By FOB, JJ, SB, and partly CK
Authors’ note at the beginning:
In this lofty and lengthy analysis of the Irish General election of 2016, I make no acts of contrition for my barefaced plagiarism and the robbery of entire lumps of text from the great masters, such as Shakespeare, Dante and Cecilia Ahern. That first sentence, the last one, is a lie, or as disingenuous writers like to call it, “a fiction.” I will endeavor to continue in a similar fashion.
This is a work of post-modern genius that should neither be underestimated nor estimated, ironically or unironically. You see, as it is in politics, so it is in prose. As politicians are blandly interchangeable between one party and another, politicians should be interchangeable as between one book and another. The entire corpus of existing literature should be regarded as a limbo from which discerning authors could draw their politicians as required, creating only when they failed to find a suitable existing puppet.
The modern satirical column should be largely a work of reference, self-reference, plagiarism and grandiose ambitions. Most authors spend their time saying what has been said before – usually said much better. A wealth of references to existing works would acquaint the reader instantaneously with the nature of each politician, would obviate tiresome explanations and would effectively preclude mountebanks, upstarts, thimble-riggers and persons of inferior education from an understanding of contemporary politics. Using a plagiarised quote by an author you are actively plagiarising that is written in defence of plagiarism aids one in this task mightily.
Part the First – The Third Amigo
The Case for Publicanism
How to cast your vote in the election for a new Ard Rí na hÉireann? A trickier pancake was never half-baked in the history of this island. It is nearly an insoluble pancake, a conundrum of inscrutable potentialities, a snorter. A Shin Pain dominated regime is a possibility, if in a minority position, in which case majorly improbable, probably. But besides their sudden and swift advance across Bamba’s plains, what do we really know of these bearded droll-talking gun-slingers from the Northern Hills? From whence did they come? And what do they want?
It is well known from the works of the late great philosopher, scientist and eminent historian of Publicanism, Micheal Padraig De Selby, that the politics of the small province of Ulcer on the Northern Island are most bizarre and convoluted in the extreme. In the section “Political Economy of the Marxian Discovery of Porter,” in his vast tract The Anals of Ulcer he describes Shin Pain as:
“a large rationalist party who maintain extreme discipline within their ranks and over their underlings. Their name is derived from the party initiation ritual where a 14 year old boy is battered around the shins with large bricks whilst old bearded men bang metal bin lids screaming in Ulcerish. Despite claiming to be rationalists, there are some who still argue that Shin Pain is a funny-mentalist irrational grouping – this was a major area of contention in N.I. politics for some years.”
The leader of the group (colloquially known as the Shinners) is Gerry Adams. Adams is a legendary hero of old Ireland. Though not mentally robust, he is a man of superb physique and development. Each of his thighs is as thick as a horse’s belly, narrowing to a calf as thick as the belly of a foal. Three fifties of fosterlings could engage with handball against the wideness of his backside, which was large enough to halt the patrol of Brits through a mountain-pass. And he has a fondness for twittering on.
I had the grim pleasure of interviewing Adams for 3 minutes on the potentiality of wisdom in his impotent economic policy:
“Relate,” said I.
“I will relate three things and nothing above three,” said Adams. “Myself I can get wisdom from the sucking of my big thumb, another (though he knows it not) can bring to defeat a host by viewing it through his fingers, and another can cure a sick volunteer by judging the smoke of the house in which he is.”
“Your talk,” I replied, “is surely the handiwork of wisdom because not one word of it do I understand.”
“Ah, I see that my witticism is unperceived,” replied Adams, “and so I’ll quietly replace it in the treasury of my mind. Tiocfaidh a lá.”
Part the Second – Finegaels Wake
First we feel. Then we fall. The case for the Blueshirts. Up against the North Wall.
EK: I done me best when I was let in. Thinking always if I go all goes. A hundred cares, a tithe of troubles and is there one who understands me? One in a thousand of years of the nights? All me life I have been lived among them but now they are becoming lothed to me. And I am lothing their little warm tricks. And lothing their mean cosy turns. And all the greedy gushes out through their small souls. And all the lazy leaks down over their brash bodies. How small it’s all! And me letting on to meself always. And lilting on all the time. Let my country die for me.
In Dublin the West the Tánaiste reflected for the last time in her little long life and she made up all her myriads of drifting minds in one. She cancelled all her politicy engauzements. She climbed over the barristers; she gave a childy cloudy cry: Nuee! Nuee! A lightdress fluttered. She was gone. And into the river that had been a stream . . . there fell a tear, a singult tear, the loveliest of all tears . . . for it was a leaptear. But the river tripped on her by and by, lapping as though her heart was brook: Why, why, why! Weh, O weh! I’se so silly to be flowing but I no canna stay! I done me best when I was let in. Thinking always if I go all goes.
Part the Third – Happy Days
The case for Radical Negativity
AAA: (giving up again). Nothing to be done.
PBPA: (advancing with short, stiff strides, legs wide apart). I’m beginning to come round to that opinion. All my life I’ve tried to put it from me, saying, be reasonable, you haven’t yet tried everything. And I resumed the struggle. (They brood, musing on the struggle. Turning to AAA.) So there you are again.
AAA: Am I?
PBPA: I’m glad to see you back. I thought you were gone forever.
AAA: Me too.
PBPA: Together again at last! We’ll have to celebrate this. But how? (They reflect.) Get up till I embrace you.
Paul Murphy’s mind pictured itself as a large hollow sphere, hermetically closed to the universe without. This was not an impoverishment, for it excluded nothing that it did not itself contain. Nothing ever had been, was or would be in the universe outside it but was already present as virtual, or actual, or virtual rising into actual, or actual falling into virtual, in the universe inside it.
PBPA: What is it, my pet? (Pause.) Time for love?
AAA: Were you asleep?
PBPA: Oh no!
AAA: Kiss me.
PBPA: We can’t.
AAA: Try. (Their heads strain towards each other, fail to meet, fall apart again.)
PBPA: Why this farce, day after day? (Pause.)
AAA: I’ve lost me teeth.
AAA: I had them yesterday.
PBPA (elegiac): Ah yesterday. (They turn painfully towards each other.)
Authors’ note at the ending:
As you can see, we, the author (singularly) present the case not for reform of the existing conditions through parliamentary democracy, but the smashing of the existing oppressive order by violent revolution – this should be abundantly clear. As a justification for our above atrocities we claim that plagiarism is necessary. Progress implies it. It embraces an author’s phrase, makes use of his expressions, erases a false idea, and replaces it with the right idea. Or something.
(But, of course, Vote Right To Change)