were paying no attention to the statue. Fair enough, but don't forget him!

[profile] marquiserachel is right - statue does have two left feet, but it's not totally noticeable. I pointed it out on Tuesday night to some guys stood by it and we ended up conversing about Rory Gallagher, who was from Cork.

I bought myself The Essential Rory Gallagher while I was in Cork, but... I don't think I can afford to get sucked in by another Dead Irish Musician.

Speaking of Rachel: I must take you to Cork, but also to Dublin again - you'd really get a kick out of the National Museum 'annexe' at the Collins Barracks.

*

Speaking of the National Museum, I arrived there on Tuesday, fresh off the train from Cork. There I was in my big, burnt orange (Mammy swears it's 'brick' coloured) rain jacket... my Louise Brooks hair was ruined by not having straighteners with me... I felt exhausted...

And there were the 31 contestants for the Rose of Tralee for a photocall.

Now, I know that I'm no beauty, really I do. But I have never felt quite so ugly as when they trooped past me into the museum. I actually waited to see what direction they went in so I could go in the opposite.

I have never EVER wanted to be part of some idiotic beauty contest before... but I felt so... not jealous but wistful perhaps. Why? Not because they're beautiful but because it's about being Irish...

The BNP apparently tried to intercede because this year's London Rose has a Jamaican father. Quite aside from the fuckwittery of telling a black girl she can't take part in an Irish thing because she's black... they're the BRITISH National Party! What fucking business is it of theirs to dictate ANYTHING to the Irish? That's what started all the trouble before!

*

I always feel most English when I'm in Ireland. All the rest of the time I feel whatever it is I am (Irish-Anglo, I suppose)... but in Ireland I can feel all the most English traits of mine - being a bit uptight about the time, especially for trains and buses etc, whatever. But then again, i think I developed some of those from my granny, who grew up in Co. Derry, so maybe it's nothing to do with 'Englishness' or 'Irishness' at all.

I just... a bit like the Abba question, I wonder what manner of person I would be if I'd been brought up in Galway after all?

*

My friend Louise is back in England for the first time since moving to Australia. I'm off to see her on Thursday and can't wait...

Other than that, nothing interesting. How about you lot?
apolla: (Default)
First things first:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4-7 sentences on your LJ along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest (unless it's too troublesome to reach and is really heavy. Then go back to step 1).
My books are all over the place at the moment due to decoration, so I went to them and held a hand out for the nearest. I ended up picking up two:

From The Celtic Book Of Living And Dying:

"One day, the bards of Ireland realized that they had forgotten the Tain Bo Cuailgne, the poem about the great cattle raid which pitted the men of Ulster against the men of Connacht. The saints of Ireland join with the poets to ask for God's help. So he revived one of the ancient heroes, who one last time recited the adventures of the men of Ulster, the fight betwen two magic bulls, the deeds of Cuhulainn and the wiles of Queen Maeve of Connacht."

From Philip Lynott, which is a collection of Philo's lyrics and poems and doesn't go as far as page 123:

"Don't believe me if I tell you
Not a word of this is true
Don't believe me if I tell you
Especially if I tell you that
I'm in love with you.

Don't believe me if I tell you
That I wrote this song for you
There might be some other, silly pretty girl
I'm singing it too [sic]

Don't believe a word
For words are only spoken
Your heart is like a promise
Made to be broken

Don't believe a word
Words can tell lies
And lies are no comfort
When there's tears in your eyes.

Don't believe me if I tell you
Not a word of this is true
Don't believe me if I tell you
Especially if I tell you
I'm in love with you."

and just because I can, from 'Fighting My Way Back':

"I'm tough, rough, ready and able
To pick myself up from under this table
Don't stick no sign on me
I got no label
I'm a little sick, unsure, unsound and unstable
But I'm fighting my way back

I'm busting out and I'm going in
Im' kickin up about the state I'm in
Looking to my future, not my pas
I want to be a good boy but how long can it last
Fighting my way back

This kid is going to wreck and ruin
I'm not quite sure of what I'm doing, you see
It all happened a little too soon
But it's all here in this here tune
Fighting my way back"

This surely proves that lying to oneself is a far great, deadlier crime than lying to everyone else. If only.... never mind.

Other Items of Disinterest:

The Doors are on the cover of Classic Rock this month. Last time the Old Bastard graced a magazine cover, the stupid fools at the magazine had used a black and white photo and added blue eyes for effect. Which is perfectly fine, but for one minor detail:

His eyes were brown.

I haven't read the entire article (OMG new interviews with Manzarek, Krieger, Densmore and Botnick, they say!) but I anticipate it being much the same as ever- Father Ray bigs up the Morrison Legend while trying to appear like he isn't, Krieger just doesn't disagree and Drummer John is rather more scathing about the whole thing. In fact, so far, the word 'normal' has been invoked so many times that clearly the current Doors trend is to Paint Jim, Normal.

Please. The man was normal like I'm normal. Which is you know, not all that much, but still more normal than people assumed. He was an chronically shy alcoholic and taker of many drugs (quantity and variety both). He was actually a total Cuddly Uncle Ned's Trio at his worst and a genius at his best. I wish they'd stop trying to analyse him, as if working out the root of Jimmy's problems is what would bring him back.

Nothing brings him back. If dreams could do it, if wishes could do it, if shouting, screaming and sobbing could do it, I'd be drinking tea with the Old Bastard about, oh say, now-ish.

There's nothing to be done. Nothing, that is, that doesn't involve high-level witchcraft, satanism or heavenly bribery. So let's stop trying to understand that which cannot be understood. I have learned one thing more than anything else in my study: The more you learn about Jim Morrison, the more you realise you don't know him at all.

*
Snoreworthy decorating stuff:

I now have carpet in the front room. In fact, both the front room and the bedroom are painted, they're newly carpeted and shiny white Venetian blinds are coming to be fitted very soon.

Very soon, it'll all be sorted out, and it will seem as if Granddad was never here. The chair will go soon, to Uncle Fred who needs a funky electric chair far more than me. A new sofa will come along, then my desk will come in and I'll get a chair for that. I'll get a new wardrobe and stuff....

And it'll be as if Granddad was never here. My dad even broke something off the mirror when he was moving it, so he wants me to chuck that out (regardless of whether it can be fixed, I haven't looked yet). That mirror's been in the hallway as long as I can remember through the course of my life. This morning I stared right at the wall to see if I'd brushed my hair. It took me much longer than it should've done to realise it was wall, not myself.

I don't have to be told that this place was in desperately dire need of redecorating - I'm the one that's been living here for nearly two years. I don't have to be told that this is my home now, because I've been here on my own since February. But see the thing is, I have no particular desire to erase everything from the place that was his. See, I like old things, everyone knows this, so why am I being told to 'go modern' and all that nonsense?

This place isn't really Clare's, it's Granddad's, you see. It's been Granddad's for twenty-five years, and five months does not change that. Another twenty-five years might not change that. Perhaps the new paint and the new stuff don't really make a difference at all, but one of these days I'm going to look around, and it won't bear any resemblance to the place he knew, or I knew.
apolla: (Default)
First things first:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4-7 sentences on your LJ along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest (unless it's too troublesome to reach and is really heavy. Then go back to step 1).
My books are all over the place at the moment due to decoration, so I went to them and held a hand out for the nearest. I ended up picking up two:

From The Celtic Book Of Living And Dying:

"One day, the bards of Ireland realized that they had forgotten the Tain Bo Cuailgne, the poem about the great cattle raid which pitted the men of Ulster against the men of Connacht. The saints of Ireland join with the poets to ask for God's help. So he revived one of the ancient heroes, who one last time recited the adventures of the men of Ulster, the fight betwen two magic bulls, the deeds of Cuhulainn and the wiles of Queen Maeve of Connacht."

From Philip Lynott, which is a collection of Philo's lyrics and poems and doesn't go as far as page 123:

"Don't believe me if I tell you
Not a word of this is true
Don't believe me if I tell you
Especially if I tell you that
I'm in love with you.

Don't believe me if I tell you
That I wrote this song for you
There might be some other, silly pretty girl
I'm singing it too [sic]

Don't believe a word
For words are only spoken
Your heart is like a promise
Made to be broken

Don't believe a word
Words can tell lies
And lies are no comfort
When there's tears in your eyes.

Don't believe me if I tell you
Not a word of this is true
Don't believe me if I tell you
Especially if I tell you
I'm in love with you."

and just because I can, from 'Fighting My Way Back':

"I'm tough, rough, ready and able
To pick myself up from under this table
Don't stick no sign on me
I got no label
I'm a little sick, unsure, unsound and unstable
But I'm fighting my way back

I'm busting out and I'm going in
Im' kickin up about the state I'm in
Looking to my future, not my pas
I want to be a good boy but how long can it last
Fighting my way back

This kid is going to wreck and ruin
I'm not quite sure of what I'm doing, you see
It all happened a little too soon
But it's all here in this here tune
Fighting my way back"

This surely proves that lying to oneself is a far great, deadlier crime than lying to everyone else. If only.... never mind.

Other Items of Disinterest:

The Doors are on the cover of Classic Rock this month. Last time the Old Bastard graced a magazine cover, the stupid fools at the magazine had used a black and white photo and added blue eyes for effect. Which is perfectly fine, but for one minor detail:

His eyes were brown.

I haven't read the entire article (OMG new interviews with Manzarek, Krieger, Densmore and Botnick, they say!) but I anticipate it being much the same as ever- Father Ray bigs up the Morrison Legend while trying to appear like he isn't, Krieger just doesn't disagree and Drummer John is rather more scathing about the whole thing. In fact, so far, the word 'normal' has been invoked so many times that clearly the current Doors trend is to Paint Jim, Normal.

Please. The man was normal like I'm normal. Which is you know, not all that much, but still more normal than people assumed. He was an chronically shy alcoholic and taker of many drugs (quantity and variety both). He was actually a total Cuddly Uncle Ned's Trio at his worst and a genius at his best. I wish they'd stop trying to analyse him, as if working out the root of Jimmy's problems is what would bring him back.

Nothing brings him back. If dreams could do it, if wishes could do it, if shouting, screaming and sobbing could do it, I'd be drinking tea with the Old Bastard about, oh say, now-ish.

There's nothing to be done. Nothing, that is, that doesn't involve high-level witchcraft, satanism or heavenly bribery. So let's stop trying to understand that which cannot be understood. I have learned one thing more than anything else in my study: The more you learn about Jim Morrison, the more you realise you don't know him at all.

*
Snoreworthy decorating stuff:

I now have carpet in the front room. In fact, both the front room and the bedroom are painted, they're newly carpeted and shiny white Venetian blinds are coming to be fitted very soon.

Very soon, it'll all be sorted out, and it will seem as if Granddad was never here. The chair will go soon, to Uncle Fred who needs a funky electric chair far more than me. A new sofa will come along, then my desk will come in and I'll get a chair for that. I'll get a new wardrobe and stuff....

And it'll be as if Granddad was never here. My dad even broke something off the mirror when he was moving it, so he wants me to chuck that out (regardless of whether it can be fixed, I haven't looked yet). That mirror's been in the hallway as long as I can remember through the course of my life. This morning I stared right at the wall to see if I'd brushed my hair. It took me much longer than it should've done to realise it was wall, not myself.

I don't have to be told that this place was in desperately dire need of redecorating - I'm the one that's been living here for nearly two years. I don't have to be told that this is my home now, because I've been here on my own since February. But see the thing is, I have no particular desire to erase everything from the place that was his. See, I like old things, everyone knows this, so why am I being told to 'go modern' and all that nonsense?

This place isn't really Clare's, it's Granddad's, you see. It's been Granddad's for twenty-five years, and five months does not change that. Another twenty-five years might not change that. Perhaps the new paint and the new stuff don't really make a difference at all, but one of these days I'm going to look around, and it won't bear any resemblance to the place he knew, or I knew.
apolla: (Lyooominous)
There's been something not quite right about this whole TomKat TomKitten thing, aside from the ludicrous name. This whole contracting names thing bugs me, and I suspect it's half fandom-fault (Bangel? Spuffy?) and the likes of Ted Casablanca.

I'm already getting off the subject and I'm only on the third sentence. Anyway, it's been bugging me. It's not the delightful coincidence that led to Tommy Boy's new relationship-engagement-baby in the days around The Thoroughly Mediocre War Of The Worlds and Batman Begins and the nativity of Suri just before Mission Impossible Without Dougray Scott. It's not the way Katie Holmes has been silenced and has on more than one occasion since becoming Tom's own personal Incubator From The Creek been described as 'vacant'.

It's something else. Their names are Isabella and Connor, I believe. They themselves are, I would like to think, thoroughly adorable little human beings, but I don't know. You know why? Their parents have done a decent job of shielding them from all the nastiness and cunning of the paparazzi and the like. Anyone who pays even scant attention to the world of Hollywood knows that Tom Cruise and his ex-wife Nicole Collarbones O'Doom have two adopted children that are called Isabella and Connor. Those of us who pay a little more attention have seen the occasional picture that indicates that Tom and his eldest children are not of the same ethnicity. Only those who actively seek out information about Cruise and his family know much more about them, and even then, it's probably not much. Isabella and Connor have been well-shielded. 

Except for that time their dad paraded his new bird at a school soccer-football game.

Now, this woule be OK. Except that we know everything about Suri it seems. We know the meaning(s) of her name, we have a decent idea of when she was conceived (if she's real and not alien, of course.) Her daddy, in the course of his Mission Impossible, Are You Kidding? publicity has been going on and on about her and, if certain LJ communities have accurately duplicated articles, has already talked about changing diapers and about the darling adorable new child of heaven. No doubt we'll have pictures soon, if only to prove the girl exists and isn't actually from Neptune or Saturn or something.

I'm being flippant and I really don't mean to be. The thing that has really boiled my piss about this is the way Suri Cruise is getting all this attention and adoration from Daddy in the press, when in previous cases he was scrupulous about guarding his children's privacy. Perhaps it's the thing I hope it isn't: Suri Cruise is his child, if he's telling the truth (and honestly, if it turns out this is all one big fake stunt, I won't be surprised, although I hope it's not)... and Isabella and Connor are 'only adopted'. It's how they're almost always described: "Tom's adopted children, Isabella and Connor." Not just children, adopted children.

If this is only the media's issue, then it doesn't matter at all. If Mummy Nicole and Daddy Tom know that these children are their children and act and think and feel like it, then it doesn't matter...

but we already know more about Suri Cruise than many grandparents know about their grandchildren in the time elapsed since her birth. We know a little about Isabella and Connor, but mostly through people talking about how "totally normal they are, like."

Although I know the media likes to indicate the difference, as they still do for Paul and Linda McCartney's eldest daughter Heather, and for Maddox and Zahara Jolie-Pitt and the others dotted around Hollywood, it seems to me that Tom himself makes the difference now that he has the fruit of his very own loins. Or at least, he's willing to use Suri's conception, gestation and birth where he was not willing to use Isabella and Connor: as a publicity stunt device.

From this I can only surmise one thing: either he loves Isabella and Connor more than he loves Suri... or he loves them less. Personally, I'm hoping for once that 'using his child as a publicity device' is actually true- it seems rather less harsh than the other two options.

I hope, for the sake of three children, that I'm being overly cynical, that I don't know what's going on. I hope so much that I'm being cynical and harsh towards someone who might be being misrepresented throughout the world media. God I hope so.

And that, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, is what has really been bothering me about Tom Cruise lately. That and the fact M:I3 looks shit.

*

I also forgot: today marks the 90th anniversary of the Easter Rising in Dublin. Today marks, in my romantic Irish soul, the day that the successful overthrow of the oppressors began, when the people finally joined with the rebels to disregard the status quo. I'm not entirely so biased to think it was a great crusade or to see the whole thing as an unmitigated success... but it did succeed in driving the oppressors out of the Castle and back across the Irish Sea where they-we belonged.

I would recommend to any of you the exhibit at the National Museum of Ireland, in Dublin, called The Road To Independence. It says everything I would like to say but says it with class, historical evidence and other good stuff.

God Save Ireland, says I. God Save The Queen, says I. The further away we get from the repressive stuff, the closer we get to true understanding, respect and one day even peace. Heaven and Hell are full enough of the supposedly blessed martyrs of so many different sides. God save all of us, says I.
apolla: (Lyooominous)
There's been something not quite right about this whole TomKat TomKitten thing, aside from the ludicrous name. This whole contracting names thing bugs me, and I suspect it's half fandom-fault (Bangel? Spuffy?) and the likes of Ted Casablanca.

I'm already getting off the subject and I'm only on the third sentence. Anyway, it's been bugging me. It's not the delightful coincidence that led to Tommy Boy's new relationship-engagement-baby in the days around The Thoroughly Mediocre War Of The Worlds and Batman Begins and the nativity of Suri just before Mission Impossible Without Dougray Scott. It's not the way Katie Holmes has been silenced and has on more than one occasion since becoming Tom's own personal Incubator From The Creek been described as 'vacant'.

It's something else. Their names are Isabella and Connor, I believe. They themselves are, I would like to think, thoroughly adorable little human beings, but I don't know. You know why? Their parents have done a decent job of shielding them from all the nastiness and cunning of the paparazzi and the like. Anyone who pays even scant attention to the world of Hollywood knows that Tom Cruise and his ex-wife Nicole Collarbones O'Doom have two adopted children that are called Isabella and Connor. Those of us who pay a little more attention have seen the occasional picture that indicates that Tom and his eldest children are not of the same ethnicity. Only those who actively seek out information about Cruise and his family know much more about them, and even then, it's probably not much. Isabella and Connor have been well-shielded. 

Except for that time their dad paraded his new bird at a school soccer-football game.

Now, this woule be OK. Except that we know everything about Suri it seems. We know the meaning(s) of her name, we have a decent idea of when she was conceived (if she's real and not alien, of course.) Her daddy, in the course of his Mission Impossible, Are You Kidding? publicity has been going on and on about her and, if certain LJ communities have accurately duplicated articles, has already talked about changing diapers and about the darling adorable new child of heaven. No doubt we'll have pictures soon, if only to prove the girl exists and isn't actually from Neptune or Saturn or something.

I'm being flippant and I really don't mean to be. The thing that has really boiled my piss about this is the way Suri Cruise is getting all this attention and adoration from Daddy in the press, when in previous cases he was scrupulous about guarding his children's privacy. Perhaps it's the thing I hope it isn't: Suri Cruise is his child, if he's telling the truth (and honestly, if it turns out this is all one big fake stunt, I won't be surprised, although I hope it's not)... and Isabella and Connor are 'only adopted'. It's how they're almost always described: "Tom's adopted children, Isabella and Connor." Not just children, adopted children.

If this is only the media's issue, then it doesn't matter at all. If Mummy Nicole and Daddy Tom know that these children are their children and act and think and feel like it, then it doesn't matter...

but we already know more about Suri Cruise than many grandparents know about their grandchildren in the time elapsed since her birth. We know a little about Isabella and Connor, but mostly through people talking about how "totally normal they are, like."

Although I know the media likes to indicate the difference, as they still do for Paul and Linda McCartney's eldest daughter Heather, and for Maddox and Zahara Jolie-Pitt and the others dotted around Hollywood, it seems to me that Tom himself makes the difference now that he has the fruit of his very own loins. Or at least, he's willing to use Suri's conception, gestation and birth where he was not willing to use Isabella and Connor: as a publicity stunt device.

From this I can only surmise one thing: either he loves Isabella and Connor more than he loves Suri... or he loves them less. Personally, I'm hoping for once that 'using his child as a publicity device' is actually true- it seems rather less harsh than the other two options.

I hope, for the sake of three children, that I'm being overly cynical, that I don't know what's going on. I hope so much that I'm being cynical and harsh towards someone who might be being misrepresented throughout the world media. God I hope so.

And that, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, is what has really been bothering me about Tom Cruise lately. That and the fact M:I3 looks shit.

*

I also forgot: today marks the 90th anniversary of the Easter Rising in Dublin. Today marks, in my romantic Irish soul, the day that the successful overthrow of the oppressors began, when the people finally joined with the rebels to disregard the status quo. I'm not entirely so biased to think it was a great crusade or to see the whole thing as an unmitigated success... but it did succeed in driving the oppressors out of the Castle and back across the Irish Sea where they-we belonged.

I would recommend to any of you the exhibit at the National Museum of Ireland, in Dublin, called The Road To Independence. It says everything I would like to say but says it with class, historical evidence and other good stuff.

God Save Ireland, says I. God Save The Queen, says I. The further away we get from the repressive stuff, the closer we get to true understanding, respect and one day even peace. Heaven and Hell are full enough of the supposedly blessed martyrs of so many different sides. God save all of us, says I.
apolla: (Philip)

Blair Defeated Over Terror Laws

And so he bloody well should have been. No country claiming to be truly free and democratic should be allowed to hold anyone for ninety days without charge. That is not what this country is built on, and I dare anyone to suggest I'm for terrorism for my saying so.

I'm sorry, but I believe that tearing our laws up is the exact opposite of anti-terrorism. We must guard our freedoms more fiercely than ever now, by holding onto them, not quietly and slowly diminishing them. You may say that 'no innocent person should fear such a law' but I think perhaps we should ask the innocent Irishmen locked up for bombing Birmingham, or the countless innocent people who have been wrongly imprisoned over the years. It is the innocent we must protect more than ever. Because the guilty have the luxury of forethought and planning. Ever noticed how the innocent person in a murder mystery never has an alibi? It's because they didn't realise they needed one!

I'm all for stopping terrorists. I'm all for removing their rights when they break our laws and kill our people. I find nothing more insulting than criminals screaming about 'their rights'! As far as I'm concerned, they have the right to a fair trial and... er, that's about it. Maybe not being tortured in prison, being given access to a lawyer, stuff like that. Stuff we take for granted, really. And that's as it should be! We should be so safe in our freedom that we take these things for granted. But we must not accept the slow eroding of our rights. Through history, the freedoms of people have often been taken not by terrorists, but by their own state. And that state has so often done so in the name of 'freedom'.

It's not pro-terrorist to say "Er no, I don't think we should be allowed to keep people locked up that long without charge. And while you're at it, I'm not so sure ID cards with all my genetic information, address, favourite food and iPod Top 25 are really a very good idea either." It is pro-Us. We the People have a responsibility to ourselves to protect our lives. That means allowing the police to do their job and keep terrorists at bay, but it also means protecting ourselves from the overwhelming power of the state.

We in Britain live in a country ruled over by a man who has lost his first vote since coming into power in 1997, and forty-nine Labour MPs voted against it. Forty-nine of his own party. Not that I consider Tony Blair to be any more related to what the Labour party is meant to be than John Lennon is related to the Lesser Spotted Owl.

And just in case you were thinking Tony Blair was all about 'Doing What Is Right' and unyielding standing up to terrorists:

'Blair Faces Bumpy Ride Over Fugitive Plan'

So, that's Tony Blair: Tough Against Terrorists and Tough Against The Causes Of Terrorists. Unless They're From Northern Ireland, Of course, In Which Case Would You Like To Come To Tea?

By the way, nobody gets the complexity of the Everlasting Irish Question better than I do- I know enough to know I don't really know anything at all. But this law, aside from highlighting the breathtaking hypocrisy of Our Esteemed Leader, will not only allow the republican side of the terrorists to escape jailtime, but it will do the same for the security forces. Yes, Tony Blair and his pals want to bring a law to pass that will allow the men of the notorious N. Ireland security forces over the years to get away with, literally, murder.

And if that isn't a police state, sure, I don't know what is.

apolla: (Philip)

Blair Defeated Over Terror Laws

And so he bloody well should have been. No country claiming to be truly free and democratic should be allowed to hold anyone for ninety days without charge. That is not what this country is built on, and I dare anyone to suggest I'm for terrorism for my saying so.

I'm sorry, but I believe that tearing our laws up is the exact opposite of anti-terrorism. We must guard our freedoms more fiercely than ever now, by holding onto them, not quietly and slowly diminishing them. You may say that 'no innocent person should fear such a law' but I think perhaps we should ask the innocent Irishmen locked up for bombing Birmingham, or the countless innocent people who have been wrongly imprisoned over the years. It is the innocent we must protect more than ever. Because the guilty have the luxury of forethought and planning. Ever noticed how the innocent person in a murder mystery never has an alibi? It's because they didn't realise they needed one!

I'm all for stopping terrorists. I'm all for removing their rights when they break our laws and kill our people. I find nothing more insulting than criminals screaming about 'their rights'! As far as I'm concerned, they have the right to a fair trial and... er, that's about it. Maybe not being tortured in prison, being given access to a lawyer, stuff like that. Stuff we take for granted, really. And that's as it should be! We should be so safe in our freedom that we take these things for granted. But we must not accept the slow eroding of our rights. Through history, the freedoms of people have often been taken not by terrorists, but by their own state. And that state has so often done so in the name of 'freedom'.

It's not pro-terrorist to say "Er no, I don't think we should be allowed to keep people locked up that long without charge. And while you're at it, I'm not so sure ID cards with all my genetic information, address, favourite food and iPod Top 25 are really a very good idea either." It is pro-Us. We the People have a responsibility to ourselves to protect our lives. That means allowing the police to do their job and keep terrorists at bay, but it also means protecting ourselves from the overwhelming power of the state.

We in Britain live in a country ruled over by a man who has lost his first vote since coming into power in 1997, and forty-nine Labour MPs voted against it. Forty-nine of his own party. Not that I consider Tony Blair to be any more related to what the Labour party is meant to be than John Lennon is related to the Lesser Spotted Owl.

And just in case you were thinking Tony Blair was all about 'Doing What Is Right' and unyielding standing up to terrorists:

'Blair Faces Bumpy Ride Over Fugitive Plan'

So, that's Tony Blair: Tough Against Terrorists and Tough Against The Causes Of Terrorists. Unless They're From Northern Ireland, Of course, In Which Case Would You Like To Come To Tea?

By the way, nobody gets the complexity of the Everlasting Irish Question better than I do- I know enough to know I don't really know anything at all. But this law, aside from highlighting the breathtaking hypocrisy of Our Esteemed Leader, will not only allow the republican side of the terrorists to escape jailtime, but it will do the same for the security forces. Yes, Tony Blair and his pals want to bring a law to pass that will allow the men of the notorious N. Ireland security forces over the years to get away with, literally, murder.

And if that isn't a police state, sure, I don't know what is.

apolla: (Rock Chick)

This is my second attempt at writing this in a manner that is articulate, intelligent and succinct. Not sure how it's going to work out, given that I'm still in the "OMG!" stage. I'll leave my other stuff in the old post, cos I'm sure that most people reading this aren't going to give a flying one about my wander through St Stephen's Green and Dublin Castle.

I might as well just cut to the chase.

Friday Afternoon: Philo. VERY NOT DIALUP FRIENDLY. MANY PICTURES )

Saturday )

The Concert )

To borrow a phrase from Bernard Cribbins: And then we went home. PS. Don't nick my photographs. I doubt any of you would want to, but a vague disclaimer is nobody's friend.

apolla: (Rock Chick)

This is my second attempt at writing this in a manner that is articulate, intelligent and succinct. Not sure how it's going to work out, given that I'm still in the "OMG!" stage. I'll leave my other stuff in the old post, cos I'm sure that most people reading this aren't going to give a flying one about my wander through St Stephen's Green and Dublin Castle.

I might as well just cut to the chase.

Friday Afternoon: Philo. VERY NOT DIALUP FRIENDLY. MANY PICTURES )

Saturday )

The Concert )

To borrow a phrase from Bernard Cribbins: And then we went home. PS. Don't nick my photographs. I doubt any of you would want to, but a vague disclaimer is nobody's friend.

(no subject)

Monday, 22 August 2005 16:45
apolla: (LZ II)

From the BBC:

Thin Lizzy's Lynott Back In Town

And I was there. I spoke to that beautiful, classy lady not so long after that picture was taken.

I was there.

Also, Dr Moog died. The 80s wouldn't have been the same without you, sir.

(no subject)

Monday, 22 August 2005 16:45
apolla: (LZ II)

From the BBC:

Thin Lizzy's Lynott Back In Town

And I was there. I spoke to that beautiful, classy lady not so long after that picture was taken.

I was there.

Also, Dr Moog died. The 80s wouldn't have been the same without you, sir.

apolla: (Live And Dangerous)

So, [livejournal.com profile] marquiserachel is here. We're off to Dublin at like 5am tomorrow morning.

I shall take lots of pictures, especially of Thin Lizzy when we see them on Saturday. Will try to get pics of the new statue once it's unveiled.

Vive le Lynott, etc etc.

Off to bed, very tired.

apolla: (Live And Dangerous)

So, [livejournal.com profile] marquiserachel is here. We're off to Dublin at like 5am tomorrow morning.

I shall take lots of pictures, especially of Thin Lizzy when we see them on Saturday. Will try to get pics of the new statue once it's unveiled.

Vive le Lynott, etc etc.

Off to bed, very tired.

Profile

apolla: (Default)
apolla

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