Tuesday, 13 October 2009

On the one road, singing the wrong song.

"We're on the one road, maybe the wrong road, we're on the road to God knows where... we're on the one road, maybe the wrong road, but we're together now who cares..."

Oh Jesus - what complete and utter shite. Sorry, there's no other way to describe the Wolfe Tones’ Shinner anthem. But, patent drivel as the song may be, there are people out there who think it's a profound expression of Irishness. And maybe it is?

What is Irishness anyway? Is it playing GAA or the tin whistle? Is it speaking the Gaelic they forced on you at school? Is it singing along - preferably through your nose - to the Wolfe Tones after a feed of pints? Is it just hating the Brits?

Or perhaps it's more practical than that? Maybe it's denying abortion rights, on the grounds that such a need does not exist? A bit like sex didn't exist in Ireland before the Late Late Show, when people were forced to find new ways to amuse themselves. "Ah sure they can always go to England for that type of thing."

Or are we a nation of devil-may-care rebels, who care not a whit for authority? You know the hoary old chesnut: we have an ingrained disrespect for authority as a result of our colonial past. But that does not tally with the deep conservatism of the Irish, and their unquestioning, prostrate obedience to the authority of State and the Church in the not-so-distant past even as young lives were destroyed in institutions that Dickens would have been shocked by, and child abuse by the clergy was first ignored, then covered up. Where was the anti-authoritarianism then? Well?

Maybe being Irish is just being dishonest and corrupt, and blaming the 800 years for it all? So many Irish patently see nothing wrong with voting for corrupt politicians. Wait and see how many votes John O'Donoghue gets in Kerry next time round - just as Michael Lowry, Charles Haughey and Beverly Flynn prospered, despite all their dodgy dealings.

There was much talk about our sovereignty being diminished by Lisbon. Well, I think sovereignty is greatly overvalued and it can't be diminished enough in our case. A strong, accountable Europe – and I hope one day it’s a federal one - is our best hope for self improvement.

For the past 80-odd years we’ve been on the one road. And yes, it was the wrong one.

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Anonymous said...

So your argument then is...

'I don't like this...'

Hmmm. Deep.

The Gombeen Man said...

Do I claim to be "deep?". Get back to your studies.

Anonymous said...

Sure what harm is it? Isn't it only a bit o' crack.

Anonymous said...

Nice poster.
Don't they look well for their age?

Viking said...

ah, sure, we're together now who cares?!

"Sure what harm is it? Isn't it only a bit o' crack."

To be sure, to be sure, 'tis that kind of thinking that gave us gombeen politicians of the kind that Brazil and Nigeria can only dream of.

twas all in good fun..

Anonymous said...

HERE HERE gm its all greatcrack alltogether as long as the gomBEANS are cashing in a great little nation

Anonymous said...

Ah come on now GM.

Weren't the lads voted the best song of all time 'A Nation Once Again' by that most holy of holies the BBC.

Surly you are not going to argue with the BBC.