Sunday, April 14, 2013

Seven days and one week

A round-up of the week's major news stories as seen through the eyes of an inattentive, misinformed moron.


First up we had recreational grief and now we have recreational rage. It can be defined as follows; the need to prove that you and you alone are the most angry out of all the world's social networkers. As soon as the news broke the competition began. The Iron Lady had barely breathed her last before the internet was awash with thousands of less than favourable epitaphs. She was a cunt of a woman, of that there is no doubt. But what struck me was the demographic of those revelling in her passing. People that weren't born until long after her reign of terror had ended. People who grew up in parts of the world largely unaffected by Maggie's iron fist. And yet, to them, this was one of the greatest days of all time!

Isn't it a bit crass to celebrate the death of anyone other than the most wicked of beings? Were it Ian Huntley or Peter Sutcliffe who had kicked the bucket I could fully understand the joyous reaction - but a politician? Again I don't wish to make light of her actions, she deprived me of my school milk after all, but surely the time for partying was when she was removed from power? By exulting in her passing and regaling in her demise all we are doing is giving further credence to an era best consigned to history. She's probably loving it you know, all those grimy proles drinking themselves stupid and causing public disturbances, it's what she would have wanted.


Is there anything so heart-wrenching as the death of a young person in the prime of their life? All of that hope and ambition wiped out leaving nothing but sorrow and loss. Those affected do all they can to carry on, to piece their lives together and make sense of it all. But in truth nothing will ever be the same again. The Savita Halappanavar case will likely change the face of Irish legislation for years to come but is this inquest really necessary? Her family's need for answers and their desire to take it to the courts is wholly understandable. But perhaps those on the other side of the argument could have saved Satvita's grieving relatives yet more heartache.

A simple admission of guilt, that's all it would take. No more interviews with her solemn-faced widower, no more tawdry headlines detailing the events of her final hours and no more pictures of a smiling Savita in happier times. Because someone was at fault in her death. Whomever he, she or they were is yet to be disclosed. But when the inevitable happens, and an ashen faced member of University Hospital Galway is held accountable for their actions, the end result will be yet more salacious news reports and finite details of this never ending case. All of this could be avoided if only someone had the courage to put a stop to it, if someone had the courage to admit fault in their actions and spare the Halappanavars one more moment of this harrowing ordeal. Sativa's name is already ingrained in our history so let's give the family a break eh?


And sure why wouldn't it be? The little fuckers have everything they want nowadays. Oh I tell thee back in my day it weren't like this, oh no. So anyway, according to UNICEF, Ireland is the tenth best place to be a little 'un these days. Who knows how they come up with this shit? But according to the boffins it comes down to a few simple things; food in your belly, fags in your mouth and babies in your tummy. More of the latter and less of the two former that's what we're after and it seems Ireland scores well on all accounts. Our children are now fat little fuckers who neither smoke nor have sex. Sounds a bit boring to me but they're happy and that's the main thing.

The survey goes onto say that one in three Irish kids exercise for at least one hour per day. Well fuckin congratulations! Fair played to ye lads! Dragged yourself away from the cakes and Ipods for an hour? Praise the Lord. Even more astonishingly Ireland scored first in this particular discipline. What the fuck are children in other countries doing? Not much by the sounds of things. And the worst thing of all is that this exercise is probably carried out in some supervised area, an astro-turf pitch, an indoor arena or wherever. Not for this lot the epic games of football which started after your dinner and carried on until either the street lights broke or our mothers came a-calling.


Steve Collins is feted as one of Ireland's great boxers, his exploits in the mid-nineties have earned him legendary status and his victories over Chris Eubank will never be forgotten. That The Celtic Warrior fought both Eubank and Nigel Benn when both were past their prime is however, rarely considered, and his decision to retire rather than fight the up and coming Joe Calzaghe further tarnishes his legacy. But, for many Irish people, he is something of a folk hero. So his decision to return to action at the grand old age of 48 is mystifying to say the least. What can he possibly hope to achieve?

If you ask him that question he will tell you he wishes to right some wrongs, to fight the man who dodged him during his previous iteration as a middleweight firebrand. The man in question is Roy Jones Jr, the greatest boxer of the 1990s and one of the sport's most skilled combatants. RJJ, unlike Collins, hasn't even bothered to retire. Despite being the wrong side of forty himself he has continued to fight and has subsequently smeared his own legacy with ugly defeats to fighters not fit to lace his gloves. I stopped watching Jones Jr fight a long time ago, preferring to remember him in his pomp when he was without peer in the sport. But I do hope he beats Collins, firstly because I never bought into the whole Celtic Warrior shtick and secondly because it might knock some sense into the clearly deranged Irishman.


And here was me thinking that Osama Bin Laden was the hide and seek champion of the world. He's got nothing on this fella. Twenty-seven years, that's how long Christopher Knight spent living in isolation. For reasons as yet unknown he took himself away from humanity at the tender age of nineteen and there he stayed until his recent arrest by Maine police. His crime? Stealing food. Well what else was he supposed to do? He's a hermit for fuck sake. Rather brilliantly Chris hadn't spoken to another living soul for at least twenty years, preferring to while away his time listening to rock music on his rickety old radio. There was times in my teens when I'd disappear to my room to listen to some angst-ridden rock but I had nothing on Christopher.

The question now is what will become of Mr Knight. Will he return to the woods and carry on his simple existence or, more likely, will he be forced to re-integrate by do-gooding locals eager to see him right. Imagine leaving the world as you know it in 1986 and returning in the present day. Liverpool won the League and Cup double that year, and look at them now! Christopher could probably head into the woods for another twenty-seven years and they still won't have recaptured those glory days. Whatever he ends up doing it is unlikely that anyone will ever break his hide and seek record and for that alone he should be applauded to the rafters.


Sometimes I overdose on news by listening to the radio and watching 24 hour news stations at the same time. It's not an easy feat, the tones of the radio broadcast permeate your brain and override the message portrayed by the images coming from the TV. This week, during one such news binge, I found myself watching Michelle Obama addressing a hollering and whooping crowd (at least I think they were). The rules of news binging state that you must mute the radio should an interesting piece present itself on the TV, they also state that you must never attempt to form an opinion based on images without sound.

But when I saw Michelle's impassioned speech I obeyed neither rule. My first thought was “What the fuck does she know”? Swiftly followed by “thinks she's another Hilary Clinton does she”? I admit to being only vaguely aware of Mrs Obama's skillset, a lawyer if I recall correctly. But this hasn't stopped me forming several spurious opinions on her merits as a public speaker and the motives behind this feckless act. Thus far I accused of her 'riding on her husband's coat-tails' in an attempt to become the first female and first black female American president all in one go, using her position to lead a group of finger-wagging sistas into war with North Korea and ousting Oprah from her number one talk-show host slot simply by fluttering her eyelashes at TV execs.

And I still don't know what her the subject of her speech was. 

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