Friday, September 28, 2007

Save Tara Campaign

I posted on this last Spring, but as the writer (of the e-mail I copy-and-paste here) and I have commiserated, the Green Party entering into coalition with the eternally corrupt Fianna Fáil since April's protests appears shamefully and frankly not to give a damn either, speaking of another Tara.

(And belatedly after this original post I checked out "" as opposed to the address below for the official Tara protest. Well, it's a West Hollywood house threatened by yuppie WeHo developers who rule that enclave of affluent gays, elderly Russian Jews, and those motley trendinistas who flourish thanks to rent control. Likewise, the LA City Council today gives in to real estate magnates who want to Manhattanize our whole city in the name of packing millions more in and somehow expecting them all to take the Red Line. Yeah, I'll see those starstruck newbies sipping lattes on my next subway trip to work as these corporate drones and empty nesters abandon the Hummer and the hottub for rubbing shoulders with those unable to afford WeHo's annoying "house blend" of smug trustafarians and pampered pensioned. I despair at the bulldozing outside my window of what remains of the open spaces of California [as my neighbor to the north notes below]. Irish or Angeleno, Bay Area or Meath, we struggle for keeping our natural heritage-- which passes in my hometown as less than a century rather than of millennia as "old"-- intact.)

Here's Lee Templeton's letter to us; there was apparently a protest last Saturday here even in L.A., not far from Selznick's old studio, that I found out about too late. But, please do what you can to make this issue known. I will be at a conference of lit crit types next week in Tacoma at which the Irish consulate will be present, and plan to do my bit to talk up this issue of cultural preservation. Count me (even if I risk being lumped with those in WeHo) among the "bien-pensant." Over to Lee:

This Kevin Myers over at is a bit of langer isn't he?

Writing on the controversial expansion of the M3 Motorway (that's a 'freeway' to my fellow Norte Americanos on the list), Myers takes up the side of the Irish government and the corporate developers who are eager to plough through a landscape older than Stonehenge. And somehow MY culture gets involved:

Whenever show business takes sides on any public controversy, the other side is probably right. Let that wisdom be your lodestone. So it was with some gratitude that I saw the actor Stuart Townsend leading the recent objections to the M3 motorway project in Meath. end quote

Dude! What's the deal with harshin' on Hollywood? And it IS Hollywood he's talking about, because the article goes on to say:

quote again:
Twenty minutes' one-way journey-time translates into forty minutes a day, and given a forty-six week working year, this becomes over 150 hours a year: the equivalent of nearly four unnecessary working-weeks sitting in the car, every year, for scores of thousands of commuters.

Now, the smug bien-pensant can easily dismiss the mental health and the family-lives of such lesser types. For these latter are largely unimportant, plain individuals, who probably live in housing estates in Meath and Louth, not in palaces in Hollywood, such as that inhabited by Stuart Townsend and his Oscar-winning girlfriend, Charlize Theron, (who probably doesn't know where or what Tara is, but she backs it anyway).
end quote

Yeah fine. Make this about California. And you really should, because nowhere else in the world could provide Ireland with a sterling example of what happens when a government sets priorities around an auto culture. When it values progress and efficiency at the expense of history and landscape. When it (to borrow again from Myers) becomes a society that views its own archaeological treasures as "the rotting post-holes of settlements that vanished 3,000 years ago."

For some reason, it's the unknowable of Tara that Myers considers a weakness. He says "Notwithstanding that Meath is the home of an extinct civilisation, its archeological riches are unlikely to compare with those, say, of Monte Cassino in Italy, a place I know well."

The kicker here being that the Italian government paved through the Cassino landscape with a motorway of their own. "See," Myers seems to suggest, "if a former empire can do it, why not us?"

Anyway, the slam at Hollywood (and the Oscars! Who can hate the Oscars?) has me good to go on this one. I'm online this morning furiously trying to read up on the past year's worth of history so I can effectively advocate for the preservationist argument of this issue tonight at a academic meeting. I'm also writing a letter to my local branch of the Irish Consulate (something you fellow Norte Americanos might also enjoy doing! I'm using linen stock letterhead and everything! Totally retro. Check out the handy list at the bottom of this email. Read up on the whole story here: )

I also encourage any of us who want to discuss or debate this issue to join me or challenge me or whatever it is you political types like to do. After all, it's been very cool that you've read this far.

And remember: If you can't do it for Ireland, do it for David Selznick!

Lee "Hooray for Ballyross" Templeton

P.S. That phone number again:
Embassy of Ireland
2234 Massachusetts Ave. Washington D.C. 20008
tel. (202) 462-3939/ fax. (202) 232-5993

Consulate General of Ireland
Ireland House. 345 Park Avenue - 17th Floor. New York, NY 10154-0037
tel. (212) 319-2555/ fax. (202) 980-9475

Consulate General of Ireland
535 Boylston Street. Boston MA 02116
tel. (617) 267-9330/ fax. (617) 267-6375

Consulate General of Ireland. 400 North Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60611
tel. (312) 337-1868/ fax. (312) 337-1954

Consulate General of Ireland
44 Montgomery Street, Suite 3830. San Francisco CA 94104
tel. (415) 392-4214/ fax. (415) 392-0885


Miss Templeton said...

There's a very good letter to the editor in the responding to Kev:

Opinions on Tara are short-sighted

The observation "huge pressure to 'develop' the area will ensue" is made all the more clear by today's other news out of Tara Hill:

Prime Tara Hill lands sell for combined €1.23m - plus

Again, this made more than its €30,000/ac reserve. The 25ac holding had been offered for sale in its entirety or in two separate lots, but was sold in one lot to a business person with local links.

Auctioneer James Kinsella said that the lots were sold as agricultural land but there was possible development potential due to the ideal location just over 100m from Tara Hill Church with spectacular sea views.

Also, some of my friends responded with some great comments:

"That's David O.(')Selznick, you know..."

Have signed the petition, in spite of having always thought that what Tara needed was a nice bit of road and some condos. If we don't remember where we came from, then we don't have to think about where we're going.

"Kevin My-Arse is a legend.

His attacks on single mothers, immigrants, the GAA, Michael Collins, 1916, MotherTeresa, Diana, et al means he is as respected as the chewing gum on your shoe.

His fables about reporting in Belfast in the early 70s during the worse of 'The Troubles' were hilarious. He shagged his way through loyalist molls and republican dolls and claimed he was within an hair's breath of being caught 'in the sack' so often with these frustrated wimmin that James Bond surely was based on him, retrospectively.

Harmless and irrelevant."

Maybe. But when you pick on the Great Spotted Hollywood Liberal, you can start getting used to hearing from me. The GSHL may not be an endangered species, but it is at least protected in my house. Except for Barbra Streisand. She's on her own...

Miss Templeton said...

More responses from my friends:

I know nothing more about the Irish M3 controversy than what is quoted below.

Relevant points missed so far:

-The amount of pollution generated by the aforementioned idling and moving cars represents a significant consideration.

- Mr. Myers fails to consider alternative spending possibilities for the money allocated to mortorway improvement. Could some combination of public transit, telecommuting incentives for some of the drivers, and smaller and more efficient vehicles offset some of the delays caused by the existing roads?

- Mr. Myers uses a childish form of fallacious logic by assuming that those whom he dislikes must always be mistaken in their views.

-Mr. Myers also engages in a form of propaganda often used my amoral adults: argument by attacking a despised group. In this case, the composite image of Californians, people from Hollywood, and liberal activist celebrities in the entertainment industry form an object of derision, designed to distract the reader from intelligent, civil discourse about a serious issue.