Monday, September 21, 2009

The Lisbon Treaty– An Inferior Monologue

The Last Lines of James Joyce's Ulysses

Friday 2nd October 2009

…oh yes to continue before 'Bertie' Athene’s sparrow sitting high in the rafters spoils suitors’ darts let me bring an end to my wantonness concerning the forthcoming parley on the Lisbon Treaty and yes deny ‘Blazes’ Ganley and other lesser and yes more selfish lovers of their opportunistic ride of Erin’s Bloom for yes surely it is a bull of an ideal personified by and strangely yes in a stage-managed way also by the physicality or yes the lack of it of ‘Poldy’ Barroso and yes I will put my arms around him and hear his heart go ‘mad’ for he will say yes it is federalist yes it creates concerns about Irish neutrality if we were ever neutral in anything yes it does embrace a common foreign policy yes by Zeus it is an abrogation of Europa's will yet yes I will announce him home light the fires and wash the dirt-slung away because yes it is the best of perfumed intentions yes the best of possible outcomes but paramount it is a consolidation of our love and thus

yes I said yes I will Yes.’

A version of this blog was published in the Irish Medical Times on the 2nd October 2009, the date of the referendum. Thankfully the majority of the Irish electorate voted 'Yes'. Now for 'Poldy' Barrosa get the Czech and Polish governments to complete the ratification.

Friday, September 04, 2009


Dead Slow is a nautical term used to indicate the very slowest a ship or boat progresses forward or backwards (ahead or astern) without actually stopping. The derivation and usage is as old as the earliest shipping along the coasts of the Mediterranean, perhaps even as early as 3500 B.C.E.

Most shipping in antiquity was entirely intimate to the coastline and the distance travelled depended on the winds and the manpower energy capable of being expended. When a galley entered the estuary of a river discharging into the sea the freshwater often formed a layer, without mixing, over the denser saltwater below. This type of water was known as ‘dead water’ because it was very difficult to maintain momentum and speeds would slow to a ‘dead slow’ pace. The term remains in usage today and in modern shipping terms equates to about 6 knots speed.

The term could equally and as aptly be applied to the tidal flows of human emotions. There are moments in our lives when a sudden surge of ‘freshwater’ stimulus creates an unmixed layer above the ‘saltwater’ and understood density of normality, of daily existence. Unexpectedly, for a little time, instead of speeding up your responses, your desires slow to a stop, unable to maintain momentum, unable to comprehend what is happening. Then the ‘dead water’ clears, purchase is regained, a way is found and often you speed up to regain lost time.

When a ship or person is at ‘dead slow’ they are at their most vulnerable.

Pirates of the sea and the soul know this is the moment to strike.