I know, it’s not exactly one of my more eloquent titles but it serves the purpose for what we’ll be talking about today. Things that are quite Old and are categorized in the vast range of objects that are referred to as Stuff. So it’s an apt title, if you ask me.
Want to see something Old? How about this Old Bridge.
I found this when I went on one of my casual six mile long walks with the dog. The bridge crossed over a small stream and joined two hills together, creating the most delightful slope in the road. A few months ago this bridge started having cracks appear, the wall was breaking apart due to erosion and the movement of the earth. You could see the sharp stones from within, like broken bones. There used to be a small gap that allowed you to get a gentle glimpse through the wall and into the river. So when Ophelia came she fucked her right up and now that Gap is, well, bigger.
You’ll find old bridges like these all over the place in the Irish Countryside. They’re Stone Masonry Arch Bridges, a bridge whose main load-bearing structures are made of natural stone, brick, or concrete blocks. Such a bridge is always arched, with massive supports. The main load-bearing element of a masonry bridge is the arch, over which is built the spandrel, which in turn supports the bridge roadway. Many of them are well over 150 yeas old. Its fascinating to see these stone walls that have practically been the same for centuries while the road beside them has to be replaced every five or so years.
Before Ophelia came there was a storm two or so years ago called Storm Desmond. Which is funny because my name is Desmond, but I go by Des so people don’t think I’m some kind of neurotic sociopath that shit talks about Dead Authors on a poorly maintained blog.
Anyway, Storm Desmond took down another Stone masonry arch bridge along the same road I walk the dog.
A tree fell down and took a chunk of the bridge with it. Stone Bricks that had been there for centuries washed away down the river in one night. But they did get around to fixing it.
Personally, I think that Bridge looks like utter shit now. I mean that broken bridge looked fucking Bad-ass. Scroll back up and look at the broken bridge, now back up to the fixed bridge, once more up to the broken bridge, and one last glance at the fixed bridge.
It’s a fucking eyesore! Look at it, again. Now the broken one again, OK fixed bridge one more time. Last time. You can’t look at it anymore.
The freshly laid bricks stand out like a sore thumb with a speckle of cum on it. It doesn’t look like it’s faced a day of rain in its life, unlike the other bricks that have been there for fucking centuries and looks and feels as eroded and ugly as the Irish people.
It’s a real shame, because it’s my favourite bridge. And yes I’m aware its remarkably depressing to have your own favourite stone masonry arch bridge. I’m a fairly depressing man.
Not too long ago I used to run up and down this road. I was a fat little fuck at the ripe old age of fourteen. I started at the beginning of the road and I could barely make it to the bridge. It was barely even a twenty meter run, that’s not even the length of a fucking football pitch. I was severely unfit, I’d be out of breath after climbing up the stairs at home.
I was a fat little shit, and I felt like shit because of it. Still do to some degree. But these casual runs helped. I went from sweating after a walk up a minor slope to climbing mountains just for the craic in two or three years. That’s not half bad, all things considered.
The bridge reminds me of this conversation I had with this girl I used to talk to. I was talking about the bridge, how old it was. How much shit it must have seen, if it had eyes. How many generations of farmers moved their cattle and sheep up along the back roads. How many highwaymen hid under the bridge, narrowly missing the British Troops that were looking for them. How a boy spent the early summer wasting the day away by fishing in the narrow river. How an elderly man could take a pause on the bridge, look down to the waters and remember his youth and ponder the fate of his small acre of land. How a young couple used to stroll along these back roads in the late summer, a fond memory the two share before they never see each other again.
She was impressed by that. Then I grossed her out by suggesting that under the bridge was the ideal location for fingering and all the other sex acts that the teenagers of the late 19th Century got up to. Probably still do.
There’s a similar bridge when you take the back roads to Limavady. Unfortunately the people who lived near it were Unionists. For those of you unaware about Unionists they’re Ulster Presbyterians who are the descendants of English and Scottish migrants who were sent to colonize Ulster because it was one of the more out of control provinces in the Irish Colony. So because they’re the descendants of British colonialists want to remain in the UK and thus Identify as British, and these people are obsessed with the Union Jack- so much so that they paint the sides of the pavement red white and blue.
So the Unionists decided to fucking ruin this lovely stone mason arch bridge by painting it red, white and blue. I couldn’t think of a better metaphor for British Colonialism. Taking something old, something beautiful- and fucking desecrating it.
But we’re not here to talk about Old Bridges, but Old Stuff in general.
Like listed buildings. A ‘listed building‘ is a building, object or structure that has been judged to be of national importance in terms of architectural or historic interest and included on a special register, called the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. There are over 8,500 listed buildings in Northern Ireland alone, meaning our taxes are used to help refurbish old buildings.
So these buildings are under protection of the government because they’re historically or culturally significant. But It’s not just for buildings. When you come into Maghera you’ll see a Boulder lying right outside Walsh’s bar. That is legally required to be there- why? I don’t know. Maybe it’s a Mass rock, maybe someone shot Mr Burns on it, maybe something really fucking important happened there- I don’t know. But what I do know is that when Walsh’s tried to remove it the council of Megahera demand it be restored cause it’s like heritage or some shit. I don’t know, if you know why there’s a boulder outside of Walsh’s please tell me here.
Now personally I think maintaining old buildings is a plausible use of taxpayers money, so long as it’s not overtly excessive. I mean take this church in France that was knocked down a while ago. Now despite what the Racist comments say about how “France has become a Caliphate” and someone making the ludicrous connection to the Bolsheviks in Russia and how this is “the start“- like France is some kind of Communist Caliphate, committed to a Socialist Jihad where they both Seize the Means of Production and Praise Allah.
Or, now here me out guys, the town couldn’t afford the extensive renovations needed to prevent the centuries year old building from collapsing so they decided it’s be cheaper to knock it down and replace it with something useful. Like a car park.
People would argue that the Chapel needs to stay up because “God” despite the fact that you don’t really need a place of worship to, well, worship. I mean you could argue that the church has great artwork that needs to be cherished. But that contradicts what the Ten Commandments and the Old Testament said about depicting Saints and Prophets- they’re against idolization. Which is a major problem considering the west has pretty much whitewashed Jesus. That’s why Muslims not only prohibit Images of Muhammad but all of their prophets like Abraham, Moses and Jesus.
But then again this is the catholic church we’re talking about and, I know this seems Ironic considering we’re talking about Religion, they literally make it up as the go along.
Some would argue that it’s beautiful and therefore it needs to stay up. I’d argue that a mountain range is beautiful but these same fuckers would argue that we need to tear it’s ass up to extract them minerals for the economy. So I’d suggest that if they were very concerned about money then they might have to find a cheaper chapel.
Then they bring up history. It has historical significance, the church, it’s been there for centuries. That’s the problem. It’s been there for centuries. It’s old. It’s falling apart. There’s no central heating, the pipes pump out shitty water- if this were some shitty hotel it would have been condemned decades ago. As for history, well is it written down? Is it photographed? Then what’s the fuss, it’s been recorded- in history.
Most people don’t look up at that building and think of history, they look up and see a nice building or perhaps if they’re Irish they look up and feel guilty about taking that wank in McDonalds.
That Historical argument to me was always a dumb one. Like take the statue of King Billy in Dublin.
Now I’ve already discussed the statue in my review of “The Dead” by James Joyce. But to catch you up basically after King Billy fucked up King Jim 5.0 he set up some Penal Laws to discriminate against Catholics in Ireland. He was seen as a conqueror so they put up a statue of him. Which was defaced countless times and would later be blown up by the IRA in the late 1920’s.
Now, this statue has historical significance. King Billy was in fact a person, an influential person if you will, so you could make the argument that we ought to rebuild the statue as a commemoration to our History, less we forget it. But despite not having the statue, we still remember King Billy and we’re not going to rebuild the statue because King Billy, according to a certain Acne Ridden Manlet, was; “A Wheezing Faggot” and thus doesn’t deserve a statue.
Speaking of Statues, the USA is having quite a lot of debates about Confederate Statues.
So in America they have these statues for the Confederate Generals. The confederacy of course was the southern states that threatened Partition from the the US because of Slavery. The North wanted it banned at a federal level while the South quite enjoyed owning Black People so they said “nah” and they had a brutal war in which the south lost.
Some would argue that the Civil War wasn’t about Slavery, it was about states rights or taxation or Lincoln being an prick or something. But it was mainly about Slavery. Like the race factor wasn’t everything, but it was a big fucking deal.
Then again maybe Trumps right. Maybe if Andrew Jackson hadn’t died years before the Civil War was even a possibility then none of this shit would have went down in the first place.
So really these statues are depicting traitors of the US Government and they’re basically Glorified Participation Trophies.Which is just ridiculous, especially coming from the American Right wing who never shut up about Personal Responsibility and complaining about participation trophies. It’s a ridiculous thing for a Nation to commemorate it’s nations worst citizens. I mean you wouldn’t catch us giving statues to traitors and losers-
So yeah, the statues were erected decades after the Civil War with the sole purpose to intimidate Black People. Like even Robert E. Lee didn’t want statues erected, cause he knew he lost. But they put them up during the Jim Crow laws, alongside the rise of the Ku Klux Klan- they’re not history, it’s a method of intimidation. Employed by a bunch of impotent cunts who’ve never accomplished a fucking thing in their damn lives.
This debate got so bad that there was a massive riot in Charlottesville, Virginia which injured dozens and killed one person. Which lead to Trump giving a pathetic attempt at a condemnation of the murderous fucking Nazis. I mean scroll up to that Confederate statue- look at those cunts.
I’m aware I’m quite biased on this subject, but it’s difficult to look into the face of raw fucking Evil and be unbiased towards it. I mean you can keep the statues up, just not on public property. Put it in a museum or in a graveyard or- if you’re feeling especially cuntish- in your own fucking Garden.
What’s so hard about that?
But alas, they’d argue about “tradition“. Tradition, the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way. Now tradition is all right if it’s beneficial or at least relevant to society as a whole. Christmas is a great tradition because it celebrates family unity, peace and most importantly- commercialism.
Traditions that are clean fucking useless are the Royal Family, which serves no purpose outside of tradition and the fake and shallow patriotism for people who think that criticizing Brexit makes you a traitor, that poor people shouldn’t get benefits and think you’re a communist for suggesting we tax the rich proportionally. The fact that we’ve always had one and therefore we always should, despite it not being beneficial and irrelevant to the people. Though people would argue that they’re very good for doing charity work, but so are celebrities and they don’t cost £50 Million of taxpayer money to maintain.
But they’d then argue that “Oh, the revenue they bring in for tourists is more than justifiable for their existence” which is; Bullshit because they cost more than they’re actually worth and it’s a defeatist attitude. Its as Frankie Boyle says; “Maybe if we concentrated on having a country worth visiting then we wouldn’t have to parade the products of incest around the west end of London to try and sell fridge magnets”
But it’s the thing with Old stuff, both physical and ceremonial, that we have to maintain it for some reason. Like we’d forget who we are without it. Which is ridiculous, we know who we are. That’s why in most nationalist towns you’ll see very few flags. Granted you go up to Derry you’ll see a fuckton of flags- but Derry isn’t Ireland. Derry is the cancerous mole of an otherwise poorly functioning Colony.
But in Dungiven, the closest town to me- y’know- Proper Ireland, there’s very few flags. Sure there’s a few murals for the Troubles and Hunger Strikers but the people haven’t painted the streets Green, White and Orange. There’s not a flag on every single lamp post. Because unlike the Unionists we know who we are, we’re not insecure, we don’t have anything to prove to anybody.
I mean I like Old Stuff, old stuff can be cool. But maybe we’ll have to get rid of that stone masonry arch bridge some day to build a better bridge made of a stronger, water resistant concrete. Maybe we’ll have to tear down that old church to build a hostel for homeless people- that actually has indoor heating. Maybe we’ll have to take down that old Queens University building to save money on constant repairs and spend it on student accommodation.
Maybe we’ll have to throw out the old ways of thinking as well. Like you can come to the conclusion that austerity measures don’t balance the budget but rather damage the lives of millions of people, how increasing taxes on the rich and multi national corporations doesn’t make you a communist, how by making University free then you give the incentive for more people to apply meaning there are more people with qualifications that allow them to work profitable jobs meaning they have more money to buy things making the economy thrive, how it’s unacceptable for council houses and flats to be built of poorly maintained materials that are incredibly flammable all so you can give your richer constituents a tax break, how complaining about leaving the biggest Single Market in the world doesn’t make you a whiny little bitch and a traitor but rather makes you even more patriotic than the cunts who think Jacob fucking Reese Mogg is an intellectual- because you actually give a fuck about the well being of the people in this stupid fucking Kingdom, that you ought to increase foreign aid tenfold to prevent Refugees from having to come here in the first place, how we ought to get rid of a nuclear arms system that we’ll never use, how we can create hundreds or thousands of jobs by legalizing all drugs and selling them for public consumption- and how it’s perfectly rational for a person like myself to want to live in a country where I can vote for my own fucking Prime Minister.
Maybe that day will come, maybe. But there’ll still be a fuckton of problems. But we’ll cross that stone mason arch bridge when we come to it.