It was only a matter of time, or rather, to be relevantly American about it, a bunch of time before one major pulpit-pounding Preacherman began to get all medieval on the asinine outbursts of another major pulpit-pounding Preacherman, albeit of a different era, continent and persuasion. And in The Unionist Times too.
For The Unionist Times it is a precious thing/ And The Unionist Times brings all things to my mind/ The Unionist Times with all its Labours along with all its joys/ The Unionist Times brings all things to my mind.
Small kudos, God knows, for guessing who the non-pseudo Preacherman in TUT it was who chose to put his oar into calm waters and to go toe to toes with his embalmed American counterpart across the ocean and the generations. None other, of course than the Great FOTsby himself, aka The West Brit Egg Head, aka The Toto of TUT.
It was from the balcony of his vast mansion in West Egg, the curve of whose balustrade is (gasp) borrowed from the breathtakingly beautiful curvature of the pine in the pulpit in the (gulp) borrowed cathedral of St. Patrick in The Coombe, Dublin 8 that he went on his OMG onslaught.
The very pulpit above which dangle reverentially the Regimental Colours of HM Imperial Indian Army commemorating their dignified and appropriate purloining of the languages of the dusky Subcontintent. From which they souvenired such colourful words as shampoo, bungalaow, thug, doolally, jodphurs, cumerbund, pariah and of course, pundit to enrich our dull and drab Dublin 8 vocabularly. And the very pulpit where Finchley Fintan (for it is also he!) guested as a Preacherman last year. Thus, prompting yet another (sob) Sobriquet:
-The Holy Guest.
The big iron on the lip of the Great FOTsby is always quick to draw comparisons and verbally blaze away and will do so, at the drop of an irony-free hat.
‘Donald Trump is often said to be unprecedented in American history, and in some respects he is. But not entirely.There is one other demagogue in the age of mass democracy and mass media who paved the way for Trump.
He, too, was a narcissist, a hate monger and a master manipulator of the media. The only reason he is largely forgotten is that he seems so incongruous a figure: a bespectacled, dog-collared C. priest who mesmerised the nation with his powerful but lyrical Irish voice’.
One deliberately leaves the C. word initialled. A sort of brain-teaser to see if one’s brain is operating (at best remotely) on the same brainwave as the crowd-pleaser of an Eminence Gris of a Preacherman, he who likes to sip his porcelain cup of Earl Grey tea with his lúidín, oops, little finger fashionably raised at a refined angle.
(A hint: Finchley Fintan has also been appointed recently as Thinkaware Ireland’s champagne ambassador-at- large for the Think Responsibly Campaign)
A dead give away: given the rest of the sentence the C. in C. priest can only refer to Catholic or Church of Ireland (sic). The dog-collar is the give away. When ‘dog-collar’ is used by a convert to the C of I one knows one is barking up the right tree and it’s not the one with two cheek-by-jowl Cathedrals in the one Liffeyside City of the rare oul times (small t).
It has been observed by veteran transoperational observers whose views The Perkin implicitly respects, that those enlightened ones who have converted from the Catholic cult to the Church of Ireland (sic) religion opt for a particular shape of crozier, whenever invited to be be guest Preacherman in the (gasp) pulpit in Dublin 8 of their adopted Faith: a crozier shaped like a (gulp) cattle prod.
To make one’s first journey in life west from the Coombe to Crumlin is one thing, but to make the return journey east at a more mature stage of life (i.e., after reaching the use of reason) is quite another thing entirely, altogether.
– Le dul ón gCom go Cromghlinn agus ar ais arís, níos déanai in aois na céille, isteach i mBarróg na Leas-Mháthar-Eaglaise ar an mbus 50A.
-From the Hollow to the Crooked Glen and back again, into the Embrace of one’s Step-Mother Church on the 50A bus.
–His name was Fr Charles Coughlin, though in the 1930s he was known to most people simply as “the Radio Priest”.
He was born in 1891 in Hamilton, Ontario, into a working-class Irish Catholic world. His father, Thomas, was sexton at St Mary’s church, where he met his future wife, Amelia Mahoney, from Strabane, Co Tyrone. It was presumably from her that their son got the Irish accent and intonation that remained so much a part of his brand as the most effective demagogue America had yet seen.
The Perkin once made the acquaintance of a Cork-born busdriving citizen of Cabbagetown, Toronto and his Canadian-born son, the latter of whom went on to Olympic boxing glory in L.A. 1984. And became known as The Cabbagetown Kid in the process. Now, while the Da had a Cork accent you could sow scallions in, like, nary a trace of same Irish accent, lyrical or otherwise, applied to the Maple Leaf voice of his son, the great Shawn O Sullivan. Nor indeed did one expect it.
So one duly tuned in to a recording of this safely dead Irish Catholic hate-mongering, narcissistic and master media manipulating priest (or to employ a canine acronynm: HMV).
Sadly, not a trace of a’faith’ or a ‘begorrah’ itself from beginning to end, could one’s pointer ears detect: this unquiet man was, for sure, no graduate of the Mickaleeen Oge Flynn academy of Barry Fitzgerald accents. But judge for yourself and ‘toon’ rather than ‘tune’ in.
–As the Great Depression took hold, Coughlin combined attacks on Bolshevism and socialism as indistinguishable threats to civilization with demands that workers be paid a living wage and that the little people be saved from the machinations of the financial elites. It was a winning combination: by the autumn of 1930, Coughlin’s show was syndicated to most major American cities through the CBS network, giving him access to 40 million listeners.
Unsurprisingly the West Egg pulpit-pounding Preacherman’s inner Continuity Sticky (having swopped his crozier for his stick, for the nonce) would take a markedly grave exception to the Gulags being dragged through the St. Kevin mire .
–He became a huge star: at its peak, his was probably the largest radio audience in the world. Fortune magazine called Coughlin “just about the biggest thing that ever happened to radio”.
To, erm, cap in all, the following line from the St. Patrick’s Pulpit-pounding Preacherman deserves a, erm, British and Irish Lion’s share of attention:
–Coughlin had a narcissistic sense of his own unique destiny as America’s saviour: ‘I knew that if anyone was going to inform Americans of the truth it would have to be me”
Hmmmmm. Sound famililar. No?
Try subsitooting Occidental England for America. Now, you have it.
Meanwhile as The Great FOTsby waxed and brainily waned, the better to build up to a better climate-changing climax, the higher tax-bracketed party animals in tuxedos among the group-thinking groupies who thronged the lawns of West Egg without putting as much as (yawn) a stray thought wrong, gradually began to hum to the tune of:
The only one who could ever reach me Was the son of a preacher man The only boy who could ever teach me Was the son of a preacher man Yes he was, he was, ooh, yes he was
Which led to the inevitable conclusion that truly has The Great FOTsby a thing about Kingdoms, whether they be the UK or of Kerry itself. Especially considering his recent voluntary exposure to the Loose Stool of the Listowel LFM. (erm, Language, Freedom Movement).
This song was originally composed for Aretha Franklin but was turned down and diverted in the direction of Dusty Springfield.
It proved to be star dust of Ms Springfield whose family rose like the pale moon itself from (gulp) Tralee. No, not of the Dick Spring line but still labouring in the Occidental English Labour Party line of (gasp) O’Brien. Ms. Springfield’s full name (Dusty, not Dick) was a true musical mouthful:
-Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O Brien.
A right good proper member of the Bog-Oak Monolith, be gob, as another member of the same Party, of the same surname, and also a fan of the Fairyhouse Tradition, might have eloquently put it, and with no L-plates.
One mentions this song as it was used as part of the soundtrack for the movie ‘Pulpit Faction Fight’, another old Bog-Oak Monolithic tradition.
The humming chorus of the Son of a Preacherman (the complete words of which are known only to the Preacherman heself), gradually grew in parallel with the all-too-predictable and no-come-back crescendo of an ending to this wide ranging penny arcade of a tirade :
–Fr. Coughlin’s magazine, Social Justice, began serialising the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the fake “proof” of Jewish plans for world domination, in early 1938.
After Kristallnacht in November, Coughlin explicitly told his listeners that German persecution of Jews was a justifiable defence against Communism. The Nazi programme, he said, aimed to “rid the Fatherland of Communists whose leaders, unfortunately, they identified with the Jewish race . . . Were there facts to substantiate this belief in the minds of the Nazi Party, I ask?”
Coughlin addressed a rally of the pro-Nazi German-American Bund in Madison Square Garden in 1939. The Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer recognised him as a fellow traveller: “Father Coughlin in Royal Oak, in the state of Michigan, has the courage to speak his conviction. His conviction is that National Socialism is right.” His relationship to Germany had begun to presage Trump’s relationship with Russia.
But wait, hold your Fairyhouse horses: why set this particular Charles C. up as the big easy target practice for the Papist-loathing denizens of DUPlin on Liffeyside for whom ‘Cationalism’ is the uber mortal synonym ? When there was an almost exact contemporary also called Charles C, but one much nearer home and rather more relevant to the zestful zenith of the pulpit-pounding Preachfest in West Egg?.
All will be revealed in next week’s sixty four dog-collar episode.
There is the glint of a hint in this Limerick / Tá an leid sa Luimneach seo:
An Chloch is Lú
Aithníonn an chiaróg eile an chéad-chiaróg
Seanfhocal é seo nach bhfuil cor ar bith óg
Ní itheann an maidrín
Lathaí a nua-phaidrín
Ar eagla na hEaglaise go bfhai’ sé an bhróg.
TUILLEADH LE TEACHT: TO BE CONTINUED.