In a word . . . Truth

What has been a greater tragedy in 2016 than the death of Truth?

How could Leonard Cohen be expected to sing Hallelujah one more time in a world now so sucked dry of joy in this past and passing year

How could Leonard Cohen be expected to sing Hallelujah one more time in a world now so sucked dry of joy in this past and passing year

 

“Dear brethren, we are gathered here today to say goodbye to an old and dear friend, and to 2016. The death of this year is not of itself an occasion for grief among these few of us still present, but we do lament the loss of so many dear ones over the past 12 months even as we understand how they could not take it anymore.

Bowie, the first. Sweet Prince. Gracious Ali, and Leonard Cohen in November. How could he be expected to sing Hallelujah one more time in a world now so sucked dry of joy in this past and passing year.

I thank the pall bearers who carried the coffin here. Messrs Trump, his friend Mr Bannon, their friend Mr Farage, his friend Mr Boris, his former friend Mr Gove, and the altogether foolish Mr Cameron. All did a good job bringing the remains here, if with a haste that seemed unseemly.

Not as unbecoming, however, as the pace with which they have since departed this cemetery, even as burial has not begun. They, as Mr Trump said, “must get on with our FN business.” It was, I have been told, a reference to Fake News.

As I look down into the maw of this freshly dug grave, I cannot but be in awe of its unusual depth.

Earlier I spoke to the grave digger, who insisted his name was Yorick. On inquiring whether this was, maybe, a mistake as Yorick was the court jester whose skull was dug up by the grave digger in the play Hamlet, he insisted otherwise.

Here Yorick would “bury another court jester” at depths rarely seen ever before, he said.When complimented by me on the grave he had dug he offered, kindly, to “...do the same for yourself” .

Yet, while this flesh is very weary indeed, the cloth is not yet ready to join our old friend Truth whose remains repose here now, awaiting committal to the clay.

Dear friends, has there been a greater tragedy in 2016 than the death of Truth? Or his usurpation by that giddy offspring, post-truth, to whom he has bequeathed 2017 and the years ahead.

We can but hope that this new child’s undiscovered instinct is to pray.

Not prey.”

Truth, conformity with fact, from Old Norse tryggth, meaning faith,

Old English trowth, Middle English treuthe.

inaword@irishtimes.com

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