Imagine being a child. Completely without power. Imagine if Daddy, who's meant to love and keep you safe, does unspeakable things to you sexually - things you don't even have a name for. Then imagine how you might look for help. What to do to get it stopped. Who you could tell. This secret is so appalling you can't possibly hide it.
Racism can be overt - like a knee on another human being's neck. Or insidious - like corralling people with few choices in life into shoddy, ill-equipped direct provision centres and shrugging off complaints with words to the effect that nobody forced them to come here.
Women are not more clever, imaginative, constructive, hardworking or vibrant than men. Nor are they less so. Women are not more needy, idle, helpless, shrill or vulnerable than men. Nor are they less so.
Once upon a time, we presumed intensive care was something which only happened in hospitals - now we know intensive caring can exist on a broader scale: community-wide, city-wide and country-wide.
There is much we don't yet know about Covid-19. But there are some things we do know which could be used as part of the containment drive. Number one, we know it's highly contagious. Number two, we know people in frontline healthcare are more exposed to the virus than others in the population - among those who've contracted it, one in four is a health worker.
Where were you when the Twin Towers were hit? When the bank guarantee was announced? When the Princess of Wales died? I don't suppose too many people remember where they were when they first heard the coronavirus or Covid-19 mentioned. But it is epoch-defining. And it will impact personally on us all, in large ways and small.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, concerns were raised from time to time about over-reliance on the virtual world. People risked turning into recluses, warned researchers - apps for groceries, takeaway meals, clothing companies, dry-cleaning services and Amazon meant internet users were becoming anti-social.
In an interview, the public intellectual Malcolm Gladwell described the man who exposed Wall Street's crooked financier Bernie Madoff as an obsessive, "the sort to wipe down his keyboard with disinfectant after he opens his computer".
Rome is burning while our politicians fiddle. Or fiddle about, anyhow. Britain is stirring the Brexit pot and no-deal is back on the menu. Meanwhile our political leaders casually tell us we must be patient while they take their time weighing up the whos and hows, the ifs and maybes of government formation.
Shakespeare trowels it on about his native land's supposed perfection: "This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England." In 'Richard II', he characterises the country as another Eden, a demi-paradise inhabited by a happy breed of men.
Roll up, roll up, roll up and watch coalition poker played for high stakes by Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil. Their negotiators are wearing their poker faces - an essential prop because nobody has a royal flush.
There has never been a female Taoiseach - in a century, not a whisper of it. Just let that settle for a moment. We've had a number of women as tánaiste, but male leadership of the Irish State has appeared to be a permanent arrangement.
Is Brexit a Titanic-scale disaster or a national salvation plan for Britain which will confound doubters? Time will tell. What we can say for certain is it's full-steam ahead now for Brexit, with the transition phase under way to lock down trade deals - or not.
We have a problem as voters, we really do. It's that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are so similar - they are two sides of the one coin. Other countries have a left-right split between the two largest parties, but the division here is along Civil War allegiances rather than any significant policy difference.
Homes toppled, their occupants discarded without a second thought - thank goodness those days are gone. Evictions were a feature of Irish life under British rule in the 19th century but the past is a foreign country, they do things differently there.
Ulster Says Yes. Not a wholehearted yes, not a "let joy be unconfin'd" yes or a "let's do a happy dance" yes - more an "ach, all right" resigned sort of yes. But that's an advance on Ulster Says No. And perhaps "ach, all right" is appropriate since the deal gives language status to Ulster-Scots.
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