It was art imitating life not the other way around. Love/Hate returned to our screens this week and one scene sparked more controversy than the previous three series combined. At the time of watching I thought nothing of it, if it had been a dog then yeah I probably would have been a bit upset, but cats? They're ten a penny these days. I jest of course, I'm no lover of cats but along with most sane folk I detest any kind of cruelty to animals. But this was a TV show and the producers went on to state that no cats were harmed during the making of the episode. That didn't stop the outrage though, not to mention the complaints.
In a way I can understand the outcry, torturing defenceless creatures seems to be very much in vogue among Ireland's teens at the moment, and seeing 'Cleo' gunned down so violently could arguably vindicate their actions. But isn't it time we stopped blaming the media for society's ails? A few weeks ago I spoke of the impact of Grand Theft Auto and how it allegedly turns our children into homicidal lunatics. I ended that piece by saying that it is not up to Rockstar to guide the world's youth through those difficult teenage years, it's up to their parents. And the same applies here.
Airing when it did – at a time when every community in the country could tell you stories about domesticated animals being tortured – was unfortunate, but shows like Love/Hate are supposed to reflect society as accurately as they possibly can. Did it glamourise the slaying of this moggy? I didn't think so, instead it showed how blasé and feckless certain segments of our society have become. This shit goes on in our country whether you like it or not and if you're offended by its on-screen depiction then maybe Love/Hate isn't the programme for you.
Pride and glory
“If you drink a pint of Guinness you qualify to play for Ireland.” Ho ho ho, ha ha ha, good one lads, ye're only gas. How many times have we heard that one from our friends across the pond? It was all in good humour of course, and wasn't far from the truth in all honesty. But who's laughing now? A few hours after Manchester United's two one win over Sunderland last weekend I turned on Match of the Day eager to relive Adnan Januzaj's masterclass all over again. The England manager, Roy Hodgson, was in the studio to discuss how his players had performed in the various games throughout the country. And it was slim pickings for Woy, the English national team is not loaded with talent at this moment in time it's fair to say. But what's this? A promising young player in with a chance of going to Brazil next summer? Who could it be?
Why Januzaj of course. That's right, this Belgian born eighteen-year old with Albanian heritage was apparently a potential saviour for the Three Lions. What? Forget the fact that he would need to be living in the UK for a least another two years before he could even qualify to play for one of the Home Nations; that ruling has always been a nonsense and should be scrapped completely. The issue here is the sheer arrogance (or stupidity I'm not sure which) of the English. You'd swear they had a record comparable to the Spaniards or Brazilians in recent years, it's as if Adnan can barely wait to get the Queen's mug tattooed on his arm and belt out the national anthem alongside ole' Lionheart himself.
Why would he want to play for England? An international career comprising of 'spirited' runs to the quarter-finals and bittersweet eliminations on penalties is hardly that alluring is it? Belgium have one of the best sides in world football at this moment in time, but hey they're only Belgium right? I have no idea who Januzaj will represent at international level, I'm far more concerned with his club career to be honest. But I'm sure he'll pick whatever country he feels most passionate about. The cynics among you may dispute that, you'll say that he'll weigh up his options, decide which route benefits him the most and base his decision on that. And maybe you'd be right, maybe I'm being naive about the whole thing – just ask that Italian sounding, cockney accented, Irish man Tony Cascarino.
One true religion
The First Holy Communion is a momentous day in any child's life. You're finally one of God's children and as a reward you get to eat him, not literally of course; he died years ago so instead it's a bit of stale bread that gets plopped on your tongue by the priest. But what a day it is, you get all dressed up in clothes which were carefully selected to make you feel as uncomfortable as possible before taking your place among all the other holy little whelps. Then when the boring church bit is over you get taken for a slap-up meal at the fanciest restaurant in town – Eddie Rocket's it is then. But all this shit is secondary, we all know what the day is really about and it doesn't involve God or anything to do with that Mass nonsense.
It's about money, and how much of it you can get. Yes, yes we're delighted to be welcomed into God's arms and all that malarkey but: SHOW US THE MONEY. Aunties, uncles, cousins, ould wans you don't even know, strangers who glance in your direction, they're all possible outlets for cash: and you won't stop counting until it's time for bed and a few half-hearted prayers to that Jesus fella. What child in their right mind would pass up such an opportunity? This is a chance to swell your bank balance to previously unheard of levels. But some of the children in the Gaelscoil An Raithín don't seem to understand just how important this day is - they wanted to go to a One Direction concert instead.
Okay so their plan was to rearrange the Communion for another day, it clashed with the teen popster's performance and the concerned parents didn't want their kids to miss out on seeing Harry Styles and co in the flesh. Fuck that. Not only is this an affront to the Catholic church and all it stands for, but much more importantly it threatened to mess with the gathering of several crumpled up ten, twenty and even fifty Euro notes. What kind of parents are these? Thankfully democracy won the day. After the votes were counted and verified it was decreed that the Communion would go ahead and those wishing to see One Direction would have to wait until the reunion in three years time. Maybe the kids can use some of the money earned on their Holy day to purchase a ticket.
How do you clean yours?
“How do you eat yours?” That's what Cadbury's ask us every Easter as they flood our stores with their delicious Creme Eggs, and we all have different methods of tackling those ever-shrinking capsules of joy. But now there's a new question gripping the nation, and it's all thanks to an Internet forum called mumsnet. If you haven't read about this story I'll give you a brief synopsis right now. On this forum – which is a place where women gather to talk about the important things in life – a member started a thread entitled 'Do you dunk your penis'. Let's try and ignore the fact that the poster refers to her partner's penis as her own, that's not the weirdest part of this by a long stretch. The woman in question went on to ask her fellow forumistas whether they had a special 'penis beaker' at the side of the bed; essentially a container filled with water used as by her fella for clean-up area after they'd engaged in a bit of coitus.
Obviously none of them did, they used the bathroom like most normal people. But although some of the replies went into horrendous detail we, the menfolk of this world, weren't consulted at any point. So I'm asking you, my fellow gentlemen; how do you clean yours? Are you one of those neanderthals who grunts “Thanks love,” rolls over and falls asleep? Or do you take to the bathroom and give yourself a proper scrub (raising the question; just how dirty was she?)? Most of you I'd imagine, will fall somewhere in the middle. You'll spot a discarded tissue lying on the floor and use it to give yourself a rudimentary cleansing before chucking it from whence it came. Me? I like to wipe mine on the curtains before hopping back into bed and holding her in my arms, a proper romantic that's what I am.