It was a “one dram below par” moment, a time when the worldview of Dr McClaren seemed apt.
It was Dr McClaren who declared, “It is a well known medical fact that some men are born at least one dram below par,” speaking of the schoolmaster George Campbell in the 1949 comedy film “Whisky Galore!” The schoolmaster is a man who has lived his life in fear of a domineering mother, particularly in fear of her disapproval of intoxicating liquor. In the story, the shipwreck of a freighter carrying 50,000 cases of whisky on the tiny Hebridean island on which they live at a a time when the whisky supplies have run out, provides an opportunity for Campbell to break free from maternal domination, and brings a change in the attitude of his mother.
A dram changes the worldview of the schoolmaster, provides him with a different filter through which to view reality. A dram gives life a different colour, or, if not a different colour, a deeper colour.
Having developed a fondness for the Instagram mobile phone app (check ip_poulton for the pictures), there has developed a habit of looking for picturesque or quirky things to stop and photograph. So it was that driving down the main street of the Co Laois town of Abbeyleix that a pink house caught the eye. Pulling over and taking out the phone, the pink house, with pink door and windows, and pink hydrangeas, was snapped. Looking at the screen of the phone, the house that had seemed so bright as I had passed seemed to have lost some of its rich colour. No matter uploading the picture to Instagram allowed it to be transformed from pale to shocking pink.
Of course, the filtered picture is not real, or is it? All that has been changed is the amount of light and colour saturation. Perhaps there are people who would see the house as shocking, rather than pale pink, perhaps the colour is as much about inclination as optical perception.
Life through the lens of an Instagram filter is healthier than life through the glass of a whisky tumbler. There are moments when all one needs for reality to appear differently is an enhancement of its brightness, a sharpening of its structure, a focusing upon its highlights.
A medicinal Instagram would be a boon, on those days when one feels gloomy, or downhearted, simply to adjust the filters would be an excellent remedy.