So is there anything new in a new year
The pain of 2020 subsided into the reality that was a bizarre 2021 but for us in the west we are lucky. Hard to think of it as luck when it seems that life’s freedoms are being eroded to save lives but the sense of place and belonging that many of us cling to in democratically societies is one of value and worth.
I’ve been at three funerals since Christmas Day rang it’s sleigh bells. 3 occasions of pure sadness where life’s worth was placed in a magnifying glass. All 3 people had put value into their time on earth, they had created worlds where others felt welcome. They belonged. That is a gift of life and whether we can drink in a pub beyond 8pm or not we can still give value.
Of course through the melancholy I have immersed myself in the arts. I watched enthralled at the latest Spider-Man and went back over some old Marvel superhero movies. Nothing beats the original Batman in my opinion but Joaquin Phoenix in The Joker is probably the best acted supervillain I have seen. To support cinemas I also went to see Inherent Vice during the week. Again Phoenix does rise above the ashes with a remarkable performance in a film I can’t get to grips with. I left it, similar to some other occasions and conversations during the past year, wondering what was that all about. I’ve still no idea whether I enjoyed it or not.
Music wise I’ve gone back to Iron Chic. I’ve got new sounds but the representation of friendship and emotion in their You Can’t Stay Here album is just special. Brings me close to tears most times when I listen to it. A bit like when I really contemplate life and death.
Book wise Christmas has been one of sport and inspiration. Game of my life was A great to accompany me watching the Darts on tv. Various retired Dublin players talking of their greatest game and me remembering being there with loved ones, some no longer here, made it a special read.
So Christmas week and the opening of 2022 became about antigen tests. As a nation we have started sticking buds up our nose and throat as we try to master the art of Coronavirus testing. Reading the regulations have become like what I imagine college lectures are like and at times it feels like you might need a PHD in Government guidelines to understand what is expected. What exactly is a close contact? What do they need to do again? Life has become a web of contradictions but as Spider-Man tells us let’s be careful out there.
A big talking point in ireland this week was the introduction of minimum unit pricing for alcohol. For someone who has an irrational hatred of alcohol you would think I’d be happy. Maybe. I was straight edge when it didn’t exist. Back then I was called a square, now I’m just dry. It is something that still effects me as a 53 year old. I hate alcohol and can’t quantify exactly why. When people talk about “lovely” drinks I nearly break our into a cold sweat. “How can it taste nice, it’s an intoxicant”, my puritanical self inwardly screams. Whenever we are asked to look at ourselves and say what we would like to change I think of this for me. But then , as Chron Gen would sing, you’ll never change me. However I don’t think taking away cheap booze from people whose disposable income is low to start with is the solution. Don’t get me advocating about it. I’m too passionate and get upset talking about it. For now, I will continue with my fizz bags and being the brunt of comments. Maybe one day they will stop.
May 2022 bring you many Happy days