Christians have their Sundays.

Jews have their Sabbath  Saturdays .

Hairdressers have their Mondays.

The Chinese have their own special calendar.

Muslims have their own Sharia Law.

Difference is what makes the world spin around. We humans  all have all our little idiosyncrasies too .That’s why we strive to have some kind of  laws and structures built into our modern lives. Life would be unmanageable without a set of rules that everyone could build their lives around. Those rules need to supercede all our other notions of right and wrong.They need to trump all others and be fair to everyone , no matter what personal perceptions, eccentricities  or theories that the febrile human mind can conjure up.

There was a time before steam trains and the Industrial Revolution…only a few years ago, really …when we got up when the sun shone and slept when  darkness fell. Clocks only made sense when trains began to run. We began to need them then. Before that , time was a very elastic thing. Electricity and its powerful lighting system  finally  put paid to our natural sleeping patterns. For the first time in thousands of years , we could work at any time of the day or night .It was also the beginning of making the days of the week and the idea of “weekends” almost irrelevant.If you are retired or have spent a lifetime unemployed , that may already be your natural state of mind, anyway .

What if you were a worker , reliant on that  wage coming in?You might be working for a company or have a boss.You’d expect a certain kind of behaviour in the workplace.It would  be expected that everyone was treated fairly, for example. In fact there are now employment laws built into the system to insure this.What if your boss broke those rules and attacked you verbally or even physically?.

I suppose you’d all react differently dependant on personal circumstances. You might  be thinking of all the debt  you’d managed to accrue or you might think about the mortgage. You might simply feel affronted or you might storm out of the room, get into your car , and get away as fast as you can. You might fear for your family’s future and simply take the hurt.

Your boss has just stepped over a social line.

He may have decided he had good reason for dragging you from behind your desk or from your place in that production line .You may not have dug that hole to his satisfaction or the fruit and vegetables you were sorting may have not been to his liking. He might be having his own problems at home. Whatever the reason he had for lifting you by the collar , lambasting you for twenty minutes before  your assembled workmates , and finally winding himself up so tightly  that he felt the only thing to do to firmly establish his point of view and critique at your errant performance was to  smack you across the teeth with his balled-fist…..

I’m sure he felt a whole lot better for that.

You’d feel differently of course. You might think you’d been wronged and feel there should  be some lawful redress…

The strange thing is that around a million people signed  a petition in favour of Jeremy Clarkson , the television presenter ,who obviously didn’t think he had a case to answer ,for doing something similar to his producer. They thought he was somehow beyond the laws that might apply to themselves in a similar situation and that because he was the “talent”, he was a special case . Well, he wasn’t a “special” case, as he soon discovered. He was just a man with a bad temper who ‘d violated his work colleague. Barely a word has been spoken about the man he smacked.

Now look at the situation of the Asher’s Bakery dispute where the company  decided that for religious reasons  that they could not supply a customer with a cake slogan  supporting gay marriage.Apparently they had no such   Christian “problem” with a Halloween cake displaying a witch and its roots in Paganism, so you might think they were being  a little choosy .Will there be similar problems with Easter cakes or Easter eggs which celebrate the great Saxon  goddess Eastre of Mother Earth fame ? Apparently thousands of Christians similarly gathered en masse  recently , just as Clarkson’s petitioners  had,   at a hall in Belfast ,to also loudly sing and  proclaim that their favoured chosen  bakery should  be beyond the law and that this “talent” was similarly a “special” case  . Again , the person who was slighted , like Mr Clarkson’s producer, barely gets a mention.

It has been stated in court that the case against the bakery will not be decided by whosoever shouts the loudest. We can only hope that that is the case here too.

Before we have time to draw breath, another band of Christians are complaining that a football match is to be played on a Sunday. No-one has actually asked them to  take part in the game or  even to attend it as spectators , but they appear incensed that the game should even take place.Are they saying that their entire  religious beliefs are also a “special” case and not just a personal choice, and we should all take heed and make our personal choices to suit  them alone? They would want atheists  to live as they do too.

What if some of us have to work on Sunday? What if our job demands it? There are many shops,  restaurants, hospitals and assorted social services such as transport where it is a necessity to work every day of the week  . Should we heed these people and simply sit on our hands for a specific twenty four hours , every seven days that the earth revolves around the sun? Even if we do not believe a word they say.

Sunday, being the day of the Sun, as the name of the first day of the week, apparently  derives from Egyptian astrology, where the seven planets, known in English as Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury and the Moon, were each assigned a particular  day of the week .The planet that was  brightest on the first hour of the day was given the name for that day.During the 1st and 2nd century, after the Christian demarcation of time became the fashion, the week of seven days was introduced into Rome from Egypt, and it was  the Roman names of the planets  that were given to each  day.Of course the names of the week also took on the  old Norse gods like {W}odin, Thor and Freya , so they  are now a right old mixed bag of connotations .

The thing is , do these rabid, hell-fearing Christians, who treat this nominal day as somehow unique, not know any of this or have they given it any thought at all? If laws were left to them  alone, we would soon descend to a level of some near religious fascism.

2 Responses to KEEPING THE CUSTOMER SATISFIED by Harry McAvinchey

  1. Perkin Warbeck March 29, 2015 at 10:58 am #

    Spot on, Harry, when you write that it is difference that makes this old world spin round. Vive the difference, ! as we tend to say in Franglais.

    Alas, it is a precept which does not hold much water down here in the Free Southern Stateen where water is, erm, a highly charged issue.

    ‘Same old same old’ is the guiding principle down here in the 3 Province Stateen of the ruling credophile class who are fixated with credos: it is what gets them out of their three poster beds in the morning.

    There is no concession made to the concept of difference on this side of the Black Pig’s Dyke. And no where was this more eloquently expressed than by the perceptive Percy Franglais::

    – Now there’s no denying Kitty was remarkably pretty
    Though I can’t say the same for Jane
    But still there’s not the differ of the price of a heifer
    Between the pretty and the plain.

    The p-word is the key here: p for price. Everything down here is judged solely on the dismal scientific principles of economics: that is why the stateen is awash in dosh. The argument goes: is we had been a leprechaun-speaking economy we would have suffered a moola melt down of p-for pretty unimaginable proportions.

    But, thankfully, as we are p for plainly part of the English-speaking world of trade and commerce we have always been able to keep our heads above – that w-word again – water. That is why the trick-cyclists of the Troika have never felt the need to come to the Free Southern Stateen.

    – What ! Never ?
    – Well, hardly ever.

    It used to be that An Droimeann Donn Dilis was the bovine logo for Eireland but nowadays she has been replaced by McBreen’s Heifer. It is why ‘Amhran na bhFiann’ is currently being deleted as the National Tantrum by the stealthy wealthy, to be replaced by the plainly superior ‘Shoulder Chip to Shoulder Chip’ of Eireland’s Call.

    The stealthy and weatlhy shoneens of the credophile ruling class have only ever been heard to mutter their way through that pretty awful ‘Amhran na bhFiann’. A mutter which could never be mistaken for, say, the sublime musicality of Ann-Sophie Mutter performing Mozart’s Fifth Violin Concerto in A major.

    Almost there, chaps. Currently in the 26 th phase of possession. All it takes is one more heavvvvvvve and we’re over the whitewash.

    One has only to caste the most cursory of gawks at the outpourings of the foremost ad hawkeye on these matters in the FSS to see both the po-faced veracity and the sheer short-assity of this status quo.

    Not for naught is he affectionately known as ‘Uncle Same’ . For it is the firm belief of this credophile on speedo that it would be a pretty dismal s.of affairs if the Free Southern Stateen were in any way a different Kitty of fish from the the plain-spoken philosophy as enunciated by Jane’s Defence Weekly in A Major.

    Take Fintan O’Toole’s (for it is he !) flying column in The Unionist Times of yesterday – go on, help yourself – on the statue of Cuchulainn in that high water mark (the w-word again) of differentiation, the GPO.

    Uncle Same enlists his religious hero, St. Sameuel A’Becket to diss things a little: ‘The reconstructed GPO was now, as a sceptical S B put it in 1938, ‘a holy ground’

    Clearly humming from the same himperialist sheet, he continues: ‘In his novel, ‘Murphy’ of 1938, a suicidal character Neary visits the GPO and ‘seizes the dying hero by the thighs and begins to dash his head against his buttocks, such as they were’.

    St. Samuel A’Beckett was obviously a busy member of the order of St. Secular in 1938. Was that before he forsook the Gaelic in favour of the Gallic ? There to ditch his passionate pacifistic beliefs and to take up arms and fight for Le Undergound of the FIRA against the demonic Nazis?

    Uncle Same’s hero of course left the Gaelic-shaping Eireland because of its stultifying culture of censorship. Curiously, before departing the oppressive shores of E. the same St. Sam dawdled just long enough to be called as a willing prosecution witness in the libel case brought by a cousin of his . The book in case being ‘As I was walking down Sackville Street’ by Oliver St. John Gogarty. Which cost the same St. Sam’s fellow writer a packet.

    The same Sackville Street where the G.P.O is located, oddly enough.

    This article by Fintan O’Toole was part of a series entitled ‘Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks’.

    One can only speculate whether another statur will feature in the list: Yann Goulet’s statue of defiance in the Bloomsbury quarter of Crossmaglen. (Armagh being as British as Finchley). Yann Goulet, sans doute, was the sculptor who had to hightail it rather smartly out of his native Breton where he was shot in his absence by the FIRA (see above) of noted pacificist and non-committed diffident dissident, St. Samuel A’Beckett.

    This statue possibly has the same chance of featuring in the list of Uncle Same as those other sublime examples of art from the wee Six: Frank McGuigan’s pair of white football boots. Wouldn’t bet on the Breton, mind.

    To conclude, Harry,on the question of the Asher’s Bakery dispute.

    One found oneself in a situation, as recently as, erm, only last night, not remarkably unlike this case; the same, only different, one might say.

    Perkie (for it is he !) found himself as a guest (invited) at a birthday bash in a karaoke bar for a Cockney pal of rather mature years. (Na cuir ceist/ Don’t ask). Festooned from the ceiling were a string of birthday balloons in colours bright and colours cheerful. And these were the unlikely source of the crux.

    For when a lady whom we shall call Myrtle (for that is her name) was called upon to sing her party piece, while all hell did not quite break out Myrtle did: no sooer had she taken the mike in her hand (a practised hand at same) she promptly dropped mike, turned heel and broke out of the karaoke bar in a lather of both sweat and terror.

    Why, one might well ask.

    Listen up, for one could not make this up: said Myrtle has a phobia about……of all things,…..balloons, and not just bright,bouncy birthday balloons.

    A Ripley moment, if ever there was one.

    So:what to do, thought mein host of the karaoke bar. A compromise was arrived at and a reluctant Myrstle was eventually coaxed back in to sing her party piece, ‘Little old wine drinker me’.

    The compromise consisting of her turning her rear cheeks(for buttocks, see above) to the assembled company and balloons alike. She went on to give a dinger of a rendition, even managing to suck the extra dropeen of pathos from that great line, a line which quite possibly equals if not surpasses anything in the Beckettian canon:

    -For a broken heart in Chicago is still the same.

    Is it beyond the wit of same-sex wedding enthusiasts (as distinct from the different-sex typesl) not to devise a compromise along said lines?

    They are, after all, and as far as one understands these matters , rather adept at the turning of the rear cheeks. Even in Belfast.

  2. paddykool March 29, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

    Sounds of Dino {for it is he!}…. eating his soused heart out , while salt tears trickle gently from the corner of his eye…….

    I came here last week from down in Nashville
    ‘Cause my baby left for Florida on a train
    I thought I’d get a job and just forget her
    But in Chicago, the broken heartache’s still the same…..just the same……