LAPTOP BITES BULLDOG (24) by Perkin Warbeck


The Sean O Rourke Show on RTE Radio 1  has coup de graced  itself again !

And this time, last Friday, surely did it box all the thicks !

Consider the following:

While poor  old SOR was unavailable, possibly due to his having to nurse his own curse o’God sore talking head,  his seat was filled by an indefatigable workaholic.  One who never shirks the chance to fit herself into whatever vacant or indeed vacuous, erm, workplace shift becomes available at the drop of a hatchet.

Sitting ovation, please, for the one, the only……… Mimsy O Call Again !

Some other sore heads – this time out there in Radioland – sourly grumble that this is but the latest ploy in MOCA’s play book to become the next desirable  Prez in Rez in the white house known as the Voice-Regal Lodge. Which is located within the dear-oh-dear deer-culling confines of the Phoenix Park, home of the Magazine Fort.

 And for which post a dulcet  voice (of sorts) and a dressy sense  that doesn’t spare the pence, is more than merely desirable, it is a sine qua none but the famous for being namechecked.

A ploy to  raise her profile, i.e., to make it (even)  more, erm, Ard-MOCA, whinge the same praise-stingy sore heads  with a sarcasm as top-heavy as, yessy,  Two Ton Tessie. They  ambush  this ambish (which hasn’t gone away, you know)  to move into the Proto-Type of the White House by impying. What? That it will be, in fact,  a tactically selfless career move involving a salary drop rather than a top up. A fall in income as  precipitous  as the  one which the blameless fall-guy  Cliff in his mohair suit shamefully suffered in recent times.

(This of course is an outrageous barb  whose carbon footstep  would and will not be tolerated, much less entertained by even The Perkin, heself,  that word-watching bird-lover who so loves to wade in where even the plover doesn’t dare, in his size 16 bovver boots).

The vastly entertaining show last Friday morn  turned out to be a tragi-comedy  bordering on the corny epic and backstopping both at and as a farce.

The topic under discussion,  which was guaranteeed Irish  to raise normally cool collars to a tropical hot,  was  a letter which had appeared in that Organ Of Record (Mimsy’s words) The Unionist Times (not Mimsy’s words) earlier in the week.  She acted, as per normal, as a supernaturally impartial referee in a  right good ding-dong, until. In old money, a  traditionaal stand-up, knock-down. and drag-out debate, oops, conversation.

In the green corner, the one with his head on the block was the writer of that letter, the redoubtable Robert Ballagh (late of this parish, to borrow a fav phrase of TUT). While in  the blue corner, with an axe to grind was none other than  the chaste  A.C.E. in the whole grain bread of TUT itself.


-No, actually, Hugh. That would be Hugh  Linehan, the Arts and Culture Editor of TUT.  Yes, that Hugh, son of Rosaleen Linehan, comedienne, oops, comedian, in turn, daughter of Daniel McMenamin, one time,  Fine Gael y’are TD for Donegal East.

 (We know that becasue The Mammy was – gasp – a guest on Mimsy’s very  own Sunday Show twa lang, lang days later). 

Despite there being a musical strain in the family, Hugh, is not, repeat knot, which he is adept at tying himself into,  a contraction of Yehudi there having been no one of that name in the McMenamin clan.

The letter in question for those homedwellers unfortunate enough not to, erm, take The Unionist Times (unlike the homeless who are decidedly lucky to take  the said  Organ Of Record (O.O.R.). as a nocturnal duvet in de doorsteps of bleedin Dublin, righ? ) concerned the glad-handing over of the reins of the stateen-funded Cultural Institutions South of the Black Sow’s Dyke to outsiders. .

Sir, – I was not at all surprised to read the open letter signed by more than 300 Irish practitioners that was sent to Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan expressing their deep concern and dissatisfaction with the direction that the Abbey Theatre has taken in recent times.

However, I was surprised that the letter did not raise an obvious question: why is the Irish National Theatre, which has an obligation to reflect Irish cultural values, currently being run by two Scotsman?

I suppose if this disconnect was simply a problem for the Abbey Theatre, the situation would not be so serious, but at this moment in time practically every national cultural institution is being managed by an outsider.

For example, the director of the National Gallery of Ireland is an Englishman, the new director of the Hunt Museum in Limerick is a Welshwoman, the director of the National College of Art and Design is an Englishwoman, and the director of the Gate Theatre is an Englishwoman.

It seems that when it comes to our cultural institutions that warning experienced by our emigrants in the past still holds sway: “No Irish need apply.” – Yours, etc,


Dublin 7.

Due to an error which occurred in the editing process, a previous version of Mr Ballagh’s letter wrongly stated that the director of the National College of Art and Design was an Englishman. The error is regretted.

Handsome Hugh Linehan, d’ultimate insider, duly took unmarked exception of the gravest type, to the outrageous use of the word: outsider.

-An ugly word.

The Zen-like response from that most  calm and redoubtable of artistic men,  Robert Ballagh (a Ballagh who knows all about being graffitied upon by the laughably-titled liberal Occidental English estabishment cois Life) was accused by the anti-racist  ACE  of  ‘putting his Xenophobic oar’ into the issue, was registered in  a low-key:

-I resent that.

Rather than rapping the insider over the knuckle-head, oops, knuckles (these errors are catching, for which, leithscéal gan srian)  for getting as mad as a Hellinic geek when factoring in the (yawn) X-word  what  Mimsy O Call Again did then was to aquaplane into a dfferent gear shift (see above and  below)  entirely.

Along the lines of suggesting to the outsider that he might have penned a different class of letter altogether to the Organ Of Record (O.O.R.) for insiders. (not Mimsy’s word). Some stingy-with-praise whingers with attitude and  of the herd-like dementality outside in Radioland, were heard to implode by raising an off-loaded question.

 That this gear-shift  by the immaculately impartial and coiffed ref into a girly bias might consolidate the eerie theory that RTE is the broad-casting wing of TUT. Based upn that most ordinary of ornithological platitudes, that a word-bird never did fly on the wan wing.

The Zen-like Ballagh, despite being sorely tempted to go up an alphetical notch and ask, in Joe Duffy-like mode:


Instead the artist opted to wearily point out that he had been raising this issue of being treated as an outsider in his own country by insiders who look outside for providers of a wider perspective (alleged) to hang-glider into Occidental England. And raising it for yonks for plonkers who opted to ‘caith  An Chluas Bhodhar  agus an tSúil Dhall ina threo’

Ballagh then drew the attention of the sub ref, (rumoured/ fake newsed  by the perpetual takers of offence,  to be on a paltry pittance of a remittance for this heroic stand-in talking-head  job),  to  a specific chapter in his recent humdinger of a reluctant memoir, which specifically deals with the topic in q.

-Malignant Shame.

Bumble-bee-busy Mimsy seem not to have rumbled that this deservedly much-thumbed tome   had actually been featured on RTE and / or put into the frame by one of  its echo-chamber soundalikes, such as  Newtalk fm , much less read it.  Or if not she, then  her vastly understaffed backup crew of a score or more (alleged)  hadn’t bothered to do so, neither.

(Perfectly understandable, mind, considering  the work load of  Grecian proportions – look it up in the atlas – she has  had have to carry on her slimsy shoulders of destiny.)


 The ACE of  ’Arts in  The Unionist Times,   whose jab descriptch is to keep the non-sleeveen shoneens up to speed with screeds  on  seeded culture clad in  tweedy twee,  had an even more efficacious ace up his sleeve by lapsing into the Greek for Geeks again:

-The one form  of Xenophobia which is still completely acceptable, seemingly,  is anti-Britishism !!!

What !

 Anam an Diabhail agus Deora Íosa !   Is the ACE telling us that he does not read the best of  the rest of The Unionist  Times neither? Just when we were  coming to terms with Mimsy’s ditto at the station of the nation (sic) where she is in permanent situ.

Is he yelling at us that the Linguistic Lapdog with a Laptop was not actually for real when he was yapping,  snapping, yelping, skelping,  snarling  and taking microphone-sized -soundbytes on a weakly daily basis for his Traditional English Brexit  out of the Bulldog across the less than boggy water?

 That  FOTUS Naofa  (mar is é atá fos ann ! Fintan O Toole Uber Shoneen),  whom we all had naively assumed had been safely inoculated against jocularity,   actually has had his Occidental English tongue all the, erm, Times, stuck  in his monoglot cheek  while, in fact-check,  simultaneously, pulling and wooling.

To wit, to Hugh:  that FOTUS was pulling our egos even as he pulled O.O.R. Wullie  over our very own eyeballs?

An Diabhal  idir sinn agus an fharraige dhomhan ghorm-léinteach !

Pause for a break from the implausible paws.

One can only speculate and not in an unkind way  where the noble,  nibscratching 300 were as far back as 1916, oops, 2016.  When the Risible Rising was ‘celebrated in a mature way’ in the same, indentical  Abbey Theatre, DUPlin  by staging ‘Somme Enchanted Evening’ ?

This multi-revived meisterpiece of Norn Irish irony, is  a wittily scipted text about the German Civil War to end all C.Ws,  which contains the following  random  hogshead of frankly hillarious  McGunnessy dialogue. Its is bantered twixt  a group of high-stepping Anti-tagues from spud-eating Fanchley in the Tormented Green Corner while lying low in the dud  mud, and the blood and the thuds:

X:    Germans don’t speak Gaelic.

Y:    They all learn it for badness.

X:   Dirty bastards.

Y.    So that’s what they insult you in.

X:   Couldn’t watch them. Fenians, Gaelic speakers. They get everywhere. Even in the German army.

Y:   No way. Not even the Germans would have them. Did you hear about this boy Pearse. The boy who took over a post office because he was short of a few stamps.

Z:   He did  more than than take over a post-office, the bastard. Shot down our men until he got what he was looking for.

Y:   Let me finish. He was a Fenian, wasn’t he? No soldier. He took over this big post office in Dubln, kicks all the wee girls serving behind the big counter out on to the streets. When the place is empty, him and his merry men all carrying wooden rifles land outside on the street. Your man reads the proclamation of an Irish republic. The Irish couldn’t spell republic, let alone proclaim it.

(Kneel down, Neil Simon, and worship at the altar of The Wit Supreme).

Bímis uilig umhal agus an t-Úll Mor in Úllord na Drámaíochta á léiriú, a bhfuil a imprimatur agus a nihil obstat araon faighte aige ón Ultima Thule.

Respect / Meas.

Meas madra.

This production was, ní gá a rá, a sell-out which  ran for weeks and weeks like a lonely, longdistance Sonia O on steroids.  Worthy too of a mench: lankie ushers rushed to thoughfully hand out hankies (at a discount) for the staunching of tears of laughter and/or Crocodile tears  from  the old dears and the other  Pat the Planks in the hard pit benches. Tears provoked by the  armpit witticisms from  Frankie’s kitbag of indentikit crackers. It is, it must be avowed, the way this West Ulster warlock from East Donegal (see above)  has ‘em under his spell even as he tells  ‘em.

Back, now, once more into the breeches of a feisty Feste (also late of this garish parish) which Rosaleen L played, but not with L plates,  in a production at  the Gate back in the day.  A  production of Twalfth Night, by the way, which The Perkin, in his legendary role as BIS, aka Bum In Seat, had the leisure of being pleasured by.

One only drags this into the equation by way of explanation, to show how ACE seamlessly, seemingly,  drew upon his inherited gifts as a thespian. Thus,  in the plaintive  voice of The Playboy of the West British World did he grease-paint the beleagured outsider / outrider of Xenophia,  in the following anti-septic germ-free terms:

What Robert Ballagh is articulating is the worst  form of Petty Little Irelandism !!!!!!!!!

Which echoes, does it not, perchance,  the Gregorian Cant of Cambhéal ?

Pettty ? Little? Ah, yis, the Leprechaun and the lingo of the little people.

Reminding one of  the far, distant Celtic Mist of the Fabulour Fifties Cois Life. Time was when   when Amharclann Náisiúnta na Mainistreach used  to stage joyously  a gáire-shaibhir  Geamaireacht am Nollag gach bliain.

Instead, in these enlightened days of (yawn)  bed post (stretch) Waking the (trouser-cough) Feminists not a word of the Man-datory Mammy Tongue is to be heard no mo,  the  Pantomime having  been undermined and understudied by  purely puritantical gag-free  Panty-bliss missies in drag.

In  full keeping, ar ndóigh, with the dread-full  policies of the  The Publicly-funded Theatre, where the Orange Room has replaced the Green Room,

Exit time at The Limerick Junction:

If  you have Crocodile tears, prepare….

Bhíodh  Geamaireacht ann tráth, leoga

Leipreacháin le feiceáil sna mórbhróga

No place t’rehearse

For t’demmed Erse

Béarla inniu do na gamail is gamalóga.

                              TUILLEADH  LE   TEACHT :  TO  BE  CONINTUED

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