Say what you like about Enda Kenny but he never found himself embroiled in a row with LCD Soundsystem, writes Colm O’Regan.
In fact looking back over Kenny’s career, there have been pitfalls and blemishes but his record is notably untarnished by dressing-room altercations with anyone from the Electronic Dance music genre.
Maybe there is some evidence yet to emerge of a spat backstage between Enda and the Chemical Brothers, but everyone’s being coy about that.
Did Garrett Fitzgerald clash with Frankie Knuckles? Unlikely.
In fact dressing-room incidents of any hue are rare. Famously when Taoiseach Charlie Haughey weaselled his way into the Irish football dressing room having nearly guided them to a world cup semi-final in Italy, Tony Cascarino asked Niall Quinn who he was.
Cascarino, no doubt from the consolatory ole-ole-ing misheard and reported to Andy Townsend that “Quinny says he runs a teashop.”
But prior to a week and a bit ago, no Taoiseach-dressingroom encounters had made the front of the Daily Mail.
It’s a bit of a shock to the system of course that a Taoiseach might be into LCD Soundsystem or even know someone who was, or even know someone who knew who they were, but I’m having to get used to that now. The reduction in age between successive Taoisigh had never been more than 18 years. That was from Sean Lemass to Jack Lynch, which didn’t make a difference because nothing changed in them days, according to me, who wasn’t here. But between Enda Kenny and Leo Varadkar the gap was 28 years which is an entire generation, or generation and a half if you were anxious to get on with things.
This is new to me - a leader who is younger than me (the benchmark I use for everything now.)
It is automatically jarring that he should be going to see LCD Soundsystem and I wasn’t there. I know less about them than he does. Now it’s entirely possible Leo doesn’t know LCD Soundsystem from an LCD Display but he’s in that space now. And that hurts. His job is leading the country. He can’t be Big-box-little-box-brrrap-brrrap-awoo-awoo dancing on a Friday night. He should be at his desk signing imaginary papers or pretending to type like they do on the News when they show a minister working.
That is because the perception I still have of Taoisigh is outdated. When they socialise it should be punching the arm of farmer who’s “an awful man altogether, stop, gway, lookit, I’ll talk to you, gwan HAH!”. Not jogging with Canada’s Trudeau. Jogging?! Enda Kenny started it with his ‘cycling’. But he cycled in large groups and still looked sort of like an - in fairness well-maintained - early stage ould lad. Not like a member of a couple in the Lidl “IT’S EXERCISE MONTH!” Thursday special offer magazine with the latest Crivit gear.
In one way though, this Taoiseach is still part of one old tradition, though just barely. At 39, he still lived his young and foolish years before camera phones. A ‘social network’ was the people you met in the dole office. There will be photos taken of him where he is gurning, half-way through a club-sandwich or maybe a scintilla of mayonnaise left on the tip of his nose, but by and large he is in control of his own image and crucially, his past.
The photos from his youth all seem fairly controlled. He has no traffic cone on his head from college, posing with a massive 10-skinner giving a ‘Westside till I die’ hand gesture.
As we speak there is a potential future Taoiseach in waiting sending bits-pics on Tinder, tweeting abuse at football managers or going viral for a fight outside a chipper. We will look back on jogging, socks, LCD Soundsystem with fondness as if they were top hats and monocles.
You think our current Taoiseach needs spin? The future spin doctors will need to be surgeons.
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