Commemorations serve interesting functions. We are exhuming the long buried and forgotten corpses of historical events. The decayed bodies oft wrapped in layer upon layer of the shrouds of historical analysis are brought once  again to the inquest. The question before the examiners is:-Will we re wrap the body in the radiance of truth or in the blurry tears of our renewed  keening?-Will 
we incinerate the corpse,or ourselves in the flames of hateful revenge? 



The Tide of Counter Revisionist Commemorative Analysis 

               Today the Famine is again a popular topic of historical debate and research inspired by the powerful force of Cultural Commemoration of its 150th anniversary. 
What are we to make of the watchwords which have emerged from this new effort- Holocaust, genocide and Imperialism, apology, denial, burden? What can we say about the absence of  thoughts of reconciliation and healing from some accounts. One source calls for "an appropriate concern for unfinished business..." Is this movement really more about Celtic Revenge than the Truth? 
This page shall examine the products of the scholarship of the 
years of commemoration. What do you think is a good short example reflective of  tone and themes of the scholarship of this movement?---Let me know! I shall have my selections  here soon! 

Tom Hayden sums up the spirit of the counter revisionist movement as follows: 
"When the Famine is recalled at all, it usually is as "the potato famine," which only implies an unfortunate agricultural accident...It is not seen as the intentional thinning and removal of a whole rural population considered "surplus" by a foreign power.  A famine repressed, however, breds an incipient hunger of its own, a hunger to know, to grieve, to hold accountable, to resolve and to honor"-Tom Hayden, Irish Hunger. 

One wonders however in our rush to hold accountable have we quite forgotten the phrase- "acidents do happen"
Where there no accidents involved?-C.Bladey

I highly recommend as an introduction to this school of thought the very complete anthology: 
Irish Hunger:"Personal Reflections on the Legacy of the Famine" 
ed. Tom Hayden, Roberts Rinehart,Boulder, Wolfhound Press, Dublin.1997. 

I recently received a mailing from the: 
Institute for Christian Counseling and Therapy 
(PO Box 188 Narbeth, PA 19072-018) 
In which the following was found: 

+Breaking emotional spiritual bondages that result from buried ancestral traumas and continue to influence behavior and undermine the ability to 
+transforming sentimentalized attachmennt into healthy bonds and appropirate concern for unfinished business 
+supporting development of nurturing communities 

"from famine to feast from pain to Passion" 
A workshop which combines the studies of genealogy social and cultural history with the ministry of Christian Healing, a process referred to as healing the family tree for people of Irish and scotch Irish ancestry.  
+grieve unresolved traumas and losses and celebrate unrecognized strengths and courage of our ancestors. 
+acknowledge the suffering of victims and damage inflicted by perpetrators in  our ancestral lines free ourselves and our ancestors 
from resulting spiritual bondage..... 

What is this "appropriate concern for unfinished business?" 
Sounds to me like we're off to Dublin in the Green in the green....or like the provo slogan these days "measured response" 
Is it really true that revenge is the only answer? Can one see only perpetrators and hold ones own culture totally free from flaw?-or role in the complex web of causation? -C.Bladey

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