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Lads and Lasses,
SORRY OF THE LATENESS.
The scientists in charge of the Hadron-Collider experiment, which spent millions of dollars in the hunt for an atomic particle called the Higgs Bosun, should have been present at the First Round World Cup match between Holland and World Champions. Spain. They would have loved it. Robin Van Persie , the Dutch (and Manchester United) striker, was outstanding.. Van Persie took an inch-perfect pass from Daley Blind and looped his header over the off-his-line goalkeeper. It was a Higgs-Bosun moment for football and on top of that, our new particle will have reverberations a-plenty for the rest of this tournament and the coming months and years.
If by any chance there is a Green Room in Paradise, a place to eat prawn sandwiches after a match you can bet your life that Albert Einstein and Leonardo Da Vinci would have both been on their feet in tribute to Van Persie’s unique goal against Portugal.
The word “unique” is bandied about recklessly by punters and pundits alike. So, lets be very clear, there’ no “very unique”or “absolutely unique”. There’s just “unique,” a stand alone word for a singular experience. Van Persies goal was unique.
I thought ,to myself, two great scholars would appreciate a look at the connections
Why did I choose the famous mathematician, Albert Einstein and a painter, engineer and inventor modern, Leonardo DaVinci? What has this to do with this unique goal celebration.
Van Percie’s goal obtrudes into both their .individual territories.
Professor Einstein, I’m sure, you would be keen to try write a formula fu Van Persie’s goal, the wind speed, the strength of the weighted pa strength the angles, but most of all, the velocity.
Observing Van Persie’s goal required us to temporarily suspend what we believe about gravity and the laws that govern it. Remember, we were privy to a unique event, in which us humans saw a break in the accepted laws of gravity. At one point, Van Persie was flying parallel to the ground and then from somewhere deep inside, he found a little bit extra to pull his nose up, literally and blasted the ball in a parabolic loop over the off-his-line goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
Leonardo Da Vinci, a bit of a lad it might be said, would have loved the aesthetics of Van Persie’s goal. To Leonardo it would have been a great bit of street theatre and a great work of Performance Art, worthy of the Renaissance. He would probably have been chuffed and delighted to meet someone else with a natural talent for aerodynamics. One thing that can be taken as read, Leonardo would, at last, have that vital, physical evidence and concentrate without any mechanical aid, Robin Van Persie, flew through the air. I can imagine Albert and all his bits of paper, covered in numbers, puzzles and tomes.piled up on the dining room table
In photos of Van Persie in the press he seemed, manage to have adapted the technical attitude of a fighter aircraft and the way Van Persi the way he used his arms was amazing, pulling them behind himself as he crashed, face first, into the goal.
He was up like a flash, before his team mates could catch him for another tiresome, mound of bodies celebrations he took off with a run to the Dutch dug-out and into the outstretched arms of Louis Van Gaal, his international and now his Manchester United manager. They will become the hottest personalities on the planet. The Alex Ferguson/Wayne Rooney story is finally dead. and Rooney will, for his sake, be freed from the constant intrusion, the constant harping and specially, carping over the publicity machine in general.
The twoVans, Van Gaal and Van Persie, will hopefully usher in a new era. The happy Dutch manager and his striker have known each other for a long time and if I was a betting man, I’d stake my dough on this is how story has gone down, so far. It’s a complete fantasy, but its my fantasy.
Van Persie was very unhappy at Old Trafford under David Moyes ,who was playing Van Persie one week and Wayne Rooney the next. So I think Robin told them unless they delivered Van Gaal as Manchester United’s new, he was off.
Elsewhere, the hunt for a new manager, became highly exciting when Van Gaal agreed to have talks about having talks. Negotiations grew tense and then Van Gaal dropped the bomb. Keep Van Persie at Manchester United or the whole deal is off
Van Persie hears the rumour that Louis Van Gaal is available and baldly states his case. I will stay, but only if Louis DeGaal becomes the new manager at Old Trafford!So that’s my little fantasy. Preposterous isn’t it.
Still, bits of it, have the ring of truth. Ift will come to pass that Van Persie will be appointed captain and become Van Gaal’s “eyes and ears” in the dressingroom.Expect fireworks
Good news for Her Majesty, Elizabeth 11, The Queen of England. She is in line for a poll position in the race to get a seat on the reviewing stand, when the 1916 Commemoration kicks off in two years. An MRBI poll conducted by a daily newspaper found 69 percent of those included in the poll, were in favour of inviting the Queen .
She achieved startdom on her first visit, earlier this year and it was a controlled, subtle, performance. She seemed to know what to say by intuition and carefully won us over. Some of the places they brought her were heavy with emotion, but she went through her paces, with dignity and aplomb. She is the Aretha Franklin of British royalty and deserves some R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
In terms of political support, Blueshirt Fine Gaelers topped the poll with 78% in favour, with Fianna Fail not far behind on 68%. And when it came to the Sin Fein, surprisingly, 55 % of them gave the visit the thumbs up.
I have a suggestion, which may sound ludicrous and naïve, but if we are to invite Her Majesty, Queen of our “auld “enemy, should we not invite enemies that we have accrued since 1916.
Indisputably, Thierry Henri should be top on the forgiveness list . He’s apologized many times, but still the hurt goes on. One more breast-beating moment is the least he could do and he would add some Gallic charm to the whole ceremony.
As we are on the topic of football, wouldn’t it also be the christian thing to reconcile our hatred with Salvatore “Toto” Schillaci, whose lone goal allowed Italy to defeat Ireland in the Quarter Finals of Italia ’90.
There is also a case to be made for inviting Warren Gatland, who earned himself heaps of calumny, detraction and much outrage, when he dropped Brian O’Driscoll for the Lions final test match.
The massive approval of an invitation to Queen Lizzie, demonstrates truly egalitarian Irish spirit. But it might have been instructional had they polled the Over 65s. We are possibly the last generation who still remember, at first hand, that there was a time when the IRA were considered the good guys .We sang heroic songs about Sean South and Fergal O’Hanlon, both shot dead in a raid on an RUC barracks in Brookeborough. On of the most stirring songs of that time was “The Patriot Game” written by Dominic Behan .full of anger and bitterness in equal measure…
They told me how Connolly was shot on a chair
His wounds from the battle all bleeding and bare
His fine body twisted all battered and lame
That’s when I became part of the Patriot Game
We all had to grow up when the violence commenced for real, in the early 70’. It was “put up’ or ‘shut up’. I didn’t really have to make a personal choice, until I returned to Ireland in late 1975, after four years of living abroad.
I was back in Ireland just seven days, when I found myself in a huge American car, heading for the airport to pick up .Andrew Loog Oldham, former manager of The Rolling Stones and his accountant. Simon was our driver and also in the company were photographer Mike Bunn and our leader for the day, Aimen Cannon, a rock ’ n roll entrepreneur, who daringly wore white jackets to Club Barbarella in the 70s.
We picked up our visitors and repaired to the Arrivals Lounge for a welcoming glass of champagne. Suddenly, with a loud thud, we were blown off our seats onto the floor by the blast wave from a bomb that had exploded in a toilet, which backed onto a wall of the lounge.
I remember in retrospect that most of us reacted by trying to burrow underneath one other, fearful of a second bomb
Safely evacuated from the shattered bar, we headed for the city. There was no conversation. One man had been killed and we individually dwelt on our own lucky escape. It was obvious we were all suffering various degrees of shock and coming through Whitehall, Andrew Loog Oldham dramatically commanded the driver to “stop the car.” He took his Gladstone Bag from the trunk, opened it and inside was a cornucopia of medications. Andrew gravely assessed each of us and began doling out the pills. “Here, you take that red one..and you, Shay, here’s a yellow.”
The yellow might have taken away the anxiety on the day, but the long term the price, for me, was permanent nervousness. Sometimes I would see a suspicious someone coming into a pub and I would have to leave. Other times I would suddenly get a flash of panic and sprint past a line of parked cars expecting one of them to explode.
I hope Queen Lizzie comes to the party. The effect of her presence might be to curb too much romantic talk of blood sacrifice. And don’t forget the dreaded 800 years of oppression.
Here I am, an older man, still full of enthusiasm for the bright lights and the places where celebrities gather. But celebrities don’t recognize me anymore and I don’t get invited to as many openings of envelopes, movie premiers, fashion shows or charity balls.
So how could I make one final splash and regain my status as a genuine celebrity?
And then it came in a flash. Taking my lead from someone, who knows how to play the media, I hit on a novel idea, which will appeal to a lot of people, who would normally find me annoying.
I’m going to have THREE funerals.!
Not that I’m dying or anything, but when the time comes the first funeral will be a humanist or civil ceremony for close family exclusively. I agonized on this for a good while and I had to make a lot of enquiries before I found a plush 3 Star Hotel on Gardiner Street, that will be prepared to accommodate the event.
Of course, I couldn’t use my real name, because I’m the one who is going to be the corpus delecti. So, using the name Shaky Lee (very appropriate for a man with Parky), I booked the hotel over the phone.
I have planned my second funeral to take place in exotic Playa Del Ingles, on Gran Canaria. I’ll invite about a hundred friends and nearer the day, me or a friend will book a week’s package holiday, with half-board, for all the invited guests and to make it fair, everyone can pay for themselves. My corpse will be transported to the Canaries in a coffin in the cargo hold and my best man will ensure that the doesn’t go missing in transit. The coffin will be placed in a hearse and because I know some people on the island, I can get a few lads to sing a few sad songs as the cortege trundles by, on its way to the 3 * de luxe Miramar Hotel, where friends will walk the black carpet to a reception that will be held in the lobby.
I know you’re thinking, how could I pull it off logistically and financially ifalready brown. It took a stroke of luck, because it was in my head to try and sell the exclusive photo rights to Ireland’s Own, when a gambler friend of mine suggested that I talk to a bookie.
It was a stroke of genius more than luck, because I am still alive and there are so many variables, it would need someone who is good at calculating odds.
Everything I have organized is predicated on me being brown bread, so the bookie will ensure that
all arrangements will stay in place for five years. The bookie will probably be able to offer a string of bets, on how I might die, when I might die and so forth.
The bookie is a lifesaver, if that doesn’t sound too paradoxical. He plans to put the photos in the window of their chain of shops, plus he’ll also give a free E10 First Time Bet to every mourner at the ceremony.
“When it comes to the photographic rights, it means we will have to ask everyone at the funeral to hand in their phones to security” a spokesperson for me, will tell them on the day. I have trouble mustering up the audacity to tell them myself. Then I thought, f..k them, if they can’t do without their iPhones for an hour.
I will also have someone I trust to express my desire that my close friends, the lads, that they should pay attention to what Rosanna Davison said to her bridesmaids at her second wedding on Ibiza, last Sunday.
”You want to remember it all” she said, “so I’ll make sure my bridesmaids are there with glasses of water.”
Swap bridesmaid for mourners and you are getting the best advice ever. Sadly, it was directed at girls. Men, as you know, are impervious to logic when it comes to drink, both the imbibing and the spilling of it. The second funeral may be a little louder than anticipated, with the sound of Tequila Slammers echoing round the chintzy bar.
My third and final funeral will hopefully be a night of gaiety for everybody, in Coppers If my coffin is put standing upright, it won’t be too conspicuous at the bar. I will leave instructions on who the most important musicians are likely to be and it will feel like a gig rather than a funeral. So no weeping and moaning, unless it is of a sexual nature.
I don’t want to build up too much hope in my dying inside the five year parameter I settled on with the bookmaker, but t he good news is that I’m feeling terrible and that pain in my lower back, could be the beginning of the end.
Dress code for Funeral 3 will be “musician chic” and I intend to instruct my best man and groomsman not to be caught without a drink in their hands. And if anybody tells you they want to remember., tell them the video director will have been instructed by me, to make everyone look drunk, whether they are or not.
No doubt there were many thousands of us cringing behind the sofa, as we watched Ireland being eliminated in what was a lacklustre second semi Final, with the exception of the Bearded Lady, who was brilliant and humble.
It’s tragic that this prime opportunity for a new Irish artist, is wasted year, after year, because the songs that represent us are just not good enough.
Kasey Smith sang confidently and well, but let’s face it, they could have put the whole front line from Riverdance, behind Kasey and the song would have remained a dog. Attempts to Celticise it were hopelessly naïve and the two Irish dancers were irritatingly distracting, taking away from whatever merit the song might have had.
One thing is very clear, RTE have not learnt anything from the fiasco of last year. When you enter a song that sounds like it would great in a dance club, you’re dealing with a different species. Dance music is nearly all recorded at the same speed, which is why they all sound so alike.
You’re not dealing with real songs, or a thought-out, well constructed melody and lyrics that mean something. In place of those values you get predictable drum and bass loops which are digitally generated. There wasn’t a single note of real music in Heartbeat, except for the fiddle, who God love her looked like she’d been sent to the “bold corner” for playing on the wrong song.
A robot could be taught to write dance tracks. There are loops, generic effects, various devices for altering the voice and buckets of effects, reverb, echo.
Feed those into a Robot computer and watch him turn them out.
We also need a production that doesn’t trivialize the song. Last year it was all about two big drums, this year all about two big bums, hard-shoeing it in kilts. And there was another goof by Can-Linn. To the world at large, the kilt represents Scotland and an Irish kilt, a beautiful thing in its own right, but shag all use in a European song contest.
So what’s the remedy. Well we need an overhaul of the judging system. There will be a reluctance to get rid of the phone voting. It’s a cash cow for every country, so the broadcasters will oppose any radical changes.
If we take Ireland as a microcosm, we can deduce that the same voting shenanigans go on everywhere. If we advocated getting rid of phone voting, we would probably find ourselves standing alone accused of disloyalty, but the facts are that technology gets a great run every year at this time and it would be nice if the mobile phone companies in Ireland would contribute to the contest, through sponsorship or through prizes of recording systems, Pads, Androids and Smart phones.
The young vote is the biggest menace. They can be easily swayed by the simple reward of access to the artist to take selfies and get autographs. The over-50s would, at a guess, have as little as 20 per cent that are Smart phone literate. A teenager could fire off six texts against my fumbling and foostering one.
Last year I mentored an Irish/Turkish band called Inchiquin. They were no Spring chickens, but they weren’t so old that they would be too young to join Status Quo.
We knew from the start we were doomed, but it transpired at the Eurovision proper, Inchiquin’s song , Son Kez contained a lot of similarities to the Danish winning song “Only Teardrops.”
Let’s talk about the song. The big mistake that is made repeatedly by writers, is that they set out to try to write a song for Eurosong. Stop. Write a brilliant three minute song. If its good enough it will stand up to scrutiny anywhere.
My solution to our dilemma in finding a winner is to throw the emphasis back on the songs. I think Five songs One singer is the best way to get the best songs. An accomplished singer would relish the task of singing the five songs and at very least we would “hear” the quality of the song.
Five songs One singer would also thwart the young voters from gerrymandering the votes. And the juries would have much more of a hand in determining the winner.
But for me, the greatest mistake is to use “civilians” to screen out the dodgy ones. The best writers in the land should face a three man panel. The qualities of the song will be interpreted better and songs with potential have a better chance of being picked. The original demo of What’s Another Year that I sent in to RTE was The Brush Sheils Band, backing Dj Jim O’Neill on a medium tempo country song.
Thank you fate for sending Bill Whelan my way. And of course, I mustn’t forget the extraordinary King of Eurovision, Johnny Logan.
Late Trivia flash for anoraks. “Hold Me Now” and ‘ Why Me” won Eurovision on the same date, May 9th, Johnny in 1987 and five years later, Linda in 1992.
Is that Logan fella a sorcerer or what!Article Written by Shay Healy First Published in The Irish Daily Mail Saturday 10th May 2014
‘When You Become Stardust Too’ Available now on iTunes download song here
So my great news today is my latest single “When You Become Stardust Too” is now LIVE on iTunes. Beautifully arranged, produced and trumpet solo by music genius Tevfik Kulak. Will this be my last recording? who knows? Heartfelt thanks to Tevfik for such a brilliant arrangement. You can download it here
A recent newspaper picture of Simon Cowell, stripped to his high-waist jeans, perambulating along in under the California sun, almost made me gag. Working out is no guarantee that you’re going to look better and Simon and his man-boobs doesn’t cut it in the body beautiful stakes.
Simon’s head looks like it is too small for his musclebound body and instead of coming out of the gym with a six-pack and a rejuvenated glow, he’s sporting a kind of “John Gilligan ripped’ look.
However, the person who least noticed how unsettling it was, was Simon himself, because that’s the kind of guy he is. Anyone prepared to pay Cheryl Cole over 2 million dollars to be a panelist on American X Factor is suspect anyway and how he can rationalize bringing that dunderhead back into play is beyond me. She peaked when she did the shampoo commercials and that’s where she should have been left. Instead we were forced to further endure her emptiness, when she showed-off the most ludicrous tattoo that had ever been tatted. A single delicate rose was not for her. Instead she got a whopping great rosebush, which covered a good half of her posterior .
Actually I’m probably jealous that Cheryl has an ass and I don’t. Yes, friends, sad to announce, my ass has disappeared. I used to have a good ass and one minute it was there behind me and the next minute it was gone.
I was very happy with my bum, two little hamburger buns that filled out a pair of jeans in style. Over the years, it drew many compliments
So where did it go? I tried to recall when I first noticed it was missing, but there was an element of confusion because around the turn of the century, I had a bit of a belly for a while. I began to wonder did my bum migrate slowly to my stomach, masquerading as a paunch? Was this a first move to escaping completely.
I weighed thirteen stone–seven pounds at that time and despite slight avoirdupois, I still felt I looked alright from behind. But then in 2003, when the dreaded Parkinson’s came along, I didn’t anticipate all sorts of unpredictable side effects.
It must have been at that point that my posterior decided to scarper, very slowly, so as not to be detected. For the first five years, Parky was a breeze. I said to myself, I can handle this. My appetite was consistently good, but after seven years my weight tumbled to 12. St. 7lbs. (don’t do metric). And a year later it was down by a further stone.
That’s when I really starting feeling the effects of being deserted by my bottom. I looked in the mirror and it wasn’t there anymore. My two roundy hamburger buns had been replace by two pancakes. My 34” waist went out the window. All my jeans were sliding down my hips and my belts acquired two extra holes.
Now I was down to a 32” waist, but I was starting to notice that sitting on a hard seat for any length of time was growing very uncomfortable.
Would you believe it, I dropped a further stone last year, squeezed into a size 30” Levi’s and had to buy myself a special cushion for sitting at my computer. My bum was so flesh free, I considered starting a band called Bony M, but the thoughts of sitting on a tour bus for hours with my unpadded rear end is too off-putting.
But I am not in despair yet. I serendipitously met a medical supplier at a barbecue last Summer. He invited me to try out a state-of-the-art new mattress, called a mobility bed. This extraordinary mattress has in-built sensors and when you roll or turn during the night, a series of gears within the mattress adjusts the mattress automatically and puts you back on an even keel so to speak. It can also counteracts bedsores and as well as helping Parkinson’s sufferers, the mechanism is also a boon when adapted for wheelchair users. Even people .with dementia, who don’t sleep well benefit from it and with the flesh gone off my bottom, the cushion effect of the bed is marvellous.
The best news yet though, is that my friend the medical supplier tells me he also sells false bottoms. No kidding. YOUR ASS IS GRASS. You strap them on and not alone do they fill out your trousers, they also provide a cushion effect.
I just wonder, should I take it any further. Should I start a society of people who have lost their asses, for as sure as shooting, if I lost my ass, then it has happened to others. As Hamlet said “there’s nothing new under the Sun, Horatio.”
Danny Boy, aka The Derriere, would definitely be our theme tune and I could play with puns ands organize Bum of the Week, The Year of the Rear the Ass With Class.
At worst, dolled up, with false bottom in place, I’m optimistically looking forward, at some time in the future, to overhear somebody, preferably a woman, saying ,“for a man in his seventies, he has a great arse.”
False bottoms and wondrous beds: O’Neill Medical Supplies www.onhealthcare.ieArticle Written by Shay Healy First Published in The Irish Daily Mail Saturday 8th March 2014 Shay Healy’s latest eBook ‘The Danny Boy Triangle’ is Out Now on Kindle 2.99 Free Kindle Reader – download app