Archive for January 22nd, 2008

Suckin’ Wiesel

Tom Kelly took to quoting Elie Wiesel in his eulogy for the SDLP:

Elie Wiesel, the author and survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald speaking at the millennium lecture series in 1999 asked the two questions about the legacy of the 20th century and how it would be judged. He said it will be judged severely in “both moral and metaphysical terms”. He said the failures were self-evident: “two world wars, countless civil wars, the senseless assassinations of Gandhi, Kennedy, King, Sadat, Rabin, bloodbaths in Cambodia, Nigeria, India, Kosovo and Ireland”. Yes, he included us as part of what he called the “failures that cast a dark shadow over humanity in the 20th century”. In his words: “so much violence, so much indifference”.

Indifference to Wiesel is a “strange and unnatural state in which the lines blur between light and darkness, dusk and dawn, crime and punishment, cruelty and compassion, good and evil”.

Barfff!! The mention of Ireland in the speech, whilst certainly the sort of thing that makes your average SDLP member’s heart swell with pride since it appears to put Ireland on the world stage yet again, was no doubt an ingratiating hat-tip to his host, Bill Clinton, who had recently had something to do with the Belfast Agreement.

Wiesel is no stranger to bouts of indifference himself, as Christopher Hitchens once pointed out, in an article where he described him as a a ‘poseur and windbag who receives (and takes as his due) such grotesque deference on moral questions.’

In 1982, after Gen. Ariel Sharon had treated the inhabitants of the Sabra and Shatila camps as target practice for his paid proxies, Wiesel favored us with another of his exercises in neutrality. Asked by the New York Times to comment on the pogrom, he was one of the few American Jews approached on the matter to express zero remorse. “I don’t think we should even comment,” he said, proceeding to comment bleatingly that he felt “sadness– with Israel, and not against Israel.” For the victims, not even a perfunctory word.

and furthermore:

the bulk of US overseas military aid is about to be lavished on a man (Ariel Sharon) who stood with hands on hip, in belt and boots and steel helmet and binoculars, and saw a mound of human corpses rise, and who thought it good. For this outcome, the soil has been manured by the beautiful thoughts of Elie Wiesel.

That was back in the day when Hitchens wasn’t an apologist for imperialist wars of aggression. Perhaps his tune on Wiesel had changed by the time both men had declared their support for the Iraq war.

Didst Thou Eye Up My Pint

Citations from these took the place of conventional greetings. Precocious students would call to each other across a crowded Grafton Street: “Thou hast committed fornication”; and a loud reply was supposed to come: “But that was in another country, and besides, the wench is dead.” Not that we had read The Jew of Malta, the source of that exchange — we had read Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus, but not The Jew — but we knew that bit of dialogue because T.S. Eliot had used it as an epigraph to his Portrait of a Lady. Adepts of insult would regularly intone to a friend: “Thou hast nor youth nor age, but as it were an after dinner sleep, dreaming of both” — again one of Eliot’s epigraphs, this one from his poem “Gerontion.” But I soon exempted myself from such theatricalities, especially when I started finding my social life among the young musicians.

You wouldn’t hear that sort of thing across a crowded Grafton Street these days, since the intervening years have brought deleterious effects of televisual communication on people’s eloquence and the domination of that thoroughfare by men covered in metallic paint and throngs entranced by the strains of some tube playing the Hamlet advert with a saw. The closest you might hear is ‘you charity collectors are total fuckers’.

Underpants of Doom

Looks like the British state has been terrorising its own citizens again.

Despite what appeared to be strong evidence against the four the PPS said all charges were be-ing dropped due to the emergence of new information, al-though it declined to elaborate.

The abandonment of the trial is understood to centre on claims that senior dissident republican Paddy Murray was being protected from prosecution as a security-force agent.


“It is clear to anyone who studies the case that the trial fell apart once we sought disclosure of this individual’s role as a security-force agent who had entrapped our clients,” Mr Corrigan said.
“Our clients could not have been guaranteed a fair trial without that disclosure.”

It looks as though the British agent supplied a few Real IRA guys -whom I presume not to be the sharpest implements in the rectangular container, being members of a paramilitary group whose name recalls the Real Ghostbusters– with the necessary tools to go out and ruin the weekend for a substantial section of Northern Ireland’s DIY enthusiasts.

Two of them were allegedly found with incendiaries hidden down their trousers.

Lovers, not fighters.

Anyway, the point here is that if they’re doing it with the remnants of the ‘RA, you can bet your firecracker-filled Y-fronts that they’re doing it with those evil Musselmans and their fearsome terror plots to blow up Kent with a packet of aspirin and some bailer twine.

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January 2008