Archive for the ‘Features’ Category
The forgiveness we received in 1953
bears no comparison to the situation Greece
has put itself in today. Whatever
criticisms might be levelled
at the German governments
of the first half of the last century,
they didn’t waste good money
on crazy schemes to allow
the school caretaker retire at fifty five,
but invested wisely
in long term infrastructure
and engineering projects:
tanks to pacify Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia;
enough gas canisters to almost
carry out their apparently impossible
election promises; V-2 rockets
with ‘England’ written on them.
My predecessor, whatever else
may be said of him, didn’t
squander our nation’s treasure giving
free kebabs and ouzo to officials
of the Ministry of Transport as they woke
from their compulsory afternoon nap,
but shopped around frugally
for enough excellent leather boots
to properly police the streets
of Prague, Cracow, Bucharest, Minsk,
Liege, Amsterdam, Lyon;
after much haggling and complaint
purchased, at ridiculously miniscule prices,
the millions of Stahlhelm helmets
spent in our valiant attempt
to annex the Soviet oilfields in the Caucasus.
Though it didn’t come to exact fruition,
we died trying, and took enough of them with us
to make it almost worth it.
Go cause a nice world war,
my little olive eating friend,
and in its aftermath, we’ll talk.
Play your cards with sufficient insanity,
all across the map, while wearing outfits
of the required eccentricity
and you’ll find our terms
*term of endearment used to refer to Angela Merkel by her supporters. Means “Mum”.
Students from schools across Ireland are joining the global Schools Strike for Climate Action
next Friday 15th March. As well as marches in Dublin and Cork there will be strike events outside local authority offices in counties
from Tralee to Donegal, Meath to Galway, and locally at school gates across the country.
This global strike was called by the 16 year-old schoolgirl
Greta Thunberg who began striking outside the Swedish Parliament last August.
By Kevin Higgins
after Carolyn Forché
Beamed into one’s living room via satellite,
or framed in syndicated photographs
on the quality papers’ foreign pages, even
their black or missing front teeth
have a strange beauty.
The shanty town dwellers of La Paz,
in their hand woven red and green ponchos,
carry themselves in a fashion
which puts to shame the post office queue
scraggy mother of two, with change
in her slovenly wallet for lottery tickets,
but not shampoo.
Nothing against the locals.
But even the skeletal colosseum cats have a grace
which the one I ran over on my way
to this morning’s Amnesty
International meeting absolutely lacked.
The ongoing pain of the Yazidi women
and the entire Choctaw nation (every generation)
is best struggled with over a fair trade salad
in one of the more radical tea shops
on Sandymount Strand.
In comparison, one admits,
our local Others – with their dole
day drunkenness, and lack of imagination
which has seen them prosaically wander the roads
these past thousand years – just
don’t cut the whole grain mustard.
When they start mouthing Civil Rights
and municipal water cannon, or
police batons get over enthusiastic
on their irresponsibly positioned skulls,
people like me will feel forced to pass by
on the other side, checking our messages
for pictures of unfamiliars being
The teenagers we shot yesterday
were shot responsibly through the eye
with plain-speaking dum-dum bullets,
manufactured in Fife, or taken down
with SR 25 sniper rifles flown
heroically in from Orange County.
Many of these so-called protestors
specifically arranged to be shot in the back,
just to make us look bad.
The gas canisters our people threw
were entirely rational, and legal,
like the Boer firestorm the kaffirs
brought down on themselves at Sharpeville,
or the best-of-British ambush
that rubbish walked into at Derry.
The one rogue canister which lost
its mind and finished up in a tent
beside an eight month old baby,
who, sadly, also expired, is currently under investigation
and expects to be cleared of all wrong doing,
unlike the baby who we’ve already found guilty.
There is no such thing as Palestinians.
Just some Arabs who used to live here
and think they still do.
The keys they wave in the air
no longer open any doors.
They are a rumour you foolishly believed,
now we’ve moved our eternal capital
to what used to be
their front room.