The Orange

imageThe Long Road 12 July 2014

While I watched the parade at a stall for teas, coffees under a Gazebo, where funds for under resourced groups mainly in West Belfast were raised, there had gathered people who have been coming to the same spot for decades to see the Orange pass.
Much of it is Heritage and Tradition. A lot of it is politically charged with the swipe taken at Protestant culture by the traditions of the Catholic faith. Except the faith has in a lot of cases on both sides died and is far removed from the early days of marching.
The occasion is for some the only day of the year when God comes into their thinking. The detachment from the Church – the Orange is not a faith – has been due to the paradoxically poor expression of brotherhood in God.
The Orange could and should be respected as an organisation which if a foundation of Protestantism did not exist until a political reason arrived onto which allegiance could be forged around the principles of Protestant faith. In doing so it usurped the separatist forged differences of the spasmodic dogmas of Protestantism by forging a cross credal union.
Its fault still lies in its failure to note its own origins yet it must be given respect for its remembrance to things still not comprehended but which are dormant awaiting leadership.
Unrecognised Soldier
Both sets at other times of the year celebrate using military insignia, often as memorial attached to the recent troubles and warfare. The present use of uniforms for example of the Somme soldiers and Home Rule personnel have a clinical, sanitised, mythical presence which when they fall out leaves a bitter taste of the real soldiers deaths being used in this political role. Many died for God knows what. Of those who came back so many lies were spoken about the war, many no longer knew not only about the war but about life. Many avoided the Easter Rising because they were alongside other, the greater number of Irishmen aiming to bring the war to conclusion. The fact is the Irish Government denied the loss of numbers who fought for Britain until last year and now the Queen and the Irish President can’t wait to commemorate all dead in memorial gardens.
These times being so removed from then they cannot agree on the present.
Currently an estimated 250,000 ‘British’ citizens live in Ireland while around 425,000 ‘Irish’ citizens live in Britain. Both Governments treating the population with long accustomed arrogance and concealing the truth they hold witness to.

The Twelfth is a unique celebration of identity found grounded in the Ulster plantation which has a pronounced Scottish dimension. Why is that one asks? Surely there were many Scottish here before the Plantation. Many supported as a hired fighting force the Earls and Kings of Ireland. They traded as the Welsh did as fellow Celtic kinsfolk.
The trading was essential and it attracted the English and as it was to prove it was a fertile ground for exploiting rich lands by conspiracy with the Church of Ireland and under the direction of The English Pope Hadrian I the instruction was given to Henry III to invade Ireland and take possession of the lands so they would obey Rome and use the Roman coin which was beginning to lose its currency due to trades without coinage and settlements without proper jurisdiction.

Theft of Land
The force of English Rule was founded on theft of land and Church rule which prospered through tithes and taxes which they imposed for the principle of Religion and God. The more so when the Church of Ireland drew up doctrines based as they considered the tenets of God. The Church of England was the superior voice and it led the tyranny which affected ALL parts of Ireland. Some parts of the Orange are stuck in the preissuance of the New Testament and still consider text such as Leviticus 6 in reference to being hurtful to a neighbour that follows atonement in the order of the burnt offering, the grain offering, the sin offering. Blood need no longer be splashed on the alter inside or outside the Church. Truth atones.
Compared to the devastating denial of self governance; Daniel O’Connell among the first to fail achieving the goal of removing the yoke of Religious control which was a conspiracy of both Churches and which remains to this day, the Plantation was a land grab which split Protestants who in many a number left Ireland unable to expect rule of equality for all.
In the main they went to America and as the Ulster proud Scots and Anglicised Puritan Protestants will have you believe they went as pioneers not asepple getting out of a cruel regime and colonial part of England’s spread across the globe.
Even the English left and among them Thomas Paine and together these new Americans redefined God and strived and achieved the goal of an end to slavery while the likes of Abraham Lincoln had to be brought to the table under Gods will.
Impestuousity harbours hate
I had to listen to an impetuous commentator address some people not used to the Parades and with his crystal ball; I really think he believed what he was saying, he told the group there would be violence to stay away from areas particularly the Ardoyne. He advised them that anyone with black skin would likely be a target. Such unwarranted and frankly offensive comments were intolerable then and even with the benefit of hindsight are accusations against the Orange which the commentator has no particular insight to offer. A middle class reactionary voice was heard and allowed to offer particular advice. I was disgusted and hold no sway with this complete mis guidance being allowed to perpetuate without question.

He also put the whole marching occasion as anti-catholic which shows an ignorance of history if not a quick method of assigning disapproval of the Protestants of 1690 who are unrepresentative of Protestants today. We were not in for a lecture thankfully but to describe it collectively as Anti-Catholic misses on several levels the pre-Darwinian, pre-enlightenment and pre-self rule in these islands that still do not have self rule.
Sovereign Rule
Sovereignty reigns and the USA is a republic with the development being attributable to people of Ireland which includes the visionary philosopher from the North, Thomas Hutchenson. Influential on Thomas Paine, Adam Smith, David Hume and the forefathers of Americas republic itself.

The commentary of some fails to realise the delusion under which Protestantism is today manipulated to provide the powers of the realm with their autocratic rule. In the same position is Catholisism which despite the dreadful godless Machiavellian devil conspired leadership is today asking its people to subscribe to sectarian politics through their religious portal.
Thinkers and God
Albert Einstein was not afraid of God and profoundly as Galileo did and his own words are as revelatory as his science it would seem.
‘I want to know how God created this world, I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element.
I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details

Just as the Orange and Republicanism Memorials enact the history of the past the prevailing element lies within realising Gods need for us not to be divided and that by creating division through religious differences, themselves a sham on truth, that discovery is not made by embracing a culture to oneself as a self required affirmation of identity but in fact the opposite is infinitely more revelatory in realising all others are you.
The you exists outside yourself as you treat others.
that relation you have with ever living human being is actually more God affirming than relating to a dead human being.
How ever hard it is to detach the mind from your actual antecedents it is in the body. The vessel carrying your soul and informing your mind that carries those parts of ancient heritage.

Einstein is asking and thinking what is the antecedent? who is the thought if us?

Take another thought relating to the war, this time the Second World War.

The words of Alexander Solzhenitsyn in 1983 in London explained a lot
‘Since I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have already collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have contributed eight volumes of my own toward th effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not have put it more accurately than to repeat: “Men have forgotten God; that is why all this has happened.
Despicable Leaders
This present society has memories of hate driven violence and loss of life.
There are thousands who have died and many, many injured and a society traumatised through their collective witness.

If you have one vision of the so called factions leaders the crowd turn up braying acclimation to a howling man not knowing where solid ground is and casting lies out as new thought.

Having been subject to the hate filled rhetoric fuelling at his will and sanction violence against fellow human beings of another faith Ian Paisley has been another demicloth, so too the opposite despots and the crisis of identity precurors such as Martin McGuinness and Gerard Adams both creatures of wild hatred born of insolvency in civil liberty within their evil conceived dogma of killing as a method to raise mankind. They are like hunched dogs with spinosa of a primeval forgotten urge left bereft of meaning and conjoined in ignominious hurt laden values.
They do not require our forgiveness only God can forgive. We are asked by God to realise this is their only act of contrition and is in need of public witness.

The preceding deaths of Irish and as Solzenitzen points out the irreproachlessness of violence when confronting God, the deaths are colossal in comparison with this era, even with the population numbers on the planet being much smaller in previous eras.

The strange reflection has to be the suppression of truth by forces which control and make choices. No one doubts the hegemony of the very few who have secured their wealth through centuries of greed and misrule but it remains an area few actually regard as what makes them make their own choices on creating division. They are fed a history which few if any understand or care to understand yet God is in their mind if they would simply listen for the true word.
The Orange need find purpose in stopping government fracturing of city neighbourhoods brought about by insufficient investment in schools – there is an obvious lack of investment within Belfast in certain areas leading to poor standards – and a move away to other areas outside together with Planning policies which mothball areas then set about preferencing schemes which cater for the cash rich and non of which is affordable for people with long attachments to an area. The schools are no longer strong educationally and cater for mainly immigrants and newcomers whose expectations are not yet matured.

Where the areas are worst hit are in the failure to address neglect and produce structured replacement, instead the piecemeal ensures upheaval and transition to an identity free zoning.
No-one would be wise in suggesting more mixed housing, in the terms used here, would not benefit us but when there is a wholescale breakdown through neglect of housing need; it should be remembered in the past many families of each religious faith lived in close proximity without the rancour devised by terrorists, the divisions are emphasised by huge empty spaces and road, peace wall divisions. The task of the Orange is to represent the aspirations of hope and faith not resentment.
Remembering Battles is one thing but the heart of the Orange is widespread expression of freedoms and joining with others who likewise do not adhere to the creed of one religion. The rural communities know the freedoms involved and long were witness to their neighbours religious authority exploiting them and producing the vile doctrines of division while behaving atrociously under the protection of their Church hierarchy concealing criminal abuse and debased practices. They also need be aware the nature of their own and mediate for truth in all parts. That is what did set Protestantism apart but do any recognise this?
The Field
The cry across fields, and they can be from either persuasion, is of fighting for liberty and freedom. The Protestants acclaiming ‘the sacrifice made for freedom and democracy.‘ AGMGL while recalling the division of the nearby border known for ‘suffering and heartbreak down the years, along with the sickening glorification of terrorism with the parade last year in Castlederg..’
Both sides repudiating the other and remaining bigoted and divided with their own fellow countrymen. They claim a loyal gathering under loyalism to Unionism which shares power with terrorists and convicted killers all in the name of freedom and democracy while supporting the continued repression of the truth. In the name if God. An uncontested lie being told.

Religious Dogma
What is the Orange? It is hard to tell because its origins which recognised the tryranny of Roman Catholism, regarded religious faith with a primacy based in the Bible allowing freedom of thought and conscious while being respectful and considerate to their neighbour. It also abhorred achohol and gambling and sinful occupations. There are sermons during the Second World War locally which underlines the connection to a sovereign nation without considering how that link was founded and maintained. It became obvious and in common view it was a Unionist conspiracy to maintain its lucrative dealings with the crown and use gerrymandering to maintain its rule. That is never discussed of expressed by the commentators.

They are too rapped up in the conceit of themselves and of the local current politics to offer any worthwhile implement able advice. So far removed from equality and bearing they cause the embitterment to continue as it is another days news.

On a day when a highlight of a FGM was to lambast the PSNI for not prosecuting an MLA for hanging onto the grill on the front of a Police vehicle, name checked always as Land Rover, that Chinese vehicle, instead of admitting there was just cause to stop the progress of the vehicle as it had not forewarned of its actions and that a stupid driver carelessly and criminally drove the vehicle on. The FGM was considerate of the Queen traveling up the Crumlin after visiting the jail this year to see for herself how the Queens highway functioned. The lack of Catholic residents and the briskness or otherwise of trade in the shops would have been eminently thrilling he might have thought. Very important issues for working class and culture defining for the Orange also key to education.
Absurd Commentary
The commentator, another, who regards himself not so much a NUJ member, far too political that but holds the card of as an independant thinker beholden to no one, and an incursion on independent thought, has obliged us with his joy unconfined, well he has one gripe, later, in trouble being absent in 12th Marches.
He misses the point that the clear purpose of the peacefulness of the parades, also missed by the crystal ball gazer, violence ensured practically, how good to be wrong – no harm – except a so called adviser called it before foreigners as a practice of hate to be played out before them. The gripe of the latest commenter not journalist was to demand an apology for the burning of placards of politicians and of terrorists, except he called it burning of flags and election posters.
‘Stop all this nonsense!’ He clearly is a radical thinker and again defuses the main picture admirably, draws a wage and creates a place for the next set of standard renditions taught in the school of mediocrity.
The narrow path
A road home is a road home and any prelatic announcements from bigots has a shameful ignorance of their fellow human being.
When no Offence is given no Offence can be taken.
Ditch the joint Sovereignty
The Orange is possibly defined by a medicoracy led by the Black.

John Graham

14 July 2014


Paws for Thought


Skin of different colour
Dedicated to Gunner and Eliot.
Ministers of Dog in developing countries, England and Ireland respectively.
Hot Dogs
This week has been hard for those unused to the heat. Working in this weather and many have to outdoors can bring tiredness and mild heat exhaustion.

You will know that this work and I am thinking of work in the fields so well executed through years of practice bears fruit of some kind.

‘Abide in Me, and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.’ (John 15:4)

We as friends of all things human can be consoling and a companion when too much self reflection is going on, You can usually tell by grumpiness or a raised voice and nothing seems to be going their way.

As we know as the master and sent by the Chief Kennel Carer the world for them is a complicated place, poor souls. Never a day goes by without a fresh worry. That is when I act calm and hope they too take the hint.

The Lord is always there and is there for everyone. All you have to do is whistle and The Lord will be at your side. I was worried myself the other day when I heard about a new dog that might be coming here.

Firstly it is MY patch and the scruff may not even be related, may take up loads of room and eat all the food. Mariel thought there is enough to go round and if it didn’t wash or was uncouth then she would soon tell it it was unladylike.

My ears pricked up when I heard it might be a Lady and there was me prejudging the situation. Most I have known have smelt so sweet have doey eyes and are easy to romance so a smooch works out both ways. I call it validation but some call it love.
Both of us could be the others kind.

The point is you see if you jump to conclusions, to digress – I jumped in the air 10′ 6″ last week caught a soggy ball and all to impress the ladies who weren’t best pleased as my breath stank – then you can be badly hurt and hurt others.

By refusing to allow someone to live in your community, to bring the variety if their own habits to a place you clearly don’t OWN you are only making things worse for yourself. Why for yourself? I hear you ask. Well simply because you are denying yourself a new vision and also denying yourself the opportunity to share each other’s vision of GODs creation.
This is GODs universe and we are here but a short while so getting along is only a problem if you make it one.

All bring things you cannot
The creation like the pooch I was fearful of may have a different coat or skin than me and may not be able to leap 10 ft like me but can run twice as fast but not for so long, it becomes clear the only vision needed is the vision of GOD.

Many colours and varieties of people as us Dogs have different skin.
We might have suffered by having the Dog eugenisists try and screw up
various races of us Dogs forgetting Huskies like the cold and dislike Barnes Common racing, whippets hate running in circles and greyhounds at Wimbledon, how pointless is that and as for mastiffs only looney air guitarists like them.

Whatever the colour the blood runs through us all the same colour.

We look to GOD sometimes to repair our road. Damage always occurs with traffic up and down a road used by many. By allowing each to use it and that means groups to march up and down freely singing their songs so long as they are unhurtful it is their right. The Notting Hill Carnival is now well fixed and multi cultural.

In that place Belfast there is no tolerance of others just a victim hood to be asserted.
Every time annual parades occur they get territorial. The Ardoyne formed by Thomas Andrews Linen Mill was to provide jobs instead of war. It symbolised the peoples induction with modern means of living.

The symbolism is not unique and from the Andulucian horse trail I memory of Jesus and the celebrations along the way to the more secular and at the same time religious affirmation of Mexico’s All Souls’ Day to Maypole pagan festivals all culture needs expression. It’s diversity is what is us.

Blimey we were able to turn around the mass eugenic experiment of the dictator and ethnic killer Hitler and return to our path, our road yet deranged people think their religion is more important ant they are right and more important than GOD ever made us. When no offence is given none can be taken.

It is clear to us Dogs that we have these differences as humans do but they refuse in many places and at many times to abide with GOD.

Simply GOD asks us to go the way of loving thy neighbour and giving your thoughts over to Jesus to show you they way. Reading, reflecting, talking, acting, all the fellowship of ALL mankind is the redemption from the world that provides us with our living.

When we refuse to do harm we have reached a goal and can say to others it is the way without fear. Fear is within.
The soul is in you and when the world has reached the point when ‘Our Kingdom Come’ the soul will have done its job.

The job of the soul is to be your witness here on earth. Should you reach the highest goal and be at one with GOD the soul will have done its purpose. It will have been with you as GOD is and the light will not fade.

Listen. Observe others. Hear. Love.

So be it.


Paw note

Eliot and Gunner are real Dog but they are usually too occupied to sit down and write about their thoughts though are being to do so. These views are my own and I have only the inferior understanding of a human beung therefore can only put these views across as insights from observing these fellows. They are as wise as us it would appear and have no inclination to make an atomic bomb thank goodness as we may be in serious trouble. The thought never crossed their mind which makes me think of them as superior.
Pity they are so hard to train and wash.

Written from and idea inspired by
the Reverend Elizabeth Hanna
Writer, Photographer, Theologian extraordinaire, Wise (owl) peace maker, friend maker. And her actual dog called Eliot.

John Graham

10 July 2014

The One Hundred Year old man : Film Review

imageThe 100 year old man who climbed out of the window and disappeared.
Dir. Felix Herngren. Sweden. 2013 1hr 54mins. Cert. 15.
QFT Fri 18 to 31 July and other decent venues?

Life’s too Short. The titles too long. Fact is he didn’t disappear as he roams

Allan, Robert Gustafsson, is a man of many parts and with some important bits missing. He thought of himself as a new Alfred Nobel; that is the model I’m taking, when he was about seven when he discovered the destructive, universal changing power of Explosives.

This was such an wonderful discovery to him he would in a few short years master it. Maybe his education could be described as short but he was self taught as far as the dynamite type thing was concerned. So from aged seven to about nine, possibly ten. There is some vagueness on dates.

This film has taken stories of Allan’s life as also world defining as the posters press releases try to lift its reach, in that he met many dictators, misleaders, despots, through his engagement and know how about blowing things up which the many world Warmongers or begetters loved.

All eras in his life are covered and sometimes irratatingly – instead of sticking to a tension which appears in the present we get transported away from a sense of urgent jeopardy – the director kicks in another apparent story filling piece of what is despite his reckoning non essential information.

Allan had no sense of shame or even purpose or drive given perhaps due to his fathers extraneous one man world enlightenment. We are treated to set pieces of his fathers parallel misguidedness.

Talking of which Allan sets out on his Life’s too short to be sitting in a nursing home waiting to be patronized (the film) or possibly abused, Ill treated (real life) so figures out very little about the bit called the future and the bit called living.

Malmkoping Swedens Everyman homestead.
On his hundredth birthday the film starts with his moping at the thoroughly regimental, good things are dull type living in the nursing home and the over active mind of the heart of gold nursing supremo who is his chief human contact and he has a brainwave.
Whether he planned it or not, the not is proven later by his adventures, he opens his own living room window and takes a chair onto which he climbs, sits on the ill and swings his legs in the direction of freedom with inappropriate footware except for going to the toilet in.
The title gives this bit away. Either way not suspenseful.
Allan subsequently does a lot of dwelling on toilet etiquette which is not the usual cinematic avenue to deliver wisdom, and it doesn’t.
There is something Germanic about his affliction with toilet matters and something Germanic about the experiment or wilfully idiotic diagnosis of a Doctor poor Allan’s meets at an important stage in his life.
It alters his place in the tapestry of life.
Suffice to say he is aware of the difference as he queries people on their own habits.
It makes for a few jokes but is not again of any real interest. Not even as a shape forming thing. No one could have cared less except Alan.

The language, subtitles issues and spoken is just about OK as English creeps up from time to time. Also linguistic oddities occur, bye means hello, hop in means get in and everywhere he ends up appears to be moronsville.

The life necessary
Allan is responsible for lots of important things and he has for good or bad indifferently helped people.
Mostly inadvertently as he did when he joined the Spanish Civil War as he had been handed his best job ever of blowing up very large things including bridges and he could conduct himself authoritavely as he knew more about bomb making than anyone.

In the plot – essential you know this – he gets on the first bus with a suitcase he is supposed to be attending to for a person using the toilet. More loo.
He, decides is to strong a word, thinks the bus will go without him so rather than leave it unattended, he takes the suitcase onto the bus with him.

His bus has taken him to a place chosen only by the amount of change he had to pay at the station and at this end of journey, his escape plan now complete and executed with absentminded success.
Here, in this place of isolation and very little sign of life he wanders as he roams into a meeting with an avuncular stranger who likes his absentmindedness and lack of any idea of the future.
The man is a bit of a hermit and retired.

Before he has finished his new friends offering of a meal the inquisitiveness in them divulges the importance of the suitcase and explains sudden popularity. These chaps have custody of the … What is it?….hence the number of people with a necessity of locating bringing to Allan and his co-conspirator it a number of mishaps.
They occur at regular intervals which they end up on the survival side of, it makes the story last longer one thinks.

Polis or Wallander where are you!
Several incidents involving the suitcase and its keepers have the police force of this Swedish backwoods imitating Inspector Clouseau and not Wallander. This is the side story replete with derringer do’s and don’ts.

For a long film it has a pace which makes it survive as plot twists and bait is laid while the time shifts, unedifyingly irritants, the Atomic bomb is one of Allan’s success stories though many would disagree. The episode looks like a poor TV sketch and is a sub-genre Marty Feldman.
Allan is played by Swedish comedian, Robert Gustafsson. I didn’t know they did comedy but have realised of course the invention of the flat pack is a joke we haven’t just got yet.
Revealing the Elastic Old Age
If it were not for the makeup, which is a botched makey uppy centenarian and seems no one is trying to seriously convince? I would have thought it a reincarnation of the old swagger himself James Garner as he might just be now.

Make up is a problem as is animal rights.
A little love story develops which is about as sexy as it gets. The topic is off limits for some reason to Allan but you might catch on why very quickly.
Allan is instrumental in nurturing this relationship and brings some Marjorie Proops style advice to Benny; she was the sixties seventies go to relationship guru and all round agony aunt. How come they were called agony aunts.
We have come along way.
Allan uses common sense, as Marge did, to advise on the match between a Benny thirty something directionless adult and a farm girl Gunilla, well I can’t find another role for her, whose daring good Swedish looks, animal husbandry and pronounced curves seem like manna from heaven for Benny.
This encounter takes the form of a mere of road sojourn when the petrol gauge flickerers towards empty.
It is the cheapest trick in the script writers canon and the director treats it like a circus. His sense of camera direction is all over the shop and bizarrely we never get any interiors much as I would have liked to see Gunillas Boudoir in the flesh.

Where shall I insert a biblical reference or tale of human limits when the whole universe is unexplained, in so far as Brian Cox can have us regard the metaphor Infinite Monkey Cage. I can’t aspire to such heights of thought given the foregoing which appears to explain almost everything.

Some things are out there. Allan suggests his Mum had it right – it is not a plot spoiler just a Bon mote to listen out for. Its given in a couple of versions paraphrasing “life is what it is” told you it wasn’t a spoiler.

Look out for a bearded Lady, Allan on Sonja but not in the biblical sense, as I told you he does not go in for that sort of thing and in this case it would be unforgettable and possibly terminally something.

Conclusion ## to ### 2 to 3

There are many parts of the globe covered and I have a few favoured places but not necessarily in the circumstances that these folk seem to get into.
As a comic episode it is endearing and sometimes LOL stuff and May interest readers of the book in revisiting the story. It is no more that areas ant comedic slapstick adventure set in modern times and is no ‘Modern Times’. It is the aurora borealis in black and white, info. point the film is in colour, It may be interesting to look at but it’s not like the real thing that is slapstick and is about Grand epoch finding themes.
Hope you like it and find the jokes as I did.

John Graham

10 July 2014


QFT Fri 18 to 31 July and other decent venues?


Art Therapy Thursday

Platform Arts
Becoming Imperceptible by Molly O’Dwyer is on at the Platform Arts Gallery and. Active Art Studios at 1 Queen Street Belfast Studio 4 to 23 July 2014
Openings Mondays to Saturdays by ringing the bell at the front door.

Art is in Places we know

Once you touch the art, not physically of course but allow it to communicate to you, it begins saying new things. It often says them in the same manner as the last encounter. That is that nothing, absolutely anything never remains static. Our bodies adjust to time by becoming less elastic and unused joints matriculate everyday commands sent from the internal messenger who takes occasion rests and joins in the requested task as and when it sees fit. That could be as late as the following morning but as ever it acts after something else has happened. This is an abstract I took out if Molly O ‘Dwyers work which is a sense of what she calls as the shows title, Becoming Imperceptible. The work is a glorious combination of daily, day night observances chiefly over Dublins skyline with a domineering Sam the ham Stephensons megalithic tomb for the banker on Dame Street simultaneously pointing skyward and like an arrow stabbing into the central crust of hubris Ireland.
The main projector screen at the end wall of this long space shows a 14? Min loop film using a HD camera which has splendid depth of field as well as handling the detail passing through as a moving canvas. This is further minutiae of material blown up in scale to view intimacy the so called imperceptible we take for granted from whatever source. This is the wood on floors, frame working in timber and concrete and fragmented tarnished, soot perhaps, picking out the now imagined cosmos scape of surfaces ragged and full of randomised solidification.” alt=”20140704-204431-74671112.jpg” class=”alignnone size-full” />
Stillness never moved so slowly is another message taken. Dogma and design expressed by material content again Becoming, Becoming. Never static. Especially the black shimmering light show within the city nighttime of on/off technology perhaps inferring life some automated. Molly O’Dwyer creates the juxtaposed fraternity to the city by placing minutiae in the space. Scenes of allegorical domesticity, of fabric material found in habitats. A pair of hollowed out blocks sit on the floor like mini lounge chairs and sit facing each other. They contain from her renovated house fire cement hacked of now in respite with a cadence of charred excision and exorcism. The decay fire licked cement rough and sedum tart in is armchair now cool. Chilling in the space life gone up in smoke.
I rest my case temporarily, this is a beautifully conceived installation. MO’D and here I recall another, the late DO’S taken from his family life far too early. Dermot O’Sullivan who worked on many of the buildings under the Platformed sky of Dublin. Work on Vicar Street part of his pride and joy of Dublin. This is abstractly a collective installation perhaps as it sidetracks without leaving the city the engagement amongst humans. First the humans then the buildings she seems to resonate.

The work here is very successfully placing our sense of scale in this installation with an immersion in the barely tangible. The thin connects we make becoming fluid in the chemicals we use in or heads where they fit precepts. These same chemicals storing them as strange inconsequential images. In our heads no moving projected images instead the moon of the fluid arranged into recall of some of the images Mollly O’Dwyer has here splendid in their otherness. The firecement in context is particularly a unique fashioned piece.



The work here is very successfully placing our sense of scale in this installation with an immersion in the barely tangible. The thin connects we make becoming fluid in the chemicals we use in or heads where they fit precepts. These same chemicals storing them as strange inconsequential images. In our heads no moving projected images instead the moon of the fluid arranged into recall of some of the images Mollly O’Dwyer has here splendid in their otherness. The firecement in context is particularly a unique fashioned piece.

Miasma. James Fennel

The artist is performing an act by tensioning cords, from his as he stands, to fixing points away from the wall at about his own height facing it.
This is a self encounter with his own ‘Psuedo Miasma’ flowing down the slopes of the natural fibre ropes onto his chin is replicating one of the core performance art experiences. That is ones which involve self endurance and the shift that occurs when the own body begins to reject and challenge the inner person to repel the action.

Being performance it follows the biblical philosophy of ignoring the tyranny of the final product and the immersion in running the race ignoring the source.
Watching, witnessing I notice in many past locations the act has been freakishly disturbing for many viewers.

The whole piece is both recoiling and encouraging.


Archive by Herita Kioski and Niina Vatanen.
There are two Finnish photographers in the front space. They have taken the nationally highly regarded social archive and created by interventions and light touch the strong figures and groups from a lost era. Each is from the period between 1940 and 1970 generally. They are a homage to a rigorous harsh environment lived in with insouciance finely tuned and work intensive management of their north war harded country. As a native both the artists and the photographer are warmly appreciative of their homeland and their home folk.
It is interesting in the first place these self creative artists; a small portion of their own sourced work is on show, have used this national figures work and put their own response on it by physically applying a variety of visual interventions simultaneously spanning the past onto the present contemporary. This is an examination of photographic communication, giving further context and without subverting disrespectfully the basis source work, they concern the viewer with the distant country and through the technique chosen where they are as a people as evolved. Is industrial, agrarian life at odds with technology? Has past technology also offered particular challenges to the generations refracted in these pictures?


Palimpsest. 12 artists

Into the large ground floor space the bifurcated spaces are approached right room first. A splendid photograph is itself an arresting image given it’s role to convey the parameters of art here. Uncredited, the hoses own work? Or the contribution of the organiser curatorial Mir Jami Schuppert whose name is almost artisan and eclectic! The bifurcated Part One brings us again into contact with the terrific irreapealable forms of work Ursula Burke bring us her soul concerns and acute observations in superb little pieces like three dimensional cameos encountering occasional contact with ink. Go see these works and cherish the particular groove taken.

The large room has one column of tiered refractory type glass. No decoration it seems. You imagine how it would perform under a shower and of its fragility. Being indoors and without any outside to trouble it we can see it would if it behaved turn into a field bath for birds. This is offering a few more thoughts and sound could make it reverberate and although it reminds you of bells perhaps it is only a ‘bell’ in segments of the tower. Maybe it should have been kept back for the diversity of the RUA show invite where it could have been staged more formidably. As with pieces like this, being surrounded by work which is not itself short of presence it rather looses out. It is a familiar problem when art in this city is given so little space as outlet for new challenging art in as this is a refined sculptural shape requiring and deserving of long viewing.
On the opposite side of the mid wall of this bifurcated space a talk on modern art and it’s problems from public funding lack of engagement and a wide contingent of artwork requiring attention. This was delivered in semi darkness from a lit lectern and animated screen which the speaker talks to across the room. No eye contact possible. It is as though the text is speakers corner though I purposely paid it no attention preferring the animation of speaker (altering) and the viewer and passed through. A coil of Boat rope was carefully arranged in mid floor as a materiality of the artists bound rejections or attachments?

PS2 Papergirl Belfast
The guerrilla girls are at it again. As such the work has left the room the artist is not here. It has been taken down and handed out. Did you get something. Is it part of a new, old, newish collection? Will you tell someone about its origin, will you try doing a piece yourself? We need you to be artistic. It explains you better than a visage you present us with. While it is special it is not the you you are.Bring paper man he is folding in isolation.
One can only fold ANY size of sheet 7 times. Try it and join the pointless.

It may come in handy as therapy.

John Graham

7 July 2014


Taking the Final Journey

imageSt Peters to Milltown
No longer can injustice plaque the life of Gerry Conlon. He has left us so young in his sixtieth year after suddenly cancer was found when a bout of pneumonia had put him in hospital. On everyday he had sought out and helped those who like him were wrongly jailed or discriminated against.

He abhorred privelige and he knew only to well the difference between rhetoric and the action. For this he became a force against prejudice, unveiling the protocols of all factions in power. His life was turned by the framing of the British Government of him and the others known as the Guildford four. I was closer to Guildford that night than Gerry Conlon as I lived in Surrey at that time. Gerry was actually in Dublin.

I was shocked as many were of this atrocity in a quiet town in Surrey. In my local in the town where I worked, which had given me a job, we shared the shock and tried to figure what intent and purpose lay behind it or indeed what possibly could this bring to the resolution of Ireland’s troubles.

Many things in common
To the English I was a Paddy an Irishman as everyone from the North was viewed and barely, if not at all, would there be any ill will or reference to being of the same mind as these murderers, as they understood these criminals were of a class of psychopathy that lay apart in so few but caused so much destruction.

Many older memories of the wars would surface in talk, the reason to again voice concern carried always, that it too needed to be laid in the past – as acts memorably unconsiable – given the cost and the earlier reckoning with a monster of a movement in Nazism and genocide.

There were real stories that I heard of the Second World War told with ferocity for the waste war brings and I felt moved by the direct honesty in contrast to its absence from the miserable human beings carrying out worthless damage and destruction as directed by people searching for an identity.

These speakers I heard were real ex soldiers lucky, they knew, to return.
The ideas they had were modern and equipped the generations subsequently. The Labour Party became suum cuique potentially but other powers conspired against it. The prayer in this era was real and supplicantry. Petitioners for a better future came in many forms, CND, Unionisation, Hospital and Education priorities raised, Cooperative agrarian, agriculturally and commercially. This was the life the Conlons gave their endeavors to as did many Ulster people. The Black and Masons though in the background, subservient to a monarchy that despised its baseless fraternity and were attentive, retained, and lauded the differences to fill their pockets.

There was a betrayal; once war was put behind that none expected, by bigoted racist wealthy zenophobes including the segment which attached itself to the conservative legacy of Sovereign alliance, the despots like Powell and his core hatred of other nations while he caused it to be hated from afar without reason.
This view is engrained in others of this as a basic racist part of Europe and it came while others considered universal human rights. This memory is held by some still externally and underlies those developing nations its own self determination though it is also a passenger of violence.

Why Torture?
Why did the jailers see it fit to torture Gerry Conlon and the others? Why was he tortured? What has altered in the state? Why is that the instruct of Jesus to love thy enemy so problematic to the merciless few?



War is not the answer
This was an England with the people belonging to the traditions of equality and fairness, charity, fortitude, justice which hinged on cooperative complex arrangements. This a country framing a society which had brought out its sense of responsibility for the peril of others in the War and the Great War.

The fact others within their society used this set of values to establish a hierarchy of abattage and a country or set of post war countries on a permanent state of alert and continued engagement in the proliferation of weapons.

Where war had reduced men to the level of animals the future spoke of the baseless and without thought of the principles given through God by Jesus all groups were destined to disintegrate and become solitary in thought. The unity of purpose brought about by war was lost by the fact war did not explain the Word and God had for many left us to our own devices and the atrocities carried out by man were set apart from the promises of the Bible on this vast world affecting scale.

Ever since these those wars counties, groups, cities, towns, rural holdings were formidably aware of the loss war brings and they took up that calling or so it seemed on the surface for the memory of the fallen.

The fact that so many of their number that were lost had not the glory of the country at their front but the comradeship of the fellow troops in the reality of war, focused on an army advancing towards their families and annihilating families they did not know but knew as human like themselves. A global catastrophe was happening and its apparent cost or outcome could not even become clear until the facts surfaced, when surrender was achieved from the protagonists of violence.

It was a day of remember for us all on Saturday 28th June 2014 one week after Gerry Conlon passed away. To be among those there, to witness his life and passing, was making connections on so many of Gods signs.
The funeral was a final part and his fellow detainees carried their brother in love towards his rest. The higher Church was subdued by this witness, it gave back the spirit to the people this day on whose witness faith had risen to testify to our joining in the worship of God to the father of all things.

The orations were of the Bible and of memory but also when the address was given by Gareth Pierce it was a testament be reminder to us all we should never give up the just fight for Gerry’s sake, as others, as he had given his life in every respect to fighting this fight for and on behalf of others.
It was a leveling of the Word as human expression made us commonly accept that urge to be in our lives real. The Gareth Pierce tribute will be remembered wherever it is heard. In this place which carried so many Conlon family memories it spoke out beyond the walls.

Spiritual Resonance
The disciple Peter 1:2-11 actually responds to us knowing the failings often faced so requiring focus; to be constantly reminded of our role on earth in relation to each other. The important areas for spiritual development he urged – and you if you can replace your spirit source as it speaks to you – growth in faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love. (2 Peter1:5-7)
This is invaluable to us, it is fundamental we discover this renewal of the areas told through Peter. The abundance of return by adherence to this is unbounded and is immeasurable and the fruits of this knowledge of the truth path of God will be evident. The real rejection of this is the destruction all witness presently in the absence of belief. This is the true tenet of Gods Word.
A simple theological message brought by scripture of the narrow path we are asked to keep to in order to reach enlightenment. Sharing this is part of the message and that is exactly what Gerry Conlon was about in his short period of freedom. He tackled fiercely with true love for the human ever injustice and hurt and harm he came across. He implored, appealed to the unjust to respond and act as their souls tell them to. He never gave up.

This was a country the eventual victor, which probably used secretly torture to obtain information from captured soldiers. Just as the Nazis used
unsanctioned methods so the other armies would be also torturers.
This was a world facing annihilation on a vast scale.

In peace time those instruments are not part of a resolution. They are the product of policy. They continue to be used and will be used while we allow it to happen in our name. By not speaking up and heeding the likes of Amnesty International, a group outside of the UN conspiracy of Nations, the torturers and leadership destruction will not be stopped. History must have its outcomes and this adherence without learning how to avoid continued cycles of violence and cycles of killing young future generations perpetuates the human decaying mind.
The History is taken. It is not appreciated in Gods terms nor is it learnt.
Without reference to the God principles of which it is the fortune of history to have brought into the light for us, the perpetuators of the cycle have many years and recurrences of destruction ahead for us.

The power of god is the power of loving thy enemy as you love your neighbour. Is it the case that this suggests our neighbours themselves are as flawed as us. It does of course. It advances the possibility that we are often close to violence. The word of God asks, implores us to act by communicating IN the laws of God, to tell the story and basis of why we are asked to deal with our lives in a way which is to cause no harm to another.

Just as Ireland has over centuries sent men through poverty and through need to countries to fight and fall the English they sometimes fought alongside were on that line between life and death also.
The future sometimes reveals things and falsehoods of the pursuit of war while also advising how much human barbarity has been avoided and brought to a halt as a result of war. The cost is learnt also.

There is no basis of justification on the one hand for the bombing of which Gerry Conlon was falsely accused along with the three others of causing and on the other no basis for framing individuals of the crime. To charge them with crimes they did not commit, to continue once framed with a paucity of evidence and false statements to punish them through a facade of court trial with the cruelty of torture once convicted is an indictment of the whole system the British Government had constructed since the wars.
This being a throwback to madness of monarchy created using the protection of the reputation and subsequent propaganda all focused on sovereignty and religious service to the Crown.
This was also not the Great Britain the lost generations had fought to uphold and in whose name countless policies were subvened.
How could this happen except through the vile instructions found in the many layers of control of the Government, with its secular instruments and agencies, whose aims are for the retention of the sovereign power in use since Elizabetan times. Except this was not Elizabeth I but Elizabeth II whose service has been wrapped up in the second World war and the subsequent recovery. Without accident or design the status quo has been held to, without fail and in misguided allegiance to former goals and objectives.

The monarchy being also overtaken in their primacy by advantages taken by groups of unlikely victors in the spoils of war and their uncontested wealth accumulation.
Firstly sovereign depends on subservience and adherence to ancient outdated and misinterpreted manifestations taken from the scriptures. There is no such demand on those that have overtaken the role of sovereignty. Wealth also depends on the removal of religion and Gods values.
Hardly can a hypocrisy be so flagrant yet so ignored and so attributable.
They collectively not only have devoured any reputation of fairness they have set back to medieval times any possibility of hanging on to the equality and justice which the Bible has led us deeply in instruction despite of and however twisted and contrived exhortations made outside the true Word.
The discussions is warped and removed, mostly through choice of the people with most to loose and answer to, from the inate values which most of us are born with and are born into systems of variance which removes meaning from Gods word and replaces it with dogma and doctrine divided and divisive. This is clear on all continents.
The hypocrisy endemic in English Politics is no longer its own master. It is driven by the machine of knowing, the attachment to the written laws without any analysis. Total dependency is supreme and poisonous.
The ‘Bon savages of war’ are given their instructions still, as before except no longer will the so called savages take the certitudes of the Nations interest as their inner most value, more important than tenets of God found in the many alternatives to the Established Church. They as servants defending nations are sons and daughters of Victims more read to tell the real time purposes in place. In countries where analysis is undermined and the local press act as functionaries of the aggressor or not at all the people cannot be expected to realise the depth of their mis guidance.
So apparent is this the regimes they are allies of become dictatorships rapidly, once the initial surge and adoption of no going back has occurred.
They are taken prisoner by a cause and it is not one of freedom.

This world has many prisons filled with people whose reasons for being held are corrupt. Mexico oblivious to Human Rights, the USA also running a prison system which responds to Courts. 95 percent of court cases, or thereabouts, are convictions. These convictions are based on plea bargaining. The justice principle is not in place. Instead any case on which plea bargaining is rejected by the defendant it is then subject to the most draconian measures and sentencing regimes it is possible to enforce.
Then the prisoner becomes isolated within the incarceration with the minimum of priveliges and humane treatment. So when the USA speaks to others of their treatment of citizens the clear response would be to ask The USA to rid itself of such in humane unjust practices and prove to the world it upholds the values it expects of others. Instead it hectors and prevaricated while opposing nations which do not fit their own image of principles.

Religion in the USA has forgotten largely the morals and ethics which have evolved from the Bible and the Word of God.
They replace God with extraordinary visions of damnation and hellfire where there is no such instruwith religious practice by zealots unable to adjust to their neighbour.

Reading and making connections is in Religious terms required continually as it is accepting the flaws exist in mankind and we therefore need to re- associate ourselves daily in faith for the future of mankind.
At the forefront of Nazism was a belief in the principle of perfection which has never had a rational nor any element of goodness. It has been again taken by religious zealots of many diverse religions to be their own salvation without the fundamental realisation they too are flawed in the eyes of God and only God will be their salvation. It does not reside in the destruction of others.
Human nature carries in us not ultimate perfection. Our desire to express our community in societies of many shades, colours and unity is an outward expression of the inner denial. Within God resides in us.



Gerry Conlon had much to challenge God with but he chose instead to challenge his fellow man, his community, the world he knew with the ethics and believes which came to him naturally from his beliefs in the principles of good. This is perhaps a commitment made in respect of the devotion given to God by his parents to their own faith. Though in prison his mother prayed every day of his detention to God for his release and for justice to be found. Through the extraordinary devotion of his advocate Gareth Pierce who maintained the unparalleled presence of social care and support he undoubtedly needed after 15 years of intolerable hurt and harm.
Gareth Pierce acted selflessly in maintaining the connection with those she secured justice for. Finally at rest in paying tribute to his life and extraordinary tenacity she spoke about his having departed this life victorious. Gerry Conlon left this temporary world with his dignity and integrity intact.

Chinese Puzzle : A Film Review

imageDirector Cedric Klapisch. France/USA/Belgium 2013 Cert,15 . 1hr 57mins.
Following 2002 Pot Luck and 2005 Russian Dolls.

Riveting Romantic Comedy
If you see this third component in the lives of the people who met up on an exchange apartment share back then, 2002, in Barcelona you will want to see those earlier ones to feel linked to the still complex story of the characters we meet and engage with in Chinese Puzzle.
The earlier ones are a shade over two hours long so this is a breeze at slightly under. It actually is so well made and engrossing with scene after scene beautifully spoiling us in its visual spree and with us quickly taking in the subtitles;often hindering a complex story for some, it shines as great cinema should, given the portrayal by the whole ensemble is clever, strong and emotionally convincing throughout. There are no dips no summits of pivotal story quenching incident but it travels at a pace with a barely visible weave of the approaching story delivering keynotes subtly and without bombast or fussy cinema.
Third part a Chinese Puzzle
This is 2013 and this shows the development of the cast in their lives and a return for the actors to a significant pin on the CV each having grown strongly through it is reward we witness.
I have not seen the previous ones yet and now intend to.
Seeing this one thus, is for reviewing purposes, therefore a bit premature but I can report that this film can be fully satisfying entirely on its own. As a stand alone it is as wonderful without too much dependency on the past. It happened and has bearing but the trick all can see is to delight in the actions and lives interacting in the present tense. The act of living, of embracing consciousness is even more distinct and valuable than a slight looking over the shoulder at other moments. One of the films lessons and directors motivating intentions of which it is clear in word and vivid in light.

What happened is gone and gone is gone.
Every so often Director Cedric Klapisch positions a philosopher – Schonberg is one or Mengel, – in a scene. They enter someone’s bedroom, living room and sit to recollect their writing, leaving suddenly on the wisp of one of their famous bon mots received by us comedically as a Bon marche.
This simultaneously questioning of the philosophers art and their period of life discovery reflects on how they functioned as writers particularly as our eponymous central friend Xavier, Romain Duris is cast as a writer, a successful one with the pen and less so in sustaining relationships with a beautiful cast of women.
My own phrase then or borrowed somewhere is apt “How you arrived here is not what will takes you there”. He relies on his writing to the detriment of self awareness. The relevance of the past is a writers relevance, full of recorded anecdote and nuances of less value than he realises when life comes to shove.
The fundamental things apply but the hoarding of memories for all these people, these friends, is mostly an obstacle to their current selfs meeting again as recorded portraits that clearly have altered inside and out.
Each belongs to a maturity not held back then.
Xavier is not self obsessed rather he is blinded to those around him and their needs. This youthfulness is now for him disappearing as the lives of others become solidified, become deeper and more intuitive.
Where he has been is a formidable array of experiences without which he is not Xavier. The aged Xavieris accomplishing reconciliation with the lives parallel, alongside his and the narrative of his story is told partly now through the directors chosen optic of the philosophers as bedrocks, treated with optimistic naivety as a kind of reflection on Xavier. It acts as a go-between device but is overcast by other film elements. It diminishes his character though or undermines it slightly in filmatic terms. Besides philosophers put rocks to trip over occasionally I contend and this is one way of showing it I suppose.

New Block for the Kids
The film begins with a new encounter with Isabelle, Cecile de France who appeared as a gay before and here she is energised, hot – I confess I don’t know what the ‘testosterone’ on the SRY gene front, equivalent is for you women, (has it an antonym!?) – she has lots of it and is still as kooky as ever having a proposition for Xavier which is itself a bit outside the box for him than his liberal mind might accept. Ju is Isabelle’s partner and a good catch. Such is the strength of the cast this works out for all concerned. Ju does the go-between angel bit constantly with no sides to her and is like a cool mistress to all.

Xavier likes propositions as it fuels his writing genes and fatherhood genes. This melting pot is his life and you might say his creation.
This proposition kind of acts as a catalyst for the breakdown of his marriage.
For ten years and having brought up two lovely kids, (other kids are available as screwed up by their parents!) so his lover Wendy, Kelly Reilly decides its over as she confesses to having found an alternative on a trip to NYC.

His editor who appears in the film via. Skype frequently often has meaningful conversations on the novel development technique while conceiving in Xavier’s mind a confused reality of fact and fiction somewhat cumbersomely filmwise.
Actually his editor reminds Xavier of this at a significant point underpinning the films philosophy. Natural, moral, metaphysical you choose, and we all embrace the sentiment though some earlier than others.

Above us only Sky
Xavier understandably is distraught and he decides to follow his kids and exploratory gene by following Wendy to New York and to sort out his life.
The Up town, Down town vibe kicks in and this NYC world of contrasts provides visually stunning filmic opportunities. You would have to be pretty dumb not to be able to feast on this tapestry of life visually. So we get it framed beautiful most times. The NYC is the new safe NYC so the ease of life fits into the cradle of the kids and they make new friends as does Xavier.

The philosopher in Xavier discovers the city streets and when his estranged father makes a visit they walking jointly find the ones that baulked the pattern. Xavier finds himself of the downtown with everyone seeking the uptown and has visions of the people wanting to live closer to the sky. Cedric Klapisch takes time to show us the NY real estate growing and the avenues like well turned pages in a book.

Xavier gets almost biblical in adoring this concept. Inside it is as if he is citing “I cried to The Lord with my voice and he heard me from His Holy hill “
A good point to mention All Souls New York 1163 Lexington Avenue, New York where you are as likely to find true faith and meet acceptance as anywhere in New York. The Church the L’Wren Scott funeral took place from is St Bartholomew’s and fitted the Anglican doctrine of Jagger it seems, is also in Manhattan.
New York Mix
Martine, Audrey Tatou has hit it big in France and having upset her apple cart, left with two kids, with ambition fueling her drive for business, succeeds and we see her met Xavier after Skype conversations, catch ups when she comes to New York but clearly works as Xavier creates great material. out the jewel in the China Tea crown.
Her modus operandi brings one of the funniest and brilliantly absurdities of East mets West in the West in a boardroom to the widescreen. It is I hope going down well with the Chinese.
Their custom, another aside, when assigning you a dining table is to place you according to their assumptions of your status. Is it suit, clothing, dress, cleavage, clean shaven, demeanour, what is being scrutinised?
So if you do not go up as many floors as the building has dining rooms then you not número uno.
We see Martine high up in the city skyline. No connection but it is also the place where Wendy has homed in on by finding herself a sweet John who happens to be rich. Goldman Sachs anyone? PWC? Credit Suisse?

Xavier needs and wants New York as his kids are everything and they adore him despite this landfall change. Resilient as they come. He perhaps, as he realises at times, looses out through engaging his mind in a fantasy fictional form. By meeting with so many women from his past he also gets a run down from each and in concert they prescribe remedy..
The whole menagerie of relationships becomes more complex, a mention by Martine of “You haven’t been to China” true, summons in me a what does she mean moment, as she addresses the complexity question. On reflection since the Ming period nothing is more complex than China. When Xavier has on his journey as a cycle courier around the city streets found his mojo he then using a taxi for once and helps out boldly a Chineseman who is very, along with his family, very grateful. This brings on board more insane slapstick and some very endearing episodes in which Cedric Klapisch brings us the kaliedescope of the world in all three films. Martine brings her kids on a trip which has them loving the place and they befriend the Wendy, Xavier children. This is the colour and breadth of the film. Showing all the itinerant lives, no matter how so fixed, interweave and respond evaluate and coalesce into the strange bewildering motes of life.
It is as though the nomad mind is one of a pastoral wayfarer.
Be on time
There is a cameo for product, some aforementioned but I wish to give a big Hello to the Airport bus from Chinatown. It sits patiently awaiting various hellos, Goodbyes and is itself a focus of our vision of NYC. It goes by the name of FUNG WAH BUS. There it is in bold caps.
It is a nice friendly character that bus and driver.
If you run you might catch it and it cements itself in our hearts every time or is it just me who knows the cut off buses often mean.

Conclusion. 4 ####.
Having seen only this one so far it materializes as 4/5 but it may be stubborn and grow and grow if it happens to summon emotions quickly repeatedly and heartfelt as it must for many.
The players are great, some you may not fully be struck with as characters but they lift the directors vision of our nonalleic genes predisposing all of our kind to this kaladescopic life – achieved in 6hrs 8mins. Often I wonder if this includes the titles. Even the score is brilliant as it is the proper sometimes funky soundscape while only a few things in my mind don’t exactly make it, the early use of cartoonish shorthand and graphic indulgences, meaningful as they depict the present era but in time possibly an irritant.
Cedric Klapisch gets 5/5 for direction and realising this decade + long project and the casts commitment truly pays all dividends.
Being called a Riveting Romantic Comedy, my first para. simply does not do it Justice.
See it and be enteralled.

In fact see ALLthree.

A way of doing this is to see the following screenings

Pot Luck on QFT Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 June 2014
Russian Dolls on QFT. Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 June 2014


Chinese Puzzle on QFT Friday 4 July through to Thursday 10 July 2014

John Graham

25 June 2014


Cold in July : A Film Review

image Film Directed by Jim Mickle co-written with Nick Damici  Set in East Texas 1989

Guns make people bleed

Michael C. Hall takes the role of an East Texas small business owner who in this re-telling of a 1989 novel of the same name by Joe R. Lansdale goes by the name of Richard Dane in what is know in cinema lore as a neo noir film. He is a married man with a young son and one summer night at home they hear a noise which gets him up and armed with lethal effect as he sort of accidentally spreads the organs of the intruder over his sofa. Enter some musical homage later as the clean up commences. You would be a changed man (or woman) if something of that order happened to you and what bits is that , the metamorphic hyper sensation of the chemical change brought about in his veins and cerebral cortex.

The People

The Everyman is altered and some hobos come along for the ride though a you shouldn’t call Sam – take me seriously – Shepard that nor should you call Melanie Griffiths ex, coincidently recently split with Desperadoes Antonio Banderos. the early ex (twice over) Don Johnson hobos but character actors with leather soles and weathered hangdog hobo looks. This time Johnson either wants to upstage the other two dudes with a crimson Cadillac plated red bitch, as he strides around on his well kept frame like an Austin actor free on the road which in fact is a disguise for him as a private detective based in Houston. He turns in a gritty well thought performance only occasionally getting his jeans and rodeo shirt marked. Once a bit painfully but he often gets the best lines and is fastest to the point ensuring his own safety and that of anyone he takes into his confidence. The saving each other’s ass is a bit hokum, later in the film they have to look out for each other. For an atmosphere of parallel worlds and second identities this cosy ness is a bit fake given the dark arts, the violence which will unleash the more they uncover. The co writer takes a cosy role of bent trusty (not) cop. They also hook a few jokes into the works as, in common with this sort of movie replet with the bigger names they try a little comedy to ease our guilt in consuming this tarnished and grotesque unreality. The real world being vein rich in its gruesome violence.

The Unlikely Connections

Shepard is the father of the ‘apparent’ wasted human life taken by Hall. Suspenseful it is, as this narrative plays out and the hateful character of the apparent wasteful ones dad makes the Everyman’s family life a misery and his misplaced mission; the usual tale – I failed you in life son but I won’t fail you in death – is a kind of twisted logic given in many cinematic sorties.

Trio come together

Johnson, goes by the name Jim Bob, is called upon by his long time friend and fellow war veteran Ben when it occurs to Ben at Rich’s insistence. The story is plausible to Jim Bob and after a couple of days he returns with the wise shrewd head neither of the other two possess and marshals a plan. The three are thoroughly now into a whole different ball game and this crucial change targets us to figure each’s motives. The closeness of the Two veterans is obvious and underlined in the script.


The whole Everyman character is the stick or twist fish out of water Rich persona. While making up the odd tale for Vinnessa who gets to act, shamefully for this consummate Everywoman Actor, who displays all the heartfelt emotion Rich keeps internalized and out of her view. she plays the role as one none the wiser but cutting him a bit of slack because Rich has become part of the man she hoped was inside. This due as earlier events were clearly real and close to terminal. She does know the cost just yet except reminds Rich of the ironmongery bill for the added house security!

Role supplanted

It shades out the lovely Vinnesa Shaw whose bit role as wife to the now differently mental used Rich. She could have had a thing or two to tell us about Richard that he didn’t know about himself. Richard happens to inwardly see fault in himself, not a proper male maybe, as this reality of killing someone has for him brought out the maleness and a violent side which both sexes are required to suppress and do so successfully as it is what progresses society and is the wish of God who empowers us to be peaceful human beings if only were able to.

Nature of violence

So many make contact with this vengance filled hysteria and irrationality. Of the nations the dangerous destroy the peace keepers. Look at the new fueled sectarian hatred created by the inflicted separatism brought about by Britain and the US in Iraq whose plan of maintaining separation was one Iraq was (like Northern Ireland) never going to solve with false representational Government and no strategic talking and restitution. The petrol cowboy claimants now at the forefront already with many stolen cash filled war chests have enough to start a new fascist regime. These people are the same as the Wests directors of Wars and they destroy their peoples futures, the future of Everyman, and Woman. They have taken myth as Northern Ireland, religiousity, and forgotten the truth claiming for their ‘people’ this revenge seen in this film as a pattern of deranged minds.


Without being too theologian it reminds me that Jesus in the Gospel found HIS knowledge of God the Father, HIS Father held not the flesh as the source but the knowledge within. This lesson even learnt by no less than Leo Tolstoy but left aside by the religiously reformed and well placed Karl Marx whose interpretation left narrow paths of forgiveness and no read consciousness implicit in the Word of God. History of … Vinessa would say he is very normal and a bit broody. His emotions are suppressed most of the time and yes I suppose he would be susceptible to auto suggestion if fearful and challenged since he doesn’t communicate that well with me (Vinessa) so it plays out as a neo noir with nods to Cronenberg and Tarintino.

Parallel Worlds and Words

It uncomfortably recalls Cronenburgs The History of Violence in terms of originality. The similarity begins with the Everyman figure Michael, in The History of Violence, Tom Stall played by Viggo Mortensen and his quiet life, living with lawyer wife played by Maria Bello and their two children in the town of Millbrook, Indiana. In self defence one night at his diner he kills two would be robbers. See any similarities so far? He becomes the hero as he has also saved lives and this turns around his own sense of self and his outward identity. Instead of taking on the enforcer role he is challenged by another hobo, this time replace Sam Shepard with menacing mysterious almost lookalikey Ed Harris. The psychology is the same if the responses somewhat different but it is a shoehorn half baked tale of immersive pandering to violence and this time it goes so far as to assert itself as being A HISTORY it is oven cooked rougher to the boil cold blooded derangement fulfilled for our sakes as a fictional tale. A fairly mediocre one at that as mister everyman (good cinema name) which has not moved the noir on to become a neo noir and is a thriller with frames cut and sprayed into disembodiment for effective squirm making from the safety of a cinema seat. We even have the change in directorial nudge courteously of the darkened night shots, well shot and framed detail, cinema period referencing and the new Motorola brick paying Jim Bob as a hokum in wonder of this great toy, the Cell. The director sets out to project cinema gore as tangible stuff, he lays on the second half what is tenderly acknowledged as ‘the truth’ in a video. Another branch of film making unacknowledged as fodder a skin away from the B movie genre. This in fact is tasteful sycophancy if not yet appreciated by the participants. One role is the appreciation. The three are therefore in a bind with the uncomfortable knowledge this other cinema fodder brings. This pivotal point is one of the memorable strikes hit by the actors. Michael C. Hall consistently the best actor, creating what is a superb role despite the neo noir imaginings, he has arrived in a new world which is familiar as deep down awareness now surfaces; he after all has been there himself and lightbulb moment, realises he has rejected the violence. This however is just the same and while trying to curtail any more premature deaths. Being in possession of this video knowledge is not a stroll in a mini cab around the A to Z of London’s streets but a perilous encounter with the Everyman village in East Texas. Life in the time of ghosts appearing in your life re-shaping Richs soul, unaccountably taking control but in a destructive way.

Two films

What we make of the early Ben father character who was in incarceration and having been released, visits the graveyard for the funeral and makes insinuations. “Nice family” kind of thing, with face pulling cartoon trigger happy go lucky kind of fellow, a bit of a hawk is not in the scope of the film anyway convincing despite it taking up the early cop chase (god forbid any suggestion the co-writer wanted frame time under trees in the pouring rain, shop visits, home visits – as he writes nothing in the later part nor explains, given his excursion what his shtik is) The Ben part is due to the script patchy but up Sams current wages street. Certainly the Ben character is the missing link which triggers Michael but need it have been so lingering on the (disappearing) cops antics. Join the mad and bad. Be resourceful and protective even if it hasn’t actually come across yet.

Pernickety Valley Finaghy East Texas

People in East Texas must get a bit browned off at this sort of caper and it is hot in summer, especially in July and dusty. There is also water and green gorgeous pastures peacefully flourishing there as a thing of beauty. Wise guys write songs and tend horses and talk hinges out in sweltering heat firing up refrigeration and air conditioning in a manner likely to cause mini climate changes but hell it blows over. It kind of is a straight jacket place with few visible sides. That is cinemas and media stereotyping denying other pioneering insights. A conspiracy can be sorted with jail or an electric chair or winging at democrats.

Conclusion 4####

This is a brave attempt at creating compelling narrative and drama around the neo noir crime and thriller Everyman through American eyes. It has pace, complexity, just believable connections, Hyde outcomes and straight jacketed stereotyping for the modern day B movie addictive movie goer. It is hot in July as we know and this film can be watched from the comfort of an air conditioned cinema. The QFT air conditioning works brilliantly, can be taken as July evening shock factor form as the outside evening cools and the evening lights near their on time. It is synthed with a modern score not overplayed and keeps your attention throughout and the Everyman character is carried off triumphantly by the abundance of nuanced and not so nuanced demands of this role. Of the others there is a lot to like about the Vinnessa Shaw character and the son even plays his part very well but it will be quite a few years before it is made known to him, we hope that the content is relatively cheerless violent provocative cinema.

At QFT. Friday 27 June through to Thursday 10 July 2014.

Enjoy summer cinema wherever you are.

John Graham

18 June 2014




July is interesting I found out from a woman who is 87 this week. She has ambitions to last beyond 100 which she tells me is quite possible if you were born around July, she stresses this important wisdom, as she knows three old – her words not mine – biddies knocking on all about 103, 104 and having a good laugh at their joint good fortune. How many replacement parts they have I didn’t ask.

East Texas is not as tough as Finaghy so the old folk must be OK out there if born into Julys cold heat. Now it is cold bloc here referred to I take it. A pun in use I surmise.

Just when the business of film making is making headway in Northern Ireland our little backwater is described by Game of Thrones executives as a Game of Thorns with a prickly undercurrent of lameness at the cosmopolitan heart so the spiel from the likes of Arlene Foster as Director of Tourism and other spin topics is not convincing.

They are destroying the arts – a massive break for Northern Ireland Screen is one thing – but the actually cultural heart of this place is being choked at its creative springs. Along with Fracking, wrecking Lough Neagh, our coastline and the destruction of our city by more demolition of cosmopolitan buildings other cities would cry out for, the Assembly is without a currency of ideas.

It seems the Film industry is embracing the unreality as much as Everyman is aware and happy to elect such careerists. There is every prospect of Golf saving everything apparently and to have a British Open Golf tournament, no sooner than 2018!!! will only cost the loss of the last two holes, as they do not accommodate the grandstands on both sides as they are. The alternative is to, of course, no pun intended, make holes one and two the last two holes and keep the topography of the idiosyncrasy unsuitable final holes into the future we hope.

The course is precisely such an acclaimed one due to its foibles and a mulligan save is needed. Don’t be putting any money on Rory McIlroy to win it as he insists he is not a Links Golfer

Revised World Cup view. Brazil will come good and win beating Germany.

Happy days.

Arts : First Thursdays

imageThe Evening Opening Routine

On the first Thursday of each month the ‘non – commercial’ galleries open on the late night shopping day, to attract the regulars and newcomers to what usually turn out to be very decent curated works. Some of it is evolving, some matured and most often it is radically opposed to the diet normally found in commercial galleries. While the commercial world has high end expenses and favoured locations with a recurring rota of artists with new ones added carefully and well highlighted work the task of providing the significant, challenging, experimental approaches, present mutation of ideas, imagination driven art is left to the so called fringe Galleries whose emphasis wish new work and practices and who tend to be heavily reliant on public support through Council delivery programmes; City, Arts, British or as elements of larger Cultural events sometimes driven directly from the DCAL patronage.

As I raised in the previous blog on 28 May Art : Perhaps on the clearly merited exhibition so short and under resourced, it is as track contrast to the multi layered ‘commissioners’ ‘specialists’ whose salaries swallow up funds that the Chairs and Boards of Studios and Independant galleries could much better create an Arts Belfast Collective. ABC? . The wider Collective taking in the similar Bangor, Banbridge, Newry, Derry, Armagh and smaller town expectations for a lively FUNCTIONING arts community.

Presently the Arts are prisoners of the inexact measurements, assessments and projections which are so far removed from the activities of the development of arts as to find itself pigeonholing directions aspirations and returns into balderdised columns and unsuitable questionable hype, ambiquious, amphiboles essays on art which I swear must be a prerequisite to secure a post on the Arts Council.

The management and platitudes serve them retaining face in the designs constructed by Governments and political choices. In the museums Art is censored and is subjective allowing very little narrative, just is art. This is how WE define art. The F.E.McWilliams gallery debacle is another case of censorship. The closet anyone came in the media to raising the possible presence of censorship came from an opinion piece writer whose ‘article’ in the Belfast Telegraph made little attempt at asking, understanding the Ulster Museums narrow window of ‘Troubles’ Art. The article was merit less and conversely speaks a great deal of the lack of arts education and adult appreciation of this extremely important part of our civilisation. What the artists who receive the least support and assistance.

One or two well publicized announcements of scholarships, awards, bursaries are not enough and are tokenism by the Arts Council and their masters. In the Arts : Perhaps series there is clearly a misapprehension of the value of education when all the authorities are interested in are the numbers and through-put. The support once graduation ends is minimal and not in keeping with the necessity for placements and life long learning.

The film industry has through its own valuable networking reached very high through its own capacity to communicate. it is in a communications business and plot material are often bread and circuses material with again few offshoots for experimental material. More prevalent, evident in France, Poland, Serbia, Czech Republic and other less well placed film industries. The difference is there is a cultural and educational belief which is wide spread in those ‘other’ places and though blood – Game of Thrones, Dracula, The Fall etc usually sell hence the indulgence chasing the dollar if not the explanation. The Humanities face problems in Belfast and Northern Ireland as they do in other nations. Queens University Belfast is classified as a STEM university and its Humanities Institutes have taken a hit in the recent decade. The persuasive element they apparently hold is with regard to Conflict Resolution.

Despite the conflict here being unresolved with successive regimes reliant on outsiders to step in and act as caretaker without any idea of the necessity of local dialoguer only; the preferred option is to create the appearance of peace while tearing any prospect of it apart while various selfish agendas are followed. The Universities are no different and despite the Arts being a discipline which has over many lifetimes delivered despite the smallest of real inward support, it is found again at the highest education level to be considered immaterial.

Never has the lack of Arts been pushed away from the basic level of education. Its fate has been to contain its overt significance in a middle tier strategy which will receive its patronage from the middle and corporate sectors and become a toy mechanic of culture with little expect for indigenous creativity. Art Education has been reformed into a Government – Society contrived symbiotic relationship which has all the intensity of falseness. The pupils who take on any part of the Humanities are the epitome of what is best among the civilized universe.

The new artists; despite the self destructive regimes of economic partisanship the leverage they create,  is bought up and sold back to the populus in assemblages of perceived value. The ability of science to apply technologies advances are themselves shifting and becoming democracised by new generations whose expectations have splipped off the constraints Governments unwieldingly pursue in response to elections and unrepresentative mandates.

The new generations of Artists deploy and collaborate much more effectively than ever, movements of Artists are currently, for example, unifying, signing up together to secure exhibition fees whenever they are sought to put their work into the public arena as a cultural component. the days of exploitation by Cultural institutions advancing their own niche is going to change with residency programmes, pooling of post- graduate and non graduate resources which hopefully will turn around the bureaucracy, the extremely inefficient, underachieving quasi political dinasors of the Arts Council and its relatives.

Catalyst Arts 5 – 20th June 2014

Just to relate some of the material present – the Ormston House quartet of artists from Limerick have put together a space responsive exhibition on light and sculpture.


All that remains to be seen is Jamin Keogh’s work in the side room.

In darkness 15 a4/size approx. light boxes contain transparencies each with bodily or oblique images relating to human fabric. It requires you to walk in the darkness along the line circling the room evident of other people also navigating and some stopping for periods to reflect on the images. Some sound is discern able but it is unclear. This forced engagement metaphorically speaks of the certitude death becomes which is a stimuli represented by having no choice if wanting to engage but to walk the line.


Untitled 12 x 650 amp lights, stands, sensor, 2014. by Elaine Leader


It is the first piece encountered as it is in the main front space. With it being on an open evening there is much more gained discussion wise as so many people encounter it at once. The conflicting experiences of this sensor operative piece is illuminating. That is what it is – again in darkness a necklace of studio lamps each with heavy wattage, each about five feet tall – all light up the entire space when someone or two enter the circle where at a point central they activate the lights. The he sensory overload comes to each differently and is compelling in its active destabalising or affirmation of the living experiment. Whether the number of people is influencing your response remains to be seen on another day.

Network by Paul Quast


Is a work with neodymium magnets, fluorescent tubes. A corner of the back room, again a dark space is where the above items are located. The box on the floor is the dynamic – see science box for explanation – it activates a pair of fluorescents burning off attained energy controlled by the box. The effect is strobe like and only a little disconcerting with other experience combining to loosen fear or tentative viewing. It is in fact quite neighborly and only its lack of functionality is of consequence.

Wardrobe by Lorraine Nesson Wardrobe,

Is mirrors, lights, 2012 A beautiful Mahogany Double cased Wardrobe sits off centre in the last darkened space. It is as if arriving at a dislocation of a temple as the lights wind round each space defining its back edge into which is transplanted a mirror to each ‘chamber’. The light if reflected in repeated diminished perspective into the vanishing supposed container of a deep tunnel seen through the Wardrobe. Though not referenced and no teen part of conception it nevertheless imitates The Narnia Belfast Bloomfield C.S.Lewis narration as well as the other fabled adventures. This piece does not offer adventure but describes I think other dimensioned reality. It appears cathedral like and of spiritual significance in a small way.


at Catalyst Arts from 5th – 20th June 2014

John Graham 6 June 2014 Belfast

Theatre of Witness : Two Productions

imageWitnessing is the prevailing essence of the works produced by The Playhouse Derry.

The Original Stories are formed on interviews with the people who tell their own stories through this device of putting to a wider audience the meanings, perceptions, understanding, devotions and beliefs they have journeyed with while others misunderstood, misrepresented them and used them for their gain. Without this knowledge we are nowhere. We are in limbo unable to understand or turn to listen to their voices.
From out of events they come into most peoples lives and leave again unattended. They gather momentum however and gather listening each time so determined is their will that they do this not for themselves but for others and ultimately us.

One near the end puts across without any possible cause for denial that we, they must resolve these issues so those following do not have to.
This is the ancient denial which has caused continual hatred, continual lack of contrition or repentance. The denial in answering to Gods laws.
God can only forgive if the sin is shown as sin and the offence is clear in the perpetrators mind that they owe the harmed answers for their pain.

A burden is not shared by sharing it in secret. It must be borne witness to, it must be a Mea Culpa. A veneration of the absolute. The acceptance of repentance. The realisation that to ease pain honour must be given to those who felt and feel that pain.

Both of these new productions are resulting from the interviews carried out by two writers and their assistants who take their source to be the actual and the real. They are mentored in this by the experienced originator of the method of the Theatre of Witness form, Teya Sepinuk The co-ordinator for both and the Playhouse Derry is Emma Stuart.

First is

Unspoken Love by Thomas Spiers
Stories of mixed marriage in Northern Ireland, exploring issues of sectarianism, family legacy, trauma and love, performed by two mixed marriage couples.

Most people know of a mixed marriage either in their own family or in their community. It is still carried forward by the sectarianism that is rife within the Church, churches which refuse to believe their is only one God and worship therefore should not divide into industrial sized businesses with a set of company policies. It is often the case that unbaptised couples cannot be married in a Church they would otherwise worship in, or that their race prevents them from having their marriage union witnessed within their community of friends. Co-religionists , secular, atheist and others attend Church weddings and in France the Church is not required to participate in marriage functions, it being the nation which performs witness ceremonies.

In America ‘To kill a mockingbird’ more than pointing to a base and prejudicial trial of a black man defended by a white man, was in fact a display of America’s inability to accept cross racial sexual relations and foremost therefore in denying the possibility of marriage between races. The segregation in the film played on the interracial sexual tension at a poor class based level. It ignored the equality implicit with marriage which probably came out of the mores of white racists from Britain, Ireland, Germany, other European settlers whose fear then became the mainstay of the widespread sectarianism practiced by the Evangelist today, without acknowledgement of Gods own word.

The prejudice in Unspoken Love is told by the performers of their own communities turning against them “letting the side down” sending a couple hate letters. The Catholics sending Mass cards and sympathy cards showing the degree of their own embitterment and hatred they had been taught to exercise by their piers and in their families. It came following a time when each religion would look out for one another, live on the same street, would get medicine or shopping. Then the persons for whom life divisions paid handsomely, the leaders of industry, enclaves of voters, Republicans and Unionists whose identify amounted to a coloured piece of cloth for which many of their predecessors had died and who are not here to speak of the valueless death that became them.
Unspoken Love
There are Jo and Roly McIntyre who are alone together. Roly tells of his adopted upbringing by his Grandma who replaces his mother and speaks of his absence of a father. He talks of this isolation before marriage and the hurt it caused. Finding himself the subject of the attention of Jo one night he is bound up in love from the very start as the each find a soulmate as well as a partner for life. Jo has from the age of 14 been without a mother. It had taken her a long time to consider her own life and her father she gets along with though he too suffers eventually grave il health. This broadens the resolve of each of them as it does the tenderness felt, along with the sorrow woven in the instrument of the play. The stories themselves are cross community pictures showing the idiocy of even remarking on this amidst the immensity of the all important love found.
The most important legacy is the listening. Listening to each other and hearing through gesture and their bodies reflections of each other the unspoken fears and worries contending with them everyday. There are too many single lines and revelatory passages to become a reporter of the words, the performers create the feelings within the words and project them as you are unlikely to see in conventional theatre.

Witnessing is the embracing human condition we find ourselves joining in with those willing to tell us of their lives and the passage of feelings from stage to audience and back again is vivid yet soft and unseen, as the waves of emotion drift in and out celebrating these people hoping parallel and not so parallel influences will keep the path narrow and straight for all of us who take heed.

There is Sharon and Stephen
It is an altogether different story. It has however been marked by the same vile old prejudices which some pass off in the name of religion.
While there is faith however their is hope and also knowledge these people are not right, that God shows us a better and wiser way.
If you are born into a certain background which the parents have chosen to bring up their family, it creates sometimes immediate differences that set you out from your friends. If the son of a policeman, even one retired through injury, it still allows others to make ridiculous assumptions, to conjure up an outlet for their embitterment and prejudices.
That is what appears to have happened in the early part of Stephens life but he is the victim of an immense tragedy when he is reaching adulthood, at 18. The intensity of feelings are drawn out by Stephen as he relates this passage of his life, his real life again here remembered and shared as a symbol of human cost. He shared meeting Sharon much the same way Jo and Roly met, more or less in an instant deciding a future together was what each wished for most.
The same outpourings of hate came, the same narrowing of friends and some very unexpected calls, again “you are letting the side down” from people you would least expect it from which Sharon speaks of.
In the telling of these stories is everything, as the memory is untroubled by doubt, it is recollection taked out of the body as the body has kept it.
No room for hypocrisy as it would have no place in the mind after this.
It is a priceline to be a witness for them and to listen to their testimony.
Many passages are difficult to take in as they are portrayed matter of factly and cause us to be even more deeply. It meets you in reflection and strikes a chord within, remaining there.

The masters of plays, let’s leave out William Shakespeare as he himself stopped writing plays lest his hidden catholic upbringing and own faith challenged the authority he often rallied against. In the subject of religion he would begin in his plays forcefully, whenever – and it seldom surfaced – and took it along becoming more secular, less concerned with the fixity religion pronounced. He preceded the enlightenment and the reversal of fortune of the Churches setting themselves up with self glory. This anti-dote was not able to be extrapolated by Shakespeare.

Instead if you look at the work of Ibsen and in Ghosts particularly he realises we are creatures of the habits of others. While in Northern Ireland these are violent aspects, less Scandinavian they are nevertheless unresolved generation to generation.
” I am have inclined to think we are all Ghosts…not only what we have inherited from our fathers and mothers that exists in us, but all sorts of old dead ideas and all kinds of dead beliefs and things of that kind. …..and we rare so miserably afraid of the light.”
Ibsen is concerned also besides this fact of our currency with the power of ideas. If only he lived in times were there were more attentive reasons to occupy the mind than social morals and he is considered by those of his time, (though not now I would suggest; his thoughts and plays are more relevant today,) to be formulaic and with fixed rigid principles. Instead he bears fruit when it comes to the merits of heroic works and idealistic faith driven rebellion. Silence is never an option nor ignorance. The facts have to be faced and unearthing them should not disturb the universe or universal truth which is the mantra used and in shame. Hedda is neurotic in her play and morbid and when she destroys things, a vase of flowers, a manuscript she is in one possible reading, referring to her past and the power of the dead over her. Both examples of the past concerning us.
I hope she is destroying the fabric of meaningless experiences and bourgeois life’s she finds herself in. Otherwise her madness would be even harder to explain.

Second is


Our Lives Without You.
Rita Bonner, Sister of John Laverty, Eileen Corr, Daughter of Joseph Corr, Aisling Devlin, Greatneice of Alice Teggart, Pat Quinn, Brother of Frank Quinn, Alice Teggart, Daughter of Danny Teggart and Briege Voyle, Daughter of Joan Connoly.
Everyone who has watched this performance will have it engraved on their hearts, this set of lives interwoven and part of our relation to the community in which they tell of is as much our past as theirs. Part of that community is the perpetrator, the soldiers who took the lives of the ordinary people of Ballymurphy injuring many others over three days in August 1971.
There has been no holding to account for the deaths and injuries nor has there been any proper response by several Governments since that time.
The Newspapers that described the dead as armed terrorists and members of the IRA still sell newspapers to this day. They tell an untruth still, they provide a lie to justice every time they report on the Governmnt withholding the enquiry into their own acts of violence perpetrated by an Army whose job it was to protect not destroy. The psychopaths carried out random and unwarranted killings.
The terrorist is the gunman and the bomber. The terror is within their own head. The fear is the terror they have accumulated and severe reality in the thick of an unconscionable cause. The taking of live their act of terror in on themselves from which they never can escape. that they should reach a place where they have become so fearful they are themselves terrified, is a place in which Northern Ireland has occupied and continues to occupy, through the denial which goes on and on and on. The misguided and irrational belief in Amnesty is without Gods Law. There can be no peace until the truth is revealed and is explained. There is no entitlement to Amnesty of any kind and the truth has its place in the present.

Each of these testaments and voices need to clear the names of the ones that left them. They need our continued support.
For the audience memories have come back with each story most probably, of ones lost to them, the ones they will never see again.
Talk is of coffins and memories and this sweeps around the whole theatre as being so much a part of everyone
The 6 people who told a part of the larger story spoke of losses from some 40 plus years ago and campaigning this last 20 years. Of how each day is so painful as they endure the lack of faith and will for the truth to be told. They encounter daily denial by people who are contaminated once they utter the denial. People like Tony Blair, Police Chiefs, Hermon, Flanaghan, Orde, Baggott and all the Northern Ireland Secretaries of State they answered to with the latest Theresa Villiers clearly denying for her Governments sake and her own place in Government, their culpability in hiding these atrocious acts of the past and of enquiry leading to convictions.

This is what the performers live with. This gruesome sullied, tarnished, vile hypocrisy of successive Governments and state instruments which continue with denial and afford no justice in this time. They have as much responsibility as those who first called all victims terrorists and criminal in 1971. They have not stopped the lies and have no concept of Gods will or the universal laws we must abide with. This despite their false proclamation by some of being followers of Jesus and of the values they were given to cherish.

Each of the stories needs to be heard in itself from the witnesses to truth and as we are recipients of each persons testimony it becomes no place for denial. The investigations are capable of being concluded and generations be freed from carrying this burden of pain given to them by perpetrators of crime and their inner terror.

When Our Lives Without You comes to a close and the lifts rise again the whole audience rose to their feet and stood acclaiming the faith and strength of these six people in sharing their story with us over an hour and applauded them loudly and re soundly behind their fight for proper justice which is and will be only a small step towards finding humanity were it has been before abandoned.

Directed by Alessia Cartoni

The election campaign of recent days has hade many galling statements made by former perpetrators of violence and there have been others who said very stupid things.
The Department of Justice Minister came out with the idiotic claim ” This campaign has been full of Dirty Tricks.”
I would ask him are dirty tricks classified and where then does the despicable impropriety carried out by him and his assembly, to Proper Justice, of allowing Governments to hide the truth, prevent fulfillment of investigations on the Ballymurphy killings to take place be accounted for in this state. The Dirty tricks are those he has oversight on and for which the Assembly can and should force judgement on.

The 9th, 10th and 11th f August 1971 will be remembered and will never be forgotten as an act of the voilest kind by a Governments Army acting against its people.
It will never be forgotten that each successive Government put forward denials and refusal to fully investigate this.
That is until the truth is taken into account and the sustaining memory can be obtained that justice was sought and found to put this lesson behind and for it to be a burden shared by the many not the few.

John Graham

30th May 2014


The Playhouse Theatre of Witness production 2014.
Performed at various locations throughout Northern Ireland in May 2014

Jimmy’s Hall : A Film Review.

imageAt the crossroads of sllence.
The film begins with footage of America and its 1920′s.
It finishes its titles then begins as a film of some sorts with instant lamenting of two men on a trap behind a piebald pony that has seen better days.
The kaliedescope which sound brought forward is imagined by Jimmy who is one of the pair returning, sure was there never a story without someone leaving or returning along these twentieth century tales.
The two wind their way back to Jimmy’s mothers place where, it is a mystery where or if there were any others in the family, a farm once was tended.
Back in this Leitrim Jimmy is soon recalling the earlier days of the twenties when he was forced to flee after creating the hall of the title.
In it Pearse and Connelly were memorialised and it sat was ever so innocent and new to an Ireland defining its modernity by all expressive means but primarily around its lore and love of music.
Where the folklore of escapism had only little meaning in the midst of everyday hardship, these influences were possibly of a senseless trivial nature in the real live everyday patterns of survival undergone at the crossroads Ireland.

This apparently was first a play and I feel it should have stayed that way.
The cinematographer has nothing to work on, the exclamation mark expressions are sometimes ham mish while other performances are subtle. The script is not subtle and is politics for beginners, the desparate hold of state and Church is a well known fact and has been for decades, the Wall Street Crash, – LOOK LOOK SEE Loach almost exclaims Just like NOW SEE.
Isn’t is so prophetic!! Ugh?
It is as vapour rolling off a BMW sunroof in the post-tiger car park of Dublin Airport. Far much more was and is important, this shallow tale is but a tiny view on the oppression. It is insular and mediocre.
The police, the priests, their lackies are all bug eyed monsters but plainly in most cases Irishmen, including the Door smashing Northern prod cop on a mission from God, or the Tabernacle Church. Found a monster lets condem him to living somewhere else. No muscular take on how an Irishman could stoop so low against his fellow Irishman, and do they still exist, Well of course.
They want Jimmy sent somewhere less favourable than this state run for the British and landed gentry with the sanctimonious approval of the Church of Ireland (under the tutilage of the Crown supplicants) and their fellow veiled bigots The Roman hierarchy with the country, Ireland at its heart. Never mind the poor or the sacrifices made in the name of this peculiar God, the peculiar God that has them lording it over everyone, has them taking riches for the purpose of the Church, from collecting tithes, condemning people in the Lords name, visiting approbrium on them, played with apoplectic illusion by Jim Norton as Father Sheridan.
Despite all the tales from the Churches very few films, The Magdalane Laundries, Philomena actually rip into the coursing veins of Ireland’s conscience. There was of course the extraordinary Mea Maxima Culpa film by Alex Gibney, a Northern film production giving documentary homage to the current religious fortitude held for people of this earth. Since then a change has come about but things that could change immediately show no signs of actually occurring.
Jimmy’s Hall by comparison is puerile, seeking to acclaim one individual fighting against the state apparatus with a ‘penny whistle’ while the war dead of the wars fought barely get a mention. Such contradictory pale drivel is unlocked as cod politics without even showing the hatred of the others except through, ( it gets a 12years a slave erudition scene) stereotypes and cod Irishness. In the cringing scenes of ‘Jazz’ demonstrations pointed up real Irish life then A few authors down the ages must have missed the trick. At the beginning of the eighties there were around three and a half million in Ireland of which one million at least were living below the poverty line. This country was one Britain and Europe continued to ignore until the cute ones got in, Fianna Fael were not out of Government until the crash happened since independence yet the sowed the seeds of Religious wanton vileness and pure greed as mimicry. The iRish no longer being Irish but being these cod-Americans Jimmy seen back in the ’29 crash.
Barry Ward as Jimmy Gralton does his dampest, likewise Oonagh, Simone Kirby as his former sweetheart have put in splendid performances adding some emotion to the tardis that is Jimmys Hall. We’re was the war? In the dance halls of morality. Well it was in the workplace and in the new cities of young industry North and South.

This film fits into the begorrah nonsense narrative so loved by the Ireland’s Own reader in the off shore island of Britain, to the East and favoured by those directors contemplating there own separateness, less an island but a border of class difference reminiscent of their own background. Why it was made I will never know, why no one realised the subject of this bitterness has been performed in much better plays and books and covered by so many academic studies only the absent minded will have no recollection of the things Ireland has been through and a bit more alarming than this charade of escapism.

John Graham

27 May 2014