You know what really grinds my gears?

29 07 2009

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have been sadly neglecting my brewery. The reasons are many-fold, but in short I have been kept mightily busy by a few pots I have put on the boil since falling foul of the recession a few months ago. A fair bit has went on since I last had the chance to think about any of it, so instead of trying to ignore it and hope it goes away, here is a list of some of the things that have been fucking me off over the last number of weeks. Its in a different font because Ice Broadband are the worst ISP in the history of the universe and in no particular order because I’m lazy.

So, to whit, I give you….


Permanent TSB Interest Rate hikes

So here we have an institution that was so crooked and incompetent that they needed a massive dig out by the tax payer. You know, you. And me. And all the other people. So the government went and charged us all a levy on our wages to stop the shit being slung and to keep the bank nice and liquid. So here we all are. Paying another few bob on our salaries to keep them open regardless of them flat refusing to loan anyone any money and thereby choking small businesses who need finance to operate, unemployed people who want to start a business so they can contribute, and just about anyone who wants to do anything that will cost any money.

This all begs the question…. If a Bank won’t lend money, then what’s it’s purpose?

Oh! That’s right! It’s purpose is to return a dividend to stock holders and to pay fat salaries to managers at the expense of just about everything else. So what we are left with is a huge institution that is sucking the public coffers dry and contributing nothing in return. It is, in all respects, a big black hole in the economy that the government are just fucking money into by the bucket-load and we, the people, are getting nothing out of it. No car finance. No mortgages. No hope. No change there then.

Now, they want to raise mortgage interest rates. Lovely. This exemplifies perfectly the sort of absolute tosspot it takes to run a bank in this country. We are paying more tax to keep you open, now you want to take MORE money out of our pockets in a declining economy in which people have less to give. Correct me if I’m wrong, but shouldn’t the fact that people are already paying a few points more to directly fund your operation straight out of their pay-packets mean that it would be hugely immoral to squeeze them even tighter? Even thugs running extortion rackets have the cop on to know that if you squeeze a business to tight you are going to close them down, effectively putting you directly out of pocket. However, bankers seem to be thinking that people can and will pay as much as they are told to. How? We have now entered a race to the bottom as far as ethical trading in the financial sector is concerned. The last thing any bank should want is a load of negative equity stricken home owners handing back the keys to houses that they will refuse anyone else the finance to buy. Where is the sense?

I suppose it comes down to the scumbag nature of the people running the show and the will to try to find out how much they can get away with before people start crying foul. But, knowing Irish people, that won’t happen (See my next point) and even if it does the government will be available to stand up for the thieving bastards in our financial sector and remind us all how the hunger, misery and unemployment caused by their actions in supporting these moral cesspits with our money is systemic to keeping us all afloat.

Floating on what, I ask.

People who bitch and moan and then do nothing.

You know, there are two things in this life that you have to do. You have to pay tax and you have to die. They are the two big inevitabilities that we are all faced with. Everything else in the world is caused by the consequences of people’s decisions. Its beautifully simple really. Your life is the way it is because you made many, many decisions over the years, the consequences of which have all conspired to lead you to be reading this right now. That makes me feel kind of important, but that’s not important right now. What is important is the fact that sometimes people refuse to make decisions, which leads me to believe that there are people, and quite a few at that, who are only ever happy when they have something to be miserable about.

Here’s how it works. If there is something in your life that is causing you pain or unhappiness then change it. If it’s beyond your power to change then its pointless complaining, because complaining will change nothing,. If it is in your power to change, and most things are, then take the steps that are needed to rectify the situation. Don’t like your job? Get a new one. Hate your partner? Dump them and get with someone who interests you. Its really that simple. So here is the new rule. If you have a gripe about something but are not willing to do anything about it, shut the fuck up. You loose your right to bitch. End of.

Blasphemy law

An outstanding parking fine notwithstanding, I am a law abiding citizen. I cause no trouble for anyone and I try to live life for the good of myself and everyone around me. I do my best not to step on anyone’s toes or be a nuisance. Sometimes its unavoidable, but that’s life, isn’t it. I can annoy people sometimes. Sometimes people annoy me too, but I’m an adult and I deal with it. I realise its hard to agree with everyone and the best you can hope for sometimes is to just agree to disagree and get on with your lives. Lets not forget, this road of life we’re on is a long one, full of twists, turns, peaks and troughs that can confound the best of us. In my opinion the best we can do is to do the best we can and in doing so hopefully make the journey as pleasurable as possible for you and your fellow travellers. This is our life and you only get one.

Ah! But hang on a minute! If you life your life in suffering then surely another life awaits you that’s better for your suffering in this one, right?


You’re born. You live a few years. You die.

That’s it really. Its what’s in the middle that counts to me, because living your life in deliberate denial, eternal penance and fear of judgement is the worst possible way to spend any time at all, let alone your whole life. I can have no love for any supposed loving celestial creator who’s overriding interest is in the prevention of masturbation, the surety that his closest adherents will never reproduce and the constant grovelling and snivelling of the rest of them. But of course, now I am a criminal for uttering such things if you, the reader decide to be outraged by them. I’m not sure if this is the first time that the measure of the severity or even existence of an offence has been left solely to the aggrieved party to decide, maybe we could use it as a template for the rest of the laws in our fair isle. How about we make murder a crime only if the aggrieved party complains that they are outraged post factum? Or here is a better one… how about we make collapsing the country’s finances a crime if the population are suitably miffed. I’m pissed off about that one for sure, but where is the law protecting my sensibilities from outrage about the fact that the country has been brought to its knees by a circle of goons bent on protecting themselves and their friends at all costs? Why does the outrage of some god botherer why may be forced to even consider the fact that their imaginary friend doesn’t exist come before the fact that thousands of the rest of us have been outraged about being forced to consider loosing our jobs, homes and even families because of the mess we’ve been dumped in by the people who are now more concerned with legislating to criminalise the likes of me without casting a thought towards any sort of punishment for those who have not merely offended sensibilities, but have destroyed lives in deed?

Again, we have been shown outstanding ineptitude, short sightedness and populist claptrap instead of the leadership, bravery and governmental fortitude required to tear this island kicking and screaming into the twenty first century. God knows we need it.

Government stupidity and arrogance

Its all about spin, you see. Its not about what’s in the report on the Irish economic crisis, its how you read it and how you lie about it to people who haven’t read it. Its about telling people that they can’t have cancer screening services because they are better off without them. Girls can’t be vaccinated against cervical cancer because they are better off not being. Increased taxes are not being put into job creation because there are better places to put the money that have no benefit to the public who are paying it. The Catholic Church don’t have to compensate the victims of institutional abuse because the richest organisation in the world needs the Irish taxpayer to bail them out too, the consequence of which being that after being paid off by the state the victims have no more recourse against the perpetrators of the stain on Irish society which will can only be remembered as a holocaust perpetrated against the poor, defenceless and most needy in our society, perpetrated for the good of the children who were better off away from parents who the church deemed unable to care for them. Of course, this is for the good of the victims so as not to have the indignity of a day in court thrust upon them. It’s about not giving a damn about people loosing their homes in favour of legislating to protect defaulters from jail only when it became a reality for the powerful. Its about taking money necessary to educate our children, feed our hungry, provide health care for our poor, and heat our elderly and redirect it to protect the interests of the people who will only have need of such things if they are allowed to suffer the losses that their own gambles have accrued. Its also very much about watching the Irish economy go down the pan while sending the already over-stretched state police force to protect the interests of the multinational that Bertie Ahern handed all our national natural resources to for nothing in Co. Mayo. It’s about watching billions and billions worth of oil and gas sail away from our shores on tankers flying a big fuck you flag to the people who will see nothing from it, bar the VAT the government will receive out of all our pockets when Shell sell our own gas back to us. 

I have a major issue with anyone who pisses away ever penny they have been entrusted with by others (you, me and everyone else who has ever contributed a cent in tax to support our country and social order), and then expect the same others to dig even deeper to cover their arses when they fuck it up.

The Television licence

The television license fee was introduced as a way to fund the national broadcaster, RTE. Back in the day, a fair few people didn’t own a television, so they assumed it fair enough for people who owned one to contribute to the viewing, rather than pay for it out of the public finances thus charging people who didn’t have access to the national broadcaster an unfair fee. Fair enough.

I own a television, but I don’t have RTE. I have a satellite dish that picks up free to air Italian television so Mrs Orgasm can have access to some of her native culture. Personally, I don’t care much for television. I think its a distraction from more fulfilling (for me) pursuits as well as being a unidirectional method of disseminating important information regarding global and national affairs. Television has been the tool of choice of opinion manipulators over the last half a century, and I for one don’t trust the motives of news editors and social commentators who are depending on the powers they are supposed to be casting a critical eye over for their funding. Look at the grovelling RTE did after they dared to run a report about someone else who took the piss out of our glorious leader HRH Brian Cowen. But that’s just me. All this notwithstanding, I don’t see why I should contribute to an organisation that supply me with nothing. I’m paying the price of my admission ticket regardless of having no interest in or method of viewing the show. I don’t see why.

So there you have it. There is also the question of people who vote “No Opinion” in sky news text polls, the issue of how I broke my surfboard and the tall tale of how I may be singularly resposible for two very nice Canadian people running away scared out of Ireland. But they are other stories, for other days.

Up Munster.