Ireland tops a – grammatically adventurous – survey to win ‘goodest’ country to live. Now that in itself isn’t something that I deem worthy of comment . However, the outrage (within my homeland) over the victory needs to be unpacked. Irish people greeted the award with angry emails denouncing the country’s status.
On the surface, this seems like a ludicrous concept rooted in a deep-seeded, anti-nationalistic, pessimism. A society so lacking in patriotism that any celebration of the nation leads to cries of treason. However, such a reasoning lacks an understanding of the self-deprecating and cynical nature of the Irish.
I begun the unnerving task of writing my first, feature-length screenplay – Downward Mobility – recently. Months of planning, treatments, pitches and character profiles behind me, I now begin at the start line as it were!
The story has been carved out, it just needs a gentle sanding . However, I am now charged with the mammoth, albeit enjoyable, task of communicating that story for producers, actors and directors to interpret. Remarkably, I’m discovering that the most difficult undertaking is capturing the economic-simplicity of a screenplay.
I started thinking yesterday after work about our relationship with our working lives. I personally really enjoy my work – I’m a teacher – and gain great satisfaction and pleasure from my job. It really got me thinking. As I speculated, I sought the assistance of a thesaurus for language manipulation. If we consider the synonyms of work we find the words toil, labour, grind and drudgery. All of which paint a Dickensian portrait in charcoal and darkness on the innocent canvas of youth. We are almost trained to believe that work – like school to many youths – is the necessary evil for enjoyment. I’ve never been (nor do I ever care to be) a member of this rather bleak club. For many though it is, sadly, the norm that they exist within.
The approaching summer always inspires in me the nostalgia of my spring. The days when me and my oldest friend would wander across the fields of his father’s farm. Meandering around cow dung, past brambles and frog spawn in search of nothing and yet with the unfaltering purpose which comes with youth. We were in one sense adventurers & explorers and in another lords or all that we surveyed. The countryside was ours for the taking. We cared little for the path that we undertook or for the world that lay before us. And if the world failed to satisfy that thirst for exploration then our ample imaginations would naturally fill the void.