Tuesday, July 29, 2014


The calls to prayer and the omni-drone combine to hum the Anti-Om. The last vibration. The frequency of wrong. The remote sound of death and razed rubble homes. Distant embers. Ribbons rise to oblivion. A dark cloak suffocates unseen desperation. Subdued pops denote the ease of destruction and the absence of any significant resistance. It's the antithesis of coexistence. Evil looks so banal from this distance.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

ON THE M.V. MUNSTER - Dublin to Liverpool (1956)

by Finbarr Shanley

The night is tonight or any other night that the green ship slips her moorings and sadly moves from the river's mouth and heads for the east. Hands dig deeper into pockets and the Custom House clock is seen through the mist of squinted eyes and shoes stamp on hardwood and shoulders are hunched though not from cold.

These are the have-nots and over there on that rising ground the lights of the haves reflect the self-righteousness and the light house lamp now beamed towards the Wicklow shore shines the last goodbye.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


by Frank Shanley

He was going out for the night. Out to Dun Laoghaire. The place he thought was strange and far away when he was young. The place where the boats came in. He had lived there for a year and knew it quite well now. He was going to get drunk to bring some excitement to his life. 

It was a dark winter evening. The sharpness of the night and the sense of tension it should have created didn’t make an impact on him. He went down to get the bus, down a dimly lit laneway. The fence on one side and the bushes on the other were more or less ignored. The laneway led onto the road, the road that the bus came down. It came by him just then. He started to run for it, a long run down the road and then around the corner near the church. He caught it up as he was coming near the stop. He got on it with another person. Breathless, he was looking around at the things that really scared him, people. He stared at them a bit. He wasn’t aware why. His mother said it was fear. He believed everything his mother told him. When he got off the bus and changed to another one, he was still feeling deadened. The people on the bus and outside the window meant nothing to him. He was finally in Dun Laoghaire and now he went to the hostel where he lived until recently. 

Cathleen met him at the door. He remembered thinking of her as the Countess Cathleen. She brought him up the stairs and into the kitchen. There were a few people there – friends, nearly friends, anyway. Martin said hello. ‘Martin do you want to go out with me tonight’, he felt like saying but he didn’t have the courage. He waited a while and then started to talk to Martin. A few inappropriate comments and a few weak jokes later, he asked Martin to go out. It was cool Martin said so they went out.

They went first to a shop to buy cider. The two litre bottles, big brown bottles full of intoxicating liquid which tasted like poison, a few years earlier would have been very precious but now they didn’t mean that much. They went down a laneway to drink them. They really didn’t taste like poison. Drinking it wasn’t nice but the talk and repartee were and all he was thinking about was good. He wasn’t drunk but felt invigorated.
He and Martin were both schizophrenic. A dirty horrible thing both for the sufferers and non-sufferers. They were both suppressed, depressed, downtrodden human beings. Both in a chain gang of psychiatrists.

Monday, July 21, 2014


A desert world strewn with petrified corpses. Starry missiles plummet fiercely and fragment what remains of these remains. Limbs detach and leap and twist and land and tumble and settle back down on the perished surface. And this happens again. And again. And again and again. Until the body bits are powder and the powder is dust and the dust is a memory and the memory is forgotten.

Jaded by supremacy but fearing obsolescence, soldiers across a galaxy attend an interplanetary launcher. Nonchalantly loading ammunition. Yawning. Closing a hatch. Pulling a crank. Another projectile soars and, once again, a victory is won for a planet called Ridiculous that floats mad and alone in the absurdest reaches of outer space.

And that is the end of my science fiction story.

Sunday, July 20, 2014


I've become an expert. When people need an expert they call me and I show up and display my expertise. This usually involves clipboards. I'll show up with a clipboard and look around and make little ticks on a form type of thing that is fastened to the clipboard. Sometimes, depending on the nature of the consultation, I will wear a beekeeper's outfit. If anyone asks why I'm dressed like a beekeeper I tell them to be quiet because I'm trying to concentrate. I might spray a few things with a can of something, like deodorant or something, and then go over the sprayed area with a small brush and then peer at it through binoculars. Then I might hold up a radio that isn't tuned to any channel and is just emitting a static buzz. I'll wander around with the radio, gradually turning the volume up and down. Then, when all that is done, I sit in the centre of a circle of lit candles and animal skulls and, in a low voice, chant the following: 'The Vengabus is coming and everybody's jumping. New York to San Fransisco, an intercity disco'.

After all that is done, I pull off the beekeeper hood and look thoughtful and say that I'll be back in a week. Then I come back in a week and give a powerpoint presentation that contains lots of graphs. I point to the graphs with a pointer, which is useful for pointing, and say things about 'sectors' and 'quarters' and 'synergies' and 'utilisations' and 'deliverables'. Then I pack up my presentation equipment and charge an astronomical fee for my time.

My clients are usually pleased with what I do as the results provided are open to interpretation and can justify whatever the clients need justifying or validate whatever notion they had before I arrived. It is with the help of my expertise that services have been privatised and ghosts exorcised. I have given restaurants certificates of hygiene and recommended that vicinities be doused in phosgene. Or so it seems. I did no such thing but I didn't do otherwise either. I just provided abstract data that can be construed any old way.

Actual experts have objected to my consultative enterprise. They say that one man could not possibly be an expert in all things and that it takes years to become an expert in just one field. However, to allay any worries these expert opinions might cause my clients, I did a study on the opinions of these other experts. This study resulted in a graph that (depending on what you choose to see in it) proved the expert opinions on my expertise to be far from expert. That seemed to do the trick as my clients did not want the actions they took upon my advice to be found dubious. I didn't bother wearing the beekeeper outfit for that one but I do sometimes wear it at home. I find that I am more relaxed with it on. When I remove it I am sometimes gripped by an overwhelming sense of doubt and the unshakeable feeling that the whole world is completely and utterly insane.
The above graph clearly proves something. 
Unless it's upside down, in which case it clearly proves something else.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


The sun calls and the grass beckons and the children run into the fields to play as they do and as they must and the children get blown to bits by land mines planted by adults.

And great gifts fall from the sky as if from Santa's sleigh and they whistle as they plummet toward the earth where they kill children as they do and as they must because adults always know what's for the best.

'Thank you Daddy' say the charred remains, the scattered limbs, the ashes and the blood stains. And a monument is built so no one will forget but life goes on and the children ask 'is it Christmas yet?'

The children can't wait to see what they're going to get. A toy gun, a toy tank, a model army jet with which to play at killing as they do and as they must,
just like the adults in whom they place their trust.

Monday, July 14, 2014


Every day, whatever day it is, I don't know what day it is or even if it's day but that's OK, ...I live by night. Or at least, it's dark here whatever the time, all the time because there is no time. 

One day I just slipped off to this ...wherever it is. I can't find my way back and I'm not sure there is a way back. Roll me off my back. Take the tubes out. Turn me in the bed. Nurse my sores. Put the tubes back.

No one knows what happened. I simply ceased to function. They can't switch me off because they're still getting readings. The heart monitor is scratching out words. Seeming non sequiturs. Random statements from a realmless location or just word association via catatonic dissociation.

My loved ones bring fresh flowers and take away the dead ones. They never brought me flowers when I was speaking and moving. They look at the monitor to see if I've left another of what they jokingly call 'the tweets'. They peer at the screen and something is there. Something for them to puzzle over and misinterpret or maybe ignore. It was the same when I used talk. I made as little sense to them as I did to myself but words came out, nevertheless.

(Does it matter if you are understood, as long as it's understood that you are loved?)

They read aloud, slowly and clearly.

'The problem with animals is that there are people. The problem with people is that they're people.'

What could that mean? They haven't a clue. Is it a joke or an insult, maybe both? They're nonplussed and I would be too if I was in any condition to know that I had spoken. But I did say something and if it's on the monitor then it came from the heart.

Friday, July 11, 2014


Mathematical De Bruijn sequences are sequences that seem to have no sequence but actually do. They look like chaos but have hidden order. De Bruijn sequences have been discovered in the assembly of genomes, revealing a comprehensible system within a life causing mess.  

Yes, life is messy and being someone who wishes to live life correctly, I have found it correct to make a mess of my life. I am living in accordance with De Bruijn principles. I tidy my flat in a De Bruijn way. My dress sense could be described as Haute De Bruijn. My every act is De Bruijn, seeming insane and random but with a hidden rationale. What that rationale may be is beyond me as I have never been good at maths but I am content in the knowledge that there is a rationale there, …somewhere.

My philosophy is the De Bruijn philosophy. You may think it makes no sense but that is because you are missing the hidden sense, as am I, that is the point. If I could see ‘reason’ in how I live my life then I wouldn’t be living it in a De Bruijn way.

As approaches to existence go, I think mine trumps yours. Your way of life is the opposite of De Bruijn. You live a life that looks rational and perhaps feels rational but really, underneath the ostensible order, there is nothing but chaos. In reality, your actions are motivated by petty egoistic needs and random brain chemicals and are neither systematic nor logical. In fact, your actions can often be self-destructive. In short, your algorithm is banjaxed and it’s you that is the disordered one, not me.

Anyway, that’s pretty much word for word what I said in my defence to the judge before I jumped up onto his bench, took a shit in his wig and fled from the courthouse shouting: 
‘Jimmy had a micky that was ten foot long 
and he showed it to the lady next door. 
She thought it was a snake 
so she cut it with a rake 
and now it’s only five foot four.’

That is all. Happy Christmas Fuggers!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014



Sunday, July 6, 2014


There's been a massive decline in vocations so the Roman Catholic Church have started training dogs to perform mass. Seminaries have become kennels and new dogs are arriving all the time. They keep gobbling up the Eucharistic host but besides that the dogs are very obedient and 'faithful'. They tend not to ask questions and molest puppies so it's working out. It should come as no surprise really, they already wear dog collars and the teaching of The Church is a dogma after all. It's also worth pointing out that the word 'God' is 'dog' spelled backwards. Catholicism has never been a religion to look at things in a forward way.

Soon the parishioners will be dogs too. Numbers have to be kept up in this regard. These days, the only people left in the pews are a dwindling selection of half-mads and nearly-deads so new bodies are badly needed. The liturgy will have to be slightly altered of course, to better suit a canine laity. Quadrupedal congregations will howl the Kyrie Eleison and bark the profession of faith and instead of shaking hands to offer the sign of peace there will be a sniffing of arses ...but not in a salacious way. There will still be parts of the service where those gathered are invited to stand or sit but the kneeling parts will be replaced with rolling over.

There will also have to be some modifications to the testaments but that's happened before, it's nothing new. Instead of his crucifixion on Calvary, Christ will be brought to the vets and put to sleep. Either that or run over by a car, it has yet to be decided. Also, from now on the Devil will be depicted as a cat. There will be a new commandment too, an eleventh. It will be a simple, single word instruction: 'fetch'. Besides these modest reforms, things will remain pretty much as they are.

This development has been the cause of a great new optimism in The Church with the exception of one remaining and significant concern, the takings during the collection. Dogs are not known for their monetary nous and the upkeep of parishes requires donations. How else is 'The Word' (or 'The Bark', as it will now be known) to survive and spread? Why should it be spread at all, for surely the true purpose of 'The Word' is the generation of revenue. It's feared that without financial backing the Catholic Church will, to use an irony laced idiom, 'go to the dogs'.

This has been the word of the lord thy Dog. You may now go and piss (on a lamp post).

Friday, July 4, 2014


Quality human storage!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


There wasn't much on telly yesterday evening so, instead of playing Sudoku or staring at Spankwire, I formulated an astonishing new range of philosophies that will shatter all known intellectual paradigms and existential stratagems going forward.

Below is just a small selection of what I came up with. Choose one you like...

The acknowledgement that everything is just silly.

An affirming enough attitude if adopted.

This one is a bit tough to follow but stick with it.

The least satisfying of my reasonings but I'll throw it in anyway.

A comprehensive knowledge of public transport timetables that should come in handy.

A vague approach to life that is a sister philosophy to the piss poor Insubstantialism.

A philosophy that can only function if no one adheres to it.

Premature Reposeitry 
Living life as if already dead.

Transcendental Transcendentalism 
What lies beyond the beyond?

Assists the philosopher in the extraction of his or her head from his or her arse.

BJ And the Bear 
A largely forgotten American TV series that ran from 1979 to 1981.

Raidió Teilifís Éireannism  
Embraces the the passive acquisition of objective failures.

...and last and probably least...

A philosophy that is correct in all its assertions especially in its assertion that it is incorrect in all its assertions ...but doesn't really care.

To learn more about how existence can be better appreciated and understood all you have to do is learn less about how existence can be better appreciated and understood. The examined life is really not worth living. In short, just behave like a monkey.