In praise of the ‘dissident’ journal…

The last edition of The Blanket magazine is now online. Over the last eight years it has enjoyed a degree of fame (and notoriety amongst some) for the forthrightness of its writer’s opinions and its propensity for saying the unsayable. A specifically Republican project it won admiration and contributors from far beyond those narrow bounds. It repeatedly broke the cultural conventionalism of NI Catholic society. Indeed it was an attempt to retrench to the very Enlightment values that sustained those original Presbyterian Republicans of the late 18th century, even if, as Anthony McIntyre notes here, it finally outran its original purpose. My own extended thoughts on the enduring value of dissent begin with a quote from Patricia Craig’s excellent essay on the cultural mores of her native west Belfast.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty