Saturday, March 11, 2017

It's GUBU, I Tell You (1990s)

Okay, people, listen up! Harold has had a flash of inspiration. I've developed the definitive nomenclature for all the weird and dysfunctional behavior which is The Movement. I don't know why I didn't think of this before.

When I first arrived in Ireland in 1982, the Taoiseach (prime minister) of the time was a charming rogue named Charles Haughey, a man who could have given Bill Clinton lessons in strange political behavior, except Haughey was (and is) a lot more efficient at it. 

There were some absolutely Clinton-esque goings-on in Haughey's administration. Most of these I won't get into, but in the week after I arrived, a wanted double murderer named Malcolm McArthur was arrested by the Dublin Civil Guards (police) while staying as a house guest in the apartment of the Irish Attorney General, whose name escapes me. McArthur was actually being squired around Dublin in the Attorney General's government-chauffered Mercedes as his guest, and he discussed the nationwide hunt for the murderer (himself) over tea and tiffins at the theater and at the race course with the Garda Commissioner and the Minister of Justice, who at that time did not know that McArthur was their man.

When confronted by this, Haughey told reporters "I find that situation grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre, and unprecedented." Charlie Haughey's political arch enemy, Dr. Conor Cruise O'Brien picked up on this and coined an acronym, "GUBU," for all the weird things that were going on under Haughey's administration. He would begin his column in the Irish Times with, "Well, we've another GUBU today..." Although O'Brien intended this term to apply only to his hate object Haughey, everyone else in Ireland caught on to this expression and all of a sudden everything that was weird, silly, bureaucratic, dodgey, and or generally corrupt in Irish society was dubbed "GUBU." It crept into the language in Ireland; for all I know it is still used.

I have referred to the Bowel Movement, to the Bad Craziness, and other terms in the past to try and express that peculiar combination of corruption, incompetence, egotism, stupidity, and lunacy which is so uniquely ours in this mess we call a Movement. But I think from now on I'm going to Hibernicize this whole concept under a term I hope catches on throughout the whole Net and elsewhere when referring to the insanity which is US---"GUBU". It's short, it's snappy, it's alliterative, and it says so much in two short syllables.

Grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre, unprecedented. GUBU is you. GUBU is me. Come and do that GUBU that you do so well. 

Of course, the monarch and exemplar of all GUBU is The Great Man Himself, Dr. William L. Pierce of lawsuit and bank robbery and blowing up Disneyland fame. But there are so many other competitors for the title of Prince GUBU that he may not retain the title for long.


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