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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: February 23, 2009 @ 9:32 pm

    Neverending unrelenting misery… and a chink of wonder

    Harry McGee

    The Secret of Kells

    Before the mini blog came into being, the verb “to twitter” belonged to two species: birds and broadcasters who fill in the 9am to 10am slot on Radio One.

    But I must say that lanky one has a point when he complains (every morning) about too much misery.

    It is beginning to assume a “go deo na ndeor” feel. No relief. Are we going to spent the rest of our lives broke and on our uppers, and contemplating such gob-stoppers of phrases  as quantative easing; contracts for difference; negative feedback loops?

    Everyday there’s a report or an analyst or an economist who’s showing us the opposite side of a famous Bertie Ahern quote: “The doom is getting doomer”.

    And to be sure, the number of economists in Ireland who claim they foresaw all of the bust happening is growing all the while… the 2009 version of those who were present in the GPO during the Easter Rising in 1916.

    Today was a relatively quiet day politically. John Gormley said he favoured a government of national unity safe in the knowledge that such a hybrid is never going to happen. Dick Roche issued a statement this morning  defending the Government’s decision not to divulge the names, saying a Central Bank act from 1942 prevented it.  Both Fine Gael and Labour later separately cited different legislation (the Companies Acts) suggesting the opposite.

    The row will run this week. As will the comet’s tail from last Saturday’s massive protest march – the Dail will spend the week debating the pension levy for public service workers.

    Another week of anger and despair. Misery has become viral, a plague even.

    There was one chink of glorious light this weekend.  We went to see The Secret of Kells (see the website for accompanying book here) last night, the closing film in the Dublin Film Festival. It is the first full-length Irish animation and co-directed by Kilkenny man Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey. It was stunning. A cascade of light and colour and wonder burst from the screen. And a beautifully-measured tale about the creation of the Book of Kells in 6th century Ireland. Gorgeous ornate animation with unmistakable (and unforgettable) Celtic motifs. Great voices from actors Brendan Gleeson and Mick Lally and two child actors. Amazing.

    In an atmosphere of communal despair, this amazing work showed what is, and can, be possible. It was the first ‘yes we can’ moment I have experienced since the beginning of the year.

    Please go and see it when it opens. It’s uplifting.

    FOCAL SCOIR: And before we get pursued by a bear for an inclursion into somebody else’s territory, let us warmly congratulate our colleague Fiona McCann on her magnificent win in the arts section of the Irish Blog Awards.

    • Ba dheas liom the Secret of Kells a fheiceáil.

      Saw Fiona at the Blog Awards on Saturday as my own blog, iGaeilge, was up for an award. It won too.

      Beir bua

    • Dan Sullivan says:

      There is an element of the long night of perpetual doom about some of the commentary. Yet we shouldn’t forget that even during the Great Depression children still had birthdays, people fell in a love, made plans, made homes, laughed, watched football. Who knows, a run for the Dubs in the chase for Sam and the place might perk right up.

      Things won’t be as bad as the 80s, if only because we’ve changed much of our leisure options and means of accessing information. We can amuse and inform ourselves in ways that were impossible in the 80s and for considerably less expense than then too.

      This too shall pass as the old Hebrew saying goes.

    • Harry says:

      Comhghairdeachas a Conchubhair. Caithfidh mé do bhlog a chur ar an rolla i measc na ngaiscí eile. H.

    • Harry says:

      It will pass, Dan. But not quickly enough unfortunately. Don’t believe anybody who tells you when the gloom will lift. But I doubt it’s going to be soon.


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