Most sacred Indian site
FINE Gael TD, Lucinda Creighton made the headlines last week when it was revealed that her website had been 'hacked'. Ordinarily, news such as this would elicit the following response from Erindipity's corner . . .
Really? Gosh, how awful. Who could have done such a thing? Answers on a postcard to:
We Don't Care, Go Away and Get a Life Road, Loserville, Co Tosspot.
What makes Lucinda's news interesting is that the hackers were Red Indians. Alongside pictures of the Mayowoman with Enda Kenny were various Native American myths and fairytales, replacing the usual political myths and fairytales. Bizarre as this may seem, Erindipity can reveal that this is not the first time Indians have attempted to infiltrate this island of ours.
According to 1990's Dublin Historical Record, June 1888 was notable for the appearance on the country's roads of an American Indian medicine man named Sequah.
This tall, sallow chap became a major star as he travelled around selling his patent medicines . . . 'Prairie Flower' and 'Indian Oil'.
Sequah wasn't the shy and retiring type and would enter a town in full Wild West regalia, riding in a wagon accompanied by a posse of cowboys and Indians, whooping and yeeharring in the manner of a Fianna Fail Ard Fheis. He would then give an 'exhibition of tooth-pulling', where he extracted his audience's mouldy molars for free.
He was a fast worker and on one occasion removed 317 teeth in 39 minutes. The extractions were accompanied by the music of the brass band, which conveniently drowned out the patient's roars.
After winning over the audience by torturing them, Sequah would sell them his "special remedies". To speed sales along he would 'medicate' and apparently cure a 'lame' volunteer from the audience, thus sparking a stampede of gullible peasants.
In 1890 these miracle cures came under scrutiny after a particularly effective campaign in Kilkenny.
Among the patients he 'healed' were three lame men, who were receiving relief money because of their condition. As they were no longer crippled, the authorities stopped their weekly allowances. During the subsequent appeal, the men revealed that they had been paid two shillings a day by Sequah to pretend they could walk again. This was the. . .
First reverse miracle by an Indian The further revelation that hardy old prairie dog Sequah had never been further west than the Shannon and, was in fact from Glasgow, resulted in a rapid decline in business. When it was learned that Peter Alexander Gordon (aka James Kasper) was only one of 23 Sequahs plying their trade on the roads of Britain and Ireland, the travelling quacks' days were numbered. They had all been employed on a franchise basis by the London-based Sequah Ltd, which had been set up by Yorkshireman, William Henry Hartley.
The scam still ranks as the. . .
Worst hoodwinking of the Irish public by a bogus Indian If Gordon/Kasper was the Worst Bogus Indian, then Eamon de Valera was the. . .
Best Irish American for being a Red Indian Dev was born in New York in 1882 to an Irish mother and a Cuban father, so, technically he was an American.
However, as he was raised by his grandparents in Limerick, he qualified to play for Ireland under the granny rule. On 18 October 1919 he embraced his American heritage and was made chief of a tribe of Indians at the Chippewa Reservation in Wisconsin, thus earning his famous nickname. (Remember the line in Michael Collins when an anguished Mick cries out "you'll always be my chief"? ) De Valera was also the . . .
First Irishman to have an Indian street named after him During the 1920s Dev became a great friend of the movement for (East) Indian freedom. It's said that (East) Indian statesman Pandit Nehru was so impressed by his 1937 Bunreacht na hEireann that he used it as the template for his country's own constitution.
In 1943 the Long Fellow donated 20m rupees to aid famine relief in Calcutta and in February 2006 the Indian government inaugurated 'Eamon de Valera Street' in New Delhi to show their gratitude. His popularity may be the reason so many Indians are called 'Dev', including the one in Coronation Street who keeps getting photographed pissed in Lancashire nightclubs. Or maybe not.
Whatever about our fondness for bogus Scottish Indians and Irish Americans who are honorary Indians (East and West), the Irish are really cowboys at heart.
During the famine years Ireland exported three things to the US: thin people, rounders and traditional music. The Yanks kept the skinny folk and the rounders (which they renamed 'baseball') and exported the trad music back to us with a few tweaks. It is now known as Country and Western and instead of singing about Perfidious Albion, Irish exponents use the same three chords to whine about A: Their silver-haired grandparents.
B: Laying blankets on the ground (to prevent knee-grazing while sheeploving) and C: Alcohol.
It is the latter subject that kept one Irishwoman in the charts for. . .
The longest time spent singing a Cowboy song The woman's name was Gloria and the song was a cheery Kris Kristofferson number about alcoholism called 'One Day at a Time'.
On 18 August 1977 it reached Number One in the Irish charts . . . where it stayed for the next 90 weeks. It still holds the record for commandeering the top rungs of the charts for the longest period. It's not possible to fully describe the utter awfulness of this song. It was like having hot slurry poured into your ears. Thousands of teenagers ran shrieking out of their houses or from moving buses when the first notes started up: "Oimmm only humannn/I'm just a wuhmannnngg. . ." If you got through that without reaching for the Largactyl then you had to endure the chorus:
"WANNNNN DAY AD A DIME, SWEET JEESUS, DAT'S ALL AHHMM ASKING FROM YEEEEOOO! ! ! ! ! ! !".
Gloria was a treat to listen to when compared to that other child of Irish Cowboyism, Brendan Shine. Brendan spawned a curious musical hybrid that is neither Country and Western, nor Irish Folk, but manages to combine the worst elements of both.
Who can ever forget the insane bognicity that was 'I'm A Savage For Bacon and Cabbage'. It's remarkable that no-one has ever taken legal action against these people for aural torture.
In recent years Musical Cowboyism's fortunes, like the Indians, have dwindled, although there are a few diehards left. Declan Nurney . . . a man whose name sounds like a speech impediment . . . springs to mind, with his songs about exotic Drumlish. Actually, his name sounds more like a verb ("I got totally nurneyed last night/he gave me a right good nurneying" etc).
Perhaps the Wild West assault on Lucinda Creighton's web page (remember Lucinda? ) may be an attempt to spark a revival of interest.
If it is, Erindipity recommends the following course of action against the perpetrators: she should . . . definitely . . .