Sunday, September 6, 2009

Beyond Belief! Dan Dare #2

An-Ex Irishman's Diary -Thieves like us

Some random bloke took my suit jacket instead of his from a bar the other night. An understandable drunken mistake to make considering they were identical jackets sitting on the same stool. A not so understandable sober silence when it came to returning said jacket – both my Ipod and my phone number were in the breast pocket! Maybe he forgot to call.

Convenient. Like the guy that "forgets" to inform the cashier when he receives too much change, or when I "forget" to pay for my train fare because there's no inspector. Let's stretch it a bit. It reminds me of the politician that "forgets" certain dubious transactions, the white collar whizz-kid that forgets why he funnelled money from the accounts of corporate clients or the time-share salesman that "forgets" your face. If my random bloke's jacket was nicer would I have returned it to him? In a big city, where people are rude and blokes that wear nice suits tend to be wankers, what sort of rational incentive – in this instance – is there to return it?

Would returning an Ipod and a nice jacket to a wanker be more hassle than its worth? Who's gonnna know. Not returning it? Understandable, perhaps – in this instance. But whizz-kids, politicians, time share salesmen and fare evaders. Forget it.

Beyond Belief: John Satan

John Satan was a lovely man. Everyday he went about his day with a smile on his face and a pleasant word for all he met on his way. He walked to work with a spring in his step and a whistle between his lips. He was the nicest man you could hope to meet on a sunny summer day. John Satan was overcompensating though, he had to.

Socially speaking, John Satan never seemed to get back what he put in. As he served across a compliment and a festive wink, he was returned a foul insult and a single finger salute. No matter how nice John Satan was, no matter how much he dedicated himself to making everyone's day that little bit brighter, no-one could get past his surname. It didn't matter that he was no relation to his most famous namesake, as far as everyone else was concerned; a Satan is a Satan is a Satan.

John Satan became horribly depressed but found support on an Internet chat room set up in 2003 by a man from Chicago Illinois called Frank Yorkshireripper specifically for people who faced the same prejudices. It was here that John Satan first met Mary Chairmanmao. They exchanged e-mails, phone calls and eventually met. A fledgling friendship that was originally based on a common abnormality, soon flourished into a passionate love affair that celebrated everything that made these two people unique. Within months they were married and within a year they were pregnant. Tomorrow their son, Brian Chairmanmao-Satan, begins school.
Let's wish him all the very best.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Welcome to Beyond Belief

Welcome valued a place beyond thought, a feeling beyond fear, a state beyond shock...a story BEYOND BELIEF!

Our tale begins next week or is that last week? Has it happened or is it happening right now? Is the shopkeeper you just chatted with a man or a woman? Look again...Perhaps it was a creature not of this world.
Perhaps it was a pig, a cockerel or even a baby puma. Who are we to say? Is what we see, what we get? Or is what we think we believe a lie?

But what if the truth was BEYOND BELIEF?
How could we possibly believe that?

Beyond Belief is a new publication by Our Town, which combines cartoons, stories and pictures from our contributors...enjoy.

Flotsam -All the time in the world

This morning, a Saturday, I took 12 hours off from the world, away from life, I turned off, tuned out and dropped out.It was a harder process than you'd think, to disconnect, to disengage, to walk away.

Like a smoker, I fought myself all the way, I switched off my mp3 player, my inner voice whining 'not that!

How can you function without theme music?' 3,000 songs, 60 I listen to, the rest like dusty butterflies pinned to a board.

Off with my phone, 'what if someone needs me?, what if work needs me?' I fought back a guilty feeling as I deleted my phones divert settings, no voicemail should steal back these hours upon my return. 'Won't they worry? isn't this rude?'

I felt lighter already, these simple actions were hard to do, but the next, the last few tasks before i left, they wer
e the worst, i emptied my pockets, 'but I might need to buy something? An emergency? Maybe?

'Money, all sizes & colours scattered across the floor (although to be honest, I never end up using the little brown ones, i just gather them somehow ) but the big ones, the notes, the card's, whew!

It was a tear to leave them, the reliable fiver & €20's, the 'sort anything' lasercard, all the fixit's, all dumped unceremoniously on the table, I didn't even notice the airy feeling beneath my feet, until I had to pull myself hand over hand gliding towards the door, through the door, dropping my key in the windowbox. I now had nothing to lose (literally) no responsibility, no ability even to answer anyone elses needs, care.... Free, 9 again?

A gust of wind lifted & tumbled me away, towards the park & the woods, the breezes guiding me through flower's & butterflies, like an intrepid explorer, I traced the source of a stream, I found an interesting pebble, a birds nest, a hoofprint, I poked stuff with a stick & when I eventually returned, grazed, grimey, sore but refreshed,the mannicles of life around me again, weighing me down .

A text, like a toad blinked at me -a meeting next sat, am I on? but i think I'll be busy, I'll be building a fort!

An-Ex Irishman's Diary -Time well spent?

Time Well Spent?

Someone once said that: "to get all there is out of living, we must employ our time wisely, never being in too much of a hurry to stop and sip life, but never losing our sense of the enormous value of a minute."

I think it's fair to say that this is something every generation has always aimed for in one form or another.

Indeed, one of the biggest concerns among us MTV generationers is making the most of life. Common questions we often ask ourselves include: do we use our talents to help society? become rich beyond our wildest dreams? or do we use the globalised world to travel and explore? travel and help? educate the uneducated?

In this generation we have the luxury of taking security, in the hierarchy of needs, for granted - self actualisation is our goal.

Of course, this is a truly positive development given that most previous generations spent much of their time, and indeed lives, providing for others - this generation can make more pro-active decisions to help, to take, to inform others. Dare I say this generation has a de facto obligation to society because they can't fall back on the old excuse of 'having to pay the bills.'

In a time when food prices are forcing 100 million to the edge of starvation, religious divides are creating generation long wars and teenagers are still acting the maggot, it's a blessing that this emerging generation can be so outward looking.

Pity then, that we spend so much time agonising over our options, procrastinating about politics, 'finding ourselves' in far flung shores.

And while previous generations spent their time working to feed the clan this generation spends its time musing.Someone else once said: "to think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing."

It's amazing how far affluence has taken us.

You Cant' go home again

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