Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Now playing in Baghdad and Washington
The black comedy of the war

Also from Chronicles, which I rediscovered after they kindly linked to me earlier today:

Anguished English
Clyde Wilson writes about the solecisms I try to keep out of print at the newspaper and makes Paul Fussellish observations:
...there is the American thirst for middle-class respectability, which is accompanied by the heaviest prevalence of pseudo-intellectualism in the world with its stilted thought and artificial language.

I could go into the spread of timid, breathy, Valley Girl speech among young women and increasingly among young men.
OK, I was, like, in a plane? Flying, you know, across the US nine years ago? When I heard that accent from a teen-aged girl in a nearby seat who said she was from Atlanta I realised this phenom was no longer a joke but the way white American girls of a certain class talk.

An analogue is the Mockneyfication (through Estuary) of the middle class in south-east England.

Was the Fort Dix plot blowback?
I don’t agree with Srdja Trifkovic that these clowns were really terrorists but do remember when Kosovo’s charming church-desecrating Albanian thugs were radical-chic only about seven years ago.

He also looks at...

The down side of the Irish peace agreement
How was it possible?

The answer is prosaic and sobering: old identities, allegiances and creeds no longer really matter in Ireland, north or south. Collective memories and bonds of kinship and faith that, until a generation ago, defined an Irishman, are dying.

No country in the world has gone from premodernity to postmodernity as rapidly as Ireland — and here we mean the whole of the geographic, cultural and historic entity known by that name. In one generation, as I noted last fall, the combined effects of economic prosperity* and all-pervasive global sub-culture have turned the place into just another Postmodernia. The demographic freefall is in full swing among former Protestants and former
[Roman] Catholics alike, likely to halve the country’s already ageing population in the next four decades. What few kids there are worship the Flickering Screen on Sunday mornings, while their parents cure their hangovers. The pews are empty, unless filled by immigrants.
Today the Irish Church is really polski. Seems like fitting revenge on people like Archbishop John Ireland who in America harassed Slavs like Fr Alexis Toth.
Whether Ireland “unites” or stays “divided” is by now utterly irrelevant: either way it is just another post-modern corner of the European Union, characterized — like the rest of the superstate — by historical amnesia, ...collapsing birth rates, dysfunctional families, rising crime, and general ubiquity of our Village’s mass-cultural pap... Irish culture is fast becoming a relic, either neutered à la “Riverdance” and relegated to heritage, or else condemned as retrograde. “Plucky little Ireland” has joined the global mainstream, and is now hell-bent on birth-controlling and multiculturalizing itself to death.

That bombings and shootings have stopped is a great and glorious thing, yet Messrs Paisley and McGuinness have precious little to celebrate. The peace over which they will jointly preside is that of a cultural and spiritual graveyard. Read any new Irish writers recently?
Good points but Frank McCourt’s Ireland wasn’t exactly perfect and the rot set in long ago: for example the IRA weren’t really Catholic but Communist.

Covering up black-on-white crime

*Which in itself is good of course.

No comments:

Post a comment

Leave comment