[Marxism] Ann Enright - On the McCanns, London Review of Books

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Mon Oct 22 11:20:13 MDT 2007


The McCanns feel guilty. They are in denial. They left their children  
alone. They cannot accept that their daughter might be dead. Guilt  
and denial are the emotions we smell off Gerry and Kate McCann, and  
they madden us.

I, for example, search for interviews with them, late at night, on  
YouTube. There is so much rumour; I listen to their words because  
they are real, because these words actually did happen, one after the  
other. The focus of my ‘dislike’ is the language that Gerry McCann  
uses; his talk of ‘information technology’ and ‘control’, his need to  
‘look forward’.

‘Is there a lesson here, do you feel, to other parents?’

‘I think that’s a very difficult thing to say, because, if you look  
at it, and we try to rationalise things in our head and, ultimately,  
what is done is done, and we continually look forward. We have tried  
to put it into some kind of perspective for ourselves.’



The sad fact is that this man cannot speak properly about what is  
happening to himself and his wife, and about what he wants. The  
language he uses is more appropriate to a corporate executive than to  
a desperate father. This may be just the way he is made. This may be  
all he has of himself to give the world, just now. But we are all  
used to the idea of corporations lying to us, one way or another –  
it’s part of our mass paranoia, as indeed are the couple we see on  
the screen. No wonder, I think, they will not speak about that night.

Then I go to bed and wake up the next day, human again, liking the  

Ann Enright titled her article , disliking the McCanns.

Her  criticism of Gerry is valid. The man does not portray emotion  
nor knows how to express it, he talks about
'looking forward', he doesn't know  how to grieve. His response is  

A reader responded  to LRB saying he disliked Ms. Enright for her  
dislike, for his dislike of LRB
for publishing it,  his dislike of reading it.

But is Ms. Enright right here ? Is the McCann response so totally off?

Why should they show their grief in public to appease us?

That's not all.

What makes  Enright  so sure she understands the situation ?

Why should the McCanns accept their daughter is dead?

Why should they grieve when they still have  hope  ( until proved to  
the contrary),
that their daughter may be alive?

What's wrong in keeping up the hope? Why should they give it up?

Maybe they will never know what happened.  But they will remain hopeful
that their daughter is alive. Why give up on hope to grieve?

"The McCanns are in denial, they feel guilty, they are maddening." So ?

Being inarticulate is not a crime. Being illiterate, pouting  
corporate phrases is not a crime.

(well, she never said it is a crime, only maddening- to her defense)

Gerry is not good with language.  He cannot explain anything.  He is  

Ann knows this. She is far better than Gerry in rationalizing her own  

Yet, yet the McCanns maddens her, despite the fact that she can  
explain them.

She may write another 1000 words on McCanns. Another lengthy article,  
but the McCanns will remain maddening to her...

Would Gerry be a little less maddening, if, even if he doesn't say  
the "right" things, atleast he doesn't  say the "wrong" things?

'Wrong" in this case  being giving corporate responses.


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