Grandad brings Irish Blogging into disrepute
I was browsing around my Reader this morning and what do I see?
I see Damien Mulley telling the world that "Grandad is bringing Irish blogging into disrepute."
Now, if anyone else said this, I wouldn’t turn a hair, but Damien? I must have done something really bad.
Have I been walking around with my zip undone again?
Has that little incident behind the Alexander Hotel at the Awards night come to light?
Had I misspelled something on my site?
I was worried, so I followed the link.
Oh dear. I have really upset Jenny.
Now, I don’t know who is the more confused – Jenny or me? Because I wrote about things like Christmas being called Winter Holiday in case people might be offended. She replied by saying [and I quote] "So, Grandad, I’m for the removal of all pensions and all health care and housing for old people". That is where my confusion started, but I think she was confused long before then. She is also writing about "baa baa black sheep, black coffee and personhole covers". She really is confused, because I never said anything about them.
The only areas where I may have given her cause for concern [if she had read my post properly in the first place] were my mention of goliwogs and foremen.
When I wrote about golliwogs, I was referring to little toy dolls. Fifty years ago, they were common in toy shops. The strange thing is that I don’t think they offended anyone. They were just little rag dolls, that happened to be made out of black cloth. They didn’t blacken my opinion of any particular race. They were just traditional dolls. Kids have had them for generations. There are plenty of dolls made of white cloth too. They don’t offend me. Nor do dolls dressed in a particular national costume.
However, Jenny seems to have gotten the idea from this that I am all for ‘nigger bashing’? That is a leap in logic that has me dumbfounded. I am not racist, and never have been. I believe all people are equal. In fact I believe that all people are so equal that no group should be singled out for special treatment. In fact, I could argue that it is racist to single out one group for special consideration.
Then me come to the gender thing. I did say that I deplored the foreman/foreperson syndrome, simply because it was silly. Jenny retorted by saying that using words like foreman and chairman were a barrier to women’s progression in the workplace? That is a strange argument. If that were the case then we should have had a lot of female pilots and captains and holding other high positions of non-gender specific titles. But that wasn’t the case. Yes – there was [and still is] discrimination, but that has absolutely nothing to do with words.
You see – what I have been talking about is words. Just words. Not attitudes or racism, discrimination or gender bashing. You say words colour our view of people? I would say that if they do, then possibly you have a latent tendency to discrimination that you are afraid to admit.
I would ask you, Jenny to reread my original post. You seem to have completely misread it first time around.
And as for the last bit –
And if you are offended by any of the above, then fuck off.
You snivelling little cry baby.
That is called irony.
I think Damien appreciates irony.
I both agree and disagree. The media uses words and language to manipulate our opinions all the time, take for example Bock’s observation about the language used by the media in the whole Kearney thing. The words used to present an idea or topic to us can grossly influence how we percieve it. However I vehemently agree with you about singling groups out for special treatment, or the use of the accusation of biggotry or discrimination as a weapon. The example I have in mind is when the EU condemned Israels use of vast numbers of cluster bombs in the Lebanon, Israel responded by calling this anti-semitism. This is clearly a case of being anti-blowing-up-innocent-people-for-years-to-come, but make an accusation of biggotry and the other side has to back on down sharpish, hence it is used as a weapon. This enrages me, it is a twisting of a good and lauadable intention to treat all equally in order to gain special positive treatment.
It’s a sign you’ve hit the masses when people totally miss what you’re saying and fail to see humour or irony or sarcasm in what you write and then react by saying you are somehow representing every blogger in Ireland. Am surprised you were not also asked to hand back your passport and tourist killing licence.
Grandad, you just have to accept the fact that some people are just stupid cunts who love to pick fights over nothing. They seek to be offended. They’re not worth your time or effort, unless you want to offend them on purpose for the fun of it. Which is always good.
Thrifty – I agree with both yourself and Bock. Words are powerful when abused. Bock’s case was a classic example, and I deplore that. What is laughable are the things I have been accused of on other blogs.
Damien – Do you mean I have finally made it? Actually I was very close to a ban – “he was nowhere near inciting the kind of violent hatred which would justify a ban“. How do you ban someone?
Twenty – I have a clock in the sitting room. It’s an old clockwork one. I love it, because it is old fashioned, and I have to wind it up every month.
A ban would be great wouldn’t it? Perhaps we can hold a blogging referendum to vote on it?
Grandad ….. people will read into your original post what they want to read into it. As they will into this new posting.
Your original posting was very clearly written for me to understand.
I have followed your blog over a period of time I can see from your writings that you are not a biggot/racist. You use humour and irony in your posts … a skill that some readers may not fully appreciate.
Your post to me was focussed on our preoccupation with the actual language of political correctness.
I agree with your observation that focussing on a particular group may cause one to be accused of bias in their favour to the detriment of others.
For example, in my situation (Primary Education), I can’t understand why ‘Travellers’ are singled out for special attention by the Department of Education and Science when other groups aren’t … e.g special needs (the new term used …. will probably change next week), pupils with exceptional ability etc. We get countless reports in our door about traveller education when others don’t get a look in.
Our policies have to deal with ‘Equality of Opportunity’ …. In my school we don’t single out any ‘type’ of pupil other than to say .. ‘ALL pupils will have equal access to all activities etc. ) …. no specific reference is made to Travellers, special needs pupils, exceptionally able pupils …. ALL are treated the same. If we want to be PC correct with all individuals and groups we shouldn’t have to focus on one over another.
I see how PC language is a pain …. every time we revise/review a policy we often have to change the PC wording to reflect the new language. ….. Our message never changes …. ALL treated equally. (I could be ironic and say that they are all equally treated like shit but I’d probably be castigated for it!).
The important thing is that the message of equality is understood, promoted and accepted by all.
The commentator’s response … “So, Grandad, I’m for the removal of all pensions and all health care and housing for old people”. makes no sense to me …. looks like someone taking an irrelevant cheap shot. The old adage ‘ two wrongs don’t make a right’ comes to mind …. if the commentator was of the opinion that Grandad was so wrong in her mind …. she shouldn’t have negated her opinion with such a comment.
Equality is a right not a privilege ….. language is a tool in promoting that right …. we need to adopt a ‘common sense’ approach to the language we use in promoting that right.
And ……. Grandad if you are offended by any of the above, then fuck off. You snivelling old fucker!
Wow, some really bitchy comments on that other blog. To me, Jenny is coming across as having a big chip on her shoulder – that’s just how I’m reading it. Judging by some of the comments on the other post, I’m just a reactionary with a low iq who is depleting his brain cells as he types this, so what would I know.
Keep up the good work here is all I can say Grandad.
Grandad, your original post was very clear & I, like many of your other readers (oh, ok then……fans) agreed then, the same as we do now. I haven’t read Jenny’s post yet, but will saunter over & suss it out, if & when I feel like it. I thought her comment about removing old folks pensions & healthcare was childish & typical of someone suffering from a huge chip & an inferiorority complex.
As my late fatherbylaw used to say: Fuck ‘Em All Except Us.
* I’m still working on the theme song Grandad 🙂
Why is Bock being so polite these days?
Ah, Jenny is probably a very nice lady. I wouldn’t worry old man. Just shrug. How about some more photies of your ranch?
Grandad…people will read your posts and take only what they want…or sometimes only what they can fathom. Sometimes thats not much unfortunately.
As a woman…I find you fair in all matter of things. I am so tired of political correctness…its all gone just a tad too far. I could write a book about that subject…strictly based on where I live currently…but I wont bore you with it.
Jenny has over reacted I am afraid. When someone bemoans a topic overly much, I am always suspicious as to what their innermost feelings are. Especially the ones they arent really in touch with. When I see someone scream out racism, or sexism…or whatever ism…I wonder if it is their own feelings they are projecting onto someone else.
Pay no mind grandad…you are loved.
Wow Grandad you’ve really done it this time. Been reading with interest. I agreed with your original post and continue to agree. Lots of reactionaries around though!
I can’t help but think referring to groups of people by special names furthers segregation. When I moved back to Europe I found it interesting to note that black people in England seem to be just English people who happened to be black, but in the US they are an entire culture to themselves, “brothers,” I believe. I have no problem with this, but I can’t help but wonder if we did away with all this PC branding, would this be the case?
People are just people, whether black, white, Muslim, Jew etc. That’s just my wee take on it… keep at it Grandad! 😉
As a writer, who publishes on the Interweb I always try to be sensitive to other people’s feelings [and also hope that they have a sense of humour?]. After all, that is what this and the last posts were about – sensitivity to others. I would therefore take it personally if I were criticised justly. However, when I am criticised for things I never wrote, I get a bit narked. I wrote this piece today, not in my defence, but more to state the obvious and to point out the complete inaccuracies in some of the comments, both here and on other blogs.
In this particular case the accusations were so over the top that I didn’t take them personally, so don’t anyone worry on my behalf.
Anyway, in the meantime… Damien is going to hold a worldwide referendum to have me banned from the Interweb, so you can all have your say then.
Ian – I was a little amused at Bock’s reaction all right. I wonder why he didn’t reply here?
I go away for a few days and look at all the trouble you cause!
Ian: Fuck you!
Grandad: Get the fuck outta here, you whingy old fucker. I saw you beating up that deaf-blind black lesbian cripple at the blog awards.
Hiya Bock. Glad to see you are as PC as ever. You have just fucked a vicar 😉
That wasn’t me beating up the deaf-blind black lesbian cripple. Honest. It was the dwarf.
Talking of awards – you still owe me a pint.
Hey Flirty – Welcome back to the madhouse 🙂 And thanks for the mention last week [or whenever it was]..
I think you’ll find he’s a rector.
Don’t worry, Bock. I know what he is. Ian and myself are old friends.
I’ve just read Jennys post & the comments linked to it. Y’know what I see? I see a woman, standing with arms crossed, pinched lips & a ‘stamp my foot & say damn’ air about her. In my opinion, she’s certainly not open to reasoning & you can try & explain your post to her until the cows come home Grandad, but she simply doesn’t want to listen or understand.
Vicar?……….Rector?………maybe it was the Bishop!
I’ve been quietly following this story since the dreaded Thursday. It’s fascinating how it has snowballed. However extreme Jenny’s reaction may have been, I think it’s great that you have people reacting so strongly. The political correctness debate is becoming as much of a mine field as the stuff it’s debating, so it’s good that people are talking about it (with a little more depth the whole “it’s political correctness gone mad” angle!)
I don’t think there are any vicars in Ireland.
Plenty of tinkers though. Ooops! Jenny will kill me.
Your response over at Jenny’s blog (may she wake up someday) was as absolutely, subtly, delightfully insulting as I’ve ever seen. Well done sir.
Grandad, You won a prestigious award, you’re famous now. Therefor everyone who doesn’t know you now hates your guts and will misinterpret 90% of what you say and tell you so.
Congratulations, you’re successful.
I get where you’re coming from…
today, last Thursday and every other day that I’ve read and enjoyed your blog.
You’ve not only got a brilliant way with words…
you’ve got A SENSE OF HUMOUR!
And you’ve got the decency to apologise!
Bock is very disconcerting – he knows that Church of Ireland clergy are normally called rectors and not vicars. This esoteric piece of knowledge is not very widespread!
I talk to kids about prejudice. “What do you call travelling people?” I ask.
“Tinkers”, they say.
“But they’re not”, I say, “No-one goes around mending tin anymore”.
“What else do you call them?”
“Nackers”, they say.
“But they’re not”, I say, “hardly any of them deal in horses now.”
“How many of you know any travellers?” I ask.
Not a hand goes up.
“So you call people names without knowing anything about them”.
Prejudice is born of ignorance and there is a huge element of ignorance amongst the PC brigade. One particularly PC woman I met told me that all Orangemen were appalling bigots.
“Do you know any Orangemen?”
“Have you read the qualifications of an Orangeman?”
Prejudice amongst nice middle class liberals is every bit as much prejudice as it is amongst white working class men
How many of them travel?
In these parts, people who have never travelled in their lives are called travellers.
Sorry for using two comments. I’m too stupid to work out how the editor works.
Oops. Sorry. I’m less than usually abled at working your editor.
Sorry. I’m differently gifted at editing comments.
Nah. I’m just thick.
The family I know travel too often, I think they are currently up a boreen somewhere in the south east (I could find out, I have his mobile number). I thought I had persuaded them to stay put for a while, but last autumn living in an estate in the west of Dublin less attractive than living in a grotty caravan at various roadsides.
The PC industry does your travelling friends a disservice, by conferring traveller status on anyone who claims it.
This is the heart of the PC debate. PC culture devalues language and reduces words to a series of insipid, frightened cyphers.
Read the report on the Brothers of Charity for an outstanding example of bloodless therapy-speak.
Actually, gollywogs did offend people, that’s why you don’t see them anymore. Likewise minstrels (but not the sweets, which are delicious)
Bock, the failing of political correctness is that it overstates the power of language. It emerged because having failed to eradicate actual racism (for example), it chose to eradicate racist language, as if that was the main problem. Yes, words can be weapons. Calling a person by a racial slur can be as hurtful as spitting in their face. But if there was no such thing as racism, the words wouldn’t hurt. That’s why we object to certain uses of language – it’s a reminder to the target that they’re different. Don’t get to comfortable mate, they say, however much you may think your not defined by your race, that’s how we see you. Hence we can jokingly call ourselves Paddies because its understood that there’s no prejudice. Hear yourself called Paddy when your living and working in London, and it’s a little harder to take.
Poor Jenny and Johnny (In the vanguard & only 28), really and truly everything ye know about life comes from books & the Guardian.
Take the chip off your shoulder Jenny, women who don’t make it these days are just simply not GOOD enough, it has nothing to do with Gender or ethnic background.
Explain: Condalesa Rice, Hillary Clinton, Margaret Thatcher (Certainly not PC) etc. They worked hard and achieved a great deal, not because they were women but because they worked hard, were talented and deserved to succeed.
Johnny, well what can I say ? “Grow up” maybe.
Grandad sorry for ranting on your blog but these people really annoy me, what they require is a couple of weeks in the real world.
I was that Paddy in England in the 80’s & early 90’s, when the IRA were bombing the British mainland (You were in Primary school Johnny) that wasn’t very popular in certain areas and you were regularly made aware of this. This didn’t encourage me to hate the English or the Orangemen or anybody else (Except maybe the IRA and their supporters)
I used to have a golliwog (True story this) but gave it to my friend Linda for her daughter Maria when they were going home to St Lucia, they found no offence with it in fact Linda had never seen one before and thought it was hilarious.
I also know 2 members of the travelling community, but it doesn’t mean I go around marching for travellers rights.
We can all show tolerance and respect in different ways, words are not always that important & neither is this PC bullshit.
Fergal: That’s the whole thing. It’s impossible to eliminate the intent behind words.
I don’t like somebody instructing me to follow their personal linguistic prejudices. Not even someone with the accumulated wisdom of almost 28 years, God help us.
Who is this Johnny person?
Bock, that’s ageist!! 🙂
I think it’s eminently possible, not to say worthwhile, to eliminate the intent behind the words actually Bock, but it’s much harder than just banning the words. PC developed from exactly this kind of laziness on the part of comfortable pseudo-lefty academic types who created a nice world for themselves where, so long as you didn’t look too hard, it seemed as if racism, sexism, etc didn’t exist anymore.
I think PC as such does a disservice to those trying to fix the actual problems such as sexism, which does still exist Lafsword, even if there are one or two exceptionally talented and hardworking women who have done rather well for themselves. In living memory, women were paid less for the same job in the Irish Civil service and the people who believed in that rule are still in positions of power. Its naive to think that everythings hunky dory a mere few years later. I’d suggest asking your (“some-of-my-best-friends-are….”) traveller friends if they think discrimination no longer exists.
I meant it’s impossible to eliminate the intent by duress. Every new euphemism eventually becomes a term of abuse and has to be politically corrected once more.
Travellers are a bad example because there’s no more ill-defined collection of people in Irish law. They’re certainly not a racial grouping. Some travellers suffer terrible discrimination, but others display utter contempt for everyone around them, and it isn’t as simple a matter as some would have you believe, of blind prejudice on the part of settled people.
Furthermore, discrimination isn’t intrinsically wrong. For example, I’d have no difficulty discriminating against a rapist or a psychopathic killer or a very smelly person. Or Ryan Tubridy.
Well yes, that’s a point I was going to touch upon in my earlier comment, but it didn’t really fit. Discrimination, in the literal sense, is a good thing (“discriminating taste”, for eg.) Bigots don’t actually discriminate in that sense, because they see no further than a person’s race, gender, etc. They don’t see the differences between individuals and deal only in groups. So your problem (and mine) is with arseholes, not with travellers or any other group. I’m proudly arsehole-ist myself. But when people are ignorant of the group to which the arsehole belongs, they often decide that the arseholeness is a function of membership of the group. I once heard a work-mate (an arsehole herself incidentally) say “I’m not racist, I just don’t like black people. I mean, I don’t like guinness either”. Now, apart from the fact that THATS WHAT RACISM IS YOU IDIOT, she was making the mistake of assuming that the personality of millions of people all around the world could be ascertained by a quick glance at their skin colour.
I do think that if a group of people decide that they are an ethnic grouping, they de facto become one. There’s no genetic difference between the Irish and English but we became different nations by a procerss of self-identification. All races are invented rather than discovered, but that doesn’t make them any less real. Americans exist now, they didn’t a few hundred years ago. They brought themselves into existence largely by saying so. So it’s not for you or I to say that travellers aren’t an ethnic grouping. The Israeli right claims that there are no Palestinians, just Arabs who live in Israel, which is true only if you deny that a race can invent itself. But if you follow that logic, where does that leave the state of Israel, or any other nation for that matter
Fergal, you’ve hit the nail on the head. And you’re putting it all a lot better than I could. Now we’re getting somewhere!
This conversation is getting a bit too intelligent for my poor little head. That said, I’d like to throw some thoughts in as well.
PC is based on the idea that everyone should be equal. Well, they’re not. It is a simple fact that every single person is different in one way or more than every other person.
This fact floats upwards into groups as well – a group of people can be defined by the average characteristics of each individual group. And even though two groups may look on average the same, they are not – there are still differences, however minor, and those differences express themselves as stereotypes.
People tend to stick around people that have similar viewpoints, or come from the same origin. So you end up with areas which are predominantly one religion, areas which are primarily composed of people from one country (chinatown, little italy). Even places where people have never moved a mile in their lives can have strong differences visible to their eyes if not from outsiders (big-endians vs little-endians, if you remember your Swift).
The point is that people /are/ different. And people tend to clump into groups that are different from other groups. In school, I tended to hang out with the people that were into computers, and that marked me out from the groups that loved to run around like idiots after a piece of leather (what, me bigoted??). Later on, I liked to play guitar and liked “heavy metal” (doesn’t seem that heavy any more for some reason), and that marked me as different from people who wore jogging clothes, took drugs and waved their hands a lot at flashing lights. These might seem small, but when you think about it, metaler vs raver is like a little racial war in itself, with the differences identifiable in the choice of clothes or music, as opposed to the colour of skin (which is not a choice).
Racism, though, is not about personality. It’s about xenophobia and maybe a little fearful self-defence. People like to feel secure, and if there are “strangers” around with strange customs, strange appearances, strange languages and strange attitudes, then that attacks that security – when this happens, it is no longer certain that tomorrow will be the same as yesterday, and people get afraid and start trying to defend what they’re used to.
Personally, I think the key to security is to keep your eyes open and “go with the flow”. There is no sense in trying to hold onto yesterday because it is already gone.
PC talk, though, is definitely not a solution. That’s the equivalent of closing your eyes to make squeamish food taste better. If you don’t enjoy it with your eyes open, then you won’t enjoy it with your eyes closed. PC is stupid. Say what you mean to say, but be aware of how it affects other people.
Bock: “bloodless therapy-speak”. Genius, such compassion.
73man: Did you read the report?
Yes, and shameful in its shirking of responsibility for these terrible events. Casting this as therapy-speak does a disservice to therapy but let’s not go there, ahem, even though I brought us there.
I’ll get my coat.
@73: Ha! Fast Show reference. It’s back on Channe6 Fridays at 9.25. Suits you sir.
World Gives Thanks!
Taoiseach To Make Speech Shortly!
Talk about a storm in a tea cup. I think what Jenny and a few others need to do is to take a step back and maybe take a deep breath. Let me go out on a limb here:
Grandad owns this blog and as such has the right to write about anything he so chooses. You on the otherhand, all have the right to not read him. Quite simple, no?
While you all took offense at what I took as as an amusing look into the realm of what’s political correct, I think that the people who have been the most rude and outrageous are not Grandad or his “cronies” but you guys.
You have a right to disagree, but do you have to be rude and nasty? Jenny used her own blog to publically rebuke and demonize a man she has never met. And since she has never met him, has no idea as to who he is or what he represents, but had she taken just five minutes to read back a few weeks, would have come to realize that this blog reflects hiw own unique writing style and yes, sense of humor.
A sense of humor. As in a joke. As in satire. As in telling you to go “f” yourself at the end was. I don’t know any of you personally, nor do I know Grandad, but I must say that I commend him for his restraint over the last few days as person after person has decided that they are superior human beings who have the right to sit in judgement.
And finally, I really resent the fact that you people are trying to split this along gender lines. In case you haven’t noticed, my name is female, and I actually got the idea behind this whole issue.
No one, especially Grandad, has attacked anyone else upon race, creed, religion, or gender….oh, wait, except for the responders. No one is saying being polite isn’t important, what we are all saying is that being polite should come natural and most of us don’t need overblown rules to tell us how to treat our fellow human beings.
What I am saying is, wish me a Merry Christmas, as my Jewish co-workers do. I wish them a Happy Hannukah. I am saying its okay to call me a Catholic, or Irish, or whatever you want to classify me as, as long as you treat me with respect and remember that I’m a human being.
A New York Liberal Irish Catholic Female Divorcee with a sense of humor. And Grandpa, is also a human being, who happens to own this blog. So what if he’s Irish? He doesn’t represent Ireland, nor do you, last time I checked.
And finally, trying to gain notarity on his coattails is just so not PC.
As one who was also on the receiving end of Jenny’s total and utter misrepresentation of my words and opinions, I’d like to echo what lots of people have already said and say that people such as Jenny just bloody love being offended, and then they love shouting about how terribly offended they are even more. They’ll tell YOU what you said, twisting it to mean stuff you didn’t say, and then plead that they are the injured party at the end of it.
Grandad I’d say this: there was only one thing wrong with your post, and that’s that you ended up bloody well apologising to those poor loves that were offended. Frankly, I think you’re lovely and if they’re offended by your clever, ironic and entertaining waffle, then they’re crazy ape bonkers with nuts and cheese.
::sighs:: Excuse the “speeling errors” my mind goes faster than my fingers, and the “edit your comment page” never popped up.
Nick – It would take a lot more than that to kill me!
Catherine – For one who has apparently not commented before [and you are very welcome, by the way], you are so eloquent!! I get the feeling that you are all slightly more rattled than I am, and I’m not rattled at all. Sure, ’tis all in a day’s fun!
E Mum – Did I apologise? Where? I would take it back if I could find it.
In the comments, old boy. Jeez, old age is a terrible thing ;0)
Fergal, You say I do think that if a group of people decide that they are an ethnic grouping, they de facto become one.
Excellent news. You seem to be saying a bunch of us could become African if we wanted. Personally, I’d like to try being Japanaese for a while.
You seem to be confusing race with nationality, or did I misunderstsand you?
“You seem to be saying a bunch of us could become African if we wanted”
No Bock. Because that would be retarded.
What’s retarded, Fergal, is your suggestion that anyone can decide to become an ethnic grouping. That’s a charter for every chancer in Ireland to claim discrimination. Racism is a very specific term: it’s about race, not discrimination against a cultural sub-group.
Once again you prefer the dismissive response rather than dealing with the issue. I’d need to know if I’m wasting my time discussing anything with you.
Just stumbled onto this blog. Love it.
Just remember the rules:
Chairperson, Foreperson, Woperson
Welcome Troublegum! “Woperson”.. Love it! 😉
For fuck’s sake! That Jenny one is one fucking whinging, uptight old bag. I mean, really, I posted a comment but I don’t think it’s there anymore.
Welcome, Cap’n P. You do realise that you are being very non-PC with your comment? You’ll get me into trouble with the Correctness Police?