- 25 Mar 11
In many ways this was an ordinary week in the life of your humble correspondent. But then, there’s no such thing as ‘ordinary’ is there?
Monday: Travelled to Dublin to interview Dave and Paul from Bell X1 about their new album Bloodless Coup. Read Bob Dylan by Greil Marcus on the train. Learned that artist and writer Suze Rotolo died on March 1. She will be remembered forever arm in arm with Bob on the cover of Freewheelin', the perfect embodiment of young boho romance. “Right from the start I couldn’t take my eyes off her,” Dylan wrote in Chronicles. “She was the most erotic thing I’d ever seen. She was fair skinned and golden haired, full-blood Italian. The air was suddenly filled with banana leaves. We started talking and my head started to spin.”
Tuesday: Took a look at Tom Mooney's book All the Bishop's Men: Clerical Abuse In An Irish Diocese. Possibly the most chilling non-fiction read since Alison O'Connor's A Message From Heaven: the Life & Crimes of Father Sean Fortune. The jacket synopsis:
“Finally the lid is lifted on how a group of priests in Wexford were able to abuse over a 30-year period. Boys and girls were molested, raped, impregnated, stripped of innocence and left devastated. Inept supervision by bishops, botched police investigations, teachers turning a blind eye, subservient politicians, weak sentences, and a philosophy of hear no evil, see no evil, allowed priests to sexually abuse at will. Fr Sean Fortune's suicide in 1999 set in train events that led to the first voluntary resignation by a bishop in the Catholic Church in Western Europe, and precipitated the first State investigation of clerical abuse.
“The Ferns Report, which caused shockwaves around the world, documented hundreds of allegations of abuse since 1966 against 21 priests of the Diocese of Ferns. Some were convicted but many escaped the law, protected by bishops whose priority was their priests, their boys of Wexford. Abusers were shunted from parish to parish or psychiatrist to psychiatrist and canon law used to protect the abuser, not the abused. Finally, a few good men said 'enough is enough'.”
Read it and weep. But forget ye not.
Wednesday: The braindead megaphone continues to portray the post-earthquake Japan in Bruckheimer film grammar. The Japanese, disgusted with the unseemly media hysteria, get on with the job of rebuilding buckled highways and reclaiming their dead. No stealing and looting. Workers risk lethal radiation doses to keep the nuclear plants under control. They call it gaman, a national honour code.
Thursday: St Patrick's Day Parade, Enniscorthy. Prohibitive insurance requirements result in a convoy with no floats. Good folk crowd the streets to watch a cavalcade composed mostly of tricolour-bedecked tractors, refuse trucks, fire engines and taxis.
Friday: Enda Kenny appears gleaming and beaming beside Barack Obama in the jammiest photo-op ever landed by an incoming Taoiseach. The daily papers are full of suck-up editorial frothing about an imminent US presidential visit in May.
Saturday: Travel to Waterford to participate in the Waterford Book Festival. Read in the Central Library with Brian Leyden and Ed O'Loughlin, whose second novel Toploader will be published March 31. Ed was Booker-longlisted for his debut Not Untrue and Not Unkind. Going by the reading, the new one sounds somewhere between Wag the Dog and Children of Men.
Sunday morning: The New York Times reports the US and Europe have bombed Libya. Transmission ends.