Michael Viney Nightmares: The first

hboschEyes! Eyes! Eyes! Eyes! Eyes on nature!

I came across an odd looking three-cornered leek beside a small stream in Slievemore, on Achill. I didn’t realise they bloomed in February. Loki Laufeyson, Port Oriel.
Also called three-cornered garlic, it migrated to Achill during the last ice age.


I was walking on Gurteen beach when I came upon significant numbers of Velella and another jelly, probably Pelagia. I don’t remember seeing these in midwinter. The water does seem a little warmer than in other years. Well to me anyway. That’s the only opinion I can take. Isiah Whitlock Jr, Baltimore, Co. Cork.
Strandings of both jellyfishies are more usual in Autumn. Their late arrival may well be due to rising ocean temperatures.
So.

Is it unusual to have sweet peas in my garden on February 1st? Is it? Is it? They were always finished by mid-September, but I’m looking through my net curtain and they’re still there. Edward Woodstock, The Duchy, Co. Dublin.
We have had unusual autumn and winter weather. Enjoy it if you can. If not, well.

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We would be extremely grateful if you could identify the creatures in a photograph that I took last autumn using only a camera. Alfred Stieglitz, Hoboken, New Ross, Co. Wexford.
They are caterpillars of the scalloped oak moth. Do not touch them in spring as they tend to be poisonous when their attitude is not right. They shed their body weight in April and demand long walks of their owners. Nothing a quick swipe with a newspaper won’t cure.

I have two nesting boxes in the garden, yet neither of them has ever been used. I have moved them away from the feeding tray, but still to no avail. Ali Al-Habsi, The High Cross, Dundalk, Co. Louth.
Jesus Christ Ali. Nesting boxes should NOT be placed in direct sunlight and should be sheltered from prevailing winds in some cover. Do NOT get them wet and for God sake do NOT feed them after midnight. Otherwise it is a matter of luck if bird-like creatures may choose them. It’s all about luck really.

apoca

I noticed that the playground in Bushy Park in Terenure (pictured)  is ring-fenced by dark green Rentokil boxes. Surely rodent-control measures like this can have a knock-on effect on wildlife in the park. Harold Bishop, Harold’s Cross, Melbourne.
Is that where you live? Do you need help? DM me.

When we came across a common toad in our garden last year I thought we might be mistaken. I came across it again this year. Maddy Albright, Prague, Czech Republic.
Is there an actual question here, Maddy? Or are you just telling me stuff? Maddy?

I’m very lonely. Anne Francis Frank, Frankfurtplasse, Frankfurt, France.
Anne, I’m very lonely too. Don’t despair.

Every morning I feed this fox (photo attached) who visits my garden, but despite a diet of cheese, table scraps like bread and wine, I’ve noticed that his droppings are everywhere and can be rather large. Don Osmond, Ogden, Utah.
For real, Donnie? Fuck off Donny. Idiot.giraffefuckers

 

I watched rooks collecting acorns from an oak tree. The acorns on the ground have peck marks. What other birds eat acorns? Mr Thos Oakenshield, Durin, Co. Carlow.
Eh, Jays, wood pigeons, great spotted woodpeckers. I dunno, cats, dinosaurs, rainbows, barristers, baristas, Bobby Vinton. Who cares?

I watched a grey squirrel on a yew tree eat his way through the berries that the mistle thrush usually has to himself until the redwings arrive. Dr J. Ndmarychain, East Kilbride, Scotlandlandland.
Really? Did you? And you felt you needed to tell everybody? Well, thanks. You have performed a service to humanity that will be unequaled. The Geneva Convention, the Paris Peace treaty? Fuck them. Nothing compared to you. Do I sound sarcastic? Fuck this, I’m out of here. I think Nathan Fake is playing.

Rosemary? No.The president? No.

hong-kong-phooey
Seems like we need this guy more than ever. The biggest worry at the moment is that the Tangerine Ballbag will slow down and get off the cameras for a while, thereby causing the resistance to lose impetus. Fight this generation of scum. Politics is for other munkis, but a lot of shit head politicians all around the world have been ignoring protests for a while now and have figured out that they can get away with not all, but a lot. The Annoying Orange in the White House has taken this in and due to hisunparalleled narcissism must remain in the public eye. Everything is tainted now. Stretch sees the Clementine Fucktard many times a day now. Soon he will be on giant posters in town squares. Fuck this guy. Fuck these fascists. Fuck all y’all. Don’t go to sleep.

Hong Kong Phooey for President of the self-styled ‘greatest country on Earth.’ Blah!

Oive lost moi kingaroooo, tears tears

"Look, it's a Sapho Longwing." "Fuck you, I can't see it because I am looking that way. You also have something hanging out your left nostril" "I think you'll find that is Mitchell's Satyr

“Look, it’s a Sapho Longwing.” “Fuck you, I can’t see it because I am looking that way. You also have something hanging out your left nostril.” “I think you’ll find that is a Mitchell’s Satyr” “Yes. I see it now. It is. How wonderful!” “You’re wonderful.”

Stretchlimoing back.

Watching Meryl Streep giving her wonderful and speech last night, I enjoyed the stunned reactions of the famous faces littering the tables. Also stunning was that the same faces couldn’t shut the fuck up for Viola Davis’s intro to Magic Meryl, which y’know kinda tells you a lot about the situation.

Anyways, have been lost to the twitter for a while because I’m bored and have a low attention span and I like to read Jeffrey Wright and Don Cheadle fighting with all the racists, crackers, morons and the worst wretches of all: that condescending breed that appears on all social platforms, message boards and comment fields. The guy who steps in and goes,
“I’ll think you’ll find,” “I’m hate to inform you but you don’t understand what is really going on,” or “excuse me, can you let the adults who really know about these things discuss it?”

FUCK YOU fuckers. The reason the internet is like a piss-quick glacier flowing into a pub toilet is people THINK that their opinion matters. It doesn’t. It just doesn’t. No one cares. People who agree with you only really agree with themselves. There are no arguments to be won. You don’t walk away from that computer or put down the phone thinking,
“Fuck me, I’ve set the world to rights. I’ve done a good thing. I have educated. Now let me find someone real I can tell. Oh.”

No doubt some prick will decide that putting a list of comments into a time capsule for future generations to read. Picture 200 years from now, somebody opening up the capsule, finding a sheet of paper and thinking
“Paper, how cool!. Aw shit! Look, somebody’s written on it. Wait! Children! RUN! LIZARDS!’

There he is! Ha, I knew it. No mate. Wait that's a wallaby. Jeez, I love moi kingaroo.

There he is! Ha, I knew it. No mate. Wait that’s a wallaby. Jeez, I love moi kingaroo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The most pointless exercise known to man. Even commenting on family pictures is pointless; that baby looks cute; you’re looking well Margaret; like the new haircut, your bubble-butt is coming on well (only for Instagram users). Yes, the people mean these things. But there’s a fair chance that they are sitting on the toilet while typing the comment. That’s fucking disgusting.

One more thing. My opinion doesn’t matter or have any relevance to the future outlook of humanity. Fuck me and fuck my stupid mlog!

No, but please, fuck me!

I was feeling down and uninspired, then this came on my phone bot. No comment necessary.

Stretch MacGibbon endorses NOT this guy

trumpskunk_poster_01_orange_lr

daniel irons art and design. too good. Stinkeh. Click on link to see more GREAT, I mean GREAT art and posters from Daniel Irons.

We are just about at the logical conclusion of bolloxing on about being the greatest country in the world for all my munki life anyways. A bit of humility wouldn’t go amiss. Still If Captain Douchebag gets in, y’all better learn to play the banjo. Everyone knows how a banjo can ruin a party.

Good night and good luck.

USA USA USA USA USA USA

 

 

Smokin’n’chokin’

Working Title/Artist: Louis Hine (American, 1874-1940): Newsies at Skeeter Branch, St. Louis, Missouri, 11:00 A.M., May 9, 1910  Department: Photographs Culture/Period/Location:  HB/TOA Date Code:  Working Date:  scanned for collections
Stretch here. I have been not smoking the smoking cigarettes since August 1st 2014. I feel healthy, my lungs are full of air. I go for long and boring runs now and sorta see the point of it. Sometimes, I cough and enjoy the lack of a wheeze and that little bit of phlegm that would jump out in to my munki mouth. Despite years of abusing these little wonder sticks, I can now look forward to living maybe five to ten years longer and see my family and friends flourish into old age. Ahhh.

BUT, Jesus, fuck that, I fucking miss them. Here’s why:

  1. Travel: Standing at a bus stop or train station, occupying your time with your own thoughts is generally boring. Smoking a cigarette fills time. It fills between 5 and 8 minutes. You look at the board and it says 18 minutes until your travel device arrives. That’s two lovely, enjoyable cigarettes. You don’t want to be thinking about stuff like how to be a better munki or solving the world’s problems. That’s none of your business. Smoke. Also, in Winter it keep you warm and safe.
  2. Tramps. The majority of conversations I have had with people of the streets have occurred around cigarettes. In fact, on one holiday to San Francisco, I spent most of my holiday money passing out cigarettes to the homeless, causing petty tramp-fights due to the queues forming around my person. I felt like Jesus did when he smoked, I did.
  3. Accentuating a shit situation: You have a row; lose a job; the car won’t start; you get clamped; a piano falls on your sister; Christmas Day; Salman Rushdie keeps hanging around you; Lupita Nyong’o says you have no talent and you’re not funny; fucking Ryan Gosling actually has young geese (fuck sake); you pay your TV license and they give it to Ryan Tubridy to keep up his sense of self-worth; you find out there is a God, but vow to continue to trust the tenets of nihilism etc… With the aid of a cigarette you can stop, regard the situation, shove one in your mouth and take a timeout. Without cigarettes, the only option is to revolve and revolve and revolve quickly until dizziness makes amends.
  4. Funerals: Socially awkward, uncomfortable, cold, long, boring…. Stand outside and smoke. You’ll look anxious and people will forgive the chain-smoking, thinking you’re working through issues. You’re not. You barely know the deceased. You are just ignorant, but y’know content.
  5. Social occasions: See above. Smoking areas are now the only places in bars or clubs where people are actually having fun probably. Be careful though: outgoing people tend to use wild hand gestures to add to their boring stories. Smokers will burn you real good. You’ll make friends, fall in love, sway… anything you want and you ARE getting the night air. What could be better? The downside is the cancer and the smell of ya. Also great for getting away from the desk at work. Well except when getting to the spot and the most boring person in the company is there. Bullshit conversation about their social life and then you avoid eye contact for years. YEARS!
  6. Life expectancy: How fucking long is long enough? Do you want to live forever? I’m not sure I can afford to live until a ripe old age. I’m skint. At a certain point, the onset of old age will make my remaining munki years slow and cumbersome. Naturally I would be okay if I had an optimistic outlook, but fuck that, that hasn’t happened and tumblr_ndm5w7gn2p1tjsogwo1_250isn’t going to. So now I’ll have to endure a healthy, broke end of days. Sounds great. But, if I go back on the smokes, I can shave off a number of those painfully boring years, despite suffering a terrible painful death coughing phlegm on everyone. Hmm…what to do?
  7. Cause of death: So, yeah, If I don’t smoke, I will die from something else, right? What if the thing that kills me is really stupid, like being run over or being eaten by penguins or falling in the shower or being assassinated accidentally by a secondary terrorist organisation or choking on rocket or choking on asparagus or choking on a Pharmaton or choking on yoghurt or falling off the Eiffel Tower or falling out a bungalow window wrong….grrr? Instead, a persistent cough, breathing apparati…later.
  8. Non Smokers: Hey I don’t smoke but I’m not a non-smoker, right? You can fuck right off if you think that.
  9. They taste fucking wonderful and go so well with booze and LSD. In fact if you are doing acid, I recommend about 60 cigarettes (80 if microdots are your thing) and of course, breathing. Breathe, Shirley, breathe! Who do you think you are, Tom fucking Cruise?
  10. Finally, remember, we are all alone. With a cigarette you are never alone. You have a sense of purpose. That sense of purpose is to smoke a cigarette. It is one of the simplest things you will learn in life. This and the knowledge that most humans you encounter in life are straight up conservative assholes and they think the same of you. Family, friends, confidantes, your religious entity, doing good deeds, receiving praise? None of these things will ever give you the same feeling as the first optimistic 30 seconds after lighting up a beautiful stick of dried out leaves. Inhale, exhale. Life is good. For now.

Smoke if you got em’!

The music that made me sicker: The Chemical Brothers – Exit Planet Dust

carmichaelbrothers

The bruthas gonna work it out

To say I was obsessed with folk music back in the early 90s would be an understatement. My friends and I would regularly get together and listen to Woodie Guthrie, the Clancy Brothers and any group where a large woman was surrounded by three suited men with guitars. We would sit in my bedroom, styled like a 1960s New York walk-up and play records, smoke pipes and talk about revolutionary politics. I sported a beard and wore tweed or a cotton-wool mix jumper, sometimes a cap.

This would lead to some sniggers and pointing from locals, but hey those cats were always like that. Whenever they hassled me or committed violence, I would yell,
“Hey, keep your hands above the Mason-Dixon line, thanks.” Sometimes with a two-finger salute and a ‘keep on keepin’ on’ look. Sweet, my claws were sharp, I tell ya.

Sometimes we would get dixie-fried on rum or gin and discuss the records we needed to get. The one we all agreed on was the Carmichael Brothers, a black folk group from Harlem. Richard, Ben, King, Arthur, Caesar, Roy and Chico made up the group (see above, note: Arthur and Caesar are standing behind the other five and crouching. They were off tha hook those two.) The interesting thing about these cats were that they were the only all-white group in the black folk music scene, which caused consternation at many of the clubs they went to. Gigs would be slated for crashville before they started, with race hate groups attacking them for being black but white customers pointing at Chico’s mop of red hair and Aran jumper querying whether they had the right club.
brov

Anyways, one night while driving around in my lead sled, I spotted a late night record shop open. I flicked through the vinyl for a while, but couldn’t find anything except ‘new’ music. I went up to the cat at the counter and asked where the folk section was. He told it wasn’t that kind of shop. I figured that he didn’t know his groceries at all. I persisted.
“Do you have a folk section?”
“I told you. This is not that kind of shop!” he angrily batted me away.
I walked away fuming spotting the folk section to my left.
I screamed.
“So. What is this?”
“That would be our folk…Oh, sorry man, I thought you meant something else. It is pretty late.”
I angrily pointed at my beard and my jumper and my sandals and threw my arms in the air.
“Sorry man, what can I do you for?”
I stopped hyperventilating and asked him if he had anything by the Carmichael Brothers.
“The Chemical brothers?” he asked.
“Focus your audio man, The Carmichael brothers.” I said.
“Yeah, the Chemical brothers.” he looked at me quizzically.
“Sure, here. The Chemical brothers, Exit Planet Dust,”
I looked at the cover. A couple walking down a road. On the road. This was the beatnik dream right here. It looked modern but the car behind them suggested the era was right. A bright yellow sticker with price covered the album title. I was not deterred.

I ran home excitedly and then ran back to the shop to collect my car. Exhausted, I fell into bed, but not before putting the record on and plugging my headphones in. Sleep came quick, with the refrain of “The brother’s gonna work it out”
_________________________________________________________________________
chem1

Fuckin bangin! I had to get to the shop to collect my new trainers. My shaven head felt real good these days and spliffs were commonplace in my significant armory. I would take the tobacco out of cigarettes and fill with a combination of bud and hash, walk near cops and puff away. Ha, what did they know, the galoots?I had changed. In the words of Nick Cave,

“I’m transforming
I’m vibrating
I’m glowing
I’m flying
Look at me now
I’m flying
Look at me now”

I had been listening to Exit Planet Dust on a loop of fury for about two weeks. It was the soundtrack to every step and every breath I took. The feeling engendered by those electronic bass-lines and breakbeats made me move in a way I hadn’t since a boy when I competed in ballroom dancing competitions which due to a lack of a certain vaccine meant that an outbreak of polio in Dubalin town left me as the winner over and over. Oh yeah! Disco shoes!

My friends looked at me in my red long-sleeved Adidas top, my weathered jeans, shiny new trainers. They seemed unhappy. I tried to lighten the situation.

“Sup, bros”
“You, you look different. Allen said.
“Coz, I’m all that and a bag of chips, yeah?”
They looked at each other and then at me.
“It’s not like I have a glow stick up my arse. (I did) Just new music, new me, y’knaa?”

Things got tense between us. I would drag them to raves and off my head on whatever I could get my hands on, I would be flying around, dancing like a loon. Waving a different glow stick in the air. it really was da bomb as they say. Copping with fly girls, life was sweet. I looked over at my friends in the corner and they swayed gently to this new music, their Aran sweaters with huge sweat stains in the armpits, their drenched cords sticking to their legs. They huddled into each other like sheep in a storm. The uncertainty in their eyes was palpable with a smattering of wooden threads. I felt sorry for them. Those songs, “Chemical beats,” “Chico’s Groove,” “In dust we trust.” They were me now. I had a drumbeat in my head and it wasn’t gonna stop.
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Two months later my three friends took their lives by renting a plane and flying it into a mountain. At their eulogy, I eulogised eloquently with emotion,

I’m alive
And I’m alone
And I’ve never wanted to be either of those

I didn’t believe this. If only they had hung on, they would have been there when i combined indie rock, folk and dance music to create the band Folk Implosion.

My name is Lou Barlow and this is my story. The truth is out there, but you can’t handle the truth.