Friday, September 05, 2008


Maybe every city has one- an incredibly stupid monument dedicated to nothing in particular aside from the delusion of an architect that he is oh-so-smart and the further delusions of governmental money dispensers that this shows the "progressive" nature of both themselves and the city in which they reside, as well as somehow, mystically, contributing to "urban renewal". Dublin's O'Connell Street, north of the Liffey River has, in the past few decades, acquired a reputation of sleaze, something that it still seems to have to Molly's eyes despite the best efforts of the (illegitimate ?) city fathers.
In 1966 the IRA decided to blow up the 'Nelson Pillar' that sat at the present site of the 'Monument of Light'. The tribute to Lord nelson did indeed go boom boom, but whether out of incompetence or a desire to avoid neighbourhood damage they did a half-assed job and what was left came to be known as "the stump". The army was called in to finish the job, which they indeed did, with no compunctions about damage to other nearby structures. Ooops !
Meanwhile O'Connell Street continued to acquire more of the Irish equivalent of dollar stores and boarded up buildings, making it seem very much like the average street in downtown Winnipeg. Whattyado? The answer in 1999 was to build a 120 meter high stick into the sky, illuminated at its upper 12 meters at night. How this helps to "unsleaze" a neighbourhood is beyond Molly's limited mind, but who am I to question decisions made at upper class drinking parties ? If X is in a government position to dispense money to Z because Y knows both X and Z, then how can we question such a wise decision ?
In any case this bizarre "improvement" has acquired the usual set of Dublin nicknames. Here are a few:
*The Spike
*The Binge Syringe
*The Stiletto in the Ghetto
*The Nail in the Pale
*The Pin in the Bin
*The Stiffy at the Liffey
*The Erection at the Intersection.
Personally I like the last the best. Keep smiling and see you back in Canada.

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