Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ireland Crush England, Croke Park and Sylvia Plath

So, today Ireland kicked all shiny shades o shit outta England at the rugby, which, I'll be honest, brough me no end of satisfaction. Mostly because of two folks in particular: Brian Ashton, the England coach, who is one of those wankers who thinks he's the bee's knees but is - in fact - tosser-in-chief, a highly respected position in the tosser community; and Brian Moore.
Moore is the twattiest of commentators, practically without peer across the sporting diaspora, in terms of being opinionated, biased, and for the most part, wrong. He made the critical error of writing off the Irish, a move that - if we are to assume it had any effect on the Irish squad - could only be a motivator, one that was condemned by critics an fans alike. There's not much to be added, except to praise Eddie Butler for remaining calm an professional throughout. He's a better man than I. Moore made phantom calls all over the pitch, steadfastly refusin to grant Ireland even the slightest of leeway for skillful backplay an fierce defence.
Which is a shame, for I haven't seen Ireland so good in manys a long while. England simply weren't in the same league. Farrell looked like a Union wannabe, Wilkinson missed a kick, did you ever, and Ireland were sublime. O'Connell was an absolute machine, bustin heads like Cuchullain reborn, Horgan munched through anyone thick enough to get in his way, and from nine to fifteen, they gave a performance that'd remind you of nothin less than the way Arsenal can pass a football, but with more violence an less dancin. An our very own wee Isaac Boss took a try for himself to make it 43-13, which makes for a nicer scoreline, all in all.

Better, by far, than the 19-16 bloody stupid scoreline some o the lunatic fringe were hopin for. I couldn't believe the hack o some folks in the build-up to the game. Of course it was awful, no-one wanted for folks to get killed back in the day, but it happened. And life went on. There's no point in arrguin that the RA started it by killin British agents, there's no point in playin 'who's the victim'. The fact is that the Black and Tans were ordinary fellas put in extraordinary circumstances beyond their trainin, in a hostile environment. What they did was inexcusable, and - of course - the lessons learned from that day should never be forgotten. But just as inexcusable is playin stupid bastards an demandin an apology eighty-six years later. From who? The men with the guns are long dead. The politics that motivated them have passed on. The government that occupied an repressed no longer hold sway. It's just the Irish now, an there's a minority that can't let go of the victim status. It's time to move on, give the fuckin B&Ts a break. And don't pin stupid political banners on a little game o egg chasin.

The Bell Jar is fascinatin stuff. I'd always seen it as a kind of scenester book - one that you read just to say you'd read. An true enough, she's a pretty tragic figure, wi more than her fair share o stories to tell. First time I saw it was in the hands of a fella - I assume he was a student, he looked like one - the copy all dog-eared an outta print, readin it on the subway in Boston, Plath's hometown. Back then, it suggested to me everythin my bias needed to hear, that this was a novel for the myspace crowd, of bad fringes, tight jeans an expensive tastes. But Plath herself is a narrator - while not free o pretense, fair enough - who's at the very least an engagin figure, one you root for in the end. But there lies in the book a tenderness, a willingness to understand, an a wish to be understood, that's often absent in fellas like Burroughs or Huxley. There's a definite desire to see the best in life, a cravin for the thing that makes everyone else seem so happy, so normal, that sits agonisinly, infuriatinly outta reach. both for reader an writer. Watchin the novel unfold, sittin in pretty fuckin awful comparison to the actual end to Plath's life, leaves a bitter taste. I can see why the myspace crowd took her on: she's a genius no-one got, but for me, it seems more a case o her failin to 'get' anyone else. The fact o the bell jar is that everyone can see you, scrutinise you, judge you, but you're helpless to do anythin about it. Myspace man could get anyone he wanted wi his hipster fringe an desginer scruffy jeans, but Plath wouldn't a got him. Maybe I'm missin the point, but the book is jus so much more than a handbook for non-convention. It's more like a cry for help that no-one got.

Thanks for readin,

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