Monday, February 01, 2010
Its not my metaphor, the idea of an onion as a way to describe discovery, although I have used it half heartedly before because of a lack of imagination. It always struck me as, well, dumb to talk about exploration of a city or of anything as the same as peeling back the layers of an onion.
When you peel back an onion's layer you get more onion. And then again. And again. Nothing more, nothing less. And while Hemingway's heroes have a thing for onion sandwiches, bread and onion now there is a taste sensation, and I certainly have nothing against the onion, hell I put it to good use all of the time, the idea that you are going to find something spectacular once you get to its core is not going to lead you to anything but disappointment.
Why the onion discussion?
Well for the third time I am returning to Dublin. It was in 2002 in the fall that my wife and I spent three days there while travelling through Ireland and Scotland. We stayed in a bungalow surrounded by farmland in Malahide, a northern suburb of the city, it was thirty minutes into the city centre by bus. We had a fine time. We wandered the streets south of the Liffey and saw all of the sights, the beautiful cathedrals (while Scottish churches were all dark and gloomy Christchurch and St. Patricks were bright and soaring), the castle, the GPO, the national museum and art gallery, the Book of Kells and the Trinity College Library, the Guinness storehouse. We ducked into some fine pubs and went out to Phoenix Park and overall it was a good time, a good beginning to my relationship with the city.
It was two years ago that I returned to Ireland, this time for a week. It was for business but I stayed over a weekend and I had my evenings free as well. I was even able to sneak out of work early a couple of afternoons. I stayed with a young fellow who had come over to Canada twice, once for training, a second time for a conference after which he had taken a couple of weeks and done some wandering. He's a terrific lad.
There was a night out with a bunch of the Irish at McDaids, a roaring old pub and an afternoon spent at a Trinity College hangout, watching the Six Nations match with the Scots that weekend. We went to dinner up in Howth and froze our asses off on the boardwalk. And the rest of the time I did what I do, I walked and walked, up streets built over ancient path ways, along the sluggish dirty old Liffey, down alleys and into hidden tiny squares and into St. Stephen's Green for quiet reflection and through the doors of pub after pub, Mulligan's and Neary's and Davy Byrnes and the Long Hall and the Old Stand and Dawson's Lounge surrounded by boozy kilted unwashed Scots and the Stag's Head and the Brazen Head and the Ha' Penny Inn and the aforementioned McDaid's. Pints and cigarettes and then into the bookstores and the writers' museum and going in circles, up, down and around until I knew the south side of the Liffey and O'Connell Street like my own neighbourhood.
And now my friend is getting married to his seniorita in Enfield, just west of fair Dublin, and I am making the trek again. Its a long way to go for a handful of days and I will have but a day or two in Dublin but its time to explore anew. Surely I will duck into one of my favourite haunts (and my favourite pub may be the Ha' Penny Inn, not as famous or as old as many of the ones I have been to but I've been there on both visits now, just stumbled on it really, after crossing the bridge also named Ha' Penny) or two but now its time to traipse about the northern part of the old river, to walk up to Glasnevin and see the cemetery, to go to Kavanaugh's for a pint, to see a side of Dublin that I have not seen, and then from there back to the Liffey and then west of the Brazen Head and past Guinness to see what there is to see there.
So peeling back another layer of Dublin I will be but its no damn onion.
Last night I helped to flood the neighbourhood rink as we tried to overcome this ridiculous 'winter' we have been having. It is surviving somehow. Afterwards I ducked into our local for a couple of pints with my buddy and then I walked home, fortified against the cold by the work of Arthur Guinness. As I walked I realized that its not the onion but the vagina which best describes a journey of discovery.
Think about it. I certainly did. Well, for a minute or so. The vagina (and I use this to describe all of the wonderful parts of a woman's anatomy, I fully realize that it is in reality just one part of the whole) has many nooks and crannies to explore, each offering up a new surprise, a different piece of the puzzle. The clitoris, not just a simple button under the hood, has eighteen different parts, for example.
Just don't ask me if this trip in March is going to be to the labia minora or labia majora because I really have no idea.
As for the Oilers' season, well, um, there is absolutely nothing pleasurable about it so you can throw out my wonderful little metaphor (by the way feel free to use that in any of your daily conversations when you are talking about learning new things about anything, seriously that's free of charge too). I do have one that we can probably apply to the last four years, in which management took a club which was a break or two away from winning the Stanley Cup and turned it into the absolute worst club in the league, the worst club in franchise history, a club that is starting to look like one of the all time worst clubs in league history.
Down to three quality defencemen, a handful of quality forwards (mind you this has been the case all season) and a couple of minor league goaltenders and with just under thirty games left this could end up being a club that wins less than twenty games. Seriously.
As an Oilers' fan its difficult, no, brutal to watch. And the club has major cap issues going forward.
They are a cap team folks. They spend almost as much as they possibly can and they are in last in the league.
There are myriad reasons why anyone who had a hand in this fiasco (Lowe, Tambellini, KP) should be fired but that is probably the one that is most striking. Despite spending to the maximum they can they have put a team together that has won sixteen of fifty three games, have not won at home in months, have not won at all in a month, have garnered a pair of points out of a possible, what, what is it now, forty two?
I can't even keep track.
The mantra of management for a while has been to put the players and coaches in a position to fail miserably and this is probably the most damning thing that you can say. Guys sitting in their pajamas in their parents' basements have been able to say year after year what is wrong with this club and management either does not recognize the problems or fails to fix them.
Instead they put kids with kids or kids with plugs and say 'sink or swim' as if that is any way to develop young talent.
Its an absolute fucking disgrace and there is no way that Tambellini or Lowe should be employed come June. Even more than the high pick this is what MUST result from this disaster. The Oilers must burn the whole rotten structure to the ground. Putting the fools who created the mess in charge of cleaning it up would be completely stupid and there would be no excuse for it.
You want a metaphor with an orifice for being an Oiler fan these days? Think about getting anally raped repeatedly in prison, by your fellow inmates and baton toting guards.
How's that for a pretty picture?
Posted by Black Dog at 5:15 PM