Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Rant of Epic Proportions

I’m in the mood for revolution tonight. And I’m not talking about an ‘oh, lets make some placards and hold a rally’ type thing. I mean a full blown ‘bring down the government, overhaul the entire system’ job. Peacefully, of course. In fact, in my new regime all those who even acknowledge so-called political violence as a means to an end will be rounded up for a little dose of re-education. Such braindeads are one of the reasons I’m in such a riled up mood this evening, but I’ll get back to that in a minute.

Anyway, it all started off this morning when I opened my local paper to discover a story on the removal of a local “eyesore”. Said “eyesore” can be seen in the photo above which I took during a lovely sea mist last spring. It looks even more beautiful during a high tide or bathed in evening sunshine and I had hoped to get more shots of it throughout the seasons, but now I’ll never get the chance. *sigh*

“It’s only a boat, not worth getting that worked up over,” I hear you cry, but no, it wasn’t only a boat!  It was local landmark, beached on some rocks just by the bridge that takes you into our wee town. For myself and so many others it was one of those little signs that let you know you were home after a long trip away. It had been there for as long as anyone I know can remember. And two days ago it was bought for five euro, demolished and carted off to be sold on for a healthy profit as scrap metal. So far the only people I’ve heard calling it an eyesore were those who took it away.

The story of this little boat, folks, represents all that is and has been wrong with my country for a long time now. For decades I’ve watched the majority of what made Ireland beautiful bring ripped apart in the name of “progress and prosperity”. Ancient trees disappearing in the night to make way for office car parks, charming cobblestone bridges being knocked down for roads that go nowhere, pre-Celtic monuments that have stood for millennia now being let fall to wrack and ruin. And don’t even get me started on the property boom, which has obliterated countryside and urban centres alike with some of the most tasteless buildings on the planet. Seriously, even the Soviets would have thought modern Irish architecture bland.

It’s not as though we don’t have planning and conservation laws, it’s just that if you have the right bank  balance or know the right people you don’t have to worry about them. In fact, from what I can see developers were, if anything, encouraged to flaunt them. Even funded! And they wonder why the country is going down the tubes. Forget global recession, this place is a mess all of our own making. We can moan about the bankers all day long, and rightly so too, but there’s so much more wrong here than just financial corruption. There is a deep rooted cultural and political apathy that is so pandemic I can’t see anyway of recovering from it. We don’t deserve to be prosperous if this is what we do with our wealth.

But then maybe I’m just extra mad today because right after reading the news about my beloved boat I got a text that instantly threw all my Halloween plans out the window. You see that little scary video I posted a few days ago was supposed to be a prelude to a month of terror and madness that I was going to bring to you courtesy of The Loom of Doom, a haunted house event I was supposed to be taking part in. (I was going to be one of the evil nurses!) Sadly, it has had to be called off, brought down in a tangle of red tape and over-priced bureaucracy. Instead of supporting such a positive and potentially lucrative event our local government system has instead made it economically unviable.

Well they’ve certainly shot themselves in the foot with this one. I was helping out with the show’s press work and I can tell you now, the media attention and public support for this project was phenomenal. It was being held in an old Fruit of the Loom factory that at one point not so long ago employed a vast proportion of the town’s population. When it shut a few years back the local economy was devastated, and the building has been lying empty since. The new owners had kindly donated it’s uses free of charge so that it could be put to some positive use, and the sense of community spirit didn’t end there. The entire thing was being financed by the organisers themselves though all profit was going to local charities, and everyone else involved (hundreds of people) were giving their services voluntarily. To top it off, tens of thousands of visitors were expected to descend upon the town in search of a good scare.

It was due to open on Friday and I’d been down looking at the sets and stuff a few times already. Oh my god, the quality of craftsmanship and artistry was nothing short of outstanding. It was going to be so super amazingly fantastic! I was going to wait till it opened to start snapping and sharing it with you, but now I’m not going to get the chance to do that now either. The only ones I have are the two I took to make the poster for the Facebook page I was helping maintain. Forget about how heartbreaking it is for those who put in so much effort, and about the bitter disappointment of those looking forward to attending, what about me and my blog?! I’m going to have to go find new stuff to post for these parties! *steam coming out ears while hammering at keyboard*

Right, I do realise that this has become my all time longest post and I do apologise for that, but I did mention in my opening paragraph that there was one other thing ragging me so I’ll just touch on it briefly. I’m not sure how clued up you all are on the whole Northern Ireland situation, but at the minute there are a bunch of absolute muppets going around trying to restart the whole thing.  I mean it, these people are not only bigoted, hate-filled, braindead shitheads (my polite term for them) but they’re actually even more dangerous than those who came before on account of their unfathomable stupidity.

What they hell are they fighting for anyway? Who exactly are they fighting? They’d probably spin you some bullshit about national self-determination or some such. Actually, they wouldn’t-  that’s much too complicated a term for them to understand. So what is it they want exactly? To ‘blow up Brits’? Yup, that’s more like their kind of language. Why exactly, I have no idea. Also, if that’s the case, then why did they blow up almost thirty men women and children in Omagh ten years ago? Three of those children were from my home town, which is in the Republic of Ireland, and two of them were Spanish. The rest were just locals going about their business, Catholics and Protestants alike, friends and neighbours.

I’ll tell you why they did it, because they’re idiots who grew up spoon fed nationalistic propaganda from a generation who are so bitter about the past they can’t let it go. Calling them misguided fools is much too soft, though, because last night they almost caused a repeat of the Omagh tragedy when they planted a car bomb just down the road from here in Derry. Right outside a bloody hotel of all places! There were American and Japanese tourists inside and everything. But that wasn’t their intended target, we’ll probably never know where was. Just like that Saturday afternoon in Omagh, this bomb had been abandoned in the wrong place. It’s thought those responsible were spooked by a police presence further down the road. So what did they do? They ran away and left it outside some busy shops and a building full of foreign nationals. Yes boys, you are true patriots.

Thankfully, the car was reported as suspicious and the surrounding area evacuated. It’s a miracle nobody was seriously injured. It’s still really very worrying. I don’t get spooked by terror warnings on the news and I don’t buy into media fear mongering, but when you realise there are idiots like this operating close by it is a little scary. Stupidity is a very dangerous thing, and when it’s backed up with explosives it’s lethal.  These people might be a tiny minority but even the littlest things in the universe can be deadly.

Anyway, sorry this post has been so, so long. When I said it was going to be ‘epic’ I didn’t really mean it literally! I think I just needed to vent a little. I’ll be back tomorrow with some lighter stuff but for now I need to go recover.


Gypsea Tree {Steam Spectre} said...

I could write an epic response, but I will try to keep it somewhat short. I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your landmark. I know how important those things can be. They become integral parts of our landscape and somehow our very sense of place and being. There was a tree that I dearly loved and I used to drive well out of my way to "visit" it sometimes. I had always meant to to bring a camera and the one day I finally did, I discovered it had been slit by lightening and totally ripped apart. It broke my heart and I can't imagine how I would have felt if it had been anything more than natural causes.

I have been following the news in Ireland and was also upset to hear this story. I spent some time backpacking in Ireland several years ago and found myself returning to Derry several times for some reason or another. It wasn't really a favorite place, but I learned a lot there. I met all kinds of people in my travels- most absolutely wonderful, but a few that I found unsettling in their long harbored anger and ill will. My heritage is Irish and it will always feel like a 2nd home to me. I loved my time there and it makes me sad to see people who insist on continuing to promote fear. Hopefully it will be those that speak against it that will always prevail.

All the best to you and I hope things will be looking up again very soon!

JJ Beazley said...

I'm with you, Roisin. I hear you, darlin', I really do.

You won't change the world, but keep trying, eh? You just climbed higher. Good rant!

D.Suplicki said...

I could write you a novel about how I feel the very same on so many fronts. I will say instead, aside from the warring, New Jersey and Ireland sound pretty similar. They both destroy beloved landmarks because they think they're an eyesore, tear down forests to build condos, mcmansions and highways to replace highways that are perfectly the name of progress and try to shut down events that don't seem to fit their agenda just because they can. It's complete bullshit, all of it.

Róisín said...

First off I want to say thanks for actually reading this; it's so long I didn't think anyone would bother!
So thank you!

Right, Laura- I'm so sorry to hear about your tree! I've trees like that too that I like to go visit too. One of them has actually been struck by lightning, but that was how it was when I first came across it. The thing is, I was walking by it recently and saw that someone had ruined it by lighting a camp fire in the hollowed out bit. Ahhh! I'm going to get started again... No stop.
Anyway, you've been to Derry! We could've walked past each other and never have known!!! It's literally 10 minutes down the road from me, though I'm on the good side of the border :) I can see why it wouldn't have been your favourite place to visit, it's not exactly a my idea of a friendly, picturesque town. And I can just imagine the type of people you are referring to as well :( Thankfully they are becoming an ever shrinking minority. The next time you visit you should take a wee run up this neck of the woods; where I am might not be so far away from Derry but it really is like a different country. Actually, it IS a different country! And we make better tea.

JJ- who said I couldn't change the world if I actually tried? My mammy always told me I could do anything I put my mind to, and my mammy's always right :)

Danni- I would love to read that novel! Yes, it is indeed all bullshit. I realise that this kind of thing isn't unique to Ireland, I've seen it happening all over the place. It really is so sad. I don't know if JJ there would agree, but I think England have seemed to find a good balance when it comes to this kind of thing. A green belt is a green belt there, and sprawling developments seem to be isolated to urban areas so the countryside has retained it's charm. And when they do build in rural areas the architecture is really sympathetic to the older buildings. Their little villages are so pretty!

Thanks again folks for your time, I seemed to have wasted even more of it now with this comment!

Mickie Mueller Art said...

Well, everyone is allowed to be mad sometimes. I've never been to Ireland, but have always dreamed of a visit there to the land of my ancestors. But the story of the boat made little tears well up in my eyes, and then the other news on top of it. Grrr...I don't blame you. Hang in there.

Róisín said...

Aw Mickie, I didn't mean to make you cry! Sorry :( Anyway, I hope if you ever do make it to Ireland there'll be something left here to make it recognisably Irish (apart from ugly housing estates and now abandoned construction sites). Do you know that there actually trying to build a motorway through the Hill of Tara!!! They'll never get away with it, though the fact they'd even think on it... No, I'm not going to start again! Thanks so much for stopping by and have a nice day!
Roisin x

TheAmazingFoxworthBlog said...

Bestest post EVERRRRR!!! So many topics and all so fuckin well written! Maggie would be proud :-)

Though your love for the boat is admirable it was equally hated by others. I know people who regarded it as an eyesore and because it wasn't against the law to have it there the council legally couldn't move it - even after requests of some people.

Like everything in the world tho different opinions exist. One man's trash is another man's treasure :-)

Dint knwo that about the HH either - thats bullshit. Duno what has to happen to get that town kick-started again?

As for your take on the boyos - i agree 100%. Fuckin muppets the lot of them. Sometimes i wish a few of the old dogs would come back and give these dipshits a lesson in what-for. Mark my words if this shit keeps happenin the City Of Culture 2013's goin out the window. Has nothin to do with politics at all - just money hungry idiotic whores tryin to make a name for themsleves and their "cause". Which incidentally changes week-to-week.

Anywyas well done & great post again !!!

Róisín said...

Glad you liked it Declan! I can't believe there are people who seriously thought that boat was horrible though. I bet they're the same people who think the Swilly Hotel should be knocked down to build flats. Thank god no one's got the money now to carry that through! I wouldn't mind if I thought they'd put any effort in to their design, but I've seen the plans and they're ugly. Just think of what they did to Roneragh House in Fahan and you'll be half way there. On another note, you're spot on about those idiots in Derry. I suppose there's not enough profit in peace for them.

(By the way, just so you don't think I'm ignorant, I tried replying to your text last night but for some reason it wouldn't work! Didn't head up myself in the end.)

TheAmazingFoxworthBlog said...

I have a feelin we'll be on opposite sides of this boat issue. I mean you wouldn't leave an old decaying dustbin out to rot for years and then expect to call it a cultural landmark after someone tried to move it!

and on the last matter i DID think you were ignorant!!!! :-) it's all good tho cos you finally let someone else win for a change :-)

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