I was reading a news story about the terrible fire on Christmas morning that gutted St. Mel’s Cathedral in Longford. Some Irish guy starts posting in the comments about how horrible Irish people are, for not recognizing the depth of the abuse problem.
Why, you ask?
Because when he went into pubs in Longford and started declaring that it was all because of the child abuse thing, people threatened to knock his block off.
Yeah. His fellow citizens were socially unaware, because they were upset to see their spiritual home, not to mention thousands of Irish pounds of irreplaceable old heritage, go up in flames. (Especially when it was stuff you couldn’t buy for any amount of Euros today. And it was his art heritage, too.) The fact that it took place on Christmas, after a year of many other sad and terrifying revelations, was supposed to make them feel better, not worse.
They didn’t even hit him; they just let him know, with forceful language, that they didn’t want to hear him speak upon this particular sad topic on this particular other sad day in their city’s history.
So then he’s careful to explain that he’s a proud atheist, and was saying all this stuff in a purposeful attempt to make Catholics feel bad. (No doubt other atheists are not proud of him.) Apparently he explained this to the people in the pubs, also. And still, nobody actually hit him — just threatened to.
It’s not just the amazing social ineptitude and meanspiritedness that strikes me. It’s his luck, and the pub people’s forebearance. He didn’t even get thrown out on his ear by the management. So the people of Longford, except him, must generally be the sweetest, gentlest people in the world; and he must have one heck of a hardworking guardian angel.
Either that, or he’s so obviously spoiling for a fight, that everyone saw it’d be more of a punishment not to give him one. :)
Here’s a good column about how people from Longford feel about the cathedral: “Defiance Built the Cathedral and Defiance Can Restore It”. It was built before and after the Famine, by the eagerly donated half-pennies of the poor. The Cathedral museum also served as the museum and archive for the whole of County Longford.