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in defence of my crappy kip of a country

The Guardian reviews the debut album from that enormous tool - sorry, serious musical artist Brian "No Y!" McFadden, which refers to the title track of the stupid gobshite's solo debut as "a swingeingly [huh?] articulate attack on institutional Catholic dogma which is bound to cost him fans at home." Because yes, the average McFadden fan is a devout Catholic who will be horrified by any criticism of her or his beloved Church. Please. I bet the average Irish Bryan - oops, sorry, Brian - McFadden fan doesn't know what the fuck dogma means, let alone what Catholic dogma actually is. But hey, Ireland=crazy Catholic conservative, right?

Well, you might think so from McFadden's "swingeingly articulate" lyrics:

"This is the city that raised me with the religion they gave me...it was leaving that saved me, I've seen so much that has changed me...break with the past and know your own mind, 'cause this Irish son has moved with the times..."

Unlike the rest of us, then, Brian? Good to know that someone who spent their adult life singing cheesy ballads is more progressive than, say, me and my friends who organised a successful feminist festival that was attended by teenagers and 60 something mammies. Or even the Archbishop of Dublin, who approves of civil partnerships for gay people. McFadden's evocation of a world ruled by evil priests might make some sense if he hadn't been born in 1980. Yes, Ireland was pretty conservative even in the '80s. It still is a conservative country in some ways. But it isn't some sort of god-fearing theocracy anymore - a glimpse at O'Connell Street on a Saturday night would prove that - and it hasn't been for pretty much all of McFadden's life. Also, as he grew up just a mile up the road from me, I know the schools he went to and they weren't priest-run hellholes by any stretch of the imagination (his secondary school Rosmini is kind of scary, but it was the teachers who were scared of the pupils rather than the other way round). To present Dublin to the world as some sort of backwater where McFadden (who, lest we forget, is white, straight and now rich) is repressed by the forces of conservativism is just pandering to other people's bigoted ideas of what this country is. I can't help thinking that he went through a checklist of miserable Irish stereotypes that would help him get taken seriously as an "artist". The fool.

You know, I give out about Dublin, and Ireland, quite a lot. But I don't pretend that the Ireland in which I grew up was the Ireland of the '50s.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 26th, 2004 05:30 am (UTC)
pronounced "bran"! yes!

i love "swingeingly articulate". it sounds great in my head but sadly i can't think of any actual uses for it.

(nice post. irishminority?)
Nov. 26th, 2004 06:35 am (UTC)
It was St Fintan's in Sutton, where Ronan Keating went! Bryan's stupid statement said that no one would recognise the school -- I beg to differ, we were all 'Look! It's St Fintan's!!"
Nov. 26th, 2004 07:07 am (UTC)
I want to shave him, cut his hair back to boyband style, glue him into a white suit and tie him to rocks at the bottom of the Liffey. And he'll be welcome to pour his injured little heart out at the end of it all.

Excellent scheme. He can sing his dreadful songs to the traffic cones and other denizens of the waters.
Nov. 26th, 2004 08:03 am (UTC)
There's quite a few rusty bikes down there. Hopefully, he'd cut himself on them.
Nov. 26th, 2004 06:32 am (UTC)
Ah, but Irish people are so much more winsome and interesting to the rest-of-the-world when we pretend to be poor, oppressed Catholics who have spent their childhoods staring at wet sheep and praying to a tacky statue of the Virgin Mary in a quavering whisper.
Nov. 26th, 2004 07:04 am (UTC)
Why, you just described my own youth! I must write some songs about it now.
Nov. 26th, 2004 07:45 am (UTC)

*laughs til she cries*
Nov. 26th, 2004 06:32 am (UTC)
Good to know that someone who spent their adult life singing cheesy ballads is more progressive than, say, me and my friends who organised a successful feminist festival that was attended by teenagers and 60 something mammies.

Rightie-o. I guess I'd better get my cheesy pop ballad on, so's I can make some progress.
Nov. 26th, 2004 07:03 am (UTC)
Maybe you should! Apparently doing so leads to personal and political liberation.
Nov. 26th, 2004 06:40 am (UTC)
Feh. Maybe what might cost him fans would be the fact that his music is shite! And so are his lyrics!

Not to mention him being himself a shite.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


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