Ian O'Doherty: Ah, the kindness of strangers
A friend of mine was walking down Talbot Street last Thursday when she was approached by a beggar ("of the Traveller persuasion" as she delicately put it) and, being the good soul that she is, she gave the beggar a fiver.
Now, you might think that in these straitened times, such a gesture is a remarkable act of charity.
In fact, when my friend handed the woman the fiver she simple looked back and said: "Do you not have a tenner, then?"
Charmed, I'm sure.
Although it doesn't beat my best beggar experience – while sitting outside a sidewalk bar in Santa Monica Boulevard a couple of years back, a homeless guy approached and asked for a couple of bucks.
I told him I had no change but I had an unopened bottle of beer on my table (jet lag had kicked and I had about 20 minutes before I fell asleep) and I offered him the bottle of Dos Equis, which to my mind is the finest lager in the world.
"F**k you man. I don't drink!" And then he stormed off in a huff.
Honestly, only in LA would you get a health conscious, non-drinking bum.
From the flames to the the ashes . . .
It's a pretty horrible, mean-spirited and inaccurate publication.
I remember Phoenix did a rather feeble hatchet job on me a couple of years ago and managed to get three errors of fact into one sentence, which is almost impressive in a weird way.
Now while I pretty much loathe the politics of the magazine and, indeed, of its editor, it is vital that a healthy democracy has room for all voices, even those as pathetic as Phoenix.
But it has really gone too far in their latest edition.
On page 27 they show a cartoon about some Israeli soldiers and guess what?
Yup, the main figure in the cartoon has a hooked nose and looks like the kind of stereotypical Jewish man you'd see in Nazi propaganda mag Der Stürmer.
What's next Phoenix?
You gonna offer free copies of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion with your Christmas issue?
I don't know much about art . . .
It emerged towards the end of last week that the value of Damien Hirst's "art" work has taken a nose dive.
The man who could once sneeze into a tissue and sell the result for a couple of million has seen his latest works plummet in the market.
This has led to a chorus of glee in some quarters and, even better for some people, Tracey Emin's value has also fallen through the roof.
Now, no matter what you think about Hirst's work (I always saw him as more of a Situationist prankster fooling the establishment rather than an artist, to be honest) Emin (pictured) is a complete phony.
And it reminded me of when she won the Turner Prize for her filthy, unmade bed.
Unimpressed at the sight of the award-winning bed on the news that night, I remember my mother turning to me and saying: "Why don't you submit your bloody bedroom for the Turner next year? Because it's far worse than that mad bird's one on the the telly."
Everyone's a critic, I suppose.
The new male depression?
As I have pointed out numerous times before, I don't do Facebook, Twitter or blogs.
But sadly, some of my friends aren't of the same mind-set.
But it comes at a cost, it would appear.
Myself and some the lads (there was a human of the female persuasion in the company, but she is still just one of the lads) were discussing important matters of state last Thursday.
Okay, we were having a few pints and talking the usual rubbish, but one of the company was a bit down.
Was the cause of him having a case of the blues down to the usual reasons – you know, no money, freaking out about Christmas, all that jazz?
Nope, he had been "unfollowed" by some people on his Twitter machine.
This, of course, prompted an immediate chorus from some of his mates with a strangulated version of one of U2's earlier hits, this time named 'I Will UnFollow.'
That's the last time he opens up to us, that's for sure . . .
Big mouth strikes again
David Campese, as you know, only opens his mouth to change his feet.
And while he is one of the most electrifying wingers the rugby world has ever seen he always comes across as a bit of a pillock and his latest condemnation of the Sydney Morning Herald for appointing a female rugby reporter has been slammed.
Apparently, his views are antiquated and misogynistic and belong in the Dark Ages.
But I say he's right – what do girls know about sport?
I mean, just ask Sinead Kissane, Joanne Cantwell, Indo sports columnist Rachel Wyse, the list goes on.
All clueless, they are.
For the record, that's a joke . . .