Modern-day Diogenes Finds No Support Among Cynical Public

Dublin – It is a strange portent of a grim and weary age that even the teachings of Diogenes the Cynic can make no dent in the hard-won cynicism of the Irish people.

Yet that is the strange philosophical impasse of modern Ireland as Joe McNamara sits in his cherry picker outside Leinster House, visibly demonstrating the virtues of Cynicism to the Irish people, who are generally to cynical too pay him any heed.

A hopeful Mr. McNamara attempts to preach the value of Cynicism to a public too cynical to listen.

A hopeful Mr. McNamara attempts to preach the value of Cynicism to a public too cynical to listen.

Mr. McNamara (41), of Blackrock, Co. Galway, pulled his crane up to Leinster House on the day of the Budget and proceeded to display the legendary virtues of Diogenes to the public. Erecting his cherry picker to its full extent, Mr. McNamara then sat at the top like Diogenes in his barrel, silently proclaiming that an Irishman did not need a roof or a home but could live freely in the open air, an exalted creature aloft above the mortgaged rooftops of a corrupt and crumbling civilisation.

Garda Patrick Burke (26), who discovered the philosopher doing his morning tai chi atop the cherry picker, said his attention was first struck by movement on a supposed buildng site.

“Well, now, I was just doing an early morning drive round when I saw someone moving on top o’ this crane and I thought, ‘That can’t be right! There hasn’t been any work on any building site in Ireland since all the Polish left,’ so I went to investigate,” said Garda Burke.

“Sure enough, it was some lad from Galway trying to resurrect the ancient teachings of Diogenes the Cynic.”

Diogenes of Sinope, a famous Greek philosopher, was renowned for scorning materialism and living in a barrel at the marketplace, walking around Athens in daylight with a lamp looking for an honest man, and mocking Plato and Socrates’ definition of man as a “featherless biped” by bringing Plato a plucked chicken.

Irish people cynically ignore the large crane with the Cynic on top.

Irish people cynically ignore the large crane with the Cynic on top.

Mr. McNamara has recreated the labours of Diogenes. Instead of a barrel, he has decided to live on top of his crane outside Leinster House to show people how pleasant it is to live without a roof.

“Yeah, he said he was going to live in a cardboard box in the marketplace, but there wasn’t any space,” said Harry Waters (54), a nearby resident who remains singularly unimpressed by Mr. McNamara’s continental ‘philosophoolery’. “You can’t make any kind of strong individual statement by joining the masses. That’s why he brought the crane here, so he could make a show of himself living in a box up in the sky.”

“Seems a bit pointless, really,” said Mr. Waters. “The homeless family sleeping under the crane drew more attention. It’s hard to make a statement about hardship and material goods when you actually own a crane people are living under.”

Mr. McNamara also tried to stir the questioning faculties of his fellow citizens by plunging forth with a lamp in broad daylight searching the banks and the Dáil for an honest man.

“What, did he think he was telling us something we didn’t know?” asked student Deirdre Walsh (21) irritatedly, when asked about Mr. McNamara as she waited to cross the road. “That’s like going to a Jedward concert with a lamp looking for someone with taste in music.”

In a final attempt to rouse the people of Ireland, Mr. McNamara threw plucked chickens from the crane to illustrate visually what the Budget had done to homo hibernicus, the people of Ireland.

"What's that knob in the barrel trying to prove?" queried the weary Irish public.

"What's that knob in the barrel trying to prove?" queried the weary Irish public.

“Not sure what the point of that was, actually,” said Garda Burke, scratching his head. “But you should have seen the fight for the chickens! There were hundreds of people here like rival jackals, all snarling and biting each other. I had to go in and wallop a few with a truncheon in order to secure a chicken for myself.”

After the near-riot caused by the chicken stunt, the authorities decided it was time to move Mr. McNamara along.

“I went up there and what was he doing only relaxing in the freezing December sunshine in a fuckin’ toga,” declared Garda Burke. “So I asked him sarcastically if there was anything I could do for him and he said that I could get out of his sunlight.”

“Who do I look like, Alexander the fuckin’ Great? The last thing this country needs is to be taking advice from the fuckin’ Greeks,” replied Garda Burke before testing Mr. McNamara’s Cynical resolve with a few cynical belts of a nightstick, which brought an abrupt end to the great Celtic flowering of Cynicism in the early 21st century.

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