It was more than merely the canine connection alone which prompted Mutt to point out the once and past location of Barney Kiernan’s pub on (gulp) Little Britain Street in the once and future DUBlin to Teflon Jeff on Bloomsday.
That D-day of Days when The Zion and The Unicorn: Bloom and Joyce are concelebrated.
For, once having done the indicating, the long, boney index finger of M’s alt-right hand chose to let it linger, to let it linger there, in the moany manner of D’Cranberry. And not without good reason. The rigid digit is to the narkily barking Mutt as was the preternatural crassness of a cross to the frigid St. Brigid.
For this pub is The Chosen Location of the shameless samepage chorus of Joycean worshipers in the Nodalong Newsmedia who unanimously voted it Their Favourite Episode in the Book of Uncommon Fanfare:
For this, the setting of the Cylcops Episode, is where L.Bloom proves more than able for Citizen Cain and thus kills two words with the one clone:
–Anti-Semitism and Avuncular-Gaeldom (see below).
Truly is Barney Kiernan’s pub the transient kernel of Joyces’s eternal tome from home.
But first an acrid apperitif or two (fore and aft) which one is as unlikely to have served in the Nodalong Newsmedia as one is to have pork served in the posher kosher nosheries in DUPlin or even Cork itself, home town of Joyce, pater. That would be John Stanislaus, that irredeemable dead loss of a snob from whom his knob of a son, James Augustine Aloysius, inherited his delicious pro-Imperial patter, lock, stock and imperil.
-‘Take this Irishman Joyce, a sort of Zola gone to seed. Someone recetly sent me a copy of Ulysses. I was told I must read it, but how can one plough through such stuff? I read a little here and there, but, oh my God ! How bored I got ! Probably Joyce thinks that because he prints all the dirty little words he is a great novelist. You know, of course, he got his ideas from Dujardin? ….Ulysses is hopeless, it is absurd to imagine that any good end can be served by trying to record every single thought and sensation of any human being. That’s not art, that’s attempting to copy the London Directory’.
-George Moore in conversation with a friend, as reported in Constellaton of Genius, 1922.
And now the bleating sheep look up to eat: here be the main course. Such larks ! You.can see why all this this following (yawn) listless guff-stuff is grist to the Jack of Mutt and the Jill of Jeff alike as they survey the lie of the land from on high. Even as they list to the lay of this piss-poor carper of a PC commentator at the dawn of a new DUPlinalem. (Déanaimis meánfach an mhorchomhluadair a réamh-mhúchadh anois)
-In “Cyclops,” the citizen sits tucked away in the corner of Barney Kiernan’s pub with his dog, Garryowen, drinking one beer after another. The citizen is the double for the Cyclops Polyphemus from the Odyssey, except that here being “one-eyed” is not a literal but a figurative trait. Almost from the instant the reader sees him, it becomes apparent that the citizen is a narrow-minded Irish nationalist. He speaks to his dog in Irish; he thinks that the revival of the Irish tongue is inevitable; he goes on at length about the strength of the nation and the weakness of England; he curses anyone that thinks otherwise. The citizen’s nationalism is the worst brand, bordering on primitive tribalism. For him, it is Ireland versus the world. Everything connected with Ireland is exempt from criticism, and everything that is not is worth disparaging. His comments quickly reveal themselves as essentially bigoted and xenophobic. In the myopic and mean-spirited nature of his thoughts, the citizen comes across as essentially “one-eyed.” It is worth noting that, though the citizen does not come off well in the episode, his views were not at all extreme in Dublin in 1904. This can be seen by the fact that the other characters gravitate toward him and let him dominate the conversation with his forceful opinions. Generally speaking, the citizen is representative of an Irish attitude that was not uncommon in 1904. Strongly (sometimes violently) resistant to English oppression, the attitude was fiercely nationalistic and insular, constantly willing to proclaim the greatness of the Irish people and Irish culture, but impervious to influence from outside the island. The citizen is prejudiced against Bloom from the start. The very first thing he does is complain about Bloom’s pacing out front of the pub. The citizen pegs him as “a freemason” . Later, when Bloom begins to disagree with some of the citizen’s nationalistic sentiments, the dislike moves toward downright animosity. The citizen begins making digs at Bloom’s Jewishness, and when Bloom finally speaks up, the citizen seizes the opportunity to mock him. He is particularly disgusted with Bloom’s simple assertion that he is Irish because he was born there. For the citizen, nationalism can’t be explained so simply (or accurately). For him, it is all-encompassing. Belonging to a nation is much like belonging to a gang. When Bloom leaves, the citizen insults him excessively. He doubts Bloom’s ability to father children, and when he hears that Molly miscarried, he suggests that it undermines Bloom’s masculinity. Throughout the episode, Bloom never once makes a personal attack on the citizen. He disagrees with his narrow-minded ideas and pushes for moderation, but the citizen turns the argument into one about Bloom himself – his ethnicity in particular. When Bloom returns and the citizen continues to mock him, Bloom starts yelling back at the bigot. The citizen is infuriated by Bloom’s (true) assertion that Christ was a Jew, and looks for something to throw at him. The biscuit tin falls short, and as it clinks in the street it seems to symbolize how pathetic the citizen’s discrimination is in the first place.
Annotations suggest that the citizen is modeled on a man named Michael Cusack. Cusack founded
the Gaelic Athletic Association, a group so focused on Irish pride that they actually denounced
people as un-Irish if they watched English games like football (soccer) or rugby.
(Déanaimis iarmheánfach an mhorchomhluadair a mhúchadh anois)
And now for that second acrid aperitif for afters:
–Truly I have read 200 pages (of Ulysses) so far – not a third; and have been amused, stimulated, charmed interested, by the first 2 or 3 chapters – to the end of the cemetery scene; and then, puzzled, bored, irritated and disillusioned by a queasy undergraduate scratching his pimples. And Tom, great Tom, thinks this is on par with War and Peace ! An illiterate, underbred book it seems to me; the book of a self-taught working man, and we all know how distressing they are, how egotistic, inistent, raw, striking, and ultimately nauseating. When one can have the cooked flesh, why have the raw? But I think if you are anaemic, as Tom is, there is a glory in blood. Being fairly normal myself, I am soon ready for the classics again’
-Virgina Woolf, in a 1922 diary entry.
So, how come this deeply unwell farago of a novel is, well, in such a state of wellness, trundling wondrously forward?
Who’s unafraid then of VW? Or indeed of that big bad Mayoman, George Moore?
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the breakwind.
Mince forward, none other than Senator Professor David Norris, legendary gent. Renowned for his pincer movement, involving Grecian 2000 and good grooming not to mention Grecian mythology in the odd-bod Oddyssey of Leopold Blooming.
Having first renovated a Georgian house just the length of a Finnegans Wake sentence away from Belvo, alama mater of choice by Joyce pater for his slim son, Jim, he then delved into the nourishing of Edwardian DUPlin.
The charmingly disarming Norris (who featured recently in an obituary of Feargal Quinn in The Unionist Times for the daily, express purpose of speaking, erm, brill of the terminally ill) is as hungry as, lemme see, ah yis, Horace when it comes to attracting attention to Senator Professor David and is never out of the limelight, or, broimsholas.
As his every appearance is an Ode to the road much travelled by Leopold Bloom and whose deciphering of whose morse code The Norris is remorselessly content to take the load upon his own stockholder to stockholder shoulders. He has answered Ireland’s Call by removing DUPlin’s caul.
Nothing, tada ar fad, must be allowed to interfere with the cast-in-stone Norris-sponsored Knorritive of the literary past for Souper Star Shoneenism.
One could go on, and on, and on with this on-ism but first, a little housekeeping:
–Anti-Anti-Semitism v Avuncular Gaeldom.
Doesn’t exactly make for a catchy headline, wot?. Something decidedly clunky about the second component of an opponent there, which definitely warrants to be thrun into the clink, a gaol for Gaels, perchance.
So let us see what can be done about it. Ah, a million kilowatt lightbulb moment !
-Tabhair dom do lámh mar sin, a shaoránigh, agus siúlaimis seal agus sios to dti Droichead na Leathphingne.
Let us now take a bold Leopold type stroll down from old Little Britain Street, turning right into Capability Brown street, aka Capel Street, down past that centre of transexual excellence, the Panti Bliss bar, to which T-shirt wearing Taoisigh now feel compelled to make a pilgrimage, and genuflect in homage. (That’s ‘omage in French, guv. Rhymes with fromage).
Panti Bliss will have been guynormously missed during the past month, having been, at Taxpayer’s Expense, on a morally superior tour of China, sponsored by the sassy Irish Embassy in P-King. To what end? To set that inferior country, erm, straight about the business of being Anti-Anti Gay.
Thus we had a native of Mayo not such much exporting e-bola from Bohola as importing to the Land of Mao a thinking trannie’s pink feather boa. Descended from hewers of wood, this Drawers of Silk.
So, what did the Wall-eyed ones think of Missy Bliss’s attempt to teach their Grannies how to suck eggs? Or even to modestly kick start his or her nyloned legs from the Land of Leo a neo-Boxer Revolution in egotistical boxer shorts of a certain ilk on the old Silk Road ?
Confucius say :
– What a road of borrocks !
On reaching the quays (which odd word visiting Joycean scholars from the US of A, with their jiffy bags of iffy chi-chi Joycean clichés for Liffeyside, pronounce as if it rhymes with, erm, gays) at the foggy bottom of Capel Street one turns a sharp blooming left and heads in a beastly easterly direction. While simultaneously making room in one’s head for – yikes !- two recent occurrences to do with aviation in the nation divided by the Black Sow’s Dyke.
Curiously, very, that the original Joyce Country surfaced during Bloomsmonth this year: on Bloomsday Eve, June 15, the centenary of the crash landing of a pair of pioneering transatlanteans in a bog oak monolith in Conemara, after a 15 hours flight. In this tame pocket of the Wild Atlantic Way, local Paddy Stinks and Mickey Mucks, with an ironic almost Ulyssian turn of phrase are known to occasionally refer to the local commemorative Alcock and Brown Hotel in Clifden as:
-The Sammy Davis Jr Hotel.
Coincidentally, in the same week an other trans-Atlantic aviator was also evoked in a diffferent way and in a more northerly part of the island: whereas they greet one with a declamatory ‘Hellobe !’ in the first place, in the second place but offer the following inquisitorial salutation:
That would be Corrigan Park.
In July 1938, Wrong way Corrigan ended up in Casement Aerodrome (nee Baldonnell) 28 hours plus after setting out from the East Coast to head for the West Coast of the USA. Only to get the land of his life (allegedly) by landing in the East Coast of Occidental England.
Corrigan as in, the LOI-sized Park came from Casement Park. The latter is the Jurassic Park of B-fast and is even more unfinished than its counterpart in DUPlin, Croke Park. The reason why there has been a muted response to this incompletion and that rumblngs are as rare as a nun’s wimple in the depressing press (hark in vain for the narky bark from a less than bothered Mutt) and why the decreptitude on the terraces have been booted to the sidelines of the byliners of the Nodalong Newsmedia is simple.
The Parks called after the Citizens Corrigan, Casement and Croke are where the Dinosaurs of the GAH disport themselves.
Sin é bun, barr agus bolg an scéil, scaly Hayley.
Oy ! Before you can say Half a Sixpence a la Tommy Steele we are at the Metal Bridge aka The Halfpenny Bridge.
–Droichead na Leathphinge.
This, of course, is the same bridge which caused the City Fathers (and Mothers, for this is a shared space) threw a very hissy fit, Gerry, some months ago.
When a banner celebrating the Dublin Football Team’s achievements was draped from the Metal Bridge. And promptly showed their mettle by ordering this blue and bluer redundancy to be removed firth of forthwith. Never to be replaced, DUPlin not havin’ nuffin’ more with do with the Bogballers. Incidentally, former Flight Commander Jim Gavin, bainisteoir of the Dublin Dinosaurs, currently on their drive for five Sam Maguires, and which is due to go down to the wire, would not be at all unfamiliar with Casement Aerodeome.
Does one detect a certain pattern emerging here, citizen Pat? One indeed blooming-well does:
The perfect hashtag for the DUPlin zeitgeist, by C. : a city where, in the last few months, GAH players have been branded with immunity as ‘Dinosaurs’ and Leprechaun speakers as ‘cultural terrorists’ with impunity with not a squeak of protest from the usual soreheads in bokety, boring, Crocodile Éireann of the reverential aisles. As for the ever vigilant Amnesia Ireland, and its perpetually perturbed Big Wheel, one Colm O Gormless: still asleep at same.
Mutt too has been remarkably bark-free on these two matters; let’s hope he never has to endure a tug of jaw anytime soon with a descendant of Garyowen, the Citizens’s rabid canine. It may call for a thundering up-and-under of a Limerick. As Gaeilge, gan amhras, no, fiú, as Eabhrais féin.
In 1916, Roger Casement, Gael was awarded the hempen necktie in Pentonville Gaol, before being fast tracked, terminally ill, to a quicklime grave. Now, he is being honoured with the sloweed treatment in the choked terraces of Páirc Mhic Easmainn in West Belfast.
A gobsmackingly obscene scenario in a nationalist bario which has led the bow-wows of the Nodalong Newsmedia in DUPlin to shut their traps in a vow of Trappist-style silence. The muzzled ones being too busy guzzling as they celebrate a quarter of a century of the One Small Step in Giant Stadium in a neuralgic attack of post nostalgic trauma, that sorta thingy.
Time, perhaps, for godawful Homer Warbeck to nod.
NOD BRODÚIL DON CLG
Leagadh siad béim ar chomh aerach
A bhí sé:cluainigh tréad na gcaorach
An Bogha Báistí
Mná gan pháistí
Beidh Lá Eile ansin ag Ruairí Paorach.
TUILLEADH LE TEACHT: TO BE CONTINUED