## Kitchen roll and driverless cars

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Wednesday, 20 Jan 2016, 20:25

Many years ago if you spilled something on a floor you had to clean it up with a cloth or a mop which could be tedious especially if it was something oily, what with all the mopping and rinsing not to mention the hand-scalding water. Then someone had a great idea and kitchen roll was invented.  A God-send to many a downtrodden housewife back in the day.  So, instead of all the wiping and rinsing, the spill could be mopped up and the sodden paper dumped straight into the bin.  Voila!  Another great weapon in the feminist arsenal, helping to free women everywhere from a little bit more of the old daily drudge. (I would nearly bet you could find a direct correlation between the appearance of kitchen roll and the rise in separation and divorce in Ireland) Anyway, as good as the kitchen roll was, it did have a bit of a downside, the paper was a bit thin and tended to fall apart.  So, the manufacturers had a bit of a competition to improve the product.  Lo and behold, they did.  Over time kitchen roll improved so much that it could actually be rinsed out and re-used.......just like a cloth.....well....er!

Anyway, one of the girls at work mentioned seeing a driver-less car on a television programme recently.  This is the latest thing in car technology and the way we will all be driving or not, in the future.  So, I was thinking about this and thinking about how once a thing is invented, it inevitably keeps being updated and improved as little flaws in the original idea surface. So, we start with a driver-less car but we can't go completely driver-less because of the unexpected road accident or event that may disrupt the journey so the driver still has to be able to take control of the vehicle as needed. This is where the driver-less car is as we speak.  So imagine in the future, we'll have all these driver-less cars on the road, all going different places and sometimes to the same places like a football match or a concert.  Now wouldn't it be a good idea if we could take all the cars that are going to the same places and find a way to join them up so they could all go together and only one driver would be needed to keep control which logic would dictate would be the car in front.Well, it makes sense to me.

Then someone might have the idea of making the seats adjustable so that over long journeys people could lie down and sleep arriving at their destination well-rested and refreshed.  Still with me, ok then, let's take it another step further, what if there were special roads or tracks set aside for them to separate them from other road traffic like tractors and horses and the old Luddites who are still driving full time in their manual cars'  This would in all probability, make driver-less cars even safer.

So, we have driver-less cars which can be joined up to other driver-less cars when they're all going to the same place which only need one driver to maintain control.  Not forgetting that you can lie down and sleep,or read,or do your tax return (if that is your wont) and they have their own special road to drive on......hmmm.....now that I think about it, isn't that a train???  The future, it's where we're headed.

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## Glut point

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Wednesday, 20 Jan 2016, 20:23

I have identified an economic sociological phenomena or a sociological economic phenomena, depending on your point of view, well, what's a 3rd level education for???  Anyway, I was thinking about the present state of the economy and the looming recession or maybe even depression and I have identified where we almost are.  The phenomemon I have identified and named too, is 'Glut point'.

Glut point is (as identified and defined by me) the point where the wealthy in a capitalist society have exploited all resources to their advantage to then find that the only way to keep on making money is to start paying decent wages to those whose efforts they have exploited so that they can create a demand for products thereby stimulating the economy. Which will, in turn, allow those on top to start making money again.

Which will be any day now.  Actually, I think the Conservatives may almost be there with their call for a living wage, reality is slowly dawning.  So, watch and listen and remember you heard it here first!

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## David Bowie

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 11 Oct 2020, 09:37

What can I say - heartbroken at the news.  A huge influence and a huge loss.My sons had bought me a Double DVD of his hits for Christmas since my old video is too fragile to play.  What a rotten start to a week.

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## Star Wars - The Force Awakens

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I've been down with flu for 3 days now and was itching to see the new Star Wars film having avoided all media reports so I would know nothing about it. So I dragged myself from my sick bed yesterday and ventured to the cinema with my sons to see it.  We're all big Star Wars fans in my house.  I won't mention anything about it in case anyone hasn't seen it yet but it was worth the effort.  A much darker film than expected but highly enjoyable and a definite must see for us die hard fans.  I'll get out again for another viewing over Christmas, once I get rid of this dose.

And as today is the winter solstice, (a special date in my calendar) I'll wish everybody a happy solstice and look forward to the days lengthening again.  (I'm thinking about reclaiming this holiday back again from the Christians)

Anyway, I've decided to finish up with the OU, I've completed 5 years and have my 300 points so I'm going to cash them in and go.  This is the third dose of flu I've had in as many months and it comes at the end of what has been a very tough 3 years both personally and professionally.  At this point I feel completely burned out with study but I also feel I'm missing out on too many other things. I've turned down so many invitations recently and missed out on job opportunities that I'm really resenting the time I have to give to the books so I think it's time to go.  I'm going forward to the new year with a great line from The Force Awakens - the belonging you seek won't be found in the past but in the future - so that's where I'm headed with my degree and hopefully a new job as well come January.

So good luck everybody with your studies and I hope you all have a lovely solstice/winter fest/Christmas and a happy and productive new year.

And for all us Star Wars fans, may the force be with you.

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Aideen Devine, Monday, 21 Dec 2015, 14:29)
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## Halloween

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Just back from watching the fireworks and now settling in with a glass of wine and Bram Stoker's Dracula and it got me thinking... was Bram trying to tell us something about people who give themselves titles and live in castles?

That maybe they're blood-sucking parasites who feed off the life blood of the ordinary people???

Something to think about?

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Simon Reed, Sunday, 1 Nov 2015, 12:13)
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## A300

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First assignment just sent off. As usual, you think you're never going to get it written and then you wish you had another 500 words. Well, I'll sleep peacefully tonight now that it's away and ce sera, sera!!.

I'm looking forward to my long weekend now, I'm off work Monday and I've so much to catch up with not least the trailer for the new Star Wars film, roll on December!!  Star Wars and Whitesnake to look forward too, it seems that winter may not be so bad after all. May the force be with you as you hurry to get your assignments in.....

Now where did I leave that light sabre,,R2 have you seen it.........?????

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## Corbyn

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Saturday, 12 Sep 2015, 11:57

Just sitting here watching the Labour leader result and how great to see Jeremy Corbyn win.   At last the Labour party has thrown off the dead weight of Bliarism and will now hopefully return to their true roots of social democracy and the party of working people.

I had lost interest in politics for so long and didn't even watch the news anymore but this is the most I've been excited about politics since the Scottish Referendum although at least this time the result is the one hoped for.

I feel today some hope for the future which is something I haven't felt in a long time, well done Jeremy Corbyn and thank you so very much to all who voted for him.

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## Short story

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I have taken to going to Derry on Saturday mornings to browse around Eason's while gathering up the books I need for next year.  Then, I usually go and enjoy a coffee and a croissant in Synge & Byrnes cafe before the crowds start to roll in (who knows, I might get a free coffee for the plug).

Anyway, I was sitting thinking about stuff and this (very short) story came to mind.  Feedback is welcome and if anyone wants to join me some Saturday morning for a coffee and a chat or even a meaningful conversation then, you are most welcome.  I do miss the odd week so if I'm not there, sorry, and try again some other time.  I don't have a title for it yet, it usually takes a while for me to come up with titles.  I hope you enjoy it.

Untitled

'The fire's dead' said the woman to the man, 'I left everything sitting right there for you and still......you let it die.   I mean, how many times?'  She stopped and shrugged.  'What's the point?' she said and left the room and went upstairs.  She didn't bother to undress but laid down on top of the bed and slowly died from lack of interest.

It was later reported the man died from hypothermia.

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## Exam result

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Friday, 10 Jul 2015, 13:12

Just got my exam result and I have to say I'm very disappointed.  I felt it was the best piece of work I had done the whole year but there you go.  Going by the mark, I don't know any more now than I knew when I submitted my first assignment and going by my overall score I actually know less now about writing than I knew when I began. So I've done a whole year of writing and studying and I haven't learned any more than I knew when I started.

The tutor had remarked several times during the year, not to get too hung up on the marks but that's easy for a tutor to say when the marks count towards our degree and they already have theirs.

A double disappointment as today is my birthday, it's just killed the mood completely.  I should have went for politics as it seems I have wasted an entire year.

Permalink 4 comments (latest comment by Aideen Devine, Friday, 17 Jul 2015, 13:50)
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## Poetry

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Friday, 13 Nov 2015, 13:00

This is the first serious poem I wrote for A363 this year.  It's called Landscapes and it was based on a summer's day long ago when we used to have definite seasons, when me and a friend spent most of the day jumping from a fence into a pile of straw that was left behind after the farmer cut the field.  Our houses used to be surrounded by fields and they were great places to play.  Around the same time as the troubles were breaking out, the fields started to disappear as first factories were built and then the rest of them were turned into a large housing estate. The loss of playing areas was mirrored by the loss of freedom as society divided into their respective camps.   Then after the events of Bloody Sunday, everything changed for the worse and some dark insanity seemed to take hold of the world.  As the landscape changed so too did the political landscape.

I've developed this into a screenplay which I'm working on again so I hope to see this on screen at some point in the future.  So I hope you enjoy it, comments as always, are welcome.

Landscapes

In the playing fields of childhood,

we spent a last, carefree summer's day

where life hopped, flitted and buzzed

in a concerto of movements and sounds

around us.

We gathered armfuls of straw and hay

and climbed and jumped, and climbed and jumped,

until legs, wobbly and weak

gave way.  We wandered home

like two happy drunks,

bodies tired but spirits light as

the warmth of day gently faded in the west

and the drifting hum of Sion mill

lullabyed us to sleep.

While we slept;

Darkness covered the land

An army of grey men,

Led by hard mouths

- raised in anger,

They screamed in fury

as they stripped the skin from the earth,

their unforgiving teeth

ripping into the soft ground;  Unopposed.

Uprooted homes were left to die

without care or ceremony.

The casualties fled in terror,

as fences deposed hedgerows.

Grey stone walls, set deep into the ground,

Divided, conquered, divided, conquered:

The gentle melodies of summer

were lost.

The dissonant cold of winter blew in.

We,

no longer free, confined

by barricades, borders and bigotry.

Thirteen people lay dead

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## Poetry

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Friday, 13 Nov 2015, 12:56

Since I was on politics yesterday, I'll post some poetry today.  This is one of the poems I wrote for A363 this year.  It's a pantoum, a form of poetry I didn't know about and while it won't win any literary prizes, it's good practice to get you to think about line, form and rhyme.

The B and D lines become the A and C lines of the next stanza and the first line becomes the last line.  There are also 8 syllables on each line.  This isn't quite the original poem as I'm still working on it and will go back to it again, I'm sure.  But I hope you enjoy it.

Soon

Someday soon, I will think of you

and it will mean nothing to me.

You will be someone I once knew,

a wasted chance, a memory.

And it will mean nothing to me,

I will forget the nightshade kiss,

the wasted chance - a memory,

your presence too, I will not miss

I will forget the nightshade kiss

I will barely recall your name,

Your presence too, I will not miss

and no-one else but you to blame.

I will barely recall your name.

You will be someone, I once knew,

and no-one else but you to blame.

Someday soon, I may, think of you.

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## Irony

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 11 Oct 2020, 09:45

It's rather ironic that the year I was doing a 'writing course' is the one in which I was writing very little for the blog.  I'm off work this week so I promised myself I would use this week to get back in the habit of more regular postings.

There is so much going on in politics at the moment that it's a bit difficult to decide where to begin.  Greece is the big news and good luck to them for defying the 'autocrats' and fear mongering of the troika and voting no.  The biggest threat to the EU monolith is the chance that Greece would pull out and make a success of running their own country - I sincerely hope they do, then maybe Spain, Portugal and Ireland might consider doing the same.  I support the idea of a common market for Europe but I don't support the idea of a European State controlled by corporations, the IMF and the World Bank.  The creation of the single currency was a con that sucked in poorer nations who were never going to be able to compete economically with richer nations like Germany, and now it has come back to bite them on the ass and deservedly so - I've pasted this article by Chris Kanthan from nation of change.org as he can explain it all much better than me;

Every single mainstream media has the following narrative for the economic crisis in Greece: the government spent too much money and went broke; the generous banks gave them money, but Greece still can't pay the bills because it mismanaged the money that was given. It sounds quite reasonable, right?

Except that it is a big fat lie ... not only about Greece, but about other European countries such as Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland who are all experiencing various degrees of austerity. It was also the same big, fat lie that was used by banks and corporations to exploit many Latin American, Asian and African countries for many decades.

Greece did not fail on its own. It was made to fail.

In summary, the banks wrecked the Greek government and deliberately pushed it into unsustainable debt so that oligarchs and international corporations can profit from the ensuing chaos and misery.

If you are a fan of mafia movies, you know how the mafia would take over a popular restaurant. First, they would do something to disrupt the business - stage a murder at the restaurant or start a fire. When the business starts to suffer, the Godfather would generously offer some money as a token of friendship. In return, Greasy Thumb takes over the restaurant's accounting, Big Joey is put in charge of procurement, and so on. Needless to say, it's a journey down a spiral of misery for the owner who will soon be broke and, if lucky, alive.

Now, let's map the mafia story to international finance in four stages.

Stage 1: The first and foremost reason that Greece got into trouble was the "Great Financial Crisis” of 2008 that was the brainchild of Wall Street and international bankers. If you remember, banks came up with an awesome idea of giving subprime mortgages to anyone who can fog a mirror. They then packaged up all these ticking financial bombs and sold them as "mortgage-backed securities” at a huge profit to various financial entities in countries around the world.

[x]

A big enabler of this criminal activity was another branch of the banking system, the group of rating agencies - S&P, Fitch and Moody's - who gave stellar ratings to these destined-to-fail financial products. Unscrupulous politicians such as Tony Blair got paid by Big Banks to peddle these dangerous securities to pension funds and municipalities and countries around Europe. Banks and Wall Street gurus made hundreds of billions of dollars in this scheme.

But this was just Stage 1 of their enormous scam. There was much more profit to be made in the next three stages!

Stage 2 is when the financial time bombs exploded. Commercial and investment banks around the world started collapsing in a matter of weeks. Governments at local and regional level saw their investments and assets evaporate. Chaos everywhere!

Vultures like Goldman Sachs and other big banks profited enormously in three ways: one, they could buy other banks such as Lehman brothers and Washington Mutual for pennies on the dollar. Second, more heinously, Goldman Sachs and insiders such as John Paulson (who recently donated $400 million to Harvard) had made bets that these securities would blow up. Paulson made billions, and the media celebrated his acumen. (For an analogy, imagine the terrorists betting on 9/11 and profiting from it.) Third, to scrub salt in the wound, the big banks demanded a bailout from the very citizens whose lives the bankers had ruined! Bankers have chutzpah. In the U.S., they got hundreds of billions of dollars from the taxpayers and trillions from the Federal Reserve Bank which is nothing but a front group for the bankers. In Greece, the domestic banks got more than$30 billion of bailout from the Greek people. Let that sink in for a moment - the supposedly irresponsible Greek government had to bail out the hardcore capitalist bankers.

Stage 3 is when the banks force the government to accept massive debts. For a biology metaphor, consider a virus or a bacteria. All of them have unique strategies to weaken the immune system of the host. One of the proven techniques used by the parasitic international bankers is to downgrade the bonds of a country. And that's exactly what the bankers did, starting at the end of 2009. This immediately makes the interest rates ("yields”) on the bonds go up, making it more and more expensive for the country to borrow money or even just roll over the existing bonds.

From 2009 to mid-2010, the yields on 10-year Greek bonds almost tripled! This cruel financial assault brought the Greek government to its knees, and the banksters won their first debt deal of a whopping 110 billion Euros.

The banks also control the politics of nations. In 2011, when the Greek prime minister refused to accept a second massive bailout, the banks forced him out of the office and immediately replaced him with the Vice President of ECB (European Central Bank)! No elections needed. Screw democracy. And what would this new guy do? Sign on the dotted line of every paperwork that the bankers bring in.

(By the way, the very next day, the exact same thing happened in Italy where the Prime Minister resigned, only to be replaced by a banker/economist puppet. Ten days later, Spain had a premature election where a banker puppet won the election).

The puppet masters had the best month ever in November 2011.

Few months later, in 2012, the exact bond market manipulation was used when the banksters turned up the Greek bonds' yields to 50%!!! This financial terrorism immediately had the desired effect: The Greek parliament agreed to a second massive bailout, even larger than the first one.

[x]

Now, here is another fact that most people don't understand. The loans are not just simple loans like you would get from a credit card or a bank. These are loans come with very special strings attached that demand privatization of a country's assets. If you have seen Godfather III, you would remember Hyman Roth, the investor who was carving up Cuba among his friends. Replace Hyman Roth with Goldman Sachs or IMF (International Monetary Fund) or ECB, and you get the picture.

Stage 4: Now, the rape and humiliation of a nation begin under the name of "austerity” or "structural reforms.” For the debt that was forced upon it, Greece had to sell many of its profitable assets to oligarchs and international corporations. And privatizations are ruthless, involving everything and anything that is profitable. In Greece, privatization included water, electricity, post offices, airport services, national banks, telecommunication, port authorities (which is huge in a country that is a world leader in shipping) etc. Of course, the ever-manipulative bankers always demand immediate privatization of all media which means that the country gets photogenic TV anchors who spew establishment propaganda every day and tell the people that crooked and greedy banksters are saviors; and slavery under austerity is so much better than the alternative.

In addition to that, the banker tyrants also get to dictate every single line item in the government's budget. Want to cut military spending? NO! Want to raise tax on the oligarchs or big corporations? NO! Such micro-management is non-existent in any other creditor-debtor relationship.

So what happens after privatization and despotism under bankers? Of course, the government's revenue goes down and the debt increases further. How do you "fix” that? Of course, cut spending! Lay off public workers, cut minimum wage, cut pensions (same as our social security), cut public services, and raise taxes on things that would affect the 99% but not the 1%. For example, pension has been cut in half and sales tax increase to more than 20%. All these measures have resulted in Greece going through a financial calamity that is worse than the Great Depression of the U.S. in the 1930s.

After all this, what is the solution proposed by the heartless bankers? Higher taxes! More cuts to the pension! It takes a special kind of a psychopath to put a country through austerity, an economic holocaust.

If every Greek person had known the truth about austerity, they wouldn't have fallen for this. Same goes for Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland and other countries going through austerity. The sad aspect of all this is that these are not unique strategies. Since World War II, these predatory practices have been used countless times by the IMF and the World Bank in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

This is the essence of the New World Order -- a world owned by a handful of corporations and banks; a world that is full of obedient, powerless debt serfs.

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## Anniversary

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One of John Jones on his anniversary.  There's no date on this poem so I'm not sure when it was written.  It's called Mr Fantasy and I've taken the liberty of doing some light editing on it.  I hope no one minds!

It was around the time

the mattress was strained

with the thoughts kept from priests,

That I first ever listened

to the quality of your wisdom.

I had no means of understanding

for hadn't I yet to compete

in a game that wasn't cricket.

I hovered; and wasn't to know

there would be blood on the mistletoe,

and no one in the bandstands,

save for Timothy

clutching a well-chilled bottle

of shoplift wine.

He would be looking forward

to the soup run

and I would have to pray

to the moon for him

because it's not much fun

either side of the ladle;

That the kids in our footsteps

would wear badges and earrings,

and all their heads

would be full of emptiness.

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## EMA

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Monday, 18 May 2015, 19:41

I just submitted my EMA and wanted to wish everyone good luck with final submissions and exams.

That's 5 years done and 1 more to go for the Honours degree, I can't believe I've managed to get this far.

Good luck everyone!

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## 50 Shades of Grey

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Friday, 20 Feb 2015, 21:42

There are certainly 50 shades of grey visible from my front window at the moment, even the grass looks grey. Mind you, this is about as close to 50 Shades as I'll be getting.  No, I haven't seen the film or read the book, (a cousin did give me the book, thinking because I'm single I must be desperate for some....what?... I'm not entirely sure???) but realistically, if I wanted to watch some man physically assault a woman, I would ring up the police, find out where the local domestic violence hot-spots are, and go hang out.

Now, don't get me wrong, on the sex side of things, what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own bedroom is entirely their business....whatever turns you on.  But really, 50 Shades, doesn't it all seem a bit naff, I mean, wasn't this all done back in the 70's?

And what is the big deal, it's about sex, or should that be ...Ohhh, it's about sex???  Are we still in the playground?  Or should that be, are the media  still in the playground? Well, I suppose they are, page 3 and all that nonsense....come on guys, it's a penis, it's a vagina, get over it.  And for gawds sake, Miley, would y'all put it away.

Maybe I'm becoming prudish in my old age or maybe I've just seen it all before, but what is the big deal?  Now, I know sex can be fun, (at least  I think it was, as far as memory serves) but without something more meaningful to it, doesn't it all become a bit soul-destroying.  I mean, it isn't that hard to get these days (pardon the pun) and it seems to be freely available 24/7, but like everything now, there's no mystery left.  Where's the anticipation, the imagination, the seduction?  Now, it's all wham, bam, and tweet it?

I get so fed up with it being constantly shoved in my face, I mean that metaphorically not literally,...no actually,when I think about it...I do mean that literally.  You can't even go to the local shop for a pint of milk but some silly tart is all over the papers spilling their guts about their latest bedroom action.   It would drive you to the convent or a burka!!!  And let's face it, when you get right down to it, how sexy is it when it's all on display... constantly.....every day.....all day.....with nothing left to wonder about?  Still not convinced?  Then let me ask you this, which of these is sexier?  Marilyn Monroe fully dressed, Madonna dressed like an old tart and flashing her ass or Miley Cyrus naked?

I rest my case.

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Sharon Hartles, Saturday, 21 Feb 2015, 17:01)
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## RELIGION

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Monday, 5 Jun 2017, 20:03

So, the Islamic extremist's are at it again, and all in the name of God no less, but this is what I don't understand about it, if they really believed in an all powerful deity, why do they need to carry out his 'work'?  Surely if he/she or it is so powerful, he/she or it can fight their own battles and take care of all those terrifying cartoonists with their pens or all those scary girls who want to read books, get an education and learn to think for themselves.

We here in the west act a whole lot of smug over this but at the end of the day, the good Christians of the west have been party to some fairly horrific acts themselves over the centuries.  I think Islam is going through the same crisis that Christianity went through in the 16th Century and it will probably implode at some point and most of those believers will eventually become like the rest of us and drift towards passive atheism, once they realize that the worst terrors of hell are man made, not God made.

It would be interesting to see, if people weren't indoctrinated into religion by their parents, how many of us would end up believing in God?  I think too often religion and religious belief is used by people to absolve themselves of responsibility.  They use their religion as an excuse for acting/not acting or behaving in a certain way and by following the tenets of their 'faith', they don't have to think or act for themselves.  By focusing all their attention on some heavenly afterlife, they ignore the reality of life as it is.  If there was no such thing as the belief in a better life to come, after you're dead ????( just writing that makes me realize how ridiculous the whole idea is), then maybe they would do something about the here and now and try and make it as good and enjoyable as possible for everyone.

I mean life is really not that long, why waste the 3 score years and ten (if you're lucky) with all the negatives of human behaviour, tolerating the most miserable situations, and all in the name of religion?  And if we were weren't meant to think for ourselves, then why do we all have a brain of our own?

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## Wipe out

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I've been feeling wiped out recently and now I'm off work with the worst dose of flu I've had, in quite some time, as if the interminable gloom of January wasn't bad enough.  We've had some snow recently and it is a welcome sight to see the white dusted fields of Croaghan Hill and the ermine covered shoulders of Knockavoe.  It certainly helps to relieve the grey misery of the longest month of the year.

If I wasn't so sick, I'd be off to Gortin Glen with my camera but my energy levels are at their lowest and a even walk to the local shop feels like a marathon.  There's nothing I hate more than being sick, except maybe the Tories.  Hmm, I think that's a good sign, the political pulse is still working!

Anyway, I was to post more of John's poems over Christmas but between work and the general strains of the season I didn't get around to it so here is another one.

This poem is called FOR SEAN, I don't know who Sean was, I'm assuming he was a friend of Johns and it was written in June 1977, the year of the Queen's Jubilee and the Sex Pistols,  Vive le Punk Rock!  I remember it well!

For Sean

under the varnished pine.

The weight was elsewhere.

It blurred the aisle

with your rampant tears.

Helpless from a pew

I looked on at

a bearer conceived

at a healthier happier time.

The sun was stubborn,

out of place and order.

It was a sad day in May.

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## Christmas time

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I would just like to take this opportunity to wish all bloggers and readers a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous new year.  May all your assignments be in on time and all your marks high.  Merry Christmas everyone!!

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## John Jones

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Sunday, 14 Dec 2014, 18:34

A while back I put up a poem written by a young man named John Jones who died at the tender age of 22.  His nephew found the poem on the blog and contacted me and then put me in touch with his mother who is John's twin sister.  We've been keeping in touch and she has given me permission to put up the rest of the poems so I said I would do that over the month of December.   The poems were all written back in the 1970's and this is the first of them.

Conditional Surrender

Some want

A curfew on laughter

Graffitti void of frolic

Oil slicks for seafaring dodo's

Crimes for every handicap

Multiple pile-ups on easy terms

Mutual interest in select perversion

An empty ledge for every desperate man

Others

An audience for the crocus

An encore for the rain

A meal for every stomach

An end to human pain,

A mother for each baby

A truth for every dream

Lovers for the lonely

Peaches with ice-cream

Stalemate again:

In trenches near and far

January, October 1976

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## Black Friday

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Friday, 28 Nov 2014, 22:53

Black Friday

So the annual glut fest begins in earnest, as if we weren’t gorging enough with Christmas, we now have the cultural imposition of another Americanism, Black Friday, where you get to see humanity reduced by the brainwashing of the media and the capitalist system into a spending frenzy, buying stuff they don’t need and if they really sat down and thought about it, would realise they probably don’t want either.

It kills me to see human beings brought down into acting like rats fighting over the scraps from the bin, and for what?  A bargain buy, another piece of stuff to fill the house with, as if we didn’t have enough already.  At the end of the day, are you really any happier with the latest iPhone, has the quality of your life suddenly improved because you can now download your apps a little quicker?  (I don’t even know if that’s correct, I have a very basic mobile, I don’t have an app to my name)  It’s heart-breaking to see how many people fall time and again for all this nonsense, it seems as if the whole world is brain-dead.  When did we all become fashion victims?  When did we stop thinking for ourselves?  Are we all so desperate to feel ‘accepted’ that we have to follow like sheep to the next ‘big thing’.  Social acceptance is like a cancer in our minds, and who are we all trying to impress?

Why does anyone give a damn what anyone thinks about them?  No one else is living your life but you, so why does some stranger’s opinion matter?  And really, if you need certain stuff to fit in with whoever, maybe you should re-think who your friends are and start connecting with people who accept you for who you are, preferably without the need for all the stuff!

Because that’s what this is all about, the judgement of others.  There was never a time when human beings were subjected to the ‘tyranny’ of public opinion more so than they are now.  We watch week in and week out, programmes like the X Factor and those crap shows Channel 4 specialises in about people on benefits.  Watching the news tonight, didn’t the media just love it, watching the scraps for crap!  They point the finger in condemnation, like the Tories and their self-righteous pillaring of the poor and unemployed.  Let the self-righteous point the finger when they haven’t been party to encouraging the whole sorry spectacle to begin with.

Immediately after the news story on Black Friday was an item about Ebola in Sierra Leone, here is a country in crisis and people living in the most appalling poverty.  We have so much here and still we’re brain-washed into wanting more, more, more!

If we are into adopting Americanisms, then let’s try this one, let’s adopt the habits of the original Americans, let’s take only what we need from the earth, let’s re-build our communities (tribes) and look out for each other, let’s take care of our people and our environment and let’s stop with the competition.  Instead of working to out-do each other, let’s work together and support each other and let’s work to make sure that every human being has access to the things that really matter, like food, clean water, a decent and safe place to live, health care and education.  Then maybe, at some point in the future if you really have to go shopping, you can go knowing that in your community, there isn’t a child or older person going without or feeling lonely or that out in the world, there isn’t another human being sleeping on the streets or dying from the want of some of the basics in life that we all take for granted.

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by William Konarzewski, Saturday, 29 Nov 2014, 05:27)
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## God of Rock pt 2

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Oh God of Rock, we salute you in your almighty fabulousness and musical wonderfulness!! We're not worthy, we're not worthy!........Anyway, a great night and wholly satisfying in so many ways as only Mr Robert Plant can be, always delivers his best and his voice is still amazing.  We met a lovely couple who had come the whole way from Staffordshire for the concert, a big hello to Steve and Janette. Apparently Steve, who is a big Led Zep/Plant fan, surprised Janette with a weekend away to Belfast, only to find out that the reason they were there was to see Mr Plant.  But she really enjoyed it so it all worked out in the end.

Of course, all the old rockers were out in force, the long hair may be grey and it may be a while since we all 'rocked and rolled' but they're still going strong even if the waistlines are a little more expansive these days!!  Belfast was buzzing and I had such a good night I think I'll be going back there very soon maybe for a weekend.

There was a great selection of music, opening with a Zeppelin number and along with tracks from the new album and a few old delta blues number, it was a rocking good night.  Of course, the roof nearly lifted for Whole Lotta Love, what a buzz!!!  And then he came back with Rock and Roll in the encore, what more does a girl need!!

So, God of Rock, thank you for blessing us with your Divine Presence, and heavenly choir.....until next time, keep rocking it out! Aaaamennnnn to that!

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## God of Rock

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I'm off to see the God of Rock tonight, what do you mean 'Bruce Springsteen', Who said that??  Wash your mouth out.....No, there is only one God of Rock and that is Robert Plant, playing tonight in Belfast, so looking forward to this.

Saw another great group last night, Leila Jane and Calamity Gin, I know Leila from our drama group but she is now an university in Northumberland and making a name for herself in music.  I expect to see her on Jules Holland in the not too distant future.  So, keep an eye out for her, she is destined to be big, so if you get the chance to see her, take it, you won't regret it.

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## Party time

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A very busy weekend,  I was at a friends surprise birthday party on Halloween night before we all headed to Voodoo in Letterkenny for the revelry, which is a sort of open mike night.  Some of our friends were doing the Rocky Horror Picture Show, which was brilliant, and a great night was had by all!  Halloween is a big night here, it originates from the Celtic tradition, where it was believed the spirits of the dead came back on this night to revisit all their old 'haunts' although i think we have more to fear from the living when full of spirits than the spirits of those we loved and lost.

Then on Saturday i had another party to attend but this one was the EGM of the Green Party, in Bangor.  I finally decided a few weeks ago to get involved in politics instead of just sounding off on the blog, so I joined the Green Party which was the only party I could join in good conscience.  So, i am now officially the only Green Party member in town, for now i might add!  I'll be doing my best to recruit new members and the party in enjoying a surge in membership at the moment, let's hope it continues.

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## Is big brother watching??!

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A strange thing is going on with my computer and i just wonder if anyone else has had something similar.  An 'unidentified network' keeps blocking my internet access and i can't get online, i can't get into this network and i have no idea who or what it is.  Has anyone else experienced anything like this?  The funny thing is, i am political and subscribe to various political sites but this thing appeared the same week i posted a piece on Facebook about attending a night in support of Palestine (this was a night of entertainment with a political slant, nothing too radical)  Ironically, it was organised by an Israeli guy i know, and his friend who is from Palestine.. am i being paranoid ??  Anyone any suggestions??

Permalink 3 comments (latest comment by Aideen Devine, Tuesday, 14 Oct 2014, 19:07)
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## New homes

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