The scum gentry alternat.., p.4
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       The Scum Gentry Alternative Arts & Media E-Zine Issue 1: March 2014, p.4

          
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  Worm Strike follows the travails of cocker spaniel Jeeves who must defend the pasta of his master Lord George after an evil warlock puts a curse on the lord and turns his entire spaghetti dinner into worms. Armed only with his own magical bark, Jeeves must re-transmogrify the worms into bolognese before Lord George returns home from church and receives a whole faceful of disgusting, slimy worms!

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  Here, we have offered an insider’s look at the ins and outs of “WORM STRIKE”. May you proceed at your own peril, brave traveller…

  As of publication, Worm Strike is still undefeated… do you think you have what it takes to battle your way all the way to Apple-Daddy and beyond? If so, we’ll give you a free copy of our debut book “The Scum Gentry Guide to Living Foolishly”, just for being so incredibly awesome and/or proficient and/or a cheater. All you have to do to let us know that it’s you who’s the champion, is send the answer to the following question to Social@thescumgentry.com:

  In the victory screen, what is Lord George holding in his left hand?

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  Want to play Worm Strike right now? Follow the link below…

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  www.thescumgentry.com/Worm-Strike-Game.htm

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  The blood boils and the soul wails. Presently, great injustices are perpetrated ‘pon the guardians of Éireann. The fabric of our nation, once silken and pure, now resembles a filthy rag left out for tinker brides at local clothing banks. Law and order, the twin colossi of any civilised society lie shattered. Our nation’s past heroes – John Redmond, Eoin O’Duffy, Phil Coulter – surely toss in their graves like ancient Curach on the stormy, salmon filled Atlantic oceans. All hope is lost...

  Indulge in me these bursts of heavenly poetry, for Garret O’Gorman’s fatherland is in a state of disarray. The bard (that is, I) himself is dejected in spirit and in soul. Most of you will by now have realised that I am referring to recent atrocities taking place concerning the Public Accounts Committee of Dáil Éireann. Here our nation’s bravest and finest men – An Garda Síochána – are soon set to take a battering from dangerous and “free thinking” politicians. Those of you unaware of proceedings are now urged to take a seat and swallow any liquids that may spew themselves from your lips in horror. For what I am about to tell you is truly shocking.

  For the past few months there has been a “scandal” in Garda affairs. It has been alleged that certain influential people have had their penalty points cancelled by the guardians of law in Ireland. Before I go on, allow me to make two points. The first – these are allegations that are unproven and it will no doubt assure you to learn that I have the utmost confidence in the nation’s police force. The second point is that the media has latched onto this story in the manner of a single mother from the north side of Dublin latching on to a state sponsored heroin orgy. Just like the single mother, they have done so to avoid the real issues in life. What the media avoids are serious problems such as the triple threat of immigration, of abortion, and of Jews, to name but a few (incidentally, it is the media’s avoidance of these issues that have led to your esteemed correspondent demeaning himself by writing for this lowbrow publication [Editor’s Note: Mr. O’Gorman’s opinions are his own and have no bearing on those of The Scum Gentry, except for this one – The Scum Gentry is indeed a lowbrow publication. The lowest...]). This fair island contains not a single reputable news source. It is no wonder at all that we are in the mess we are in. If only a great and holy storm would descend upon us and drive the swine into the sea!!

  But I have betrayed my narrative and you must forgive me now. I mean to speak to you about the Public Accounts Committee. Due to the insidious media campaign on the issue of penalty points, the PAC felt the need to have an “investigation”. And this despite the fact that the Gardaí are in the process of finding out the facts for themselves! Nonetheless, I have no gripe with an act or two of political theatre and on hearing of this inquiry I was not overly concerned. However, my eyebrows elevated, significantly, when I heard Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan (an old friend of mine) question the suitability of the PAC to investigate the force. Well that was that. Callinan, the head of the Gardaí (and as such, the Law) had spoken. There would be no public inquiry, leave the inquiring to the experts – the Gardaí themselves. My curiosity on the matter having subsided, I returned to the delicate task of composing my memoirs.

  Subsequent events proved beyond doubt that this country, this ancient and holy land, is doomed. I was interrupted from writing a particularly interesting chapter in my book by the Angelus. Normally, interruptions will not be tolerated but for the Angelus I always make an exception. I performed the obligatory pause and introspective glance at the radio and readied myself to return my attentions to my masterpiece. The news came on before I took up my quill and I thus treated myself to a rare listen.

  The news reader informed me that Commissioner Callinan was considering a legal challenge to stop the PAC from investigating his honourable comrades. What is more, the PAC had announced plans to call a Garda whistle-blower to testify, something Callinan was understandably none too pleased about. So the politicians were proceeding with their plans. An outrage, an attack on decency! Who where these greasy weasels? (Let me inform you – you will be unsurprised – the Stalinist Mary Lou McDonald and her pinko friend Shane Ross were the main guilty parties.) They had not heeded the Commissioners orders and to add insult to injury were now planning to allow a traitor Garda to speak publicly. At this juncture I was beside myself with indignation, yet still believed reason would prevail. The offending politicians would surely be arrested, tried and hanged for sedition.

  Of course, those of you who follow the news will know this is not what happened (and those of you who don’t, get back to your slums and leave the thinking to the well-bred). We now know that no charges will be brought against the Trotskyist politicians in the Dáil. Indeed, Callinan has backed down and will now not even muster up his promised legal challenge. The judges in this country are of the same ilk as the politicians and journalists who defile this land. The honourable Martin Callinan knows this and must surely know his power has waned. Tomorrow a depraved and lying traitor will testify and a country will be demeaned.

  It is a sad day for this country when politicians can defy the head of the Gardaí without retribution. After all, what is a politician’s job if not to uphold the law? And what is the law in this country, if not the Garda Síochána? Law is a virtue and that collection of trade unionists, Europhiles and homosexuals who constitute our current government are without virtue. Anybody who speaks out against a police force that protects them, that deserves their loyalty and love, should be silenced, violently if needs be.

  Dear reader, you now surely understand the agony I poignantly expressed in my opening paragraph. The country is destroyed; when Law is ignored none of us are safe. My father was right – I should have left these shores for distant lands, lands where the police operate without interference from politicians and media. What’s a driving offence between friends if it means everyone can sleep safely in their beds? I urge all right thinking individuals to support your local police. You never know when you’ll need them to defend you from the rampant evil of modern Ireland.

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  “THE SCUM GENTRY GUIDE TO LIVING FOOLISHLY: ESSAYS, ARTS & FICTION FROM THE DEPTHS OF JESUITS’ HELL” is the debut compilation book from the Scum Gentry, available now, through the links below.

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  Blurb:

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  “The Scum Gentry are the wildest folk in modern Ireland – a rabid host of poets, paupers, artists, truth-speakers, visionaries and full-time ceol agus craic addicts who cut their teeth in the meat jerky of the fallen Celtic Tiger –– and here at last is the collected culmination of all their deranged and outstanding work to date.

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  From serious political and cultural reportage to poetry and prose with a taste for the darker, boozier corners of life’s alleyways, and from shocking, surreal and hilarious works of visual art to a selection of tasters from their musical and televised online efforts, The Scum Gentry Guide to Living Foolishly is a showcase of the very best of their work.

  Featuring a blend of material from The Scum Gentry online magazine as well as a selection of brand new never-before-published original content, this collection will have you laughing tears of joy and disbelief by the book’s opening pages and ensure that you’ve grown to be a more informed, entertained and creative truth-seeker by the collection’s explosive completion.”

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  From the Scum Gentry website

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  For customers outside Ireland and the UK

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  On Kindle

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  I wanted to know how far into isolation you could go, as if by running away forever – as in; always running, always forever – you could reach a new place, a kind of fourth dimension where one could happily settle into a peaceful abode that exists in the illusion of perpetual escaping and it’s true, that place does exist, and I found it and lived there if only for a little while on my toes, until I ran out of land and ran out of steam and ran out of the will to even go on anyway. I took to a cabin in the highlands in the north of Scotland, which was not quite at the end of the land, but close (and even then I could have hopped a boat, I could have gone on to the islands above and then off to somewhere else further north again, until the ocean turned into ice and – if I’d managed to survive all that – I could have found myself waiting to join me still as I plodded onward through the snow) but I’m no frontiersman really and there are no longer any real frontiers anyway.

  So I took to my cabin and I took to chopping wood and hunting for most of my food, I contracted a fungal foot infection and a cold and I became accustomed to the draft and living with insects and cobwebs, and I still had to function like a satellite to man’s world, taking infrequent trips to the nearest village for the supplies and luxuries (inescapable) that no matter how I willed I couldn’t provide for myself out in my make-believe wilderness.

  After that I went back to the city again, resolute that money and people and society could not be escaped from except by that one way that I’d sworn myself against long ago if only because I knew it would come to seek me out itself eventually regardless, as it would for everybody else in the world who had ever lived. In the city I booked myself into a hostel, where I would draw closed the small curtain around my bottom bunk and listen to the two young Irishmen who’d come across the water to live, as they spoke of jobs and hopelessness and desire for female companionship and got drunk and solemn every single night until after eleven days they were no longer there.

  In the mornings I would go to the newsagents and buy the papers, scan for jobs, most of which would have been a humiliation to take up (though I would have) even had they been positions that the employers might have actually considered me for anyway – which in all certainty they would not. But eventually I found something suited to my need for personal solitude and limited interaction as well as to my quiet, unassuming disposition, which was a position as a hospital janitor in a ward for people with afflictions of the mind, and I made the call and was invited to meet the board of hirers who would decide upon my suitability for the role. That night I went out to have a drink to celebrate and on the morning of the interview two days later I was still shaken and dehydrated though I’d done my best to level off and come down as easily as could be done on the night before.

  The job was an easy acquisition, they weren’t looking for Einstein or John F Kennedy, just somebody with the wherewithal to draw a brush down corridors and enough disinterest and stoicism to leave the patients be and not be bothered by them when they might, as I was warned, try to drag me into their worlds of various delusion. That was a Thursday and I was to start the following Monday and my three nights of celebration had left me wary of the bottle (and I no longer felt much like celebrating anyway) so I went back to the hostel and waited.

  On Monday I came to collect my broom and my grey two-piece uniform and I was indoctrinated into the ways and specifics of the position by a man named Mac who I found intolerable to be around and was very glad when he informed me with a wink that “since I was wise to the thing already” he would be alright to sneak away provided I would cover for him later if anybody asked. That was my part of the bargain to be rid of him and I was glad to accept it, though for a moment I felt wary to be breaking the “rules” as it would, so early into the commencement of my employment, most certainly mean the immediate and irrefutable revocation of my invitation to work in the hospital. But I swallowed the sensation, because even then what would really have been lost?

  It was mostly nurses who had the run of the place. The doctors and psychiatrists and consultants were so few and far between that their presence on any one of the wards was more like that of a ghost or a legend, only made real on those rare moments when they actually came to attend to the coven of patients who waited for them, as they waited for their meals and their cigarette breaks and their TV hours and their bedtimes. My beat was on the wards known as Jade and Emerald and Sapphire and after my training was over I never had to share a shift with Mac again and only saw him three more times for the five months that I worked there and thought of him only rarely and only then with gratitude to be away from him. At night I went home to my bedsit and lay in the room.

  I found myself surprised at how fast the patients would enter and then leave again, achieving a kind of quasi-recovery that was just (and usually just) good enough for their doctors and the world outside. Only a few seemed to stay longer than a couple of weeks or months and those that did had been there for years and some of them, in my eyes, were as sane and composed as anybody I had ever met. I resisted the curiosity, which was only faint anyway, to wonder what it was that afflicted them, what commonalities they might have shared beneath the surface with the other ravers and depressives and deluded ones who landed so roughly into their nests and then flew away again just as abruptly and suddenly, in the company of bright-eyed friends and family and hopeful doctors and nurses, smiling as they ushered them out of the doors and back into the world beyond.

  Like everywhere else in the city the staff were all immigrants and I wondered had they come here seeking the outer-limits of new frontiers only to find more of the same of life and human society, still no different than whatever corners of the Earth they themselves had travelled from.

  One day, I was called to a meeting and asked to sit down in front of a row of nurses and clerks and one of the higher-ranking psychiatrists, who all called me by my first name and informed me not to worry (provided I’d done nothing wrong), that this was a standard formality and that they were interviewing all of the staff regardless of rank because some drugs had been taken from the Jade Ward pharmacy and they had convened to get to the bottom of the matter. Two days later the word was put out that the matter was resolved though they did not say who it was who had been at fault and if any of the nurses or staff were suddenly disappeared after that I did not notice because I knew none of them well enough to recognize their absence anyway.

  In the staffroom somebody once put up a quote by Samuel Johnson on the noticeboard and then a few days later somebody else took it down again, considering it to have been in bad taste. In relating this occurrence to me, one of the nurses, a rotund bright-eyed African woman, informed me that even Johnson himself had suffered from afflictions for all that he had achieved in his life and it was important that we never, ever judge, because no two people were the same and you never knew what anybody was capable of until they surprised you with it.

  Sometimes on the weekends I would go to a bar and spend what little spare I had of my pay-check on pints of lager and whiskey shorts, I would read the papers and watch the men playing darts and always I would take my leave before the hour got too late and the madness of the night took over those around me, sometimes stopping into a newsagents on my way home for a bottle of cheap wine or vodka for company if the mood so took me, which was not too often but still it was a comfort.

  At times I would take the busses around the city and though it was winter for most of the time that I worked there the days could still be beautiful and the sky bright and I would think again of taking off with nothing but a rucksack, boots and a heavy coat, and I felt sure on those times that there was somewhere out there, some horizon, some desert or jungle or paradise island.

  Occasionally the patients would press me in the hallway for cigarettes and though I was forbidden to give them any I would sometimes acquiesce because they were themselves permitted to smoke and, understanding that the rule was more about power and the structures of the institution, I saw no fault in it, provided they appeared to have enough wherewithal and composure to keep it to themselves and would not try to use it against me at a later date. Sometimes I would even join them in the smoking shelters outside the hospital where the low-risk patients were free to take their cigarettes and the nurses were not obliged to keep such a watchful eye on their doings. As we smoked they would speak to me about the changing weather and the turbulent football tables and the news and politics and current affairs of the day and I would listen and nod and, smiling, inhale the smoke and the cold spring air.

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  Ahem…

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  Well now, wasn’t that something? Oh Lordy, a real walk through the park of midnight, a lightning kick in the proverbial joy-teeth, wasn’t it just… wasn’t it just special? Did you like that sugar? Well we certainly hope so. And if you liked it enough to feel a certain aversion to the fact that’s it all been over too soon well don’t you fret, because issue number two of The Scum Gentry Alternative Arts and Media E-Zine will be out in style on the very first of next month for you to whip up and speedily devour too. I promise it will be delicious.

 
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