It’s only logical that I follow up yesterdays post with the reverse angle, in this case a list of the stuff that I will not miss about Northern Ireland. I should say from the start that there are definitely more on this list — and each of a little more weight than yoghurts and a coffee shop.
Let’s start at the beginning: Northern Ireland is small. It’s very small. I’m no expert, but I think there’s about 5,000 people, unevenly spread between Belfast, Derry-Londonderry and Fermanagh-South-Tyone. Derry-Londonderry consists of a wall, and some culture — apparently. Oh and local music — occasionally. Fermanagh-South-Tyrone exists only during elections. Belfast has everything else. But there isn’t very much anyway.
Northern Ireland has been in a constant state of “Please look at us, we’re trying really hard over here! Pay attention to us, dammit!” And then some politics happens. Again. There are a few people in Northern Ireland doing great work. The rest try to keep up. Or troll.
It may surprise you to know that I hate politics. I mean, I really fucking despise politics. Particularly Northern Irish politics. Always have. But therein lies my dilemma. Politics gives me a rush. It’s exciting. It’s hilarious. It makes me angry: keeps my mind occupied, it motivates me to do something, and I get a lot of pleasure in saying “Fuck you” to the condescending, self-righteous, assholes who purport to run this country according to the demands of “their constituency” while reciting passages from the Old Testament. I will be glad to rid myself of the tit-for-tat, us vs them whataboutery and utter bullshit that is Northern Irish politics.
Each year, without fail, there will be trouble around Northern Ireland because some people want to march on certain roads and other people don’t want them to.
It’s still highly intrusive, intimidating and isn’t necessarily the best aspect of our culture to show off.
I certainly don’t include all marching bands, and their followers, when I say this. I did a photography project last year on The Corbet, a marching band from Kinallen, and can assure anyone that they take no part in any negative publicity regarding band parades — instead playing in the local towns in/around Banbridge and to elderly people in nursing homes.
Belfast, and and a vocal minority of NI, remains a pretty difficult place to be proud of between the months of June and August.
Northern Irish weather sucks.
It’s cold, windy, grey and rains a lot. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
Oh please stop talking about the Titanic. I’m fed up hearing about that damned ship. Northern Ireland has better things to celebrate than a ship that sank: disaster-trouism.
Gary Lightbody 2007
Now don’t get me wrong, I like quite a lot of Snow Patrol’s music (well, ‘Final Straw’ and ‘Eyes Open’) but they are not the saviours of everything Northern Irish.
I think I speak for a majority of the population when I say that golf is boring as fuck. Just stoppit! We don’t need another golf course in the North West. Or Fermanagh.
I think that just about covers it. Oh yeah, the public transport, education system, technology sector, arts funding, support for local business and entrepreneurs, the politics and politicians stuck in the bible-led dark ages and our lack of self-confidence to break away from conservative nonsense.