A game of pirouettes and that dazzling ‘back-heel flick’

That time of the year again…. 6 Nations Rugby Championship time!!

The best time of the year - RBS 6 Nations Rugby Championship
The best time of the year has arrived – Six nations rugby championships

Wales versus Ireland at Cardiff Arms Park has to be one of the most wonderfully entertaining matches I’ve ever seen: 277 tackles!!!… But what about Ireland winger Simon Zebo’s extraordinary back-heel flick? Sheer magic!

Ireland winger Simon Zebo's dazzling 'back-heel flick'
Ireland winger Simon Zebo’s dazzling ‘back-heel flick’

Oh… and the best bit? Wales 22 : Ireland 30 .

China – Under The Hood: When there is no will they have ‘Ah Way’ – The fowl art of domesticating a wild chicken in 81 days

 “The critic educates the public. The artist educates the critic”

评论家教育公众。艺术家教导评论家

(Oscar Wilde (Irish Poet, Novelist, Dramatist and Critic, 1854-1900))

When there is no will they have 'A Way' - The fowl art of domesticating a wild chicken in 81 days

They declare that chickens, after thousands of years of domestication, now finally enjoy roosting in branches.

I live in a filthy cage so small I cannot stretch my wings. They wish I were dead: A dead battery chicken. “Useless alive”, They say, and.. I don’t know, soon perhaps I will be dead. Blood pressure and diabetes have an impact on chickens too.

I am a battery chicken. They say “a mentally conflicted chicken”. I say “a battery chicken with a conscience”.

Chinese battery chickens

Even my discourse is more articulate than theirs can ever be….

“…. Despite twenty-two years of harsh domestication, we battery chickens are in actual fact still the wild fowl of our ancestry, with the same passions for openness, free will, candor, and lack of restrictions suited to the tropical surroundings they originated in. June is International Respect for Wild Fowl Month.  Let the earth know how beautiful and essential we battery chickens truly can be..”

“…. Release the battery chickens from their cages

“…. Stop debeaking chickens

“…. Yes chickens are no longer starving, but they still suffer

Thought Reform: The Coercive Art of Passive Persuasion

They don’t like my intense mode of individualism, which, unimaginatively, They perceive as seeking to incite the masses of outwardly blissful chickens. “The illusion of a unique temperament is unbecoming of a chicken”, They ridicule, “too outspoken”.

That’s why They grabbed me and my little brothers: Thrown into trash bags: Welcome to the machine.

They want to strike off my beak with a hot iron.

They scowl they are resolute in their determination to extract my compliance. Oh, we battery chickens know all too well the wide variety of  intimidating methods They employ orchestrating self-indicting and self-reproaching confessions of wrong-doing:

Sleep deprivation and semi starvation.  I am forced to stand night and day for very long periods in conditions of bitter cold on a freezing floor that eventually deadens my feet.  The cage walls continually bruise the elbows of my wings, forming swelling that never seems to mend.  In this trash bag, the air is so full of the choking stench of decay my lungs hurt and my eyes are on fire.

Reducing my mental and physical ability to resist, They want me spent, broken, no fuel to carry on, reduced back to simple ‘battery chicken level’, a nervous gibbering wreck.

Now wholly reliant on my interrogator, my declaration of guilt is merely a feeling of liberation over the endless onslaught.  Next comes their very consistent and very public:

“Because of this chicken’s good attitude in confessing his crimes….”.

Even so, my mind remains observant and my body is aware of a natural desire so strong: The freedom to socialise, even in a farmyard, with my like-minded flock, practicing my critical spirit, expressing my nature, looking at the stars.

I am not a spent chicken. I want to be richly feathered.

Say I am wonderful.

Don’t let me be misunderstood.

Exhibition of Irish Oil Paintings by ‘Take Five’ Artists

Bluebell Wood by Kathryn O'Reilly
Bluebell Wood by Kathryn O’Reilly

Dear Artist.

An artist is defined as someone whose creative work shows aesthetic feeling and imagination.  That’s all nothing more, nothing less.

I am not an artist.

Yet I am judgemental and critical about so many artistic matters. Moreover, I have even feigned to provide advice to people who are much much further down the road of colours, sounds, shapes and movements than I will ever be.

I simply don’t have the human condition which relates to the known and unknowns that you have. Truly it takes an artist such as you to guide the rest of us on the journey.

I wish I could paint. I really wish I could paint

I consider the displaying of your works at the ‘Take Five’ Artists Exhibition to be a really big deal. I know you don’t expect too much.  I know you don’t really want to part with any of your paintings.

What ever happens, just keep in mind you don’t have to prove anything to anyone, you started painting long before you ever heard of this exhibition, and you will continue to be an artist and make art long after this association has passed, because you get immense personal pleasure from it, and because you are a dream-maker.

Congratulations Mum!

Exhibition by ‘Take Five’ Artists entitled “Points of View”

Venue: Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre, Castle Street, Dalkey,

Time / Date: 19.00hrs, 3rd October 2007

China – Under The Hood: A Chinese man has married himself…

… to express his “dissatisfaction with reality”.

Liu Ye, 39, from Zhuhai City, married a life-sized foam cut-out of himself wearing a woman’s bridal dress.

“There are many reasons for marrying myself, but mainly to express my dissatisfaction with reality,” he said.

“This marriage makes me whole again. My definition of marriage is different from others.”

The ceremony was held at a traditional courtyard packed with more than 100 guests.  The ‘couple’ were led out by a bridesmaid and a groomsman and bowed to ancestors and senior guests for blessings.

Liu says he is not gay, but admits he’s “maybe a bit narcissistic”, reported the New Express Newspaper. (Source: http://www.shortnews.com/start.cfm?id=59867)

China Under The Hood -  A Chinese man Liu Ye has married himself 001

The picture of the happy couple features one board looking housewife.. Wonder what the bridesmaids looked like? Equally plain no doubt.

Liu Ye is probably is one of those people you hear interviewed on the nightly news being described by his neighbours as “very quiet, keeps to himself”. Or perhaps this a clever manoeuvre by local democracy dissidents trying to attract publicity.

Geez, it’s always the quiet ones, isn’t it?

China Under The Hood -  A Chinese man Liu Ye has married himself 002

Weird marriages update: In 2010 a Korean man married a pillow (Source: http://metro.co.uk/2010/03/09/man-marries-pillow-154906/)