News Comment

Saturday 20 September 2014

On Garth, everybody has been wrong

Published 06/07/2014 | 02:30

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Garth Brooks at Croke Park

Not that I want to be quoting myself here - not much anyway - but back in January when it became clear that Garth Brooks would be playing five nights in Croke Park, I wrote something in this paper that I now regret.

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"There can be no doubt now", I ventured, "that by the time the Big G arrives in July, we will be witnessing tremendous levels of eejitry breaking out in so many ways..."

I curse myself now, for erring on the side of understatement.

After the events of the past week, I realise that "tremendous levels of eejitry" would not even come close to an accurate reading on the old eejit-o-meter, nor does it convey the truly epochal nature of the strange and terrible foolishness that we have seen.

How mild too, how restrained, do these words now seem? "We never know when we, as a people, are ready to release these ungovernable energies. We only know when it is done, and we stand there in awe of ourselves."

After due consideration of the contribution of all parties to this controversy, again I feel that we were erring on the side of caution.

Because this is the Big One. This one seems actually to defy the very laws which govern the universe, the concept of yin-yang, all that stuff about light and dark, good and bad, right and wrong. Everybody in this affair is wrong.

The promoters and the GAA obviously got it wrong, but so did the Council who are acting within their remit up to a point, but who must be unaware of the little-known bye-law which restrains them from giving poor Paddy a monumental pain in the backside.

The residents are wrong - and indeed those who say that they sympathise with the residents are also wrong - to be causing such grief to so many harmless poor devils, who have committed no crime other than that of loving Mr Garth Brooks, for which at most there should be a stern warning and perhaps a modest fine, not a hit of hundreds or even thousands.

Garth himself was deeply wrong to say that dropping two nights of the five would be like "choosing one child over another", when in truth it was more like choosing one night of massive eejitry over another - there is a difference.

And perhaps the ones who were most wrong, were those who complained that this story, rather than something "serious", was all over the front pages.

Apparently unconvinced that something which concerns about half-a-million people and involves fantastic amounts of money might be news, they would even claim that the Brooks story signalled the start of the "silly season", they being of the view that the silly season starts when the TDs leave town, and stops when they come back again.

Could anyone be more wrong about anything?

Sunday Independent

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