Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage Dylan Moran!
Hello! Hello! Yes, yes…hello. Hello, it’s very nice to be…and… You may as well be in London… while you`re being. Fantastic place. Cosmopolis. People from every corner of the Earth,… every creed, every religion, every culture come here to vomit in minicabs. Sometimes, you know, you might take it for granted, you see, you might get this notion that there’s a better life for you elsewhere, because that’s what happens to people… they get stressed out somewhere like this. They think: “you know we should…I don’t know… go to the country… somewhere…’Somewhere Shire'”. It’s a very bad idea. I…I…I grew up in the country. You don’t…you don’t wanna go there. You’ve got everything here. You’re not gonna realize your dreams somewhere else. You can do it all here. You could be trapped in traffic in Tufnell Park for twenty years… And you’ll never have that experience anywhere else. You don’t wanna go to the country, anyway. Most of you know nothing about it. You talk about it all the time…you read about it in the Sunday supplements. You’re never going to go. Why would you go? It’s a disgusting place. It’s always wet even when it`s dry… There’s nothing there. Farmers aren’t really people. You know this. They’re just necessary. We need somebody to kill cows. Cows are supposed to be killed. En masse as well.
I have this certain very…well…limited sympathy with vegetarians…You know… I don’t…I don’t mind if you’re vegetarian cause you had an accident or something years ago. You fell down some steps and now you can’t chew properly. I don’t mind that…but all this vegetarian-on-principle stuff is wrong! You’re supposed to eat the cows. They’re big lumbering stupid things… they’d be everywhere if we didn’t eat them. In the library and everything… Nobody actually wanted them originally. You know, they were just mid-conversation that kept getting bumped into by these cretins… Couldn’t take it anymore. “Give me a fuckin’ fork, I’m gonna deal with this.” What people really want are squirrels but they’re too quick.
Don’t go to the country. When is the last time you spoke to somebody from the country? Have you ever had a conversation with these people? – “What did you do today?” – “I had some soup.” – “Oh for fuck’s sake…get me outa here. “Please gimme a cappucino before I pass out. I need a mugger.” “I need a healthy injection of cynicism right now.” And of course these people are friendly. …course they are. They talk to you. They haven’t spoken to a real person in years. And they bring you into the house and they dry all your clothes… even though you’ve not been in the rain or anything. And offer you the local thing. “You must try the local stuff.” Don’t eat it! You know why it’s local? It’s shit! That’s why it’s local. If you eat it, you’ll turn into one of them. You go red, you start spouting bigotry… and eating tweed with lamb fat dribbling down your chin. Don’t go near of any of that stuff.
People say: “I’m gonna go. It’ll be great.” “We’ll have a solar panel toilet…. we’ll get the whole family thatched.” Rubbish!
And then you get these articles about how unhealthy modern life is in a city. You know…you get mobile phone tumours… far more likely in the city. Well you know what? So is everything else. Including sex, coffee and conversation.
And the conversations are totally different as well…there. You’re sophisticated people. You meet up every nine months… to have a coffee with somebody and bitch about your best friend who’s not there. – “I hate them.” – “I hate them more than you do.” Here they come. – “Hi, how are ya?” – “Do you want a nimbacino?” And in the countryside… because there’s nothing to do… Do you know what people do there? They…they…they go to each others’ houses, they come to your house and drink tea. All fucking day. They crawl for twelve miles to come and drink tea. ‘Cause there’s nothing else to do. And what people do then… It has its own kind of native hostility. You know, they bring out all the food in the house and put it in front of that person… and say: “There, eat that!” Because…because if you don’t put on a good spread you’ll be ill-spoken-of in the village. So people bring out nineteen different kinds of potatoes. Sheets of ham. Waves of ham. You take a bite out of the middle, you save yourself the price of a poncho. They put it in front of that person and they say: “Fuckin’ eat that!” And they stay there all day. Eat everything you have. Drink everything you have.
And they never know when to go. You know? They’re not sophisticated. They sit there. You’re there…one o`clock in the morning… with the grandfather clock between your pyjama’d knees… staring at the motherfuckers saying: “Please, go home!”
And you end up saying terrible things: “Look, we drank everything in the house…” “I don’t think that minicab is coming…” “I know we had eight or nine bottles of wine and half a bottle of whisky…” “but I think you should drive. I do.” “I will personally sellotape your hands to the wheel.” “Get in the fuckin’ car. Go away from here please.”
And then, you know, there’s the…there’s the extreme version of that idea of escape. People think they’ll emigrate, that’s it. Their…their…their new life will be somewhere else. “Much better than here. I can’t take it anymore.” Where would you go? People… people fling themselves all over the planet. People end up in Australia. Why would anybody want to go there? What is the point of that country? I was…I usually never leave the house but, we all went to Australia recently. The whole family. It was a ridiculous place. Located three quarters of a mile from the surface of the sun. People audibly crackling as they walk pass you on the street. That’s why they all barbecue. You don’t need to cook somewhere like that. You just bring the shit out, fling it on a grill, and it bursts into flames. It’s not supposed to be inhabited. And when they’re not doing that, frying themselves outside,… they all fling themselves into the sea. Which is inhabited almost exclusively by things designed to kill you. Sharks, jelly-fish, swimming knives. They’re all in there.
And then, you know, there’s the…where else… There’s the…this is the new world…. You know, and the other part of the new world is…is America. And people think: “That’s got a lot of promise.” Still… Even though, we’re all a bit funny about Americans now….a bit. I think the reason that happened… all that bad feeling about America… is apart from everything that they’ve done… It’s because American stupid people sound… stupider than every other kind of stupid person. Some people are just thick but you put up with them. But Americans are annoying when they’re thick. Because they say: (accent) “Well, you know, I was …” They’re talking about one of those terrible… incidents that happen every other day in America. They say: (accent) “Well, you know, I was there and the guy came in,…” “and he had…like…a gun, you know,…” “and he was…like…shooting, and everybody else was totally dead.” It sounds a little divorced from reality somehow.
So I think that’s why there’s ill feeling about the place sometimes. Because of everything the administration has done. You know, it’s like the really bad flatmate of the world. (accent) “Oh, sorry. Did I break all your shit? I didn’t know it was yours.” “Yeah, I’ll replace it some time…” “um…with my stuff.” And… because it’s the only remaining empire. Of course, you had an empire once. Britain had a great empire. And impressively commandeered and sequestered from the rest of the world …with great style. You just marched in and said: “You, you and you, fuck off off! We’re having tiffin.” And everybody sort of went: “Oh, right, I’ll gonna be off now. That’s fine.” And it took centuries for people to go: “Hang on a minute…” “We live here.”
The American style is totally different. Far more insidious. This empire is run on a totally different basis. What America does…is it has a nosy in some place… some war-torn, fucked up place… and it looks for oil or chocolate or whatever it wants. And all the indigenous people obviously get pissed off. And they begin to meet. They begin to foment. They ring each other up and say: (accent) “You, Habuwa, let’s meet and foment… at six o’clock.” In the local bombed-out cafe, they gather round and they say: (accent) “What are we go…” I’m doing a pan global accent, OK? It saves time. because America gets around a lot of places. “What’re we…” And this represents poverty. “Hey listen…” “Hey! Haguga, listen,…” “What’re we gonna do ’bout the fuckin’ imperialistic Yankee big dog, huh? What’re we gonna do?” “They come in here…they fuckin’…they look around, they take our stuff. What’re we gonna…?” “I’m talkin’ to you! Put down the beans! Listen, what’re we gonna do?” It’s kind of…Al Pacino from China via Brooklyn. But the em,…
And what the America does… while these people are talking,… they very, very gradually build a Starbucks around them. They all become addicted to latte and they lose the will to rebel. And then they turn into Americans… after a couple of weeks…the kind of people who come up to me and say: (accent) “Hi, I’m Irish.” “My grandmother was O’Flaherty. Did you know ‘er?” I always say: “Yes, yes, I did…” “But then again everybody did.”
But that’s a particular kind of American obviously. The kind of Americans you see in Europe… who often, for some reason, seem to be very generously proportioned. And the…you see them in museums blocking up the exhibits going: “What is this? Can we eat it? Where are we? Can we …..” And yet when you go to America you see that it’s a very, very…because it’s so competitive and everything. People are ultrafashionable and very thin, really. I think the Americans you see in Europe are all the ones… who stay in their apartments, get food piped in and then they’re just shipped out to Europe. But the ones over there… You see these amazing looking people. They don’t look real at all. These incredibly exiguous women. You know, those people who look like they can’t support the weight of their own teeth and their head. Stalking in and out of fashionable restaurants. I don’t know what they do in there. Maybe they just rub pesto on their legs or something and… You know, they look like they weigh as much as a photograph of themselves and…and… Very fashion conscious.
But people have this idea that it’s… that it’s still the promised land. You know, somewhere like California where everything is fruitful and abundant. But… Arnold Schwarzenegger… is the Governor of California. There’s a perfectly ordinary English sentence. How did that happen!? Do you know how that happened? ’cause I’ll tell you. You know how he got into that position? He got there… by lifting things. Now you and me, we avoid lifting things. It’s unpleasant. Especially heavy things. Even a five-year-old child knows this. They go: “Huh? No…hahaha…fuckit… no. I gonna put a Lego up my arse. I’m not doing that. No…no.” He took a different approach. He lifted the heavy…and you know, you lift something when you have to. Piano falls on granny… you lift the piano. ‘Cause granny has mixed feelings about the whole situation. Sunday lunch continues. He didn’t do any of that! He went right over to the heavy thing and lifted it… and put it back down and didn’t move it anywhere. And then he lifted it again… hundreds of times. And said to the people who had stopped to observe this aberrant behaviour. “Look how good I am… ” “at lifting the heavy thing…” “in my underpants.” Now that…sounds a little dim. But it was they who said: “You’re the man.” “You’re the one we want to deal with immigration and water rates and taxes and all that kind of shit.” Now, wait… what we need to know is how bad was his predecessor at that job? You know, this must have been someone who came to work covered in children’s blood every morning.
He drives one of these vehicles, you know, these things they’re called Hummers. You know? It’s like a big four-wheel-drive thing. Huge. How small does you cock have to be? To make you walk into a car show-room and say: “Listen, I need something in the size of a school…” “… so people know I’m around.” As if driving wasn’t already aggressive enough. You see people behind the wheels and these things. They change,… you know, in those big built-up vehicles. You have them here in London, you know. Because it’s difficult obviously…the coffee’s on one side of the street, you have to get your newspaper from the other.
It’s tough, I know. People change, they get behind the wheel of those things. They lose the ability to distinguish between an empty packet of crisps and your children. Driving is incredibly aggressive. I started to learn recently. I don’t know…I don’t know how to drive and it’s fairly pathetic, you know, ’cause I’m…I’m thirty…nearly thirty-five. It’s ridiculous. And then I started getting nervous ’cause I can’t swim either and I thought, “What if I crash into a lake? I am $%%%!$!” You learn very, very quickly that it is mostly about swearing actually. That’s all you’re doing… swearing in a box with wheels. ’cause you don’t swear like that with any other activity in your day. You don’t allow yourself. It’s ok when you’re driving for some reason. If somebody blocks you when you’re a walking You’re positively Edwardian in your manners. You do this sheepish little smile together. And you step aside. And you both do it at the same time. And you go: (accent) “Oh, for goodness’s sake, what to-do?” “Hohoho, dear me!” “I’ll just…er…I’ll just…oh, we did it again! Do you believe it. I can’t believe it…” “We should be on the stage…” “One more time…I’ll just… Oh, how did we ever get this far as species?” But for some reason… in a car that becomes: “You spoke buggered!” From, you know, an eighty-nine year-old church warden. (coughs) Excuse me, I have a… something…it’ll clear up. It might take me with it but, you know, we’ll see… And all this aggression is terrible actually. You see that everywhere. People have…you know…you think you’re mad at the other motorist in that case. Probably something else. You know…it’s probably something in your own past that you’re probably…I don’t know… mad at your mother or something. That’s why you find yourself as a forty-five year old person on the street shouting.
There must be a story behind all those people you see mumbling on the street, having those intense conversations that look really, really significant except nobody else is there…and… You know, you’re probably mad at something… I don’t… Because everybody remembers: you’d be alone in the kitchen and… twilight would be dwindling and you could hear… the far-off cries of the other children playing nearby… and you know…you’d be alone in a kitchen ’cause it was your special treat time… when the…the jelly would come out just for you… and your mother would appear at your side… just this vision of Laura Ashley print dress… smelling of magnolias and biscuits…and… put the jelly in front of you… and…and…and you would pull your chair in… and then the old-fashioned bar of ice-cream would come down, the one that had to be cut with a bread knife before the two sides were flanked with wafers… and you would lift your little spoon up excitedly to press it in… and winkle out that first divot of black jelly and…and and then the cage would come down! The cage with the Japanese fighting spiders inside. She would strike a match off her forearm… and go and tell you to dance in the front room for money. And you never forget that shit. You know, it never goes away.
But…this idea of the good life being elsewhere does possess people. And I suppose a lot of people now… because Europe is freed up and everything… people move within Germany… a lot of… within Europe rather… I mean I said Germany but I meant Europe. I don’t know why I said Germany but loads of people did go to Germany actually, recently for the World Cup. A lot of English people went over to make uninformed prejudicial remarks… about German people and Germany. Totally ignorant and bigoted. Know nothing about it… but they feel free to insult it. Because they’re English and they’re bigoted… and…because Germany is a toilet. A truly dreadful place. Nobody ever has any reason to go there. It is…it is a totally dreadful place. And that’s just the way it is… because if you’re talking to a, you know, a modern… I went there. On the same weekend I went to Australia and California and it’s a… you see, the thing is you’re talking to a modern, nice, affable, German person… and they’re saying to you something like: (accent) “You know, well, it’s a critical time right now for Germany within Europe,…” “also globally…economically we’re pretty good. We have been better.” “But we’re very vibrant in the theatre and arts and so on…” All the time you’re listening to this, you’re thinking: “Hmmm…hmmm…yeah, yeah, hmmm, hmmm… Hitler…Hitler…Hitler…Hitler…” “and the Hitler when you did the Hitler thing with Hitler. ..Hitler…Hitler…Hitler…”
And the people look like pork. You can’t get away from that. They do. They look like pork scratchings on a towel. And you can’t eat the food because you would have to complain about it… and that would mean speaking German. It’s a disgusting language. Nobody should ever speak it. Even Hitler was vegetarian. That’s how bad the food is. And you couldn’t speak German ’cause it’s a horrible sound. It sounds like typewriters eating tinfoil being kicked down a stairs. Somebody is talking to you in German, they’re saying: (accent) “Haken die haken…(etc)” You think: “What is happening to you from behind? ” “How can we make it stop? Please, go away.” Now, that’s not… prejudice, that’s just observation.
And the… thing is English people are very bigoted, though, I find. I say that as a neutral Irish person. You know, Ireland wasn’t involved in the war at all. Ireland’s reaction in the war was to go: “What? There’s a what on? Sorry, what? I’m not dressed.” “What is it? What? “you want to what? You need…you need a…what?” “What is…? War? It’s all over, is it? Or will…good…yeah.” “What do you want?” Not very useful. But English people are quite prejudiced, I think. Because I’ve noticed this recently. ’cause I have lots of English friends who are very dear to me and… I realized recently… when you’re talking to an English person… and you’re from elsewhere, they share with you. They do a lovely thing… when they’re talking to you. They…they impersonate you as they’re talking to you. Somebody says to me: (accent) “Do you want another drink then?” You know, in that English voice that suggests they’re just about to die at any moment. – “Do you want another drink?” – “I would. I’d love another drink. That’d be great. That’d be grand. Thank you.” They do you. They go: – (accent) “I would, yeah, That’d be great. That’d be grand. That’d be lovely.” – “What the fuck are you doing?!” – (accent) “Nothing. It’s just funny ’cause you’re Irish and that, you know…” ’cause that’s still how Irish people are seen. As twinkly-eyed fuckers with a pig under their arm… high stepping around the world going: “Ill paint your house now but watch out, I might steal the ladder, hohohoho.” Which is only half true!
The thing is though that Irish people are just far more emotional. We include emotion in our culture. If you’re talking to an English person… you don’t know if they’ve recently died or just got married. ’cause of that English smile… (accent) “Hello, hello.” Looks like you’ve a rotten oyster under your tongue. “Hello. Good morning. Don’t touch me. Stay away. How are you…? Hello.” And… Either that or when emotion does appear it’s violent. They come and play football with you and rip the shit out of the stadium and eat the chairs. Whereas in Irel…somewhere like Ireland… it’s more hot-blooded. There’s drama included in the fabric of every day. Every…it’s there every moment. People wake going: “Oh god!…” “What time is it?” “It’s six minutes to nine.” “Is it?” “I thought it was only seven minutes to. We’re all fucked” “What’s the weather like? Don’t tell me! I can’t bear to hear. I’ll look myself…” “Aaagh! It’s fierce – mild!” “What are we having for breakfast? Are you gonna do that thing again…” “with the bread when you put it in the box and burn it?” “Whose trousers are these? Come on, we’ll both try them at once…” “and see who wins.” It’s just… much more emotional at all times. For no real reason.
And I think sometimes I’d love to be like you. Cool and calm and unemotional. Protestant, in short. What a…it’s a fantastic religion. It makes absolutely no demands upon you at all. Which is why it’s not a great religion. All great religions are built on shame. You don’t have any of that if you’re protestant. You go to the church, you sing a few hymns,… have a cup of tea, everybody goes home and has a wank. You see… You have the freedom of mind… to walk into a room and see a plate of biscuits, say. And you look at them and you think: “Well, there’s a plate of biscuits, I might have a biscuit, I might not,…” “I might have one later. I might put it in my pocket and give it to somebody else.” “I don’t really mind. It’s just a biccie.” It’s not like that if you’re catholic. You walk in the room, you see the plate of biscuits, there could be other things going on in the room. The room could be on fire, it could be full of naked clowns killing each other with crossbows. This doesn’t matter to you because all you see is the plate of biscuits. ’cause you think: “Oh no, I’m gonna eat them. I know I am.” “I’m gonna eat them. I’m gonna eat them all. Oh no, I know I am.” “I’m even walking towards them. I wasn’t aware of that but I am now.” “I’ve actually started to eat the biscuits. Help me! Help me!” “Oh they’re delicious. Oh the shame! The shame! The shame!” “Oh I can’t tell which is nicer.” “The biscuits or the shame!” “It’s a child’s biscuit. That’s perfect!” “I don’t deserve a grown-up one with dark chocolate on it.” “Oh, they’re so nice. Now, they’re all gone.” “The shame! The shame! That’s all I’ve got left.” “Nothing can make me feel better now…” “except cocaine.”
On and on and on. And yet, people still turn to Jesus. You will notice though that the kind of people… who turn to Jesus… tend to be the sort of people who haven’t done that well with everybody else. Like the people who are here, for instance. They say to themselves: “Well, I can’t get it right in this lifetime but in the next life it’ll be right.” In the spiritual afterlife. Which makes no sense at all…really. It’s your choice of course if you want to believe all this… but why would you want a spiritual afterlife? Surely you should sort the spirit out now while you’re here. This spirit is what is challenged, the spirit is what suffers all the knocks. The spirit is the thing you’ve got to master. If you are going to have an afterlife why not just have a physical afterlife? Just come back as a tentacle and a set of lips… looking for huge lumps of chocolate to fuck? It’d been much more… you know, reasonable.
’cause the fact is, you prop yourself up with your compulsions all the time. I’m…I’m quite a compulsive person. I only worked this out recently. I’m compulsive but I’m also very indecisive. I don’t know what I want but I know that I want it now…and… I thought for ages, you know, everybody was like this. I thought everybody woke up a couple of mornings a week… in the shower with Marmite-clotted handcuffs… but apparently not. You know, there are sensible choices obviously. I don’t take loads of drugs… ’cause it’s tedious. Everything becomes too routine. You take the drugs, you stay there for nine hours going: “nnnnnn” Then you run out of “nnnnnnn” and you have to go and buy more. It’s just this endless cycle of repetition. I don’t get it. And..um…you know, you can’t…you can’t… you can get addicted to all sorts of things… …except fruit.
But Jesus isn’t a very good role model for children, I don’t think. You know, they’d be far better of with somebody who’s less whiny. He did complain an awful lot, Jesus. – “Oh, nails! Oh, vinegar!” – “You’re the messiah, get on with it.” “Would you stop?” Batman is a far more useful role-model for children. He was orphaned as well…he didn’t moan about it. He went to Tibet and did press-ups and things… with bunsen burners and came back and put on the ears and… got up on the roof ready for anything… dealing with his own personal issues. Jesus moaned all the time. You’ll see this in the pictures, pointing outside of the picture. In all the catholic iconography, pointing: “I want that one. What’s he got? He’s got cream on these. I want that. What is that?” Or blaming people: “It was him. He hurt my feelings.”
But…anyway… Now…I meant to talk about something else earlier on and I forgot what it was. I’ve remembered what it is again but I’ve also forgotten. And that’s really what adulthood is like most of the time. You know you spend a lot of time walking back to the room… to get the thing that you left the room so that you would go and use it somewhere else and… you’re on your way back to the room to get the thing. You forget… not only what it is but what room it was in and… you’re faced with the people who love you looking at you going: – “What do you want? Why are you here?” And you go: – “I don’t know.” You spend an awful lot of time like that.
And children aren’t like that,… which is why they look so young. Because they always have a sense of style and purpose. When they’re walking around they have a very definite purpose. They’re walking, walking and it’s a great walk as well. It’s not an adult sort of bemused shuffle. It’s that: – “I’m going over here.” You say: – “Why are you going over there?” – “’cause I have a harmonica.” – “What are you doing with the harmonica?” – “I’m going to put it in the toilet.” And… – “Why are you doing that?” – “Enough questions! Goodbye.” Because children express themselves. That’s how they look young and vibrant and alive. And why we all envy them. The child, you know, the children are…are… can be incredibly difficult to understand when you’re grown-up. You forget that you were a child. Something simple like a child going to bed. You know, you say: “Bed time, bed time, bed time.” That’s not what the child hears. What the child hears is: “Lie down in the dark!” “For hours!” “And don’t move!” “I’m locking the door now.” So the child has trouble with that so of course you make a concession, you read a fairytale or something. You know, all the wisdom of the world compacted into little story. And you say: “There was a little girl lost Many, many miles from home.” “Walking through the woods late, late at night…” “with the creatures all hooting and howling and the bushes around and stepping…” all over the roots of trees. And she came to the old sty and began to climb it…” “but it broke, you see, it broke…” “and she fell down.” “But when she got herself up she was alright…” “and you could see the lights at home. And she began to walk towards home…” “and then a thing ate her.” “Good night!” – “Night-night.”
You probably sent the child to bed because you were just tired talking to the child. ’cause the child asks you questions, you see? And this is one of the great things about having a child. You look forward to teaching this child about the world… and how it works. But the child..child…children.. the child-ren… child-ren are… they’re like children but they’re bigger and they’re webbed. They… they’re not really interested in your views on the world. You know, they have their own questions: – “What is the name of the spaces in between the bits that stick out on a comb?” – “I don’t…I don’t know. I’m not…I’m not sure.” – “What do you called the place underneath the kettle?” – “I don’t know! Bed time! Bed time!” But it’s difficult. Children sleep in your bed. This is part of having children. It’s very important for a child’s development to sleep in the grown-ups’ bed. Because their…their bones are growing in particular directions. You see what happens is children are actually very sophisticated. They sleep in your bed for a reason. The child is born, it takes a look around and thinks: “Well, this isn’t quite what I’d hoped for.” “These people are idiots.” “I wouldn’t have painted the house like this at all.” “But I’ve got to make the best of it so how do I…” “I’ve got to maximize my resources…” “so the key thing is to stop these people having any more children.” So children get urine samples sent through the post and sprinkle it on their beds. They’re busy people. They don’t have time to pee the beds themselves. And they crawl into your bed. And because their bones are growing and everything they can only sleep in certain positions obviously. The crucifix and the swastika tend to be the most popular. Sometimes a combination of the two. But the thing that really relaxes a child is to have their big toe nails lodged squarely in your respective genitalia. That ensures a blissful night’s slumber. Then the sexual kidnapping is complete. “No touchy-touchy, no kissy-kissy.” “You two needs lots of sleep. I have many questions for tomorrow.” Very important!
But you lose so much of that natural, human panache that children have. You know, you tell the child to go to bed and it puts that against what it wants to do… and synthesizes. And says: “I hate you!” “I really hate you!” As they’re scratching their arse with a toy elephant.
Now… if you could retain that sense of self in your adult life you’d have totally different experience. At work telling your boss: “I hate you!” While scratching. “I really do. Everyday is the same !+$%$!# #%@@. I don’t know why I keep coming back.” Difficult to keep a hold of though. That’s why adults are confused a lot of the time. Adults are terribly confused, messed-up people. That’s because they forget really. They don’t have to pretend all the time. Really the fact is you’re not an adult at all,… you’re just a tall child holding a beer… having a conversation you don’t understand. The Middle-East… “Yeah, I know it was really bad. Yeah, I wouldn’t have done that, yeah.” Hysterectomy… “Very painful. The shoulder is very painful area …” Being intimidated… I get intimidated by men, by other men. You know, we were talking about the driving lessons, there are guys talking in pubs about machines and cars. There’s a whole culture of that. They’re talking about the grenumbulator On their whinny wax on the car. And they turn to me and they go: – “What kind of car have you got?” – “I don’t know but when I’ve got one…” “it’s gonna be a blue one. Hahaa!” Man are always intimidating one another, competing with one another. They’re more aggressive I suppose. They did this…er…study actually… in the University of Chicago… with women. And they worked out that women are incredibly good at reading male faces. You know, there’s two types apparently. There’s a kind of round, soft, sensitive-faced person… who’s a good person to have around. And he’s good for you, good for a family. Gentle and caring and can emphatize. And then there’s the other type which is more… kind of stronger jawed, more masculine looking…smaller eyes,… you know, King Kong is what we’re talking about here. And this…interestingly, this was the kind of male favoured by women for what was called in the study ‘brief relationships’. What the *!%* is that? When we don’t have to roll your tights down the whole way. What is a brief relationship exactly? Now I’m talking about all this obviously, I’m talking about children and all that kind of, you know, jobs, mentioning these things to pretend to you that I have an ordinary life. And this is because I’m…you know…relating to you…and you’re ordinary people… looking up at me with a mixture of awe, envy and lust. And the thing is… my life is very different. I can’t pretend it’s not. You know, when you go to work in the morning and you’re going to the newsagency… and everything to get your lunch of crisps and fags or stones… or whatever it is you people live on… You know, it’s a long time since I has lived in a house or ate food.. You see, all these magazines because of the times we live in now, the culture… you know…this celebrity stuff…all these… this wall of dreams behind you… it’s, you know, Brad and Angelina and me and everybody else up there… looking down on you, making you feel even more ordinary. But what you forget is that we all want to be you. We all want to have, you know, 2.3 children and live in a house where nobody speaks to one another… and work in a building society or something. We lie awake at night tossing and turning, masturbating with both hands… with boutique chocolates falling out of our mouths,… wishing we could be you living somewhere like Willesden. And… It’s doubly difficult for me ’cause I’m an Irish celebrity. That’s very hard gig, you know. ’cause not many people do it. There aren’t very many of them… and none of them are cool. You look at Geldof or Bono or anything …they can’t do cool. You put, you know, Bowie or Lou Reed on the cover of Time magazine…of course they look cool. ’cause they can do all that stuff… all those looks. You know, the ones that say: “I don’t even know you’re there…” “but if I did I’d ignore you.” “I’m having people flown in from other galaxies just to come and scratch me.” You can’t do that if you’re Irish because you have a…the face. You know, and an Irish face always looks like it’s been told two very important pieces of information at the same time. At one shoulder somebody’s just run up and said: “You’ve just won a hundred million thousand pounds and loads of stuff.” And at the other shoulder somebody’s just whispered in their ear: “But you only have three minutes to live.” That’s why everybody looks like this: All the politicians and everybody you see on television always… look like they’re just about to pull a ham sandwich out of their pocket… and it doesn’t actually belong to them. Ladies and gentlemen, that is the first bit. I’m gonna go away and I’ll see you in a little… Thank you. Bye.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome back to the stage Dylan Moran! You’re the man! (Heckle) That’s right. (heckle) Thank you for sharing. Now… – Tell us a story! (heckle) What’s that? – Tell us a story! (heckle) – I appreciate everything you’ve done. I loved your early work, I think it’s only getting better. So I was talking about something… and then I stopped. And you agreed…we left it there. But now, the thing is to get to it… what I really meant say was… you know, you probably all went and got a drink and everything in the interval… and, you know, were propulsed along by your own needs… having them filled. Which is what we do. Some people like… some people are taking pictures on phones. I don’t…why…why people do that… It’s very weird… Everybody does that now. We all take pic… you do the same with holiday photos. You record something to look back on it. Even though you’re not really there when you’re taking the picture… ’cause you’re too busy recording it… so you retrospectively going to look back on where you weren’t… and tell yourself you had a good time. And… but that’s what holiday photos are, aren’t they? You go away, you come back,… you say: “Look! It’s…” You show your friends: – “Look! It’s…it’s us.” – “I know.” – “Yeah, but look, we’re eating hummus.” – “What a transformation.” – “I hope you enjoyed yourselves.”
Because…you…that’s what you’re telling yourself. It’s your reward to go away. It’s still the time of year people are going away. And you can’t really enjoy it. It’s very hard anyway. There’s the only one airline servicing the world now – Air Denial… where everybody gets on and they pretend they’re in a cafe… where they’re trying to shut out the one thought that has actually kidnapped their mind, which is: “We’re all gonna die.” And you pretend you’re in a cafe and that’s what the people are there, who work on the planes… are supposed to support you in this fantasy cos they come along and they say: “Would you like red or white wine…” “with your piece of vulcanized lizzard’s *$*! from the moon?” “How about an extra bread roll there to dip in your otter vomit pate?” And you go: – “Red or white wine? What you’re gonna have darling?” – “I don’t know. What are you gonna have?” All to shut out the one thought which is in your mind, which is: “We’re gonna die! We’re all gonna die! We’re all gonna die! Right now.” “The plane is made of metal, the wings are made of metal,…” “we’re all eating and I’m the only non-terrorist aboard.” “We’re all going to die!” And you kind of…the only enjoyable bit actually about being up there… is…is if you have a family… you’re with your children… and you get to see the young person you used to be sitting a few rows ahead of you… who’ll always oblige you by turning around and giving you that scowling look. ’cause your child reacting to air pressure… is expressing themselves by going: “.ablkasdkfjasdf..” And they look around disapprovingly… as though you’re going to clock that look and go: “Oh sorry, I’ll slit their throat.” “…after all you paid for business and you’re a busy, busy guy, aren’t you?” You kind of prop yourself up with all those things,… you know, holidays and stuff. Especially in this part of the world. When people get depressed here they don’t really handle it very well. In other cultures they do something useful. You know, they have a rain dance or they throw stones on one another or something. But here, when people get pissed off they go: “I can’t carry on, I don’t understand my life anymore,…” “I don’t know what I’m doing. I can’t !+$%$!# handle it, I can’t deal with anything…” “including these cornflakes. I just don’t know what’s going on.” “I’m f…I can’t do it.” “Ah ah…*!%* it, I’ll buy a CD.” “I’ll get a CD and a jacket! *!%* everybody!” But… because you’re out of your mind, not feeling well,… you go and you buy stuff you didn’t really want anyway,… you know, ‘The Ecuadorian Women’s Folk Choir Doing The Songs of Kenny Rogers’… and you bring it back, some canary yellow jacket with purple buttons up the front… and you look at this and you think: “What is the #%@@?” “What was I thinking?” So, you take it to a charity shop. That generally is the extent of our charity. We give away all the #%@@ we never needed or wanted in the first place. And that’s why charity shops themselves have that incredible funk of depression. That layered smell and all the women who work in there are a hundred and three. And…they were twenty when they turned up for work that morning,… they just aged in the smell. Presumably as well there are people going into those shops as well who think… when they look at the stuff they go: “That mirror in the shape of a cello…” “covered in seashells is a !+$%$!# bargain. Do you have any more of those?” “Do you? I need about ten.” So what takes you out of that? What will get you away from all that? All the interiority you don’t need. Children are very good actually for that. Teaching you about the world. Peeing on you. It’s hard to feel sorry for yourself and your past… if you wake up with somebody sitting on your face… saying: “I’m hungry.” But you know, you…women…women are more supportive of one another around children. If a woman gets pregnant, you know, other women pitch in and they sort of talk about it… and it’s far more useful, you know, men, when men are about to have a child,… if they have young male single friends, they’re not…they’re not so good. You know this. You know, your male friends arrive and they stand there and they look at you and they come and see the baby… and they don’t really know how to deal with it. You know, they don’t get it ’cause they go: “Well, I’m here, you know, your house is a medley of disgusting smells,…” “there’s nothing to eat, everybody’s wearing bathrobes,…” “there’s no bar, I can’t *!%* anybody, why am I here?” Women tend to be more mature. You know, men look at breasts the way women look at babies. “Aww, isn’t that lovely?” And they… if a woman gets pregnant all the women she’s ever met in her whole life… will appear from all corners of the earth to support her… by telling her horror stories of all the pregnancies they’ve ever heard about. “It’s fantastic what you’re doing. I love the way you’re handling this.” “It won’t be like what happened to Michelle.” – “What? What happened to Michelle?” – “Oh, did I say Michelle? I didn’t mean to mention that, I’m sorry. Don’t worry.” “She was a fool. She ate vegetables and drank water.” “The baby came out her ear. You’ll be fine.” “You’ll be absolutely fine. Nothing will happen to you.” “She can’t sit down now. Nobody in the family talks to one another.” “You’ll be fine. Don’t worry about it.” Men are…men remain envious of women, despite what women think. Men…men would like to…to be female…sometimes. To understand things more…to have access… to have the freedom… to ask these questions that women say every day: – “Why did you put the towel…the wet towel…” “on the bathroom floor? You left it there! Why did you do that?” – “Well, me and the guys were talking about it over a period of weeks…” “you know, in the bunker…” “and we figured that was the best place for it.” “It wouldn’t work in the kitchen.” The questions that everybody asks now are the questions that everybody has always asked about each other. You know, you still hear all this stuff: “What do women want?” As though it’s really mysterious. As though it’s a big deal. All that women want is what anybody wants. You know, friendship and companionship and respect… and a certain amount of leadership with submission… and a kind of cooperation at all times… and pre-emptive empathy and you know,… general telepathy. It’s no big deal, is it? And then when the same questions are asked of men. “What is it that men want?” You’re always told that it’s really very simple. You know, something like “lingerie”… Now historically there hasn’t been a big demand… for male lingerie from women. Because there’s a limited amount you can do with male genitalia. There’s a limited amount you can do with anything… that looks like it’s hanging out of the side of a shark’s mouth. And… it doesn’t really matter if you put a velvet gown around it. It’s not gonna do the trick. We’re told that this is what…what…what men want – lingerie…you know… for women to look like cakes. “It’s not enough that you want to be with me and love me.” “You must first be a French fancy.” And… Now women don’t want that. Traditionally women have been attracted to uniforms. So it’s not difficult to know what women want. Fascists – that’s really what they’re all after. Say what you like about nazi Germany They turned heads. Everywhere those storm troopers went… “Check him out before he kills us!” That happened a lot. But sometimes I think it passes through the mind of heterosexual people… that it might be easier to be gay. ’cause obviously…you know… there’s apparently… less… errrrrr….responsibilities outside yourself. That’s how it would appear sometimes. And also…you know…if you’re straight… and you’re pissed off or stressed out… what do you do really… you know, you have an extra piece of cake or a couple of drinks you shouldn’t really have. If you’re gay you can go to a toilet and *!%* a stranger. Now that’s…that has got to work some of the kinks out, hasn’t it? Afterwards he must think: “Yeah, I can deal with my emails now.” But because of that then you get straight people disparaging gay relationships… and saying: “Well, they can’t be meaningful, you know, if they…you met in a latrine.” But most heterosexual people in this country and around the world… meet each other and get together with one another… when they’re totally, totally drunk. Smashed…out of their minds… they could not spell their own face. And they go home with that person. You might spend months with that person… or a year… or you might have a family. This is what happens. This is how you meet. But you wouldn’t buy a toaster when you’re drunk. ’cause that’s too important. It’s got to be crispy in just the right way, hasn’t it? I think that’s why you see couples… sitting with their new babies outside cafes and so on… drinking tea, looking at one another, looking to the pram,… looking into the middle distance and back to one another… because they’re thinking: “Oh…wh…what the *!%* happened?!” “I just thought we were gonna have a few drinks. Who’s this guy?” And love is incredibly…er…mysterious as you know. And it’s still the thing that troubles most people for a lot of their lives… until they work it out…and which you… you may do eventually. You hear the conversations in the restaurants, the lovers speaking to one another. And it never really changes. People compete with one another as they’re telling each other that they love each other. – “I love you.” – “I love you.” – “Yeah, but I really love you. I mean I love you.” “I love pencils you have sucked and thrown away twenty years ago.” “I love your eyebrows and your ancestry and everything about you!” “Just eat your food and let me love you. Don’t speak!” And… they don’t know of course at the time that that dialogue is just… from a very bad science fiction film written by nature. Really what they’re saying to one another is: “The race must continue! The race must continue!” “My vadudium is pointing at your phenungulator.” “The race must continue!” And if they don’t handle it properly you see them forty years later,… the same people in the same restaurant, if you have the time… you go there and you see them and they communicate on a different way now… In middle age… In some cultures it’s called ‘silence’. Unless I’m missing something and they’re saying a lot… with the fork hitting the plate. And if their eyes do meet this time it’s not intimacy, it’s embarrassment. The man makes that noise as he chomps his chop… in his throat…a kind of horrible sound… this…”Hhhmmmnnnngggg..” Sounds like a Balkan curse. And… the woman has her own noise of disquiet. The “hhhhhhmmmmmm…” As she’s spearing her salad. Like a…you know…sounds like a dove having a dump. And then they… they go home to the bed they’ve sheared for… sheared…when you shear a bed it’s a…its a difficult process. It…you know, when you go home you’re a bit… had a couple of drinks… and the bed’s all wooly, and you have to… and you have to get the clippers out. “Here we go again. Don’t move.” And… and when they’ve sheared the bed they share it… and they get in with… and they have real intimacy… which takes years to achieve, you know… you’re not gonna get it with somebody you don’t know very well,… not that there really is such a thing as ‘casual sex’. What is that? What is that supposed to be? It’s never really casual. You always have to turn up…and the… it’s never casual unless you’re both wearing Sherlock Holmes’s hats or something… and you’re covered in crisps, one of you is eating an omelette,… the other one is doing a crossword. Then it’s kind of casual. I’m talking about real intimacy. When people don’t mess around with all that manipulating the phrase “I love you.” People…you get this all the time: “I love you. I love you. I love you I love you…” “Bake me a cake or go away.” Children can master those three words. – “What do you want for breakfast, darling?” – “I want sugar fried in honey.” – “No! You’re having fruit, bread, wholesome things like that.” – “I love you, Daddy!” – “I love you too…” “Sugar you say? I’ll be right back.” I mean it’s just hard to like certain foods. Look at this. I’m trying to addict to myself to it. It doesn’t work for me…fruit. It’s just God showing off: “Look at all the colours I know.” Horrible stuff! You know, when somebody comes to your house for dinner or the weekend or something… and they don’t bring a bottle of wine or some chocolates or biscuits or something… you %#%$! about that person when they leave saying: “Mean *!#%%%$!**%*. Didn’t bring anything.” You never hear anybody saying: “They didn’t bring any fruit.” “Not a single melon. We had them for three weeks.” “I didn’t see a grape.” Nobody likes it. That’s why they put mirrors around it in supermarkets. You just catch sight of yourself and you think: “Fuckit, I’m dying…I better eat some of this.” They don’t do that with the eclairs, do they? Horrible! You have one – confirm that it’s awful. Ah, it’s got stones and things in it. What is the point? What was I saying? I have no idea what I was saying. What was I saying? It doesn’t matter. But um…yeah, you know…it takes ages as well, it goes on and on and on. Now!…the…the…the…the…um…the other thing…you know… I don’t know! Yes! Intimacy…and what is real and what is not. And I suppose…you know… the conditions have to be right of course for…for…for…for love to happen. You know…it is much more difficult to be female, I grant you that. Because the body’s more complicated. You know, if you’re born a woman all these things happen to you. You’re a baby, then a child, then a girl, then a girl-woman and all these things are going on. It’s a constant opera with masks keep falling to the floor throughout your life. “Who am I? I don’t know! Watch out I’m !+$%$!# nuts.” And… If you’re a male, you know, you’re born, you have a finger up your nose… and the other hand on your dick and you get taller. And that is really it. And it’s fairly amazing… to think of the…the…the ludicrous taboos… that persist amongst us, informed, intelligent, able people. Just from biology. For all these years… it is still a difficult thing to talk about menstruation… with a woman if you’re male. And you find this out as a young man… very quickly. ’cause you’re talking to somebody and you’re saying: “Listen…listen…I agree with everything you’re carving on the kitchen table.” “I do.” “I really, really do.” “But do you think it’s possible you may feel this way… “perhaps because of your per…aaaggghhh!!!” That first high-kick to the thorax generally does the trick. If you address the subject at all thereafter… it’s always in the most feeble way. You go: “Yes, yes, I know, haha, yes,…” “have you seen the Moon?” You don’t… And we’re told and it’s traditional… that things have to be just right for a woman… for certain exchanges… and acts to happen between you. If you care about somebody… really, properly care…it has to be just right. You know…we’re told that men don’t need very much. They just…you know…they just appear. All circumstances are fine for any sensitive occasion. Whereas with women things have to be right. You know, people are saying “I love you” all the time to reassure one another. “I love you. I love you. I love you.” In bed as they’re making love. – “I love you. I love you.” – “Why have you got ham in your bed?” This is what women say. – “Why?” – “I don’t know. It’s there. “Are you hungry? Are you hungry? You’re not hungry?” “You might be hungry later. I don’t know. But it’s there. I’m prepared.” And… – “What is the noise? There’s noise downstairs.” – “It’s nothing. It’s my flatmate.” “Forget it. He won’t hear anything.” “I’ll tell him everything later anyway. Don’t worry about it…” – “No, we must have music.” – “Alright! Christ! I love you. I love you.” “Now…there.” – “Not Wagner!” “I feel like I’m being invaded.” – “Oh God! What’s the point?” “You’re just lying there anyway, you’ve taken all the lingerie off. This is too easy.” “Can’t you hide under the bed and send up a flare or something.” “This has to be a game for me.” All these games. All the fear. Very difficult to tell some people you love them, of course. Very difficult to tell your father you love him if you’re a man. – “I love you, Dad.” – “Oh yeah…hmm…hmm…oh yeah…yeah…” “You ok for money?” – “I’m very good for money. I just want to tell you that I love you.” – “Oh…yeah…yeah. I’ll tell your mother.” You know, it’s a difficult thing. So these people talking in the restaurant… maybe about what they don’t really understand, will find out later. With everything that happens to them. And when they go to bed at night years and years later they do achieve a kind of real intimacy. But you have to know somebody very well to be able to say: “I hate the way you breathe.” “Why do you breathe like that? It sounds like it’s coming through your !+$%$!# forehead!” “I haven’t slept in 35 years!” “Do you have any idea how fat you actually are? Do you? Do you have any !+$%$!# idea?” “No, you don’t, do you? Because your little face…” “…is an island trapped in the sea of flab!” “I would stab you to death but I can’t…” “afford to take the two weeks off work!” Nothing that can’t be sorted out by a nice cup of tea. But it is difficult. It is of course… the people who…who…who love you, who know you… who can wound you. That is the terrible vulnerability. These people know how you…how you… how you work. You can take all kinds of abuse from strangers or people at work or… people on the street. It doesn’t matter. You brush it all off. But you don’t have to get rage or obscenity from somebody who knows you. They just have to say the right thing at the right time. “Your nosehair…” “which is grey…” “is in my eye.” That’ll do it! We’re all… very woundable. We all want a certain treatment. You want to hear things said in a certain way. I heard a terrible story… I…I…I didn’t even…I didn’t think this kind of thing happened. But this happened… This guy knows a guy, it happened… the guy I know, knows another guy… it happened to him. And..I’m… very well connected. And… he told me this man was in bed with his…with his person…and… they were making love. And she actually called out the wrong name. I didn’t think that could happen. She called out the wrong name. And when I heard that I thought: ‘How would you ever recover from something like that?’ You’d be destroyed! But then I realized, you know, it wouldn’t even have to be the wrong name. Somebody could just say your name in the wrong way. Because everybody wants to hear: “Oh, John!” But you don’t want to hear: “John!” Or: “John?” But the very worst, you know, patronizing, comforting one: “Ohhoho, John.” These things can change your life! Ladies and gentlemen, that is all from me. Thank you very much for coming. I’ve enjoyed talking to you. Good night. Ok…you know..quickly ’cause… you’ve got to go. Hm? Listen, the thing is… you will get to a certain point in your lives. You get older, you know. You may have read about it. And… people don’t age well in this country. Look at them… You see continental people, tourists, they come around,… you know the people who are bicycling around in their red and yellow cagoules… pointing at cathedrals… With springy white hair… and rimless, lenseless, glassless spectacles. Having a wonderful time… Living on yoghurt,… going home and having sex… even though they’re eighty-three hundred years old. It doesn’t happen like that here, in Britainand Ireland. You see people aging. It’s all wrong. They’re wearing brown. They’re at bus stops. They bend over… holding a half a tin of cat food in a plastic bag. Talking about the weather they haven’t seen in the last 15 years. Mumbling rubbish… getting closer to the graves… so they don’t have that far to jump when it actually opens up. Denying their vitality. That’s not the way we should age. You should be as alive as can until you’re totally dead. In all respects. In every sphere. It is…wait! I think you see… this is a popular movement. It is of course dangerous. You have to take advice. You know, you can’t be gung-ho about it. If you’re going to make love to somebody and you’re very, very old and they’re… very, very old you have to be sensible. It is…I hate to use the word ‘lube’ but I just have. You have to pretend you’re swimming the Channel. It’s…look you change, you all… your body changes… it’s a tinder box down there. It would be a terrible way to be found the next morning – two charred skeletons still smouldering in the wheel-barrow position. Nobody wants to be remembered like that. You want to be remembered with affection… and dignity. You might have to think about what you’re going to say. You might have to say something quite good. You probably won’t. You’ll say something rubbish like: “Do you think this is off?” They’ll be the last words you’ll ever say. Or worse: “Hey everybody, watch this!” But before you do… it’s great if you can meet the other person you’re supposed to share this mystery with. And you know when that happens I think. People know when that happens to them… because you often meet that person at a particular time in your life. Sometimes when you’re young and poor. You know, when you’re living in a room. You’re both live in rooms… where you have all your #%@@… ’cause you’re poor. And it’s lit by candlelight and you climb the stairs… to that person’s room. They’ve been to yours and now you’re going to theirs. It’s serious. And… you’re standing opposite that person and there is a moment… where you realize you’re not looking at an expression of… fleeting lust or some sort of passing of the time… you know…in the surrounding befuddlement. Where actually…you know each other… you know you want to be together. And you realize it and it’s an amazing moment when you… the other person’s actually taking their clothes off in front of you… smiling from the very middle of themselves at you… saying: “I want to be with you.” And you’re looking at them with their bare shoulders all shimmering in this… roseate candlelight. And you realize this is the person for you. And then… and then the cage comes down! And your mother jumps from the wardrobe! With a cigarillo pointing out of the corner of her mouth… and you kill her with a trowel. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming. Good night.