Friday 6 December 2019

We know what Spicer means

Brendan O'Connor

Stock picture
Stock picture

Every day was an eternity, Sean Spicer told Ryan Tubridy last Friday, of his time in Trumpworld, and we could empathise.

We could empathise too when Judge Charleton talked last Friday on how the carry-on being exposed at his tribunal was like something from Flann O'Brien.

Indeed, it was Declan Lynch of this parish who first pointed out that the internal workings of the gardai sounded more and more like O'Brien's novel The Third Policeman, which is largely set in a kind of surreal circular eternity where time is elastic.

Sometimes, like Spicer, it can feel like we are stuck in a similar hellish eternity where a year's worth of stuff happens in a day, where the normal rules of logic don't apply.

Last Friday, at Charleton, we learnt of a chicken-and-egg style arrangement where the Garda Commissioner sends emails to the Minister for Justice telling the Minister for Justice that she should tell the Dail that she has confidence in the Garda Commissioner.

Then we are told that this was because the Commissioner was wondering if the Minister had confidence in her. The fact that the Minister for Justice did not do what the Garda Commissioner suggested and did not express confidence in her, can only mean that she did not have confidence in her, if you follow.

Then there was a circular round of phone calls that no one seems to remember and a letter from the Garda Commissioner to the Minister for Justice which was actually written for the Garda Commissioner by one of the Minister for Justice's senior civil servants.

As if all this wasn't enough, we have to try and keep up with Donald Trump, who crams as much news into each day as some presidents would into a whole term.

As we are still trying to digest a sensational book about the president, which would rival Myles for surrealism, Trump keeps things moving on as we hear he apparently referred to a whole load of countries as "s**tholes", and expressed a fondness for Norwegian immigrants.

And we barely get worked up when we hear claims that during his election campaign he paid off a porn star whom he had, in her words, "chased around the room in his tighty whiteys". We are so punch drunk from bizarre Trump stuff at this stage that it's starting to all seem normal. Indeed the accepted limits of what is normal are being radically stretched all the time.

And then, digesting all that, back to Tubs, we sit down for a comfortable evening's entertainment, and pleasant OAP and all-round nice guy Liam Neeson decides, perhaps because he is among friends, to relax, speak frankly and seemingly say that unwanted touching of women's breasts is childhood stuff.

A long, if not exactly good, Friday.

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