15 December 2011

#OccupyDameStreet - Stop haranguing me, Vincent

Vincent Browne gets ready to harangue
#OccupyDameStreet, Dublin, Wednesday 15th December
Though things may be quieter on Occupied Dame Street of late, with the normal frenzy reduced by cold and rain to a steady hum of well-insulated-shed-building (the tents that have survived thus far just won't be of any use in a prolonged sub-zero spell or snow), there was more than a flurry of activity yesterday afternoon as Vincent Browne (#VinB himself) dropped down to interview a few folks involved in the Movement.

In the end, after hearing about a number of people's backgrounds and reasons for participating, he chose to speak to four of us with a fifth person invited on to the show later that night. Somehow I found myself included in the group to be interviewed on site, but thankfully he wanted to have a Camp resident participate in the live discussion later on, so I could happily rule myself out of that little shindig.

Talking with his producers beforehand it was clear that he had wanted to come down to the Camp for a long while, but that events in Europe and the Budget had been of more immediate concern. His questions were hard and direct, and he strongly challenged my use of Michael Taft's analysis of the recent Credit Suisse Global Wealth report on income inequality in Ireland, but all-in-all I think I acquitted myself without too much dishonour. "Come home with your shield, or on it", is what my imaginary Viking mother always used to say, and I think I can stand here proudly this morning with my shield held aloft and intact (as can all those interviewed, but I know not that nature of any advice given to them by their imaginary Viking mothers, so I am unsure as to the relevance of my somewhat rambling metaphor for their specific situations).

Be your own media, #VinB!
#OccupyDameStreet, Dublin, Wednesday 15th December
The main thrust of #VinB's questioning both onsite and for the panel later was his amazement that the Irish people are still so acquiescent after all the calamity and indignity that have been heaped upon them. Where was the outrage, where were the marches and the masses in the streets, a question that those of you familiar with this blog will know that I have been asking myself for the last three years.

Watching it all later on TV was not as traumatic as I expected. In the months before February's election I was a fanatical viewer of the show, not so much for the panel discussion or even #VinB himself, but more for the accompanying Twitter conversation that accompanied it. Tonight with Vincent Browne is not so much a news show as a spectator sport, and many is the evening that I have sat back and mused loudly on the throbbing, pulsating vein in Conor Lenihan's head or the unusual colour of puce he was turning, so I was actually more apprehensive about the reaction to the show amongst the Irish Twitterati than I was to what my imaginary Viking mother would think. Aside from a comment or two on my sartorial elegance, on the whole it wasn't too bad, and the reaction to the other interviews with my colleagues was also surprisingly positive.

To be honest though it shouldn't have been so surprising, we see the support of the wider public every day as they pass by and give us the verbal and material encouragement we need to carry on thorough the rain and sleet and gloom of night.

The whole experience almost makes me want to track down Conor Lenihan in whatever Oligarch-funded undisclosed location in Russia he is hiding in and congratulate him for going on #VinB as often as he did.


In a perfect example of media consuming itself, the event was covered by a DCTV film crew, who stopped #VinB afterwards for quick interview on what he thought of #OccupyDameStreet (video included above), and they in turn were filmed by Donnacha Ó Briain (Director of The Revolution Will Not be Televised) who has been following protest movements in Dublin for the last few months and is an almost permanent fixture in the Camp, the unblinking eye of his omnipresent camera capturing all and sundry, pretty much part of the furniture at this stage.

Anyway, the show is now up on TV3's website (though I'm not sure if it is accessible to our international readers, sorry), so you can watch it and pass your own snide comments on my sartorial elegance below.

You know you want to.

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At 1:27 pm, Anonymous steve said...

you did great i thought. all of ye. think i used to work with cillian..

At 11:54 am, Anonymous Niall said...

It helpfully confirmed most of my demeanour-related objections to Mr. McGuirk.

At 12:13 pm, Anonymous Dan said...

You did great. Nice work


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