Blogging live from a 5th century Romano-British whorehouse on the west coast of Wales, Blather.net’s chief bodythief, time-travelling mercenary and ambassador to the Medieval period, Ender Wiggan, enthralls us once again with the fourth part of his epic series on the life of the young St. Patrick. This time, St. Patrick has some trouble back in the office.
Havent read “I, Patrick: Puke the First”? Click here.
Don’t you just hate coming back to the office after a foreign business trip…and having everyone whispering about you behind you’re back? You get to your desk and find a memo from the boss saying, ‘See me at once’. ‘Excellent’, you think, ‘I bet its about that promotion I went for last week’. You set off cheerfully, thinking everyone is probably acting strange because they’re jealous. You get to the bosses room, open the door nonchalantly…to find the whole board of directors looking back at you… with your boss holding up a computer printout of an embarrassing escapade of yours that someone put on their bebo page years previously.
(Its only a matter of time, you crazy kids)
Well, that’s pretty much what Patrick faced coming back to work. Or at least the fifth century equivalent of it. They subsequently refuse him permission and probably any prospect of himself ever making bishop.
Patrick is, in the best Big Brother tradition of the phrase…’fuckin’ gutted, mate’.
You’d think that it would be enough to make anyone put their head down, do their time, sit out their comfy job and wait for retirement. Not Patrick. He keeps having further dreams that a divine presence is angry at his having being refused and disgraced. He starts thinking that maybe a ‘higher authority’ is trying to tell him something. He starts getting grand ideas.
But how do you go about getting a mission together, without sanction, support or sponsorship?
Well, if you were independently wealthy enough, say someone with a nice estate, outside of town…that probably came down to you as an inheritance and that has been sitting there while you go about an alternative career path, as like, security (or as Irish Mammys everywhere describe as, ‘something to fall back on’)… and you were serious enough about it…you might sell it, to raise your own private start up capital.
Once you do, your family might start asking questions, figure out what you intend doing…and start pleading with you not to go…your superiors get wind of things, put two and two together and tell you in no uncertain terms that you are not to go…
It’s equivalent to a hedge fund executive selling the gaff in blackrock, cashing in his company shares and heading off to China to start his own charitable NGO…leaving everyone else behind, having burnt his bridges, both career-wise and personal-wise…and for the second time in his life, risking life and limb in a country hostile to his romanitas and religion.
It takes a very special kind of man to do that.
The kind of ultimate act of self sacrifice espoused by some god-damned, long-haired, hippy peacenik from palestine. The kind of example that organised Christianity have been promoting and waffling on about for the last seventeen hundred years (from the safety of their cushioned couches in the Vatican). The kind of ultimate example one would want to set, in a harsh pagan environment, while trying to explain and convert people to a new way of living and thinking. The kind of supremely heroic and altruistic example, undoubtedly made by many others in the first four centuries, that surely contributed to early Christianities appeal of openness, equality, inclusion and community.
You know, before it got corrupted to fuck beyond all recognition.
Patrick; a middle aged man, a priest, a potential bishop and a wannabe missionary…with the heart of a lion and a burning, almost psychotic motivation and sense of destiny. A man perfectly equipped mentally and physically for such a mission; he speaks the language, knows the culture, has first hand experience of the traditions and customs of the people in Ireland and most likely is fitter and in better shape then most of his peers. A man scorned by these same people in the past, and now scorned by his own people and church in the present.
Imagine such a man, being told what he can and cannot do what is and what is not possible.
And so, in a fit of what would turn out to be a long held and long respected Irish cultural characteristic of temperament; involving a more then healthy disrespect for municipal authority; and a petulant penchant for subversiveness.
Patrick gives ‘The Man’ two fingers to the wind. (How do you say ‘ask me bollix’ in old Latin?).
And heads off on his own.
Fuck the lot of yis.