Oh Janie mac.
It’s 2016. Christ.
Now I’ll level with ye, I’m all for the New Year’s parties, leftover turkey sandwiches, glasses of sherry, secretly putting the Queen’s speech on repeat at the Sinn Féin offices… But I was not looking forward to this year coming around. 2016 is probably going to be one of the most exhausting years for me since I started this job.
Two words: Easter. Rising. No, we’re not doing another one. That would be ridiculous, and way more effort than anyone is really willing to put in right now.
Unless you’ve been living under a very large, traitor-shaped rock, this year is the centenary of the time a group of brave young men decided to go yell on the street by the post office because they dreamed of a time where people could be free to do that without having British soldiers sent after them for it. And after 100 years of blood sweat and tears, we finally have the right to send our own men to stop anyone yelling at, beside or in front of the post office. Which if you are of the nightclub persuasion, seems to occur much more regularly when there are no taxis around the GPO, something myself and the invitees to my birthday bash in Opium Rooms learned the hard way after two hours in the rain.
But everyone is very excited and feeling very patriotic about being Irish, with good reason. We don’t get to celebrate things like this often, and when we do, we have a tendency to do it poorly (Look how bored the Queen looked putting those flowers down on the memorial statue. Even she was counting down the hours before she could go off for a better sesh). So seeing everyone get so interested in this is quite strange. Having all this extra love for your country must be how Americans feel. Maybe with fewer guns and heart attacks.
The only problem with all of this is some people are going to be frothing at the mouth over this event, and while I have all the love in the world for the Collins’ and the de Valeras… I don’t have as much love as some do, and if I mess this up, oh holy God there will be blood in the Liffey; most likely mine. I can’t imagine what they’d do if I told them I’ve never seen The Wind That Shakes The Barley.
“Having all this extra love for your country must be how Americans feel. Maybe with fewer guns and heart attacks.”
All of this talk of 1916 does remind me of a story from the War of Independence I heard about recently. So in 1919 we royally botched up a rescue attempt for a fella named Robert Byrne who was injured in a Limerick hospital. We messed it up so badly that we ended up getting the poor lad killed. So the British army lock down Limerick so we won’t go trying to rescue/accidentally kill any more prisoners, but as it turns out Byrne had worked for the Trades and Labour Council, who end up going on strike to protest all of this.
Long story short, eventually the council starts to describe itself as Soviet, one thing leads to another and they end up in charge of Limerick. Limerick, of all places, went mad for Stalin and the like for a week. They start printing their own money, they roll out their own food supply. While the rest of Ireland is dealing with Black and Tans, all Limerick is worrying about is which shade of red to put on the new flag. Eventually the local Bishop in collaboration with the ACTUAL leaders of the county told them to get out of that business and to come inside for their dinner, and after a few half-hearted shouts of “Capitalist pig” alongside one or two poorly spoken yells of “cyka” by members of the union, the Trade and Labour council members relented their strikes within the town, and all went back to normal. For a brief shining moment, Limerick actually decided to do something interesting in history.
RIP Soviet Limerick. Gone, and sadly mostly forgotten. Now we wait for Waterford to reveal the true facist regime it has held for all these years.
“RIP Soviet Limerick. Gone, and sadly mostly forgotten.”
On a slightly less historical note, the nominations for the Oscars have been announced. Personally I’m hoping Leo finally gets one for himself. I’m sure he’s always dreamed of having a little gold figure to contrast with having to settle for Kate Winslet and her ‘Golden Globes’. I don’t really understand that joke. I read it in a copy of The Sun that someone had left in the Dáil bar. I think she might have been in Avatar or something.
But all this talk about awards has gotten me thinking: why can’t we have awards for politicians? While all the Chandler Tatums and Johnny Depths are sipping champagne, we’re hard at work in our offices running countries, having to settle for cheap prosecco while we plan out centenary events. Surely we should get a bit of recognition for all the stellar work we’ve done. I think I’ll call them “The Endys”, and I’ve even worked out a few categories and who would win them:
Best Politician in a Supporting Role: Angela Merkel. She sent us a small bit of Christmas money to pay for the new Luas line (right in front of Trinity too! Everyone will love it), so I’d say she’s been supporting us pretty well.
Best Comedy: Donald Trump. I haven’t stopped laughing since he started running. Which, given his figure, isn’t something he’s done much of (not like myself. Always on the treadmill, big fan of kale with my steaks).
Best soundtrack: The noise Brian Cowen made when he found out he still doesn’t have a State Portrait. Music to my ears.
And finally, Politician of the Year. There can only be one choice. C’est moi. Although if I want to solidify this victory, I could always get cosy with a bear like Leo did in The Revenant. If 2015 has taught me anything, it’s that the use of animals in your career can only ever result in good things.