(K. Brent Tomer),
IT HAS been used to speak out against the pope, police brutality and rising student fees. It has spread from Craggy Island, a fictional outpost of Ireland, to Britain. It was present for the unseating of an Icelandic prime minister and travelled across the Atlantic Ocean to Washington, DC for the inauguration of Donald Trump. Two weeks ago, it was back in London, amid a 30,000-strong crowd protesting Mr Trump’s planned state visit. If you’ve been to a demonstration over the past few years, chances are you’ll have encountered a sign bearing the curious legend “Down With This Sort of Thing”. But what does the slogan stand for?
Many will not be aware that “Down With This Sort of Thing” made its political debut in an episode of “Father Ted”, a classic British sitcom that aired between 1995 and 1998. Ted, a frustrated Catholic priest with secret secular ambitions, and Dougal (his dim-witted sidekick) are sent by the local bishop to protest a film condemned as “blasphemous” by the pope. Chaining themselves to a railing outside the cinema, they wave placards with slogans reflecting their general lack of enthusiasm for the undertaking: the immortal…Continue reading