tag : bright yellow-green apples: getting back into the swing

"I see little point in persisting in a discussion with one so obstinate as you" Martin White

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

getting back into the swing

Wherein Joaquin curls his lip to an extraordinary degree

Last week's trip to the green hills of Northern Ireland, to join my Mary, was wonderful. She's already reviewed some of our goings-on, which I would mostly sign off - though with perhaps a slightly different perspective at times - such as how well Devlin handles the lady in Notorious! We were accompanied by Rach on a friendly tour of Belfast's avant-guard and rather crazily religious haunts. I got a vision of the substance-infused community that is Armagh college's studentdom, as I accompanied Mary to her ball in the role of arm candy. We bought insanely sweet Polish foods and rosary beads. Walked the fields, saw films aplenty, of which the most notable was...

After the Pride and Prejudice viewing last year, Walk the Line was definitely more of an anti-romantic movie. Johnny Cash may have been a rather brilliant musician and songwriter, but there were no allusions that he was a good man as well. He could have been a lot better to his wife and kids than leaving them behind for his singing and for June Carter, but he was fearsomely good on the stage - and this wasn't detracted by his personal background. We cannot demand that artists are good people, but that they make good art.


Blogger mary said...

to any orange order mafia reading, the rosary beads were...er...for a friend...

11:41 PM  
Blogger postliberal said...

Well saved there - that should cover your tracks.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Rach said...

Sorry, as the person who accompanied the pair of you on this shopping trip I was forced to tell the Orange Order - I was lucky to escape with my life after having to admit I went into the shop! :P

Wee Jonny and Big Jonny will be round to visit you both shortly.

6:09 PM  
Blogger postliberal said...

Rach, you snitch ;P I should've known, when you declined to buy any kitsch saintly tockens from the lovely Irish ladies.

If they do, I'll be ready to greet 'em with a bottle of holy water.

12:49 AM  
Anonymous RobertB said...

I take it then you visited the `Holy Shop' on Chapel St, opposite the grotto? It seems to be the chief city centre source of catholic kitsch (the sources of protestant kitsch are too numerous to mention), and sells dirt-cheap tertiary relics.

(If not, I'd be curious to know where else in Belfast to buy rosaries.)

1:25 AM  
Blogger postliberal said...

You and Rach'll know Belfast best, being of that locale, so I'm sure you've got very place we were at - it's an intresting shopping area, with all manner of subcultures catered for (including them goth types). I was even vaguely temped by the holy oil, associated with various shrines...

4:25 PM  
Blogger Rach said...

lol! Yes Robert! That's where they took me. I won't be able to watch the Orange Order Parade with them same thoughts again. It's the one beside Castle Court/one street over from the Faith Mission book shop! When they told me that they wanted to buy rosaries that was the place I immediately thought of - the place my mum walks so quickly past!


7:04 PM  
Blogger postliberal said...

We've had that particular whim for some time now, and decided to put our feet down while in the Belfast. Thanks, again, for guiding us to a suitible locale - against all the instincts of your sound protestant heritage! ;)

12:54 AM  
Anonymous RobertB said...

Yup, that's where I was thinking of. The chapel opposite is apparently the oldest RC church in Belfast (and, it's pleasingly told, half the money to build it came from local protestant donors); the attached Lourdes Grotto fascinated me as a child: a blaze of colour, but not exactly anything you'd find in one of `our' churches!

I trust Rachie took you both along to the Faith Mission afterwards to counterbalance your papistical leanings ;-)

P.S. Don't forget to have your new rosaries blessed by a priest. In the cause of ecumenism I asked a baptist minister to do mine...

2:44 PM  
Blogger postliberal said...

We got to see that place, too, with all its mountains of tracts and Christian self-help literature! It's hard to work out which of the two establishments is scarier, in retrospect.

You're right about the blessings - it's summit that only came to mind the other day when I was skimming through a nice old copy of The Key of Heaven (a fairly retrograde, but still often poetical, little prayer manual) that I found in Matlock's Save the Children a few weeks ago. I'll see if our minister goes in for such things...

3:13 PM  
Blogger Rach said...

Hehe! They've destroyed my pure protestantism :P

But they were taken into Faith Mission - where they blissfully looked over the Cookie(?) tracts.

The Protestants gave money towards building the chapels to keep their RC workforce happy.


5:55 PM  
Anonymous RobertB said...

The Death Cookie
(*LINK WARNING* seriously offensive/blood-boiling content. Click at own risk.)

...and now Rachie goes and deflates my illusions about those (seemingly?) nice c19th Belfast protestants too :-(

On a happier note, which were these strange modern art galleries Mary mentions? I've likely never heard of, never mind visited, them, but I might like to someday.

6:41 PM  
Blogger Rach said...

lol! I remember those from our little trip to that shop too.

Sorry Robert but it was a case of them just wanting more productivity.

It was the Ormeau Baths Gallery - up beside Broadcasting House. However, Mary said something about it closing since our visit!


10:05 PM  
Blogger mary said...

god, don't get me started.


robert, we found the most lovely modern artsy place, on ormeau avenue, called the ormeau baths gallery. even rachie, our resident belfast expert, didn't realise it existed. it's just up the road from the bbc, near the spring and airbrake where me and laurence saw a killer saxophone band in october. BUT apparently not many others must've realised it existed as well, because it wasn't bringing in any income so the arts council withdrew their funding and promptly closed it on wednesday. the protest didn't even make it on newsline! with the ulster museum closing for three year refurbishment soon, belfast will have no decent sized exhibition space. it's scandalous, and i feel abandoned in a cultural desert...

...which is why you need to return here, so me and you and rachie can form our little cultural trio once more! :P i greatly enjoyed introducing you to augustine, getting heckled by passers by, and looking at bongs in fresh garbage. oh, the memories!

thanks also for your rosary enlightenments...i've already prayed to mary with an unblessed rosary, i'm hellbound for sure!

11:17 PM  
Blogger postliberal said...

Ahh I remember that tract as being one of the most archetypally brilliant Chic publications - it has everything you could want in one, from paranoia to inane caricatures!

11:26 PM  
Blogger postliberal said...

I've done a little research about Ormeau Baths Gallery, and there's some interesting stuff on the Arts Council website about the recent closure, which is worth reading. Not least the final paragraphs:

"The amount of funding going to the OBG will not be lost in the next financial year. Whilst this is a temporary difficulty, it should in no way distract us from our principal objective of securing ongoing gallery provision. Indeed this also represents an opportunity to broaden the appeal of this particular gallery space to the wider public and to provide greater opportunities to artists.

We are actively exploring options with potential partners in the visual arts sector and are confident that the gallery space will reopen under new management as soon as possible."

Ne'er fear - there's hope yet for arts in the venue, with a little patience.

11:30 PM  
Anonymous Donna said...

Keen point - "We cannot demand that artists are good people, but that they make good art." Sometimes you nail it.

3:21 AM  
Blogger Martin said...

I saw the film and I thought it was good. I was very conscious that it was based on Cash's own writing about himself, which seems to make it extraordinarily self-effacing, but also, I daresay, not absolutely reliable.

10:34 AM  
Blogger postliberal said...

Dona -

Thanks for the reassurance that I might be onto summit there. I actually thought it'd rile some withering responce from someone, but there ye go. It seems a salient point to me, given how many painters there are whose work I respect yet were appauling social creatures!

12:25 AM  
Blogger postliberal said...

Martin -

No autobiography'll be really all that reliable, simply because the process of going through one's own memories is going to be a selective thing. Every writer is selective, but we do need the perspective of others to get a good measure of things that might otherwise get left behind. Perhaps it's best to see this film, and the writing it's based on, as an extention of his own art?

12:27 AM  

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