Hardcore for Nerds

"Why sneer at the intellectuals?"*
punk music, left politics, and cultural history - previously found here.
contact: gabbaweeks[at]gmail.com (sorry, no promos/submissions, thanks) or ask
Dublin/Galway, Ireland. 26, history graduate & human rights student
HFN | Best New Punk | HFN 2012 2011 2010 2009 | HRO 2k9 | Hoover Genealogy Project | @HC4N
*from the title of a review of Arthur Koestler's Arrival and Departure by Michael Foot, Evening Standard, Nov. 26, 1943.
Feb 28
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St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin is really a maze of statues, monuments and memorials that requires a long time wandering around (or a detailed perusal of the map, perhaps) to discover them all. A few months ago I found there was a recent addition of a bust of Rabindranath Tagore, India’s only Nobel Laureate in Literature (there because W.B. Yeats was a big fan, essentially). Today I noticed this, which in fact dates from 1996, unveiled that year by Ireland’s first female president, Mary Robinson. The inscription says:

"To the women who worked in the Magdalen laundry institutes
and to the children born to some members of those communities
reflect here upon their lives”

That final line I find especially powerful, as it’s not usual that a memorial (save for perhaps the most nationalistic and mythological) feels the need to direct its viewer into the act of remembrance. I have to admit I didn’t stay any longer at the seat after I’d taken the picture, but like many I have been doing some reflection on that part of our history of late. In any case, a group of American tourists came down from the W.B. Yeats grotto/crazy paving and asked me to take their picture towards the middle of the green (naturally, they were very polite and said thank you - I was almost going to play to the welcoming stereotype and wish them a happy visit too, but hey, some of us are actually introverts).

St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin is really a maze of statues, monuments and memorials that requires a long time wandering around (or a detailed perusal of the map, perhaps) to discover them all. A few months ago I found there was a recent addition of a bust of Rabindranath Tagore, India’s only Nobel Laureate in Literature (there because W.B. Yeats was a big fan, essentially). Today I noticed this, which in fact dates from 1996, unveiled that year by Ireland’s first female president, Mary Robinson. The inscription says:

"To the women who worked in the Magdalen laundry institutes

and to the children born to some members of those communities

reflect here upon their lives”

That final line I find especially powerful, as it’s not usual that a memorial (save for perhaps the most nationalistic and mythological) feels the need to direct its viewer into the act of remembrance. I have to admit I didn’t stay any longer at the seat after I’d taken the picture, but like many I have been doing some reflection on that part of our history of late. In any case, a group of American tourists came down from the W.B. Yeats grotto/crazy paving and asked me to take their picture towards the middle of the green (naturally, they were very polite and said thank you - I was almost going to play to the welcoming stereotype and wish them a happy visit too, but hey, some of us are actually introverts).

dublin irish history magdalen
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