A round-up of the week's major news stories as seen through the eyes of an inattentive, misinformed moron.
CHILD-KILLER MUST SERVE A MINIMUM OF FIFTEEN YEARS
When you're a young person learning the ways of the world your natural inclination is to consider yourself quite liberal-minded. Let them eat cake, you say. Legalise this, allow that, relax this, we just want everyone to get along. Then you see a bit of the world, you see what people are really like, and that idealistic youngster who thought everyone deserves a second chance turns into a realist. But even the most open-minded, anti-establishment youth couldn't argue against the return of the death penalty for people like Mick Philpott. The problem we have as a society have is that we believe ourselves above such primitive forms of justice. No let's rehabilitate them, we say, make them a better person. In this case that is not a possibility.
The notion that this man may be eligible for parole in fifteen years is truly mind-boggling. Almost as mystifying as the knowledge that he will be clothed, fed and given a roof over his head for that time by a state who must surely be as appalled as the rest of us by Philpott's actions. We console ourselves with the belief that he may meet into some of the prison network's more unsavoury characters during his time behind bars. But then we read of the heightened security surrounding the poor lamb, twenty-four supervision to ensure he remains unharmed. The kind of protection usually only afforded to heads of state and dignitaries. When all it would take to rid the world of this parasite is to simply set him free, let him walk out of that prison and into the welcoming arms of his adoring public. Now that's what I'd call justice.
NORTH KOREA GETS REALLY ANGRY AND PROMISES “THIS TIME WE MEAN IT”
I'm always dubious of nepotism in the workplace. It rarely works. Junior, having been mollycoddled to maturity, finally takes the reins from his much loved patriarch and rather than carry on the good work done by his old man he decides to shake things up a bit. Kim Jong-Un could have regaled the world with stories of magnificent rounds of golf and weather-changing abilities and we'd all have warmed to him like we did with his eccentric dad.
But no, the new heir has to go and be all power-hungry and start picking fights that he simply can't win. I imagine North Korea's nuclear arms to be primitive fare, rusty old, CCCP emblazoned relics foraged from the hills of Siberia. Do they really want to start picking fights with the good ol' US of A? I don't think so. America has, over the years, shown that it's not averse to a ruck and if Kimmy keeps rubbing them up the wrong way it won't be long before he's scurrying back into his rat-hole begging for forgiveness. Stick to propaganda like the your old man, and keep the stories of your bonkers country coming, we enjoy them immensely.
CYPRUS VOWS TO REMAIN IN THE NEWS FOR “THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE”
I have a theory; the Irish government, concerned that we're getting a bit disgruntled about our ailing economy, have decided to show us just how bad things could really get in an attempt to make us grateful for our lot. How else can you explain the wall-to-wall coverage of all things Cyprus over the past few weeks? Fuckin' hell we get it! They're broke, they're even worse off than us, they're a mere shadow of the nation that once celebrated a 5-2 victory over Stan Staunton's boys in green. We understood the severity of the situation after a couple of days, and in typical Irish fashion we offered empty sympathies before carrying on with our lives.
But now two weeks on it's still headline news. It's okay, it's okay, we got it the first time, we mutter as another maudlin Mediterranean laments the loss of their life-savings, didn't we hear this last week, I could have sworn I saw this exact same bloke bemoaning the price of petrol. What the fuck is going on here? It's obvious what's going on. This is the future, our future, unless we keep our mouths shut. In a couple of years this could be us, being shat upon even more than we are now. The message is clear; accept these new taxes, embrace the December budget and most importantly smile while we continually shaft you up the arse. Or else. Or else it'll be you on that telly crying into the camera like those poor Cypriots. Message received loud and clear.
“I AM NOT A RACIST” SAYS ITALIAN FASCIST DI CANIO
At some point during the last twenty years there was a seismic shift in the way football reporters operated. Where once the story was what happened on the pitch it has now switched to off-field affairs. Sure there was always an appetite for gossip and the antics of George Best, Tony Adams and George Graham were greedily gobbled up by a public eager to discover the dirty side of the game. But those were isolated incidents, mere footnotes to another week of exciting action in the Football League. It's different now. Thanks to Sky's dedicated sports channel there is a need to fill every available minute with news, regardless of whether it's newsworthy or not.
So when a member of Sunderland's board resigned his post due to the perceived political stance of new manager Paolo Di Canio all hell broke loose. And did anyone really give a shit? I certainly didn't. I already knew that Di Canio wasn't a racist, a bit of a nutter, but not a racist. But what about that fascist salute during a game for Lazio, they cried? Old news, he had explained it away as a Roman salute at the time and I had accepted his reasoning and moved on. But in spite of this non-story the English media got plenty of mileage out of it and will do so until the next salacious piece of hearsay pops up. And then I, like everyone else, will give it even further credence by talking about it online. Oh sardines and trawlers.
HOLLYWOOD SCIENTOLOGY DWARF SAYS “I'M IRISH”
When will it all end? With Jesus? With Santa? With the Queen of England? Will there eventually come a point when the entire planet is Irish and anyone not claiming Gaelic heritage will be shunned and forced to live out their days in Sligo? Tom Cruise isn't Irish. Look at the big tanned head on him, the big shit-eating grin, he's no more Irish than Saint Patrick. But his fuckin' ancestors were from Kildare! I don't give a shit. He's not Irish. The same way Obama isn't Irish and the same way George Clooney isn't Irish.
If we were all to trace our roots back a couple of hundred years God knows where we'd claim allegiance to. A big red-headed fucker walking down the street telling everyone “I'm from Venezuela”, “Yeah right boy look at the big freckledy head on ya”, “No, I'm serious me great-great-great-gran-uncle emigrated from there”, Fair enough so, you're Venezuelan, congratulations”. And so it would continue, until everyone in Ireland was from some far-flung land and everyone outside of Ireland was from Ireland. If your parents are Irish and their parents before them were Irish then it's fair to say you're Irish. So on that basis I'm sorry Tommy but you just miss the cut.
THE VOICE HUNK SMOKES WEED, WOMEN GET MOIST
Just when you thought Bressie couldn't get any more enigmatic he drops this bombshell. He smokes weed! And he thinks it should be legalised! Swoon. As if the nation's women weren't already quivering at the knees, he's now gone and become a bad boy aswell. Give the rest of us a chance Niall will ya! The ensuing outcry was as predictable as it was tiresome but somehow Bressie has emerged from the whole thing relatively unscathed.
However just when I was about to roll my eyes skyward and denounce this latest revelation as nothing more than a publicity stunt he revealed that he suffers from anxiety. It's not easy to tell anyone that you're struggling with mental illness, whether it be your parents, your doctor or your mates. So to announce to an entire nation that you've been fighting this most debilitating of ailments takes some balls. And even more, he managed to do so without turning it into a sob-story, without tugging at our heartstrings and getting our womenfolk lost even deeper in those dreamy eyes of his. I want to hate you Bressie, but you're making it very fucking difficult for me.