Thursday, December 8, 2011

Icarus and the Magpie

You are 100% right about Ireland..or Oireland...we really are a bunch of old codgers, driving around in last century's mercedes, rooting in deep pockets for shallow change for the priest and the poor box, we haven't changed really, we're still the Gombeenmen of Europe...rarely paying for our round, but always the life of the party...charming...but always so charmingly non-commital...perhaps living for so long as we did under the yoke of John Bull, shivering in caravans or tents..or under the bush on the side of the road has made us that way...we were landless tenants, we didn't own our own houses..even our poor patethic little bogside bohans, so why would we pay taxes for well as rent...? To improve the roads, hah, sure a bad road will keep the Peelers away, and the Agents, and the feckers with the bad news. We made sure we spread the pig-shit across the street, and they kept well away from us, only visiting when there was someone to be buried or hanged, or both. We were a miserable bunch, not willing to pay the piper, but always calling the tune, or the piper a bolix, and swearing to God that the Brits were exporting their potholes here, much like the holes in Blackburn, Lancashire.

And then one day the fairy godmother..or the Pookie as we call her, came along and waved her 'sciathan' and hey presto, in the blink of the eye, we actually could afford real houses, real clothes, real cars, real holidays, to be really whom we always acted as..or aspired to...and for a fleeting day, or maybe a fortnight, we truly believed, we believed in ourselves and our dreams, we drove at speed around the potholes in our new fancy cars, we built things only the Americans built, we started to join up the dots with autobahns across the island and we began the climb, up the ladder to acceptance, to respectability, combing our hair and polishing our boots as we went, one-eyed on the road, one-legged, looking back awhile, in dis-belief!

T'was the Colour Purple, it was, 'cept we were Green...and sure green suits us, we decided, and the greener we got, the closer to the sun we flew! Flew? We soared, higher and higher, mastering the rising currents, then the current-torrents, like no one before, and the more we soared, the more we heated up, sweating in the unfamiliar glare, the clothes came off, we stripped down to the buff, preening, tanning ourselves, while soaring, between soaring, soaring upsides-down, no hands, always soaring, gliding was for cowards, we soared...roaring like the mighty Celts we were, bating our chests, defying gravity, sure weren't we born to it, everyone cheering us on, glad the duck was a swan...and so we roared and soared and then suddenly, in one feiry burst, we were burnt, burnt to a crisp, exposed for the ordinary folks we were, unprepared for sun-burn, limelight, fame, champagne hangovers, or money, money damnit, lots of money, mullah, or responsibility, maybe, just maybe we can buy our way out of it, buy new wings, and new wings were bought, and we borrowed more for wings for friends, for singers, for entertainers, ya need music for such a tragedy and musicians don't come cheap, so we borrowed and paid, and partied, while we tried desparately to learn to glide, on inferior wings, in dangerous winds, on bad days, ...and no one said stop, why did ye not shout stop?

And so, pretty quickly after it all began, we recalled our envoys, we cancelled the parties, we tightened our belts, but it was too late, far too late for such measures. Alas, we had failed, we lost our semblance of sensibility, our mantra of maturity, our dreams were shattered, taunted for what they were, unrealistic aspirations of an unworthy race...typecast for so long as curs and gombeens, we failed to realise our destiny, to grasp our future with both hands, and so, slipping, did as they all do falling down an Everest, we reached out and grasped at straws, or ropes and stabbed blindly with pithons into the passing grikes and helping hands, praying for any slim hope, for a finger- or toe-hold on that hallowed ground we had glimpsed, and had briefly gained, shamefully kicking out and squirming, hoping to dodge our fate, melding and morphing into what we were not, though such seemed our lot, we eventually fell back, and as we fell, the slack from the rope around our swollen bellies, tautened, tightened on our climbing buddies, our backers and our back-slappers, those who would dare to soar with the marauding Celts, to scale to the exciting new highs, and yet, when we fell, they, forewarned, or in true fore-knowlege, for hadn't they lent us the money, they in turn braced for the impact of our fall, on the one hand supporting us, their team-mate, on the other hand, bemoaning at the unfairness of it all, disbelief and a re-born, re-remembered morality in their shrieks, we were kept awake at night.

So bad was our sudden cataclysmic fall, and so great was the dead-cats rebound that our jolt dislodges all their hard-won, foot-holds and upwardly-only strangle-holds and all at once they were exposed them to the rising tide of bitter mis-fortune, and thus dislodged, and sliding, slipping, screaming, their collective momentum brings them out over the precipice, all strung together, connected inexorably to the first faller, or climber, depending on your perspective, screaming ineffectually at the passing cliff-face, at the rising reef of mis-adventure and happenstance...but the rush is great and so is Allah, and life is ...hmm, I suppose good...enough! Musha, isn't it good to be alive.

C'mon....Be honest now though, ....wasn't it great while it lasted?