Max McGuiness in The Dubliner
“Let’s celebrate the fact that Dublin is turning into a bland metropolis. Why? The alternative is insufferable.”
The good old days, the rare old times (note how the past is always a hostage to cliché) may have something to be said for them: no traffic (for those who had cars), the odd bit of shelling and shooting during the Tens and Twenties but little enough crime afterwards. No fake tan. No “Amanda from PR.”
But the real problem arises when, faced with the vacuity of the present, we start trying to fill this void with rehashed junk from the past. Nostalgia is poisonous. For the past is another country and when we try to go there, we wind up in a cultural Albania. Dublin, and Ireland generally, is littered with tasteless monuments to years gone by (there we go again) – hideous statues of Molly Malone, Phil Lynott and James Joyce. A starred distinction for excellence in the field of self-pity and self-congratulation must go to those responsible for erecting famine-stalked bronze beanpoles alongside the shimmering moolah pit of the IFSC.