REGRETS, I'VE HAD A FEW
Alcohol and work don't mix, everyone knows that. You leave the drinking until the day is over, it's far safer that way. Instead you wait until the annual Christmas party which you mark by telling your boss what you really think of him before getting off with the overweight girl from accounts. You then spend the next few months avoiding both your boss and your smitten paramour before leaving for pastures new. Once you start your new job you make a pledge to never attend a 'works do', but it's only a matter of time before you relent and find yourself knee deep in the alcohol fueled debauchery. Eventually you will learn your lesson but by that time you'll be nearing retirement age and it'll hardly seem important any more.
And although the members of Daíl Eireann are charged with running this fine country they are, in essence, no different to any one of us. They all harbour secret desires, they all secretly resent that high-flying do-gooder and they all like a little drinkie or two. However they usually have the cop on to do what the rest of us do and leave the booze until the day's affairs have been completed. This week though they all had to do a bit of overtime, the poor feckers. And sure all that debating can be fierce tiring at the best of times. Never mind the fact that they were mulling over one of the most divisive topics in the history of the state, these lads and lasses were thirsty!
But seeing as they were working through the night and the accepted closing times for Irish pubs of a week night is 11.30 they would just have to go without a little stiffener to keep 'em going, right? Nope. They have their own special bar don't ya know. A bar that can stay open 'til whatever fuckin' hour it wants, and why not? So while the abortion bill was being discussed at length by our beloved TDs more than one of them was skulling back pints in the Daíl Bar. Beggars belief doesn't it? In truth it was only the small minority, they're not all idiots, but the very notion of having access to alcohol while in the workplace is ludicrous. And the fact that this is not any old workplace makes it even more so.
Thankfully this should be the end of 'refreshments' in Daíl Eireann. Tom Barry saw to that with his drunken mishandling of Aíne Barry which was rather brilliantly caught on film. It makes you wonder what else goes on away from the cameras though. After a few whiskeys even Mary Harney is going to look good. Maybe the Daíl Bar should be left intact but just with one small addition: a hidden camera network which provides Big Brother style coverage of life inside.
There was once a time when those in the public eye used their position for the greater good. John Lennon famously staged a bed-in for peace, Marlon Brando sent a Native American to collect his Oscar and Tommie Smith and John Carlos championed the civil rights cause with their famous black power salute. Nowadays the majority of celebrities have far more important things on their mind. Oh yes you still have the holier than thou Bono and a few others but most of these seem to take as much satisfaction from the acclaim their actions bring than the actions themselves. Yasiin Bey (AKA Mos Def) on the other hand is slightly different.
Anyone with even a passing interest in rap music will be aware of who Mos Def is, his 1999 album Black on Both Sides stands up there with the very best the genre has produced. But there has always been a lot more to Mos than just music. Yes he is also an actor but it is the content of his work which reveals the most about the 39 year-old Brooklyn native. As part of a swathe of conscious rappers that came to prominence in the late nineties Mos Def sought to educate as well as entertain his listeners. His recent output hasn't quite lived up to the high standard he set himself but while the strength of the music has wavered the message hasn't.
I haven't always agreed with the sentiments expressed by rappers like Mos Def but I can't help but admire his most recent political statement. The plight of those housed in Guantanamo Bay is not something that overly concerns me, but maybe it should, I don't know. However having watched Mos Def undertake a procedure which is part of the daily life of Guantanamo's inmates I now find myself taking a keen interest in their situation.
HO LEE FUK
It was a prank so ludicrous that it would surely never come off. Were it to happen on your local radio station you would scarcely believe it, but Fox News? No way could they fall for it. But they did. Hook, line and sinker.
The plane crash in San Francisco this week shocked and saddened us all. The death of three people as a result of the Aisiana Airlines Boeing 777 crash is a tragedy within itself, and the fact that one of those deaths came at the wheels of a fire truck rushing to assist other victims even more so. But when you watch the video below it's hard not to stifle a laugh regardless of the subject matter. You know you shouldn't but inevitably you succumb. You laugh in spite of yourself and feel guilty for doing so. But then you console yourself with the knowledge that it's not your fault those presenters and their researchers are so dumb. Although the death count in the wake of this disaster has remained mercifully low it may yet be added to as heads will surely fall within the corridors of Fox News following this monumental cock-up.
THESE ARE THE DAYS
Oh remember that summer when we little lads, roasting it was! Every day the sun split the stones. It seemed like it would last forever. Oh them were the days. Well lo and behold here we are smack bang in the middle of 'the days'. In years to come people will hark back to the summer of 2013 as the benchmark against which all other summers must compete. 'Tis hot but 'tis nothin' compared to '13, we'll say as we mop the sweat from our brows, now that was a fuckin' summer. We'll forget about the cloudy days, the chilly days and even the rainy days. Twas three months of unrelenting heat the likes of which you wouldn't get in the Sahara desert, animals were dropping dead in front of our very eyes, our skin blistered the minute we went out the door, the beer gardens were full from opening 'til closing. Some feckin' summer that was.
That's what I'll be tellin' 'em anyway. And why wouldn't I? We've already had a week of it and by all accounts we have another week to come. A vintage summer that's what it is. The kind of summer that'll go down in legend. The year Ireland transformed from a rainy outcrop on the Atlantic to a tropical island near the Equator. Everyone was so happy. Everyone that is apart from the miserable bastards who spent the whole time repeating the same phrase over and over again “It's too hot”. Those people won't recount this year's heatwave with quite the same enthusiasm as the rest of us. Instead they'll be sat indoors with big miserable pusses on 'em recanting their mantra to anyone who'll listen “It's too hot.”