Wednesday, 9 July 2014

The Garth Brooks Concerts - An Epitaph

Let me get this out of the way upfront: The pure ego-driven self-promotion of people saying "this is a bad day for Ireland & damages our international reputation!" will get me through the rest of this week with heavy gut-laughter! While there are genuine losses here, which I won't list because they are numerous/ complicated, that the media is trying to project those as being a part of the national psyche of every person in the country is absurd - And that politicians are choosing to make numerous statements on the matter and hold emergency meetings is mind-boggling.

From visiting news sites you could be forgiven for thinking that this was the big one, the Earth stops spinning now, all resources are gone, and we just have to hope that the sun sets before it goes nova so we don't have to watch that final shockwave whip towards the planet in its unforgiving path of destruction.
Everything, as the old saying goes, seems f**ked.
A country-musician, Garth Brooks, had been booked to play Croke Park for one night, then two, then three, then FOUR nights (do numbers even get that high?!), then FIVE (f**k me, I can't keep track of a number like that and 'the run of myself'! Best lose that last one!) nights, before it all imploded in a very public spat which inevitably drew together residents of the Croke Park area, Garth Brooks, the concert promoter, Dublin City Council, the full-on actual government, local/ national/ international media, to really hammer out what they believed was best for this concert and, by association, the country, its pride and its honour.

Let's start with an epilogue:

There's Enda Kenny (the Taoiseachy-looking guy doing the talking) making a statement in the Dáil about a musician cancelling some concerts. Concerts which Garth Brooks (the musician) was welcome to play 3 of (the promoters jumped the gun and sold tickets for 5 nights, hoping that residents & City Council would just accept 2 more concerts "just because").
I couldn't find a clip of a politician making a statement when Prince cancelled a concert in the Point a few years ago, or any other cancelled events, but that has to exist, right? 
This clip says something, something which statements on topics of health services, taxes, whatever! often don't. I mean, listen to the apologetic tone, look at the defeated mannerisms, listen (again) to the attempt at conciliation at 1:30 to the leader of the opposition, who hangs his own head, unable to utter even a few words in the dying silence of the debate, resigned to the reality: There will be no Garth Brooks, so what are we here for? What does this republic even stand for anymore?

"Implications of a quarter of a billion for this city..." is a number that Enda Kenny may well have pulled from his *rse, but he's not the only one, hoteliers, restaurants, pubs, all contributed very generous numbers of projects losses/ not gains "in terms of the economy, the excitement and all of that..."

For the entirety of last year the government had carefully crafted 'The Gathering', to unite the Irish diaspora, and to make the world believe in this country again.
This year they must face the truth, it's not just tickets that will have to be refunded, gone too will be all of the goodwill from The Gathering.
That can never be replaced, not by poorly edited, overly sentimental video montages of Ireland, not by a a million photos of the quays at midday - the skyline above clearly reflected in the glittering sun-spotted water below!
It won't matter that one political party (known for systematic murder of women & children) held emergency meetings to change council rules to allow for the concerts/ pander to Garth; that another party (who paved the way for the financial ruin of this country, far exceeding any generous estimate publicans claimed they are owed as a result of the concerts) want emergency legislation to reverse licence decisions should they arbitrarily be deemed necessary for the economy; or the rest of the parties & media (who would really rather we talk about Garth rather than babies routinely killed, equality refused, services cut, citizens forced abroad for jobs & medical procedures) just really love some good outrage - Garth's not coming & the country may as well hang a 'Closed for Business' sign at the coast and re-direct all post to various population centres throughout the world.
F**k all of that other sh*t, how could we, as a country, hope to go on if a few concerts won't either?

Our last public statements will spend more time tending to a stroppy ego with a f**king cowboy hat because that's apparently what the last pathetic death-croaks of our national dignity sound like.

But, he won't hear us, he'll be sailing his equipment-laden boat into the middle of the Atlantic ocean, setting the explosive charges on the hull, and letting that mother sink beneath the soft embrace of the waves hugging it closer to the ocean floor, which will soon be littered with custom-built stage equipment and broken dreams.

If the country does survive this, then I expect all parties to campaign on the basis of providing Garth Brooks concerts to everyone in their constituency in the best election.

In summary, regarding the 'national' outrage: My. F**king. Hole. Keep this sh*t in the Entertainment section.

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