Captain Boyle’s words resonate today as much as they did in 1924 on the Abbey stage.
Every week we seem to be burying more victims of our careless system; the homeless, the Travellers, the asylum seekers; or repatriating the bodies of exiles, the emigrants, our dearly departed.
But in all this there is no change. It’s the same as it ever was. In this issue we examine the repercussions of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home revelations. The victims were the marginalized, the underclass and the unrepresented. Similarly we can find history holding a mirror to all today’s stories of reviled refugees – rats crossing borders as one particularly dreadful cartoon illustrated – and the fear of the fanatical hive.
When there is no big bogeymen distracting us from the machinations of government there are wee pookies splashed across the hourly updates. Anti water tax protesters face jail and reasonable people mutter about ‘Republican dissidents, sure I saw it on Prime Time’. Coppers smash oul fellas’ heads and decent people roar for “context?!” under YouTube videos.
When things are in chaos, isn’t half a loaf better than no bread? Give us 40 modular homes for Christmas and stop your jibber jabber about 100,000 on the Housing List. Plug the hole, fix the leak, damp the fire but let’s not get too tied up thinking about where all this fire and water is coming from. Yes, yes there was a bit of corruption, says Marian, but were you watching the rugby?
The sparks of genuine terror, such as the Bataclan massacre and the rash of ISIS & Boko Haram bombings from Beirut to Yola, Nigeria are fanned by media into flames of fear that suffocate news coverage. It’s not just the Sun and the Daily Heil trying to outdo each other in baseless headlines. Broadsheets, TV, radio and the shiny new Internet measure truth by clicks and shares. Sometimes you just want to disconnect.
So we’re back again. Thirty or so pages of crinkly paper goodness. Turn off, tune out and drop in here for a little while. We’ve always tried to keep rabble as your paper, it’s kind of the point.
Have your spake. Disagree. Contribute.