Another idiot with a column

looks-like-we-got-us-some-readersThere we were, meself and the youngest the other day. Reading. And who should we chance upon but the lovely Minette Marin. She writes with the Times (the posh English one) and knows a thing or two about a thing or two. It’s worth having a look at her considered opinion of people with Down syndrome here. Worthwhile because she comes at it fresh from the novel viewpoint of not having Down syndrome herself, the staggeringly lucky gal. Anyway, I read her opinion and, bless her little head (below), she has it sussed. Not only that but she is funny. I’ve read it a couple of times now because when you get belly-aching humour like this:

columnist_marrin_25526aI am convinced that it is a grave misfortune for babies to be born with Down’s or any comparably serious syndrome.

well what else is there to do but laugh along and spread the infectious fun? Oh she be a hoot and no mistake, Auntie Gretchen. I probably wouldn’t blog about it at all, being drawn to the lazier end of the pool myself, but something this good deserves a wider audience in my community. I mean, the Times must have a paltry couple of million online readers, and more than anything that prompted me to help spread the message that Sharon started. She’s done a sight more on it than ole lazybones here will, but if even three or four hundred thousand of my regular readers can in turn blog about it, and the inherent humour in nuggets like:

columnist_marrin_25526aSad observations over decades have convinced me: a damaged baby is a damaged family, even now

well then Mimette’s brilliance can only help people like me and lots of you too. Now she has obviously not done this in some kind of fluffy, schmaltzy way either. She’s had people not like her for her opinions! I know you will be as shocked as I was. Listen to this:

columnist_marrin_25526aThere have been vicious attacks on me in the blogosphere by disability-lobby extremists.

How can people be so cruel? And I’ll wager that some of those vicious attacks were by scum in heavy tubular wheelchairs with those sticky-outy bits for their feet, BANGING RIGHT INTO POOR MINUETTE’S SHINS! I’m not going to let that kind of nonsense go unanswered, by God. Extremists! Attacking her! In the blogosphere! Of all places!! I got a basketball once in fifth year on the upper courts, whummpp right in the blogosphere, and I can tell you that even the memory of it now, seventy years later, brings tears to my eye. Bloody disability-lobby extremists. Nevertheless, sticks and stones and all that, but Minewt’s humour is unflappable. She bounces right back with a pithy creaser to leave not a dry seat in the house:

columnist_marrin_25526aMy point of view does not make me a heartless eugenicist.

Well, it made me laugh anyway. I can’t help it if you lot are slow, can I? But enough of the single entendres. It’s when she gets to the dirty talk that Minitwit really goes for broke. It also reveals the true genius of this towering colossus of forward thought. She sees things, she goes places that you and I, mental cripples that we are, cannot even dream about. And that’s the genius bit: she goes to these uncomfortable places, thinks these uncomfortable thoughts, and solves these uncomfortable problems for us. I’m beginning to think we should start to worship Mini-god instead of just laugh at her.

columnist_marrin_25526aWhat happens when the Down’s child becomes a teenager, interested in how he or she looks and keen to discover love and sex? It is all too predictable – a growing sense of sexual rejection. Any babies born will be taken away, probably rightly. It is heartrending.

Always back to the nookie. It’s almost as if she’s reaching back into my own teenage years growing up in rural Catholic Ireland and going to an all-boys school. And I can tell you, it can take months to get over that growing sense of sexual rejection. And somehow, she predicted it. In teenagers. The vision!  (She didn’t really say that bit about the babies being taken away. I, like, totally made that up. Except I didn’t. And she, uh, did. Quite rightly, of course.)

Ultimately though, and here’s what you all should’ve seen coming, it’s about the economy, stupid! Them Downs babies, as designer genes go, are reahhly, reahhhally expensive. Downer. Sorry for mentioning the r-word, but Mine-ette (French for little landmine, non, Nan P?) said it first:

columnist_marrin_25526aAt a time of recession, with social services understaffed and underfunded, there will be little money for social care. Even now there is nowhere near enough money to help everyone with learning disabilities lead a full and semi-independent life.

Of course it’s not all incisive cut-to-the-heart-of-it candour from our heroine. There’s the other, tiresome side of it. The pansies bloom too whenever Mintybreath’s sun shines. Dominic Lawson in the Independent warbles on, having a go at those poor, defenceless UK doctors who are trying their best – in difficult conditions, let me add, in difficult conditions – to save everyone from the scourge of Down syndrome. Sigh. We just have to have the lily-livered softies, don’t we? And reactionary nitwits like India Knight (name like that she must be a hippie, right?) are trying to bring love into the equation, like that’ll make up for the cost of having a relative with Downs. Puhleeze!

Anyway, I hope you’ll join my jolly crusade in trying to stamp this nonsense out. If you read through the responses to Minivan’s original article you’ll find lots of the ‘Well done, bravo, needed saying’ comments in there. They’re the ones who get it. The ones who remember when a mongoloid’s place was in the loft, not out affronting right-thinking people on the bus, for the love of Jesus! These sandal-wearing bloody Special Olympics crowd get right on my tits! So we’ll start the great row-back right now. Who’s with me?

jacob1Will we tell him or will you, Minette?

Postscript: Thanks Sharon for keeping an eye out. And you’d think I’d lighten up and get with this lovely seasonal WordPress snowfall, but it seems all the gobshites* come out in December too. So a kinda semi-mumbled apology for the heavy post, maan. Next one will have Bob Hope and Lou Abbot as guest bloggers. Or was it Lou Costello. Eh, we’ll dig up something.

*Dear non-Irish readers, you have just been initiated into Irish English’s greatest little gem of an insult. The harder you can stress the gob part of gobshite, the more you belittle your intended insultee. My Christmas gift to you. Use sparingly for maximum effect.


26 comments on “Another idiot with a column

  1. Mel says:

    Well. Not much to say really. Except this damaged family love their damaged baby with all their damaged hearts, poor things, and so do all their foolish friends and family.

    I think we were probably already damaged before we had Luke- who isn’t by adulthood? Imagine the state we’re in now!

  2. Sharon says:

    Thanks for making me laugh so early in the morning. Sure with the readers you get added to my own huge numbers, we’ll get through to them all.

    And such a thoughtful gift; bubble bath, £5, the best of disparaging Irish curses, priceless.

  3. Christine says:

    Can you hear me screaming all the way from across the ocean?

    Why are people just so damn insensitive and clueless? I read Ms. Marrin’s article and felt sick to my stomach for so many reasons. The first is that I fear a good many people agree with her and I hate to think of my son growing up in that kind of world. The second is that she is just propagating the ignorance and validating the destruction of an entire group of people. The third is that she does address some of my own fears about raising my son. I do worry about what will happen when I am not around. Mostly, I am sick because while yes, no parent wants their child to be born with syndrome, a child is still a child. She seems to lose sight of that, and basically gives absolutely no positives about bringing a child with Ds into this world. Bravo to India Knight for reminding readers that love should be the driving force when they choose to have and raise a child.

    If Ms. Marrin wants to see damaged, I suggest she take a look in the mirror.

    Thanks for letting me vent. I must say, I did enjoy your delightfully wicked spin on this particular bit of venom.

  4. lisadom says:

    In the words of that great philosopher Sister Wolf:

    What a Cunt.

    (sorry to be so eloquent so early in the day)


  5. Cal says:

    She is just a stitch, isn’t she? I laughed so hard at her comments I almost cried. Or maybe those were just tears and there was no laughter…hmmm.
    I also loved the beautiful picture of your family. I’d like to have her point out just which part of it is “damaged”…
    …and…it is snowing on your blog! YESSSSSSS. The best kind of snow, too: the kind that doesn’t have to be shoveled!

  6. Lisadom said it for me.

    (I feel really odd swearing in front the little man)

    That faux articulate wench is proof that some damage is not so easily spotted at first, but goes a lot lot deeper.


  7. NAN P. says:

    Oh God, I am so weary of fighting idiots… this is SO tiring. In this cold weather, I would much rather sleep it off… and hibernate 😉

    Seriously, what is wrong with people? Or is it that they have been around all along and we have not noticed them???

    In any case, yes, Minette could be translated as “little Mine”. Ouch! Imagine calling your daughter after a weapon… talk about “damage” and “damaged”!

    And I love the snow fall.

    And I am glad that Jacob has taken up reading, there will be no stopping that child…

  8. Shockingly deplorable. I’m not an ‘all PC all the time’ girl, but what she’s said is just not right.

    Thanks for the Irish-language lesson. I’ll use it against my friend XBox.

  9. The Muse says:

    Think this says it best in her profile:

    “Minette Marrin is a journalist, broadcaster and fiction writer.”

    Some of the best fiction I have read in a long time.

    Long live the blogosphere!

  10. Peajay says:

    There is only one damaged person in the article and that is the sadly lacking author. How dare she propogate such blatant canard? I can only assume her brain is in her ass cos God knows she’s taken to talking out of it.

  11. Nick McGivney says:

    Thanks everyone. It’s dismaying to have to reply to this type of ill-conceived tripe, but I feel bound to do it and hopefully in some small way counteract the nonsense. So I’m glad that among my regular and much respected readers I see some new faces who don’t necessarily have a personal stake in the Downs issue. So very glad to see you all here. It makes the hurt of the ridiculous red words above a little less hurtful. Thank you all for that.

    And yes, Muse, long live the blogosphere.

  12. Life is too short to be dealing with such muppets

  13. XBox sent me over (I call him BoxBoy though, or tiny little man)

    This post was brilliant. I think I have something similar in my archives somewhere… replace Downs with Autism and your arsehat for an Aussie arsehat (or that drop kick Jenny McCarthy).

    Bravo dude. Bravo.

  14. Ciara says:

    Am spitting mad Nick, god what a muppet, is a letter to the editor too strong? Am seriously considering it… she should apologise for suggesting that my family is damaged.. sorry sense of humour failure about it today..When you see the ‘trouble’ Johnathan Ross and Russell Brand got into for much less it really annoys me that you can write whatever you like it seems…

  15. Elbog says:

    Sorry, I’m just tired.
    Her problem is focus, or, not seeing the forest for the trees. We’re all damaged. That we care for each other, sometimes, is the only thing that makes us human. I live a “full and semi-independent life”, but it often doesn’t feel that way. From what you’ve presented, she makes the mistake of only seeing the disability. She sees the speck in our collective eye, distracted by the huge beam jutting from her own forehead.

  16. enc says:

    It was sickening. Her part. Not your part.

  17. enc says:

    Who’s that balding guy squeezing your son?

  18. Nick McGivney says:

    Magneto – lovely to hear from you. Am enjoying your own quiet little place too. I can see what attracted X Box to it. Thanks for the solidarity and keep, er, knitting.

    Ciara – well done on your letter to the Times Online ed. It’s the only way to let some people know we’re here.

    Elbog – great to hear from you as always. You got her in one, but really if she’s going to be a dork couldn’t she pick a less emotive issue to dork about?

    enc – sickening is the beginning of it at least. And that’s not baldness. Hadn’t you noticed the snow settling on my blog? Hmmm?

  19. Well, your heading about sums it up there.

    I know of a lot of damaged families, with damaged children…yet, ‘society’ labels them as normal, picture perfect, but you only have to scratch the surface to find they ain’t
    ….bet this ‘writer’ came from a ‘normal’, ‘undamaged’ family….

  20. The only people in a position to decide whether or not to abort a child are the parents. If you start imposing restrictions on what women are and are not allowed to do with their bodies, it is the end of a woman’s right to choose.

    In the US, where the Supreme Court has chipped away at a woman’s right to choose to the point, abortion can become illegal at any moment.

    It is not for anyone to decide for anyone else what sort of child or life with a child a parent must choose.

    All of these arguments against what Minette says are ridiculous.

  21. Monica says:

    Cute picture!! Great blog!! Perfect title, I think you totally summed it all up, what a complete Idiot she is!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Completely appalling. That woman, not your adorable son, obviously.

  23. Nick McGivney says:

    Annette Kramer: Dissimilis cogito, ergo dissimilus sum.

    Monica: I am charmed, and thank you.

    Iheartfashion: Never doubted your meaning!

  24. mary says:

    Hi I live in the uk and have a beautiful nephew living in Ireland with Down’s i heard that a v negative story was published in the Irish Sunday times last week. Does anyone know of a link to this article and what are your thoughts on it pse? thanks and love this blog

  25. […] I have written about you before, Ms Marrin, but last year I had the time and patience to have a little fun. Twelve months on and I have neither the luxury nor the inclination for gentle ribbing. Your oppositional stances on this issue of intellectual disability are confusing and downright dangerous to a minority of people who need advocacy, not mixed signals. […]

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