I used an old expression today in referring to James Fallows who was defending a colleague at the The Atlantic who had written seemingly biased speculation about the Norwegian tragedy of last Friday. Mr. Fallows as some may know held a radical conservative WaPO bluggerite to account for her rants about Muslims as being responsible for the tragedy but seemed less inclined to hold a fellow writer at The Atlantic to the same standard. Mr. Fellows, in a to and fro with other bloggers, prefaced some of his defences of statements made and action takes by writing:
"Also, our system logs changes, and any of us would be additionally crazy, knowing that, to pretend that something happened if it didn't."
I thought that was a peculiar statement to make in this day and age given our grand media. From that last sentence, you might get a hint of my scepticism regarding anything, in any media, available to the average North American today. And you'd be right to do so. I'm sceptical of everything in print and all vocals from TV news channels. I'll take the date, time and place as likely being correct and an actual fact. But nothing else. As I think of it the radio news - I only listen to CBC local and earlier morning National news - has become the main source from which I think I receive actual NEWS.
Whatever, I'm digressing as I only wanted to note the fact that I'd used a phrase I'd not used for ages in describing what I thought must have been the state of mind of Mr. Fallows when he penned the sentence noted above.
The expression I used was "away [or off] with the fairies". Lovely expression meaning now: "not facing reality; in a dreamworld". It, as you might expect, has a celtic origin. Some say Scots/Irish. I'd say only Irish, but that's me maybe not being factually correct, and showing my preference for Irish origins of things I like, which you might suspect means I've not unhappy Irish associations somewhere. Your suspicions would be correct. I daily ride through the Experimental Farm to avoid the throngs - yes they travel I think as a mob - of new moms with newborn babes stuffed in their modern prams running up and down the bikes paths of the Rideau Canal, trying to lose, from my limited observation, non-existent pre-birth fat. They don't venture out to the Farm, yet, so I've real peace and quiet as I race around the various roads bordering the fields of corn, wheat, legumes etc. in the middle of Ottawa. I avoid the museum part of the farm - when my son was small we spent Sunday mornings feeding the cows, checking the pigs and in spring watching the lambing. Then you didn't have to pay and the lambing was out in barns far away from the dairy barn.
But I'm digressing squared, eh. All the fields and pastures of the Farm are fenced and all the fence posts are painted red with white tops and the tops are shaped so fairies can't dance on them. Yes they are. They are all pointed or rounded and anyone knows the only reason a farmer would do that would be to prevent the fairies from dancing on them. Least that's what I was told as a child and maybe I still believe it. My great grandfather didn't shape his fence posts out the back of the house my great great grandfather - Micky - built and when my grandfather and my grandmother had my mother in that house my mother saw fairies out the back dancing and no one then or now, she's 91, can or will convince her she didn't. My Pa, my grandfather, fixed the posts and he was blind from the last Battle of Cambrai but my Na, my grandmother, made him fix the posts. And they remained fixed even as I grew up but now the fence is gone with its posts, my mom planted shrubs and poppies and grandmother's bluebells. It looks a bit wild to me now when I go home and I wonder about the fairies. And I wonder once my mom is gone and my bothers and sisters and any trace of the Irish that took my home plot away from the Grand River if the fairies will come back and the unsuspecting inhabitants of a rational world will know how to deal with them.