Friday, February 1, 2013

Ballymun: Notorious Even in Italy

The suburb I have called home all my life has apparently got a stinging review from the Italian magazine Marie Claire, as reported The Irish Times:

In an article called ‘Return to Ballymun’, the magazine quoted a number of Ballymun residents from 2011 saying people living there were ashamed to give their address. It also compared the area to the dystopian crime-ridden future metropolis in the science fiction film Blade Runner.

Since the article’s publication last week, a number of people cited in the article have told local Labour TD John Lyons that they were not accurately quoted. The man who is quoted as comparing Ballymun to Blade Runner told the TD he has never even seen the film.

It's not the tidiest place in the world and there are a few too many knots of youths wandering around for my comfort, but Blade Runner might be going a little bit too far. Although, come to think of it, I think I may have spotted a few replicants there, over the years.

(Not having seen a film or read a book doesn't always stop people referencing the work in question, by the way. How many of those people who describe some government office or bureaucatic process as Kafkaesque have have actually read Frank Kafka? I have read Kafka, but I wish I hadn't, and may God preserve me from ever using the term "Kafkaesque".)

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