Working in town, and putting an evening shift in every third Sunday or so, you get a good picture of Dublin, especially at night. And do you know what? It's not a very nice place.
In fact, Dublin is scary on a weekend evening if you do not have a bellyful of beer to buoy you up and give you a false sense of security.
I just popped out for a kebab around 8pm and the streets are full of roaring, snarling scumbags whose inarticulate utterances would embarrass a family of apes.
The only people you will see on the streets who are endowed with any tint of a civilised demeanor are the foreign workers and the tourists. And the occasional stunningly handsome gent picking his way over to Abrakebabra.
It really looks as though evolution has kicked into reverse in Ireland, though that can't really be the case, can it? More than likely, it is because the Irish continue to breed like promiscuous rabbits - as if the world actually needs any more of their leprous devilspawn.
It is also because Ireland has an education system which fails to instil any real education, or any sense of civic responsibility, into many of the people who are processed by it.
Rote learning continues, with large periods of time devoted to nonsense subjects such as religion and Gaeilge. Many maths teachers are not qualified, and many graduates take bullshit arts subjects and their third-level participation is more a reflection of their privileged social background than any intellectual abilities.
Then there are areas where people simply do not go to university - ever. These people make up Ireland's very large underclass - undercaste might be a better word - who will never have the opportunity to break out of their sink estates and make something of their lives, so self-perpetuating is the cycle they are trapped in and so complete is their exclusion from sampling the fruits of middle-class Official Ireland, such as they are.
Then again, as a fifth-generation Dubliner (at least), my own parents were from tenements in the inner city, and lived in such unglamorous spots as Fatima Mansions and Sean McDermott street. But they were not ignorant, and nor were they scumbags. Real, old Dubliners - the likes of whom seem to have died out.
As some of you may know, I've had reason to make a few trips to Brussels in the past three months, and it is another world. No roaring gangs of scumbags staggering the streets, hurling abuse at people. Pavements unsullied by copious deposits of phlegm, vomit, and spat-out chewing gum. Plentiful litter bins that are actually emptied by the authorities. It is, as I said, another world.
I'm going to sound like a right old fart now, but what is it with this upcoming generation of loud, ignorant morons? And it seems to be a cross-class thing as well - say it loud, they're ignorant and proud. Maybe those thrashy American TV programmes like Jackass and so on, where the object of the participants seems to be to behave as loudly and obnoxiously as possible, are partly to blame? Or is there a post-bubble factor, with a generation many of whom were used to being spoilt rotten by their credit-swamped parents?
Empty vessels make the loudest noise and all that.
And Dublin's lamplit streets are full of them.
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