Sunday, September 21, 2014


It's going to be a real October Fest as I have some eight festival appearances scheduled in. All for the vidpoems I have been working on over the past year with a whole bunch of talented geezers.
Kicking off the show we have Those Women Searching For Cats shot by Conor Horgan and I Love The Internet animated by Bruce Ryder both of which just got selected for the O'Bheal IndieCork film festival. Internet also just got accepted for a festival in Buenos Aires too - I need to fill in the forms for that. Getting a bit blasé though as they are looking for subtitles and I am thinking 'ah fuck that '. An attitude that has been fuelled by the fact that at the same weekend in Oct will have Cats in Berlin, Genocide and Reservation in Vancouver and Cats and Internet in Ó Bhéal Cork. 
I think that might be me done with poetry film festivals for this year. 
But it is a fun medium. 
And a pleasure to work with the wonderfully talented people who helped realise them all - Conor. Mark, Bruce and Eamonn. A lot of passion went into them cos there was fuck all money. I think Cats was the most expensive cos there were about ten people involved in that production. And I thought the least I could do was the feed the crew and wine them. For those of you who have not seen it already, here it is again...the magnificent version of I Love The Internet animated by Bruce Ryder. Only a couple of weeks old and has already accepted into two festivals. Will publicise the stunning spooky Cats one shot by Conor H once it has premiered in Berlin.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Genocide in - the best vidpoems on the web

I Love The Internet was picked up soon after its release and now moving are running Genocide Is My Man United.

A nice site to feature on.

And here's what they say:

Irish poet Kevin Barrington is doing interesting things with spoken-word video these days — here, with the help of filmmaker Mark Cantwell. The poem’s cynicism may be a little on the heavy side, but it works for me. (For Americans and others who may be clueless about soccer/football, “Man United” is Manchester United Football Club, one of the most successful teams in English football.)

Cynical about genocide though.
That's a curious one.
What are you supposed to be?
I dunno.
Go figure.

Sunday, August 24, 2014


I appear to be blocked from the Israeli embassy Facebook page. Wonder why? Because I don't recall ever writing on the page. A decidedly pointless pursuit. With Ambassador Boaz and his Madame Ngu-like missus, it would be liked peddling pacifism at Nuremburg.
So I must have come to their attention otherwise. Perhaps it is because I am a signatory to the IPSC boycott list.
(They were the first to approach me as an "artist." I have to admit I was flattered by their good taste. Finally recognised as a poet. Had it been the Hare Krishnas, I'd be shouting Vishnu to you)
But seriously, it was either that, or perhaps some of my other writings on Israel highlighting its policy of politicide and its subverting of all prospects of peace, in the Village magazine or on my blog.
This brings me to my point of this rant cos some of have asked why Israel? Why the attention on Israel? It’s a fashionable question. And I read recently an opinion piece that talked of the 'unjust' concentration focus on Israel. The issue also seems to have become one of the talking points of Israeli apologists.
Why not Syria? Why not ISIS? Why not Sudan?

Well, at least we are making some progress here. Because these seem like ‘against the ropes’ counter-punches. These now underline the validity of seeing Israel, in the same light, as these other backward, racist, fundamentalist or pariah states. Yes, it's a sign that the oasis of democracy in a sandstorm of savagery trope argument is getting threadbare. Israel struggles to keep peddling that myth in the face of social media erosion of it. And it directly targets - like the Yanks did before them - significant media outfits like Al Jazeera, who dare to propose a counter narrative. Although an increasingly draconian state, it does not directly target the Western press per se. Sure, it won't cry over the odd dead correspondent. But despite conveying animosity to all deemed left or liberal – which supposedly classifies includes the press- the IDF doesn’t go beheading Western reporters on sight.
So yes, there is no doubt that we get more news out of Gaza than we do out of Mosul. Supposedly Apparently there were no US correspondents in Iraq when ISIS launched their barbaric blitzkrieg. The press corps was subsequently rushed from Turkey into Kurdistan to give us some datelines. And any Baghdad-based stringers were quickly in demand. But even counting the ISIS upsurge, there is much more reporting out of Israel/Palestine than out of Syria/Iraq. And greater coverage means greater engagement and therefore greater public interest. Social media has played a novel role here too. Social media played a pioneering role in the last Gaza conflict but this time round it has gone mainstream. Social media usage has grown to the point that it has amplified the engagement and given it profound depth. Here's Paul Mason on the subject: Social networks change our perception of war. I’ve written about this before, but seeing both journalists and Gaza citizens at work on Twitter and Facebook, spreading real-time, verifiable imagery of arbitrary killing of civilians has, most probably, been as big a shock to the global audience as, say, movie pictures of the trenches were in the first world war, and the first anti-war novels of the early 1920s. Many people say they can “feel” what it must be like: this is a big change from Iraq, where we saw the war through the nose-cameras of missiles, or satellite imagery from Centcom, or the occasional live-feed from the top of a hotel on 24-hour TV”. Before we raise a toast to Twitter, this novel conveyance of emotional intelligence can lead to ugly implication. Mason argues: "Genocidal thoughts are spreading on both sides. I’ve heard secular, modern Palestinians in the Arab nationalist tradition, previously wedded to the two-state solution, say “after this we can’t live on the same planet”. Likewise, in the Israeli media, parliament and Twittersphere, the rhetoric of ethnic cleansing, “camps” and anti-Arab racism is rife - See more at:
Israeli apologists argue that the percentage of negative coverage Israel receives is unjust and some further suggest that it reflects growing anti-Semitism in Europe. But whatever about Europe I believe there is a far more pertinent issue at play here. It is certainly the one that motivates me. Then to top it off ISIS don't have an ambassador and his wife down in Ballsbridge who personify and represent of the issue. And the issue is the racist consequences of Jewish supremacy and Zionist ethnic cleansing.
Here we have a pair of malicious bigots who argue that Israel is fighting for "us" against "them'.  In doing so they have become a global laughing stock - although that term minimises their sinister role. They are also a source of shame and concern to that dwindling, endangered tribe: the Israeli left.
Using racist stereotypes, the like of which they themselves complain so vociferously about, the embassy tell us that were it not for Israel, Ireland and Europe would be overrun by Jihadi hordes. 
(Strange that they are concerned about us as Mrs. Bodai recently referred to the Irish as “anti-Semitic heathen hordes.)
It is staggering, however, to think that this locker room racism and barracks bigotry is coming from a diplomatic mission.
But such lunacy does not strike discordant notes in today’s Knesset.
So it is no wonder that there is a petition going around trying to put pressure on Enda Kenny to throw Boaz Modai and his Madame Ngu out.
Thankfully ISIS does not have diplomatic representation here. 
Thankfully once again, my government is not complicit in ISIS atrocity the way it is with Israeli politicide. ISIS does not sit alongside us in the UN pretending to be a civilised nation. 
Only when we start viewing Israel as a dangerous rogue nation the way we see Syria and Iraq, can things start to change. Cut off diplomatic relations with the State of Israel, then things can change. Until then Israel deserves our attention. Because it has pulled off one of the best con jobs modern history has seen. And, as we can see from the now infamous Dr. Luntz's manual, it is still very effective at peddling the con.
 Although, the 'why us not Syria' line shows the cracks in the con job. That's the last line of defence before admitting the game is up. Israel has a far more evolved public relations machine. It knows it is not good PR to go around beheading people in public. And when it does shoot innocent people then finish them off with sniper fire as they lie dying in rubble, they don't promulgate YouTube clips. Thankfully there are other brave people bearing witness. Israel knows that Dresden is more acceptable than Belsen. Drone more acceptable than ISIS sword. When it comes to genocide it seems we deem proximity to be the greater evil.  Pondering the difference between the Nazis camp and the Allied firebombing, the great Lenny Bruce said, "the Nazis watched." Whether ISIS sword or Israeli drone, the end result is the same for the victims of differing ethnicity.
Israel must be stopped before it achieves its objective of bombing the Palestinians into an ISIS state of mind. It is a testament to the Palestinians sophistication as a culture that this has not yet happened. But in the despicable prison lab that is Gaza, in a brutalised world without the semblance of hope, in a world of humiliation and constant daily indignity, frightening psychological mutations can happen. 
Israel wants/needs vicious jihadi hordes to justify its barbaric repression. Israel panics at the sight of moderation. That is why Israel originally supported Hamas. And that is why - given the recent Hamas- Fatah reconciliation - we are currently witnessing the IDF slaughtering its way through Gaza. 
Israel prefers a bellicose status quo to land yielding peace. 
Israel has never ever wanted to give up land. 
'Gaza' Israeli apologists will say.
But the Gaza 'withdrawal' was a mere cosmetic move where Israel changed its role from repressive occupier to brutal prison guard.
The IDF moved from one side of a wall to another. Locking in instead of locking down.
Israel strives to repeat what it has done with the State of Israel its own state, that is, to create sufficient fact on the ground that it becomes indisputable. If a couple of million Palestinians are in the way, so what.
They have a choice, it says. This is why Israel is sees itself as strictly completely innocent of the crime of genocide: the Palestinians don't face certain death if they submit or if they leave.
Furthermore, Israel is at pains to point out that Palestinians live 'freely' within the State of Israel and even can participate in the body politic.
Yes they can live as second-class citizens in increasingly intolerant racist and violent society. And their political leaders often stand accused of 'treason' for representing their voters.
To borrow from Benny, Israel has come up with a more telegenic form of genocide and that's politicide - the attack on all constructs that bring people together as a nation, that give people identity, pride and hope.
Under the cover of endless peace talks, it steadfastly pursues this objective. An objective that clearly explains attacks on schools, hospitals, power plants and universities.

Why do I agitate about Israel?  Because the west is complicit. 
America enables the whole brutal show. 
America could call a halt to this whole quasi-genocidal show. But it has neither the courage nor the moral integrity to do so. But that can change. The parties may be paralysed but the people's view is changing. The change was well heralded by Pulitzer Prize winning Middle East reporter, the late Richard Ben Kramer in his 2005 prophetic best seller How Israel Lost. Change may be tragically slow but it is possible. Writing in Dublin Ireland, there is very little one can do to combat the threat of ISIS. But Israel is different. Political support, or the lack thereof, matters to Israel. So it makes sense to create political pressure. Highlighting the issue informs people and makes them more likely to lobby.
And finally Israel, as the Dr. Luntz manual reminds us, is fighting an information war. It used to be very good at peddling the con. But the more it is exposed, the cruder it gets. A rabid intolerance of opposition and dissidence, is the hallmark of intolerant fundamentalists. It is important to fight Israeli propaganda. Because there will be no progress until people understand both sides.
Then there is the selfish reason to focus on Israel: I don't want to be a victim of an act of 'revenge' by some despair-driven zealot who sees the West as instrumental in the murderous oppression of his people.
That's why the focus on Israel.
And don't even try talking to me about anti-Semitism.

The latest vidpoem - Genocide Is My Man United directed by Mark Cantwell