keresaspa: (Cartman)
For several years since his shady, drug-related death in 2000 UDA killer Stephen "Top Gun" McKeag has been commemorated by various murals in the Lower Shankill area that was formerly his home. Rather than give you the full details of his sordid life I'll just point you in the direction of his Wikipedia article which is in this case both reliable and readable, a true classic of the website (yes, I did write the vast majority of it).

A recent bout of redevelopment saw the most recent version removed and a sigh of relief breathed by the relatives of the victims of one of the most prolific sectarian killers of the later years of the Troubles. However a couple of weeks ago a new version went up in the same vicinity (albeit not the exact location) leading to an outcry as well as the inevitable Housing Executive response of "we've no immediate plans to remove it". Well, the UDA's backs are up since Boreland and the Exec have never been the bravest of agencies at the best of times.

Leaving aside any outrage, the mural itself is one of those photo-based, screen-printed efforts that have become the norm on the Shankill in recent years where the sudden surge of ultra-nationalism that followed the horrendous flag protests and culminated in the loyalist support for the extreme right "leave" option at the last referendum (despite the EU having effectively been propping Northern Ireland up since the economic collapse, but hey - foreigners) has apparently killed off any notion of murals as an art form. Be that as it may, this is the result of their efforts:



Just take a moment to drink that in and realise that that is on the side of somebody's house, twenty odd feet high for the whole world to see. I didn't know McKeag personally (not one of the biggest regrets of my life, I must confess) but I've seen the odd picture and I'm pretty sure he had a complete head throughout his life. It does rather beg the question as to why, in that case, his photo-mural tribute has a head that stops immediately above the eyes with a little beret plonked on top, presumably to stop the world seeing his exposed, pulsating brain matter. I mean, was it really that big a rush job that the designer couldn't take a little time to actually make it look vaguely realistic? Or did they accidentally hire a Fenian who decided to have a bit of fun with it? Whatever the rights and wrongs of commemorating a piece of scum like McKeag if you're going to do it at least do it right. Whatever that is supposed to be it is an absolute laughing stock and frankly the UDA themselves, never mind the Housing Executive, should be removing that with their faces beetroot-red whilst doing so. He may have been "Top Gun" but my breath was certainly taken away by that travesty.
keresaspa: (Seagull)
A very early kick-off for Donegal Celtic in Ballyclare today conspired to deny the chance to attend their match for the second week running. But Saturday football has become such an ingrained habit now that it simply must be and so I searched around for an alternative. DC were in action in the truly pointless Steel and Sons Cup, a competition for the worst League and best non-league clubs from (approximately) counties Down and Antrim so, glancing at the fixtures I decided a half two kick-off between Glentoran Under-20s and Dundela in that competition would satisfy my requirements.

I have no particular love for Glentoran but they have one asset that appeals and that is their home ground, the Oval. Housed in the back streets of east Belfast, deep in the heart of UVF territory, it's a big, ramshackle, decrepit old ground that gives off the vibe of being really rather unsafe. But I love it and reckon it's everything a football ground should be. When the first team are at home it can get pretty raucous but for me it's best appreciated when the reserves are playing and there is an eerie calm to the place.

And so )
keresaspa: (Diggory)
You know one of these days I'm actually going to have something to say on here and it will all be terribly profound and meaningful. Not today though, it's far too hot. Please can summer end soon, I'm far too hairy, heavy and old for all this heat and far too Celtic for all this sunshine. If I didn't split the soles of my shoes so readily I would love winter more than my own lovely life.
keresaspa: (Nina looking a tad pertubed)
Back at the tail-end of 2013 I briefly touched on the UDA internal feud in north Belfast but at that point it hadn't really advanced too far beyond "aye, yer ma" and "i'll knack yer ballix in". But on Sunday night shit just got real as veteran racketeer and former UDA brigadier John "Bonzer" Boreland got whacked by one of his own. By my reckoning he is the first loyalist to be killed by his own since the UVF bumped off Bobby Moffet outside the Ballygomartin Tesco (where I had been a few hours earlier) in 2010 and the first UDA man to be killed in an internal dispute since former East Belfast brigadier was lured to his death in 2005 by a gang that apparently included not only several former friends but even his ex-boyfriend. Even in death Doris Day had to be over the top. Either way it could lead to a spell of fun and games involving loyalist paramilitaries killing each other at a level not seen since the days when Johnny Adair was looking a one-man war with the UVF.

So, just who was Boreland? Well his Wikipedia page summarises the main points pretty well (it should do - I wrote about 95% of it and I'm so good at Wikipedia that even the South Side Advertiser has taken to plagiarising me). It should be added that the buzz on the street was Boreland and Shoukri had effectively re-established a puppet regime in the North Belfast Brigade, installing some unidentified loser who had made his name at those moronic flag protests around the same time as this all began. Said loser is apparently now in Scotland having made enemies of both the notorious Mount Vernon UVF* (who have been flexing their muscles of late) and Shankill-based veteran UVF top dog (and long-term British agent) John "Bunter" Graham. I'm sure it's entirely coincidental that after his faction made such powerful enemies Bonzer is now a goner. And pigs will fly.

Unlike some loyalists killed by their own (the aforementioned Jim Gray springs readily to mind) Boreland had friends as well as enemies. It seems unlikely that those friends will just shrug their shoulders at this and a lack of retaliation seems at best unlikely. It may be an isolated incident but the demand for some comeback is bound to be loud and these things have a nasty habit of spiralling once they begin. "Interesting" times ahead for the residents of Ballysillan, Tigers Bay and the Shore Road it seems. I may have to give Seaview a miss for a while.

* During their heyday of violence and drug dealing the Mount Vernon UVF were led by the malevolent Mark Haddock. And, you guessed it, he was a British agent too. Still don't believe the Troubles was being directed from Westminster?

Open

Aug. 6th, 2016 08:44 pm
keresaspa: (Percy Sugden)
All things considered it has been a peculiar close season. It is normal that in an even year I find the break more bearable thanks to televised tournament football but the Euros largely passed me by this time for some reason and indeed not since the 1994 World Cup (when I was still in my painful teenage intellectual phase, trying to force myself to hate football - worra wanker) have I paid so little attention to a finals. Happen regularly attending live matches has ruined the TV version for me, maybe it's a general distaste for the overpaid multimillionaires that populate the sport or it could be that as my distaste for "patriotism" gets worse with age national team football has rather lost its appeal. Either way, didn't really get into it and the conclusion, with a very limited group of moaners and cheats in Portugal winning, seemed apt somehow.

Still today marked a return (of sorts) to genuine competitive football locally. Due to certain personal circumstances and an unwritten rule I have that I don't leave the confines of Greater Belfast for a pre-season friendly I have missed the entirety of Donegal Celtic's build-up and instead have had to content myself with, apart from my previously discussed London escapades, matches at Cliftonville, Crusaders, Immaculata, Harland & Wolff Welders and Dunmurry Rec. Glamour doesn't begin to describe it. I even managed just after last season to squeeze in my first and only women's match, as I watched Cliftonville and Newry City's ladies teams play out a 2-2 draw at a standard of football that could charitably be called basic. To be fair one of the goals was good and there are some fine female footballers about (the girl Marta for instance) but our local version? Oy! In saying that I might well go again given the chance as you can't fault their commitment and you get in for nitto.

But today it was back to the real deal. Well, sort of. The top division began today but I didn't fancy any of them so I opted for a League Cup match between the PSNI and Banbridge Town. Bad idea. What a pile of rubbish it really was. The filth were a bunch of leaden-footed cloggers, stomping about like Uncle Oojah whilst Banbridge tried to cover up their complete lack of skill by being the biggest bunch of niggling, gamesmanship-driven moaning minnies you've ever encountered. Seven notes to get in and they don't even offer you a cup of char. ACAB. That and the long, narrow and pavement-free road up to their ground could, I felt, have been a bit more dangerous as there were actually a few seconds when I didn't think I was about to get ran over by the passing traffic.

But I mustn't grumble. I'll finally get back to my own lads as DC face Dundela next Saturday in the first game of the league campaign and, handily enough, old Wilgar Park is nobbut a cockstride away (well, three miles but that's nowt to a slender chap like me). Close season has been quite the slog and my first game back was less than auspicious but getting back to the ones that I know and the team that is mine should make it all worthwhile. Hopefully.
keresaspa: (Diggory)
The short version of this is that London was rather good apart from the going and the coming, which were hell on earth. On the off-chance that anybody is still reading this (and I note in my extended absence that I am now down to one person submitting regular updates on my friends list) I shall expand at some length about what took place.

The Austrian stork nurtures the kites )
keresaspa: (Nina looking a tad pertubed)
Normally by now tournament fever would have me in a grip stronger than the thighs of Elizabeth Seitz but so far I've struggled to really immerse myself in Euro 2016. Perhaps it's the relative lack of excitement in many of the matches, a general ennui with the whole build-up, the nagging fears of the fascist nightmare that will be visited upon us when the turkeys of England vote for Christmas for all of us on the 23rd, the undeniable fact that a 24 team tournament is far too big and at least a third of the qualifiers just scream "making up the numbers", who knows? Still, Euro 2016 is here with its high-kicking and low-scoring on the pitch and its war by proxy being waged by boneheads off it.

Being a man who long since disavowed patriotism I have no particular team to root for and that hasn't helped. Before the whole thing started I declared, in a fit of contrariness so typical of me, for Iceland but my heart was never in it and, whilst it would be a delight to see the smallest country ruffle a few feathers, life will go on if they lose all three matches. I did derive a surprising amount of pleasure from Italy's victory over Belgium last night but I suspect it was an isolated incident rather than my rebirth as a great Italian.

As to what we've seen so far, little has really grabbed my interest. I even turned over halfway through the England-Russia match the other night and buggered off shopping rather than stick with the Republic of Ireland's dreary outing against Sweden. Still, I've never been an Ireland fan and the fact that they're now led by an axis of evil every bit as contemptible as Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane seals the deal. Meanwhile the occupied territory represented the real recrement of the tournament, serving up some of the dullest, stalest, olid Pulisball since that awful Romanian team that annoyed me so much that time. Boy was I glad to see them lose and I will be even more glad when they exit the tournament. And yet this happened. Well, it would have been rude to say "no".

I remain hopeful that the malaise will lift. Maybe my eye will be caught by some heavenly Hungarians, maybe the goals will flow as a rampant France put a dowdy Albania to the sword, maybe when the wheat is finally separated from the chaff in the second round things will hit top gear, maybe Michael Gove and Boris Johnson will spontaneously combust as Asmodeus rises from Gehenna to reclaim the debased souls long since promised to him. Either way - must do better, Euro 2016.
keresaspa: (Nina looking a tad pertubed)
In between the bouts of running around and waiting on phone calls that have dominated my life these last few weeks I recently discovered a shock few spare minutes which I proceeded to waste watching This Morning for the first time in several years. I know that at the best of times it was always an odd show but even by their standards it was out there. Pip Scofe and Willoughbooby were sat there as usual, facing some numpty who was sitting on the floor for some reason. It was then that I noticed said numpty was dressed head to toe as a fucking Dalmatian!

I've never been a Moral Majority sort of person and I know we're supposed to be terribly broad-minded and acknowledge and celebrate every perversion we encounter these days but I don't think I've ever had a hell-in-a-handbasket moment quite like the one I did watching some tosser in a dog-suit demanding attention for his weird ways. Apparently he was there to promote some "documentary", inevitably on Channel 4 (who apparently decided to take a rare break from kicking the poor and underprivileged for this dreck) about human pups, indicating that there are loads of these bastards wasting thousands on this crap. As I say to each his own but the more I encounter nonsense like this the more I am forced to concede that the human race has officially ran out of ideas and appears to be heading to the end of its natural purpose. What do you think, Julian?



My sentiments exactly, champ. See me about that spelling, though.

If I may I'll sum it all up with a bit of apt doggerel:

One, two, I smell poo
Three, four, dog-shite on the floor
Five, six, something about dicks
Seven, eight, this rhyme idea isn't great
Nine, ten, you're not dogs you idiots. No matter how much you spend on daft suits you're still men.


The scanning is a bit off but the message stands. If they really want to live like dogs de-ball the weirdos and then destroy them. Sheesh.
keresaspa: (Homer rage)
Apologies for (yet another) extended period of radio silence but shit's a bit too real at the moment for me to get into. Anyway I'll quickly do this meme that I requested from [livejournal.com profile] purpledonna sometime around 1992 and then get out of your hair. On the off-chance that anybody remembers my existence and wants a letter do let me know.

Something I hate : Objectivism - hateful and hate-filled, bitter, Satanic bollocks. It's a mystery to me why people so consumed with contempt for their fellow humans even bother living.

Something I love : Oranges. Love is a bit strong but I do enjoy them and O is a hard letter.

Somewhere I've been : Ormeau Road. I live on it. As far as I can recall I've never been to any town that begins with O. Not even Omagh; I haven't lived.

Somewhere I'd like to go : Omdurman. It's always been my lifelong dream to visit Sudan. Actually I'm lying, I just can't think of anywhere beginning with O I want to visit.

Someone I know : Oliver, the permanently angry and belligerent deputy headmaster of my primary school. He seemed quite intimidating at the time but he just needed to get laid, really. Could be dead for all I know.

A film I like : Oklahoma. Just kidding, no idea. I know nowt about films.
keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
I've never been a member of a political party in my life but, unbelievable as it seems now, there was a time when I would have identified Sinn Fein as "my" party nonetheless. So long ago. As disillusionment set in that honour was handed instead to the Irish Republican Socialist Party but a combination of the INLA's totally pointless surrender (seriously, they have gained absolutely nothing from their ceasefire unlike the Provies, who at least get huge grants from Her Majesty's Government for being good little boys) and the party's gradual drift to moribundity saw me give up on them ages ago. I mean, apart from that wee office on the Falls do they do anything any more? My days of identifying with one party are long over. If I was pushed I would say that these days I most admire the effort of Eirigi but even then I differ from them on several issues and consider them the best of a bad lot rather than my spiritual brothers.

Of course given that I live in leafy South Belfast there is no Eirigi interest in my constituency and so I am left with rather a motley crew to choose from when it comes to voting tomorrow. Sinn Fein or out of course and would have been even if their candidate wasn't the utterly despicable Millionaire Marty, unquestionably my most detested member of the party outside their two leaders. Their cohorts in that vile, Tory-lapdog rabble up on the hill- the DUP - are out of the question too of course and stick their Little Pengelly up their Stalford if they think they're getting my vote (although apparently they don't as they never canvass my area). As ever the Alliance have addressed several pieces of literature to me, apparently believing that I'm their man (or perhaps that I'm a kinsman of one of their candidate) but their support for the current set-up rules them out, as does one of their candidates' pasts as a flag waver for David Cameron. Due to their pro-Assembly and, by extension, pro-austerity stances both the SDLP and Ulster Unionists are out as well.

Which leaves me, as ever, scraping around in the bottom of the barrel to pick which losing candidate I'll be blowing my vote on. Well UKIP are running for starters. Not bloody likely. The Progressive Unionist Party are having another tilt but they can hit the road too, having lazily sent me the exact same sectarian manifesto as last time with the bit about Protestant boys bad performance at school being priority ahead of Irish Travellers and Roma, both of whom perform worse. Bigots and racists it seems. As previously covered at some length Hiddleston is running for traditional Unionist Voice but I don't vote for apartheid supporters. Ben Manton is, as ever, running for the Tories but, also as ever, he can go swive himself.

There are a couple of loyalist independents running too. Ex-DUP extremist Ruth Patterson is one option although, given that her campaign manager is fleg moron Jamie Bryson, I rather suspect she isn't really aimed at me. Indeed she seems an ideal candidate for the Protestant Coalition, our local attempt at a loyalist arm of the extreme right Britain First, but that seems to be pretty much dead these days. There's also Billy Dickson of course although his manifesto left me rather cold. A former Belfast City councillor, Dickson was a veteran of the dark days of Paisleyism, a staunch opponent of civil rights and a paramilitary on the Donegall Road. He's been through various other parties since, including the Tories and the TUV, but now claims to be leading his own party called the South Belfast Unionists. His literature stated that it was imperative south Belfast has its own unionist party but offered no reason why that was so. I'm sure it's important to him as no other party will offer him a candidacy but it can't be that important as his South Belfast Unionists are unregistered and he is competing as an independent. Next!

It's South Belfast so there are no dissident republican candidates and instead I'm left to pick amongst the debris of the lefty also-rans. There's an independent named Brigitte Anton, one of several running across the place as part of the Northern Ireland Labour Representation Committee, but I've never been a fan of the British parties setting up shop here so, whilst I still respect Jeremy Corbyn, I reckon I'll give her a swerve, not least because she didn't bother sending me any bumf so I don't know what she wants. I find the Green party generally a bit wishy-washy but Bailey will probably find her way onto the ballot, most likely in third place. That leaves me a straight choice between Seán Burns and Lily Kerr. Burns in running as an independent, although his posters say he is Cross-Community Labour Alternative whilst he is actually from the Socialist Party. Confused yet? Normally he would be nailed on but his campaign has left me rather cold. Both he and his East Belfast counterpart Courtney Robinson are mere babies and this has been a big part of their campaign but the whole "vote for youth because it means progressive" thing has never really worked for me. As I've said before Tony Benn is the classic example, given how for much of his political career he was a fairly standard Labour Party apparatchik before emerging in his older years as a radical dissident of the first water so that younger = better jazz doesn't wash with me. Also for me this election is about austerity Burns seems much more interest in other issues such as abortion and gay marriage, neither of which strike me as priorities given the "Fresh Start" agreement is about to turn this place Third World. He is the only candidate with a moustache admittedly but I'm rejecting that as a criterion, along with picking on the basis of best looking (Clare Bailey, who has a bit of a mumsy Carly Rae Jepsen thing going on). As such I'll be going with the Workers Party again, the only ones in this constituency to really hammer home the anti-austerity line as the priority it deserves to be. Burns can take second and Bailey third so commiserations in advance to all three on their inevitable defeat.

For whatever its worth (sod all), that's how I'll be going but I fully expect the same old sectarian shite to rule the day and us to be faced with another five years of money-hungry Sinn Fein and DUP scumbags doing whatever the Tories order them so long as they can protect their own interests. Meanwhile their potless voters will be much worse off, having once again followed the same old "keep the other side out" line regardless. Heck, there's so little between the five main parties that they might as well all merge as their all cheeks of the same (admittedly very deformed, given there are five of them) arse. As ever grim prospects lie ahead thanks to England and their propensity for forcing the Tories on us.
keresaspa: (Cartman)
Every time I post to this now I seem to begin with a note to excuse my absence due to the paucity of updates. What can I say, less than auspicious days recently. In the meanwhile however a standing engagement in Edinburgh took me across the sea once more and, as ever, I shall betell the events.

Lay on, MacDuff )
keresaspa: (Nina looking a tad pertubed)
I rather fear I say this every year but it wants repeating - St Patrick's Day can take a flying leap as far as I'm concerned. Despite my Irish republican tendencies I'm no patriot and as such a day given over to displays of nationalistic fervour is never going to sit too well with me. Still, for the most part I can generally ignore it, pull up the covers and let the mayhem take place but today that certainly wasn't the case.

I have a severely disabled uncle who lives a couple of miles down the road from me. No longer able to walk, his place has fell into severe disrepair to the point where the Fold has ordered a big overhaul or else he's out on his arse. My auld doll is his next of kin so much of it has been dumped in her lap and, in turn, been passed on to me as his only other relative (ignoring all his other nieces, nephews and their offspring, none of whom can be arsed) so these last lot of weeks have involved a load of fannying about on my part, sorting, rearranging, humping heavy loads and various other bits of donkey work that invariably get dumped on you when you are huge like me.

Today however - a three hour wait for a delivery from Argos. Of a bin.

A fucking bin!

I might not care for donkey work but carrying a bin a few streets would have taken me about ten minutes instead of three hours of sitting with sod all to do, having had to battle my way through scenes of unmitigated carnage on the Ormeau Road where seemingly the entire under-25 population of rural Northern Ireland had descended to get royally pissed. Beyond repeating five or six phrases, more or less at random, my uncle (who has had several strokes, the first of which was in 1989) is more or less unable to communicate and I had already done all the sorting I could so there was literally nothing to do for those three hours other than wait for a doorbell to ring. Ordinarily it would have been the responsibility of the person in charge to let the delivery man in but she's wangled herself a few days off so yours truly was in the firing line once again.

It was well after five by the time I got out of there and the buses were running on a skeleton service so once again I was forced to walk up the Ormeau Road, where all the bais had a day's solid drinking behind them and were all the more obnoxious for it. Put it this way, when I first went down the road at just after 1 there were chaps whipping their knobs out on the main road for a pish so four hours later things were a lot worse. One house appeared to be on fire, which was a source of amusement to the assembled morons, some idiot was doing cartwheels before one of his number did us all a favour and belted him and the harassment of the female population had begun in earnest, again to the amusement of the assembled morons (the rabid misogyny of so many young - and not so young - men these days is really disturbing). Hell, that was just the tip of the iceberg as I didn't stick around but suffice to say days like this make the fact that haemochromatosis severely restricts my alcohol intake seem like a blessing rather than a "Celtic curse".

So St. Patrick's Day - you can keep it. Vulgar, drunken idiots supposedly celebrating an accident of birth by living down to every negative stereotype about their kind, the sort so blind with sectarian hatred that they wrap themselves in a made-up green, white and yellow tricolour flag because they're too bigoted to don the colour orange that makes up one third of Thomas Francis Meagher's banner. Future Sinn Fein leaders in other words. The only day of the year that kind of makes me wish I had been born a loyalist, this might have to join the Twelfth as an excuse to quit this backwards dump for a while in future.
keresaspa: (Percy Sugden)
Woah, it has been a long time. I may not update as much as I once did but this is possibly the longest I have ever left this old edifice to rot in my puff. There has been more than a little real-life shit going down this past month or so and that has distracted me so you'll forgive my silence, gentle reader.

Which, to be honest, is about all I have to say for now. I shall return when I have something of substance to add but as it stands this is just one of those "alive and well (?) and living in" posts.

Nerd

Feb. 4th, 2016 08:35 pm
keresaspa: (Nina looking a tad pertubed)
It may not be obvious given how rubbish this journal is but I've long been a devotee of the intricacies of the English language. I'm not sure when this started given that I have a rather poor memory when it comes to details of my own life but certainly one of the things that at least helped to bolster my love of words was getting a copy of The Insomniac's Dictionary by Paul Hellweg when I was around fourteen (about three years before I became a chronic insomniac in fact). For those unfamiliar with the book it contains eighteen chapters of unusual words arranged according to theme (chapter seventeen being the place I first came across my old favourite "zaftig", for instance) with the last given over to word games. It's the last to which I wish to address myself today.

Hellweg introduces the concept of univocalics, a name he gives to poems in which only a single vowel is permitted. Taking as his example "Mary Had a Little Lamb", Hellweg offers up a univocalic using only the letter "e" thus:

Meg kept the wee sheep
The sheep's fleece resembled sleet,
Then wherever Meg went
The sheep went there next;
He went where she heeded her texts,
The precedent he neglected;
The pre-teens felt deep cheer
When the sheep entered there.


Outstanding stuff, I'm sure you'll agree. Hellweg then issues the challenge to the reader to replicate his effort using the other vowels. Well, after over two decades of trying (albeit with a bunch of other stuff happening too - I've not been slavishly trying this night after night) I have finally risen to the challenge and present my own effort using only a:

Martha had a small lamb
That had a jack as a pall
And all walks that Martha had
That small lamb had and all
That lamb was at a class all day
Alas a bash at a law
Small madams and lads all lark and play
As that lamb at class all saw


I should point out that Hellweg himself supplied the first line and, as an American, is of the peculiar belief that y is a vowel too, hence Mary becoming Martha. Equally I should point out that "and all" is a common dialect expression in Scotland, northern England and parts of Northern Ireland meaning "also" or "as well". A few unusual turns of phrase and a tense shift are the inevitable price to pay for such an unusual restriction. Still, I'm rather pleased with that, specifically as my version managed to retain the rhyme.

Well, as I said once before, who says a bucket list has to be glamorous after all? Now all that remains is for somebody daft enough to attempt to do it with i, o and u. No takers for y?
keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
In the latest revelation to cast further light on just how dirty the so-called Troubles really were it now seems that the British security forces were forewarned about the 1993 Shankill bombing by a prominent Provo tout but decided to do sod all about it. Another one for the list then, although a rare example of an incident where the victims were those declaring their loyalty to the crown, a loyalty that once again is demonstrated to be one way.

With the proliferation of informers at the top level of the paramilitaries (seriously, there was a time in the 1980s when the heads of the UVF, UFF and IRA were all in the pockets of the security forces) and the realisation that so much of what went on was known in advance to the powers that be it becomes increasingly clear that, far from being the great war of liberation/defence that it was sold to young republicans and loyalists as, it was yet another example of the good old divide-and-rule tactic that has been the British Empire's stock in trade for centuries. How many hundreds, thousands even, died with the foreknowledge of a state that made no attempt whatsoever to save those lives? The Stevens Inquiries may have revealed a fraction of the collusion that went on between the UDA and the British but it was the tip of the iceberg, and a process hamstrung from the start by being instigated by the same British state that was involved in the dodgy deals. Like the supposed investigations into Westminster paedophile rings, can we really expect the establishment to condemn itself? Really the more you hear about the Troubles the gloomier it becomes - all that bloodshed for what? So as a tout can get big money for himself and his cronies by sitting in government, toasting his queen and doing the bidding of the people that have been paying him for decades.

A dirty war, dirtier than we could ever imagine, with communities on both sides put to the rack for the supposed forces of order to pursue their own twisted agenda. It's no wonder that any deal on "legacy" has been consistently tossed out as every man-jack of them is up to their necks in filth with their hands soaked in blood. Meanwhile Sinn Fein will continue to use the names of Bobby Sands and the others during their forthcoming election campaign to the collaborationist institution up at Stormont and the useful idiots will tramp out and put them back in to continue cosying up to the same state that oversaw the butchering their relatives. By fuck, this place is disgusting.
keresaspa: (Nina looking a tad pertubed)
Whilst I can undoubtedly recongise the influence he had on what came after him (although his tendency to see new trends and copy them was, like that Nazi phase, often ignored or written off as his "staying relevant" where for other older performers they would be labelled "desperate") I've never been a fan of anything David Bowie did. As such, whilst I acknowledge he deserved a period of public mourning despite my personal tastes, can we please wrap it up now? We get the point, a 69 year old with cancer died and you liked his music so boo-hoo but you didn't know him so let's move on. it was eleven days ago but a good proportion of the internet still seems to be acting like they've just watched their granny melt before their very eyes.

I really do suspect I'm alone in this as I've yet to meet any other genuine music fans who didn't at least partially worship at the altar of old Odd-Eye but enough already.
keresaspa: (Reiko Ike)
I am nothing if not a procrastinator and yet I appear to have been rather on the ball this year (well, all ten days of it) when it comes to my holidays. As such I find myself with the annual London and the Twelfth thing already booked, not to mention a run out to Edinburgh towards the end of April. The latter, itself becoming something of an annual tradition (albeit a movable feast), was prompted by the return visit of Shonen Knife and the sudden desire to see them once again. Happily a ticket for said event has already been secured and I can look forward to seeing them - or indeed any live band - for the first time in six years. The way the football is falling may also mean a return to Dunfermline but we'll worry about nearer for the time and instead concentrate on Shonen Knife = yay.

So yeah, that's the lot. I must return to the darts final as I appear to be winning at a canter (well, Scott Waites is but we've already established he is my doppelgänger) and I don't want to miss my triumph.

2015 thing

Jan. 1st, 2016 09:03 pm
keresaspa: (Lester and Eliza)
Two days running? God, it's been years since that sort of rot. Anyway:

1. What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before?
Left the Atlantic Archipelago (that's British Isles to you imperialists).

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Never do, never will.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Two of the Donegal Celtic mob died - one from cancer, the other took his own life. To be honest though I didn't know either of them that well.

5. What countries did you visit?
France, Scotland and England. I actually visited a personal best of 24 towns and cities this year, with Larne, Newry, Dun Laoghaire, Banbridge, Paris and Dunfermline all new to me.

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
Cash on demand, same as every year.

7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I'm very stereotypically male about remembering dates so none.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Dunno.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Dunno.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Usual haemochromatosis plus my vertigo has kicked into overdrive to the point where massive turns are now a daily occurrence and some can last for several hours. I've started having the odd fall as well.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
As noted recently, Mirel Wagner albums.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Oh, you're all great.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Here's a shock - Sinn Fein. I'm not sure if I mentioned that at any time last year.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Music as ever. Trips and that too I suppose.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Don't be silly.

16. What song will always remind you of 2015?
"The Road and the Miles to Dundee" by Jim Reid And The Foundry bar Band or "Pasties and Cream" by Brenda Wootton. Neither are available online though so I can't link to them (is it just me or has YouTube removed about half of its music videos in the last week or so?).

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? about the same
b) thinner or fatter? ditto
c) richer or poorer? ditto

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Nothing in particular.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Again, nothing springs to mind.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
It's already over so....

21. What was your favourite month of 2015?
No idea. August maybe.

22. Did you fall in love in 2015?
Don't be daft.

23. How many one-night stands?
Mind your own business.

24. What was your favourite TV programme?
I've pretty much given up on TV these days. I don't even bother watching the football on Saturday nights sometimes any more.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I don't think so, although my opinion of Simon Danczuk is really starting to harden.

26. What was the best book you read?
No idea. Been mostly short stories and non-fiction this year. Of the former William Beckford's "Vathek" was probably the best.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Mirel Wagner, as discussed yesterday.

28. What did you want and get?
A new article to get published in When Saturday Comes (in shops 14th January).

29. What did you want and not get?
The new Extreme Noise Terror album, although a copy is winging its way to me from Germany. I'll believe it when I get it and not before as it's fast becoming the new "Things may Come and Things May Go, But the Art School Dance Goes on for Ever" for me.

30. What was your favourite film of this year?
I think I saw a total of two films on TV this year (Midnight Run on ITV Four one night and Despicable Me dubbed into French in Paris) and none in the cinema. Any interest I ever had in films has long since died off.

31. What did you do on your birthday?
Watched Nortel defeat Mossley 4-2 at the Mossley playing fields in the second round of the Border Regiment Cup. It was even less glamorous than it sounds.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
As ever, isn't this essentially the same as question six?

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?
I wouldn't. I haven't changed a lick of my image in years but to call it a "fashion concept" would be completely ludicrous. If pushed I'll go with "man who looks a lot older than he is dressing to his wrongly assumed age".

34. What kept you sane?
Assuming I am sane, then the match.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Demi Lovato. I may have the makings of a dirty old man. But come on, eh?!

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
The quiet death of Irish republicanism and its rebirth as Tory collaborationism, all with the tacit approval of the victims of this development.

37. Who did you miss?
Cigs as ever.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Can't think of anyone. I've not really met anyone new this year.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
No.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"Poor old horse, he must die".

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