The scene on the steps of the Count O’Blather’s house, this morning (Reuters)
It has reached the point (where else does it reach?) here at Blather High Command that the faintest mention of the word ‘Ree-Session’ has me dusting off my late grandfather’s dueling irons. I have taken to pot-shooting the television every time some smirking BBC, RTE or Sky News doomsayer slides the dirty word into some appallingly unrelated news story – like the plight of polar bears in the Arctic or the nocturnal antics of soccer players in one of Ireland’s dependencies (e.g. ‘England’). My valet has insisted on having the old gogglebox fitted with bulletproof glass to cut down on the expenditure, but my god, the ricochets are now something fierce – I’ve taken to crouching behind the bathchair in order to avoid the “friendly fire” and sporadic gun-play emanating from the Six-One news. The drawing room is a no-go area, and the frescos are completely ruined. There will be (hell) to pay, and Ann Doyle and Brian Dobson will be receiving strongly worded telegraphs from my private secretary, wherever the little nuisance has go to. I am not above taking aim at any other gleeful naysayer, depressive, pessimist, fearmonger, “I told you so” bore, moaner, begrudger, human sheep, muckraker, spreader of hysteria, economist, fumbler in greasy till or minister for finance that sits crying on my front steps, demanding alms that they can re-invest in some Wall St. pyramid scheme.
Still, regardless of whether we believe in it or not, we at Blather are committed to beating the recession – out of every one of these gobshites who appears to have succumbed to the mass hallucination. We’ll not hear of any doom. We cannot abide the like of it. This article captures our own (copious) research on how to escape the recession hysteria and to keep warm – but we call on every (man, woman and child in the country) to submit their own suggestions.
The Emergency II: High Dudgeon:
Perplexed by this ongoing global recession hysteria, which even the Man In The Street seems affected by, I turned to the pages of Cruiskeen Lawn, a weekly article aimed at the Plain People of Ireland, written between the years 1940 and 1966 by my late relative, Myles na Gopaleen (the younger). It turns out that nigh on 70 years ago, during The Emergency, fear and loathing stalked the streets of Dublin, supplies were rationed, and Something Had To Be Done. Myles, while at a bus stop, came across a formidable solution, via a wretched aquantaince who was obsessed with the musics of The Brother. In the text below, simply replace the word ‘war’ with ‘recession’, and ‘Free State’ with ‘Celtic TigerLand’, ‘iron’ with ‘digital’, etc., to accelerate towards a solution for one and all.
THE BROTHER has it all worked out.
The war. How we can get through the war here in the Free State. I mean the rationing and the brown bread and all that class of thing. The brother has a plan. Begob you’ll be surprised when you hear it. A very high view was taken when it was explained in the digs the other night.
What is the nature of this plan?
It’s like this. I’ll tell you. We all go to bed for one week every month. Every single man, woman and child in the country. Cripples, drunks, policemen, watchmen – everybody. Nobody is allowed to be up. No newspapers, ‘buses, pictures, or any other class of amusement allowed at all. And no matter who you are you must be stuck inside in the bed there. Readin’ a book of course, if you like. But no getting up stakes.
That strikes me a curious solution to difficulties in this dynamic iron age.
D’ye see, when nobody is up, you save clothes, shoes, rubber, petrol, coal, turf, timber and everything we’re short of. And food too, remember. Because tell me this – what makes you hungry? It’s work that makes you hungry. Work and walking around and swallying pints and chawin’ the rag at the street corner. Stop in bed an’ all you’ll ask for is an odd slice of bread. Or a slice of fried bread to make your hair curly, says you. If nobody’s up, there’s no need for anybody to do any work because everybody in the world does be workin’ for everybody else.
I see. In a year therefore you would effect a saving of twenty-five per cent in the consumption of essential commodities.
Well now, I don’t know about that, but you’d save a quarter of everything, and that would be enough to see us right.
But why get up after a week?
The bakers, man. The bakers would have to get up to bake more bread, an if wan is up, all has to be up. Do you know why? Because damn the bit of bread your men the bakers would make for you if the rest of us were in bed. Your men couldn’t bear the idea of everybody else being in bed and them working away in the bakery. The brother says we have to make allowances for poor old human nature. That’s what he called it. Poor old human nature. And begob he’s not far wrong.
Very interesting. He would do well to communicate this plan to responsible Government department.
You’re not far wrong there yourself. Bye-bye, here’s me bus!
(from Cruiskeen Lawn, in The Irish Times, during The Emergency. Available in Flann O’Brien’s “The Best of Myles”
Blather media staff interviewing Plain People of Ireland in bed, Yesterday. (Getty)
Taking to the bed would great for that mysterious entity, the “environment” too. As the fortunes of Hibernia have increased in recent decades, we’ve been fortunate enough to welcome a proportionate increase in the amount of environment about the place. I expect we’ve been importing the stuff, probably from China. As I look out my window here, with some fine patriotic Celtic rain streaming across the bullet-cracked windows, I see none of the usual crowds streaming around Henrietta St. Even the gaggle of well-wishers, corner boys, hanger-ons, nuns, bailiffs, priests, washerwomen, stockbrokers, ragamuffins, harlots, assassins and milkmen that usually hang around my front door are missing. They have, presumably, taken to the bed – every other man, woman and child in the country with them. It’s a wonderful state of affairs. Let’s make a habit of it (we can sell them to the Presentation nuns) , and watch the birthrate climb. Some of the money saved can be spent extending the Rotunda and Holles St. In the meantime, anyone seem roaming the streets in pyjamas will be shot on sight, and deported, even they’re only going out for a ‘canacoke’. You heard me.
Great Gas (altogether)
We here at Blather High Command are terribly concerned by the recent disagreement between the Russians and the Ukrainians over the old gas supplies – and how this petite fracas has led to millions taking to their beds in the eastern provinces of Ireland – Bulgaria, Slovakia, and so forth. I would dearly like to consult Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko (clearly a gas woman herself) on this issue, at her earliest convenience (I can promise a turf fire and some soothing sherry, at the very least. Or perhaps a neck and shoulder rub. She’d like that, I imagine. I digress, but will return later). Gazprom, a gas giant, seems to be at least partially to blame – we suggest that they should be bypassed, and that our government persuade ASA to start bringing gas in from the Jovians. Failing that, it might be high time to hassle our fantastic government into re-initiating the Irish space programme, as a way of putting people back to work and kick-starting the economy (in the head).
Our correspondent in Bulgaria, Horatio O’ DeValera nÃ©e Churchill, writes
“Begob sure aren’t we all perished here with the cowld. Every man, woman and child has taken to the leaba. This class of carry on has no place in today’s Bulgaria. It’ll get worse before it gets better. There’ll be hell to pay. A strongly worded letter to your local TD wouldn’t be out of order. Still, there’s a great stretch in the day now. Pint for yourself is it? Sure a burd never flew on wan wing, wha?”
Ireland, so far, seems largely unaffected by this current gas turmoil, but we should take the opportunity to make ourselves at least 100% self-sufficient in the meantime. With all this fabled downturn in the economy, and the loss of both Charles J Haughey and Bertie Ahern from the political limelight (itself a refreshing shade of green), we’ve had to temporarily given up on the (mooted) plan to sail Ireland to a warmer climate (See the Evil Gerald: Ireland sets sights on Steam Scheme).
To explore alternative possibilities, the Blather HC Research Team, made up of (the esteemed) Lord Jagged and myself, took ourselves on a grand tour of Dublin hostelries on Friday night last, in order to see how the Plain People of Ireland were dealing with the ‘recession’ and the gas problem.
Several bottles of Krug later, interspersed with the odd pint of warm saki and chased with a slug of absinthe, we discovered that Dublin has an abundance of gas. In fact, in every public house we entered, great gas (altogether) was to be had. If only we could impress upon Taoiseach Cowan and Ministers Lenihan (that gobshite), Ryan and Gormley the enormity of this wondrous natural resource, we’d be away on a hack, on a pig’s back, plain sailing out of the woods and laughing all the way to the bank, if we had a bank. Of course, we also have an abundance of craic, but the market for that seems to have collapsed, and merchants involved in its distribution have taken to settling their differences with muskets, usually around Summerhill, Dublin 1.
To achieve the sequestration of this great gas (altogether), we at Blather HC suggest the construction of an elaborate network of mahogany gaspipelines throughout Ireland’s major towns and cities, such as Dublin, Cork, Liverpool, Mullingar and Varna. The raw materials could be culled from the mahogany herds that currently roam the plains of the Amazon, eating everything before them, including trees and genetically modified cabbage. Thus, several endangered species could be shot with the same bullet, and this would cut down on deforestation and climate change by the dozen. In the meantime, another network of mahogany gaspipelines could be run from DÃ¡il Ã‰ireann, from where lashin’s of hot air could be sequestered, and redistributed into schools, libraries and massage parlours throughout Dublin. And an anaerobic digester could be installed on the Merrion Square side of Leinster house, into which all the bullshit could be pumped and turned into yet more gas.
Example of mahogany gaspipe, as used by the explorer, James Cook, yesterday.(AP)
We have submitted a draft of the network, with meticulous detail outlining our findings, to Bord Gais and the Minister for energy, and have a dispatch rider urgently waiting a reply. The poor crather is nearly perished with the cowld and the horse is demanding overtime. I have my doubts about the visionary potential of these political types- the same sleeven’s who turned down na Gopaleens plans for lighting the city using sewer gas. Renewables, me arse.
Please post your own ideas below! We won’t patent them ourselves, I swear on the nearest copy of Ireland’s Own.
– The Hon. Count O’Blather, Esq., CIE & ESB (Rtd.), Ba. Beans (Hons), ONO, PTO, PAYE, PRSI, HSE, NRA, RSVP, NUJ, SDLP, SIPTU
Good man. The Da would be proud of you, had he not taken the liberty of dying.
Tell me this – do you ever open a book at all?
I’ll have you know that I open and close several books a day.
This my dear lad is proof that you have been talking a load of shite for a long while now.
I know where I’d put the gaspipes! Up where the sun don’t shine on you!
Madam, I would point out that the name of this ‘web-log’ is ‘shitegeist’ – we are beneath criticism and even contempt, so don’t even bother.
However, your invitation involve the pipes are intriguing. You bring the pipes, and I’ll go shopping for some whale oil lubricant. We can have a jolly night in.
Well my friend if that is your particular predilection, I can only leave you to it. I would NOT have been applying lubricant before shoving the gas pipes into your lower orifice. Best of luck and have fun!
What, hello 123… is this thing on? Great cripes, I had no inkling that my reply to yonder baggage would be for public consumption (or consumptives). Oh, the scandal!
Shame as that might be, perchance you have now realised that being a â€œweb Guruâ€ has its drawbacks. Try being a tad more conservative in your future shenanigans, especially with me. This bitch bites back!
My dear, I am not a ‘Web Guru’. I have people to that class of thing for me. This text you are reading was dictated to one of my lackeys, a member of the monk class, I am told, who scribbled the whole thing down on a length of vellum. It takes weeks. However, through a patent form of technology invented by one of my many companies (no idea what it’s called, I don’t sully myself with details), these words somehow end up here, on this ‘website’. Marvellous carry on. Isn’t the rural electricity a great boon all the same?
I believe itâ€™s now called hypertext as they found working with vellum far too protracted and laborious. As for the electricity, how on earth will you ever manage to pay your bill in this horrid recession regardless of how much craic there is to be hadâ€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦oh I knowâ€¦â€¦â€¦with hot air! You can have your own wind turbines and everything. The gas pipes could come useful after all!
Oh and just for clarity, it wasn’t really the alien spacecraft landing at Rosewell that brought us hypertext, nor was it “one of your many companies”…..it was an inventor called Ted Nelson back in the 1960’s but seeing as how you appear to have gone home for the evening, I’ll just leave that info with you.
In order to take to the scratcher, I would first have to get out of it and therein lies the fatal flaw. Back to the drawing board, ya spalpeen
My dear, I don’t get out of bed. I have people who do that class of thing for me, dysee.
Well, I fled the sinking ship that is the USA only to land in the UK which also appears to be in the shit. Damn.
Mr Treacy, this ‘UK’ you speak of… is this the small Irish protectorate, just east of the Isle of Man?
Oh my dear boy, could you not put those brain cells to better use such as looking at a geography book or god forbid atlas. Better yet, why donâ€™t you just go and stay in bed and stay away from your PC or laptop (or ipod if such a thing exists in your cold and bleak world) so that we might conserve a bit more energy in this fading country of ours as you so passionately suggest in your little anarchistic post. For somebody who I would assume always votes â€œNoâ€ regardless, just keep counting your sheep and leave the problem solving to those who do it best.
My dear Anita,
I do not have a god forbid atlas. I do have a copy of the Irish Times Atlas, while less god-fearing, is reputed to be bang up to date. For the record, I am in bed, and have not one iota of understanding as to the nature of the mysterious ipod that you speak of. Jimmy, the caretaker, will be around later to spray for pests – I’ll consult his cast knowledge of invertebrate nuisances.
As Old Mathers often says ‘”No” is, generally speaking, a better answer then “yes”‘.
However, I don’t vote – I have people who that for me – I hear the powers that be are still keeping a seat for me above in the Seanaid. I also don’t count sheep – I employ a shepherd on that account.
As for the anarchistic post – sure it has me wore out. I have written numeruous letters to The GPO above in O’Connell St. demanding a clear position on the political demeanour of our postal works – for a while there it was communist, then anarchist, but to be honest, I’m not sure what they are these. I just know it’s not they’re not progressive democratians.
Unfortunately for you my friend, naÃ¯ve as you might be politically, you have gone from the frying pan of being merely opposition to the fire that is Sinn Fein with your comment â€œI don’t vote – I have people who that for meâ€.
The fact is Sinn Feinâ€™s â€œfanaticalâ€ (by that I mean usual!) members do that regularly during elections and have been rejected from polling stations for attempting to use false identities. Additional Gardai are called and itâ€™s not a pretty sight at all. Posters of any other party are no match for their 3am antics of slashing/defiling and/or eradication gangs. Nor is the rule that people should be left alone to make their decisions and not be bothered on polling day. Where do I get my information you might rightly ask?â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦Iâ€™ve seen it, with my own two brown eyes over the last number of campaigns.
Should you, some day, get yourself up out of the bed and go into the light (by this I mean the real world) and actually SEE what goes on in the background of running a country you would NEVER post such nonsense. You should for the love of everything that is right in this world get out there and HELP to save this worldwide situation with as many wise ideas as you can come up with instead of using your intelligence to continuously plagiarise other peoples quotes and complete overuse your access of the thesaurus on your PC.
By the way, donâ€™t be foolish enough to think that you have access to my REAL e-mail or IP address!
Christ. Mr (or missus) ‘Me’ appears to have had their sense of humour removed at birth. God love them!
Me, Me, Me. It’s just all about you, isn’t it, Me?
My word. It appears that indeed Mr or Ms Me got out of bed on the wrong side this morning. Be that as it may, it seems that they get out of the house even less than I do.
Thesaurus? Never touch the stuff. I learned all I needed to know at one of Mullingar’s top borstals – I have no need for your books of words (I never open a book at all, as your woman above says).
Sinn Fein – well, please don’t get me started, that young man with the big beard is an affront to male grooming. Sinn Fein’s attitude suggests a childhood of being dunked in a barrel of cold water at the weekend. They’re a people who, as the previous speaker noted about your goodself, appear to have had their humour glands operated on in their infancy.
For my part, I am too aged an infirm to seriously partake in the rough and tumble or party politics. I am content to shout detailed instructions from the sidelines, it makes me feel important. It is to my great dismay, however that they keep moving the goalposts above in Croke Park.
May I take the liberty of correcting you on one small omission? Where you state “Additional Gardai are called”, it should really read “Additional Gardai are called to the scene“. It’s all about the scene, do you see. Tell me, would you go so far as to say that the people who apparently carried out these crimes are known to the Gardai?
I must say, I am rather flattered that my boozy little meanderings have elicited such ribald protest from Ireland’s red-blooded youth. I am impressed… most impressed. Keep up the good work!
Me – I wouldn’t too much pass the O’Blather – he’s awful one for baiting people (and beatin’ them too!) I saw him banging on the door of Marlborough St. polling station the day of the Lisbon Treaty, desperate to get in, before it even opened!
As a part time Sinn Fein activist, I take exception to all your comments – we do no more than try to persuade people to make the correct democratic choice, and explain to them the consequences of making the wrong one.
And of course we have a sense of humer, Gerry Adams is one of the funniest people I have ever met!
I photographed Gerry Adams many times in New York over the years and he is indeed a terrific wit. I miss those days and those assignments.
You are to be praised for your ingenuity and foresightedness.
But may I point out what I believe is a small oversight. Although the greener option I strongly advise against the use of mahogany gas pipes. They would only be in the ground a matter of months before the roads would have to be dug up again for the rotten remains to be replaced.
I know that plastic is a dirty word these days but pipes of this construction would last a lifetime and could be moulded in different colours to make the corporation boys job a little more entertaining when fitting them together.
Onwards and upwards.
Thank you kindly for looking into this pipe situation. It’s gratifying to know thatin this day and age there are others out there that see light at the end of the tunnel.
While your concepts are indeed commendable, we are not hear to entertain city council workers. There is method in my plan for mahogany gaspipes – they are indeed biodegradable, but I see this as an excellent way to create jobs, through the careful and precise implementation of public works programmes. The problem with the plastic is this: if you bury a lenth of plastic pipe in a busy boulevard – say, for instance, Dublin’s Dame St., it may be years before it requires exhumation. There has been many a hard working council man laid off from the honourable drudgery of diffing digging up streets due to the plastic pipe – and instead plunged in a hellish word of crime, bank robberies, cocaine orgies, brothelcreeping and card games till all hours (which ruins the eyes and the morals). All because of the plastic pipe.
Oh, no, I think on second thought you may find my mahogany gaspipe idea ingenious, as it requires the digging up of every pipeline on at least an annual basis. This provides employment, and it keeps this potential corner boys on the straight and narrow.
In fact, the pilot programme is already on the way. Saunter down any one of Dublin’s leafy thoroughfares, and you’ll see a gaggle of tea drinking men in bright yellow waistcoasts looking into a muddy hole. In fact, it’s well nigh impossible to find a street that isn’t being dug up in some shape or form.
Now if that’s isn’t progress, what is?
Good day to you.
thanks for taking the time to explain your reasoning behind the mahogany pipe construction.
I feel such a fool and should have understood that many man hours of research would have already been spent in formulating your ideas.
I for one wait eagerly for these plans to be approved and adopted.
My weekend beckons,
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