Category Archives: Musings

A Portrait of The Artist as an ex-Catholic…among other things.

Pope Francis 1, formerly Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina

Pope Francis 1, formerly Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina

So we have a new pope. Well, it’s about bleedin’ time, if you ask me. There should be no such thing as a job for life – not in this day and age, anyway. Either you’re up for the task, or you’re not. There’s no in between. Joey Ratz did the right thing in my books. “I’m too old for this shit,” he said. “Let someone younger handle the pressure for a change.” Fair play to you, Joey; you went up in my estimation when you made your historic pronouncement. Oh sure, conspiracy theorists alike will say you were pushed out because you were a liability, a criminal, a sexist misogynist dinosaur: a relic of the Cold War…sorry, that was Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond…I digress. Again.

Diego Maradona: not a pope, but a football player

Diego Maradona: not a pope, but a football player

So who do we get after Joey? Jorge. An Argentine who is now more popular on Google than Lionel Messi or Diego Maradona. He’s the new spiritual leader of the much-maligned Catholic Church, an institution that’s had about as much bad press as Justin Bieber’s recent concert tour in the UK. He is the new guard, but he’s been getting some good reviews for taking the name of Francis. If I could have taken a new name every time I  changed my job, I’d need a passport the size of the Gutenberg Bible.

But hold on. I’m a Catholic, right? At least I am by right of birth. But does being a Catholic mean much to me? Not at the moment, it pains me to say. I am one of the many lapsed Catholics that only see the inside of a church for weddings, funerals, christenings, when on holiday with my friend Dennis, and when on the run from the police. But there was a time when it was all so different. I looked to the altar for solace, for life’s meaning, for truth. Now I look and think What the fuck?

So why the change of attitude? Did the church come down hard on me for reasons I won’t go into? No. In fact, when I was in my teens, I found a sense of community within a church group. The fact that we used it as an excuse to get shitfaced once a week doesn’t come into it.

The good old days, before the shit hit the fan.

The good old days, before the shit hit the fan.

Okay, it does. But you get what I’m saying. The church had and maybe still does have its uses. I have some close family members and friends whose faith inspires me, though not to the extent that I want to believe in the God that they profess. Do I believe in God? It depends on what day it is, and how I’m feeling. But to me, most times, it doesn’t matter whether I do or not. I don’t think we’ll ever know. Though science professes that such an omnipotent being cannot exist, people of faith say that it’s not possible for God not to exist. I’m somewhere in the middle: he either exists or he doesn’t. It’s a comfortable fence I sit on; I have plenty of company. But your beliefs are your own business. I will respect them, and I will defend your right to them.

Now where was I? So we have a new pope. Good. Whatever your feelings on the matter, give the new guy a chance. If indeed he manages some reform in his papacy, then fair play to the man. If, however, he’s unable or – worse – disinclined to bring the Catholic Church kicking and screaming into the 21st century, then it is incumbent on ourselves to vote with our feet: to get out of their churches and stay out. Institutions like these, if they can’t or won’t reform, deserve neither our time nor our faith, whatever that faith may be.

Good luck, Francis. You might need it. I’d pray for you…if I believed it would work.

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What A Load of Thru’penny Bits!

So there seems to be much weeping and gnashing of teeth about photos that feature yet another hapless royal. Much talk is being made of suits and counter-suits. ‘Angry’ from Manchester is outraged, appalled – and clicking his way through each salacious crumb that can be found on the Internet. Good luck to him/her. I personally don’t care.

Until it costs jobs, that is. Reports are coming in that the Irish Daily Star, a popular tabloid in these here parts, is under threat of closure because one of its investors is outraged, appalled…you get the picture.

In almost ever ‘red top’ newspaper, you will find topless snapshots of the great, good and who=gives-a-fuck. Look, people, if it’s not your mum, your sister, or your aunt, why do you care? Let the unwary fight their own battles. Just leave the little guy out of it, okay?

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 97. On Repetition.

You go to a pub on Saturday night. The music is crap, the singers are atrocious (it’s Karaoke – what did you expect?), the beer is overpriced and the staff are cranky. So much for your night out, yes?

Next Saturday you resolve to do something different – but you don’t. You do the same thing as you did the week before, and the week before that, and the week before that.

Insanity is defined by psychologists and psychiatrists as repeating the same actions over and over again and expecting different results each time. But will you change your habits? Can you?

 

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 86. On Stars.

I miss the stars in the sky. Once upon a time, many moons ago, I used to look up above and see constellations looking back down on me and the rest of us puny humans. Because in the overall scheme of things, compared to the infinite universe, we’re irrelevant, a mote in the eye of whoever or whatever created us.

Most of us can’t see the stars anymore because we’re afraid of the dark. Even our nights are lit up constantly. But I also think we don’t like being unimportant. And the stars continually remind us of that fact. Sad but true.

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 84. On Government Health Warnings.

Don't say you haven't been warned.

Caution: this blog contains flashing images, scenes of a violent nature, strong language and some sequences during which you might consider popping out and making a cup of tea or coffee.

Moderate reading of this and other posts is recommended: no more than five units a week if you’re a male, three if you’re female, seven if you’ve got more than two legs, none if you’re a fish. If you’re a fictional character, knock yourself out. Dosages exceeding those which have been laid down in stone may result in memory loss, insomnia, acne, manic behaviour and, of course, memory loss.

 

 

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 82. On Showers.

One of the things I miss when I’m away (apart from my bed, that is) is my electric shower. You know the type I mean: flick a switch and water comes out, at the rate you want and, more importantly, at the temperature you want. Too many times I’ve had to wrestle with showers that have lives of their own. You know the sort I mean: water dribbles out at a rate snails would be proud of, and at a temperature that would make volcanoes seethe with envy. Is it too much to ask for a little consistency around here?

 

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 78. On Letting Go.

A little while ago, after almost a year of deliberation, I ‘deleted’ an ex-girlfriend from my Facebook friends list. There was no malice involved in the decision. I simply woke up that morning, logged on to my account, brought up the lady’s profile, then (as they say in Facebookese) ‘unfriended’ her.

It was a year to the weekend that we broke up. I probably pushed the decision and do not regret it for a minute. But as there had been little or no interaction during this time, I figured it was time to let it go. Live and let live.