Thursday, 3 July 2014

Fiends In High Places - Garth Brooks & Ireland's National Malaise

The Man Behind The Wire

* So who do we blame, lads? Because we've got to blame somebody.

Because this is fairly basic stuff, for feck's sake. The kind of thing they can do in most European cities - bloke in hat, band, big stage, hot-dogs - without it becoming the sort of months long, national crisis that has afflicted us ever since Garth Brooks announced he wanted to sing a few songs here. A move that has plunged this nation into the kind of crises, recrimination, fear and loathing normally seen in other countries after they lose a major war. How did Garth in Croker become our Vietnam?

Well, we've had the traditional piss-up/brewery brouhaha. Not what comes next? Oh yeah! The Blame Game!

Is it the promoters, who banked on City Council not defying the will of the people? The residents around Croke Park, who can put up with 40,000 Dub football supporters every Sunday but not Five Nights of A Dude In A Hat Shouting "Howdy Dublin!"?

Or is it the city fathers - those fiends in high places - who have ruled that it would be Cruel & Unusual Punishment - the creation of a Country n'Western Guantanamo Bay - to force them to do so?

The news that only three of the planned (and already sold out!) five Garth Brooks gigs in Croke Park this summer have been granted planning permission broke over our poor, benighted nation like a thunderclap this morning.

In homes all over our island, fathers, pale with suffering and emotion, switched off the valve radio, turned to look into the still-innocent, trusting faces of their children, and solemnly announced; "Well that's It. We're f***d".

Add it to the Roll of National heartbreak. Write it in the blood of those cruelly denied the chance to march through our glorious capital city, to follow in the footsteps of the great patriots like Pearse, Connolly and Limerick-Junction, wearing a pink spangly stetson and stuffing a chicken-fillet roll into their gobs. Play The Summer of '69 low in Coppers tonight, for there is no joy left on this island.

There will be no Brooks IV & V. There will be no day out in Dublin, for you, the sons & daughters of our blessed soil.

For unless you're holding tickets for Brooks I, II, or III, you are Children of a Lesser God.

She Is Silent, Now. Silent as the Grave of  O'Connell

But wait! Surely this is not the end! What are the alternatives?

Feck all. There's no money to be made in shifting the whole shebang across the river after three nights to do two at the Aviva.

And anyway- if you think the residents around Croke Park put up a fight, can you imagine the vast armies of Senior Counsels that would be assembled by the snobby feckers of Dublin 4?

Garth Brooks and his lawyers would be like Custer & the 7th Cavalry at Little Big Horn.

No. No. And thrice No. We dreamed too big. We wanted too much. A more realistic people, say, the Belgians, would have been happy with two or maybe three nights of a dude in a stetson singing about Pick Up Trucks.

But we, we persecuted Celts, with our long history of oppression and the British making us listen to Duran FECKING Duran and the Basterin' Spice Girls,, we let ourselves, for once, hope for more.

And now those dreams have gone down in flames. A nation mourns. And whinges. Joe Duffy is on tablets for his nerves.

Feck You, Garth Brooks. Feck. You. 

But this is only the start. The bad feeling and divisions unleashed by the injustice of Yer Man Up the Road and His Awful Dose Of A Wife having tickets for Brooks I, while the tickets YOU have for Brooks V are no more use than jacks roll, those divisions will once again tear this country apart.

The hatred between the Have Garths and The Have Nots will make the Civil War look like an episode of Nationwide (you know, that one about the Bee Keepers in Clonmel that your Gran recorded over the final of X Factor, the dozy cow. Seriously, she's already seen the thing five times. I think we need to get her checked out. No, YOU shut up).

People of Ireland! Resist the urge to follow the path to division and strife that condemned so many generations to the futility of brother against brother, Catholic against Protestant, Beyonce versus Brooks.

We have suffered a terrible blow to our nationhood today. But we have weathered worse storms in the past.

Let us join together to sing the words that sustained our forefathers through Cromwell, the Famine and countless Eurovisions.......

All together now...."Blame it on my roots......I showed up in boots.......and failed to apply for the proper planning permission under subsection 3.1 of the 1987 Outdoor Event Licencing Act..."

They don't write them like that, anymore......

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