At Least One Bullshitter From West Belfast

Malachi O’Doherty is in a bit of bother.

I empathise.

I am a wee, fat, baldy, 62 year old man from West Belfast. And I can talk all day about the Falls Road. Impressionable people might consider me a genius. Discerning people from West Belfast might consider me a bullshitter. The further away from West Belfast I get…the more I am hailed as a genius.

There is money in Bullshit. Unfortunately I have missed out on the lucrative trade in Bullshit. Readers of this Blog get to read my Bullshit for free.

Sometimes you have to pay for Bullshit.

The biggest Bullshitters are those middle aged men jin An Cultúrlann, looking haunted in the hope of scoring with a female American tourist.

Malachi O’Doherty will have no problem with me saying that he is also a wee, fat, baldy 62 year old man from West Belfast. Obviously he is genius. We know this because a lot of people say he is. Yet a lot of people from West Belfast consider him a Bullshitter.

We both have an obsession with telling complete strangers about our lives …as scholarship grammar-school boys on the Falls Road in the 1960s. In fact we went to the same grammar school.

Malachi is much respected in the LetsGetAlongerist community. Or the “progressive” secular community, where his stirring tales of overcoming his background are popular.

But Malachi and I have another connexion. He likes to photograp and talk about election posters. Why do I do it? Well, in part because all Elections are unique and I want to cover it to best of my ability. There are clues in a poster. The location, the visibility, the props. But essentially I am using the posters as a visual aid to profiles of candidates. All the ingredients are there….nominations, hustings, posters, canvassing. It is like putting a jigsaw together …it might just give me a flavour of a constituency.

I dont know why Malachi does it. But his article on the posters in yesterdays Belfast Telegraph has offended many people…not just women. In writing about Election posters, I have not written about “plunging necklines”, “come hither looks” and “raven head temptresses”.

To be frank, a wee fat baldy 62 year old man only makes an eejit of himself to be talking like that.

I am usually the tacky one.

Malachi is “Writer In Residence” at Queens University, Belfast. I am not “Writer in Residence” at Queens University, Belfast.

Malachi has offended people. And Malachi is offended that people are offended. He berates Slugger O’Toole for not putting his piece in the Belfast Telegraph in context. The posters of some male candidates were also critiqued by a female journo. And dont we understand Irony? What happened our sense of humour?

Yet…Malachi seems to have miscalculated. He is at heart a serious journalist who writes pious articles about our squalid little society in Norn Iron. He has a certain ….gravitas. But really a piece of trashy tabloid space-filling is something he should have stayed away from.

Of course those who regard Malachi as a Bullshitter are enjoying his discomfort. And those who hail him as one of the greatest minds of this or any century are divided as to whether his previous (in their view) impeccable record of political correctness should be taken into consideration.

As one wee fat baldy 62 year old man from West Belfast to another…probably not Malachi’s finest hour. But I think he will be rehabilitated more quickly if/when he blames himself rather than everyone else.

In the meantime, you can search Yahoo to find images of Malachi O’Doherty. Like myself …he is no oil painting.

Meantime I am off to Belfast City Hall with my newest placard. “Je Suis Malachi”.

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3 Responses to At Least One Bullshitter From West Belfast

  1. zig70 says:

    Did you listen to his interview on BBC eveEx, ‘I’m a serious journalist’ writing in that rag. Poor show. I think there will be an space to fill for you Fitz after that car crash. I’ll not have a Je suis Malachi about me on this one.

    • I didnt listen to it. He actually came across pretty well at a seminar in December 2013 on Peace Journalism and you will see it in my archives if you type his name in “Search”.
      I am not really a fan of LetsGetAlongerists of course.
      I am I hope …pretty true to the values that I was born into. Of course all generations are different. But at heart I am the same person as my father.
      Clearly other people have different experiences of school, church, neighbours, Troubles but there seems to be a whole sub culture in the Arts…typically Angelas Ashes and Magdalene Launderies where posh people want to hear how bad things were for the poor Catholic Oirish (to be sure to be sure) and I cant deny that some people had a horrible life.
      And theres no shortage of writers, playwrights, journalistss who are providing these memoirs.
      Sometimes I think that I could have written a great book about my life in West Belfast. Just one problem. My parents were absolutely amazing and made sure I had everything I wanted and needed.
      My life will never be in a book or filmed. It was simply too happy.
      But if my life is ever filmed, I will be played by either Danny de Vito or Liam Neeson.

  2. political tourist says:

    We are all FJH

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