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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Hello Tullamore!

"Tullamore Rhymers Club in association with Offaly CAHWT (Campaign Against Household & Water Tax) and 100 Thousand Poets for Change
welcome writer and activist Kevin Higgins to Tullamore
 on September 19th at 8pm in Hugh Lynches pub on Kilbride Street."

Thursday, 9 August 2012

My Militant Tendency: me at a meeting addressed by Peter Taaffe in 1984

Dr. John Cunningham who teaches in the History Department at NUI Galway sent me this photo via Facebook today. It shows part of the audience of a public meeting here in Galway addressed by Peter Taaffe, the leader of the Militant Tendency in Britain. That is me scratching my neck and yawning slightly. I have to say, I don't remember being bored. The meeting took place in the Atlanta Hotel on Dominick Street in the Spring of 1984, just before the Miners' Strike began in the U.K. I was a couple of months shy of my seventeenth birthday and a fifth year student at the Bish secondary school. Here is a relevant poem:

My Militant Tendency
It's nineteen eighty two and I know everything.
Hippies are people who always end up asking
Charles Manson to sing them another song.
I'd rather be off putting some fascist through
a glass door arseways, but being fifteen,
have to mow the lawn first. Last year,

Liverpool meant football; now
it's the Petrograd of the British Revolution.
Instead of masturbation, I find socialism.

While others dream of businessmen bleeding
in basements; I promise to abolish double-chemistry class
the minute I become Commissar. In all of this
there is usually a leather jacket involved. I tell

cousin Walter and his lovely new wife, Elizabeth,
to put their aspirations in their underpants
and smoke them; watch

my dad's life become a play:
Sit Down In Anger.
 
'My Militant Tendency' is from my 2008 collection Time Gentlemen, Please which is available from Salmon Poetry here http://www.salmonpoetry.com/details.php?ID=35&a=108

The poem also features in the 2009 Forward Book of Poetry which is available from Faber & Faber here http://www.faber.co.uk/work/forward-book-of-poetry-2009/9780571243969/

Monday, 6 August 2012

'My Inner Conspiracy Theorist'

G.K. Chesterton said "When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing — they believe in anything." I don't believe in God and so disagree with that statement. However, it's clear that when the big ideas collapse - god being but one such idea, the Marxist idea of the class struggle and historical progress is another - some people can't cope with the nothing that's left to believe in and do indeed end up believing any old rubbish. The evidence is everywhere. Nowhere more so than on Facebook.

The other day a Facebook 'friend', who I do not know personally, posted a propagandistic picture about the 'Zionist bankers', the Rothschilds, a favourite of conspiracy theorists everywhere. I commented to the effect that this was the same old anti-semitic rubbish Hitler used to go on with and then unfriended said individual. Life is simply too short. But I could still see this person's Facebook posts. One Facebook friend of this person commented that "Hitler was a Rothschild" and that the 'Holocaust' [the inverted commas are hers] was set up to "get them [the Jews] back to Israel". My by now former Facebook friend commented that she agreed absolutely.

This person is a big supporter of rights for the Palestinians and no doubt considers herself to be on the Left. She's nothing of the sort of course; no Marxist or Liberal or Anarchist (if these words are to have any meaning at all) would ever put inverted commas around the Holocaust. She is rather a believer in wild conspiracy myths, some of which have their roots on the Left but many of which clearly have their roots on the extreme Right.

A favourite of conspiracy heads everywhere is the 'issue' - the inverted commas in this case are mine - of fluoride in your tap water.

Last year I published a poem titled My Inner Conspiracy Theorist in The Galway Advertiser and also on the Upstart.ie blog. Here it is http://www.advertiser.ie/galway/article/39610/my-inner-conspiracy-theorist It will also feature in my next collection of poems The Ghost In The Lobby, which will be published in September 2013 by Salmon Poetry.

I dedicate it to everyone who believes that the Rothschilds are putting fluoride in the tap water in an effort to drug us into dumbly accepting the 'New World Order'.

'My Inner Conspiracy Theorist'

G.K. Chesterton said "When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing — they believe in anything." I don't believe in God and so disagree with that statement. However, it's clear that when the big ideas collapse - god being but one such idea, the Marxist idea of the class struggle and historical progress is another - some people can't cope with the nothing that's left to believe in and do indeed end up believing any old rubbish. The evidence is everywhere. Nowhere more so than on Facebook.

The other day a Facebook 'friend', who I do not know personally, posted a propagandistic picture about the 'Zionist bankers', the Rothschilds, a favourite of conspiracy theorists everywhere. I commented to the effect that this was the same old anti-semitic rubbish Hitler used to go on with and then unfriended said individual. Life is simply too short. But I could still see this person's Facebook posts. One Facebook friend of this person commented that "Hitler was a Rothschild" and that the 'Holocaust' [the inverted commas are hers] was set up to "get them [the Jews] back to Israel". My by now former Facebook friend commented that she agreed absolutely.

This person is a big supporter of rights for the Palestinians and no doubt considers herself to be on the Left. She's nothing of the sort of course; no Marxist or Liberal or Anarchist (if these words are to have any meaning at all) would ever put inverted commas around the Holocaust. She is rather a believer in wild conspiracy myths, some of which have their roots on the Left but many of which clearly have their roots on the extreme Right.

A favourite of conspiracy heads everywhere is the 'issue' - the inverted commas in this case are mine - of fluoride in your tap water.

Last year I published a poem titled My Inner Conspiracy Theorist in The Galway Advertiser and also on the Upstart.ie blog. Here it is http://www.advertiser.ie/galway/article/39610/my-inner-conspiracy-theorist It will also feature in my next collection of poems The Ghost In The Lobby, which will be published in September 2013 by Salmon Poetry.

I dedicate it to everyone who believes that the Rothschilds are putting fluoride in the tap water in an effort to drug us into dumbly accepting the 'New World Order'.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

First paragraph of my quintessential Irish novel

A few years ago, one dull summer day, I set myself the challenge of writing the opening paragraph of my quintessential Irish novel. I tried to encompass all the key elements.

“Jude was slumped in the pew nearest the door of the church. He'd killed himself
again. "Hopefully this time it'll work", he'd whispered, as he sat down, opened
his silver flask and began to drink the stuff for burning off scutch grass, which
had been left in the far outhouse since the day De Valera died. It was to that
same outhouse uncle Padraig used to take him on September afternoons, when
the hay was in and the rest of the family watching the All-Ireland Final, to tell him
jolly green tales of old IRA heroes and make him do those terrible things.”