Porn

The unexamined life is not worth living said Socrates. Therefore, I examine mine. The past recollected in tranquillity.  As Stealer’s Wheel sang, trying to make sense of it all.

As a young journalist I covered a case in which a woman alleged sexual impropriety on the part of a male companion.  These cases are always difficult, inside or outside court.  What’s a man to do?  Nina and Frederik sang when woman says no she means yes.  Its a woman’s privilege to change her mind.  Whether feminists agree with those statements is open to question.

The case was a long one, I took down what I could in my imperfect shorthand.  The judge questioned the young woman at some length, causing certain things to be stated, not implied.  I don’t remember details, basically the man could be said to have been engaged on an exploratory mission.  In terms of fly fishing he got some bites, but no catch.  He was found guilty.  To know more, examine provincial newspapers of Ireland of the early to mid nineteen sixties.  Happy reading.  The couple were acquainted, don’t jump to conclusions.

Returning to the newspaper, I told the editor, now (alas) deceased, we had a rather racy case today.  He said write it all down, he would edit it.  I did.  He didn’t.  It was printed in full.  To my surprise.  And the shock and horror of others.

An American girl said it was worse than anything you would see in the lowest, cheapest tabloid in New York.  She should know.

A schoolteacher said children walked around the playground reading it out to each other.  Educational.  What’s the difference between education and training? They have sex education in schools, not sex training.  In the fifties we learned about sex by osmosis.  But I digress.

A youngish farmer I met on the road said I should not have put it in the paper.  I said complain to the editor.  It was all said in court.  Anyone can be in court, its open to the public.  Well, you shouldn’t have printed it, he said.  People send that paper to their relations in America.  Are Americans not supposed to know that sort of thing happens in holy Catholic Ireland?  We’re only human.

The editor got complaints.  His father, the owner, was away when the paper went to press, whether that made any difference I don’t know. I am not responsible for others’ actions or inactions.  In my defence may I say I left out two sentences which could have been from Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

It was very badly written because I just threw it down, expecting it be edited, rewritten and expurgated.  The worst thing I ever wrote.   Though factual.

Did you ever say something you wish you hadn’t?  I did.  In the digs I said the editor wouldn’t be editor of any other paper in Ireland, he only has the job because his daddy owns the paper.  The schoolteacher grinned.  I hoped he wouldn’t tell anyone what I said.

A journalist on another paper said the story was a disgrace.

Our septuagenarian landlady read the report.

And he was an altar boy, she said.

The Skibbereen Eagle never said the Skibbereen Eagle has its eye on Russia.  The editor was sore about that.  He said he looked through the files and they didn’t say it.  Well if they didn’t they should have.

Don’t shoot the messenger.

Tich Ennis

12th April, 2016

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