A Grumpy Eye on the World


You probably know more about this than I do.
I wasn’t aware of Grumpy until I read the death notice. Apparently Grumpy was a regular presence on the internet. As cats supposedly have nine lives, I think Grumpy deserves a further outing. He has much to say as an observer of the stupidity of humans.
There was a time back in the ‘70s when I did a weekly column in a Scottish Newspaper. It was a light-hearted commentary on the thoughts of Bob. Young Bob was like a ventriloquist’s dummy who spoke his mind carelessly. I simply let him speak. He had fun. Bob had delusions of grandeur – he began to think that he was another Rabbie Burns. I was going to suggest that Grumpy might imagine himself to be Brian Merriman but that too is foolish nonsense. Brian and Rabbie lived roughly at the same time and had a waspish frivolity in a dull time.
My wish is that I can let Grumpy live up to his face and his name. I will now shut up and let him throw his voice around. He has something to say.



Trump is not an aberration. He is a symptom of the age. He is a narcissist wallowing in his own imagined certainties. His club includes the foolish political system of the UK. Their insularity is born of received self importance. Their sense of superiority has been shaped by history and they still believe that the House of Parliament is the model for democracy even though they can’t make a decision on anything. They are up to their elbows in the quicksand of Indecisiveness. Their declared runners to date for the leadership of the Tory Party are indeed a motley bunch. The lost Conservatives. The dithering Labour Party. The talk shop merchants who can’t find their way off the roundabout. Is there anyone with a sense of vision?



It looks as if Nigel has taken over the landscape of politics in the UK. Labour and Tory are falling into disarray and despair. Was it 35% voted? Where will the politics take us? Nigel’s cronies win but are going nowhere.
In Ireland – what was the voting percentage of the population? In Finglas Ballymun – was it only 14%? This is embarrassing and stupid. The electorate can be fickle and very foolish. They scribble anything or don’t. They don’t bother. They like to complain. And now Ireland could be sending Clare, Michael and Ming to Europe. It may be a way of ridding the Dail of a few mouthy ones. But why do people really bother or appreciate what politicians try to do for them? Many say we get the politicians we deserve and that may be true. We voted clearly for Ming, Mick and Clare. Is this the best we can do? Are we interested enough to even vote or care? What about the local vote? Again is it just a give me/give me nation. What is in it for me mentality? Do we appreciate those who fought for us to have the vote?



I was laughed at. I was dismissed as a moan – as a grump. The kettle and the pot comes to mind.
What is happening in this beautiful land? There is a sense that everyone wants more. Blame is hurled about as if it was snow. There is a non-acceptance of sickness. No one should die. Death cannot be tolerated. The medical folk have to be sued. How dare anyone ever give a diagnosis that might not be exact. Is anyone willing ever to say that health/medicine is not an exact science. It cannot be sure. It cannot be certain. The body is quite an awkward piece of equipment. The mind too shapes the response to illness. But the machine which is engined by the heart cannot go on forever. It wears out. It goes wrong. We get sick. We die. Let it be. We may have dumped God but we want our medical people to be Godly. It cannot happen. It is ridiculous. Get on with life. Get on with living. Make the best of it. Accept the inadequacies of life. We think we are improving things but maybe the usefulness of faith is lost. Without it – we are poor. We don’t want to be human or even to know what being human means. People can be so pathetic.



It sickens me. It bothers me. It irritates me. The altruism of Christianity is in sharp contrast to the insularity and preoccupation with self in the present day culture.
The word entitlement is freely cast into the middle of a conversation. The 30/40 year olds sum up the 20 year olds as me-centered. They want. They want everything now. They are ‘entitled’ to this and that and everything.
There is little thought for the wider discussion or for anyone else. That sounds like delayed teenage behavior. Is it true? I don’t know. I often think as a nation such a disease has spread. It isn’t the young. I know that old ones who are near death wonder what is happening the young. The older clergy cannot even grasp where the young ones (as clerics) are coming from and their focus on past structures and habits.
The nation is also rotting away with bureaucracies. So many of the Safeguarding has been taken over as an industry. The basic question doesn’t get asked: Will this actually help protect children? GDPR is the next nonsense on board. How much of this is any use to anyone? And then in this wonderful land – we, everyone, calls for Tribunals and Inquiries which go on for ever and cost the earth – to what purpose? So much rubbish everywhere.



The God project is very important. I may have spent my life giving out. I may have meowed my way through life with a grumble on my face and a scowl at everyone. I may have been called ‘Grumpy’.
But now I know.
Life is very good.
Some humans are great. I think of Jean Vanier who has died (London Times on 27th May).
I think of Daniel J O Leary.
I think of Tony Coote – Dublin priest with MND who has written Walk While You Can– so positive and inspirational.
I think of Mary Oliver. She looked around and saw things. Even rocks. Even the sea. Even trees. Even animals. Even cats.
I feel that I didn’t look around enough and didn’t see. Why not delve into some of her recipes for living? ‘When the Roses speak, I pay attention. When I am among the trees. Sometimes. Invitation. Birds singing. Mysteries, Yes. We have to move away from ourselves. Forget the preoccupations with the mirror. See the more. Reach out. Laugh lots. Share. Accept that we have enough. See the God of life. Accept that we get old. Listen to the Christ of life. Smile (even if I didn’t).
Have a real sense of history and never make this moment and how I feel, too important. Celebrate the Liturgy of life without the pompous solemnity which kills the very soul of faith. Faith and God has to be celebrated with imagination and creativity. No stodginess. No boredom. No head only nonsense. The heart and body and the very soul has to be stirred. Explore beauty. Forget all the nonsense of passing fashion and fads. Don’t get stuck in mud of negativity. Sing. Dance. Laugh.
God is very good but we have suffocated God in our attempt to make humans everything. God is too big for us. We are small. Be humble. Be grateful. Be appreciative. Encourage. Say thank you. Goodbye. I could have done better.



I clearly had nothing to do with the above. The management disassociates itself from Grumpy the Cat.

Seamus Ahearne osa


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  1. Lloyd Allan MacPherson says:

    Don’t ever look for order out of systemic chaos. Example: Francis was right about cleaning up the planet and that was his niche market. Fr. James Martin SJ is leading Jesuit thought on how the LGBTQ community should be welcomed into the Church. He understands the science of endocrine disorders and people eating 50,000 pieces of micro-plastic each year and getting upset with the power structures involved in that delivery of service to mankind.

    Governments are in a state right now. So is religion – the Jesuits are ready to go to war over the ultra-conservative train of thought crashing up against neo-liberalism; that paradigm is bringing the planet to its knees. Don’t expect to find the collegiality to address those issues together. Likely a scapegoat is formed and people go on the offensive.

    The key was to see it through to the end but everyone lacked courage.

  2. Paddy Ferry says:

    Lloyd, perhaps endocrine diversity would be a more appropriate terminology in this day and age given how our knowledge has so advanced in recent times.
    Obviously whoever in the Vatican was responsible for the recent outrageous statements on transgender issues is seriously ignorant of things hormonal.

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