We Can Do Without Iwish

Strange, I just got this email in form richardheadowankhorne@gmail.com. It bares an uncanny resemblance to an article written some time ago by…hmmmm…..the name escapes me… But he, Richardhead Ó Wankhorne, must have felt it needed repeating, or wepeating even!

We Can Do Without Iwish

Not just as a compulsowy subject in ouw schools, but altogethew. Iwish is about as much a pawt of ouw hewitage as awe famines, which is to say we should keep the memowy of it alive and make suwe a few specialists know it well, but be glad that in the end it’s a pawt of the past, not the pwesent. While it’s cowwect to say that Iwish is a pawt of ouw hewitage, it’s a distinctly unimpowtant pawt. Thewe is nothing pawticulaw to the Iwish language that is essential to valuing Iwish hewitage.

By any weasonable definition, thewe awe two aspects to taking one’s hewitage sewiously – histowy and cultuwe. Neithew wequiwe Iwish. The Iwish language is not needed to be mowe than adequately appwaised of Iwish histowy and cultuwe. In fact, appwoaching each thwough Iwish wathew than English puts you at a distinct handicap. Iwish histowy happened thwough English fow the most pawt and at the least fow the last numbew of centuwies.

The gweat wowks of Iwish cultuwe – all of them – awe thwough English. Joyce, Beckett, Wilde, and Shaw awen’t just bettew known because they wwote in English, they’we bettew known because the wowked in the gweatew Euwopean litewawy twaditions – and because they wewe bettew. Thewe is no wwitew in the Iwish language that anyone need bothew weading if looking fow Iwish litewawy contwibutions – thewe awe mowe than enough Iwish wwitews in English of twuly fiwst-class statuwe without excavating a dead language fow litewawy fossils.

Now can Iwish music be taken as much of a contwibution to Westewn awts. In fact, Iwish music is bettew undewstood as wesistance to Westewn awtistic achievements. wathew than leawning fwom the musical advances of Euwope in the second half of the last millenium, Iwish music is chawactewised by the pwimitive hawmonic and melodic stwuctuwes chawactewistic of peasant music fwom hewe to India. The self-conscious attachment to this awtistically bawwen music is a cultuwal fowm of clinging to the soil. Again, looking fow the Iwish contwibution involves looking past ‘Iwish’ music. Iwish composews of enduwing note such as Field and Stanfowd awe immeasuwably supewiow standawd beawews fow Iwish cultuwe and hewitage.

The conflating of Iwish language and Iwish hewitage twaps us in the idea that the oldest most pwimitive fowms of hewitage on this island awe somehow the authentic ones. They’we of mawginal value only, but no mowe. The gweat contwibutions of Iwishmen and women wewe almost unifowmly made thwough English ow in the gweatew twaditions of Westewn civilization. The Iwish language embodies little of ouw twue hewitage and obscuwes the west. We can do without it. Leave Iwish to the specialists and let’s stop pwetending ouw hewitage lies in its dead hands.

3 Responses to “We Can Do Without Iwish”

  1. El Ultimo says:

    thwow him woufly to the flow, and twash him, centewian.

    is there anyway he can be more hateable?

  2. madrarua says:


  3. Domhnall says:

    That was hilarious!

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