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36 October 2010 My psychotherapist thought it

would be beneficial if I kept a diary of my life in order to unearth the deep errors in my psyche. “But surely, you can’t document perfec- tion,” I insisted to her. She doesn’t flinch or react to that statement. Face bothered? So here it is: the ramblings of a lunatic or tortured genius. Probably the former. Most of it was transcribed from a urine soaked newspaper, but you’ll get the gist. 7:30am: What f**king time is

it? Jesus… quick pish and back to bed. 7:41am: That was unexpected. 12:34pm: Up and at em, tis a

new day and I’ve had my fill of painkillers and coffee. Fair trade my ass. Phone rings. It’s Monsieur Editor. “Sydney goddamit, I need 26 inches on that ball game tonight and have ya started that piece on Joe Bloggs yet*”…I can’t handle this first thing in the morning. Mr big swingeing dick is still perpetu- ating retribution on the blower. I fob him off with socially appropri-


Sid is a pro, he’s been there and done it all. Asked to account for a regular day in his job, he was more than happy to comply once his bottle of bourbon was fin- ished of course.

ate chat for that kind of thing. “God dam you Sid, I’d fire your ass if ya didn’t bring the fire every single goddam day.” My room-mate Virgil, a washed-

up Shakespearean actor, has left another note on the freeze. “A little more than kin and less than kind… you ate my cheese”. Note to self. Get new flat. Kill Virgil. Must quit drinking or getting up.

Sits down at laptop. Swigg of bour- bon. Churns out 34 pars of cliché ridden dross rapped in staccato statements packaged in powder puff saccharine emaciated with joyless irreverence. I hate this shit.Updike must have been drunk off his tits at that baseball match. 1:39pm: Rings Mr Bloggs to

arrange socially awkward meeting in order to extract space to fill void on paper. We shall meet at his house. 2:18pm: Gets in car. More bour-

bon. Grandpa needs his mouth- wash. Begins driving. Radio on. A sports update, brilliant. I think I’m speeding. Seems the red that was

once a blue was set to become a blue again, but decided to go back to being a red. Twelve pieces of sil- ver? No hope. 24? Done deal. 2:48pm: Arrives at residence of

mildly famous interviewee. Ring bell. How are you. Bla, bla, bla. Appropriate social response. Mind- less statement. Non-confronta- tional question. Lather, rinse and repeat. Danke Schon. Concealed disgust under the appearance of fulsome endearment. The next few hours are rather hazy. Think one stopped off at bar. 6:21PM: At home, away from

the world. Fresh air and human contact has annoyed me slightly. Virgil arrives home. He makes an inquiry about the cheese. Abuse is directed towards him clearly and efficiently. Why do people engage with me? I have nowt to gain from these exchanges of pointless dia- logue. The next few hours are whiled

away drinking gin and trying to construct a hut using stale bread and used underpants. 2:43am: More gin. Gin is amaz-

ing. I’m full of piss and vinegar. Stumbled in Virgil’s room. I told him that I was the embodiment of reality and when I die he must har-

vest my life force. He wasn’t best pleased. I think the coach is talking to

me. Watch porn on box. Double D’s in 3D on HD. Wept uncontrol- lably. What a world we live in. Coach is definitely making noises. More gin I say! Oh fuck, its almost Xmas. Why spell things fully when you can use an x. I am now arguing with my piece

of furniture about French politics. La vie publique. My elders had to work till they were in their 70’s. The coach is resentful because it has been farted on for countless years. 3:13am: Gawks! They are com-

ing thick and fast now. I always seem to do my most poignant and introspective thought while hang- ing precariously from a toilet bowl. Maybe I am too cynical? Nah, it’s those phoneys out there that are the problem. We’re golden. I have been in the most impressive citadels in the world. I have seen goliaths duel on the grandest of stages. My god, people really do lap up this bollix. This crap really does seep into your system. Do I dare eat a peach? 4:43am: One of the inmates in Alien 3 was Henry Sellers in Fa-

The cricket of savages? Hurling's early years in UCC

In this week’s look back into UCC's sporting archives, David Toms examines the beginnings of hurling in the college.

Towards the end of the first

decade of the twentieth century, in 1908, a momentous event occurred in Ireland. The Queen’s Colleges became College’s of the National University. This meant many changes, in many aspects of col- lege life. It also wrought changes on the sports field. John A Murphy has described

the game of rugby as the only so- cial outlet for students at the time that Windle came to the presidency of the College. All of that though was to change with the advent of the Gaelic games playing members who were to enter the college in greater numbers now that it was to be more “acceptable” to Catholics in the region.

All of a sudden, the playing of

hurling was taken up by the self- styled “Gaels” of the university. As well as making their presence felt on the field of play, they were mak- ing noise inside the cover of the college magazine, QCC. Indeed, the players of Gaelic

games saw themselves as being part of the cause of Irish freedom, mirroring many who at the time saw the hurley as a most potent symbol of rebellion against the British Crown. Over a period of months in 1910

and 1911, the pages of the epony- mous college magazine were choc- full of bickering between those who saw the game of hurling as the great national past-time and those

for whom it represented the worst that savage Ireland had to offer. In a huge letter “From the

Gaels”, defiant statements about the game’s place in the College were made: “Hurling has come to stay at UCC. We are entering on another year with bright prospects before us, and we hope to place the national pastime on such a status that ere long Munster of the Kings will resound with the fame of the UCC hurlers... we must of neces- sity as yet speak the language of the Sassenach, but no one can com- pel us to play his games.” This powerful letter did not go

un-noticed amongst the more con- servative elements of the student body, with the reply in the follow- ing issue written by someone call- ing themselves “Anti-Humbug”. In it the writer says “I do deplore and protest against this spirit of patriot- ism gone mad in Queen’s, when it

might be diverted to really useful purposes.” Perhaps the most notable thing

about this statement is that “Anti- Humbug” insists on referring to UCC as Queen’s, which it hadn’t been since 1908. Another voice was added to the

debate in March of 1911 when a letter from “Fair Play” had this to say regarding the debate around hurling in the College: “A letter ap- peared in last month’s QCC which I am sorry to say, shows that there are some University men who have a totally wrong conception of the Gaelic Revival in both its athletic and intellectual phases.” Another rebuttal is to be found

by “Anti-Humbug” who now signs off on his name as “Anti-Toxic.” The last for that college year on

the issue came from a student call- ing themselves “Celt”, and they had this to say on the matter: “The Sid Net: A day in the life of a professional journalist

ther Ted. What kind of a resume is that? 5am: Thinking about stuff now.

Kids television is after getting strange. Why is there a giant mon- goose body popping to jungle music? This is hardly educational. I wouldn’t let my children hang around a giant dinosaur in a month of Sundays. 6:32am: Denis Quaid is a terri-

ble actor. 8:39am: Mouth is dry. Virgil

popped his head in a while ago and called me a “ghastly slugabed”. I confront dictionary. Son of a bitch. I think I might make an appearance in the office today. Peter’s princi- ple has certainly been proven in my abode. Q.E.D. A fool’s para- dise. I lasted three nights as a copy editor. It’s one thing churning out your own dross but cleaning up someone else’s mess is pure shite. Jokeshop. 9:27am: I have drank my weight

in reconstituted corn syrup. Saw- dust trampled streets. Hors de com- bats. Make it stop. The horror. The horror.

*Name of sports star changed for legal reasons. He’s a registered sex offender.

Gaels hold, whether rightly or wrongly, that Irish games have a great deal to do in the matter of ob- taining the necessary amount of patriotic fibre... Irish games, it is true, are confined chiefly to the working classes... even so, it should be very far from anyone, and especially a university man, to despise the same working men. The humour of the situation is that our city teams are not considered respectable enough for college men to play with, while the Welsh miners are considered gentlemen.” This last line no doubt refers to

the Welsh teams the rugby club went to play in the 1907/08 season which I wrote about in the last issue of the Express. Ultimately, whatever the objec-

tions of “Anti-Humbug” and other students who thought likewise, hurling as a game was here to stay in UCC, and it was to have a long and varied history in the coming 100 years.

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