Friday, February 25, 2011

Wexford Sights (XXX)

Pictured above is a section of a fallen tree on Oulart Hill in County Wexford. I went up there after casting my vote, a depressing experience if ever there was one. We'll know sometime tomorrow who the next puppets of the IMF Government will be. It's likely to be led by Fine Gael, in which case, God help the poor and low-paid in our society. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Two Landscapes

Ireland goes to the polls tomorrow to elect a new government. It's an election-free zone here because, to be honest, I can't think of anything to write about it except for the following. I have not seen a single candidate since the election was called three weeks ago except on a poster, and here is a comment I left over at the Cedar Lounge Revolution blog (and I hope they don't mind me reprinting it here): "David McWilliams (who may not be the most reliable source) claims that by the end of 2012 the interest payments alone on our debts will be E12 billion (out of a tax take of E30 billion). I think that a whole lot of people just haven’t grasped what “financial constraints” means in this context ... I am really frightened over what is going to happen in the next five years; a 2013 Lockout won’t be the half of it. Is it possible to have any optimism at all in these circumstances?"
Anyway, above are two landscapes. The top is of the Hook Lighthouse, possibly the most photographed building in the whole of the South East of Ireland (it's also been the subject of an awful lot of really bad amateur paintings). It was a really grey, stormy day, and spectacularly beautiful (if a little scary at times, especially when you're trying to manhandle a tripod and keep your balance on uneven ground). The bottom picture is of the rust on an old winch, which was quite close to where the first picture was taken.
Here's a film. The quality is poor at first, so stick with it...


I just discovered that someone nominated one of the little pieces written here for an Irish Blog Award. To whoever it was, I say thanks. The article was about the spin being put on clerical sex abuse in Ireland (and elsewhere) by the Catholic Church, and can be found here. My health and work schedule has made blogging a very occasional pleasure for me, so it's encouraging to know that at least a few people to read (and enjoy) the little fizzles I put here. Thanks again...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

An Amusement (XXVIII)

There are times when one comes across a horror which is hard to describe, something that even Freddy Krueger of A Nightmare on Elm Street fame would view as being too much to inflict on an unsuspecting world. Just when I thought I couldn't find another reason not to vote for the Celtic Tories Fine Gael, they unleash this atrocity on County Wexford. In the cartoon series Futurama, the mad Professor Farnsworth has a device that measured the coolness of things in MegaFonzies; it goes without saying that the following putrid item has a negative score so great that the coolest, funkiest, most happening track imaginable would, if placed next to it, transform almost immediately into James Last's dullest album. Enjoy! (Acknowledgement to Maman Poulet for this; see here).

As a test, I'm going to put the following song (which is, apparently, what "the kids" are listening to) next to the above and see if, after a while, it doesn't transform into Dana's 'All Kinds of Everything'...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A thing with handles...

In my previous post I took a poem by William Carlos Williams and used an online translation service to mutate it, by translating it into French and back to English, then translating the results into Russian and back into English, and so on. The results are often quite interesting! Here's the opening verse of Emily Dickinson's 'Hope is the thing...' 

Hope is the thing with feathers 
That perches in the soul 
And sings the tune without the words, 
And never stops at all

Here is my mutation (after running it through Italian, French, and Russian) (the spacing is my own):

'A thing with handles (with apologies to Emily Dickinson)'
by A Doubtful Egg and an online translation service

The hope - 
a thing with handles, 
that the Persian fish in a shower 
also does not sing 

air without words, 
and never stopped all

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Education of Rainwater...

William Carlos Williams' poem 'The Red Wheelbarrow' (1923) is one of the simplest and most beautiful in the language.

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

Because I'm really bored and fed up with reading about elections, I decided to run it through an online translation service, translating it into another language, back into English, into a different language, and so forth. I ran it through Italian, German, Japanese, Russian, Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch, Mexican Spanish, Finnish, and finally French. After running a very simple poem through ten different languages, you end up with the following: 

'The Broken Wheelbarrow (with apologies to William Carlos Williams)'
by A Doubtful Egg and an online translation service

The owners
kjøretøyhjul gjeldt
red that had
to enter
the education of rainwater
of flisingiin
the rather white chicken
declares to half
in the

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wexford Sights (XXIX)

Life and death in a small corner of County Wexford.