The Krays are the stuff of, as the film title suggests, legend, and it was a must see when the film of their rise and fall, came out.
The verdict? If the film does not scoop a few Oscars, it wil be the biggest crime in British history since the killing of Jack the Hat McVittie that brought the Kray criminal empire to its end.
How the hold got onto British society was through blackmail, and ironically as the film was being shown the current scandal of the British current prime minister undergoing a hazing into a sorority in college with a ritual involving a dead pigs head and some dubious sexual practices, the only positive that can be got from it is that at least it was not a live pig. What power would the Krays or their ilk have wielded if they had that information to hand, and not just a mere boring gay orgy story?
The jokes going around Facebook and Twitter are second to none, my own favourite being from Dave Plunkett, a local comedian here in Ireland:
“So what if the prime minister had sex with a policeman?” (pig being slang for police)
Not in the News – Homeless in Ireland, Faux Concern at possible Urban Legend, and the Giddy Biddies exhibition in Shop Street
The real scandal of course is the homeless, both in Britain and Ireland, with the hard right championing them all of a sudden now that the refugees are coming. “Look after our own” is one of the slogans being chanted.
All very well and good – but one has to ask, if the refugees went tomorrow and were not here, would the new champions of the Irish homeless still be so caring?
I doubt it myself.
A story cropped up in Galway – a housemate told a story of an Irishwoman and her children asleep in a doorway Friday night, and I went online to see was it true, and if she was on the streets that night, could someone look after them. Whatever about a druggie or alcoholic, when its a mother and children we definitely have to do something.
I posted on all the Galway groups – and tagged a few folk as well. Instant response from a Presbyterian minister who had his folk in Galway on standby should the family be found, and from a girl I know through pro-life cirlces who was not in the city but knew of a refuge group called “Anchora” that was operating in the city for women and children, but which I could not find online.
I shared on the Offaly CAHWT twitter account, and expected the story to go viral. The silence was deafening. Some commented that it would not be refugees anyway, some queried was the issue the woman and children, or the fact they were on Shop Street, and such like. The reaction left me numb.
I walked the Shop Street area that night, spoke with many of the buskers who know all the homeless, but they saw nobody.
I could not verify the story, and thought it maybe an urban legend. But why would such a story grow from nowhere?
As union rep over the past few years with SIPTU, I have seen some strange stories develop, always with a simple line, hard to dispute, and impossible to verify – and the “system” is always at fault.
I hoped this story is such a case, and while walking the streets over the Saturday and Sunday nights, I passed by a young couple asleep under the Treasure Chest windows, and reflecting on their plight, wrote the following verse: “Treasure Sleeps on Chest of All She Needs“ There, but for the grace of God and all that…
Galways Giddy Biddy collective held an exhibition in a container where members were locked in and lived in for 24 hours to highlight the rfugee crisis. It got national and international coverage, and maybe the woman and children in a doorway story was a reaction to that. I dont know, in a way I hope it was.
I kept updating on Facebook about this, but the response was muted at best, bar the aforementioned folk who were quick off the mark with positive response, and a few encouraging words from Australia and America.
Listening to the Buzz about the Bees
Talking of art – I went down to see Brigid O Gormans show in the Galway Arts Centre “Telling the Bees” – centres on an old folk belief which I had never heard of before, that when someone died, one of the family had to go to the hive and tell the bees or they would leave.
It seems it is a British belief, but may exist in Ireland too.
Id never heard of it before, and for one as much into folklore as I think I am, its brilliant to always learn more. Intrigued, I said Id go down and learn more, having written a few whimsical pieces before such as “To Be, or not to be, a Bee“ as well as “Queen Bee and the Drones“, among other verses.
The issue of Monsato and pesticides killing bees and the consequences of us losing them is something Ive followed, though unsure of the accurancy of the doomesday senario. Then an idea struck me, what if its the fact we are too busy to talk to the bees anymore in this age of instant communication, and that is why they are leaving en masse? The new verse “Bee Conversations“ poses that question…
The exhibitions themselves were of glass poured over timber and brass structures, I assume representing honey, gold paint on stretched lines for the same effect, but the part I liked was the short 8 minute video on loop that told the story and dwelled on emptiness, ruin and such themes.
Do get down to see it if you can, if it comes to your area.
I have no major film, bar the new Bond movie, and the movie of Bolger in the States, on the must see list coming up, though I always thought that a great movie could be made on the Gorbals and the Irish mafia there back in the day. It might be made yet… we never know. There are stories there by the bucket load, many with a Longford and Donegal connenction!
Little John Nee and Culture Night
Talking of a Donegal connection, I got down to see Little John Nee at Culture Night in the Rowing Club in Galway, and was perplexed at the yarns he tells, though they did get better as the night wore on. Stephen Murray done an excellent poetry set, and told the true story of getting thrown out of a party after doing a reading, that was an orgy and he didn’t know about that till after, and walking up on a park bench maving messed himself. And you lot all thought poetry wasn’t rock n roll! That#s the kind of thing that normally happens to me!