Subversive or Wishful Thinking?

Book: Black Swan Green

Author: David Mitchell

Music: I Feel Love

Composer/Artist: Donna Summer

Back in the late 1970s RTÉ – Ireland’s national broadcaster, then and still – was as conservative a broadcaster as you could imagine it would be in a country that was still essentially ruled according to the diktats of the Catholic Church. I think I might have mentioned before that the role of the Church had not shifted a great deal between the 40s or 50s and the 1970s. The end of that theocracy and the exposure of its depraved hypocrisy was closer than most people imagined – especially the hierarchy and rank and file of the Church that was riding high on the Pope John Paul II tsunami – but it was still a decade and a half in the future. In any case, every Sunday evening on RTÉ there was some kind of regional news magazine show – I don’t remember what it was called but it was pretty standard local news fare for the times. What made it different was that, for some unknown reason, the theme music was Donna Summer’s I Feel Love. Was change in the air? Thinking about it I find it remarkable that a song with such erotically charged lyrics made it onto RTÉ at all never mind as the intro to Sunday evening news show. I’d like to think it was someone subversive at RTE that slipped it past his superiors. I doubt it, though.

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