“There’s something you’ve forgotten…”

In a bold act of solidarity with President-for-Life Gerry Adams, Danny Morrison blogs about his own problems misremembering who sang what when – pointing out he misremembered a song from the movie Reds when writing a love letter to his wife whilst in prison. When compiling his prison letters for his book, Then the Walls Came Down, he realised he had gotten the song all wrong but decided to print the letter as it was without correction, staying true to the misremembrance as it was in his memory. The problem for Adams and his now-infamous “misremembrance” of what he sang while he was in prison is that Adams is ‘mis-remembering’ his own autobiography (autobiographies, as Morrison does point out, are held to a higher standard than memoirs). Not only is he misquoting himself, he is doing so clearly out of keeping in with the political climate: at the time of writing his autobiography, it was still acceptable for Gerry Adams, leader of the Republican Movement, to be singing rebel songs in prison. Now that he is Gerry Adams, International Statesman of Peace, the memory changes to more benign singing material with no regard to its historical accuracy. Sure, it all makes for a happy ending anyway; in Gerry Adams’ world it’s not the details that matter but the ‘feel good’ factor. In Morrison’s favour, although the motive behind his little vignette is perhaps craven, at least in his book he was remaining true to the details as it happened for him, and resisted the urge to change them to make him look better once he realised the mistake. So fair play to him for that. Adams, as noted by Pete Baker, is still peddling the lie as the truth, even today. It might be worth mentioning to him that even Hillary Clinton owned up to her own misremembrance when caught by the balls: “I gave contemporaneous accounts, I wrote about a lot of this in my book. you know, I think that, a minor blip, you know, if I said something that, you know, I say a lot of things — millions of words a day — so if I misspoke, that was just a misstatement.” That might just be a good quote for Adams to keep in mind – it may come in handy for him more often than not, and would anyone really notice if he pinched it? In the meantime, when taking any ribbing, he should just remember this: Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you’re chewing on life’s gristle
Don’t grumble, give a whistle
And this’ll help things turn out for the best…

And…always look on the bright side of life…
Always look on the light side of life…