Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


I have a lot to do, including two new books I got today -- A Secret History of the IRA and Armed Struggle, the History of the IRA -- both of which I can already tell have a distinct bias against the group and the people behind it. Which is understandable; the IRA was hardly an organization of peace and love, and killed as many innocent people as the UDA and UVF did. They deserve to be taken to task.

But in the second book, I read a small section dealing with the Peace March by The People's Democracy, going from Belfast to Derry to illuminate the need for fair treatment and decent housing for Catholics -- the march I have Brendan's older brother, Eamonn, be part of -- and the author, Richard English, goes on and on about how the march was a deliberate provocation and ill-timed and even suggests it may have derailed any chance at peace, while glowing about O'Neill's package of nothing reforms and not even mentioning how Paisley and his ilk were so brutally opposed to them, they had no chance of being implemented.

It's interesting to see just how biased an author can be when dealing with a complex subject, and The Troubles in N Ireland are anything but easy to explain. It's not only Catholic against Protestant and poor against poor; it's Nationalist against Unionist and extremely racist, on the part of Protestants...and yes, they did think of Irish Catholics as a race different from themselves. Which was ludicrous but reality.

On top of it all, the Unionist Protestants were so used to Catholics letting themselves be slapped around and discriminated against, even the idea that they might want equal protection under the law and the right to be heard in government was a threat to their way of life. Why, those mongrels might keep breeding and out populate us all, and that cannot be tolerated! Of course, there were plenty of so-called Christian ministers perfectly willing to fan the flames of fear and hatred, Paisley only being the loudest and vilest of them.

It's funny, but reading through a lot of this material, again, Trump reminds me of Paisley -- using prejudice and intensifying the thought that someone lesser might take away what little you have, just so he can build his power base. Though Paisley, like Hitler, had the gift of eloquence as opposed to Trump's nonsensical meandering and repetition.

And then there's Nero. And Caligula. And Jim Jones, who got nearly a thousand of his followers to drink poison for him. And, of course, Napoleon, who basically coined the idea of a Napoleonic Complex. Man, you could fill a book with all the megalomaniacs who've sprouted over the centuries, each one crashing into death, just like us all, and leaving behind chaos.

It seems we will always have evil men amongst us, and they learn their tricks from those who preceded them. I don't see Trump as Hitler; I see him more as Mussolini, who postured and mugged and bullied like Trump, and who wound up killed by his supporters and body hung upside down to be spat upon.

I hope it doesn't happen, again.

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