September 18, 2010 · 12:17 pm
Some time back, Ana the Imp posted a blog on MyT entitled ‘Obama and the Deer Hunters’, contrasting ‘un-American’ ‘liberals and socialists’ with the kind of blue-collar individualists who ‘built America’ and are instinctively hostile to the state … epitomized by the steelworker-soldiers of The Deer Hunter.
In a comment, I said ‘It seems that some people, for ideological reasons, would like to tear out whole chapters of the American story … such as the “deer hunter” class fighting not the state as such, but big business that was backed by the forces of the state.’
Around that time I went to an Andy Irvine concert, and he sang a new song he’d written called ‘The Spirit of Mother Jones’. Mother Jones was an interesting character, and personified the struggle of the ‘little person’ for fair play that was a big part of what made America the greatest country in the world. Continue reading →
May 21, 2010 · 8:01 pm
[Originally posted on MyT]
In early 2006, my local community was planning to celebrate the sesquicentenary (150th anniversary) of primary education in the parish. A weekend of events was scheduled, including a visit from the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese; a book was to be published to mark the occasion. I was asked to help with the book’s production, and readily agreed.
At an early committee meeting, someone gave me a cutting from a local paper to the effect that an American writer, JM, had published a novel based on the lives of his nineteenth-century ancestors, who came from our area. I emailed him to ask if he might like to contribute a chapter to our book; he responded promptly and had sent the chapter within a few days … it told the story of how he traced his Irish forebears and researched their lives for his novel. Continue reading →