keresaspa: (Julius Nyerere)
When did people (in this part of the world at least) start dressing their houses for Hallowe'en? The Christmas tack has been going on for most, if not all of my life - Johnny Adair and his chief hitman Stephen "Top Gun" McKeag notoriously had an annual competition to outdo each other with the tacky decorations on their Shankill pads - but now I see several houses festooned in witches, skeletons and "beware of ghosts" signs to draw attention to the fact that that most pointless of dates in the calendar is a few weeks away. I can recall some houses putting up the odd little thing on the night itself in the past but some of these have been up for several weeks and it has become an epidemic recently. Today's journey took me through west Belfast and out to the Twinbrook estate in Dunmurry for the match (Iveagh United 5 Bryansburn Rangers 2 with a massive delay due to a broken ankle for one of the Bryansburn lads in case you were interested, which you weren't) and for the entire journey the Hallowe'en bedecked houses were the most prominent feature in the otherwise unremarkable views. The Americanisation of culture is often a shame but, along with the practice of inserting the word "like" in the middle of a sentence (as opposed to at the end of a sentence, a fine old Belfast tradition like), I think the growth of Hallowe'en, with its pointless loud noises, its demands of money with threats of violence and the increase in annoying drunk people, is one of my least favourite aspects of it and the fact that it has now joined Christmas as a whole season devoted to worshipping at the shrine of consumerism is really rather depressing. What's the All Saints Eve equivalent of "bah, humbug"?
keresaspa: (Nana Mouskouri)
For the last five years or so Hallowe'en night in Belfast has been an absolute racket of exploding whizz-bangs and Bengal matches, running constantly from about five o'clock to the other five o'clock with little or not respite in between. So what happened last night then? The Tory tabloids have told us that Britain has "roared back" because of a tiny bit of economic growth that has seen things rise about one foot above the Mariana trench but so far that has not extended to Northern Ireland so as a result I can only assume festivities were cancelled here in order to pay for the new Irish language street signs in the Markets area. Either that I've gone deaf and not noticed but either way last night was the quietest I can remember this most hateful of holidays ever being. People were warned to prepare their dogs for götterdämmerung but in the end Rover, Shep, Fido and Satan got off about as light as they ever had. Of course a handful of spides in masks did wrap the door demanding sweets under threat of a trick (although "puttin' yer windies in" is not really a trick per se) but even then we got let off light given the bad rep our house has locally as a trouble spot. All in all a damp squib to say the last and one I'm glad to see the frigging back off for another year.

Meanwhile livejournal is barracking me for using the old version of my friends page, whatever that means. I have heard through the grapevine that the new version is a pile of pish and, like a losing streak, the Moonies or a Nectar card, sounds like the sort of thing that it's very easy to get into but a nightmare to get out of if I don't like. So any thoughts from my invisible readership on this one? I'm loathe to embrace change without having some foreknowledge so if any you who have tried it do let me know what you think.
keresaspa: (Percy Sugden)
The bloody squibs have started now! My distaste for all things Hallowe'en is well documented but the thing that I detest the most, and always have, is bloody fireworks. The appeal of loud bangs might be obvious to the Top Gear and Bruce Willis loving alpha males but to a Wednesday's child like myself they are just a flaming nuisance.Making All Hallows Eve a noisy bore is bad enough but when it is the middle of blasted day and suddenly you hear a loud bang ring out across the Andersonstown Road the joke is well and truly over. Plus given the history of Andytown it was no surprise that I wasn't the only one to start and then suddenly stop a drop to the floor, suddenly remembering that the days when the Queen's Own Brave Boys drove up that way to take pot shots at civilians are over. If they must have their fireworks let them have them on the night itself as I'm sure "civilised" people like myself (if not dogs) can endure it for one evening but all this nonsense weeks before and afterwards? Frankly if this is freedom I would sooner be in Soviet Russia. Humbug.
keresaspa: (Lolita No. 18)
Kaboom, blam-oh, etc. Yes, it's my favourite time of year again ... NOT! I know it's just a bit of fun but all this constant banging and whooshing and people in half-arsed costumes demanding money with menace really gets on my wick. Fireworks have never impressed me and the two years I fell victim to the American import that is trick or treating left me feeling decidedly uncomfortable in the way beggars must do. Be it the "fat goose" song, the ubiquitous pumpkins, the inevitable Satanic scare that turns up on local TV or the council-sponsored organised mirth that is actually as mirthful as Melvyn Bragg's underpants I just find the whole thing as boring as a wet weekend in Wigan.

So to delay (or perhaps increase) the inevitable onset of ennui I will turn my intentions to this meme based on one's last.fm top fifty whilst shaking my fist at the chaos of Catherine wheels that is interfering with my attempts to listen to the March Violets. Have fun won't you.

Thus )
keresaspa: (All cops are not nice)
First of all I refuse to mention the h word. It is the most annoyingly pointless 'holiday' around and I am 100% with the esteemed [livejournal.com profile] caddyman on how most of it is simply an American import anyway. Well put, sirrah!

In more important matters a decent verdict of sorts has been returned in the Jean Charles de Menezes case. Not anywhere near the hammering that the pigs should take over this but then again the cops have always got away with butchering the Irish so why not Brazilians? At the very least Ian Blair and Cressida Dick (has there ever been a more made up sounding/minor Dickens character name than that?) should be hung out to dry for it. Not much chance of that, mind.

Elsewhere, I see two of the sleaziest men in Europe, Nicolas Sarkozy and Bertie Ahern, have both awarded themselves handsome pay rises. Nothing surprises me about Ahern and really the Irish voters have only themselves to blame as, despite scandal after scandal, they keep putting the little dictator back in. Sarkozy meanwhile is fast becoming the new Berlusconi when it comes to that heady mix of populism and corruption, only now with added hypersensitivity. Incidentally, referring back to his earlier tantrum over being accused of drunkenness those of you caught the presentation of the rugby world cup may well have noticed that the little chap was rather too unsteady and touchy-feely for sobriety. I await the writ.
keresaspa: (Karl Marx laughing)
I must admit I've never liked this time of year. Halloween has always struck me as pointless throwback in which already spoilt children get the opportunity to demand money from complete strangers with the added menace of attacking your house if you don't give it to them. Fireworks are another pain in the arse and even as a nipper I was never impressed by them. If I wanted lights and noise I would spark up a feg and start shouting rather than waiting for bangs that are deliberately contrived to be as random as possible in order to scare the crap out of unsuspecting citizens such as myself. Not to mention the drone at the door of that blasted rhyme about the goose getting fat. I've yet to see the "old man's hat" that they went a penny in and were I to give the penny they demand I'm sure a selection of Bengal matches or a St Catherine wheel would be deposited through my letter box tout de suite. Lot of old rubbish if you ask me (not that anybody did, of course). Plus All Souls Night is coming up and I still brick it from time to time when I think of the stories I was told in my youth of the spirits of the dead rising for one night. The joys of an Irish Catholic upbringing, I suppose. A pity Walter Matthau's dead really as he could have protrayed me with some success.
keresaspa: (George Formby)
Good, it's over for an other year. I ended up having to shell out a couple of quid to a group of weans in skeleton outfits just to avoid another rendition of that blooming 'goose is getting fat' song (and, most likely, a brick through the window if I'd slammed the door in their faces). If only they will now accept it's over and give it a rest. Fat chance. I've already seen a chap in a gorilla suit this morning and what's the bet that the fireworks will go on for the next lot of weeks. Aieee!

Blunkett should keep job. Why wouldn't he? Tony seems determined to carry on inflicting that popinjay on us until the end of time. I can only assume that B. Liar thinks it is 'proactive' (God, do I hate that word) to have a 'differently abled' member of the Cabinet. Either that or dainty Davey has photos of Tony and Peter Mandelson in a compromising position. Whatever it is Blunkett can do what he wants and there will always be a job waiting for him, so I'm not going to get worked up about it. Sleaze is a way of life with new Labour but we have an opposition who are too scared of their own stuff coming out to make any noise about it. Good old Westminster.

Off I must scoot to take a class at 1. It's about capitalism today and if there's one thing guaranteed to put me to sleep it is economics. Not my forte at all. That being said everybody there will no doubt feel the exact same and will probably be nursing hangovers to boot. It's going to be a long hour!
keresaspa: (Mrs Mack)
Hallowe'en. Yuck. What a pointless time of year this really is. I have no desire to dress like a pillock, nor do I have any desire to throw money at people just because they have chosen to do so, and I sure as heck don't want to be jumping out of my skin because some spides are pleased by loud noises and flashes of light in the sky. Killjoy or what? Actually even when I was a nipper I took little pleasure in the annual farce. I can remember dressing up and going round begging only twice and even then I didn't feel right about it. Fireworks have never interested me either as there's something terribly lowest common denominator about them. I'm not a mung bean eating 'they scare dogs' type, I just find no pleasure in loudness for its own sake. Plus when people come to my door expecting money just because they are wearing a Scream mask under their hooded tops I feel I really should be reaching for my Turkish cavalry sabre and driving the little hoods away rather than firing them off a handful of change (which they wont be satisfied with anyway). If money is that important let these nippers sign on the dole and keep them out of my hair.

Speaking as I briefly did about the craze for hooded tracktops I was amazed (no scrub that it's Tony B. Liar and his Populism Carnivale we're talking about here) to see a bizarre little 'chavier than thou' senga by the name of Lady Sovereign turning up at 10 Downing Street and being allowed in to launch a 'Save the Hoodie' campaign. I can only hope that said 'lady' (and the term could not be used more loosely) is a bull-shitting stage-school brat seeking some cheap publicity for her woeful attempts at 'urban' music (which appears to suggests that all non-rap and swingbeat (for I refuse to use the term R and B for anyone who doesn't have a Muddy Waters dimension) comes from the wilds of Cromarty or something). If this is actually being taken seriously then I despair of this country. It is only an article of clothing, people! The witch hunt against them is a little OTT but reaction to it is similarly ridiculous. Think outside the box, youth and today, and stop tying yourselves to fashion-dictated uniforms. I have never worn a hooded tracktop in my life and I'm perfectly fine.

Apologies if that all came across as a bit Daily Mail but I sometimes despair of the youth of today. And relax.

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