Monday, January 30, 2012

The Man who (nearly) fell to Earth

I spotted his near Dublin's National Concert Hall, although I nearly missed it by not looking up! I have no idea why it's there and I will be pleased if someone lets me know. It's quite realistic. This is at the far end of a telephoto lens, so from a distance it's kind of convincing. I speculated about what it might mean - apart from "a night on the tiles". "He got drunk and didn't make it home," perhaps. That suits me, because drunkenness is indeed a symbol. It would have to be be, since inebriation is all about an altered state and hence mystical and other-worldly. Compulsory drinking bouts were common amongst Chinese societies and naturally Celtic ones too. Even the Aztecs have their 400 rabbit gods who are drunk at all times after imbibing the sacred pulque. The drinking rituals are about reawakening the life force, often in midwinter, although it sometimes seems like the opposite! Samain (November) would be the major Celtic celebration and mead the chosen drink in earlier times. The Ancients called wine that was high in alcohol, pure wine, and in Gaul as well as Ireland there was usually a bit of fisticuffs after imbibing large quantities. Participants would be deprived of their weapons beforehand, for obvious reasons. The rituals were compulsory so there was no getting out of it. And if you were Welsh and a deposed king, drowning in a vat of beer might be your fate. But I am no closer to the reason for the street art - or maybe it's really a person after all!