4 February 2009


I, like my fellow countrypersons, have much need to think about "Society" at the moment. Unlike some experts on the subject, I do not think that society does not exist. I simply find it a nuisance.

On the other hand, it can be very amusing indeed. Last night I watched as two men wrangled on TV, like toddlers whose toy was broken, over the latest news that the Irish Government, in it's infinite (and if the Constitution is to be taken seriously, God given) wisdom has decided to crucify the public sector in order to get back the money it has squandered. I never bought a pension and now I have to be glad I did not. Clothes, as anybody who bothers to visit here may have guessed, are a priority in a cold climate and while I do not intend to spend my declining years as a burden on "the kindness of strangers", so far in my life, buying a personal pension would have been a luxury beyond all price. Thousands of people, captive contributors to a society that nobody could fathom, are about to be punished for having the foresight to prepare for difficult times that may occur as they age.

John Garbriel Borkman spent years in self-imposed reclusion after his mis-judgements brought ruin on the people round him. If Ibsen were writing today, he would have to change both context and moral climate. Borkman would possibly be portrayed sitting sipping Margaritas on the beach.

Metaphors for the times we live in?

Salad days, as we are about to find out, never last very long, but we may as well enjoy them while they are there.


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