Saturday, January 26, 2019

The Troubles

Been educating myself a bit about that time in Northern Ireland. I've mostly done this by watching a funny sitcom called Derry Girls which you can find on your local Netflix, and reading a good book called Milkman which won some award. Fiction is actually a good way to learn things. It's not history, but now that I'm old and realize The Kids Today understandably have no clue about events even 20 years ago (as I didn't when I was A Kid Then), I realize "A funny sitcom about the post-9/11 era" would probably explain it better than an 800 page nonfiction tome about the same, and not just because they would be more likely to actually see the former.

But I've also done it by reading a lot of the clueless commentary, and responses, about how Ireland/Northern Ireland are complicating Brexit. By clueless commentary I mean things like the Tory Northern Ireland secretary, whose job, you might guess, is being aware of affairs in Northern Ireland, admitting she had precisely zero understanding of the basic political divide, which even I am aware of. Northern Ireland is, as I'm sure you know, dear readers, one nontrivial part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. And some of those elected officials serve in her coalition, though others do not sit in Parliament despite being elected to do so because, well, that's the kind of thing she should know.

This is getting too long for a pithy blog post, and I am still not one to explain The Troubles, but they were a massively devastating time and not just because people were blown up regularly. Civil wars are bad, and even a funny sitcom about teen girls can convey that pretty well, as can the fact that no prominent ruling politician in England, part of Great Britain, part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Island, knows as much as I do about that time.