herald

Monday 21 January 2019

Savage i: Rosenstock to be gifted national treasure status

Every election produces a new celebrity. Some commentator, satirist or journalist crosses a rubicon and becomes established in the public mind. 2007 gave us Ivan Yates.

He had existed before, but in 07 he burst into florid existence in a way we could never have predicted. This election has given us Mario Rosenstock.

He has existed for years doing Gift Grub on the Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show. But his appearances on the Vincent Browne programme have elevated him to the position of national treasure.

It was said of the Jerry Springer Show that people watched because it made them feel better about their own lives; no matter how bad your existence seemed, you could watch the people on Springer and think 'at least I'm not them'.

Meeting Rosenstock creates the opposite reaction; no matter how smart or talented you think you are, you look at him and think, 'goddam it, what's the point? I'll never be Mario'.

- In the 2007 election a pollster called Frank Luntz from the US spent several weeks spouting arse on RTE about who would win and lose.

Throughout the process of the campaign he behaved as if he was all-knowing about politics. Until the count day.

That was the first time we heard humility from Frank. And that humility boiled down to him standing flummoxed, expressing himself to be totally baffled by the Irish electoral system.

It is not surprising that an American would be confused by proportional representation. In one constituency in this election, voters will be able to express more than 24 preferences.

It is confusing for those who have lived with it since birth. It must be impenetrable for visitors, particularly media. And this year there'll be more of them than ever before.

Even Al Jazeera is in town. So, if you're watching the count and you see a confused man of middle-eastern extraction asking questions of an exasperated tallyman from Kilbeggin, take a moment to feel sorry for the tourist; if democracy isn't your thing, our version of it must be horrible to try to learn.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News