So today we awoke to the news that John Waters is being paid €30,000 (aka, more than Mouse makes in a year) by RTÉ because someone on TV implied that writing and advocating against gay people being allowed to marry might qualify you as a homophobe. The other persons mentioned by Rory O’Neill have also been compensated for this dreadful trauma (that’s the trouble with gays, they can’t know just how hurtful some names can be) and according to the Irish Independent the total sum being paid to these guys amounts to €85,000 of taxpayers money. My last post on this matter was criticised by some as being overly conciliatory. I agree. The time for reasoned debate is over. My friends, I’m here to advocate for blind, unthinking revenge. It’s got a bad rep, but I do think that its moment has come. What we need in this situation is sheer, vindictive malevolence. A complete lack of mercy. My friends, we need a total and utter bastard.
Let me explain. In the fourth episode of Blackadder the Third, “Sense and Senility”, Blackadder has to put up with a pair of insufferable, stuck up actors. He learns that every time he says the word “Macbeth” the actors have to go through a long, complex and extremely painful ritual to banish bad luck. Blackadder, naturally, treats this like a big, shiny red button marked “press here to feel total joy”.
I believe that RTÉ, unwittingly, has now given everyone in this country such a button. What have we learned? That anytime someone calls John Waters or the Iona Institute a homophobe, RTÉ has to pay them my annual salary before tax. So, let’s push the button.
I hereby announce the commencement of Operation Blackadder. It goes like this. Anytime you are stopped on the street by an RTÉ newcaster looking for your opinion for one of those stupid Vox Pops, casually mention that John Waters and the Iona Institute are homophobes. Call into an RTÉ radio show and say that John Waters and the Iona Insitute are homophobes. If there’s an event where you can be sure RTÉ cameras are rolling, make sure to be there with your “John Waters and the Iona Insitute are Homophobes and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt” T-Shirt. Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth. If done successfully, there will be two possible outcomes.
- RTÉ goes bankrupt within a week. This will also mean that John Waters and the Iona Insitute will be obscenely wealthy so this is not ideal.
- RTÉ realises very quickly that they backed the wrong fucking horse.
I am under no illusions that Operation Blackadder has any real chance of success, these things rarely do. The only way something like this could have a real chance is if people working in RTÉ, gay employees and straight allies who are livid at their employer for its craven surrender and enrichment of bigots decided that they wanted to send a message. I mean if, hypothetically, enough RTÉ employees decided that there was safety in numbers, enough casual on-air mentions could bring the entire organization to its knees in a matter of days.
Completely fanciful of course. If however, anyone working for RTÉ is reading this and is feeling rather pissed off right now? Do share, won’t you?
This plan does have some precedent but more on a much smaller scale with much lower stakes. It’s not a bad plan but, as you said, it could result in enriching the wrong people.
(Also, when I hear “cunning plan” all I can think of are the Lawn Gnomes from Freakazoid: “We are wise and cunning. We stole men’s fire and tried to hide it in our pockets. That was painful and dumb, so we became even more cunning.” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSQWx8X8WHk starting at 0:29)
UPDATE: a reaction to the RTE’s decision to pay off the poor offended homophobes
Oh yeah, it was a fantastic speech. You can see it on You Tube. I actually had free tickets to see the show that night and ended up not going. Regretting it massively now.
Oh, Mouse, you diabolical mastermind, you! I love how you think!