Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Nortsoide Funeral For A Nortsoide Star

I had Stephen Gately's funeral on in the background today while I did the washing-up. It was sad and moving as these occasions always are. As images of the dead man flashed up on the screen I was freshly struck by how beautiful he was in life; the generous features perfectly offset by classic celtic colouring and a dreamy expression in his grey blue eyes.

I had reservations about the eulogies at the end of the Mass. Sweet and touching though they were, I was under the impression that we're not supposed to have them. In your humble blogger's view, eulogies can lead to bizarre unChristian abuses as exemplified by the funeral of the late and very unlamented fascist, Vera Birdwood. The service took place in summer 2000 at the High Anglican St Michael and All Angels Church in leafy Bedford Park, a very bells and smells place replete with candles and fetching statues of the BVM and other saints. Rather desecrating the holy atmosphere, a eulogy for Birdwood was delivered by a former leading NF man who spoke of Birdwood's devotion to the Nazi cause. Admittedly, it's an extreme example but you see what I mean.

Speaking of clapped-out old bigots, Dolphinarium has launched a new prize: the Jan Moir Award for Applied Prejudice. The very first Jan Moir Award went to who else but Jan Moir. It was a tight contest with Jan Moir pitted against Mary Nutball MEP and Titus Oates of the National Secular Society which ran to the finish, so to speak but in the end, Moir clinched the prize. The citation read, "for outstanding services to contemporary bigotry which included extraordinary displays of insensitivity to bereaved relatives, the Dolphinarium Committee* awards Jan Moir the first ever Jan Moir Award."

Accepting the award with gratitude at a glittering ceremony held at Mary's Cafe, Peckham, Jan Moir said: "In what is clearly a heavily orchestrated internet campaign I think it is mischievous in the extreme to suggest that my article has homophobic and bigoted undertones."

*The Dolphinarium Committee consists of the following distinguished personages: Voltaire's Priest, Splints, Brendan McCarthy (Tabletista Section) Ann Widdecombe MP, Chair: Red Maria.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Eulogies can lead to bizarre unChristian abuses as exemplified by the funeral of the late and very unlamented fascist, Vera Birdwood."

What the hell are you on about? Because one nutcase Nazi had a eulogy at her funeral 9 years ago, NOBODY is allowed to have one??? Complete crap. My mother died of cancer 2 years ago and my eulogy made me, my family, relatives and friends feel a hell of a lot better on the day and got a round of applause. That is the purpose of a eulogy. You're right, it is an extreme example, way too extreme. You only mentioned it to show your knowledge and liberal views. When you lose someone close to you and have to give a eulogy yourself, you'll have a better understanding of this subject then.

You speak of fascism and then attack Jan Moir's right to freedom of speech. A paradox, methinks!

As for the "Nortsoide" snobbery, you're way off. Those people are more down to earth and friendly than you'll ever be. They gave Stephen Gately a great send-off and we should be proud of them.

10/18/2009 5:10 AM  
Blogger Red Maria said...

Whoah, hang on, I didn't mean any offence with my comments on eulogies. I'm in two minds about their appropriateness at Catholic funerals. I should have added the following clause to the relevant sentence: "eulogies may be comforting to the bereaved and it is them in the main, after all, that funerals are for."

Apropos Jan Moir, I don't dispute her freedom of speech, in fact I defend it but free speech is for me too and I have exercised it by legitimately criticising her comments.

I think you misunderstood my reference to the Nortsoide, which was intended affectionately - remember The Phoenix's parody of Bertie Ahern, Doiry of a Nortsoide Taoiseach? Stephen Gately was a Nortsoide star, he was given a tremendous send-off by the Nortsoide and yes, I do feel stirrings of pride for both.

10/18/2009 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't misunderstand anything about your "Nortsoide" reference as there was nothing "affectionate" about it in your writing. Now you've been called out on it, you're trying to make out something that wasn't there. Mocking the way people from the Northside speak by writing "Nortsoide" isn't affectionate. It's crude, unfunny and unnecessary. Just write Northside instead.

Your comments on Jan Moir weren't "legitimately criticising her comments", they were character assassination. Referring to her, you said: "speaking of clapped-out old bigots." Really? You know what age she is. the state of her life and that she's a bigot? Surely, YOU are the one who's misunderstood. It's a juvenile tactic to resort to childish name-calling when you can't logically tackle what she wrote. Jan Moir is entitled to her opinion and the hysterical witchhunt whipped up against her (which YOU are part of) is insane . Even if I disagree with someone, I still want to hear their opinion. I don't use bullying tactics and personal insults to beat people into submission as you are doing with this grossly unfair piece.

10/19/2009 1:52 PM  
Blogger Red Maria said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10/20/2009 12:28 PM  
Blogger Red Maria said...

Au contraire, Anonymous, I know how I meant Nortsoide, you don't. And I didn't mean it mockingly at all.

Perhaps it was crude, unfunny and unnecessary. Then again, perhaps you see offence where none exists.

My comments about Jan Moir may have been harsh but I think character assassination overdoes it, as does the suggestion that I am part of a witch hunt against her. As you will see from my post above, I deprecate those who have reported her to the police for the column.

Of course Moir is entitled to her opinion, of course she's entitled to express it, no matter how insensitively and irresponsibly but I, then, am equally entitled to my opinions and equally entitled to lampoon her for what I consider to be a nasty piece of trash-writing, thick with sly innuendo and ancient prejudices.

10/20/2009 12:40 PM  
Blogger Merseymike said...

Interesting that this particular group of Catholics seemed far less bothered about Stephen's sexual orientation than the hierarchy.

But it still seems somewhat hypocritical given the party line - so glad that I gave up religion!

10/23/2009 5:03 AM  
Blogger Catholic Mom of 10 said...

Some young lad took me to task over my suggestion that Gately's priest mention marriage & the difference of 'partner'. I love Boyzone & Gately's music often gets played on my blog. Eulogies my father as one of 12 is always doing one! But I agree with Red Maria they aren't allowed. Of course they also have a tendency to saint the dead person when it is prayers that are needed. Me ..I'm glad I never left the Catholic Church like the poor commentator above..or was it just religion he left? Wonder where he will go after his funeral? Can't be the same place as us!

10/25/2009 10:53 PM  

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