Response to Apparently, the Irish media caused 9/11


Mr. Mc gann - or I should say dear fellow New Yorker, I'm always struck by the changes that come over so many who try a life in America. I won't presume that YOUR attitudes have changed since there ARE the rare few in Ireland whose thinking is top-rate, but just that one cannot know what American life is like without being in it. And American life gives rise to an American ethos and public philosophy, which, regardless of one's political views, are more like being in a process than anything else. You have to be in it to understand it. The letters to the editors of the Irish Times and the Irish Independent after September 11, 2001 really made this point for me since so many who wrote "home" from the US were critical of Irish coverage and Irish attitudes. In the parlance, they had all become "Americanized", which is a defensive patronization that you too will endure when you return to Ireland (it's an old tradition of course - Joyce made great fun of the phenomena, especially in The Dead). Here's an address where you can read all of those letters: http://home.kimo.com.tw/theirishletter/index.htm I was in Ireland in 2001 when Adams went to Cuba, thereby intentionally burning some of his bridges in the US. I felt I was witness to something truly historic in that, not to mention shrewd, and so to see so many in the Republic subsequently follow this pied piper so uncritically was hardly a surprise. But with the revolution that's happened in the media, and especially the medium we're using right now, Irish people seem unaware that there will be consequences to their excesses. It isn't like that day in May 1945, the day the Germans surrendered, when a bunch of yahoos with Haughey in the lead could march to the US embassy and take out the windows with stones all unnoticed by the world. But I want to stress that I don't begrudge anyone their protest if they are in disagreement with my views. I'm only offended by the reflex, over-the-top, mendacious anti-Americanism that made me leave Ireland in disgust. Mr. Mc gann, we must set our sights on a future generation in Ireland that we hope will be more politically sophisticated. Perhaps they'll be better able to appreciate their ancestor Edmund Burke who understood that the moral order of the temporal world must necessarily include some evil by reason of original sin. He believed that men ought not to reject what is good in tradition merely because there is some admixture of evil in it. In man's confused situation, advantages may often lie in balances and compromises between good and evil, even between one evil and another. The important part of wisdom, Burke believed, is to know how much evil should be tolerated. What the current generation in Ireland doesn't grasp is that the search for too great a purity only produces fresh corruption (e.g. the UN scandal). Burke was especially critical of revolutionary movements with noble humanitarian ends, not unlike Hannah Arendt who identified "pity" as the origin of Robbespierre's terror. Though Burke famously supported Irish and American emancipation, his problem was with the French Revolution and its programmatic "thinking". As long as the current generation in Ireland are blind to the true nature of tyranny and continue to tie notions of liberty to the old programmed assumptions of the Cold War era and to the kinds of ideals embraced by French Rationalism (even if it's the "post-modern" kind) they're shrinking their future prospects and their spirit of good sense and self-determination. It takes more and more mental gymnastics to understand these phenomena as ongoing responses to the "slave mentality" that Sean McBride observed in Irish culture. And again, there will be consequences. For instance, as Sinn Fein numbers improve in the Republic American intolerance of terrorism will be sorely tested there. As only one very tiny example of the current degradation of Irish culture nothing instructed me better than an experience several of us had in Dublin when we launched a volunteer litter squad along the Grand Canal. Not only did NO IRISH PEOPLE EVER JOIN US though we picked up litter for the better part of a summer, but any cooperation from the city government was hard to come by. The Council just couldn't understand why we'd be out doing their job, and at every level we were rountinely asked the same question: "But WHO authorized this?" (Now that you live in the US can you understand why it was only Americans who volunteered each Saturday morning to pick up Dublin's trash?) Forget this generation in Ireland. They're lost, and it won't do Ireland's future any good to hide the widespread lies and attitudes that have become pervasive there. To ready Ireland for a more sensible future we should make known the attitudes of the current lot. That's why I've set out to instruct each and every fire and police department in the New York City area on why they should no longer travel to Ireland or otherwise support Ireland in any way. And let me tell you that people who VOLUNTEERED at "ground zero" get very angry when they learn of Ireland's true colors (I usually use statistics from the INDO or from Eurobarometer since I want to keep it empirical).

Created By: timothy sweete