Wednesday 29 March 2017

Philosophy, morality and sexuality on the airwaves

Two different stations, three different programmes, and three very interesting and thought-provoking discussions on radio this week.

The first came on The Dunphy Show (Newstalk), where Eamon looked at the David Norris situation with a big gang including journalists John Waters, Robert Fisk and Margaret E Ward.

The first-named was consulting editor at Magill magazine when the now-infamous comments about sexuality were made by the senator.

They've recently come to light, as he's thrown his hat into the ring for President, and the general media consensus seems to be that his words were taken out of context.

However, the panel -- particularly Waters and Ward -- made a very compelling case that these are irrelevancies and just muddying the water.

The substantive issue, as outlined by Waters, is this: did Norris say what he is reported to have said, and does he still think that? It's a tricky one, but reflexive claims of homophobia and conspiracies are doing nobody any good -- not even the senator.

Staying with Newstalk, The Breakfast Show had a good chat with their midweek panel about TDs employing family members.

Shane Ross, as usual, spoke a lot of sense, though it was distressing to hear the blustering, evasion and flim-flam of Fine Gael Chief Whip Paul Kehoe.

People often say, "Oh, Fine Gael are just as bad as the other crowd," which is just being obtuse; historical evidence shows the main government party have always been far more upright and conscientious than their predecessors.

But the fact remains: some members are pulling FF-style stunts by giving jobs to family, and Kehoe's attempted defence was so lame and full of sophistry, it was like listening to Cowen or Bertie all over again.

On a much higher level, thankfully, was The John Murray Show (Radio 1) slot with newscaster and psychotherapist, Michael Murphy, where they discussed the pioneering Carl Jung.

Jung's work is fascinating, with all that stuff about the collective unconscious and archetypes and dream revelations.

And he didn't seem half as obsessed with cigars shaped like penises as Freud.

I wonder what he'd make of our political system? Probably consider it beyond any form of professional help.

dmcmanus@independent.ie

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