Reflections on Christmas 2006 December 29, 2006Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, Film and Television, Irish Politics.
Thought Number One. I once read a thriller, it must be at least twenty five years ago now, which posited the idea that the best day for a Soviet invasion of Western Europe would be Christmas Day since general defence preparedness is at a somewhat lower ebb. As I recall the Soviet incursion into our beloved country saw Spetsnatz units concealed within a freighter in Dubiln Port fighting their way through the rather less than stiff resistance of the Irish Defence Forces. Can’t quite recall how it ended, but it wasn’t well…
Okay, we got through Christmas Day and I see no hammer and sickle being lifted over Leinster House or Stormont. Still, there’s always New Years…
Thought Number Two. Frank Capra. I’ve had a fix of his movies over the last week or so. It’s A Wonderful Life, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, we’ve all seen them. We know the plots and Jimmy Stewart’s indolent franticness. I like them very much, but politically I was wondering about them. Is the former a paean to small scale social democratic solidarity through the vehicle of the ‘buildings and loans’, or is it a chorus of praise for the nuclear family as the centre of social life. Or…is it both? Mr. Smith Goes to Washington? Courageous fist shaking in the face of the totalitarians (made in 1939 you may recall), or populist appeal to stymie corruption within the Beltway (not that such an entity existed at that time – I presume). Or perhaps it’s just US populism, a strain of political thought we seem to have seen vanish in Europe but which at one time was mighty popular in the US – I refer you to Christopher Lasch for a more recent exponent of same.
Thought Number Three…. Dublin. Was it me or did the city seem to actually quieten down the last couple of days before Christmas. I was out the Thursday, Friday and then Christmas Eve and was amazed at how few people were about on the Friday and Christmas Eve. Where did everyone go? I’m also pretty amazed at how relatively many people checked in here over that period. Good on youse.
Finally just a small word about Sallie “So do you like politics?” (1912-Christmas 2006), who was more than half right about Gerry Adams “He’s got a lovely smile” and more right than we realised at the time about Charlie Haughey “He’s got a horrible face”…. Greatly loved and sorely missed.