If you stroll south out of Newry today and stick to the main road you will pass a currently unmarked point on the road where you cross from Co. Down into Co. Louth. You will actually have crossed from Northern Ireland into the Republic of Ireland too but soon you will also have left the UK and entered the EU.
The Irish border will probably become the only land border between London and Brussels. As things currently stand the first inclination the motorist gets that they have crossed a border is the slightly different road signs. Other than that though, the grass is equally green on both sides and for the British driver, there is no difference between a PSNI officer or his counterpart in the Gardai. The language doesn't change, (though the accents certainly do), but the currency is different as it always has been anyway.
BREXIT is in the news today and our own gombeen men are speculating wildly about what it will mean for this potato republic. In the North, the paddies and the sammies had a spat so they'll be busy with an election for the next couple of months. The madwoman in Scotland gave a cold shoulder to London, but then got a cold shoulder from the EU right back and for all I know she's back home licking her wounds and frantically trying to think of some high profile stunt to save her ailing political career. Oddly too, we never get any indication over here as to how the Welsh collectively feel about what's happening. We get the impression that they'll kind of get along with whatever the Brits decide.
Our own great leader is supping wine in Davros as we speak while at home, Fianna Fail is frantically shape-shifting to try to find a form that would see them back into power. I would characterize it all as the great BREXIT lull. Apart from some unseemly sniping and name calling between Brussels and anyone who'll listen to them, nothing much has apparently happened since the UK vote. Doubtless behind closed doors there is mad activity but for the offending voters, all is much as before.
The joker in the pack is about to enter the White House, (though his arse isn't in the chair yet). The Donald is predicting that more countries will leave the EU and the lad is hinting at the demise of NATO for good measure also. The shrewd boyo in Moscow is playing global chess, Merkel is shoring herself for an election and the PIGS countries are keeping their heads down. The Middle East is ablaze, the Chinese are up to something, you just know they are and Australia has become very strange indeed. When you look about you, you don't immediately see a steady hand on any tiller anywhere. There's just a lot of huffing and puffing and jockeying for position. There's an eeriness to it all, isn't there?
The alternative media see the collapse of most currencies, the scientists see irreversible global warming and bible-thumpers see the end of days. Locally here in Mayfield we've just heard we are to lose our Post Office in March but there's a new diner opening on the old TSB site sometime in the summer. The 'Cotton Ball' has a new brew called 'Vienna Amber Ale," and not only is it pure nectar but it's selling at €3.65 a pint. Isn't it funny what constitutes news these days? There is a point where the whole thing just becomes so bizarre and disjointed. As an old fella said to me recently, "If the world does fry, I'll be long gone." If the euro does disappear then I'm sure there'll be some other kind of zloty I can use for the Vienna Ale and I'm up to date too with the prayer and fasting in case there's any truth in those other rumours.
But it's a kind of helplessness where everything is just so big and complicated that I couldn't be bothered. Vulture funds and banks are just legalized thieves and politicians are liars. The media are paid liars and all of what once passed as pillars of society are just so much shifting sand now. From a pessimistic standpoint the world looks like a hot pot about to boil over. The cynic in me senses guiding hands behind all of it. There are powerful people somewhere, (perhaps Davros?), who believe that not only will they survive a Third World War but in some perverted way it will be a good thing, (for them at any rate). That is so utterly depressing and anti-human.
And in the middle of all of these happenings there's lads whose overriding concern is a new designation of toilet that suits their particular ablutions.
Maybe in the end it is all just a tragicomedy?