I’ve heard of “think global, act local”

by Daniel on September 11, 2008

… But this is perhaps taking it a bit too far.

Kieran, would you mind popping down the corridor and telling Councillor Thompson that I’d like a word with him about the changes to residents’ parking at the end of my road? Thanks

(yes yes, I know he doesn’t work there any more, but that would have spoiled the joke, wouldn’t it?)

Eileen Flynn has died

by Henry Farrell on September 11, 2008

Her story will almost certainly be unfamiliar to non-Irish readers, but “it’s an important one”:http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/0911/1221039067831.html?via=mr.

The death has taken place of Wexford school teacher Eileen Flynn, who became an important figure in the history of the separation between the Catholic Church and the State. In August 1982 Ms Flynn was dismissed from her job as an English and history teacher at the Holy Faith Convent in New Ross, Co Wexford. At the time she was sacked, Ms Flynn was unmarried with a baby son and was living with the baby’s father, a separated man, Richie Roche. Two months after Ms Flynn gave birth she received a letter from the school manager informing her that following her decision not to resign from the school her position was being terminated. The letter referred to complaints from parents about her lifestyle and of her open rejection of the “norms of behaviour” and the ideals the school existed to promote. It also reminded her of the “scandal” already caused. Ms Flynn sought to be reinstated in her post but lost her unfair dismissal case at the Employment Appeals Tribunal and at the Circuit Court. She finally lost her appeal to the High Court on March 8th, 1985.

A key piece of background information here is that she was sacked from what was, effectively, a state school. The Irish state had farmed out the larger part of the education system to the Catholic Church (albeit with separate schools for the Protestant minority), so that while the state paid teachers, the parish priest was typically the local school manager. This wasn’t all bad, but stories like Eileen Flynn’s remind me why I don’t particularly like efforts by some US religious groups to push the boundaries between church and state. The ability to deprive people who don’t conform to local mores of their livelihood is likely to become a dangerous and pernicious form of social control, as it did in Ireland for most of the last century.

Just a thought

by John Holbo on September 11, 2008

Calling her ‘Lying Sarah‘ is all well and good. But we need something snappier. How about Sarah Prevaricuda? You know. Sung to the tune of Heart? (I know, I know. It’s got the same problem as that Savage Dragon endorsement. Too je ne sais quoi for flyover country.)

You lying so low in the weeds
I bet you gonna ambush me
You’d have me down down down down on my knees
Now wouldn’t you, Prevaricuda?

Come to think of it, what is that song even about?

No right no wrong, selling a song-
A name, whisper game.

If the real thing don’t do the trick
You better make up something quick
You gonna burn burn burn burn it to the wick
Ooooooh, Prevaricuda

OK, that part describes standard Republican operating procedure. What Henry calls ‘the mechanisms of Nixonland’. So I get why they play that part.

But what about this?

Back over time we were all
Trying for free
You met the porpoise and me


Sell me sell you the porpoise said
Dive down deep down to save my head

So if she’s the barracuda (prevaricuda), then that makes … McCain the … porpoise? (Or is Obama the porpoise?) Either way: it’s ok to call McCain (or Obama) a porpoise, but not ok to call McCain an old fish? (I think I read something about that at the Corner today.)

Or maybe it’s some sort of commentary on Rick Warren, ‘the porpoise-driven life’? Is the song saying that, after Saddleback, McCain needs Palin?

Who writes this stuff? I mean: who gets paid to think it up? Not me, clearly.