A few years back I, reluctantly, attended a conference in Amsterdam dedicated to broadcasting technology: all the bits and bobs that are needed to make TV programmes. We’re talking about big satellite vans, caption software, and studio kit. You get the drift. I was kinda schmoochin’ around my client’s exhibition floor booth and was engaged in idle banter with a colleague. We were - quite properly - interrupted by a conference delegate who, as it turned out, was an Executive - and senior one at that - from a major American TV studio. He heard my accent (it’s mildly Northern Irish) and proceeded to engage in what I can only describe as that unique genre of banter that Americans do when they meet someone from the ‘home country’. Typically this requires the aforementioned American to make use of an arsenal of Ireland tropes: typically related to extreme alcohol consumption, engaging in shady paramilitarism against ‘the Brits’ and generally gadding about in green Paddywhackery activity.
To be fair, even though this happened a few years ago, I was somewhat taken aback, even then. This guy was a senior honcho in a TV studio. Some degree of worldliness should, surely, have prevented him from making such a tit of himself. But no. Instead he proceeded to quiz my colleague and me about how much of the “black stuff” we’d be downing later in some Irish bar he’d recommended, overlooking some canal or other. My colleague (a well polished, and well-educated bon vivant) was having none of it. He made the point that he much preferred a fine Armagnac over that black slop. The American looked perplexed.
Something caused me to recall this meeting with that strange American when I heard the American President, Joe Biden, regale the Irish parliament - the Dail - with some inscrutable anecdote about addressing “10,000” descendants of the conquistadors on his presidential campaign trail. I watched the clip on Twitter. I could see the TDs on the benches squirming with embarrassment as he approached the punch-line about “NO IRISH ALLOWED”. The comments on the tweet featuring the clip were priceless. “It never happened,” said several. Some - most - were desperately searching for the point of the story, and the end-point for the rambling. “Please, no, not an anecdote Joe”.
Biden, it seems, is lost, as we say here, “in his own wee world”. As senility sets in, lies and bland piffle about climate emergency and Covid jabs have defined his ad libs. As he peels his eyes away from the autocue panels we can almost hear the whimpers from the Comms team behind the scenes. As the tortuous, staccato, bumbling and hideously delivered nonsense spills from his tongue he sounds, increasingly, like an Irish-American reincarnation of Uncle Colm from Derry Girls.
No matter how tall the tale, or circumlocutory the delivery, Biden can get away with this shite because, well, he can. He’s the President. But he can do nothing about the fact that nearly everyone watching - apart from his selfie-buddy, Gerry Adams (of IRA fame) - asks themselves how someone like this became Leader of the (formerly) Free World.
Compulsive lying is what, increasingly, defines The New Era. The drug companies lie. The climate emergency fanatics lie. The President lies. The governments lie. The security services lie. The BBC lies. Lies breed lies and are repeated ad nauseam by more liars. And then they collectively congratulate themselves for lying consistently and wonder how much more lying they need to do to keep the corporate sponsors paying and the media covering.
Goodbye Joe. May the luck of the Irish go with you.
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I have long had an interest in American affairs; thanks to Ken Burns and Shelby Foote (The Civil War), "Woodstein" (Watergate, Nixon, Felt, CIA), Paul Sheehan (Vietnam), Ellsberg (Pentagon Papers), Hutton report, Miles Goslett (circumstances of Dr David Kelly's demise) and others relating to US/UK Intelligence Services "cooperation" because of family involvement. It is inescapable that "we" get the Politicians we deserve - JFK (and I am a true anarchist in that I consider all political parties to be a waste of space and time, so not well disposed to the left or the right) stands head and shoulders above "the rest". Won't waste space by listing the Minor League or English 5th tier football equivalents, but it is nightmarishly scary that the almumni of this cohort have for 50+ years had the keys to the "red button". Mea culpa for contributing to the mess "we" are all in, right now.
Thanks! Brilliant & very amusing post.