Monthly Archives: September 2016

More On The Famine Sitcom

Recently, I found out that the proposed Channel 4 ‘Famine Sitcom’ which caused so much controversy in January 2015 has been quietly shelved. At the time, I stated my position quite clearly. To create comedy gold out of the Famine would be a very tall order and I doubted whether it would be possible. But just because it’s problematic doesn’t mean people shouldn’t try. And it certainly doesn’t mean that others have a right to censor creative endeavours in advance just because they don’t like the concept. As a journalist pointed out in the Guardian, the right not to be offended does not exist.

Anyway, it came as no great surprise that the project wasn’t going ahead.

However, looking through some of the material about the controversy, I came across a truly lousy piece of ‘satire’ by Niall O’Dowd on IrishCentral. It purports to be a parody of what Channel 4’s script might be like. However, if you were going to do a parody of a script which you think might be insulting to the Irish, wouldn’t you concentrate on the Irish themselves? Wouldn’t you show stage Oirish characters who are stupid and childlike and responsible for their own poverty? I would.

Instead, O’Dowd ‘treats’ us to a conversation between Queen Victoria, George Trevelyan and Dean Swift. God alone knows why Dean Swift is here. O’Dowd knows (because he says so) that Swift died long before the Famine and that his Modest Proposal is a satire, a humorous treatment of the appalling cruelty and mismanagement of Irish affairs by the British administration in his day. Let me just repeat that. A humorous treatment of famine and poverty and British misrule.

Which, according to O’Dowd and the rest of the vicarious victims should be out of the question, completely forbidden, too politically incorrect to be permitted. And then there’s the conversation between Victoria and Trevelyan, which depicts Queen Victoria as a fat greedy cow and Trevelyan as a vicious psychopath feeding her anti-Irish bigotry. So … this is a parody of what Channel 4 might produce? Hang on … isn’t that what you would like them to produce? Wouldn’t you like a portrayal of Victoria and Trevelyan as imperialist pigs?

In other words, what the fuck does O’Dowd think he’s doing here? My first thought on reading it was, don’t give up your day job. My second thought was Shag a fucking walrus, this is his day job

 

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muggy

According to the late Daniel Cassidy, muggy comes from the Irish múchta but this theory, like the rest of Cassidy’s theories, is about as useful as a chocolate teapot, as Stan so ably demonstrates in this post.

Sesquiotica

I wore the wrong shirt today, I’ll tell you that right away.

You know how sometimes some people will say “Well, dressed like that, you were asking for trouble”? I’m not generally sympathetic to these judgements, but oh boy, today it was real for me. That thin cotton shirt decorated with a riot of colourful tropical flora was… a bad idea.

I got mugged.

By the weather.

OK, I got outside and found the weather was muggy. Very muggy. I wound up as soaked and woozy as a sot, and my shirt stuck to me like so much muck. Yuck. A rolling stone gathers no moss, perhaps, but a walking son of rock in a floral shirt may be a fecund site for flora to take root.

Why would anyone make a tropical shirt in a clingy fabric? I have a few others that are made with coarse weaves, and…

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An Open Letter To ‘Enduna’

I recently received an ignorant little comment from someone calling themselves Corin on my post Niall O’Dowd Has Sold Out.

The man has been dead for almost a decade. Get a fucking life.

It got me wondering, who is this person and why are they defending a worthless criminal screw-up like Daniel Cassidy? It didn’t take me long to find out. Her comment contained the username endunadazi. Having a voluminous knowledge of the Cassidy Cronies and their activities, I remembered having seen enduna before.

On the 16th of November, 2007, enduna posted the following review (labelled AN ABSOLUTE TREASURE) on Amazon.com.

I’ve been sending this book over to my Irish-speaking relatives and co-workers. They just love it.

Thanks to Mr. Cassidy for such an entertaining and informative piece of Irish-American history.

“Cassidy’s book (How the Irish Invented Slang: The Secret Language of the Crossroads)… is wonderful! Congrats to him on winning an American Book Award. ” – Stanford U. Professor of Linguistics

I couldn’t agree more.

Yes, entertaining … and informative … What an idiot! Fortunately, enduna is quite a distinctive name. A little more surfing on Google revealed that enduna is a writer and producer of TV thrillers called Corinne Marrinan. Under that name, she gave How The Irish Invented Slang 5 stars on Goodreads on March 15th 2008. And in October 2008, on www.recordonline.com, we find this in an article about her:

She’s also working on … an adaptation of the book “How the Irish Invented Slang,” …

So, at the very least, Marrinan is someone who fell hook, line and sinker ten years ago for the fatuous invented shite masquerading as Irish in Cassidy’s book. I suspect she probably got to know the Great Fraud personally while negotiating to produce the programme about his insane book but I may be wrong about that.

The reasons why she is in denial about Cassidy and his moronic book really don’t interest me. What I will say is this. It doesn’t matter a damn to me that Cassidy has been dead for ten years. That Hitler guy has been dead for generations – should we start being kind about him, Corinne? Perhaps you would like to enlighten us on how long the Statute of Limitations should run on a farrago of lying nonsense like How The Irish Invented Slang? Should we just forget it’s shite ten years after the author dies, in spite of the fact that it’s still out there swindling the gullible?

The toxic slick of nonsense released into the world by Cassidy is not dead. It continues to fester and to be reproduced ad nauseam by stupid and badly-educated people. And of course, the Irish language wouldn’t matter much to a Plastic Paddy like you. It matters a lot to me that the language I love and use every day is being smeared with excrement in a kind of dilettante Dirty Protest by a bunch of arrogant American nobodies who think they know it all.

And as for me “getting a life”, well, I’m sure your life is good, Corinne – and I mean that in the most Randy Newman sense possible. My life is also good. It’s very different from yours, I’m sure. For example, in my life, the Irish language is a reality, not a distant abstraction, as it is to you and was to Cassidy. And I’m sure that in the shallow, Californian media world that you inhabit, you can easily hand out orders to persuade a flunkey that you’re right even when you’re wrong. (Yes, madam, thank you for pointing that out to me. The crow sitting over there on the fence is indeed red and white polka-dotted and not black. It was very remiss of me to think otherwise. Please accept my profound apologies, madam.)

However, I’m nobody’s flunkey, and the facts remain the facts, whatever you think or pretend to think. Cassidy was a talentless, unqualified narcissist who invented hundreds of phoney ‘Irish’ phrases and accused anyone who disagreed with him of being a racist and a reactionary. That you fell for this charlatan and his obvious nonsense and now feel like an idiot isn’t my problem. I will continue to defend my language and culture from Cassidy, because Cassidy’s book is still spreading lies about the Irish language.

So, why don’t you get a fucking life, Corinne – an honest one! Just drop the denial and admit you were wrong! Because the day I stop defending the truth in deference to a swollen-headed, self-worshipping twit like you will be the day I stop respecting myself. Don’t hold your breath …

Bailiwick

Another ludicrous claim of Cassidy’s is that the word bailiwick (meaning someone’s sphere of influence or control) is from the Irish baile aíoch. This is clearly rubbish for two reasons.

Firstly, the phrase baile aíoch is completely unattested in Irish outside of Cassidy’s fantasy version of the language, although the two elements which Cassidy put together to make this phrase, baile and aíoch, do exist. Baile means home or town, while aíoch means hospitable, and is related to the word aoi, meaning guest. So this phrase might just mean “hospitable home”, though the word aíoch is not very common.

So what’s wrong with this as the origin of bailiwick? Let’s imagine a group of Irish-speaking gangsters discussing their activities in New York in the 19th century. Are they really going to refer to their ceantar (area) or ríocht (kingdom) or fearann (domain) or talamh (ground, land) as mo bhaile aíoch? I can’t see it. It is an unlikely enough phrase anyway, but if I did hear it, I would think of a guest house, or their own house, or even the old home back in the Old Country, not an area which is under someone’s control in a city.

It is also highly unlikely that the word aíoch (pronounced ee-okh or ee-oh] would become wick in English.

And in any case, if Cassidy had done some basic research (something he was obviously too lazy or stupid to do) he would have realised that bailiwick has been in English for nearly six hundred years. It means the area of influence of a bailiff. The most famous bailiwick is probably the Bailiwick of Jersey in the Channel Islands, which obviously has no connection with the hospitable homes of Irish wise-guys.