Thursday 31 May 2012

...and now, my loyal Colyoomistas, a brief pause.....

... for excellent reasons that will soon become apparent.

Saturday 12 May 2012

I can’t work out which scares me most: Jedward, Jihad or Jihadward!

Sometimes only a tabloid will do. Only a red top could add Al Qaeda to the Eurovision Song Contest, throw in a pair of execrable Irish twins and come up with the inspired headline “JIHADWARD!”
On Saturday April 14th, the Irish Daily Mirror lead with Alana Fearon’s front page story about a terrorist threat that made my lips curve into a smile and my conscience wobble with uncertainty.
Apparently some bloke called ‘Mouslim’ had left a statement on the web declaring: “Eurovision is a nightmare for all Muslim people.”

So far so good. Growing up in England the Eurovision was never much more than a bit of a laugh. It was only when I moved to Ireland that I grew to loathe it, because you guys take it seriously.

Maybe your love of the song contest has waned a little in recent years but it’s still a huge Happening here, compared to over there.

It’s crushingly sad that a country which has produced generation after generation of world class musicians across the genres should dote on a pathetic anachronistic  embarrassment of a show.

But you do. Oh okay, not you, personally, because you’ll never admit to it, but I know how the media works, and the amount of space and time Eurovision still occupies in Ireland’s TV, radio, newspaper and online content tells me that loads of you still love it.

Mouslim goes on. He goes on and on and on, about homosexuals, satan, blood and perverts, so I’ll neither big him up nor bore you with the details. The point is he, or ‘they’ if he has mates, intend to slay contestants at the Eurovision Song Contest, or at least they say they want to.
Loss of innocent life is never a laughing matter, but while I harbour no desire to kill Jedward I can understand how somebody might. It is my middle-aged imperative to find fantastic comfort in loathing the music of the young.

In tediously fab bohemian families where the children call their father and mother Giles and Oy, parents often try to dig their kids’ music.
It’s painful.

Either their children are absolutely listening to the wrong music or the parents are deluding themselves that they are street credible and down with the yoof: whichever way it works, the outcome is awkward. They’re your children for god’s sake; let them rebel. Allow them the freedom to be different. Stop trying to be so chummy and hip.

I don’t have kids, but if I did I’d love them to be big Jedward fans, because then I’d be able to hiss and spit and blow verbal farts at the TV. I’d be able to splutter:

“Gordonlyknows what you see in these vacuous irritating little twerps!”

and my children would tut and pawoof their breaths and yell something respectful like:

“For god’s sake, shut up Dad!”

and all would be well in my world.

I cannot in any satisfactory way imagine my father being into the Ramones (although in the act of trying, a smile appears on my lips as I visualise him pogoing with my mum, G&Ts sploshing akimbo), anymore than I feel comfy singing along with … well that’s it, I’m so fabulously unhip I don’t even know who’s big at the moment, and if ventured to name a name, everyone under 20 would snort like pigs and mumble 

"Kuh, soooo last year!"

unless saying ‘so last year’ is so last year.

When, on Thursday night, RTE announced Jedward had qualified for tonight’s final, their TV audience peaked at 1,135,000 viewers, which in a country of 4 million people is significant, if not just plain scary.
So despite the fact that Jedward turn my innards to liquid, these gushing grinning boys evidently bring pleasure to millions of tweenies and yet, when the Irish Daily Mirror ran that “Jihadward!” headline my heart skipped a beat.

Had the twins from hell been singled out for special attention by terrorists?

No they hadn't. All the Eurovision contestants are in Al Qaeda’s crosshairs, and that’s a bit scary, but in this Premier League of Scares, it’s not quite as scary as the reverence with which the Irish treat the Eurovision Song Contest, which in turn is less scary than me writing about it, which is a few points below the scary truth that I’m giving credence to a story in the Irish Daily Mirror.

I’m lost in a labyrinth of scariness, but somewhere in the middle ground, inbetween the slaughter of innocent(?) adolescent pop stars and having to sit and watch the kitsch epic - that’s where I want to be.

Of course, if the plot goes ahead,and the blood of pop stars from all over the continent is shed in a night of infamy and catchy lyrics, then I’ll be feeling pretty stupid, which will be nothing compared to how stupid I’ll look wearing the Guantanamo orange jumpsuit after the SWAT team’s helicopter comes to take me away.

There’s no harm in Jedward, and that may be my problem. At a time when young people are being handed over a society that’s broke and potentially brutal, I expect their music to make a potent political noise of protest.

Instead, Ireland’s youth is represented by Jedward’s unbridled enthusiasm, a gushingly positive Bouncy Castle pair of boys, as substantial as a cheesy wotsit, who at least have very successfully fulfilled one function, by making this middle-aged man grumpy.

Jedward said: "We want the whole of Europe to know how brilliant Ireland is."

Right now it’s 06:46 on a cloudless blue sky May morning in the west of Ireland. Outside my office window the long grass wilts heavy with morning dew; a pheasant ca-hooks nearby.
Yes, Jedward, Ireland is brilliant, and even though I hesitate to wish for Jihadward, wherein you are slaughtered live in front of the millions watching tonight’s song contest, there must be a better way of selling Ireland to the world.

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Haven’t I an original bone in my body?

In the styles of Seamus Ruttledge and John Lennon - haven’t I an original bone in my body?

As if I’m treading water
In the warm salty sea
Seamus’ songs envelope
Support and tickle me.

From shallows to the deep
His words and tunes just creep
Up and wander around my head
My soul and my sleep.

A middle class hero is something to be.
A middle class hero is something to be.

You get all the hate
But have no money.
There’s no working class kudos
No class glory for me.

But I have my ideals and they set me free
Alongside experience which makes me doubt
What the hell this cruel world is really about
But my colyoomistas really matter to me
While my mates gather round and get me out of my tree.

So sing, Seamus, write,
Like a full moon at night
Keep your gentle tunes playing,
Your words of wisdom saying
That there’s others out there
Also bathed in moonlight,
Finding comfort in company, as we fight our good fight.