December 9, 2013

How We Spend "The Christmas"

Posted in Behavioural Economics · 205 comments ·
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This weekend, publicans braced themselves for the beginning of what is idiosyncratically known in Ireland as “the Christmas’’.

“The Christmas’’ is not just a celebratory event which falls on one day, as it is in most of the rest of the world. That would be far too straightforward.

That one day jamboree in other countries is plain old “Christmas’’. Our Irish version – “the Christmas’’ – is a month-long endurance test: a customised binge of shopping, gargling and scoffing. A publican friend described the Christmas aptly as “bedlam, pure and simple’’.

When it is all over, in the first few days of January, the most common greeting that we Irish people extend to each other is: “How did you get over the Christmas’’ – as if you were discussing root canal surgery or some sort of diabolical hurricane which swept in off the Atlantic to engulf this poor nation. The term “get over’’ says it all.

The Christmas is a test of fortitude, financially, emotionally and physically. It’s a season rather than a festival and you have to be in tip-top form to get over it.

Retailers need a good Christmas to make sure the year ends on the right note; likewise, restaurateurs and publicans. Across the spectrum, those with something to sell get busy selling.

There are always big movie releases, plus theatrical spectacles that would not risk opening at any other time of the year. New products like the Xbox One, PS4, iPhone 5s and 5c are introduced to huge fanfare. In the US, retail analysts pore over the sales of the first weekend after Thanksgiving to gauge the strength of the US recovery and consumer sentiment.

In the UK, high street multiples invest millions in marketing. For example, the usually anti-consumerist and wonderful Lily Allen has covered a Keane track for John Lewis, which is designed to sell as much stuff as possible by pulling shamelessly on our heartstrings. (And, admittedly, doing it brilliantly; it had our family on the verge of tears!)

But do we actually spend much more at Christmas? And, if so, what do we spend it on?

In recent weeks, there have been a few articles suggesting that the Irish spend more at Christmas than the rest of Europe. And a few years ago, when I wrote a piece here about returning from a business trip in New York in 2006 – at the height of the spending madness – that certainly seemed to be the case. But what about now? The best way to assess whether we are indeed spending much more in the run-up to The Christmas is to see how much we spend in December and November, compared to the average retail spending during the rest of the year.

There was an article in Quartz magazine last week which looked at whether Americans outspent the rest of the world at this time of year. I extended the analysis to Ireland to see where we lie vis-a-vis the rest of the developed world.

Have a look at the first table below. It measures average spending over 12 months for three years: 2010, 2011 and 2012. Look at November. It shows that, in the three countries of peripheral Europe suffering from the highest rates of unemployment and where the economy has contracted the most – Ireland, Greece and Spain – consumers spent less in November than the average. This could be because, being cash-strapped, we stop spending in November to have something left for December.

Table 1

It also reflects a lack of credit because we live in the countries where the banking system is bust. In the rest of the world, there is a small uptick in November. In the UK, Germany, Australia and Canada, spending tends to ramp up in November.

Then look at December. In Ireland, we spend 19 per cent more then than we do on average in the previous 11 months. It is actually a rather modest retail binge compared with that of our neighbours across the water. And we see that the three countries of the periphery are not the big spenders at Christmas.

Compare the Irish spending at Christmas to that of the UK, Australia or France or Italy. We are positively frugal. The Aussies get the prize for the best Christmas shoppers in the world, spending on average 35 per cent more in December than during the rest of the year.

But that’s not the end of the story.

I wanted to get to the bottom of the “Did you get over The Christmas?’’ question. If we are thriftier in December than the average of developed world countries, maybe the notion that the Irish “go mad’’ at Christmas is just another myth.

But wait.

If we drill a bit deeper into the spending to see how much we spend on drink, food and tobacco, this tells a different story – one that would make your arteries harden. This is the partying index.

Oh yes, there it is. Examine the numbers in table 2. The partying index tells us that the Americans spend only 4 per cent more on eating, drinking and smoking in December than in an average month, as do the French, Canadians and Spanish. The Germans push it a bit more and, of course, the Brits and the Aussies are giving it socks in December, spending more than 11 per cent and 14 per cent more respectively on gorging in December than usual.

Table 2

But look at us. Look again, and take it in.

On the partying index, we Irish push a boat or two dozen out. We spend 30 per cent more in December on booze and food than at any other time of the year. This is mad.

When I saw the figures, taken from the CSO, I couldn’t quite believe it, but it’s true. Call it what you will, the partying index, the hangover index, the craic index, but there it is. We spend more than twice as much in December than the supposedly hard-drinking Aussies, and almost eight times the amount the Yanks spend on having the craic!

Is it any surprise, with that type of dietary debauchery, that we ask ourselves in January: “How did you get over the Christmas?”

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  1. dorn

    If you had to put up with my parents over the Christmas period you’d be drinking a lot more too :D

  2. There is no time to celebrate now instead it is a lost time to prepare for what is now ahead .

    Full Moon is on Monday 16th December and the fiery climate and unease will escalate to peak then just as we exit that day from the Bail-Out .

    This uneasy energy will not be dismissed because later in January 23rd will be a Peak Day for the next Moon Wobble ( the last wobble occurred in Philippines ) .All this nervous energy will continue and will mark in our History a great event good or bad .Time will tell . We will all feel it .All January 2014 is one Dark Moment .

    Bail -In is more appropriate as what might happen next and the Minister may decide to shut up certain Irish Banks and rob depositors of their monies .A new bankers signed convention in EU allows restructure by a Minister depleting all bank deposits to zero . Omerta or silence seems to be the modus operandi of the Government .

    We need to ask why that Omerta also prevails in the Central Bank.

  3. Paul Divers

    An entertaining read. I wonder is the ‘partying index’ mentioned in economics textbooks.

  4. I’m not surprised by these findings – there are a lot of peasants in this place pissing their lives up against a wall.

    • Deco

      Unfortunately this is true. It applies from the very top of the income scale all the way down.

      I used to work in a bar when younger. On a Sunday night, it was common for the younger male customers to throw a note across the counter and say “that’s the end of me wages that I got on Thursday”.

      Massive harm being done by Ireland’s booze problem. And that was the old days – when booze was the problem.

      • I’m thinking of having a sobriety fest/putting that Pledge pin back on for Xmas. As a general rule, I don’t drink on St Patrick’s Day as a protest against cultural conformity. Ireland still has a dry Easter Friday, so why not ramp up Austerity by banning booze for Xmas? I’m sure the Troika would approve if Enda, Noonan and Burton dipped into the Xmas bonuses for pre-emptive payment of property taxes. I’m sure the population would respond with stoic acceptance as they have to all the other measures…or maybe not!

    • we set a good example at Kilkenomics by sticking to soft drinks…

    • Paul Divers

      Could you p.p…privide tangible evidence of said allegations sah?

  5. Deco

    Even more surprising is the fact that the American statistics for December might include some of the Thanksgiving period. They often have two festivals involved.

    I suspect a lot of it also has to do with larger family sizes in Ireland traditionally (more relatives to visit/exchange gifts), and the longer nights, the massive pre-christmas ramp up that starts in September.

    I have noticed in recent years that the media in Ireland are very much in control of large sections of the populace with regard to consumer spending, and in particular with respect to binge spending.

    • The climate is a big factor, as the Solstice is a medical as well as cultural phenomenon: light deprivation causes craving for carbs and beer/whisky/stout are liquid carbohydrate to wash down the spuds boiled, mashed, roast, chipped: all makes sense in ‘light’ of Vit D depletion.

      Stonehenge/Newgrange was always about the ‘return of the light’ at winter solstice, not summer. Hogmanay has been co-opted by banker types trying to end it for the start of the Gregorian Calendar/Back to Work agenda,rather than allowing the party zone to carry through to it’s natural conclusion at Imbolc. At least, that’s what it looks like when I’m stoned and listening to rare reggae whilst reading the history of these Isles of Wonder and their uniquely bizarre climate-culture-sociobiological innovations and contributions to world.

      • 5Fingers

        Old hat. Nothing has changed. We are all human. Spuds are a recent 4 century old import and very bad for you. Back in the Newgrange days t’was mead and magic mushrooms. We were are one with the rest of the mushroom munchers round the world…which explains the commonality of the spiral hieroglyphs that adorn many of the megalithic tombs.

        Now how’s that brew of ayahuasca coming along…

      • EMMETTOR

        D’ya have any LKJ with Bovell’s band? Great stuff.

  6. Craic Index. Christmas, Xmas & XXXmas, Santa-Satan. Shopping. And Yule ‘black sabbath’ shag fest party zone. Scrooge on Oxford Street. German Market mayhem in Brum. Bull Market credit resurrected shopping in Bull Ring. But the Gaels max the maxness in alcohol?LOL!ness. Who knew? Jan/Feb hangover till St Paddy’s day ramp-up at Cheltenham. Who knew? *rollseyes*

    Wonder how much of the UK figure is Celtic fringe? Actually, that’s a myth as the Saxon/Normans party like it’s 1999, just get a late-night London tube anytime from now on. So, Angela’s auterity ashes forgotten as the Yule tree is burned for lulz across the island of Ireland. The German market in Brum closes at night, if it was run by the inhabitants of these spiral tribe isles without licencing/police interference it would go on 24/7 till 12th night. No wonder the dour Adam Smith E’bro types tried to install Hogmanay as the uber-fest to try and get the ravers back on to Gregorian calendar time. Doesn’t work, as the party goes on till Burn’s Night, or will for me anyway as I tour the fractured north.

    JohnALLEN! Just finishing up my bullet-point response to your excellent PDF, taken longer than I thought as new insights keep intruding. I could write a book on it. So, enjoy the kick-off of “The Christmas” whether you have a real Christ-mas, a retail X-mas or a full-on Mercian triple XXXmas black sabbath like me. Actually, I do all three if I can balance the personas/alters of my MPD personality crisis clusterfcuk art-intallation. Etc. Now, finish up these cards to Osriage and the other provinces.

    • 5Fingers

      I think the “celt” thing is overplayed. Git yerself down to Brazil or over into the Slavic countries – they know how to party. We the fields are greener far away. Up close we see warts and all.

      • I’m thinking of Brazil, but it might be a bit *dangerous* for someone who is often assumed to be a British imperialist cuz of iz accent, innit. Unless I cop-out: perfect the plastic paddy stuff/carry a Green Card passport out of rucks.

        Slavs were enslaved like Irish thralls in Iceland, and like the Delta Blues, I’m sure they also know how to party. Not been there but love what I assume I’ve heard of the culture refracted second hand by Roma-gypo-tinker worldview. Ukraine kicking off too, they’re tired of being slaves to Putin. FEMEN first tore their bra off there too, so lots of destinations for travel appeal beyond the usual spots. Ireland is very expensive for £ holders and you can do that stuff by a visit to Celtic F.C etc.

        • whatamess

          When i think of Brazil,i think of bikinis made of dental floss;)

          • or porn stars and Premier League lads feeling they have to have back,sac’n'crack for the craic, cuz the Love/Hate guys did. I bet even the sober banker types are up to that carry on these days. I remember when you could get stabbed for earing and guyliner, now you’re weird if you don’t have 60 tattoos, including on yer knob.Dread to think of the XXXmas decorations for pork-sword stuff, isn’t Santa porn underwear enough? *sigh* Thankfully, I’m 53 so that kind of thing is long ago and far away, allowing me to concentrate on the baby Jayzus stuff without temptation. And they don’t let drunks into midnight mass anymore, so it’s all good.

          • whatamess

            “or porn stars” …is this the stting for profanity?

            “how very dare you!!” lol

          • Ryu Hayabusa

            YEAH… and I bet you’ve got a Capoeira sequence down pat to remove said ‘dental floss’ quick smart whatamess. :)

          • whatamess

            my salivary amylase effortlessly disintegrates the floss! lol

        • Paul Divers

          Growing up with Celtic is city life but some people who grow up in city wish they grew up in the country

          Cities are way over rated

          • *sigh* Celtic fans and their entitlement agendas..Celtic are so over rated. *popcorn*

          • EMMETTOR

            Anyway, while some percentages are used by DMcW there are also straight monetary comparisons. In the case of the latter, our extremely expensive tobacco, drink and even food might actually play a part. A bunch of guys I know in Kansas have a Thursday night boys-night-out where they go out, get drunk and fed for a little more than $10. That’ll just about get you a pint and a packet of crisps here in Rip-Off Ireland (yes, it’s still alive and well)

  7. BHarrigan

    Here in Manhattan you have to see the MOBS of people trying to get a glimpse of the tree at Rockefeller Center, absolute pandemonium. Christmas music in food markets starting soon after Halloween, sickening. This speaks to how the large corporations have hijacked just about every part of our lives here in the States, but it just amazes me how the majority of the sheeple revel in this corruption of what was once a “holiday season.”
    I didn’t realize how bad it had become in Ireland. I’d be interested in some opinion on whether you see the holiday circumstances in Ireland as home grown or as a reflection of the USA exporting our vile brand of consumerism?

    • They are all thick and get what they deserve. I don’t give a toss about presents (buying nor receiving) and trees and Christmas songs and the baby Jesus and all that shite but the kids enjoy it in their innocence (and let them) and I like the time off and the chance to see friends, that’s about it.

      • 5Fingers

        I have to confess that I like being one of the mobs of many trudging about the place. I even do carols and all that stuff. I do not think they (the mob or whoever) are all thick or deserve any negativity at all. I think any chance we have to make another smile or feel good about themselves should be taken. The icons for same are not to be dismissed so lightly – grown ups dream as well and I for one shall show respect. I presume when you meet your friends, it’ll not be empty handed and that you will have more than your dour thoughts to share.

        • Nah, it’s the dour thoughts alone that they’ll be getting Philip!

        • 5Fingers – Sing us a carol and stick it on YouTube or Vine. Go on! It’s nearly Christmas!

        • the nativity story is one of the most revolutionary in world history, putting a homeless preganant women, her husband, not the father of her unborn son and tax-grasping banker Caesar types into one unbelievably beautiful mosaic. It’s the one time I can think of family life being honoured and is well worth the commercial annoyance to enjoy. Sadly, my kids are a decade on from the Nativity play stuff, but it’s still shockingly visceral to hear folk singing together in a church for no commercial reason. I’ve lost my faith, but don’t denigrate those who haven’t: unless they’re scandalous rogues or cover up for them, etc. I am so excited about The Christmas and this article has really kicked it off for me. Another mince pie!

          • whatamess

            A strange tale for you all….me and a few close friends back two years ago,all a bit ‘hippyish’ by some standards and sharing mid life crises too,decided we’d have a ‘taste ‘of homelessness …we agreed on having zero cash,no on person back up ‘stash’ or plastic ,no mobiles etc etc the experiment was crafted well lets just say.. and after 4 full days,separated in diff locations, we’d meet up again to report our experiences…( we all were allowed dictaphones)

            Well it was very humbling…we all felt a bit of a fraud days 1 and 2 yea…then the mind is concentrated wonderfully day 3…that cold damp thro your sleeping bag and jeans.Dull headache.train station locker.pulling a suitcase in dirty clothes and people turning their nose.no night’s sleep.hungry.begging ( we agreed min 30 people a day) But it’s ‘that look’ of the people from whom you begged…what a mixed bag!humanitarians,few,in London anyway

            Another shtory…bit funnier …..when i first visted ‘Merica’ in my teens,i visted “Long’s” supermarket.I did my shoppoing and when i got to the checkout,the cashier asked,”Will that be paper or plastic,sir?”Yunoo how whatmess replied to this 18 yr old blonde knock out?

            ” cash ”

            i din’t “get it” – she was of course asking if i wanted a paper or plastic bag?! She laughed her ass off !!!!!!

            Hey ! f*ck you for laughing !lol I was engrossed in the laser reader for bar codes that i’d only ever seen on “Tomorrow’s world”

          • whatamess

            bartender , a mine pie and make it a bigggun’

      • whatamess

        @Adam

        “but the kids enjoy it in their innocence (and let them)”

        i can remember VIVIDLY the moment of the day i discovered that Santa was NOT real….i felt very betrayed by my parents for deceiving me …really….”What else is bullshit?” i immediately thought to myself!

        I really feel strongly that kids would be almost equally excited for Santa if they knew if was all really just make believe.

        The TRUTH is very important to a young mind

        Adulterating it with Santa is a destructive foundation layer in ‘believing’ all sorts of other bull*hit

      • EMMETTOR

        All true, Adam. Now my kids are grown up but have yet to make me a Grandad, I’ve been able to enjoy giving up the whole charade entirely. Of course, now that Enda and his Baldy Man have forcibly taken away my Christmas, I want it back.

    • I will be spending Christmas in the US (Illinois) for the first time ever this year BHarrigan – looking forward to it – again for the time off from routine and the chance to see friends. I don’t engage in the commercial side of it over here so I couldn’t compare Ireland for you.

      Harrigan – a good name, it’s Irish by origin but I know a lot of Antiguans with the name too (a few good footballers included) – could never figure out that connection.

      • whatamess

        I wonder does anyone remember a Late Late show with Gay Byrne in the 80′s where Gay’s guests were from Argentina and of Irish decent,back several generations. But in those generations,none took an interest( for want of a far better word…ive ameeeting in 8mins) in their cousins back in Ireland,so gay flew a few of these famillies ,straight to the RTE studios…. ring a bell with anyone???

        Anyway,these Argentinian guys,fresh from the Pampas, land on the Late show set at 9.30pm and are rolled out in front of camera…It was a kinda social experiment by Gay and making a long story short,each guy was invited to say a few words…when each guy had completed his turn,Gay asked his studio audience to make observations of the men that had just spoken…and from what i remember,the audience in an eerie way,agreed almost unanimously that the mens’ accents were from Wexford and Sligo(if memory serves and thats 30+years ago) and even tho they had ZERO contact with Ireland in those generations,still held onto their accents!

        And it was later confirmed that LOTS of Irish from Sligo and Wexford emigrates to Argentina back in famine times

        back to work

          • Great link: explains wave of Famine/Hunger PTSD through the Emergency to the Forgotten Irish of Birmingham.

          • What about the forgotten Irish of Antigua?

            Such as the Harrigans?

            They had it rough too Mr. Mooney.

            Do you always have to be so ‘Brum-centric’?!

          • Not to mention the Byrnes of Guyana – seriously.

            Here’s my friend and namesake from Guyana although she works in the Antigua FA office – World Cup tickets anyone?

            https://www.facebook.com/ady.byrne.58?fref=ts

            Manuaus here I come.

          • Adam, don’t worry, my VisionThing extends to Carib via Handsworth. If you can get me tickets for Manaus, I’ll sob with gratitude even if I’ll have to plug my ears whilst God Save The Queen is playing. Are you really going to Brazil?

          • Oi! Adam Ebeneezer, i’m not Brum-centric: I just don’t recognise the corrupt corporate whore nation states of current England or Ireland anymore: just the mosaic of tribes from Osraig to Mercia and beyond. It’s an untold story, hardly over-exposed given it’s potential to reshape the universe, etc. *sulk*

          • whatamess

            Adam,as you probably know,there is a poisonous wind blowing off that Lake Michigan in December that’ll freeze the snot in your running nose! If someone suggests using the ‘L’ ,I would immediately counter that by getting a taxi, coz even a 7 or 8 minute wait on that platform, is hellish!!! I’d rather have a picnic on top of an active volcano!I might, with some fancy footwork, sidestep the magma, but that Chicago cold ,pierces!!

            Bulls game on the cards?

          • Yes, I’m going to Brazil. I don’t recognise nation states either.

          • 5Fingers

            Come off it!! Whore nations indeed!! You are part of the same thing grabbing what you can of it and making a business of crying foul about its injustices. A bit kinda recursive that – no?

          • Another one of the fallacies of the ‘if you don’t vote you can’t comment on democracy’ variety I’m afraid Philip.

          • 5Fingers

            Hurlers on the ditch always think they know better…eh?

          • 5Fingers: it’s a play on ‘corporate rock whore’ by Cobain. It’s put up or shut up for the Nation State Project, either reign in the feral Law of Incorporation and money production of Banks or give up and admit defeat. I’m using hyperbole and rhetorical OTT but I can’t see how anyone can accept the premises of established narratives after Snowden and Greenwald. It’s time to ‘shake the habitual’ and that’s not always easy. Yes, I’m not a stateless refugee and use Nation State / Passport as Privilege, but that’s not really avoidable given the Legal Fiction prison of Birth Name/Birth Certificate Subject/Citizen stuff, is it. Oh, and as the future Dr Who said:

            Malcolm Tucker: “Don’t ever call me f***ing English again.”

            Or in my case, English or Irish until both the Crown and the D4 K-Club crew are sorted. Mercia & Osraige: nothing else.

            “In The Loop-Don’t Call Me English”

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwGZinTeodc

            RIP Gandolfini. You’d have made the perfect “Cardinal Snowden” for the film. I guess it’s de Niro or Clooney now.

          • Paul Divers

            You tell im Ad.

          • Paul Divers

            Ha you left Andy on his arse there Adam. Running rings around that Brummy fucker. You ledge.

          • @PaulDipstick on my arse? let’s do a thought experiment: BCFC Peaky Blinder Zulu Celtic Soul Brother Rainbow Warrior meets average Cetlic F.C wannabe in darkened underpass, who ends up being stretchered off with career-ending injury? *thinking*

            Intersectional analysis from Feminist/Queer Theory applied to “Ireland” and the Diaspora shows that the fugees of Devil Eire’s Emergency who fled to Brum were the true standard bearers of the Gaelic Revolution. Abused for ‘leaving home’ whilst their offspring faced Accentist taunts from both Norman Toraigh Cromwell types and haughty Haughey D4 eejits for having Shakespeare’s accent with an underlying Dub or Culchie lilt, a historically unique culture emerged which withstood the troll attempts of Haughey and IRA cowards to destroy it on 21/11/74 and the subsequent co-conspiracy with the West Midlands Police to frame the Birmingham Six.

            Dublin is closer to Birmingham than to Boston or Berlin. Glasgow’s 4 miles closer than Brum but a wannabe clone, not standalone. Birmingham is the Eternal city of the Fifth Province and was “even better than the real thing”. Deal with it, barmpot.

            *popcorn*

        • Greenland Is The Real Wexford Accent You’d Think You Were Back At Vinegar Hill Or The Harrow ,

        • whatamess

          so nobody remembers that Late Late Show?

          i’ve hunted for it on the web,but no joy

        • Paul Divers

          It was a joke Andrew. fgs.

          • Paul Divers: I know it was! So was my response. I must remember to put at the end of each comment:

            “Warning! This online persona was made in a factory that may contain Irony”.

            Love Celtic. Love Glasgow: easily as much fun as Dublin in my book. Next time I’m there I’ll buy you a pint and, y’know, wind you up…

        • EMMETTOR

          Well the Normans came into existence when Norsemen married the local French women. In one generation they were speaking French exclusively as this was the language of the mothers. The accents were probably passed on in the same way.

          • “married”: raped and subjugated them just like they did the Gael women in Dublin, Waterford, etc. Oh, and some of their kin took the West Coast women up to Iceland to have fun on those long dark nights, but it’s the “Saxon Foe” who got the historic rap, not the marauding Viking rogue tribe who became the English then British Royal Family.

            History is written by the victors and the losers usually get their grievance mongering victims script wrong, leading to ‘unfortunate’ events like 21/11/74, etc.

      • Adam, have a winter wonderland in Illinois. Here’s my favourite Christmas song ever, by Mid-Western Americans lost and feeling Low on the road to Oslo,touring, far from Duluth. Everyone else on this blog, this song is truly awesome for your office party playlist, people from HR and corner window top floor offices will think “oh, he/she isnt’ just a bean-counter from accounts, they have taste and discernment, we must promote them!” Just don’t get drunk and do mad drunken Uncle dancing, leave that to me..

        “Just Like Christmas” by Low

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IippcraBPKA

      • EMMETTOR

        Is that not from the Irish slavemasters?

    • 5Fingers

      Familiarity breeds contempt. We all get jaded. It’s normal. I think denigration of groups of people serves no purpose. We are all sheeple from someone else’s and possibly more informed perspective.

      • Deffo the Pope would say we are all his sheeple and should get the fcuk back into line. He’s considered to be ‘more informed’ but not by me. And boy, isn’t he pissed about it. Hi Bergoglio! Hope they’re translating this for you as well as they did for Ratbagzinger. LOLOLOLOL!

        • 5Fingers

          Well…let me see, do I get back in your line or the Pope’s? The feather ruffling methinks is getting some histrionic responses. It is easy to be with the secularist knock jocks…tiresomely trendy even. Try and be interesting for a change.

          • Follow your bliss: it’s The Christmas! If that involves pay, pray, obey for you, that’s fine. Follow your bliss. That’s what I do. The secularist ‘knock jocks’ are a welcome and well-overdue wake-up call for the Roman Catholic Church to get it’s house in order and stop Crime & Cover-Up in banking and sexual sociopathy. Some of the most inspiring people in my life have been/are devout Catholics, including my parents: they were able to take it without losing their balance, so should the eejits in the Vatican. Not that I care, as I intend to Follow My Bliss and those cult clowns have absolutely no power in my mind or life, other than as a source of almost constant luzlz as they are dragged kicking and screaming into ‘consensual reality’.

            I am ‘interesting’. It would be impossible for me to be otherwise given the life I’ve lived and what’s lined up for me in the next few years.

            I’ll light a candle for you and yours over the season. Srsly: don’t assume that everyone who wages war to remove the cancers in the Curia can be simplistically herded into the same category analysis.

            The right to Belief has to be balanced by the right to Unbelief: it’s time for the ‘faithful’ to stfu, live by example and stop whinging that they’ve been exposed to the light in covering up some of the most despicable behaviour in human history on the basis of ‘religion’. It’s time for them to conduct an Inquisition on themselves: check out the meaning and history of that word before it was nicked by psychotic fanatics.

            Merry Christmas 5Fingers.

          • whatamess

            @Andrew

            but the “bliss” ought to be REAL,right ?

            or is it a case of let’s all take the ‘blue pill’ and yerrra ,just forget about TRUTH ?

            but at what cost?

            i know your’e saying live and let live and i’m not pontificating to anyone,but let’s always strive to be REAL

          • @whatamess And who gets to define ‘real’? It’s the winners of history, the royals, aristocrats, connected D4 families who hide behind nationalism and patriotism and all that crap, feeding the serfs crumbs and singalong anthems of resentiment but giving them no actual power.

            From lese majeste in Thailand to the streets of Bangkok in uproar, from ‘blasphemy’ legislation by soi-disant Soldiers of Destiny who were bowing and scraping, fluffing and blowing Rome for decades of the collapsed 1st Irish Republic: clowns like that do not define my reality. Yes, I keep it 4 Real, like Ritchie, “scratch my name on your arm with a fountain pen or Stanley Knife” but us BCFC Peaky Blinder mad Paddy BrummieBoyz don’t, y’know, get all strung out on Concentration Camp chic literature and jump off the Severn Bridge like the Taffs. They’re Celts too, but some of their headless pack Heddlu hate you, think you’re dogshit, so careful on St Mary’s Street after the rugby, they might have red hair, but they do contempt for the Gael better than the English:

            http://www.thejournal.ie/south-wales-police-forced-to-apologise-for-operation-irish-name-1135040-Oct2013/

            Bizarre, given that half of Cardiff came over from Cork a couple of centuries ago and are loathed by ‘real Welsh’ near here as arriviste West Brit types.

            Ireland vs England Croke Park “God Save The Queen” I’m in a pub near Ninian Park and I’ve tossed a coin, ale till half-time then Guiness, and whilst the Dublin stadium is quiet, the pub erupts in failed-state Principality Bitch victim script hatred. I watch, fascinated. And twirl my razor blade at the edge of my cap…

            Merry Christmas to all my Celtic-Gaelic friends in Wales, Cymru, whatever you call your ‘principality’ these days. Oh, and if you don’t like it, don’t burn ‘english’ holiday cottages, blow up the Severn Bridges and walk to Gloucester to cross the Severn, FFS!

            ps: I’m only modelling rage, I love Wales, but hate sectarian identity hatreds of all descriptions. “Imagine no religion” etc.

          • whatamess

            @Andrew,

            We all,as individuals,define what REAL is in our lives Andrew?We follow the fact based evidence that can be tested and use our reason and logic….not inner feelings stuff and an a la carte pseudo system of ‘beliefs’

            And following religious rules and living by theses rules without even questioning the source, is absurd, no? sheeeeple do that! If you [if 'one'] just follow the rules of a god on high dictator and not question these rules, aren’t you being completely not moral?(excuse the double negative)

            What”s the point in having the CAPACITY to evaluate stuff, if i MUST follow these rules? You still have to make a personal judegment to be a moral agent,to say “yes, this is correct” or “no,this is wrong”.When we loose sight of this, and not filter stuff through our OWN morality,it’s a slippery slope brother

            Divine command theory,the religious proposition that god dictates morality,is in fact immoral.This FORCES YOU TO SACRIFICE YOUR HUMANITY ,ergo just pollutes your moral compass, the ONLY one you have!!..you’ll justt end up in a moral cul-de-sac following rules that you might not even agree with ( History has MANY horrible examples,as you know!! )

            So why do these ‘believers’ even bother wasting an ounce of energy evaluating,if all youre gonna do in the end,is follow the rules regardless,in an unthinking fashion.Dogs are horses do that!it’s more than opposable thumbs that separate us,right?

            If you think your god is more moral than you,then why even reason stuff out for yourself when your own moral judgement is,‘corrupted.’, as ALL religious books tell you!!!!!! And if you can’t make a moral judegment then how can you say that your god is moral? So when a religious person, ,by association, asserts that one’s moral compass is corrupted and yet assert also, to have made a valid moral determination about some super natural entity ,these are in direct conflict!

            People ACT in accordance with their beliefs, right? Not knowledge! Knowledge is just a subset of beliefs and while its cool to figure stuff out,its waaaay more important what we believe or do NOT believe, coz that’s all it takes to inform our ACTIONS!

            When asked at the border by an RUC officer if the young man was Catholic or Prodestant, the young man answered, “I’m an Atheist”, to which the officer replied ,”but are you a catholic or protestant atheist?” ;)

            I reject all theistic claims

    • Paul Divers

      You are misled. Ireland is a country riddled with poverty but it is not so mindless and desperate as America. We have learned what we lost and we are not going to sink into what America has become. Ireland will recover and rediscover it’s identity whereas there is no hope for America.

  8. BHarrigan

    Yes, I’ve recently become a citizen of the EU based upon my Irish ancestry. Actually considering spending some time in the Irish countryside but the more research I do it seems I won’t find what I’m looking for. Seems like more of the same over there. Consumerism, corporate cronyism, etc

    Be forewarned that Illinois gets quite cold in the winter. It’s been very wintry across the country already this year

  9. bonbon

    Last Aug we read Irish people owe €37,572 per capita — the lowest level of personal debt since October 2006, according to the Central Bank.

    Households paid down €1.6bn of debt over the first three months of this year.

    Household net worth decreased by €1.8bn or 0.4% of the overall amount to €463.7bn or €101,117 for each person in the country at the end of March.

    That housing bubble and bankster binge was one hell of a xmass.

    Contrary to what Tigers claim, that was not Santa that came down the chimney with promissory notes for all the kids of -€101,117.

  10. ross81

    Well it’s cheaper to just get presents for everyone (including despised extended family members & work colleagues) than go abroad which is what is boils down to for me in the end. But if I had any money I’d probably head to the nearest non-Giftmas country for a couple weeks every December.

    • You Wouldn’t be alone Ross 81 Comedian Brendan O’Carroll Gave Thousands Of Turkey’s To Dublin’s Poor Last Christmas Fair Play To Him A Man with a Heart. None of The Worshiped Tax Exiles Put There Greasy Hands In There Pockets Brendan O’Carroll Will Receive His Kindness Back a Thousand Fold Happy Christmas,

  11. CorkRob

    Was it Sting who sang ‘ We drink to remember, we drink to forget…”?
    With all the crap we put-up with all year, the miserable damp, cold and dark winter months, the hundreds of thousands of workers without jobs or the chance of one (Decent permanent ones anyway), the incessant sneaky price-rises by the multiples, the self-serving political class, the diminishing State supports for the needy, the society photos of the banking class enjoying 5***** Christmas revelry (Instead of a deserved Mountjoy meal), etc, etc blah, blah, blah, is it any wonder that we burn out the end of the year in a defiant haze of booze & carbs ?
    Remember, a 30% increase on a monthly spend of SFA, is still SFA !!!!
    Bah Humbug !!!!

    • Cork. Kenefick. Prodijig! Vikings invaded at Dublin, Waterford, Newcastle and..Hasting, becoming the Normans of 1066 and then the Royal Family. Sting, of Viking stock by the look of it sings of the last ship, echoing Shipbuilding and de-industrialisation which barely got going with Dell in Limerick before it packed up and left. Great song from perspective of rogue priest. I will sing this as a duet with Damien Dempsey when I play St James’s Park, and in Dublin, Waterford, Galway, Limerick and Cork, Liverpool, Bristol, London and Glasgow, changing lyrics to encompass night boat to Hollyhead, convict ships to Antipodes, and famine ships to America, cuz that’s wot uz genius cultural remix mad paddy from BrummieBoy types do, for teh lulz:

      Sting: The Last Ship

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOmUw6Y_z6I

  12. 5Fingers

    Actually, I am surprised it is such a once a year binge spike. If true, that is actually good. I think the human body responds well to small shocks.

    I saw an RTE Philip Boucher Hayes documentary the other night. 30% of food purchased goes to waste in Ireland and the number of overweight seems to climb. So in reality we are probably 50% over purchased in food…which is odd when so many are unemployed. Mad?!

    Lots of crisps/ biscuits/ sweets/ bad booze/ sweet drinks/ sweeteners/ appetizers…stick a smelly haddock or lemon under the average Irish nose and they convulse in agony. Again…very odd when you think of all those expensive kitchens installed over the boom period. Mad?!

    • Circuit training. Binge drinking/eating: everything in moderation! Shock Doctrine is not just for Economies! Resilience, have yerself an Anti-Fragile Xmas!

      The homogenisation of food/drink is funny, ever smell Durian? Of course, the human body is now also a source of olfactory disdain with the deoderant/cologne industry. I used to get my Dad some Brut for Xmas, he’d roll his eyes in a “what for?” kind of way. Now, everyone showers twice a day in case they actually smell human anywhere in the air-con office/mall/bar/ hall of mirrors.

      Kitchens are for assembling factory produced food on expensive crockery, hence the need for long marble worktops for the takeaway trays whilst watching Darina Allen/Nigella types doing ‘authentic’Xmas peasant cooking on the hovering 50in telly over the island unit. I think it must be fun filming Xmas dinner cookery shows in August.

      People don’t buy/eat food, they purchase ‘status’ whether in exotic ridiculous ingredients or the latest designer restaurant meal fad, exotic Irish-Mexican-Indonesian fusion cuisine or whatever the expense account types in D4 are wolfing down right now.

      • whatamess

        Christmas ,”just another programme from the machine world,” but its coming tho,whether we like it or not

        better for health to try ying to this stress inducing x-mas yang ;)

        1 minute
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XO0pcWxcROI

        and 15mins but well worth the watch
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZdssVmgDJM

      • 5Fingers

        Try fartlek, it actually works. So does intermittent fasting – been done for millenia. And quiet possiblly moderation as in middle class humdrum does exactly the opposite. Perhaps shock doctrine has a lot going to it. Stealing from the same anti fragile author – in this modernistic time, we seem to age faster and live longer.

        So have a fartlek Christmas – and enjoy the “status” kick while offered. The show-offs need an audience and I am happy to participate.

        • whatamess

          Oh how kind of you to put up with such status chasers at “your” party ..

          I’d like to think that whatamess isn’t seen as a Comicus character to ‘some’,but i won’t loose sleep if that’s what ‘they’ choose to see

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF2RYhNhBdw

          ;)lol

        • 5Fingers, I’ve been doing 5:2 Diet & anerobic burst training along with hydrotherapy and other stuff recommended by occupatonal therapist for mTBI-whiplash crap. Weight training / boot camp/boxing/Irish dance from Jan 1 2014, but losing excess weight, but dealing with Syndrome X blood sugar is priority, hence teetotal from Hogmanay as well.

          Also, using the “upright desk” thing but leg swelled up, damaged blood vessel from DVT 2 years ago, so doctor said only 8 hours standing a day, not 18 which is my usual working day:”Studies have claimed major health benefits for standing for much of the day as opposed to sitting.”

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24532996

          Get up, stand up! Stand still, be fit:

          http://www.lamkamchuen.com/lamkamchuen.com/Stand_Still,_Be_Fit/Stand_Still,_Be_Fit.html

          Another reason why teenage lads benefit from National Service type disciplines and why working on the line in a factory or standing up in a shop is not as deadly as “The Office” although some offices I’ve worked in have been so funny I could have died from a LOL!-attack:

          The Office (UK) – Outtakes – Christmas Special

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s648Lmz1VDQ

          Now, having smashed the agoraphobic-amnesiac stuff, if I can herd all the personas into one stable brand, choose which Stanislavsky rules of The Method i need ‘going forward’ and get signed off as no threat to the 5EyeNation Spy Machine, it will be a great end to the year and the best ever version of The Christmas! Who knows what the future might bring for me. You. All of us on this lovely little blog.

          • whatamess

            i posted aaaages ago here about the Atkins diet….i use it OFTEN for weight loss…dunno bout your Syndrome X sugar thingymajig ,but atlins is ,as you probably know,virtually zero sugar intake….have a gandaer at ketosis and “the quest for purple” …. you’ll be low on energy for fist 2 weeks,then your body ought to adjust

            for quick weighloss,it’s the AK47!

          • whatamess

            and my psilocybin /shroooms comments of late were motivated by my posts maybe 3 months ago on this very topic…very interesting stuff Andrew…

            im friendly with a guy on a research team and have met 50 sufferers of PTSD and cluster headaches and many other diseases …check out robert carhart harris and david nuttt on londonreal…

            2 sub trippy doses a year,problems solved….it’s like pushing the “on/off” switch to “off” …

            no money in that for pharmas tho,right?more empire …hmmm

            well worth a watch
            2mins
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBBBxVNjOeE

            2mins
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7P4iFg048k

    • EMMETTOR

      All that stuff about food waste is a load of bollox. Clearly.

    • 5Fingers

      And I thought looking at pictures of the scantily clad would have been enough on the basis that it did not matter where you got yer appetite as long as you had yer dinner at home. I would guess it might lead to a lot of this…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zER1bq21g4o

      • oh, the lol! Should be used in sex-ed classes. Always carry a few rubbers or ask the waiter in the curry house for a length of cling-film for emergency knee-trembler situations. You can get paternity tests but Joan Burton types probably think it’s all the lads fault not the pole-dancing fake tan trollops in beach wear on Broad Street who are so drunk they think I look a bit like George Clooney or Wayne Rooney in the 3:O0am taxi-rank shadows. At that stage, anyone will do, even me..actually that never happens as I’ve taken a vow of celibacy. Again. Till at least Thursday..it’s The Christmas, so I have to show some restraint and dignity.

    • Paul Divers

      Apparently there are 80,000 Irish people hoping for an affair this xmas. Lol.

      What does thy think of that Andie.

      A sign of the times or just a fantasy invented in the heads of hacks who perform no use other than to waste the brains of the Great Irish Public?

      Paid to drive people stupid.

      • EMMETTOR

        All that stuff about people wanting to have an affair is a load of bollox. Clearly

        • well, bollox probably have some bearing on whether affairs happen, there’s the brain, the second brain in the gut, and the third-leg lizard trouser snake brain which causes blue balls type xXXmas frustration at crap office parties and carrying on in the car-park type situations. Best stick to diet Coke, as HR note all that kind of stuff and don’t forget on Jan 1.

  13. DMW Your piece Today Only concerns about three Quarters Of the pop I Live In A Fairly big estate And I Don’t see anyone Even putting there head outside the door for the last 4-5 years never mind Partying again you put emphases on Elite of society . I always thought David you didn’t Run With the Crowd ? Surely basic economics Tell us The Less we Pay Those on the Margins the less they have to spend No Matter Who Pays Them, because they Spend every Last Red Cent Just To Survive ,
    Maybe that’s The Society You And Pat The Plank Want,?

  14. joe hack

    You’re not equating like with like, particular when it comes to OZ. Ireland at Christmas is in darkness and it’s only natural due to the weather that we eat and drink more. Darkness can bring on depression and some use drink to alleviate it; it’s a short term fix that can worsen the problem.
    What we needed are head lamps i.e. lamps attached to the head that shine into the eyes, the Norwegian use them, and it must a sight for sore eyes!

    There is no empirical evidence it your thoughts there DMW we need more research I suggest a pub crawl.
    We can then see if the statistics match the reality, it’s your round, and you’re paying the taxi fare to OZ for a Christmas BBQ on a beach, don’t forget the Speedos and remember to factor in the UV prophylactics.

    • Paul Divers

      Don’t talk daft man. A few good stiff walks up the hills at ‘The Christams’ is the best cure for black dog and an idle spirit. Just got to force thyself. It is called self discipline and self respect. But you are such a funny dude I find it hard to belive you are depo

      Idleness is a disaease as contageous as syphilis and an ememy that needs to be treated with contempt the way Baxter did with keepy uppy against the world champions on their home patch; while respecting it you are better treating it like an old stitched leather ball you would batter off a wall all day long on a miserable summer day. We learn how to be the master of our mind and out natural abilities joe. You know the hampden yes?

      Joking aside. My attitude to this life is typically Scottish. I see the glaring contradictions but like Jim I would rather seize the moment and milk it for all it’s worth when I am in a clear position of peerlessness among peers of various presuasions and ability. I would love to have been Bobby Murdoch but I wasn’t and was inferior in every way. Life lesson #1

      Fuck it i will lead if you don’t. Life is just a game man so play it as well as we can. It is alright to be ordinary and not like some of the megalomaniancs you will meet here.

      They are all talk and the entertainment value alone teels you that you should not take sae seriously. Yet look at how many of them are delusional, opinonated and lost and you feel sorry for them as individuals. Even da hoist. There is no humour and empathy but there is plenty of those qualities to be found in in my top two posters of 2013 listed below

      And so I am pleased to annouce my top three posters of the year:

      Andrew
      Joe
      Myself

      Hor hor hor.

      Joe. Don’t stop posting. Fuck the nasty bunch.

      I was watching old football movies before I came in the door hence the subconscious nature of the writing. It is deliberately miss-spelled and employs time switches just to confooz the fuck out of the money men. The men with no ounce of humour in their bodies and no feeling in their mechanical hearts.

      They are getting low on oil and the seams and are leaking and they are due for expiration. thank christ.

      But I have to say I love a pub crawl with some good men and women who have brains, wit and plenty of life in them. Only problem you can’t get a decent pint in the country. Guinbess is not strong enough and it is crap compared to better stouts

      People would pay to come here and spend time with genuine eccentrics.

      • whatamess

        “megal” Paul?

        is that when you cross a megalomaniac with a yank ? ;)

        so it’s Tony B , Pat Flannery, or Bonbon ??hmmm :)

        1min
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KtAgAMzaeg

        • Paul Divers

          See him?

          He’s pure Megol.

          • whatamess

            more glitches Paul… “..omiancs”

            I’m using the “confooz the fuck out of the money men” strategy too,but they have my trail!!…..Is it my scent or perhaps a tracking device in my nasal cavities?…only a computed tomography scan will confirm ….

            I have a very wise Canadian tracker on my ass in fact! ..fiendishly attempting to lure me to his den ,for an unceremonious skinning!

            As sifu Bruce Lee one said
            “Don’t React…ACT”

            Bruce would have been all for Glass Steagall!

          • whatamess

            and i won lotsa Megols as the community sport day

          • Paul Divers

            Oi was a marksman and won megols for shooting. Could shoot the eye out of a sparrow at 600 yards.

        • Paul Divers

          An unceremoious skinning sounds quite delicious provided the scene is perfomed by a jet haired porcelained skinned west of Ireland beauty of mature years and strictly handsome but wistful countenance don’t you think? How does all black high heels, stockings and halterneck dress sound to all you suppressed sons of the soil?

          She might light a cigarette before she starts to torment you.

          I will get skinned for leaving such suggestive trails of evidence on a prominent blog but you know life is too short. I am afaird to leave this world without having truly expressed myself and having sampled all the simple and basic delights it may offer. Put rather simply I refuse to wear the chains but am happy to appear like a nice catholic bhoy

          I may remain celibate. Maybe not.

          It is the not knowing that adds the magic and the mystery of life.

          Sure David himself hints at such thoughts and his work is riddled with linguistic clues about similar thoughts :-)

          It is only natural.

      • Thanks Paul, in years to come I’ll remember that accolade as the mantelpiece collapses with Oscars, Emmys, Bookers, Nobels and Keys to the City.

  15. Adelaide

    Assuming the ratio of this Party Index spike accords with the Pareto
    Principle, in this case 20% of total customers buying 80% of the total goods, in this case mainly booze, then the Irish Christmas Party Index should be titled the Irish Christmas Chronic Alcoholics Index. And that’s not meant as a joke.

    • Paul Divers

      Surely you are not serious?

      It’s just a bit of craic. Like the article.

      Irish comedy is all about taking the piss and you are missing the point.

      There is no party index. Some people fell for it and sound like prods at a carribean orgy :-)

      Lighten the eff up. Goys.

    • Paul Divers

      get a blowjob.

  16. Paul Divers

    There is no reason to gorge at ‘The Christams’.

    Why gorge when you are guaranteed 7 square meals a week and a wee cairy oot twice a week?

    Sure what more could a man want?

    More peace and quiet without the missus yapping shite would be a start!

    Up ‘The Christams’. Hear hear. I tell ye !

    Up ‘The Christams’

  17. David won’t like me for this but here comes his old mate Monbiot with his own take on Chrimbo:

    Materialism: a system that eats us from the inside out

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/09/materialism-system-eats-us-from-inside-out

    Monbiot for Kilkenomics I say!

    • Paul Divers

      I read one of his articles recently and liked it. He talks more sense.

    • That’s a brilliant article as it happens. I just read it.

    • Paul Divers

      That makes two people on this blog who like the guy.

      Our host is outnumbered and his recent dismissal of Monbiot is telling. More evidence that McWilliams could a Tory at heart.

      Still better than being A LUDDITE!

      God forbid Adam.

    • Paul Divers

      I read it Adam and the writing is brilliantly crafted and wonderfully persuasive in it’s passion. In fact even I could not equal it even on my better days. Aherm :-)

      If only!

      I thought I was the only one here who liked this guy but now I know I am not alone and not afraid to express myself. I am sure many of us will be watching Monbiot more closely in future as the Tories disintegraste and that David should have kept his mouth shut instead of bringing the guy to our attention. Classic backfire. Another amateur cock up.

      Thanks for posting.

    • 5Fingers

      So what is he saying that is new?

      • 5Fingers

        Mr Monbiot?

        • Colin

          Nothing new there Philip. I remember Adam posting over 3 years ago saying he was moving in back home where his mum lives. He descibed a small bedroom which was Spartan, lacking in most mod cons young brats have these days. I advised him that’s fine and I told him ‘less is more’, but I don’t get exalted as a critical thinker like Monbiot – not that I want or need this validation anyway.

          I don’t wear any jewellery, have no tattoos, no piercings, no i-thingys, no watches.

          But if there’s one thing I can’t stand, its the 20something with the Dort accent using the word crimbo.

          I blame the parents.

          • Ryu Hayabusa

            Some of the blame must go to that Bounder Ross O’ Carroll Kelly there Colin.

            Can you get a carte hebdomadaire or even quinzomadaire on The Dort, I mean loike seriously goys??

        • Next time you drive across your country notice that it is a desert, a green desert reduced to an ecological wasteland by grazing ruminants for meat: sheep have trashed the planet. Carnism is the root of the apocalypse and has been since the ice-sheet retreated and the memes that birth Mesopotamian and Biblical Neoliberal Economics won the war of all against all ideas. Dr Michael Hudson has covered the consequences of compound interest exponential growth versus economic cycles such as is playing out now, but there’s also the exponential use of planetary Capital by breathless techno Cornucopians in the delusion that it’s ‘progress’.

          His book “Feral” is one of the most important of recent years and a crucial piece in my healing mental jigsaw puzzle. Rewild, reforest Osraige and Mercia, no more oaks felled for Tudor warships or ghost estate decking, etc.

          http://www.monbiot.com/2013/05/24/feral-searching-for-enchantment-on-the-frontiers-of-rewilding/

          A debate between Monbiot and trans priestess of Cornucopians Deirdre McCloskey is on my wish-list for the inaugural Mercianomics, but i don’t mind if David nicks it as I’m busy with lots of other stuff, mostly sex,drugs, rock’n'roll, so manana..

          http://andrewgmooney.com/about/

          LOLOLOLOL!

          In fact, having had a lulzfest at Kilkenomics I’ve decided to, basically, nick David’s nice-guy persona lock,stock and barrel and morph into a kind of Brummie Terry Wogan stand-up heavy metal economic piss-artist with a bit of Pat Kenny,Adrian Chiles,Ryan Tubridy and Ozzie Osbourne thrown into the Merican Jerry Sadowitz magician-comic-psycopath mix. Once I sort out all my online MPD alters and ‘real-life’ Stanislavsky tropes into a viable project rather than a psychotic hall of mirrors, of course.

          http://www.mercianomics.com/defaultsite

          OR I might just say, bollocks, and retire to a monastery now that the psyche police have given in and are rounding up my tormentors for jail terms.

          It’s a wonderful life..my favourite Christmas film and the story of my life.

          • whatamess

            Psilocybin helps wonderfully for mental illnesses and especially effective in addressing rigid thought patterns ,so i’m told

            your writing style is so far from rigid ….consumed some shroooms lately ? ;)

            I’m only a few years your junior and i’m here to say..”There’s plenty of time yet before the monastery”

    • Deco

      The evidence of materialism eating us inside was in the boom era.

      A very vocal element in in Irish society bacame obsessed with stuff – particularly stuff for showing off purposes.

      There is a book called “Affluenza” which was on release, at the height of the mania. As such it was highly instructive, of the phychological and emotional state of the country at the time (and indeed all English speaking countries).

      In the 1980s an obsession with materialism (driven by the media, banks and a toxic version of the political right) became the driver of societal values. In Ireland that was the PD element, which has been in government almost continually since the mid 1980s – making Ireland even more influenced by this than either the UK or the US. (though one could say that neither Clinton nor Blair were anything other than superficial respites).

      Do you think that it will be possible to reverse the damage done ? that a renewed focus on simplicity might help people find greater personal liberation ? Perhaps.

      • whatamess

        “materialism and societal values”

        More ghost towns and ‘deserted villages’ and all the while ,’we pamper luxury, and thin mankind”

        http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173557

        “Do you think that it will be possible to reverse the damage done ?” As you ask,i think the force necessary for a recovery will have to meet the ‘obvious realities and as such,the force will need to be great,so thinking BIG now is the only option….Otherwise ,at best,it’s just a quicksand scenario,at worst,it’s the 4 horses of the apocalypse

        i will ‘borrow’ from a recent Tyler Durden article

        Slow motion of an on-coming locomotive ,’laden with it’s bawling Hive of Fraud’…is this the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel??hmmm

        1min

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFeWw2YFXlM

  18. whatamess

    The Volcker Rule vote today

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0e369a5c-6142-11e3-b7f1-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2n3o3FfuM

    “But it does not explicitly ban hedging as long as it is done under certain conditions.” — hey life’s a game of inches, but this sounds ‘toothless’ to me ?!

    and Obama selects his own judges???? what a sham!!

  19. Deco

    Interesting discussion involving David, Fintan O’Toole, Danny McCoy, and a property auctioneer.

    I think Danny McCoy felt compelled to shut up after David’s contribution.

    That was most insightful and enjoyable. Fintan O’Toole also borught up the issue of manipulation of the rental market – which is the type of thing that would concern people, given that there have been previous instances of oligopolistic rigging of markets in Ireland.

  20. Exodus, movement of Jah people. Get up stand up. *sigh*

    “Irish exodus casts shadow on recovery from financial crisis”

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/b510d38a-5da3-11e3-b3e8-00144feabdc0.html#slide0

    • “Such accusations are blighting an otherwise triumphant moment for Dublin” (he’s referring to the bailout ‘exit’).

      You have to laugh.

      I guess it’s hard for people with families to be ‘forced’ to leave this wonderful place but on the other hand it’s a a great experience to get out and see the world, and one I’d recommend to everyone.

      Still, different strokes for different folks – the only ambition of some people I went to school with was to buy a house across the road from where their mother lived.

      I still see them – don’t talk to them though, not from snobbery – just have nothing in common.

      • I think this new idea of the Social Welfare sending letters to people about jobs opportunities overseas is a fascinating one from a psychological point of view.

        Who dreamed that one up and who gave the approval for it to go ahead?

        It shows how out of touch the cosseted civil servants are.

        • whatamess

          +1

          i must try find a copy of the letter!

          • joe hack

            It’s in the post, check you’re mail.

          • Ryu Hayabusa

            I wonder if I could entreat them to send me one… so I could frame it for a future version of Reeling in the Years.

            Whaat a carry on, It’d be hilarious if it wasn’t so gurdang serious.

        • Ryu Hayabusa

          They’re plumbing new levels of bare faced depravity… and what’s more they have the chutzpah to do it with straight faces on them!

        • Colin

          Ireland cannot look after its own people. This is not new news. The government is simply helping you to look after yourself somewhere else. Ireland has admitted defeat. Just like an incompetent parent whose children are taken into care by social workers.

          • whatamess

            “Just like an incompetent parent whose children are taken into care by social workers.”

            What a broad brush of GROSS insensitivity you have there Colin!

          • Colin

            Insensitive? Perhaps.
            Accurate and true? Definitely.

          • whatamess

            Ah yeah,

            that ol’ nugget – “well they shouldn’t have had kids if they can’t take care of ‘em !!!” …

            Let’s conveniently forget the REAL challenges of raising a family…

            let’s cut off their social welfare Colin!wasters!

            classic

            classically ignorant !

          • bonbon

            It’s that Maggie Thatcher itch breaking out all over. Yer man is having a scratching fit!

          • Colin

            Typical do-gooder response.

            …..and I thought lefty liberals fought for the legalisation of contraceptives so they could have more sex and smaller families.

            I can assure you Mr bonbon that I have no itch to scratch. I’m just relieved that the Irish taxman isn’t able to rape me anymore. You like a good rodgering Mr bonbon?

          • whatamess

            The people to whom you ‘referred’,just flesh and blood ,are one of many high risk groups in society.The most vulnerable! Let’s lob ‘em on the scrapheap eh…what humanity!

            The financial elite co-ordinate a worldwide assault and in the rubble, you choose to pick on the WEAK?

            maith an buachaill!!top of the class…survival of fittest,right?

            you have a cut off RR6
            you have a cut off Bonbon
            you have a cut off Adam (who’d more sense to ignore you)

            You must be only here to wind up !

            If construction takes a nosedive,you could always become a photographer, innit!Then when the vulnerable have maybe their dole slashed unmercifully,you can do be the one to ask them ” can we get a photo for the newspapers? ” and “how do you feel?”

            or maybe,just maybe,you’ll have “what many alcoholics refer to as a moment of clarity”

            hmmm

          • Colin

            I think you need to pour yourself a long drink or go out for a walk.

    • Colin

      Let me see……sitting at home scratching me bollix for years in a dreary climate with no self esteem and probably no chance of a ride

      OR

      taking off to warm and sunny Malta, exploring the island, and taking in its history and culture, meeting a few dark haired olive skinned local gals who might find me witty and charming.

      …….Mammy what time is dinner?

      • whatamess

        so true!

        change in that cultural trend and mindset take a LONG time tho….many generations

        i bucked that trend, as did many here and now MORE and MORE are forced to do so ! i couldn’t believe that story of letters sent to the unemployed of foreign jobs …jawdroppingly tactless and tasteless

      • Ryu Hayabusa

        Are ye mayhap referring to the 6500 letters the social sent to people nudging them to accept foreign posts…

        Of course this doesn’t strictly conform to their job creation ‘startegy’

        Still though you paint an enticing pic of Malta there. Maybe those dunderheads should have appended that to the bottom of the letter looking for a Maltese bus driver for 250 sovs a week! Cuckoo Coooooook-ooo

        Ah monsieur… with these Euro’s you are reallly realllly spoiling us! :P

  21. joe hack

    The Irish hate the Irish! I love I in me – am I not Irish – no self loathing.

  22. Ryu Hayabusa

    Christmas is coming.. the Derivative Goose is getting fat, Let’s all put a hollow, confetti, FIAT, tin veneered Nickel in Larry the Banker Shill’s hat!

    Hohoho….

      • whatamess

        “Yes, Roger that ,Mr Fadden …Receiving you again, Over”…

        [*static*]

        There is good news and some bad new sir…The good news is we are successfully vector tracking your emergency radio beacon 114 Jy at 9GHz.The not so good news however,is that having jettisoned your Thorium reserves and wormholes Snowden and Saoirse offline, superluminal travel is simply not possible.

        At your current speed /trajectory, your ETA to dock with space station “Glass Steagall”, is 4327 months ,3 weeks and 18 days…”

        So plenty of time to study Dodd Frank,what?

  23. Bill is Still reporting on the economy. He’s a bit odd but worth a watch:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZmFAYcl61k&list=UUhZRoC9bMegevAxFmee1oSA

    • Ryu Hayabusa

      Bill Still??? That can-not be the guy’s real name. His parents need a stern talking to!

    • whatamess

      It was a bit of an ‘infomercial’ tho’ Adam? all the benefits

      yunno it’s said that when investing in stocks and shares etc,choose stocks and shares that interest you,so when reading the media,articles about your investments might keep you abreast of developments. With bitcoin,there’s no ( far less ) tremor before the quake hits…so v.difficult to get ahead of the dips/crash …especially when ,i would guess, there are more unknown factors influencing it’s path,than say Gold and silver …And this Keyser Soze Nakamoto guy is even a MYSTERY? Yakuza ,Russian Mafia , CIA ,The Vatican …

      never a mention here on DIAMONDS

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