Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Famine

Meme and I travelled into town to visit an art gallery, but discovered it was closed Mondays. After morning tea and a failed attempt to find the right nine-letter word for "nobleman" at Bewleys, I was left to wander around town for the day. At dusk I walked past Rowan Gillespie's haunting famine statues by the Liffey, the group of slightly larger-than-life figures framed by both Custom House and the newer steel and glass structures that pervade this quarter of Dublin.

Before the famine (1841), Ireland's population was in excess of 6.5 million. The combined effect of famine deaths and mass emigration drove it down to less than half that by 1900, with a low of 2.8 million reached in the early 60s. The "celtic tiger" economy is seeing a great resurgence, with the 2006 census indicating 4.2 million (supplemented by another 1.6M in Northern Ireland).



In the evening, Vance and I had arranged to see Borat!: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.
I spent half the film looking away from the screen in horror, with my stomach scrambled up in nervous anxiety over whether Sacha Baron Cohen was going to get lynched in various situations.

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