Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Taoiseach's New Clothes III

Once I don't do 'things' immediately, they would often vanish in the realm of oblivion.
That's why I am thankful to the very inner voice whispering: Carpe noctem.

Be it then: Some
- do I need say?: very personal - thoughts before the chapter picture- respectively cowengate is going to get closed.

And some last words before diving in media res: I've been following with interest (and often chucking) what has been posted about this 'issue'. By the following, which I shall be writing 'without filtres', thus as the thoughts come, I do not intend to attack anybody.
What has happened?
A 'clever' chap (I promised to come back to this point) unasked nails some caricatures to some museum walls, and ...
... nothing happens.
So, after a while, the 'clever chap' - did anyone notice I did not call him 'artist'? - emails a newspaper.
[Comment: It would not make much sense to hit a nail into the wall of any museum's toilet, as long as noone takes notice, hm?]

Well, and what happens afterwards, meanwhile everybody (at least in the blogosphere) should / could know.

Thus, end of the beforegoing.

De gustibus not est disputandum.
Quite. Either you have it, or you have it not.

So, why would I publish caricatures of a naked Taoiseach?

Ladies, gentlemen, this is not about a "clever chap" trying to advertise his 'artwork'/name; this is about freedom of speech / music / arts / satire ...
... and - last not least - freedom from censorship!!

Yes, again, I am writing this 'without filtres', without caring about 'wrong' syntax, 'wrong' prepositions, 'wrong' idioms.

Satire is satire is satire.

Imagine all the flags burning if this were, f.e. about a naked Mohammed or any of the very genleman's afficionados.

Ha, ...
... what a great fun to show a Taoiseach without clothes;
... what a fun to attack the 'fucking bastards' elected by a majority of most intelligent voters;
... what a fun we (bloggers) had while ...

... approximately 280,000 children died of starvation.

Oops. Did I spoil the fun? Sorry. Am I a fucking kill-joy? Forgive me.

After all, who cares, hm?

We - the great champions of the blogosphere had a splendid time, hadn't we?

Exactly the fun, Heinrich Heine once defined:

Der Knecht singt gerne Freiheitslieder
des Abends in der Schenke.

The peasant loves to sing songs of freedom (rebel-songs)
in the pub at night.

- - -

I am proud of myself ... as I knew before that I'd not be able to express my thoughts (in English).

So, please, forgive me and head on to read the very best post on this very topic.

The peace of the night.

The Taoiseach's New Clothes

The Taoiseach's New Clothes II

Brian, Borges & Bioy

Want a T(aoiseach)-Shirt?

Physiognomy of fine gentlemen

The Impossible Fact


  1. As much as I enjoyed reading the splendid article you're sending us to, and remembering, once more, that the Irish saved Civilization, this post (your seventh) is the best, on the subject, that I read anywhere on the blogosphere.

    I guess my non-Irish mind failed to comprehend the 'seriousness' of the problem, my non-Irish soul failed to cry proper tears. I really would fight with passion for freedom anytime, in any country, if anyone gives me something better to fight about than the ugly caricature of a fat man with a little penis. In my opinion, the less said about the 'artist' and his subject, the less seen about his masterpiece, the better the world would be.

    In Toronto, the week the Irish blogosphere was outraged in the name of 'artistic' freedom, we welcomed, in their coffins, three Canadian soldiers of 19, 21, 24 killed by roadside bombs while fighting the Talibans in Afghanistan. That's what I cry about. And (as you mention)the starving children of our world.

    May the beloved Irish people forgive me but I had no tears left, and very little time to give, to what you rightly called, in a previous post, a 'farce'.

    Thank you for the space, Sean. And for the freedom of speech which I knew you would grant me.

  2. I know full well that there are far more important issues than a politician throwing his toys out of the pram over a couple of paintings. THat doesn't mean to say that we should not relish the sheer absurdity of the situation though.

    Still there is a time and place to draw a veil and move on to other things.,, as I will today

    When in the mood though, perhaps you, me and Claudia should have another versathon!

  3. I think the reason people in Ireland got so excited about it (apart from the more serious issues of freedom of speech, which are important) was the said absurdity of the whole thing, more than anything else. But it gave us a laugh, something we'll probably need more next week, after the nation is financially crucified by the impending budget. As Jams said, time to move on...
    (If you're having a versathon, can I come too? I'll sit quietly in the corner and not say a word, I promise!)

  4. I beliee the artist (and I'll call him that because it's a fair likeness of Cowen, which took a certain amount of artistic skill to paint, and it expressed some type of sentiment. Eye of the beholder and all that..) used double sided tape, not nails.

    While it's true there are vastly more important things going on in the world than some artistic dissidency, what if the same pressures were brought to bare on you because you wrote about those 280,000 children, and it made the government's foreign aid policy look bad.

    Censureship is the issue.
    Misuse of public power is the issue.
    Lying out right in parliment is the issue.

    As for the 'blogosphere' (christ I hate that word) we could send all the binary we want into the ether but that's all it will ever be, ones and zeros. Bloggers won't save starving children, only people could can do that.

  5. Claudia,
    thank you very much, and please don't get me wrong when I disagree on the first paragraph, although it is, of course, nice to get such a lovely compliment on April 1st. :)

    The only reason I did not delete the post - or at least leave it as a draft - was that, despite being tired, I wanted to close that chapter.
    Stupid? Yes. Si tacuissem ...

    To (hopefully) substantiate my thoughts there will (perhaps) be an update.

    absolutely no two opinions between you and me.
    A versathon on April 1st?! In praise of the Topaz of poetry? I'll be there, and, I don't have many doubts, Claudia too.

    not only the Irish had / have a good laugh. Look at me. My main reason to write down this thoughts was to focus on an aspect that I feel neglected: None of us might have got the chance for glorious rants had the 'clever artist' (disappointed that there was no public resonance at all?) not contacted that newspaper.
    Yes, what happened afterwards deserves all reactions, but - again - it was this man who set the ball rolling.
    And why would he have done so?
    Let's talk about this, when - after all - the poor unknown teacher has become a well-known artist. :)
    b) the other thoughts were in general. In a way I was publicly speaking to myself. Mocking myself. What am I, after all, but one of Heine's 'heroic peasants'. :)

    As for the great versathon: No chance to sit quietly in a corner, D.E. - thou art the fourth poet in this noble contest.

    For a warming-up you might like to visit Jams' dwelling.

    See you later, alligator.

    C'est La Craic,
    absolutely d'accord with all you say. Wish I had put it as succinctly. Thanks.
    As for the artist/teacher: I had chosen the term 'clever artist' in my first post on this topic, as, of course, he would not have done this because he wished to remain unknown.

  6. Carpe diem; tempus fugit.
    We must seize the moment; time flies.

    Who am I to tell anyone, which battle to choose, and when and for whom he should cry, or in this instance, laugh.

    I'm glad you had your nights at the pub. Sláinte!

  7. Panta rhei, Claudia, panta rhei. :)

    Alas, if only I had been to the pub. I'd not have sat in front of the keyboard. :)

  8. A suitable and well-conceived finale, Sean. We both called it a farce, a farce it was, and on to other matters now. While it rippled (a storm in a teacup cannot properly rage), it focused some minds on some rights we're lucky to enjoy in this part of the world, it threw one small country's leaders into a revealing tizzy, and as D.E. said, we needed a joke and we got one.

    Excessive navel-gazing is not in anyone's or any country's best interests, but I don't think those who wrote about the subject considered it more important than starvation or war. Every blogger on the planet could write non-stop about the shitty state of the world and it wouldn't change much, if anything. Nobody can transform society overnight, but mocking inept governments might help oust them eventually (not that their replacements are likely to be better).

    Oh, C'est La Craic has said something similar and better.

    As for "blogosphere", how about "blogging community"?

  9. Sean, I forgot to add: thank you for your generous praise. If I had known that my post would attract any attention, I might have spent more time on it. But it's probably a good thing that I didn't.

  10. Well I wouldn't say better, but sure if ya insist, go on...

  11. Stan,
    there's is nothing to add to your words. Thank you, for clearing some dots where I did not manage to put my thoughts precisely.

    At the end of a long day thanks to you all. By now I am - almost :) - glad I posted this despite knowing it would need lots of 'polishing' and thus could cause misunderstanding.
    Again, thank you all. I've learnt something new today.
    The peace of the night.