Wednesday, 13 July 2011
The Twelfth? You gotta smile...
I'll say one thing for the Twelfth - it gets you the odd good laugh.
For example, take Darwin Templeton. If you were to meet the editor of the News Letter, you wouldn't immediately say to yourself "Here's a man with a lively sense of humour!" How wrong you'd be. Yesterday I was on BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine show with Darwin, and I was pointing out that the Orange Order had been founded in 1795 after a sectarian clash which was celebrated in a Loughgall pub owned by the Order's first Grand Master, and that ever since sectarianism and violence (often fueled by alcohol) had dogged it. Darwin's response in so many words was to suggest that digging up stuff from past history was a waste of time...Geddit? Twelfth of July, Battle of the Boyne, 1690, let's keep the memory alive, marchmarchmarch... but don't go delving into history, it's a waste of time! Brilliant deadpan stuff.
And I'm still wheezing at that one this morning when another belly-wobbler comes along. On Radio Ulster, the SDLP's Conal McDevitt was talking about yesterday's Orange parade past where he lives. He must have been counting because he was able to say there were seventy examples of marchers pausing to relieve themselves into local gardens and against garden walls on his street. Drew Nelson of the Orange Order was addressing the same problem a while back, I suppose, when he called on Orangemen to postpone their drinking until after parades were over. Whereas Drew was planning to nip the problem in the bud, so to say, by stopping alcohol going down Orange throats, Conal was at the other end, essentially accepting that what goes down must come out: the answer, it was suggested, might be provision of more portaloos. What was funny about that? Think about it. A triumphalist (we defeated youse 1690), sectarian (no Catholics need apply), misogynous ( no women need apply) organisation, and the suggested answer is...provide its members with more places to relieve themselves!
Buster Keaton, thou should'st be living at this hour.