Dé Domhnaigh 11 Meán Fómhair 2011

Approaching 9/11

On 9/11/11, I find that I don't know what to say. But I feel that I can't let this day go by without offering some of my words. For all the coverage and comment on the attacks and the following trauma, there's a sense of something that has been left unsaid since that terrible day ten years ago. I don't think this feeling has been intentionally left unexpressed; I actually think that the darker side to human nature that was displayed on that day (and during the war that ensued) has struck a deep emotive part of our humanity dumb. 'Modernity' in literary terms is punctuated by the stark realities of war, as the First and Second world wars brought the horrors of the battle-field closer to home. The battle-field can be anywhere now, and attack can come from all directions. It seems that civilians are just as likely to be targeted as the soldier of war. We live in a continual state of fear, whether we're aware of it on a conscious level or not. Modern literature has the trait of being quite explicit, but words are not enough. Modern (and/or post-modern) writers continue to struggle with their craft in dealing with and addressing the issues of humanity in our new context. We haven't developed a healthy coping mechanism to deal with the trauma that humanity had suffered in a relatively short space of time in our history. Images of human destruction have begun to permeate our unconscious minds at such a fast rate and at a collective human level, and the effect is devastating. But it is unspoken. The 'anxiety' of modern life is often spoken of, but it's time that we addressed the causes of our anxiety. It's not enough to cover traumatising events in the media, and to film all sorts of documentaries about the people involved. It certainly helps, as it is a communal experience that transcends continents. But unfortunately it also has a bit of a superficial feel to it. It is remote. 

I admitted earlier that I didn't know what to say. I also don't know what exactly needs to be done to tackle our unconscious/subconscious. Everyone has their own way of dealing with trauma. Coming from an artistic approach, I would like to see people use creative methods of channeling their emotions, whether they understand them or not. I believe everyone has the capacity to be creative, and should not be afraid to reach inside themselves and pull whatever it is out of them and transfigure their feelings into some external form. [Sounds artsy fartsy, but I'm only expressing a simple proposition in an artsy fartsy way! :P] I'm not familiar with 9/11 art or writing, for example, but I'm sure it exists and I would like to seek it out and highlight it. I suppose our anxiety is linked to the notion of the individual. We feel alone in our individuality. We took it too far. We're still a community. We're an even bigger community these days! The Arts and Humanities as a discipline are under attack in the academic world. The general consensus is that it is 'not practical'. This highlights how we have begun to react against our own humanity and our own expression. This attitude needs to change now. For centuries, the human experience was commented on in a safe way through story and song. The communal artistic event affected the individual privately. They experienced their own emotions individually, but with the comfort of being surrounded by their fellow men and women. This sort of experience has diminished greatly; I think it's time for a revival. Instead of looking up to leaders (political, religious, or whatever), we should look both inwards and at each other to help us get over the trauma of the dark hours in our history. Art in its many forms is one safe approach for us to take in dealing with dark and hidden aspects of ourselves both individually and as a community.

Dé hAoine 9 Meán Fómhair 2011

Fire in Termonfeckin!

Having returned home from a delectable dinner out, myself and the parents settled in for a quiet Friday night in front of Only Fools and Horses. Though my chicken fajitas were a explosion of flavour, my tongue was now beginning to feel like sandpaper; as I went out to the kitchen to grab a glass of water, my phone began to ring. This was around 21:50, so I wasn't expecting to hear from anyone. It was our neighbour, who had been awoken by flashing blue lights and the frantics of a fireman using some of our estate's water. I ran upstairs, to find flame-lit smoke billowing from behind the houses facing us, and reflections of flames leaping in the window of our neighbours across from us. The fire appears to be still fiesty as I type.

Being the inquisitive person that I am, I decided to go out and investigate, putting on a jumper and grabbing a camera as I went. I heard the excited voices of young f'llas as I approached the scene, and beheld a gang on them sitting on a wall and taking it all in. The fire brigade were parked at the side of the road, with one of the fire officers guiding any approaching cars around the engine with a beacon. I crossed over the road to get a closer look, and took a few shots. I got talking to a man who lives around the corner, out with his two sons to see what was happening. According to him, the fire had been much higher. He had been putting the lads to bed, when he looked out the window and saw the flames. Apparently, the fire brigade had taken an hour to get here, and had come from Dunleer, which is 14km and around 20 minutes away from us here... Hmm, not impressed. We do have a fire brigade in Drogheda, which is much closer... No sign of the Gardaí.

Dé Máirt 6 Meán Fómhair 2011

Lisa Hannigan :: Knots

'Knots' le feiceáil anois ar chainéal de chuig Lisa Hannigan ar You Tube

Amhrán is déanaí le Lisa Hannigan óna halbam nua Passenger a bheas á eisiúint i Meiriceá Thuaidh ar an 20ú Meán Fómhair, agus in Éirinn ar an 21ú lá de Dheireadh Fómhair. (Caithfidh mé a admháil gur chuir sin as dom, go raibh sé ag teacht amach i Meiriceá i dtosach, ach tá ag éirí go maith léi i Meiriceá i gcomparáid le hÉirinn, de réir cosúlachta!)

Tá blas Meiriceánach tar éis teacht ar a cuid ceoil, ceart go leor, mar is léir leis an amhrán ‘gormacha’ seo. An bhfuilim liom fhéin nuair a mheasaim go bhfuil tionchar Nick Drake le blas san amhrán seo?

Scannánaíodh an físeán seo ar bhád, a chuireann in iúl go bhfuil Lisa ag leanacht le híomhá leitheadúil na farraige a bhí ar a halbam Sea Sew.

Tá stíl na mná aoibhne seo ag dul ó neart go neart - agus cúis bhróid dom a rá go bhfuil gúna agam cosúil lena ceann sa bhfíseán seo. :P