Sunday, August 11, 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.


There is one phrase that no celebrity worth their salt should ever have to utter. A phrase so pathetic and self-serving that to speak it instantly labels you a nobody, and not only a nobody but a nobody with an attitude. The phrase is of course “Do you know who I am?” No, we don't know who you are and we don't give a fuck either, now piss off. Usually this utterance is the sole preserve of former boyband members or lower league footballers, but occasionally even the big guns are forced to wonder it, if not come right out and say it.

Oprah Winfrey, despite being largely ignored anywhere outside of the States, would most likely consider herself a big gun in the celebrity world. In all honesty I'm not quite sure what she does anymore, I'm aware that she's queen of the daytime chat show but that alone doesn't explain her fame and wealth. She is what you'd call a brand I suppose, someone who's personality has long since outstripped her worth. And in all honesty if she were walking down O'Connell Street in Limerick City tomorrow I would walk past her with nary a hint of recognition.

So on that basis I have more than a smidgen of sympathy for the Zurich shop assistant who has been branded a racist by Oprah. The shop assistant's crime? Advising Ms Winfrey that a particular item in the store was “too expensive.”Perhaps Oprah sensed something in the tone of this mysterious Swiss racist, something that told her “don't be silly love you couldn't afford this, you are black after all.” Or perhaps she was just a little peeved that the worker in question hadn't the foggiest who she was, Winfrey was even moved to lament “obviously the Oprah Winfrey show is not shown in Zurich.”

It's easy for me, a white man living in a largely white populous, to scoff at Oprah's words, I don't have to carry the burden that every ethnic minority does on a daily basis. But in this instance I can't help but feel she's jumping to conclusions. The worker simply said the item was too expensive, and the likelihood is that he/she would have said the exact same thing to any shopper whom they didn't recognise as being dripping with cash. Maybe Oprah felt a little peeved by this perceived slight, maybe she thought her fame spread all the way through central Europe and beyond, and maybe this is her way of ensuring that if the people of Switzerland weren't aware of who she was before they certainly are now.


As a teenage boy there was no sight more exciting, a glimpse of that red-top and already your mind was racing; who will it be? Sam from Surrey? Jo from Birmingham? Or your favourite, Amanda from Essex? But the red-top in question wasn't draped around the shoulders of a buxom lady, it was emblazoned across the front page of the nation's favourite tabloid, the Sun. And you knew that just one page in all your hopes and dreams would come to life in the form of the page three lovely.

We're all a lot older and wiser now, the sight of a bare-chested lady is something we've come to take for granted given the ease of access to such delights via the Internet. But even now when I see a discarded Sun newspaper I can't resist having a sneaky peek for old time's sake. However the next time I flick through that esteemed publication I may be in for something of a surprise, because instead of ogling a pert pair of breasts on the third page I will be met with a tastefully shot woman in a swimsuit.

Of course the irony of this move by the Irish edition of the tabloid is that nobody really gives a fuck. Who needs Page Three when we've got (insert your site of choice here). If this had happened during the nineties there would have been outrage and many a young lad would have been deprived of his only access to the female form. The Sun claim that their reason for removing the topless pictures is that it has become outdated and archaic, but the truth is that people don't buy the paper for such reasons anymore so why persevere with it? They may try and claim the moral high ground but one glance through the rest of that newspaper will tell you that tits or no tits it's still the same old Sun, and the quality of it's content is unlikely to change any time soon. 


There's nothing worse than a social media faux pas, you concoct what you believe to be a credible argument, press post and instantly forget about it. Then, a few hours later, you log back in and all hell has broke loose. What the fuck have I done? Shit! Usually all you've done is call someone a fat bastard or intimate that someone's baby is ugly, but occasionally you really fuck up and have to go incognito (offline) for a few days until it all blows over. But Derek Medina is going to have to do a lot more than simply go offline before his indiscretion is forgotten about.

The South Floridian had been having some girl trouble of late and in true Facebook style he took to the web to do a little venting. “I'm going to prison or death sentence for killing my wife,” he said on Thursday morning, oh Derek you're such a drama queen shall I send you a pm and we can talk this over? But he wasn't kidding, and to prove his point he followed up his confession with a picture of the wife in question, and she was clearly quite dead. Fucking hell Derek you've really gone and done it now.

The only surprise is that Medina was the first person to do this, when you see some of the shit published on social media sites it's a miracle that it's taken this long. Quite simply if you give people an outlet then it's only a matter of time until they abuse it. The staggering thing is that the picture in question remained on Medina's timeline for up to five hours. Where were the Facebook police then? When I posted a picture of my knob it was taken down within minutes and I got banned for a week.*

The fear in a case like this is that it will start a trend. The Woolwich murders showed how evil people can use the Internet as a tool for their propaganda. At the time we wondered whether Lee Rigby would have been so brutally slain if the act couldn't then be viewed by millions of people. Chances are Derek Medina would have murdered his wife regardless we'll never know, but the story here is not that of a deranged man killing his spouse in cold blood, it is the effect social media is having on society and those who use it.


You've all had a great laugh at Kilkenny's expense this summer, the all-conquering Cats finally laid to rest and poor Henry sent off into the bargain. Hahaha, fuckin' hilarious. Well I'm afraid the joke's on you. We're still the best in the country - no not at hurling, not until next year - but at life. To be more precise we are the friendliest, loveliest people in the whole country. And not only that, we are also the friendliest, loveliest people in the whole of Europe. Suck on that Rebel County!

And just in case you think I'm making this up in a last-ditch attempt to save face after a summer of relative failure I will point you in the direction of esteemed travel magazine Conde Naste. It is their readers who placed the Marble City as Ireland's, and Europe's, friendliest, placing it ninth in the world behind such luminaries as Paro, Thimpo and Florianopolis (no I've never heard of them either). And the stats don't lie, us Kilkenny folk are simply a joy to be around bringing happiness and pleasure to all we meet. I presume the votes were counted in advance of the Cats exit from this year's Championship though, because any tourist visiting our fine city from that day onwards is likely to have received a tepid welcome at best.  

* I have never, nor will I ever, post a picture of my junk on Facebook. You should be so lucky!

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