Leaving Certificate 2015
Subject: Comedy (Honours)
Section One: Credibility
“My name is Bono and I am a tax compliant rock star. It is not an intellectually rigorous position unless you understand that at the heart of the Irish economy has always been the philosophy of tax competitiveness. Tax competitiveness has taken our country out of poverty. People in the Revenue accept that if you engage in that policy then some people are going to go out, and some people are coming in. It has been a successful policy. On the cranky left that is very annoying, I can see that. But tax competitiveness is why Ireland has stayed afloat. When the Germans tried to impose a different tax regime on the country in exchange for a bailout, the Taoiseach said they would rather not have the bailout. So U2 is in total harmony with our Government’s policy. I think for many reasons people have taken a dislike to our band and to me. This is another one. I have worked as an activist for all my adult life, and I think overall that no one can doubt we have been pretty effective. You can criticise me for a lot of things, but probably not for my commitment of time and energy to this. I think some people who criticise us in Ireland and America have a history that you can trace back to our opposition to Noraid (Irish-American fundraising for the IRA in the 1980s). A lot of others probably hate our music” (Irish Independent)
A. Complete the following sentence: Joyce defined the Irish condition as “silence, exile and cunning.” Bono has made his a composition of noise, tax exile and _________________. Support your answer with reference to the content and style of the text.
B. Are you willing to be lectured on economic justice by very wealthy tax exiles, or not? Do you accept the right of a wealthy tax exile to award himself a position of moral leadership on such issues, or do you not? Nominate your preferred rich/rawk star you would prefer to hear from instead. Support your answer with reference to the text.
C. A man who thinks defending the rights of the world’s poor and the rights of global corporations is the same thing. How would you begin to satirise that? Illustrate with pictures where necessary (extra paper can be used).
D. Compare and contrast Bono’s advocacy with that of classic noblesse oblige: the privileged should show charity to the poor (and be lauded for doing so) such as a Victorian coal baron who liked to found the occasional library.
E. Sunday Bloody Sunday is: (choose one)
a. Not a song about Bloody Sunday but a brainless attempt to characterise the Troubles as a story of ignorant and hate-filled Irish people not being able to live beside each other in peace, and adds insult to injury by using a title which referred to a British army massacre of civil rights demonstrators for a song which excuses Britain of any responsibility. The equivalent would be to write a song on the various ethnic and religious groups in India being too stupid to live together and calling it Amritsar bloody Amritsar.
b. The fear Alan Partridge experiences the day before Monday
c. The trauma Michael Lester experiences after four hours on The Sunday Game with Joe Brolly and Pat Spillane.