Kevin Myers: RTE's self-destructive and irrational pessimism like a malignant tumour on the nation's psyche
Published 12/10/2010 | 05:00
Most cancer patients do not die. But all cancer patients die if their oncologists prefer the tumour to survival. And this is the state Ireland is now in. Our primary problem is one of hope. The cancer of despair is our enemy. But far from our commentariat -- the political and media classes -- examining ways of escaping from the cancer ward, they are almost united in turning the illness from being operable into terminal.
RTE is certainly behaving as if it is suffering from a malignant brain tumour that is making irrational behaviour seemingly "normal". The huge and utterly uneconomic salaries of RTE's major players are based entirely on licence tithes forcibly extracted from the public. It should be in RTE's interests to create the sort of hope which is the basis of a prosperous economy. Instead, RTE broadcasts a non-stop dirge of plaint and woe, the very creatures which will assuredly bring both us and RTE down.
All economies are based on hope and faith. The pieces of paper of a currency are worthless in themselves. The hope is that the institution that issued the note will be faithful to its promises to pay the bearer gold to the value specified. This gibberish only has value when participants in the currency game agree to treat its myths as real truths. But they're not "truths". They are benign falsehoods which have real power provided that everyone involved submits to the suspension of disbelief that makes a currency possible.