From top: Enda Kenny with newly appointed High Court judge Una Ni Raifeartaigh SC at the Aras on Tuesday; Dan Boyle
‘Personal magnetism’, a high ‘sex drive’ and an ‘ability to cast spells’.
Everything we need in a hip, happening taoiseach.
Dan Boyle writes:
The Taoiseach awoke from his hibernation this week to tell us he has his mojo back.
I suspect he was referencing the definitive Muddy Waters‘ version of the song ‘I’ve Got My Mojo Working‘ from 1956. Muddy didn’t write the song, nor did he record the first version, but he made the song his own.
By way of diversion can I say that aside from his distinctive blues guitar and voice, I’ve always loved the name Muddy Waters. It works just as well as a political verb.
Back to the mojo in question, that of the Taoiseach. The dictionary definition gives some indication as to what the Taoiseach has been trying to get across.
It explains mojo as –
A magic charm, hex or spell; associated with the African/American religious practice of voodoo. Supernatural skill or luck.(slang) Personal magnetism; charm.(slang) Sex appeal; sex drive.(slang) Illegal drugs.(slang, usually with “wire”) A telecopier; a fax machine.
Quickly moving on from the idea of the Taoiseach being a hex worker, the illegal drugs are probably best avoided, but I would have thought the metaphor of being a fax machine is crying out to be used.
The danger of using cultural slang is that you may end up missing the zeitgeist.
Mojo is more Kerouac than Eminem (and Eminem isn’t exactly the zeitgeist). If it’s hip and happening you want to be then mojo is your man. If it’s happening and hip you’re looking for you’ve kind of missed the bus.
The answers in Enda Kenny’s interview with Pat Kenny have little to do with the interviewer. Neither is the general public the intended audience. This exercise in braggadocia is strictly for the Fine Gael parliamentary party.
Apparently if you make yourself appear big in front of a bear, the bear would be less inclined to challenge you. This is the Taoiseach’s strategy.
There is some indication that it might work. It could also be argued that John Halligan, with his Waterford stand-off, is employing a similar strategy. Being able to appear bear like would further help this strategy.
The Taoiseach has about a dozen years on me. When I think mojo I think back to my lost, much mythologised, youth. That time when I did all night what it now takes me all night to do.
I suspect we may not be thinking about the same thing but I’m fairly sure we are about arriving at the same destination. If we’re not careful Naomi Klein’s next book may be called ‘No Mojo’