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I don’t think it’s funny, and the blame game has to stop.

July 12, 2011

I don’t usually put up posts on non-business stuff… but here we go…

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Last night I ended up watching a documentary over on RTE, “Departure day” which showed in detail the extent and effects of emigration in Ireland. In particular, as we all know, it is the younger generation that are being forced to move abroad in the search for jobs.

Keeping an eye on the twitter stream for the show I noticed that most peoples comments were for the most part empathetic to various families’ situations as they waved goodbye to their loved ones. However other comments annoyed me so much that I have been driven to write this little rant.

The one tweet in particular that got me angry was the following:

This semi-joking anti-Ireland sentiment can be heard day to day in conversations all the time and the internet is rife with people bemoaning the country as a whole

On Boards.ie a while back, a comment posted on the topic of: “Why do people say we are a scenic country” read: “Well we’ve feck all else going for us, so may as well exaggerate what we do have.”

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I don’t think it’s funny.

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These are not entirely original jokes of course, few of these down-talking references are. It seems to have become very common, if not quite trendy, to badmouth “Ireland” as a whole. I know things like these are made in a flippant manner, but all the same it makes me fupping angry.

We live in a great country and we are a great nation of people. We have been subjected to shoddy, incompetent and disastrous management from political parties that have sought popularity and reelection rather than a better Ireland. But the past is the past and we need to get on with it. Playing the shouty blame game, while fun, achieves nothing for our future.

It seems quite trendy nowadays to label Ireland as a “shithole”, as being “doomed”, “wrecked”, and of there being “no opportunities”. I don’t think that Ireland deserves to be referred to in these terms. Feel free to call the politicians what you want. But lay off dismissing the entire nation as some sort of laughing stock. Life in Ireland will go on. It may be less prosperous than before, but unless we get raptured from above by the flying spaghetti monster we will still be living in this country.

And a fine thing that is because Ireland is a great beautiful country filled with equally great and beautiful people. It is of course unfortunate that some of us will be forced to leave over the coming years, but that is the way it has to be for now. We all know who’s fault it is. But this is where we are. The blame game and the slagging off of our fine country doesn’t help, it just stops debate on the important stuff. The future.

So my one plea is this. Stop putting so much effort into bitching about those parties and their past actions and put more effort into becoming involved in what they do in the future.

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We are all still addicted to recession porn.

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I really thought we would be over it by this stage but we aren’t. As a nation we take far too much pleasure in hearing about, and dispensing, bad news, I think we always have done. But now we get an orgy of bad news on a daily basis on pretty much any news stream you’d care to listen or watch. The country is doomed, finished, about to get swallowed up into the centre of the earth etc etc etc.

Of course, good news isn’t as attractive, good news doesn’t sell papers and it rarely makes for good headlines, but we need to find a way of spreading good news as much as is possible. So make sure when you do hear some good news that you tweet it, tell it to a friend or call it in to Joe “the grim reaper” Duffy, he probably won’t feature it, but that’s no excuse for not trying. Do whatever you have to but we need to give good news a fighting chance.

Ireland is not a joke and it’s not doomed.
It is flawed in ways, but no things in this world are ever perfect.

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If I were to try and encapsulate what the above rant has been trying to get across it is this: Ireland is a great country, we are great people. But right now we really need to stop putting so much of our efforts, thoughts and column inches into various blame games and winge sessions – these actions do NOTHING to improve our situation – it’s a national mindset we really have to try and stamp out.

Let’s instead put the same quantity of time and effort into thinking about ways to improve our situation, and doing things that help our communities survive and grow. I’m not saying we need to put more effort into how we talk about the country, we just need to redirect it.

Do that and we can make Ireland a stronger country that the poor folk featured on RTE’s departure day, and the thousands like them can return to some day in the near future.

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What do you think?

Let me know in the comments here, or on twitter

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. July 12, 2011 1:33 pm

    Agreed. What ways would you suggest improving the situation, who do you think should be doing it and where to being? =)

    • July 12, 2011 2:33 pm

      Well, I guess there is a lot to be done,

      But for a start, how about…

      – Talking about the way we want the country to be run, talking about how are individual communities should be run.
      – Who should be doing it, all of us.
      – Where to begin, where will do just fine, talk about it with others, with councillors, with TDs as much as is possible. We can begin by talking about this, rather than talking about “those feckers” who got us here.

      We should really also put our situation into some sort of proper global context, that might help. Again, we can all do this, its something simple but it would help us stop pitying ourselves so much.

  2. July 12, 2011 4:14 pm

    Amen to that. A particular personal bugbear is folks comparing Ireland to a third-world country, or loudly proclaiming it’s the absolute worst this that or the other. Such people really need to get some goddamned perspective and learn a bit about the wider world around them.
    Great quote re “recession porn” btw, must remember that one.

  3. July 13, 2011 7:36 pm

    Hmm…well negativity at home is certainly nothing new really, is it? But having been over a couple of times this year, it’s definitely getting worse…and worse…and worse. You might actually say we’re talking ourselves further into recession.

    I wonder though, who’s fault it is? For sure, we weren’t happy with our previous politicians (for quite valid reasons), but now nobody’s happy with the replacements either, so what are we supposed to do?

    I agree that getting everyone talking is the key and opening up some sort of forum – but the problem with this sort of forum is you’ll only get people with the serious motivation and interest to try and progress the issue further, many of whom are likely the people doing only the minority of the moaning, while the remainder who were never interested in actually having to do anything themselves but prefer to have a good give out about things just for the sake of it, will continue to sit around moaning. Thoughts?

  4. September 11, 2011 7:51 am

    There’s nothing wrong with speaking out against your country when it turns to shit. America has the same problem and people should be vocal about it. You can’t polish a turd. The entire west has spent recklessly and bankrupted themselves. They are now getting what they deserve. For years westerners have depended on their governments for a “free lunch”. There is no free lunch and now the majority of countries in the west are bankrupt. It needs to be talked about.

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