The Dubliners Review; Clay By James Joyce

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As I write to you now the gale force winds of Hurricane Ophelia are knocking at my front door. Which is quite irritating, especially since we had to sellotape the letter box shut. At this time right now the news says that at least three people have died and thousands are without power. Schools are closed (which is why I’m off) and several roads have been closed off, some have been damaged due to the storm.

There’s no doubt the roads will be completely and utterly fucked tomorrow, last time we had a storm this bad Drumahoe nearly fell into the sea and it took me two hours to get into fucking Derry.

Derry is not worth two hours of my life- Derry is barely worth the two minutes I spend staring at a blank wall when I’m taking a drunk piss.

Meanwhile, in England some people saw a really weird looking sky earlier on today:

red sun

The reason the sun looks red is because of the ash in the atmosphere caused by the forest fires in Portugal and Spain. Causing some of the light to be blocked except for the Red light, thus causing the sun to look red. Sadly many people have died in these fires, currently it’s estimated to be around thirty but with time that number will surely go up. For more check out the BBC’s article I ripped off.

At home it’s not so bad, speaking anecdotally it just seems like any other wet and windy day we’ve seen. The only real worry I have is the scaffolding outside my house (My dad is doing something with the roof) and I’m concerned that if it gets windy enough the scaffolding will destabilize or collapse or at the very worst crash through my bedroom window and impale me to the wall.

I always thought I’d die at the ripe old age of thirty two, as some delusional stranger shot me in the back whilst I was swimming in my luxurious pool- waiting for a phone call. Though if I were to die because of this storm I’d find it absolutely hilarious. Mainly because the only Ophelia I’ve ever known was the sister of this girl I used to talk to and…well, she fucking hated me. She thought I was a right cunt. Which, to be fair I am…kind of. I like to think of myself as more of a Bastard than a full on Cunt.

On the scale of bashfulness and vileness there’s Rascal, Scoundrel, Rogue, Bastard, Evil-do-er, Cunt and Monster. Perhaps I should make a flowchart someday.

But if I were to die at Ophelia’s hands I think Ophelia would find it quite funny.

Like all big storms this one stops us in our tracks. For those of us lucky enough to have food,  shelter, power and access to fresh water we should be grateful. It’s a stern reminder that we just don’t live on the earth, but rather that the earth lets us live on it. It could shake us all off like a bad case of fleas anytime it wants, especially if we keep biting.

Now I know what you’re thinking; “Des, it’s nice to hear about your thoughts on the weather but isn’t there something you should be doing?” …Yeah, you’re right. That’s why I opened up this article with a tirade about the weather and my fantasy about being impaled by a gale force collapsing scaffolding- because this story is fucking Dull.

Oh my god. Like you don’t even understand how fucking dull this shit is. I mean it is exhaustively dull. Excruciatingly dull. Dull as a pile of bricks except I could do shit with a pile of bricks- I could talk about the texture of the bricks, I could talk about the chemical makeup of these said bricks, I could talk about how beneficial the brick would be as a murder weapon, I could talk about the varying waves and designs and intricacies of brick design, I could go on a whole tirade about how there are brick making factories in Pakistan in which poor communities are essentially enslaved to these horrible jobs because they’re in so much debt and each time they try to pay off that debt the masters increase it tenfold. I could even tell you about that time when we were kids one of my sisters took a shit outside of the septic tank by the Garage and I had to hide it by covering it with a giant grey brick and it was splattered with all the shit and then my Dad found it and…actually, I can’t remember how that story ends. But I could fucking talk about it!

This story….It has nothing! Look at me! I’m using exclamation points! EXCLAMATION POINTS! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW ENRAGED I HAVE TO BE TO USE AN EXCLAMATION POINT! I’M NOT LIKE ONE OF THOSE FUCKING CLASSICAL LITERATURE FUCKBOYS LIKE JOYCE OR WILDE WHO FUCKING ABUSE THEIR USE OF EXCLAMATION POINTS BY SAYING SHIT LIKE; “What a mundane yet exclamatory sentence that doesn’t make sense!” NO! I USE MY EXCLAMATION POINTS WITH FUCKING CARE AND PRECISION LIKE SOME KIND OF FUCKING- FUCKING….FUCK I CAN’T REMEMBER WORDS!

…I fucking hate you, Joyce.

You.

Wonky.

Eyed.

Cunt.

So our story follows Maria, the dullest bitch in Ireland. She’s like, I don’t know- 35? She’s old enough to have been a nanny and those wanes she raised are all grown up now and have kids of their own, and people have said that she ought to get married so I’m assuming she’s like around mid adulthood. Maybe over forty, because the whole “Oh if I don’t have a kid before forty it’s going to be really hard” idea is a complete and utter myth. Unless you experience menopause or have some genetic or biological issues than you should be fine (oh who am I kidding, what self respecting woman would ever read this blog?).

But anyway she works as a maid for a Protestant charity which she was initially reluctant to do; “She used to have such a bad opinion of Protestants but now she thought they were very nice people, a little quite and serious, but still very nice people to live with” so yay, Progress.

It’s Halloween and she’s going to hang out with the guy (Joe) she used to look after as a kid and his family. She’s saddened by the fact that him and his brother don’t get along anymore and oh my god I don’t care. She leaves work and buys a cake or something and the woman is like “Oh this for your wedding then?” and Maria blushes. Of course Maria is one of those men and women who will never get married- or get laid for that matter- because they’re fucking ugly. Completely and utterly unfuckable. Like don’t get me wrong, Maria is a kind and lovely person- but she looks like a fucking witch.

Take note out of Harvey Weinstein’s book. If you’re completely and utterly unfuckable get yourself into a position of immense power so that you can force people to fuck you. Create a billion dollar rape culture while you’re at it.

Anyway she gets the tram and is annoyed that none of the young guys get up to offer her a seat but an old fat guy gets up and they have a chat. Of course we’re not privy to the chat because Joyce, like the reader, doesn’t give a fuck and so she eventually gets off the tram and goes to Joe’s and she bobs apples or some shit and sings a song and Joe cries at the end.

…I told you it was fucking dull.

Like we’re given teases of the actual interesting shit. Joyce could have wrote a compelling short story about the fallout between two brothers, Joyce could have wrote about the difficulty of Sectarianism when a Catholic woman works alongside Protestants at a Charity, Joyce could have wrote a story about Joe’s anger management issues and how that has a tole on his family. But no. Joyce had to be a dull fuck and write this horseshit.

In analysis you could argue that Joyce wrote this dull monstrosity on purpose to carry on with his apparent theme of paralysis. See, Maria’s life is so perfect and everyone likes her and that apparently causes her emotions to be weird. There’s zero conflict in her life so that means she has to focus all of her energies on the most minutiae and trivial shit in her day to day life. Like she blushes when someone flatters her or suggests she ought to get married, she gets obscenely upset when she forgets the cake on the tram, despite her comfortable life she still feels unhappy and unfulfilled- hence why she seeks to make everything orderly.

Yeah, I know that’s horseshit but still. Also Joe get’s super angry whenever Maria mentions his brother so that’s something, I guess. When she’s bobbing for apples- no, wait- bobbing for weird objects she manages to pick up clay and a prayer book. The prayer book suggests that she’ll go into the Convent and become a nun or something, the clay suggests that she’s destined to die or something. The clay also suggest that she’s like…easily adjusted? I don’t fucking know. Fucking Joyce, you couldn’t write about a serial killing misogynist or something interesting? Did you really have to write about some dull cunt you saw on a tram once?

Anyway, the story ends with her singing a song. I’m  unfamiliar with the song so I don’t know how the song is supposed to sound but I imagine it sounds like this but shittier and she messes it up but everyone’s too polite to correct her. Joe cries and to hide the fact that he’s crying he asks his wife for a corkscrew. The End. I’m not making this up, Joyce ended the fucking story with a man crying and asking for a corkscrew. Fucking…y’know what? I’m done.

Clay was dull as fuck and I implore you all not to read it unless you’re looking for a reason to kill yourself, the reason of course being boredom.

I had this joke I wanted to tell that girl I used to talk to but I don’t think I ever did. It was a joke about why her mother named her sister “Ophelia”, the joke goes like this; “So when your Ma was giving birth to your sister she was in excruciating pain and she was telling the staff this and one of the Doctors who was a guy was like ‘Oh, I fell ya’ and she just looked at him and was like ‘Oh I fell ya? Oh. I. Feel. Ya?! Oh feel ya?!’ and so she named the baby Ophelia just to spite him”. It’s a pretty shitty joke, I have to say. The mother was probably just a fan of Hamlet.

The girl used to say she found me hilarious. Ophelia didn’t think I was funny. Then again, neither did I.

 

 

 

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