‘For what is comedy but tragedy with loose trousers’
Curious. I’m writing this on best pink vellum with a quill inherited from my great-aunt Nance – of whom more anon – and already 27 people have clicked like. What a strange, interconnected world we live in. Like update. 53. Extraordinary. I appear to be going viral. Time, perhaps, to reach out the hand of friendship.
A SHORT PAUSE TO COMPOSE MYSELF
Greetings, people of the world. I embrace you. Not physically, of course. No. That would take far too long. Travel. Small talk. Not to mention the need to hire an interpreter for languages and dialects too numerous to mention. To my eternal shame I only speak 3 languages fluently, although Latin is, strictly speaking, dead. And my Esperanto is more than a bit rusty. I only ever practise it when I’m there. Besides, most of the young people of Esperanto speak English anyway. But to return to my original message. People of the world. Group hug. Excellent. I feel we can build on this. 2385 likes.
But I digress. Sincere apologies to all who commented on ‘An Introduction To Ireland’s Greatest Living Genius’ being mistakenly filed under humour. Happily, however, the intern responsible has been dismissed with immediate effect and will probably have great difficulty finding unpaid work elsewhere. Tough. These are neo-liberal times. Let the dead bury their dead. 3284 likes and a highly personal message from the intern in question. Heartrending stuff but as I say personal and, while not wishing to dwell on the subject longer than is strictly necessary, it should be pretty obvious from a quick glance at The Great Man(sic)’s work that we’re dealing here with High Art, not low comedy.
Here he is, for example, on Traditional Music: ‘I often thought I heard my father squeezing a tune from the dreaded melodeon when, in fact, it was merely his mother dying of consumption.’ Beautifully written, it goes without saying, but funny? Here’s the test. Think of your own beloved little mammy dying of consumption. Laughing now? 63,257 likes. Or how about this on Children: ‘I was approached by a woman in a supermarket who screamed as follows: ‘I cannot abide people who smack their children.’ ‘How dare you, madam!’ I replied. ‘They’re not my children!’’ Difficult to argue with that. Fiachra MacFiach, poet of High Seriousness, doesn’t do funny. 102.345 likes. I rest my case.
Finally, because the metaphorical nettle must be grasped, I’ve been privatemessaged by Anon, who writes as follows: You profess to be Ian Macpherson, 12th dwarf in the forthcoming remake of Darby O’Gill and the Little People. I’ve trawled the internet and have unearthed (his capitals) NOT ONE SINGLE, SOLITARY REFERENCE TO SAID FILLUM. I’ve unearthed, on the other hand, 131,237,458 references to Ian Macpherson in .23 of a second. Query: Which one are you? Good question. I’ve begun to tick them off chronologically and have managed to establish, beyond reasonable doubt, that I am none of the following:
Lt. Col. Ian Macpherson of the Queen’s Own Cavalry (Deceased)
Any other deceased Ian Macpherson
Nor am I
Italian auteurist Macphersonioni
Chicago cop Ian Macphersonofabitch
Transsexual Icelandic double act Ian Macphersondottir
Or, due to a multiple typing error
Elspeth Funge (Miss)
Which makes 131,237,426 to go. Hmmn. This could take some –
Ah. Here we are.
Ian Macpherson – Pointillist
Sadly, this entry is some years out of date. Why? It’s a salutary tale involving overarching ambition, hubris and at least one wasted childhood. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.
Now Pointillism, as we all know, is a technique of neo-Impressionist painting involving the painstaking accumulation of tiny dots. So far so excellent. And I was as excellent as it got. My dots, and I say this without a trace of humility, were sui generis. I was feted the length and breadth of ******* Road (odd numbers). But the fall from grace, when it came, was swift and retributive. I abandoned the delicate art after a bad experience at a local children’s party. I had been put on face-painting duty and started with little Aoife (Aged 5¾). By the time I’d finished she was 12. Her surviving parent, shall we say, was less than happy. I have not pointillated since.
Recently, however, I landed the prestigious position of fiction editor at Gnarled Tree Press, legendary publisher of cult – Whoa! 12 email submissions before I’ve finished typing the sentence. So let’s open one at random. Dear oh dear. A verse novel in haikus. Done to death, frankly. A haiku in novels, sur l’autre main? Well, we’d certainly give it the once over, but for future reference note this: Gnarled Tree Press doesn’t publish literature on the wilder shores of experimentation. No. It travels beyond those wilder shores to lands uncharted by mere talent. Rubber dinghy supplied on request.