inspired by ‘Howl’
I saw my friends and peers kneel to the gods of property, money and success, willing to sell their children’s future for a quick fix, electric gates and cool decking where they could drink good wine and talk about their wealth.
I saw silicone vultures suck up to and off bloated bankers sure of their reward when the gems glow as their rubber lips and breasts snuggle up to the main chance.
I saw people buying expensive products and tickets to sporting events boasting that they can afford to pay three times the comparative price in other euro countries because they have made it and got it right.
I heard heartless harpies gossip about losers and druggies without compassion or understanding mimicking mean-spirited spoilt sophisticates that populate US sitcoms.
I saw politicians and builders in cahoots—rezoning land and building houses that distort the notion of community—lining each other’s pockets and noses, all on for the craic and the crack.
I saw sanctimonious supine clergy condemn the abortion of the unborn child while they abused the unprotected boys and girls who were entrusted to them.
I heard the grief of those who believed in a Catholic Irish nation, as they reeled in shock, grappling with the veniality and corruption of church and state.
I saw my city overrun with slick hotels and restaurants with stiff supercilious staff, exorbitant prices—where exclusivity is valued over cuisine or courtesy.
I heard pub pundits and shark-like pretentious politicians boast in displays of self-delusion that Ireland was richer than Germany and that it had at last overtaken Britain.
I heard monotonous people yakking on smart phones and blackberrys with fake phrases and platitudes in a manner that nullifies the very possibility of communication.
I have now seen the routing of the largest party in the country for poor stewardship of the national finances and compromising the future for a number of generations.
I still see the poor on the streets and those who never managed to climb on the tiger’s back—albeit that it was a short ride—they remain destitute and denied.
I hear poets and philosophers say that a new sensibility must be forged. They express the hope that creativity will help to restore confidence, conscience and consideration.
I hear, too, the resilience of those who did not buy into the money myth, those who reckon that the Irish are good at surviving, overcoming defeat and maintaining a sense of the ridiculous.