Tuesday 21 October 2014

Ian O'Doherty: Okay -- can we just calm down a bit?

Published 13/12/2012 | 17:00

Let's get a few things straight, shall we?

With the obvious exception of New York's Jerky Boys, prank calls just aren't that funny.

In fact, the kind of DJ who engages in this kind of behaviour is usually the kind of gurning idiot who wears novelty jumpers at this time of the year and likes to inform people of how 'mad' they are.

Of course, what they really mean is that they have absolutely no personality whatsoever and just end up looking like Colin Hunt from The Fast Show.

So I had little sympathy with the two Australian jocks who made the prank call to Kate Middleton's hospital.

Having said that, the British media storm following that Jacintha Saldanha's suicide has been breathtaking in its pure cynicism and opportunism.

It was a prank gone bad; there is no way two idiots responsible for making the call could have expected such an horrific outcome and everyone knows that.

Well, everyone except some sections of the press, that is.

In fact, one English paper really went to town the other day.

They urged the London Metropolitan police force to send a team of detectives down to Australia to interview the duo, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, with a view to charge them with manslaughter.

Now, I'm no lawyer, but somehow I doubt the Met has jurisdiction over a radio station in Sydney.

WOW -- A STRAIGHT TALKER

I don't agree with everything Michael McDowell says.

In fairness, I'm not even entirely sure that Michael McDowell agrees with everything Michael McDowell says.

But he has always come across as a man who shoots from the lip and is more interested in making his point than gaining easy popularity with cheap soundbites.

So I was rather bloody annoyed when I saw that McDowell said "we are all to blame" for the current economic carnage we are witnessing.

The only extravagance I had during the so-called boom years was buying a house -- to live in and make a home out of, not to rent out for profit.

In fact, everyone I know who simply kept their heads down and worked hard when the work was there is thoroughly sick of being blamed for the madness and avarice of others.

Then I read his comments more closely . . . and the 'we' he was referring to was politicians who saw the oncoming implosion but didn't do enough to stop it.

Wow -- a politician who is prepared to shoulder the blame rather point his finger at the rest of us.

Now there's a refreshing change.

MAYBE HE'S MISSING THE POINT?

I know some people who are in receipt of the carer's allowance. And it's not much.

In fact, I can think, off the top of my head, of two people I know who are looking after someone who, if they were in a hospital, would cost a fortune in medical costs.

Yet they remain at home, being looked after by a relative for a pittance.

So of all the cuts -- and I'm wary to rate which cuts are the worst because it simply pits people against each other -- this latest budget slash of the allowance for the 77,000 carers in this country seems particularly harsh.

But not according to Fine Gael's Shane McEntee.

He was asked to comment on the controversy and he simply claimed that the carers could save money by holidaying in Ireland, adding: "You could stay in a top hotel in Ireland for €700 a week."

Now, maybe I'm missing the point here.

But I don't think the carers have been protesting against the cuts because it will result in a decline of the standard of hotel they holiday in . . .

HMMM. I DON'T REALLY THINK SO

Having comfortably made the transition from Angry Young Man to Grumpy Old Fart (there's not much of a difference, to be honest with you) I am quite comfortable to look at today's pop music and give out about it.

And that is one of the reasons why I find the massive success of One Direction so baffling.

Don't get me wrong, they seem like nice young lads. But really? To be that famous? Even in America?

Now it has emerged that One D's Harry Styles has been seeing Taylor Swift (pictured) of late.

Now given Swift's reputation with men, I'd say it was a statistical inevitability that Styles would end up with her and he seems utterly smitten with the notorious maneater.

But now she has been dubbed 'The new Yoko Ono'.

Ah come on, guys.

The Beatles: Rubber Soul, Revolver, The White Album, Sgt Pepper's etc.

One Direction . . . um, anyone? Anyone know any of their albums? Have they even released one?

God. I am so old.

CAN YOU GUESS WHO IT IS YET?

There is no doubt that cyber bullying is a vile and horrible thing to have to endure. Take the usual playground taunts and multiply by it a million and you still haven't gauged the impact it can have on the victim.

So I was particularly interested to see one well known Irish performer put their name to a campaign to stamp this behaviour out.

The gesture would have had slightly more credibility, however, if the individual involved hadn't been sending some pretty vile tweets about people they didn't like recently.

The identity?

Ah, that would be telling . . .

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