Trans-substantial Catholics

Watch this. What are the priests doing? Catholic Litmus Test If you are Catholic, then I hope for the sake of your soul you said he is welcoming Christ bodily into the world. If you didn’t you aren’t looking too […]

Poor Hanno

According to the pop-psychologist-pseudo-science writer Malcolm Gladwell in his magnum lite-opus, the Tipping Point we as a species need risk takers. Individuals who are willing to put it all on the line in pursuit of a goal will, if they […]

Intelligence and Happiness?

A while ago, the Inquisition pondered the nature of intelligence, and whether a certain outlook or attendant mental abilities are guides to or from happiness. This has been obliquely in the news of late…

Buried by the Sea

Its odd. Most graveyards in Connemara appear to be near water, if not actually right on the coast. Why? West Galway, or Connemara, has a lot of unused space. Admittedly, much of the land Connemara is industrially and agriculturally useless, […]

Cycling Two Abreast

Cycling two abreast in Ireland is legal, a protected practice, and it is safer.

Indoors / Outdoors (Defuse)

A talk given by The Inquisition at Defuse, on Wednesday 7th November 2012, as part of Designweek in Dublin, Ireland

Nürnburg’s Extra Bombs

Nürnburg got ripped to shreds by Bomber Harris’ boys. By how much appears to be open to debate.

Law & Morality

The preface to HLA Hart’s publication of his 1961 lecture series on the meeting of law and morality is as prevalent today as it ever was.

Foy – The Bodiless Head

A bodiless head is revered as being Saint Foy, who died a cruel death.

Coffee Haters

There are people out there who pretend to like coffee. Coffee Haters – you have been warned.

False Flags 2

False flag, covert ops by Americans against Americans? Sounds crazy, and so it was deemed.

Plastic 55 Years Ago

55 years ago Roland Barthes considered the importance of plastic and what it meant, as a substance and a symbol.

Cesare Borgia’s Party

The Pope, his son and fifty prostitutes – Cesare Borgia’s party.

Marriage – A Potted History

Marriage is thought by many to be a fixed rite, one which is immovable and inflexible. The truth is that it has not always seemed so…

Blinking Morse

The world was shocked when a victim of torture started blinking morse. The story of a US aviator captured in Vietnam.


Synecdoche is a powerful, expressive linguistic device

The Inquisition by Ronan McDonnell - Contents Page
The Inquisition by Ronan McDonnell - Semper Quarens - Always Looking

Repeat the Past

Anglo Irish Docklands Headquarters - charcoal notebook-sketch by Ronan McDonnell

Anglo Irish Docklands Headquarters - charcoal notebook-sketch by Ronan McDonnell

In Ireland where we once had crumbling buildings exhibiting our departed poverty we now have bigger crumbling buildings displaying our lost wealth.

According to the philosopher George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. That means most, if not all of us.

Consider the current global economic decline. It comes after a period of high stability and growth of wealth. Not too dissimilar to the United States at the end of its first period of relative stability. The lawless days of the wild west were ending when railroads joined the two sides of the expansive country linking far-flung farms, mines and other sources of wealth. Fortunes were there for the taking. The massive earnings of the industrialists, bankers and trail-blazing venture capitalists resulted in edifices of blatantly over-indulgent excess.

Years later Joan Didion would describe these buildings and the times that created them, as viewed from a more austere era after World War 2:
“I went to Newport not long ago, to see the great stone fin-de-siècle ‘cottages’ in which certain rich Americans once summered. The places loom still along Bellevue Avenue and Cliff Walk, one after another, silk curtains frayed but gargoyles intact, monuments to something beyond themselves; houses built, clearly, to some transcendental point. No one had made it clear to me exactly what the point was. I had been promised that the great summer houses were museums and warned they were monstrosities, had been assured that the way of life they suggested was graceful beyond belief and that it was gross beyond description, that the rich were very different from you and me and yes, the had lower taxes, and if ‘The Breakers’ was perhaps not entirely tasteful, still, où sont les croquet wickets d’antan. I had read Edith Wharton and I had read Henry James, who thought that the houses should stand there always, reminders ‘of the peculiarly awkward vengeances of affronted proportion and discretion'”.

Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion, Flamingo, 1968

This article was posted by on Monday, November 22nd, 2010 at 14:55.
It is archived in America, Culture, Dublin, History, Ireland, Writing and tagged , , , , .

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