Monday, March 30, 2009

Meeting John McGahern

Almost exactly about this time 13 years ago, early in April:
Why not meeting halfway, he had suggested; at Blake's in Enniskillen.

So, on a bright and sunny (Satur-) day arriving in Enniskillen. Oh, what a wonderful world! Eleven years ago, summer '85: Each of the few noises reechoing; a voice here, a pair of stilettos there; at least one person sitting in each of the few cars parking in the main road.
Today: spring in the air, spring in the faces; no one sitting in the long row of parked cars, reading a newspaper. A cheerful laughter here, no supicious glances at the stranger with the strange bag. What a difference!

Blake's of the Hollow. He's not arrived, yet. After a while, I decide to rather wait in front of the entrance, enjoying the sun and - the very difference.
"May I leave my camera-bag?" - "There's no bomb in it, eh?" Laughingly the barkeeper nods, takes the bag.

Waiting. Waiting. For Godot? No. For John McGahern. Here he comes.

Two pints of Guinness, some sandwiches and two pots of tea later - apart from his work - we'd have talked about: history; many of his colleagues; the (then) political situation; abortion; the (ab)use of language, censorship, the Church.

At one stage he says: "One of the best things in my life so far has been to see the Church's influence fading."
"Well, I remember f.e. that [in autumn 1990] especially in rural western areas quite a few priests would call upon their flock by no means to vote for Mary Robinson becoming President."
"And, did it keep the majority from electing her?"
"Still, ...

"And you think that's irreversible?"
"Hm, that's what Gorbatchov said about Glasnost and Perestroika."
"Never again was said after the Holocaust, too, and still we are having our Srebrenicas and Rwandas. Yes. But we should never give up hope."

"Is that your Message to the Irish People?"
"À la Seán MacBride?" And again there is this tiny almost imperceptible smile.

And so we are going to talk about MacBride's 'testimony', finally coming to chapter 11 - Criminal Neglect of Forestry.
"Ah, yes, forestry", he says, raises his arm and asks the waiter to bring us another pot of tea.

Why would I've told this? Well, today three years ago John McGahern died.
Not really, hm?
You can meet him every day - in his books.

Oh well ... and whenever striving through his forest.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

O Fortuna

As the originally posted video (bottom of this page) is no longer available, here's Carmina Burana in full length performed by UC Davis University Chorus, Alumni Chorus, Symphony Orchestra, and the Pacific Boychoir.
For those who like to take the time: Lean back and enjoy.

Made in Dingle

How do they know?

Your result for The 3 Variable Funny Test...

the Prankster

(48% dark, 27% spontaneous, 16% vulgar)

your humor style:

Your humor has an intellectual, even conceptual slant to it. You're not pretentious, but you're not into what some would call 'low humor' either. You'll laugh at a good dirty joke, but you definitely prefer something clever to something moist.

You probably like well-thought-out pranks and/or spoofs and it's highly likely you've tried one of these things yourself. In a lot of ways, yours is the most entertaining type of humor because it's smart without being mean-spirited.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Conan O'Brian - Ashton Kutcher


The 3-Variable Funny Test!
- it rules -

Take The 3 Variable Funny Test
at HelloQuizzy

H/t to The Poor Mouth

The Ode is not yet composed

He's still 20 years younger than John Major, I am still 28 years younger than Maggie Thatcher, only the proportional relation between our ages has changed a bit.

Happy birthday, Jams!

Wishing the best of Omnium which is - as everbody knows - everything!

As Tetrapilotomos hasn't finished his novel In-climbing-two-cats, yet, and McSeanagall is still composing his Ode to the Poor Mouth, and as no Third Policeman was available on you tube, here's to you, with kind regards from Flann himself.

And now, dear readers, head over to Mr. Jams O'Donnell Esq., as herewith I declare the bazaar for congratulations opened.

Welcome in the summertime!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Impossible Fact (Variation 02)

This morning while in fact busy with proofreading his 1669-pages-work "Pre-assyrian philately in a Nutshell" my closest friend Tetrapilotomos out of the blue declaimed following poem.
Listening I had a déjà vu.

Not only did it sound to me like a variation on a poem by Christian Morgenstern, but this time also as but a tiny variation on a poem by a certain McSeanagall.

Anyway, here it is:
The Impossible Fact

BiffO, used to rule and live in clover,
walking in the wrong direction
at a busy intersection
is run over.

"How," he says, his mood restoring
but without his wrath ignoring,
"can an accident like this
ever happen? What's amiss?

"Did RTE's administration
fail in free speech's deprivation?
Did police ignore the need
for reducing bloggers' speed?

"Isn't there a prohibition,
barring internet transmission
of a mighty to a wight?
Were the nasty bloggers right?"

Tightly swathed in dampened tissues
he explores the legal issues,
and his lackeys soon make clear:
Free speech not permitted here!

Thus BiffO comes to the conclusion:
His mishap was an illusion,
for, he reasons pointedly,
that which must not, can not be.
© McSeanagall

Omnium re Cowengate / Picturegate:

The Taoiseach's New Clothes

The Taoiseach's New Clothes II

Brian, Borges & Bioy

Want a T(aoiseach)-Shirt?

Physiognomy of fine gentlemen

Physiognomy of fine gentlemen

Following what some Irish would call picturegate, this afternoon a thought crossed my mind: This could become Usmanov-esque dimensions*.

Could have something to do with physiognomy.

Judge yourself.

Alisher Usmanov

Brian Cowen

Amazing, hm?

* And here's Omnium about the Usmanov saga (in chronological order):

Audiatur et altera pars

The Impossible Fact

Not about Mr. Usmanov

Above Mr. Usmanov's dignity

A diamond of altruism

Omnium about Picturegate:

The Taoiseach's New Clothes

The Taoiseach's New Clothes II

Brian, Borges & Bioy

Want a T(aoiseach)-Shirt?

Want a T(aoiseach)-Shirt?

And here's the saga (so far):

The Taoiseach's New Clothes

The Taoiseach's New Clothes II

Brian, Borges & Bioy


Oh, how do I admire
that James McIntyre.
And may I require,
I beg you, please!
the entire cheese -
to caress it with
my tender teeth.

[Mc Seanagall]

* Piss off early, tomorrow's Friday

Mirroring fluids/fruits of temptation

Cast a cold Eye
on Fruits & Fluids
Horseman, pass by!

How could I?

The peace of the night!

Brian, Borges & Bioy

To be immortal is commonplace; except for man, all creatures are immortal, for they are ignorant of death; what is divine, terrible, incomprehensible, is to know that one is immortal.

I am god, I am hero, I am philosopher, I am demon and I am world, which is a tedious way of saying that I do not exist.

Brian Cowen, Taoiseach, March 25th, 2009



This was a certain Jorge Luis Borges, quoted by Mr. Chris God-free Morell who, by the way, has nothing to do with a certain Seňor Morel, protagonist in Seňor Adolfo Bioy Casares' novel "La invención de Morel".

Well, yes, Seňor Casares had something to do with Seňor Borges.

No, none of the seňores had anything to do with any Taoiseach.

P.S. Sorry for any inconvenience: First the title, then the story.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Taoiseach's New Clothes II

"But he hasn't got anything on," a little child said.

"Did you ever hear such innocent prattle?" said its father. And one person whispered to another what the child had said, "He hasn't anything on. A child says he hasn't anything on."

"But he hasn't got anything on!" the whole town cried out at last.

The Taoiseach Emperor shivered, for he suspected they were right. But he thought, "This procession has got to go on." So he walked more proudly than ever, as his noblemen held high the train that wasn't there at all.
Why would I spontaneously come to think of Hans-Christian Andersen's tale The Emperor's New Clothes (a short version to be found here), and why is Andersen rotating with laughter in his dwelling six feet under?

Well, Brian Cowen, Ireland's Taoiseach (Prime Minister) may have shivered like Andersen's Emperor; and so may his entourage when watching this on RTE.

And why not? It's not necessarily great fun to get hit by the shifts of (ribald) satire. Ask Mohammed.
So far it's been a modern adaption of Andersen's tale, varying only in so far as there was no child saying "But he hasn't got anything on!" but a clever (?*) chap gracing the (toilet-) walls of two museums with drawings of a
Taoiseach who hasn't got anything on.
*- I'll come back to this point.

But then:

Pain for the Taoiseach and his family?
Did the Taoiseach get tortured in Guantanamo, in
a Chinese, Iranian or Syrian prison? Waterboarding, and so on?
Disrespect of his office?!?!
Mind you, it's honourable to demonstrate or even feel pity with one's boss when he's getting mocked, but: Are there 'tea-shocking' paintings of the Taoiseach's naked entourage, be they with member or without, gracing the walls of Dublin's toilets?
Didn't RTE tell all?

End of the beforegoing.

When telling him the above, my friend Tetrapilotomos, currently busy with finishing his encyclopaedia of pre-assyrian philately, did not even look up, but just murmured: "And there are medical scientists still discussing when a human being is braindead."

As mostly I did not understand. Until I stumbled via the best Egg in the blogosphere
upon this:

The Taoiseach's New Clothes
with thanks to Allan Cavanagh

... and this:

126 seconds artwork
with thanks to Fustar

... and Damien Mulley

... and many many others

... and ...

... who knows what will happen when Bock the Robber has finally moved to his new server ...

... to be continued.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Taoiseach's New Clothes

Recently Jams O'Donnell Esq. exhibited artist Uglow's euphemising painting of an ugly woman (photo above). Would any Bobby have interfered? No. Neither has the painting been confiscated, nor's an investigation into the matter under way. Well, the English police might have other things to do.

Same with the German physicist who would unfortunately give up her job in order to become Chancellor.
Neither has the police confiscated umteen millions of euphe
mising Barbie-Angelas nor any other more realistic art work.

One might wonder what (other things), but anyway, like the English police the German police seem to have other things to do.

Not so the Irish police. They have
- as everybody knows - absolutely nothing to do except of calming down the enthusiasm of the plain Irish people when it comes to celebrate their beloved leaders' altruism and wisdom.
Well, another evidence you might draw from yesterday's post.

Which is why today the BBC could tell the rest of the world that, apparently alarmed by the authorities (sic) of the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin* there is an investigation [...] under way, according the provenience of two paintings that for lack of knowing its official title I tend to introduce as The Taoiseach's New Clothes.

Glad to learn the Irish police after all seem to feel they have something worthwhile to do, after clicking the 'publish'-button I shall start to count my Zimbabwian Dollars, as I am determined to buy the 'The Taoiseach's New Clothes' which happened to be found gracing a wall of the toilet inside the National Gallery.

* Interesting, by the way, to have a glimpse at the BBC's url:


The Taoiseach's New Clothes II

Brian, Borges & Bioy

Want a T(aoiseach)-Shirt?

Physiognomy of fine gentlemen

The Impossible Fact (Variation)

Monday, March 23, 2009

When authorities have no authority

Within less than seven minutes, in February German TV-vievers this feature of Limerick learnt (a lot), for instance this:

With 1 (in words: one) boat the Irish custom authorities [by the way, an interesting word,
authorities] is determined to control 6,000 kilometres coast.

Confiscating cocain amounting to 500 million Euro is thought to be one tenth of the total amount that's being smuggled.

You will see a member of the so-called Dundan Clan (Jimmy Collins), brashly giving an interview, boasting about that 'police can't stop us'.

Obviously, as there happen more murder per capita than in any other town in Europe.

You will see the coffin of Shane Geoghegan who was 'accidently' murdered.

To learn more I commend to read Bock the Robber's posts and their echoes in the comment-section(s).

You will see a lawyer saying "They {the police] don't know who is going to get killed next. The clans are very powerful." The homes of people who would go to police and make an accuse use to be burnt out and their families terrorised. "Its better to keep one's mouth closed than to end up in a grave."

What a shame.

PS: While writing this I hear that the Russian mafia has ousted the German pimps in most German cities, that their bosses f.e. in Berlin are celebrating in Five star SUPERIOR (sic!) hotels with their worldwide 'business partners'; that politicians in Europe and especially in Germany do not underestimate this threat, but just don't have any clue what's going on.

Now, if that's not comforting. The decent people of Limerick don't stand alone.

Good night, and good luck.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Say Paganini

Seems to be a classic night, hm?

Voilà, here's Fazil Say, again. Enjoy.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Modest tribute to Mussorgsky

It's the gentleman's 170th birthday.

The Rite of Spring

Here's - not only :) - to the spring.

Fazil Say playing four hands on an electronic Boesendorfer 290SE piano.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sabbat Shalom ...

... to those who have moral and courage to speak out!

"I don't think he felt too bad about it, because after all, as far as he was concerned, he did his job according to the orders he was given. And the atmosphere in general, from what I understood from most of my men who I talked to ... I don't know how to describe it .... The lives of Palestinians, let's say, is something very, very less important than the lives of our soldiers. So as far as they are concerned they can justify it that way," he said.

Quote from this Haaretz-article.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Just a thought 007

Following the spirit that always negates is obviously easier than offering proposals how to change "things" for the better.
May be it's due both to the dominance of our laziness gene and - to the devil in the details.

PS: As it would have taken too long, and not to multiply the complexity, for a beginning I did not mention the intelligence matter. :)

A hint as subtle as ...*

Ladies, gentlemen, friends,

may I attract your attention to The Wife of Bath.

I had forgotten to press the publish button the other day; and - as it would 'sound' strange to read on the 19th a 'yesterday' refering to the 15th, hm? :) - I decided to keep the chronological order.

Hence this subtle hint.

* feel free to insert the metaphor of your choice. :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Pubs' Day

As it's the same procedure as last year, rather than writing a lenghty post I can prepare myself mentally for what I shall whisper to my first 'only man' tonight.

So, here's Tetrapilotomos' 17th-of-March-opening-groaner, to which* - in my borderless clemency as always I contributed the 'stupid questions'.

Tiny tip: To give yourself the thrilling illusion of reading Omnium's Breaking News!, all you have to do while reading is, replacing 'Wednesday' by Thursday.

In a minute or so, I shall receive a message like this one.

That's it. May the snakes bite me, if I tried
to keep my esteemed Irish readers any longer away from the magic spirits.

In this sense: A nice (pub-?)crawl, everybody!

May the black magic source never run dry, may your landlord's drawing-power never weaken.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Wife of Bath

Yesterday, on the Ides of March, and thus 2055 years after Caesar rattled "Et tu, Brutus?" and three years after Bock the Robber wrote his first post; 93 years after Austria-Hungary declared war to Portugal, 83 years after the first telephone-line between London and Berlin started to work, 53 years after the first performance of "My Fair Lady" in New York and on the 102nd Birthday of Zarah Leander who once sang "Ich weiß, es wirrrd einmal ein Wunnn...derrrrr gescheh'n ..." (I know there will once happen a wonder ...), and one year after I went down in history, out of the blue I felt fancy to enjoy re-reading Chaucer's Wife of Bath. Well, and this morning I found myself typing Chaucer Wife of Bath youtube and, although it was ... hm ... not exactly what I had hoped to find, after about nine minutes I thought 'Nice idea, anyway' and decided to share it.

Enjoyed a bit?
Fine. And now to the main course.
At least in case you have not enjoyed the pleasure, yet, you should switch to the original.
As an exception from the rule - if you were I you'd always prefer to feel the book in your hands - here are the links to both the .... [writing all adjectives would take too long] ... Prologue and the Tale.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Here's good news for all those who suffer from Triskaidekaphobia [fear of the 13] and even more from Paraskavedekatriaphobia [fear of Friday 13th]: 209 years ago, on March 13th, 1800 which happened to be a Friday, the great-grandparents of my grandfather (photo/1898) exchanged wedding-vows and ... ... never got divorced since. Now, if that's not a reason, with thanks to the fairies and leprechauns to raise one's glass. Happy anniversary, dear great-great-great-grandmother, and dear great-great-great-grandfather!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Lampposts, ropes and crows

1.) Can you imagine anyone in any country giving her / his signature to any contract concerning anyone's treatment who abused children (or committed any other crime) that would cost UK£290,000?

2) Can anyone explain why (even) I do sometimes see lampposts, ropes and crows?

Plaidoyer pour l'art

Three years earlier born than Maurice Ravel, on March 7th, 1872 his fate was to become a painter: Piet Mondrian.

Do I (particularly) 'love' this kind of art?


Why would I mention him then?

To attract your attention to an impressive post by A Doubtful Egg.

He's written a wonderful plaidoyer pour l'art.

Take your time. You'll regret rien. :)

Praise of a 'mad man'

"I only composed one master work, that is the Bolero; unfortunately, there is no music in it", Maurice Ravel once remarked with regard to what is said to have been his master work.

In so far, it had been not consequential if, after the first performance a lady whose name remained unknown cried: "Oh God, a mad man!", the composer had not said she was the only one to understand him, hm?

Well, anyway.

If I told what the Bolero achieves to conjure up whenever I happen to hear its first tone there'd certainly more than one (wo)man understand :) me.

That's why I won't tell.

Instead, I restrict myself to write: Happy birthday, 'mad man'!

And here's ... the Bolero. Enjoy!

... can't get enough? Longing for the finale furioso? :)
Here's Part II:

Sunday, March 01, 2009

David and Sam

As it's still St. David's Day and I happen to think of another David I thought I should share what recently warmed my heart with those who did not already watch what I'll just call The Story of David and Sam.

H/t Colin Campbell and Freeborn John.

And did you see this at Ardent's?

Personal note

Ladies, gentlemen, friends,

it's not that I'd not answer your comments. Google does not let me!

Neither I can comment on my own blog nor on many others.

Slightly strange. Hope this will end soon.

With burning patience,



Dafydd ap Gwilym XVI

It's St. David's Day again.

May the Welsh enjoy celebrating their Saint.

Omnium is celebrating their Poet.


It's a pity for me that the girl whose praises I am always singing, and who holds her court in the wood, does not know of the conversation I had about her with the gray friar today.

I went to the friar to confess my sins. I admitted to him that I have been without any doubt an idolatrous poet since I have always loved and adored a certain lovely girl with dark eyebrows, "And", I told him, "I have never had a single favour from my murdress, nor has my lady ever allowed me a moment of happiness: in spite of this I love her continually and am wasted with pining for my darling. I carry her praise through the whole land of Wales, and in spite of this I live without her, though I long to hear her in my bed between me and the wall."

The brother spoke this to me: "I will give you good advice: if you have loved this foamwhite girl (merely the colour of paper) forso long, it is time now to think of lessening your punishment on that dreadful day which comes to all of us, for all this is of no benefit to your soul. Cease from making rhymes and accustom yourself instead to saying your prayers, for God did not redeem the souls of men that they might make rhymes and elegiacs, and your minstrels' songs are nothing but flattery and idle bawling. This praise of the body is not good, and leads the soul to the devil."

Then I answered each word that the friar had spoken.

"God is not so cruel as old men tell us: nor will God cut off the gentle soul of a man for loving a woman or a girl. Three things are loved by the whole world.: women, fine weather, and good health, and girls are the fairest flowers in heaven next to God himself. Every man of all peoples is born of woman save these three: Adam, Eve, Melchizedek, and so it is not surprising that man loves girls and women. Gladness falls from Heaven, all misery comes from Hell.
Song makes glad old and young, sick and healthy, and I have an equal right to make poems as you have to pray, I have the same right to sing for my bread as you beg for it. Are not hymns and sequences but other kinds of odes and elegiacs? And are not the psalms of David poems to the good God?

God does not feed man with one food and one relish, he gives him time to eat and a time to worship, a time to pray and a time to make poems. Song springs up at every feast to give pleasure to the ladies, paters are said in church to seek the land of Paradise. Yscuthach drinking with his poets spoke the truth:
'A happy face, his house is full
A sad face, evil and bitterness.'

Though some love holiness, others love being glad together, and there are few men who can make a sweet verse though everyone can say a prayer. And so, my holy brother, I do not think that singing is the greatest sin. When men are as ready to hear paters as the harp, as ready as the girls of Gwynedd are to hear gay songs, then my right hand I'll say paters all day and for ever without ceasing. Till then shame on Dafydd if he sings paters instead of poems!"