Ho Ho Hum

So Christmas is upon us again. I am glad Jesus ain’t around to see what’s its like these days. I say he’d be pretty miffed at the commercialisation and the hijacking of his B Day.

He threw all of the merchants out of the temple, so what would be the modern equivalent? Maybe if Jesus came back he’d be a really cool hacker and organise a denial of service attack on the amazon servers.

Maybe not.

It’s not a time of year I relish. I do appreciate the need for a bit of a knees up and a general lifting of the spirit. Those long dark nights can take there toll on you, but I suppose thats where turf fires and a good read along with a pint of Guinness step nicely in.

I do hate the wasteful spending at this time of year. It seems to be a new Irish pastime. As an antidote to this conspicuous consumption I have bought my whole family something from the Oxfam and Concern range of conscious gifts. Stuff for school kids in poor countries, a goat etc. I think that idea rocks. Rather than wasting your €20 on useless crap you can buy someone a goat. I have a few concerns but as long he doesn’t end up as goat burgers, I think it’s deadly. The fact that you can but a family a kilo of maize that they can plant and replant is so cool. If you buy someone a cow they can make cheese, yogurt, from its milk and then there is always the chance of baby cows coming along too. It’s win win.

In the wealthy west we would just chop ’em up and fry ’em, with out a thought. That get’s me down.

So wasteful.

Any way for what it’s worth, Happy Xmas to y’all from Designed4 y’all.

If you do feel jaded by the whole thing then don’t worry, you are not alone


The end of Music?

The following is a neg head rant

    Is music as we know it on its last legs?
    Have we exhausted all sonic possibilities?
    Will there ever be new music or will we just rehash old riffs and phrases?

These are serious questions for any musician or indeed anyone interested in where music is going. I alternate between feelings of apathy towards new music, and then sometimes a glimmer of hope appears.

My ears are jaded.

I now listen to more and more older music and have practically given up on what more modern artists are up to. Apart from my own sonic efforts I have been nodding my head along with Sonny Rollins and developed a new appreciation for David Bowie.

Whatever WARP records or other bleep merchants etc are up to really has no fascination for me anymore at all. In fact I am going to get really back into the acoustic guitar and explore older traditional Irish music. I find this prospect exciting.

Traditional Irish music is exactly that, a tradition. I feel as an Irishman it is a part of my history that I have neglected and also that it has an exciting sense of possibility as it is a whole new world to me. Another interesting prospect is my use of the acoustic guitar. I have mixed feelings about whether it belongs or not in traditional music at all. Some feel it doest’t , as its not a traditional instrument, but many musicians use it. It is my instrument so I will give it a go.

Maybe this is only the End of Music for me or at least a new beginning. In the absence of an Ornette Coleman, Sun Ra, I will seek refuge in the past and endevour to discover hidden sonic gems in my own national history.

I will of course rip, burn and mangle along the way ;)

Being Sick Ain’t No Fun

Its amazing how much we take for granted in life. The fact that I can wander about and look at things, pick them up if I need to and use my brain to calculate, my heart to appreciate and generally continue to exist is amazing.

It seems that it’s only when something happens to us or to someone we love that we take stock. Do we realise how fragile our lives are? My lady wife was recently in hospital for some surgery on her knee. She has rather bad arthritis and though she is in her 30’s it is quite serious and has impacted on what she can do in her life.

While in hospital I say her plugged into various machines and devices while the very excellent staff of James Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown, Dublin did their thing. They were great. She kept it together pretty well whereas I started to loose it while observing the scene. I was very worried about her going in and though I was reassured and technically its not a difficult or complex procedure, that kind of rationality cut no ice with me. We hear more and more these days of people going into hospital for an ingrown toe nail and coming our with broken bones, malaria or worse, dead.

All of these ingredients create havoc in a sensitive and active brain. All sorts of paranoid cultures formed in there.
In the end she was fine and after a very long day we drove home. i am immensely relieved and we are sat in front of a nice fire drinking tea. Though I am knackered relief and gratitude saturate my being.
My meditation for the day is “Be grateful and take nothing for granted”.