Why ‘The Secret’ is a load of old bollocks…

The Secret is...people will believe anything if they have to pay for it.

MY LIFE SUCKS. If only there was a quick, easy-fix solution that involved me not taking any responsibility for any of my actions. If only there was a book I could get my hands on that would tell me everything I wanted to hear and offer to fix it without actually getting up off my ice-cream-loaded ass and being proactive enough to change things…but wait. What’s this? There IS such a book? It’s called ‘The Secret’? I’m intrigued already. It sounds so mysterious. Why would they call it that if they didn’t know some serious shit that could change the world?? I have to have this book. Let’s have a look. Oh, wait. It’s all sealed up. Wow. It must be unbelievably awesome. I MUST HAVE IT. It’s a bit expensive, but if it changes my life the way I think it will, then those few euros will be but a drop in the ocean of my massive wealth. I’m off to put all these universe embracing nuggets of wisdom into practice. Wish me luck.

Love

Dramatisation: DID NOT HAPPEN IN NANCY'S.

Friday night, Nancy Blake’s pub, 12.30am.

The Secret tells me that I need to act like I want to attract relationships, I can’t be negative, I need to be open to the prospect. So I wore an ‘I Heart Men’ T-shirt, wandering around packs of men singing Natasha Bedingfield’s ‘Single’ at the top of my voice and grinned like a Cheshire cat at anyone I found remotely attractive – just to let the Universe know I was ready for love. I saw one particular ‘target’ so I decided to focus all my energy on him. I fixed my gaze and visualised him walking over to me, asking for my hand in marriage, and we had a beautiful wedding surrounded by 1500 of our closest family and friends. When I came to some hours later, the pub was closed and the bouncer was rifling through my wallet trying to contact a next-of-kin because he thought I’d had a catatonic episode. I tried to explain that I was just visualising my future husband, but he just put me in a cab and shook his head sadly as it drove off. I must have done it wrong.

Health

And she STILL had a better run than me.

Having been unsuccessful in my attempts at finding lasting love, I now relied on the wisdom of The Secret to help improve my health. The opportunity presented itself not long after the Nancy’s disaster, when I caught a horrible head cold from after wandering around in that skimpy t-shirt in the shitty weather for so long. Instead of my usual four pints of Benylin 4-Flu and seven hot water bottles put into a duvet cover to make the ultimate warm bed, I decided this time, I’d harness the germ-killing power of The Secret. Armed with nothing more than a strong sense of optimism and a vision of my body being an absolute powerhouse of strength and disease immunity, I decided to go for a little 10km jaunt to show off my new-found bacteria-fighting power. I took off like a bullet, ignoring the coughing and sneezing fit that kicked off 30 seconds in. “Not this time,” I thought. “The Secret will power me through….”

Coincidentally that, apparently, is what I was repeatedly muttering in the ambulance as I was driven away with an IV drip in my arm and an oxygen mask strapped to my face.

Money

I'm just one positive thought away from all this...

With two failures under my belt, my faith in The Secret was starting to wane. Only one essential area remained that needed taking care of; the immeasurable wealth that I was assured would be mine, if only I just visualised it. Fair enough, I thought. I had been labouring for years under the misapprehension that if you worked, you could get paid, and if you saved as much as you could, you’d have money to spend. What a gullible tulip I was.

Being in possession of the knowledge that money could be exchanged for goods and services, which made life easier to bear and indeed far more enjoyable, I was very much in the market for more. So I sat in my house for up to four weeks, ignoring upwards of eleven phone calls offering work and gigs, and visualised stacks of cheques winging their way to my door. I imagined checking my bank balance at the ATM machine and seeing an amount the size of an international phone number staring back at me. It was awesome.

So armed with all this spiritual knowledge and the strength of my visualisation, I marched into the bank one Monday, proud as punch, and politely asked the lady behind the counter for ten thousand of their finest euro which, I assured her, was most definitely mine – according to The Universe. The fact that my account balance said €0.74 on the computer screen was merely a glitch, I reassured her. (Obviously imaginary cheques written on behalf of The Universe take as long to clear as personal ones down on Earth.) Nevertheless, I pressed on, arguing my case, content in the knowledge that I would be leaving the bank a reaffirmed devotee of The Secret.

With the help of the nice security man and a ride in the back of a cop car, at least one part of that sentence came true.

Conclusion

Go on, try it.

Four weeks and one competency hearing later, I am clear-minded and realistic. I now understand that The Secret is most definitely a way to make an absolute fortune – if you’re the author. Apart from that, you’re up shit creek…and down a couple of euro for your trouble. Not that I’m bitter or anything after my experiences, but I can’t pass a copy of that stupid fucking book without laughing hysterically and giving it the finger…and when I’m allowed back into the Crescent Bookshop again, I’ll probably do the same thing a couple more times.

You can bet your ass I won’t get fooled again. What a load of shite. Who pays for that shi…hang on, what’s this? ‘The Power’? Oooh, it’s by the same author. I wonder is there anything different in this one? She wouldn’t have written a second book otherwise. I just have to pop over to Amazon there for a second. Be right back…

There’s Something About Metal Men…

Behemoth - I'd happily let them babysit a puppy.

Behemoth – I’d happily let them babysit a puppy.

This blog post is not about heavy metal music, it’s about not judging a book by its cover. This is a tribute to the big, burly, hairy, gentle giants who worship at the altar of Metal. Pound for pound, beard for beard; these menfolk are the soundest, most mannerly bunch of guys you’re ever likely to meet. I’ve spent years going to metal venues (in Limerick and Cork for the most part) and various other types of clubs and pubs, and out of all the places I’ve been, the menfolk who inhabit the world of screaming vocals and deathly guitar distortion are among some of the nicest people I’ve ever encountered.

Having only just recovered from the most recent Siege of Limerick, held in Dolans on Sunday 8th April, my opinion remains unchanged. I know at any given time that I can arrive into a metal gig all on my lonesome, get myself a drink and watch a great gig without feeling like I’m on display in a butcher’s window – unlike some other places I could mention. Being of the more petite in stature, both my two sisters and I have all had the same experience of being lifted out of a mauling mosh pit by some seven-foot bear of a man wearing a Cannibal Corpse t-shirt who took time out of his busy schedule of laughingly pounding his buddies to a musical pulp to haul one or more of us to safety by the scruff of our necks and scolding us for putting ourselves in harm’s way.

Now, some would say I’m biased, given that I write about metal gigs and move in these circles anyway – but over the years I’ve been dragged to every type of club / pub / theme night out that’s been going on in this fair city, and I’ll rave along with the best of them if the beat is right. However, my experience has almost always been that in your average super-pub or generic nightclub of a Saturday night, each gender is treated by the other as a target, an object, an entirely separate creature from the other, all in the pursuit of getting the shift. Go to a metal gig or a metal-themed bar, and you’ll see people there who have shown up simply for the band that’s playing, the good beer, the craic and the conversations. Women are treated with far more respect than in any other places I’ve seen. Sure, you might get chatted up, but it’s all in the best of fun and delivered with that old rocker charm. Everyone’s equal at a metal gig, but us girls are definitely looked after just that little bit more.

In short, this is just my way of saying “Gentlemen of Metal; I Salute You!”

A tribute from a recluse to Dr. Seuss

Oh, he would be so proud…

Oh how I love to sleep at night,
I do not want to wake at light!
I do not wish to wake in the morn
I do not wish to feel forlorn
I do not want to leave my bed
I do not want to raise my head
To face the world and all its charm
Would make me feel the most alarm
I just want to be alone
To hide away, to moan and groan
I do not want to face the day
I’m anti-social, that’s okay!