Irish Times journalist John Waters was on The Saturday Night Show recently (March 17) dispensing his usual bizarre ‘wisdom’.
Here’s some of what he had to say.
On the Internet:
The Internet is a cesspit, a sewer populated by extremely nasty people. It’s a place where people, hiding behind masks of anonymity, write foul articles.
Those who are not anonymous are also nasty people because it’s a kill or be killed environment. Everybody becomes extremely nasty once they log on.
Presumably this includes all Waters’ fellow journalists and the millions of his fellow Catholics from all over the world who regularly write on the Internet including many in the Vatican.
And what, I wonder, would David Quinn, his fellow militant Catholic, think of being called a nasty, foul blogger?
The Internet will be a desert in about ten to fifteen years because people will become bored by it.
This is like someone predicting, a hundred years after the invention of the printing press, when books were widely read, that eventually people would become bored with reading.
On his weekly column in the Irish Times:
I write a column every week in the Irish Times and there are posts at the end of it. I never read them, people tell me I shouldn’t read them, they’re just foul.
We can see here the distain that Waters has for his readers and, indeed, for the Irish Times editors who pass the comments for publication.
Other people read the comments and report back to him perhaps to protect his sensitivities.
From time to time I read the posts in response to his articles. Some are for; some are against, none are foul.
Obviously, Waters doesn’t believe in the positive benefits that can accrue from reader feedback. This, I suspect, is because he believes he’s the fountain of all wisdom or perhaps the idea of comments at the end of his articles is a tad too close to how the hated bloggers operate.
On letter writers to the Irish Times:
The funny thing is when you read the letters to the Times they’re kind of vaguely intelligent and the names and addresses are on them so you can go and find the guy if he says something really nasty.
Vaguely intelligent? I suppose that’s a sort of compliment coming from the Great One.
On Fianna Fail (Waters delivered a morale boosting speech to the faithful at the recent Ard Fheis):
I have a deep affection for Fianna Fail. When I became a journalist I noticed all this stuff about Fianna Fail in articles and analysis and thought; this is all mad stuff, even I could see it was mad so I started to hang around with them a bit and found that I quite like them.
Do you not blame them for everything that has gone on, he was asked.
No, I don’t. I gave them a metaphor at the Ard Fheis when I was speaking.
The plane crashed and you were driving the plane, the plane was off course but the plane was also struck by lightning.
You have to apologise for being in the wrong place and for being a little bit over the limit but you cant really keep apologising for the lightning because the lightning is the point and we were struck by lightning.
Presumably the lightning here is Lehman Brothers.
Brendan O’Connor drew great laughter from the audience when he said:
If I was on a plane and it was going to be struck by lightning I wouldn’t fancy Brian Cowen being the pilot, would you?
Waters, however, was not laughing. He was not pleased by this insult to his vast wisdom.
It was clear that, in his mind, he was consigning O’Connor, RTE and the entire audience to that foul cesspit where all the nasty bloggers work their evil deeds.