Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Manchán: Making My Job That Little Bit Harder

Last year I made a television series called No Béarla, in which I travelled around Ireland trying to speak only Irish. I didn't get on very well, especially in Dublin, where I was often abused and ignored. Outside the capital, people were more friendly, but they rarely understood what I was trying to say. What struck me most were the expressions I saw in people's eyes: shame, fear, anger, jealousy and yearning. I wanted to know what lay behind this complex cocktail of emotion...
(From today's Irish Times - The plot to make Irish an alien language by Manchán Magan)
I'd hazard a guess that the abuse, ignorance, shame, fear, anger, jealousy and yearning (really?) were a direct result of Magan's patronising demeanour and confrontational attitude. I remember watching the first series and thinking that although I speak perfectly fluent Irish, there's no way I'd entertain that gobshite if he approached me in the street. It was all the more disappointing because I had seen him interviewed by Páidí Ó Lionáird on Árdán before the No Béarla series was first aired and he came across as engaging, funny and genuinely interested in promoting an intelligent debate about modern attitudes to the Irish language. Then I watched it and thought "oh well, ho-fucking-hum then". I'm sure series II will be a revelation.

I'll review Des Bishop's In The Name Of The Fada in about an hour (I was out at a real life Gaeilgeoir thingy when it was aired last week - well done to the clever schedulers in RTÉ who broadcast it while Des was live on stage at the big gig for Seachtain na Gaeilge). I've higher hopes for that one...

11 comments:

oneftroad said...

He's the very definition of an arsehole.

As you especially know, even those of us with limited Irish will happily make an effort and enjoy doing so when encouraged to do so by people who won't make any assumptions or treat you like a worthless piece of shite if you can't remember the word for something..

I watched one episode of that No Beárla when it was on and wanted to put my foot through both the TV and Manchán's smug, patronising, cuntish face.

As far as I'm concerned, he can go and fuck himself with a hammer.

Rosie said...

a little harsh, OneFor, but whatever you're having yourself...

[is very glad that they didn't run into Magan at last thursday's gig]

AJ said...

I thought that Manchan guy was ok actually, not my kinda personality but he wasn't a complete arsehole.

I thought the Des Bishop thing was ok too. Not that much Irish in it, but did kinda make me jealous that he gets to immerse himself in Irish for a year and kinda guilty that someone who "learned" the language for about 10 years can't speak it and there's this almost Yank that is gonna be able to speak it fluently (well that's his plan).

Rosie said...

i didn't/don't think he's an arsehole either, AJ, but i do think that the No Béarla series and yesterday's Times article served only to confirm prejudices and piss people off.

Ol' Gingerbeard said...

Your man Manchán annoyed me with a tale he regaled the Panel on RTE2 about a year ago about when he was in Donegal filming No Bearla.

Basically, his camera crew were blocking the path and a boy of about 10 or 12 had to walk out onto the road to get past. unfortunately for him there was a car coming dangerously close behind him which Manchán saw and the kid didn't.

So he starts shouting "Ta Glustáin ag teacht!!" at the kid (Wasn't allowed speak English - his rules) who didn't understand what he was saying to him. Luckily the car braked and passed and no harm came to the kid.

Now, what kind of wanker puts a childs life in danger by blocking the path with his camera crew and then refusing to speak to him in English - if someone shouted at me in Irish, i'd have to ask them to repeat it so what chance does a 10 year old have? - just for the purposes of his shitty tv programme.

He was a patronising wanker on The Panel that evening and was exactly the same on No Bearla. He has even claimed not to have any interest in the Irish language so why Gaelgoirs put up with him i'll never know.

I saw him at a gig once in Whelans - you were there Rosie. He looks like a twunt in real life too.

apologies for my Irish spelling, it's probably all over the place...

Rosie said...

indeed - cunt is spelled with a "c".

i imagine the stupid kid who nearly got run over by a car because he hadn't been paying attention in Irish class is an exaggerated story to prove a point - i don't think Magan's out to eliminate linguistically challenged minors.

you've reminded me though that mark Geary is playing again on the 19th of April. can we go? pleeeease?

anyway kids, stick with the unwritten rules of the blog and assassinate his methods, not the man.

aonghus said...

Gluaisteáin would be an unfamiliar word in any gaeltacht.

It's a revival neologism.

Ach má scáirt sé, agus níor thug an páiste aird air...ní chridim sin. Is cuma cad a scairteann tú i gcás mar sin.

Ciarán said...

Mangán's the kind of arsehole who wouldn't speak a word of the language until he saw there was a few quid in it for him.

(Rosie, I think I'll apologise beforehand as I just found your blog and even though it's late I might be here a while posting random comments in age-old posts. Let's blame the insomnia.)

Rosie said...

fáilte roimh do thuairimí, a Chiarán, cuma cé chomh mall is a bhfuil siad ag teacht...

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