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Showing posts from March, 2013

224. LESSON ZERO IN LANGUAGE STUDY

A language is a large set of sounds that are coded. Example: bitch, beach, batch, are coded, but butch and botch are not. If you utter the first three to English speakers they will react, hear your meaning and reply... by another set of coded sounds like: fake or fuck, but fick or feek or fack are not coded and therefore not used to exchange ideas in a conversation.

1. A language is a large set of sounds that are coded.

These coded sounds are to be really accurate to be recognised to have their code deciphered so to speak. Yes, SO to speak! The coded sound is similar to a note made on a violin. If it is not just quite accurate it sounds awful and misses its purpose of making sense to the listener. Example: if I say I have put a new shit on the bed, instead of a sheet... you are sure to get a loud laugh instead of a normal reaction.

2. The coded sounds are to be really accurate to be recognised.

In order to utter these coded sounds we all have the same instruments. I mean we the human…

223. Irish Pullovers

Pullovers, some say sweaters, cardigans, jumpers. I mean knitted garments. Knitwear.

In Ireland a very particular type of sweater has been traditionally knitted for years with white natural wool in intricated patterns and stitches. Those jumpers are known in the world wherever you find Irish settlers, mainly in the former British empire.

In the late 60s I arrived in Australia married to a young Australian whose grand-parents had emigrated from Ireland around the First World War. Wearing such a jumper for him was a statement of fond attachment to the culture of his forebears. He would not let me touch his Aran jumper. It was for him a semi-sacred article of his deep rooted identity.

In continental Europe, however, in France or Germany, this knitted white woollen sweater with intricate patterns does not mean anything. You may like the idea to wear one but it has no extra meaning and above all it does not indicate identity.

I love wearing my own knitted jumpers and I love nordic designs…

222. A PLAY AND A PARADE

Last week-end was quite something. St Patrick's Day was coming up and I was keen to live the event here in Ireland. The 17th March fell on a Sunday this year.

But four or five days prior to that, as I was walking down Main Street like a lot of  Wexford people do, I saw a banner stretched across the street with publicity for a play at the Opera House for Friday night, €15 last chance. The Opera House is a very modern building right in the middle of town on High Street. I live at the very end of High Street, so I detoured and bought myself a ticket. After all... the month of March is my birthday month if I need an excuse!

The play was called 'Out of Order', a "rollercoaster ride of side-splitting comedy" the brochure said, written by Richard Willey and played by the Bridge Drama theatre group. The Opera House here has a number of small theatre stages with different names. People say they are going to the 'something' theatre which led me to think that Wexfo…

221. Suicide, let's talk about it

When I arrived in Ireland in January I fell in love with the place and I decided to settle in Wexford. Everything looked happy and rosy. People walking along Main Street, the shops, the trawlers at the wharf, the new and modern opera house, the church steeples in every directions, even the rain I liked! Settling in has not been a problem. I was able to find accommodation and open a bank account, receive an electricity bill for proof of my residence here and join a prayer group in a Christian community. In short life seemed to me to be more than bearable here.

And what do I read on the FaceBook page of the Wexford Free Press? That the suicide rate in Ireland is high and that here in Wexford many jump from the long bridge to shorten their lives.

I learned a long time ago in my anthropology studies that the most important thing in any given human society is what you don't say. The job of an ethnologist is to find out the un-said, the un-speakable. This comes out as very true here to…

220. THE WEXFORD MERMAID Act 2

Act 1 of this silly play can be found in entry 216. I LOVE IT HERE

THE WEXFORD MERMAID, a play by Frankie Perussault

Act 2

Setting: The inside of a pub with small stained glass windows, entry on the right, a bar on the left with a couple of tall stools, empty and full glasses of guinness on various tables, small groups of extras mumbling as background sound, some background music.

At a table in the front of the stage: The Young man, the Businessman, the Musician

- Musician: This is a brilliant idea but how will your bridge hold on such a distance?

- Businessman: suspended, of course, latest technology.

- Musician: What? From a satellite?

- Businessman (laughing): No! Engineers jargon. You can't understand.

Musician plays a bit of a music phrase on his violin or flute.

- Young man: From Wexford to St Malo it will have to go over Lands End in Cornwall.

His sister the schoolgirl storms in from entry door on the right.

- Schoolgirl (mad): I've been looking for you all over the p…

219. What if...

Any religion is based on a myth. - Don't go, stay with me! I am not using the word in a derogatory sense but in its fondamental meaning which is a structured story regularly revitalised and enacted by rituals. -

We all know that little Jesus was born in a barn and placed in a manger, that three kings from afar guided by a star came to visit him and how he talked to the priests for his bar-mitzvah and how he divided his loaf of bread for his last supper with his mates and how he had to carry his own cross up the hill on Golgotha.

A myth somewhere along the line is based on a true story and by 'true story' I mean a fact which took place in History. It is the case with Jesus of Nazareth. He is a historical figure. He did exist.

During the past centuries since his historical existence, while some spent time and effort enhancing the myth by declaring him a god and his mother a virgin mother of god, others worked at finding out documents and archeological evidence of his life.…

216. MARX OR JESUS

These two guys have shaped the entire western world as we know it to-day.

We live by the teachings of one or the other. Each of their visions of the world is a well structured self sufficient system of ideas, i.e. an ideology explaining the world and giving directions for individual behaviour.

I am talking to myself here trying to sort out my own thoughts.

These two guys have a lot in common. They are both "children of Israel" having had a very similar kind of education, even at some 2000 years difference. They are both rebels having analysed the current digressions of the society they lived in: the sclerosis of rituals for Jesus, the extravagant exploitation of people by the industry for Marx. They both launched their respective vision of the world through circles of friends who then explained and added and passed it on.

They were both entirely convinced of 'messianic' times, a D-day in History when the known world stops and is replaced by what they have invented: …

217. Deliver us from evil

Friday night 1 March saw a special event take place at the church of St Iberius in Main Street, Wexford, Ireland. It was a service prepared by the Christian Women of the World Day Of Prayer Interdenominational, website: www[dot]wdopi[dot]org. The theme this year organized by the French group was: "I was a stranger and you welcomed me".

I had no idea of what it was when I was given the booklet and told I was going to be Woman number 5 on the roll of speakers in this service. We were only a handful of attendants from the Presbyterian church round the corner.

This service was prepared, acted and attended by women only, not that men were banned from it but they just did not turn up. The theme was, in my view, highly political and the leaflet I found plain propaganda. That's between you and me, of course. Otherwise I do agree that you must be kind to people in general, whether they are of your family, your street, your country or not.

However my interpretation of the story J…

216. I LOVE IT HERE

I really love it here in Ireland.

People seem to have been brought up like I was! They are friendly and polite to anyone at all times, they find the good things in every bad situation and say thanks. For instance they never complain about the bad weather but they stop you in the street to mention the sunshine. In France, in comparison, people moan, complain and winge all day long. I am French though! What happened to my country? Has it slipped on a banana skin when I was not there? Or something?

I am glad to be here in Ireland. People talk to me, they don't bother about my age, they don't see my clothes before they see me. To-day for instance I was stopped by a young man as I was walking along Main Street. He wanted to tell me about Amnesty International. We talked and joked. And I went on my way. I was actually going to get some milk at the 'Supervalue' supermarket, some equivalent to the 'SuperU' in France. I got a loud good morning with a smile from the guy…