I like Fintan O’Toole. Although I’m sure he’s near to fifty, there’s a certain boyishness about the way he tackles an issue. His eyes light up behind the glasses, his rate of speech accelerates to near Garret-Fitzgerald levels and he usually uses a word or two that I’ve never heard before. No, not rude words, Virginia. Just unfamiliar to me.
There’s a good example in today’s Irish Times. In a piece entitled “Never mind the evidence, feel the ‘truthiness’ of what Gerry Adams says”, Fintan maintains all his terrier-like enthusiasm while at the same time going all ironic. You know this from his first sentence: “I owe Sinn Féin an apology”. You know that this is irony because Fintan would never ever, in non-ironic terms, apologise to Sinn Féin for anything he’s written about them. And by gum, he’s written a few in his time, eh?
So what’s this new word he’s got, ‘truthiness’? He says it’s from the American satirist Stephen Colbert and it means believing in something because it feels right rather than that it accords with ‘mere evidence’. He then goes on to list how Gerry Adams has denied he was in the IRA while evidence says he was, how Gerry said his brother Liam was evicted from Sinn Féin but the evidence says otherwise, that he has urged people who are victims of sexual abuse to go to the social services but that he knew a man who was a child abuser (his brother) and still let him have access to children. In fact a lot of it but not all is directed at Gerry and his dealings with his brother Liam, but he manages to make room for Martin McGuinness too, because Martin called for Sean Brady to resign and didn’t call on Gerry Adams to resign.
By now you’ve probably got the picture: Fintan being really scorching with talk of “people who operate at this higher level of truthiness” being “dogged” (no, Virginia, I don’t think it means that) by “those who are stuck on the muddy ground of mere truth”. If you haven’t got the message under the irony by now, let me try to sum up: Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness and sundry Sinn Féin personnel are all liars, and people like Fintan are truth-tellers. Right. Got that. Only then in the last sentence of his piece, what does Fintan do but refer to “those who would like to be governed by people who act on evidence, rather than what they feel”.
Crikey. I thought he was talking about the Shinners and truth/facts with evidence, but that last line clearly shows he’s got Enda Kenny, Micheal Martin, Joan Burton and virtually all of the Irish media in his sights. Maybe even himself as well. Because I mean, they’ve been acting on what they feel about Mairia Cahill for a couple of weeks now, rather than evidence, haven’t they?
That Fintan. He’s so sharp, one of these days he’ll cut himself…Sorry, Virginia? You say he’s just done it with that last sentence of his? Surely not. Not Fintan. Sure isn’t he the smartest man in Ireland.
Not for the first time, Esteemed Blogmeister, you have hit the thumbnail on the head: Fintan O’Toole, without a shadow of d., is THE smartest man in Ireland. Now, and possibly ever.
Or at least since Dublin’s greatest ever Archbishop, L. O’Toole was in charge of the city back in Norman times. Are they related? Perkies’s inner genealogist is inclined to think so. For the following reasons: when L. O’Toole was sadly exiled to Normandy he was reputed to have said: ‘Alas, you poor, foolish people of Dublin, what will you do now? Who will take care of you in your trials? Who will help you?’.
And it scarcely needs mentioning that our contemporary O’Toole hardly needs to wear a L-plate even as he presides over the Diocese of D’Olier than Thou with all the pomp and presence of one who is to the manner of an Archbishopric born. It may even have something to do with the coincidence of a saintly surname and the last syllable of the A-word, in Perkie’s modest opinion.
His column appears on a Tuesday and as is well known Tuesday’s child is full of grace. More than any other high-end high IQ issuer of weekly pastorals that Perkie knows of, he has done more to banish the ‘pig in the parlour’ image of the Free Southern Stateen. Nature, of course, abhorring a vacuum as she does’, has replaced the pig with a prig.
Not for nothing is he known affectionately by his countless less intellectually gifted admirers (borderline Perkie among them) as Earl Grey Matter who, even as he stirs his first cuppa in the morning, pours the T into T.U.T.. We are all indeed deeply indebted to him as he Lords the lean, low, common or garden earth while he walks along, leaving his F.O.T. prints on the sands and handstands of The Unionist Times..
Not for nothing either is the highest mountain in the island of Ireland named in honour of his towering intellect: Caraountoole. Any doubting Tomasina still remaining out there might do worse than eavesdrop on the folk who leave in the shadow of that crowd-scraping peak.
-Yerra, FOT are oo saying at all, at all, uhuru ! Dat Carauntoole is not called after our favourte – not fifth, bur firsht ! – columnist in de whole wide world? Yerra, FOT sort of nonsince is dat, at all at all?
And not only is he a seeker of truthiness himself, but he is the cause of same in others.
Or, at least in the caser of Perkie’s inner popster, Tuttiness.
Back in the fabulous Fifties the kinetic tonsils of Little Richard wowed the world with:
Tutti-frutti, oh, Rudy !
Tutti-frutti, oh Rudy !
A wop bop-a-lu a wop bam boom !
Which prompts the rhetorical question: are Little Richard and Big-brained O’Toole related?
Though this unforgettable refrain, it is only fair to point out, contains at its core a certain dichotomy, a definite conflict, an inescapable dissonance which must be raised with FOT who is the only intellectual of sufficient altitude, who can satisfactorily resolve them, given the relationship mentioned above.
Got a gal named Sue, she knows just what to do
Got a gal nicknamed Pseud, she knows just what to do
She rocks to the east, she rocks to the west
But she’s the gal that I love the best.
While that may well be so, what then is one to make of the following verse, is the question which Perkie’s clearly nervous inner prosecutor, raises:
Got a gal named Daisy, she clearly drives me crazy.
No need to go any further: which is it, Little Richard O’Toole: Sue or Daisy? Shadow of a Doubt? Note the recurring confluence of SDs? Could this indicate that FOT is, in fact, a snaking regarder of the SDLP, i.e. the Sleep Deprivation LP. So named, after one has been forced to endure the cacophony of that party’s box set of notable orations.
Questions, questions, questions. So many questions raised, as you point out, Esteemed Blogmeiser, in FOT’s latest pastoral letter. No wonder poor Perkie has caught the bug.
And all to do with that terrifyingly evocative anagram: AVOCA.
Can this really be the same The Unionist Times which only a short while ago featured an article, celebrating (yes, c-e-l-e-b-r-a-t-i-n-g) the first and youngest Jack Tar to die in the Great Donkey Derby 14-18? And in a watery grave too. A jolly fifteen year old from Ringsend, Dublin.
What this child not also A Victim of Child Abuse?
Which TUT does FOT, a TUT man to his core, really tut-tut for : Sue or Daisy?
Does he, for instance, (a real sign that Perkie is on a roll when he bursts into a frenzy of f’rinstancing) stand over the Treibh page in today’s and every Wednesday’s edition of TUT.?
For someone who is engaged in the eternal quest of dragging the dullards of Dublin up the slopes of Carrauntoole to its snow-capped summit of sense, it would appear, on the surface at least, to be rather anomalous to devote a full page to the low IQ lingua franca of the leprechaun.
Or, maybe not.
Treibh, after all, means ‘tribe’ and this may well be TUT’s widely celebrated grasp of post-modern in-house irony coming to the fore. Let’s keep the Tribalists content ! Besides, with the exception of one and occasionally two of the contributors to this page of Garden Gnomery on the green lawn of T.U.T. Towers, they all fit safely into the formula for the Sainthood of columnists in that august organ of Archbishop O’Toole: St aters St oops and St icks.
The leprechaun for Sainthood is Naofacht and with the permission of Esteemed Blogmeister Perkie’s inner poet would like to celebrate Treibh with the following:
I dTreibh gach Ceadaoin ag Clev Trev ta an-duil
Leis an leathanach leipreachain bionn se ag suil
Is i an mhoreifeacht
Ata ag an Naofacht
Feidhmiu mar dhuilleog bheag fige don O’Toole.
Clev Trev never ever misses Treibh as a rule
His finds adequate his cupla focal from school
To those who claim the Sainthood
Is worse than bad, and ain’t good
‘It operates as a small fig leaf for The O’Toole’.
To those who maintain that the poetry is what gets lost in the translation, Perkie’s inner poet replies to the question posed by FOT in yesterday’s pastoral: ‘What is the Irish for Operation Thethan?’: see just above.
Mighty Perk , it’s a grand day when a tiny scrap of your undoubted knowledgeable blessings blows through the wintering air and settles on the pilgrim’s brow. There I was thinking down all these days , that the Georgia Peach was emoting ..”Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom” in scandalous passionate brown bread, anti Pat Boone sexual ecstasy …only for you to come along and put me right all these years later. Nik ,Cohn may re-title that book too. His “awop”is way out of sync it seems..
Paddykool, a chara,
I think you might be selling yourself short there re Little Richard’s emoting. You could well be right and ditto Nik Cohn. As indeed might the Great God Google upon whom one was depending for a reading of Mr. Pennman’s million dollar vocalizing.
As noted German correspondent for Rolling Stone, Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe once famously remarked: ‘Architecture is frozen music’. Too true, And herein may lie the solution to the differing interpretations of the Georgia Peach”s brown orgasmic outpourings.
For his vocal style was truly Georgian in its distinctive architecture: once heard, never forgotten. But, which Georgia, one may ask? Jaw Ja in the deep South or Georgia as in Joe Stalin?
Perhaps the answer lies in the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry where Tutti Frutti was registered in 2010 claiming ‘the unique vocalizing over the inimitable beat announcing a new era in music’.
One would imagine that this source would have Jaw Ja on its mind but as against that, seeing that the Georgia Peach’s home town was Macon, Ga. the abbreviation of the state might conspire against that.
Seeing that everyone and thing is conspiring against it right now, not least in Georgian Dublin. (Not to be confused with Dublin, Ga )..
Beir bam bua !
Finton O`Toole, more than a name, a description. He comes from a long line of free staters who are filled with hatred for the northern nationalist, they wonder why the northerners couldn`t just accept the lot to which they were born, just accept British rule, you know, the way the people in the rest of Ireland did.
It is quite remarkable just how many folks there are like Fintan out there. His attitude is quite arrogant and selfish and it boils down to “I expect everyone to obey the rules to my satisfaction but if the same rules don’t fit my peculiar circumstances then I will make up my own exclusive set of rules which will allow me to circumvent the original set of rules”.
My new set of rules (in this case “truthiness”) are not allowed to be used by others without my exclusive say so, hereby to be known as “Fintan’s Exclusivity Caveat for the Knowledgeable (FECK for short) I will be the ultimate arbiter of when they can be applied. After all I can be trusted, you cannot!
You see the same things in everyday life and it generally reflects the same selfish, arrogant, egotistical traits in the transgressors.
I can park in that disabled bay even though I don’t have a blue disabled badge by applying Fintan’s “FECK it” rule “I suspect blue badges are given out to those who are not visibly disable therefore the rule can be ignored!
I can double-park my car on the Main Street blocking in other legally parked vehicles, applying the “FECK it” rule, I won’t be long, none of these numpties will even know!
I can skip this long line of traffic by driving alongside on the opposite side then bully my way in near the top of the line in front of some non-assertive person, “FECK it” I am in a hurry and far more important than these numpties.
All us mere numpties have to remember is that all those rules apply to us and that Fintan’s “FECK it” rule is only allowed to be applied by those who are better than the rest of us and know it all. In other words those who know how to apply a double standard and have the brazen temerity to think the rest of the population have no right to challenge them about it!
FECK IT yourself Fintan!
A link to the piece you safe reflecting on would be nice for those of us too lazy to look it up.
But if the charge is hypocrisy you might be right. However you cannot deny the truth of what he says about Adams and those who worship,I mean follow him.
Yes it would be nice, gio, but as you imply I’m not in favour of encouraging laziness. Besides which I take the burden on my broad shoulders of reading the man so the rest of you don’t have to (except you really want to, of course – I’ve given you the paper and the date – would you like me to feed it to you sentence by sentence? Grrrr.)
I can’t stand Finton or the Irish Times because as Paddykool says above they have a deep hatred for all northern nationalists but it has to be said he does have a point about Adams’ brother working in a youth club in West Belfast.
I mean in the name of Jesus could Gerry not have used his considerable influence in the area to get Liam Adams out of that job.
And then Gerry came of with something about telling a priest (a member of an organisation with a proven track record of failing to deal adequately with child abusers in their midst) about his suspicions about his brother as though that was sufficient.
I said , what? Antonio?….I think dementia must be setting in .I don’t remember any of it , guvnor…..
Oh right it was Pointis said it
People with names beginning with P are tricky to tell apart 🙂
Wasn’t me either! Have you asked Gio, maybe it was Gerry?
Not me guv.. I think the man you are looking for is Another Jude, referring to Fintan and his abiding hatred for Northern Nationalists.
People with names beginning with A J G or P can be tricky to tell apart.
I just was not on the ball yesterday 🙂
Shape up man,or you’ll be disappeared like Norma!
Spot on. There’s is some logic for protecting the movement but there’s is absolutely no excuse for using the movement to protect individuals.
Come on Gio, you have to have some rules! It was all very interesting waiting to see what Norma came out with next but the personal abuse of other bloggers was bringing the site rules into disrepute.
I know I know. Anyhow I see Norma has returned.
I’m sure she’ll be grand now.:)
Fintan’s achilles heel is that for a number of years he was a fan of a political grouping (WP) that one journalist described as the “biggest lie in the history of Irish politics” !
It was me!!!
Erm, he’s a year older than me, which makes him 56. #Truthiness?