An Irishman Abroad
December 10, 2010 6:02 AM   Subscribe

"Today we're talking to a real Irishman about the financial crisis in Ireland - so what exactly is going on over there?" "Do you really want to know? Well I'll tell you" A remarkable and succint description of where we are post global recession. Warning - quite sweary.
posted by Happy Dave (50 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wanking
Fucking
Bankers
posted by Wyatt at 6:05 AM on December 10, 2010


What did he say five years ago?
posted by hawthorne at 6:20 AM on December 10, 2010


I want this man to speak at my wedding. Cripes.
posted by DNye at 6:21 AM on December 10, 2010


Doesn't the working man eventually pay for everything though? Ain't nobody else to generate wealth.
posted by LogicalDash at 6:24 AM on December 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


A real Irishman? Golly!
posted by steambadger at 6:31 AM on December 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


The outro was delightful.
posted by boo_radley at 6:34 AM on December 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


What did he say five years ago?

I don't know, but over here in NYC, all the real Irishmen were strutting around like they owned the place. (You see, they'd fly over to buy things.)
posted by Threeway Handshake at 6:34 AM on December 10, 2010


He says it was greed, greed, greed and easy money that killed the Celtic Tiger, but fails to point out 'twas greed and easy money that created the Tiger economy in the first place. Unlike their Asian brothers, the Celtic cat was an illusion of prosperity fueled by easy money amplified by tons of EU direct investment and absurdly low taxes (for the EU.)

The real mistake was the Irish thinking that they actually and truly had their shit together as a country. The slow realisation by the Irish that they are actually who they have always been (the poor man of Western Europe) seems to be the biggest crash of them all.

Now they will go back to being poor and all will be as it always was on the Emerald Isle.
posted by three blind mice at 6:41 AM on December 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Geez, who took his Lucky Charms.
posted by punkfloyd at 6:41 AM on December 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yeah...wanking fucking bankers...let's see what his kids do the next time the wanking fucking bankers start throwing easy money around. Is he going to remember his lesson and plant it deep in his kids' minds or will the next generation get duped by the bling just as easily as he did?
posted by spicynuts at 6:43 AM on December 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Doesn't the working man eventually pay for everything though? Ain't nobody else to generate wealth.

Bollocks. Most people were spending like there was no tomorrow and laughing at anyone who said there might be a shortfall later. The working man hired a polish gardner and took his girlfriend on weekend shopping trips to New York several times a year.
posted by anigbrowl at 6:46 AM on December 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Feck!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:55 AM on December 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


His point is that it will be the working stiff who pays all that off.
posted by unSane at 6:56 AM on December 10, 2010


The interviewer deserves a punch in the snark.
The man on the street delivers a from-the-gut assessment, and this tool drops in a Riverdance question? He might as well have called the guy a leprechaun for all the lack of respect.
posted by grabbingsand at 6:59 AM on December 10, 2010 [18 favorites]


Apparently, all the Irish should shut up now that they're country's tanking, because all Irish think alike, and all of them were celebrating the Celtic Tiger phenomenon.

As someone living in Iceland, that POV really doesn't sit well with me.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:00 AM on December 10, 2010 [15 favorites]


I smell fake.
posted by bobloblaw at 7:11 AM on December 10, 2010


I smell fake.

I must say, that final 'fuck off!' did have a slightly unpleasant odour.
posted by robself at 7:16 AM on December 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ah, shite. I didn't know the Wankin' Bankers were that bad.
All my assets are tied up in the Wankin Bank.
...if you know what I mean.


What's the deal with the Michael Flatley comment? The guy is unaware 'Celtic Tiger' refers to Ireland's economic growth starting in the late 90s?
Or he's just fucking with a guy who's obviously concerned with his people's plight, passionate and well informed about genuine suffering inflicted by financial irresponsibility.

Yeah, let's dick with the people who give a shit about things, there's a good idea.
I want this Irish guy living in my neighborhood.
The interviewer seems like the kind of guy who, if I have an accident and hit a tree or something he'll drive by looking at the steering wheel in my chest and pause in his tweet/texting only to comment how passe' an "Alien" reference I'm making.

Some people are so insensitive it borders on surreal. Reminds me of Sam Kineson talking about starving people being stupid because they could just move out of the desert.
But he's a comedian. This guy, what, goes around provoking people? Ha ha, your financial situation sucks. Gimme a Riverdance there ya little leprechaun.
Ha ha ha! Cancer and intestinal viruses are things to laugh at! He's really from Chicago, but he had a production called "Celtic Tiger" - get it? I'm a total card! When I'm 52 I'll be a deck! *rimshot*
Ha ha - potato famine! Those stupid Irish.

How do these people get on t.v. The guy makes a bunch of intelligent and/or provocative comments in a passionate manner. It's a target rich environment, complete bonanza for an interviewer and we get a Flatley reference which is only vaguely related to an offhand comment the guy made regarding the situation in the past. Which the interviewer brought up in the first place. Gah! Idiot. Go in the street and mess up all the man in the street financial interviews why don'tcha Jason.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:23 AM on December 10, 2010 [8 favorites]


Yeah, those idiot Irish deserve what they had comin' to 'em. I mean, literally no other nation in the world was as profligate and wasteful as Ireland -- they was burnin' money in the streets of Dublin, they was! What's the Gaelic word for schadenfreude?
posted by blucevalo at 7:27 AM on December 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


grabbingsand & Smedleyman, work on developing a sense of humor. He wasn't teasing a homeless junkie at the edge of his rope. He teased someone on a rant. A good rant, but a rant.

It was funny.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:37 AM on December 10, 2010


Not to mention, Michael Flatley grew up in Oak Lawn, IL.
posted by gjc at 7:40 AM on December 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


"I know you've just described how your country was bankrupted, and you're clearly upset, but WHY'NT YE DANCE A JIG FER US? TOP O' THE MORRRRRRNIN' TO YA!"
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:41 AM on December 10, 2010 [13 favorites]


/reads comments

/heart sinks

The flippancy and ignorance of some of the comments here comes off about as well as the Minister for Finance's contention that "we all partied" when times were good, and is about as accurate.

I expected wilful misunderstanding and such crap from the usual media organs and opinion/GRAR mills but I had hoped for a little more from MeFi. Keep dreaming, I suppose..
posted by psychostorm at 8:04 AM on December 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


>>> ... work on developing a sense of humor.

But it wasn't funny. The reporter wanted to defuse the situation because it had obviously taken a far more serious turn than he expected, leaving him with a segment more honest than it was meant to be. He couldn't leave the rant as it was, ending on a down note, because that is just not the way we cover news for a mostly American audience. This was a fluff piece, something that CNN would assign to Jeanne Moos, so what does he do to bring the happy?

He finds the one vaguely relevant reference that comes to his mind, and it happens to be a dig on the worldwide perception of the Irish via Riverdance.

There was an article in Harper's years ago, can't recall the contributor's name. Was written by an Irishman who'd spent most of his work life in America. He was writing about returning to Dublin, noting the changes that had and hadn't happened. At some point, already feeling low from lack of progress, he steps into a gift shop. He spies a big stand-up full of VHS videos, Riverdance in various forms. Across the top is a photo of Michael Flatley and words to the effect of: "The Ultimate Expression of Irish Culture." All of Ireland's art and history ... all reduced to a flabby guy in a headband from Illinois.

It's insulting then. Insulting now.
posted by grabbingsand at 8:21 AM on December 10, 2010 [13 favorites]


People have been killed for less than that Riverdance "joke".
posted by Optamystic at 8:33 AM on December 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


> grabbingsand & Smedleyman, work on developing a sense of humor. He wasn't teasing a homeless junkie at the edge of his rope. He teased someone on a rant. A good rant, but a rant.

Huh? He was a hack reporter who totally botched a good followup. It wasn't funny, it was tone deaf and inane.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:48 AM on December 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Times are tough, even for Bob Geldof.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:19 AM on December 10, 2010


because all Irish think alike

No, they all tink alike...
posted by MikeMc at 9:20 AM on December 10, 2010


grabbingsand & Smedleyman, work on developing a sense of humor. He wasn't teasing a homeless junkie at the edge of his rope. He teased someone on a rant. A good rant, but a rant.

Fuck Off!
posted by fullerine at 9:22 AM on December 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


punkfloyd: "Geez, who took his Lucky Charms."

this kid
posted by symbioid at 10:30 AM on December 10, 2010


I wish they'd asked Father Jack what he thought of the situation (SLYT, possibly NSFW audio)
posted by Decani at 10:56 AM on December 10, 2010


That was a pointless, moronic interview. Until the last five seconds, when it turned into magical, leprechaun gold.
posted by From Bklyn at 11:04 AM on December 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


The flippancy and ignorance of some of the comments here comes off about as well as the Minister for Finance's contention that "we all partied" when times were good, and is about as accurate.

I would be the last person to say that the government or (most of) the banks managed matters well. I'm particularly upset that with the government for playing 'beggar my neighbour' by cutting the corporate tax rate to the lowest in Europe, and then being too spineless to even collect it, instead giving away 2/3 of the potential revenue via the double Irish while multinationals laughed up their sleeves in disbelief.

But the blame doesn't belong entirely to evil financiers. Ireland had an insane real estate bubble with prices rising an average of 15% a year for a decade. Price / Earning ratios (ie rent) in Dublin were hitting 100:1 in 2006. A lot of people got carried away with easy money, either spending or investing too much.
posted by anigbrowl at 11:46 AM on December 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


"We all partied" is up there with "nobody could have predicted the levees would be breached" in retroactive buck-passing. No we didn't.
posted by kersplunk at 12:10 PM on December 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


>>> ... work on developing a sense of humor.

But it wasn't funny.

Your opinion, grabbingsand. I LOLed. I'll bet the Irishman did, too, albeit in retelling the story his righteous reply increased with each rendition. And then all his friends lofft, and dined their pints.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:38 PM on December 10, 2010


"We all partied" is up there with "nobody could have predicted the levees would be breached" in retroactive buck-passing. No we didn't.

Nobody is suggesting the Brian Lenihan's statement is anything other than an attempt to wriggle off the hook. But could we agree that some people did, in fact, get carried away? There were people buying those houses at increasingly ridiculous prices. Having gotten burned in a housing bubble when I was younger, I attempted to talk several people close to me out of doing so, and stick with renting until the market cooled down. Did they listen? No.
posted by anigbrowl at 2:27 PM on December 10, 2010


They just played this interview on CBC Radio (As It Happens), accompanied with the information that this particular Irishman used to be part of a musical combo called Ryan's Fancy, who were apparently quite big in the Canadian Maritime provinces back in the day.
posted by Flashman at 3:07 PM on December 10, 2010


And now that I actually look at the video - that's just a few blocks away in my home town of Halifax Nova Scotia. Weird.
I'm not sure how genuine this whole 'interview' really is, or if it's just a scripted bit. He does seem to be laying it on a bit thick.
posted by Flashman at 3:21 PM on December 10, 2010


Flashman beat me to it. A little more about Denis Ryan.
posted by maudlin at 3:58 PM on December 10, 2010


And yep, it's a bit, but it's also what Ryan fucking well believes.
While the AllNovaScotia piece got the part about it being a legitimate interview wrong, Ryan, who has lived in Halifax since 1980, said Friday he stands behind his opinions about his native Ireland. The video had hundreds of thousands of hits by Friday night and was even mentioned on Twitter by Chicago-based film critic Roger Ebert, who also posted the video on his blog.

“That is my opinion, there’s no question,” Ryan said in a telephone interview from Toronto. “I’m disgusted, as you can appreciate, growing up in that country and seeing what’s happened to it.”
posted by maudlin at 4:00 PM on December 10, 2010


The gentleman in the video is Denis Ryan - a respected figure in the trad music scene of eastern Canada. Here he is with his former bandmates Fergus O'Byrne and the late Dermot O'Reilly singing a beautiful rendition of The Tiree Love Song (SLYT) at the East Coast Music Awards in 2004 after they were awarded a prize for Lifetime Achievement.
posted by holding the stick at 4:06 PM on December 10, 2010


anigbrowl: "Nobody is suggesting the Brian Lenihan's statement is anything other than an attempt to wriggle off the hook. But could we agree that some people did, in fact, get carried away?"

This is hilarious, as it seems to suggest that culpability is shared equally. I'd submit that a poor financial oversight apparatus and runaway banks not only allowed but encouraged this disaster to happen.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:11 PM on December 10, 2010


Oh, silly me. It's entirely the fault of the government and the banks.

The government that was re-elected in 2002 and re-elected in 2007, with the election taking place in the middle of a corruption inquiry. The inquiry whose scope included a sitting prime minister (Ahern) who had admitted receiving tens of thousands of euro as 'loans' from friends while he was finance minister, and which he felt no need to document, explain or pay back at the time. And who were swept right back into office, even though the property market had obviously peaked in 2006 and was rapidly headed downwards?

Does anyone outside the establishment share even a smidgen of responsibility for the ensuing fiasco? Like, the people who voted an obviously corrupt government back into office? I grew up in Ireland and have been an observer in multiple general elections. We have a small, well educated population, a free press, subsidized public broadcasting, and one of the world's fairest and most transparent electoral systems. You may not have voted for the current government, but a good lot of people did.
posted by anigbrowl at 5:44 PM on December 10, 2010


Yeah, that's what I was saying about why it galls me when people blame the entirety of the Irish population for what happened. There were plenty of good people who voted differently. But honestly? I don't think elections have as powerful an effect as people give them credit for, and it'd be naive to think the election process could clear out what was wrong with the financial supervisory apparatus.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:58 PM on December 10, 2010


And by "the election process", I mean a couple voting cycles.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:02 PM on December 10, 2010


The supervisory apparatus put in place in 2003 by the incumbents? I hate to admit it, but we basically like a bit of corruption. It's a defect in our national character from being oppressed so long, I think.
posted by anigbrowl at 6:16 PM on December 10, 2010


and if ye're keepin it up, I'm gonna be beatin yer head with me big shillelagh stick! What d'ye think o' that?
posted by pressF1 at 7:44 PM on December 10, 2010


I think I love him.
posted by walrus at 4:10 AM on December 11, 2010


You know, reading some of these comments made me think that it's probably the whole "blame the victim" perspective in our modern corporate-controlled world that makes angers me the most.

Additionally, enough with the leprachaun jokes. People in different english-speaking countries have different accents, just like they do all over Amerrica. Travel around some time, it'll make you less ignorant.
posted by Hickeystudio at 6:30 AM on December 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Anyone know who made those sweet shades he is wearing?
posted by specialk420 at 3:21 PM on December 11, 2010


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