Monday, May 6, 2013

Sorry, Toibin

I think the reason that so many of us Catholics love Bill Donohue is because he states what we are all thinking. Especially about the sort of irreverence displayed in "The Testament of Mary":

Bill Donohue comments on “The Testament of Mary,” which ended its Broadway run yesterday:

The play, based on the book by Colm Toibin, opened on April 22 and was scheduled to run through June 16. But instead of lasting 12 weeks, it lasted only two. On the day it opened, I said, “it is not easy to see who is going to be drawn to this play.”

The play bombed. That’s why it closed. Quite frankly, there aren’t enough people who want to spend their evenings watching a dark performance about a fanciful Virgin Mary who rejects the divinity of her son. My only regret is that we don’t have the results of a psychological battery of tests performed on those who like this kind of stuff.

The Irish Times’ Fintan O’Toole is furious that the play bombed. He blames capitalism. “The most basic truth about Broadway is that it’s about money. It is the raw, ruthless marketplace to which some people would like to reduce all artistic endeavour. It is a primal form of capitalism: enormous risks in pursuit of enormous rewards.”

In O’Toole’s world, plays he likes should have a long run on Broadway, even if no one wants to pay to see them (no doubt he would like to get some stimulus money to subsidize his leisure). But one of the great things about capitalism is that it accurately gauges public sentiment, rewarding what people want, and discarding what they don’t. A market economy, I am happy to say, doesn’t necessarily reward what the elites want. Which is why they hate it.

Sorry, Toibin. Looks like there aren’t enough O’Tooles out there to enjoy your angry discourse on Catholicism.

So you take libel about the Blessed Virgin Mary, turn it into slander and when it bombs you blame capitalism. "Sorry" is about the only word we have for you, or for people who spend years studying and promoting Esperanto as a language.


  1. The Irish without catholicism really are not a charming lot.

  2. Not generally, but this stuff makes Frank McCourt seem lovable by comparison.

    Colm Toibin wrote another book last year titled "New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers & Their Families".

  3. I love "not enough O'Tooles". Donohue is a certain brand of genius.

  4. Incredible short form writer. I wrote them a big email a few months before they upgraded their website and email format. It said something like "You guys should update your website and email format." [pats self on back.]

    I read his book "Secular Sabotage". He's good long-form as well.

  5. Why the side-swipe at Esperanto here?
    Esperanto may not be perfect, but I've used it successfully in Africa, South America and Europe, and it does the job. I'm at a loss as to why I merit your "sorry".

  6. I suppose Ido would have been a better choice of a constructed language at which to poke fun.

    Maybe I should have chosen something else virtually unmarketable, like the SCA. But those people always seem to be having such fun and don't really care if no one else gets them.

    It's possible that I need to hang around Esperanto speakers before I hastily judge them. Where is the nearest chapter in Northeast, OH?

    There is a famous restaurant in NYC called Esperanto. Their website is in English!! Very disappointing; I suppose they need to make money, though.

  7. I remember listening to the Esperanto version of the Vatican Radio short wave broadcast once in awhile back in the day, just for fun. Hey, they still have one!