CRECHE AND BURN
Everyone is talking about Prime Time's investigation so I feel duty bound to join in. Just one problem though, I didn't watch the programme. At the time of it's airing my Twitter feed became inundated with #PT related tweets but I just shrugged it off and presumed it would be old news by the morning. However when the story spilled over into the next day and the following one and the one after that I figured that I should really sit down and watch the programme. The RTÉ Player was practically begging for me to watch it. But still I didn't. Because to be honest I'd heard enough. The second-hand sound bytes and angry Facebook updates told me all I needed to know.
What I found more interesting was the debate that followed, and in particular the belief that having run-for-profit organisations looking after our children was always going to end in tears (pardon the phrase). In other countries childcare is run by the state and funded by taxes. Workers in the sector are remunerated accordingly, unlike in Ireland where some childminders get little more than the minimum wage. The cost of running an organisation such as this would undoubtedly be high and the spike in tax rates would cause yet more consternation among our already disgruntled population. But if there's one thing we can all agree on, and subsequently all contribute to, is the well-being of our children.
READY FOR THIS JELLY
Men are perverts. We know this you know this, so what's the problem? We can't help it, we're obsessed. We are obsessed by the female form and given the chance we would shag each and every one of ye until our balls ran dry. That's just how we are. You may look at us in disgust and admonish our fiendish behaviour but do you think we enjoy being like this? It's not easy you know, in truth it's something of a burden. All day every day we see forbidden fruits that we just long to pluck from the tree and gleefully devour, but we can't. Instead we ogle and leer like the disgusting little pervs we are. Well most of us do anyway.
It's bad enough seeing fine young fillies cavorting round our streets in next to nothing, but when a global superstar starts shaking her rear end right in front of your face what's a man to do? Why grab a handful of course. Or better still give it a cheeky slap. Right? But Beyonce didn't see it like that when an overeager Dane spanked her like the naughty girl she is. Instead she threatened to have the saucy Scandinavian escorted out of the gig for his over-zealous behaviour. Any man reading this story would surely sympathise with the phantom fondler though, put in his position any one of us would have done the same. It's just a natural reaction. And anyway Beyonce didn't have him kicked out, and you know what that means? She enjoyed it. Because she's a pervert too. Just like all women are. Ye just hide it better.
I'LL HAVE ERM, THOSE ONES PLEASE
There are certain things in which we Irish lag way behind; infrastructure, health services, a working government. But every now and again we found ourselves ahead of the game, forerunners if you will. Remember the smoking ban? We were the first country to bring that in and now it's enforced everywhere. Go on little Ireland leading the way wha? There was plenty of grumbling at the time but now we're congratulated for our prescience and other, more, powerful countries have followed our lead. Feels good don't it? And we're at it again now, not quite first this time around, but not far off it.
Sadly it's another kick in the stones for the smokers, but no one smokes any more so who gives a fuck. But if you happen to wake up one morning and think to yourself “Hmm I think I'd like to chug on some poisonous fumes and increase my risk of lung cancer” you're not going to look half as cool as you'd hoped. Yeah you'll still look like Paul Newman as you lean against the gazebo wistfully staring at the couple of ould wans fogging Superkings, but you won't be able to show off your brand any more. By the start of next year all cigarette packaging will look the same, so whether you're a Marlboro man, a Rothmans rogue or a John Players playa it won't matter a jot. You'll just be another smoker, another feckin' eejit wasting hundreds of Euro on your life-shortening habit. Who knows maybe this will be the final nail in the coffin for an industry which has, and continues to, claim thousands of lives every year.
I'M NOT RACIST I JUST DON'T LIKE........
Ireland is an incredibly racist country. You may have a different opinion and you would be entitled to it, but you'd be wrong. Sure, the more enlightened of us know better than to judge someone by the colour of their skin but racism is rife in this country. Why don't we hear more about it then? Simply because most incidents of racial abuse go unreported. However when Úna-Minh Kavanagh was racially abused and then assaulted in a busy Dublin street on Thursday afternoon she felt compelled to speak out. Ms Kavanagh, who was born in Vietnam but has lived all her life in Ireland, was attacked by a group of youths who took exception to her heritage. Her ordeal lasted no more than a matter of seconds but in that time she was branded a 'chink' and then spat at by these charming young gents.
In her subsequent interviews she spoke of the humiliation and degradation she felt at being treated this way. But she also alluded to a lifetime of racial abuse. And like it or not this is the norm in Ireland. Some people may attempt to justify their actions by pointing to those who come to this country for the sole purpose of availing of our generous welfare system. But even that is no excuse. Perhaps you could call refugees in our country disingenuous but who can blame them? The guilt lies in the hands of a government who were totally unprepared for such an influx. There is a lot of anger in our country at this moment in time. We have become embittered by our circumstances. But instead of lashing out at those different to us we should be taking a closer look at ourselves. Because ultimately it is we who will determine whether this country climbs out of the hole it is currently in.
WRONG PLACE, WRONG TIME
Any time I hear a story concerning drugs and young people being submitted to hospital I always find myself more than a little disconcerted. As someone who it's fair to say dabbled, and in one instance spent a night under medical supervision, I can empathise with the two girls who are currently in a Drogheda hospital. The cause of their visit is as of yet unconfirmed but it is being linked to a contaminated batch of cannabis in the North-East region. Toxicology reports may prove otherwise but it appears that the drug was mixed with a synthetic substance which led to both women falling seriously ill. We can only hope that they pull through and in the process refrain from further drug consumption as a result.
In the immediate aftermath of this story, and I'm talking immediate, a familiar head popped above the parapet: Luke 'Ming' Flanagan. Anyone with even a passing interest in politics will recognise that name. Mr Flanagan's ultimate aim as a TD is to pass the legislation of cannabis in this country. A noble cause I'm sure you'll agree. Whether the drug should be legalised or not is a debate for another day. But what should be debated is why Ming took to the airwaves on Friday morning. Riding on the coat-tails of these girl's misfortune he underlined his desire to see the drug decriminalised. He pointed to the fact that under a regulatory system a disaster like this would never have occurred. He accused his opposing panelist of dodging the issue and proceeding to shout down the presenter. He made a complete idiot of himself. And all the while those two girls lay in intensive care fighting for their lives. There's a time and place for such discussions, sadly Mr Flanagan neither understood, nor seemed to care, about that.
I don't really drink milk, I'll have it on my cereal but that's about it. Which is just as well really because at this rate we won't know where it's coming from. Cows, goats, dogs, C-list celebrities, who knows? Myleene Klass, the mildly attractive, former talent show star turned musical genius believes that her own bosom brew bears comparison to anything the humble cow could produce. She is so confident about it's quality that she feeds it to her friends, whether they like it or not. Hmm, I wouldn't mind getting closer to Myleene's mammaries, but her milk? Nah you're grand thanks.
Even more concerning is the notion among some circles that a mother's milk is a cure for all that ails. This has led to online milk banks where visitors can order it by the gallon. It is said to help numerous medical conditions but then again doesn't everything? A couple of years ago it was Manuka honey, then it was green tea and now it's milk from another human being. I'm not sure where this is going, but if anyone thinks I'm donating any of my bodily fluids for some sick kid with meningitis they can form an orderly queue outside. Alternatively they could just call round Myleene's, who knows what she'll give ya.