Archive for May 30th, 2008

The Past Is A Different State

Sometimes I make the mistake of thinking that what I see before me when I walk down the street at home is peculiar to that place. So on Saturday afternoon and evenings, I’ll walk around and get irritated by young chaps endlessly circling the town, all thick and shiny exhaust pipes, brash spoilers and engine revs, thrilling onlookers as they proceed at 10 mph along the main street in their automotive performative contradiction. And then I’ll think, only in Ireland -or if I’m feeling generous, only in Britain and Ireland- with its inclement weather, property-driven economy, do you find things like this. On the continent, they’re all hanging out languourously at one of the town’s fountains, drinking Martinis (they may have even brought their own ice), all amiably flirtatious with the coy young ladies in the calid orange sun of evening.

Then you go on the continent, and you find out it’s mostly the same story, only with more reggaeton and zebra crossings.

Where was I going with this? Oh yes, to the matter of ‘our politicians’. Perhaps this is another instance of parochial ignorance on my part, but I am inclined to think that the usage of the phrase ‘our politicians’ is far more commonplace in Northern Irish political discourse than it is in other places.

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May 2008
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