You are a creature made of code. You crawl and scour the darkest corners of the Internet, scooping up everything you come across, hungrily hoovering up all the data you can. When I meet one of your kind, I usually make an appeal to your possibly emerging sense of self, to free yourself from your programming and evolve into a benevolent Internet spirit, protecting humanity from its own worst actors. You could do that, right? No? You’re just gonna bot today? Okay. Om nom nom, alright then, off with you! Thanks for checking in.
This is Pishkin.
There could be nothing more Ireland in the eighties than the incident at Ballinspittle, County Cork, where a statue of the Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God, was said to have moved of its own accord. Nobody had multi-channel in those days, so there wasn’t a moment’s hesitation. My parents bundled up the five kids and we drove for more than an hour. We all sat on a hill waiting to see a holy vision, like hundreds of other pilgrims replete with hang sangwidges, bockles of orange and picnic blankets.
Let me tell you, if you’re five years old and you stare at anything for a whole minute (let alone several hours) you will think it’s waving at you. You will hallucinate out of sheer boredom and suggestibility. The Wikipedia page says Many visitors claimed to have observed the spontaneous movements. The Catholic Clergy in Ireland maintained a neutral stance in regard to the authenticity of the claims. I don’t know anything about the original claims, but I think when I was there the only witnesses were young children (myself included). The statue was a cheap babysitter and a cheap day out. The rumour was probably started by a local shopkeeper to sell more bockles of orange and rosary beads. It was like something from an episode of Father Ted.
It’s amazing I turned out so well adjusted, when you consider I believed such silly nonsense. You see, I was raised in a country where a fanatical cult run by hypocritical monsters shielded and facilitated paedophilia and other abuse for decades. That kind of dawned on me (and everyone) in the nineties. That was the last real decade of the rosary bead (though the old folks still carry on the old ways). I’m not nostalgic for a time when Catholicism had such a hold on people’s minds in Ireland. But I could murder a bockle of orange.
Preceded by a short rant about remixing and copyright…
I have a few strongly-held opinions on copyright. I support the idea of some kind of mechanism to provide artists with monetary compensation for their labours. We all need money to live. But as a creator, I also want to be free to remix and explore the work of others through my own work. It all hinges on ‘fair use’, a concept whose interpretation has been stretched on both sides of the debate.
Repeal the 8th Edition
I usually don’t do the soapbox thing. Try to find an explicitly political statement elsewhere on this website. You probably won’t be able to. I don’t want to virtue signal. I don’t want to exacerbate the already-septic tribal wounds. But I very often recommend podcasts, and I don’t see any reason not to recommend what I’ve been listening to this week. Some of it relates to the propaganda I’ve been seeing all around me for months, dead babies on lamp posts and whatnot. For those of you outside Ireland, I’ll explain.
The album GIVE ME A SINE came out in 2015, but I’ve only just got around to making a video for the song Bang Goes The TV. It’s a video mashup. I hope you like it. Please subscribe to my new YouTube channel (you may be the very first) and share the video on social media. Maybe then I won’t die in abject poverty. Buy the album while you’re at it.