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Sunday, 23 February 2014

Catholic Online Forums Exposes True Agenda Of Lefty Poet Kevin Higgins

One of my poems is given some close textual analysis by 'Hibernicus', the administrator on the 'Irish Catholics' online forum. It appears of their 'Abortion 2013' discussion thread. Here is what Hibernicus has to say:

“Another example of how our oh-so-arty pro-aborts use their self-image as culture heroes to push their agenda. This poem by the lefty poet Kevin Higgins is being circulated on the pro-abort sites. For Mr Higgins see HERE
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Higgins_(poet)
and here is his self-description of the poem and another atrocity in which he represents Our Lady of Knock as calling for the reopening of the Magdalen Asylums, and which is likewise circulating on the web in the same milieu
mentioningthewar.blogspot.ie/2013/07/poem-in-search-of-good-home.html
EXTRACT
Last week I put out a call on Facebook asking if there were any political or literary blogs that might be interested in publishing my poem 'What The Virgin At Knock Would Say If She Could Speak'. Roisín Peddle stepped up and published the poem on her excellent personal blog Random Descent. The poem was very quickly condemned as 'not poetry' by a foaming at the mouth member of Youth Defence, or at least a member of Youth Defence I will now forever imagine foaming at the mouth. This I considered a great success.

In a similar vein, I am now looking for a home for my just finished and very topical poem: 'Irish Government Minister Unveils Monument To Victims Of The Pro-Life Amendment' [to the Irish constitution in 1983]. Like Bertolt Brecht's 'To Those Born Later' and Mayakovsky's 'At The Top Of My Voice' the poem looks forward to a tomorrow which can only be better than today and will, certainly, be infinitely better than all our dark abortion free Irish yesterdays.
END OF EXTRACT

Mr Higgins' poem is reproduced below as legitimate fair use for the purpose of legitimate literary criticism (which I am sure he himself would agree must necessarily include criticism of the work's political-ideological assumptions), IN CAPITALS

A poem by Kevin Higgins

'Irish Government Minister Unveils Monument
To Victims of Pro-Life Amendment'

On a date to be confirmed,
when those who remember 1983
will sleep safely in their graves,
or be anxiously telling nurse
about the auld ones with crucifixes
they think are coming to get them
[HERE WE SEE MR HIGGINS REASSURING HIS AUDIENCE THAT HISTORY IS ON THEIR SIDE SO THEY CAN ASSUME THEY ARE RIGHT AND NEED NOT BOTHER WITH ARGUMENTS, AND THAT PRO-LIFERS WILL ONE DAY ONLY BE REMEMBERED AS SENILE LUNATICS AND SEMI-MYTHICAL GHOULS. NOTHING LIKE RIDICULING THE MESSENGER TO AVOID TAKING THE MESSAGE SERIOUSLY. THIS ALSO REFLECTS THE FACT THAT HE ASSUMES MUCH OF HIS AUDIENCE WILL BE TOO YOUNG TO REMEMBER 1983, SO HE IS REASSURING THEM THAT THEY ARE WELL ON THE WAY TO THAT DESIRED CONSUMMATION]
a girl, today
on holidays from primary school, [JUST LIKE TURN-OF-THE CENTURY IRISH REVIVAL OCCULTISTS PROCLAIMING THAT THE IRISH MESSIAH WAS ALREADY BORN AMONG US, ONCE AGAIN MR HIGGINS ASSURES HIS ASSOCIATES THAT HISTORY IS INEXORABLY MOVING IN THEIR DIRECTION]
by then grown into
a Maggie Thatcher suit, will thank
the Chamber of Commerce
for use of their microphone
as a pulled chord unwraps
this thing chipped from stone
AS MR HIGGINS IS PRETTY FAR-LEFT HE PRESUMABLY DOES NOT IDENTIFY WITH THIS MARY ROBINSON/MARGARET THATCHER FIGURE OR WITH THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. HIS POINT IS THAT BY THE TIME WE GET TO THE BIG ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN HE PROGNOSTICATES, EVEN THE MOST HIDEBOUND IRISH ESTABLISHMENT FIGURES WILL RECOGNISE RESTRICTIONS ON ABORTION AS POSITIVELY EVIL, AND WILL BE ENGAGING IN COLLECTIVE SHOWS OF REPENTANCE FOR THEIR QUONDAM EXISTENCE AND HELPING TO PUT UP MONUMENTS TO THE 'VICTIMS' JUST AS AT PRESENT CHURCH AND STATE ARE ERECTING MONUMENTS TO THE GENUINE VICTIMS OF THE MAGDALEN LAUNDRIES, INDUSTRIAL SCHOOLS, AND CLERICAL ABUSE - I DETECT A FAIRLY DELIBERATE REFERENCE TO THE PROPOSED MONUMENT TO VICTIMS OF INSTITUTIONAL ABUSE PLANNED FOR PARNELL SQUARE, AT THE BACK OF THE GARDEN OF REMEMBRANCE
in memory
of those forced
to change trains at Crewe clutching
solitary suitcases that screamed
one night only,

those that bled out in the backs
of London taxis after journeys
made possible by post office accounts
and extra hours at the newsagent’s;
[THIS IS AN EXPLICIT REFERENCE TO A WELL-KNOWN RECENT CASE, AND OF COURSE MR HIGGINS BLAMES IT ALL ON THE EVIL PRO-LIFERS AND GLOSSES OVER THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE ABORTIONIST FOR LETTING THIS WOMAN, WHO HAD A CLEARLY DEFINED MEDICAL CONDITION, LEAVE WITHOUT PROPER AFTERCARE OR OBSERVATION. IF HE THINKS IRISH-BASED ABORTIONISTS WOULD BE MORE FASTIDIOUS ALL I CAN SAY IS THIS IS PRETTY INCONGRUOUS WITH THE STANDARDS OF REGULATION WE GET IN IRELAND, AND WHICH LEFTIES LIKE MR HIGGINS NEVER CEASE TO EXCORIATE WHEN THEY CONCERN ANYTHING EXCEPT THE SACRAMENT OF ABORTION]
all because of a stick
which, for them, turned
the wrong colour
the wrong year
in the wrong country.
[THIS IS LIKE SAYING THAT NAZI WAR CRIMES TRIALS WERE ALL OVER A FEW PIECES OF LEAD AND PUFFS OF EXHAUST FUMES; IT'S WILFULLY GLOSSING OVER THE HUMAN LIFE AT STAKE. NOTE THAT MR HIGGINS DOES NOT SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE "CHOICE" - THOUGH THE REFERENCES TO POST OFFICE ACCOUNTS AND WORKING EXTRA HOURS AT THE NEWSAGENTS' IMPLIES THESE WOMEN ARE POOR AND HAVE DIFFICULTY RAISING THE FUNDS TO TRAVEL, THE UNDERLYING ASSUMPTION OF THE POEM IS THAT ABORTION SHOULD BE AVAILABLE WITHOUT RESTRICTION FOR ANY REASON OR NONE
And as the Minister continues,
across the road a little girl will grab
her mother’s arm and ask:
what’s that lady saying?
THE LITTLE GIRL, FOR MR HIGGINS, IS THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE INEVITABLE TRIUMPH OF THE PRO-ABORT PRINCIPLE, SO THAT FUTURE GENERATIONS WILL BE UNABLE TO COMPREHEND THAT SUCH CREATURES AS PRO-LIFERS COULD EVER HAVE EXISTED, OR THAT ANYONE COULD EVER HAVE SERIOUSLY WISHED TO PROTECT THE LIFE OF THE UNBORN CHILD.

Mr Higgins trusts in the inevitable triumph of his version of civilisation, just as his literary model Mayakovsky trusted that the Marxist-Leninist state would produce the earthly paradise. Mayakovsky was disappointed in his expectation - though he didn't live to see the worst, because he killed himself when he realised the way things were going. Just as the bloody dictatorship that sold Mayakovsky and so many others that promise of earthly paradise didn't last forever, but destroyed many lives and did a vast amount of harm, so Mr Higgins and his cronies can do a vast amount of harm even though the universal moral blindness which he prognosticates may never come to pass. Educate, organise, to resist that darkness.

In the meantime, as GK Chesterton put it "Many clever men have trusted in civilisation - many clever Babylonians, many clever Egyptians, many clever men at the end of Rome". Mr Higgins' poem reminds me of someone else who believed the constitution of his own country should be reinterpreted to get rid of unrealistic pie-in-the-sky provisions about universal rights, provisions which in his opinion could only cause trouble; someone else who thought history was on his side and that all future generations would realise how right he had been and despise his narrow-minded opponents. In that case, the opponents were those who wished to abolish American slavery, so for comparison with Mr Higgins' effusion I leave you with Alexander Stephens, first and only vice-president of the Confederate States of America, telling his audience that history was on their side:
en.wikisource.org/wiki/Cornerstone_Speech
EXTRACT
But not to be tedious in enumerating the numerous changes for the better, allow me to allude to one other — though last, not least. The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution — African slavery as it exists amongst us — the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the "rock upon which the old Union would split." He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the constitution, was the prevailing idea at that time. The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the "storm came and the wind blew."


Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition. [Applause.] This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science. It has been so even amongst us. Many who hear me, perhaps, can recollect well, that this truth was not generally admitted, even within their day. The errors of the past generation still clung to many as late as twenty years ago. Those at the North, who still cling to these errors, with a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics. All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind — from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity. One of the most striking characteristics of insanity, in many instances, is forming correct conclusions from fancied or erroneous premises; so with the anti-slavery fanatics; their conclusions are right if their premises were. They assume that the negro is equal, and hence conclude that he is entitled to equal privileges and rights with the white man. If their premises were correct, their conclusions would be logical and just — but their premise being wrong, their whole argument fails. I recollect once of having heard a gentleman from one of the northern States, of great power and ability, announce in the House of Representatives, with imposing effect, that we of the South would be compelled, ultimately, to yield upon this subject of slavery, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics, as it was in physics or mechanics. That the principle would ultimately prevail. That we, in maintaining slavery as it exists with us, were warring against a principle, a principle founded in nature, the principle of the equality of men. The reply I made to him was, that upon his own grounds, we should, ultimately, succeed, and that he and his associates, in this crusade against our institutions, would ultimately fail. The truth announced, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics as it was in physics and mechanics, I admitted; but told him that it was he, and those acting with him, who were warring against a principle. They were attempting to make things equal which the Creator had made unequal.


In the conflict thus far, success has been on our side, complete throughout the length and breadth of the Confederate States. It is upon this, as I have stated, our social fabric is firmly planted; and I cannot permit myself to doubt the ultimate success of a full recognition of this principle throughout the civilized and enlightened world.


As I have stated, the truth of this principle may be slow in development, as all truths are and ever have been, in the various branches of science. It was so with the principles announced by Galileo-it was so with Adam Smith and his principles of political economy. It was so with Harvey, and his theory of the circulation of the blood. It is stated that not a single one of the medical profession, living at the time of the announcement of the truths made by him, admitted them. Now, they are universally acknowledged. May we not, therefore, look with confidence to the ultimate universal acknowledgment of the truths upon which our system rests? It is the first government ever instituted upon the principles in strict conformity to nature, and the ordination of Providence, in furnishing the materials of human society. Many governments have been founded upon the principle of the subordination and serfdom of certain classes of the same race; such were and are in violation of the laws of nature. Our system commits no such violation of nature's laws. With us, all of the white race, however high or low, rich or poor, are equal in the eye of the law. Not so with the negro. Subordination is his place. He, by nature, or by the curse against Canaan, is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system. The architect, in the construction of buildings, lays the foundation with the proper material-the granite; then comes the brick or the marble. The substratum of our society is made of the material fitted by nature for it, and by experience we know that it is best, not only for the superior, but for the inferior race, that it should be so. It is, indeed, in conformity with the ordinance of the Creator. It is not for us to inquire into the wisdom of his ordinances, or to question them. For his own purposes, he has made one race to differ from another, as he has made "one star to differ from another star in glory."
END

THAT is the sort of speech Mr Higgins' imagined minister will be making if his proposed monument is ever unveiled, and if you or I or any of us happen to be present, let us make a face and go home to our catacombs to write a rebuttal for samizdat circulation. But in the meantime let us educate, organise and agitate so that that day may never come, or if it does come there will always be witnesses against it.”

As my mother used to say: now will you go to Mass!  He's a great man for the capital letters, is old Hibernicus.

Both of the poems he refers to here feature in my soon to be launched new poetry collection, The Ghost in the Lobby.
I very much hope that Hibernicus, Beelzebub bless him, will come to the Galway launch, to which he is very invited.