Ian O'Doherty: We need to protect women's rights
Yet again this column is forced to spring to protect the rights of the vulnerable, the downtrodden and the people who society views with scorn and derision.
Yup, I'm talking about chicks who like to sunbathe topless.
And the latest case is an absolute doozy.
As you know, the Italians tend to be pretty liberal when it comes to matters dealing with sex, but it would seem that not all are as liberal as the rest.
Given the fact that virtually every programme on Italian TV, from football shows to current affairs, features scantily clad fillies, you'd think that they were used to the sight of bare flesh, but one woman on a beach called the cops when she saw a fellow bather go topless.
In fact, according to reports: "She initially asked the woman, an assistant in a fashion store, to cover herself up because her ample breasts and the way she was rubbing cream on her body had 'troubled' her sons aged 14 and 12."
Somehow, I doubt 'troubled' would be the correct way to describe how the kids responded to the sight.
Due to strict Italian privacy laws the police couldn't give the topless bather's identity to the media; but the cops did give a valuable clue to who she may be when one of them told a reporter: "She was very, very attractive."
Silvio Berlusconi has launched an immediate nationwide hunt to find her and make her Minister for Sexiness in his new cabinet.
THE BEST DAD IN THE WORLD
It's vitally important for the next generation of this country to be brought up properly.
And, crucially, it is especially important that they have a good, solid father figure in their life -- a stern but loving adult who will help them chart their way through the choppy waters of growing up.
Someone like Dave Diebold of the Evening Herald, for instance.
Mr Diebold recently arrived home after bringing the family on a road trip in his native America (think Chevy Chase and the Griswold family in National Lampoon) where he had provided his four kids with some valuable moral instruction -- he brought them to a Hooters bar.
The restaurant chain is (in)famous for the scantily clad lovelies who serve the food, so Our Hero reckons it was important to show his kids -- three boys and a girl -- this unique landmark of Americana.
Although he reckons he asked the waitress the one question no Hooters waitress has ever, ever been asked: "Do you have a children's menu?"
And before you ask -- no, they don't.
OH WELL, NOW WE CAN RELAX
As the Ivor Callelly saga continues, it certainly offers us a remarkably depressing insight into the Irish political psyche.
Crippled by incompetence and a serious moral and intellectual bankruptcy, it seems even Glorious Leader Brian Cowen can't sack the man who, if he had done this in America, would be languishing in Rikers Island as we speak.
But fear not -- a solution is on the way.
This has raised eyebrows in certain circles, particularly given the fact that Mr O hOisin has refused to confirm or deny whether he is or is not a member of Fianna Fail.
Well, can you honestly blame the man?
After all, would you be publicly prepared to admit affiliation with the most despised party in the whole country?
TOLERANCE - A TWO-WAY STREET
You may have read the story about the proposed mosque at the site of Ground Zero in Manhattan.
Hizzoner Bloomberg is supporting the plan, saying that it shows how tolerant New Yorkers are; although, as you can imagine, the families of the 3,000 slain by Muslim terrorists that day have taken a rather different approach to the issue.
But there is a good argument to be made that the construction of the giant mosque -- or 'Islamic cultural centre' as it's being called -- is a genuine example of America's famous pluralism.
Sure, forget about the fact that it is obviously a deliberate provocation and a two-fingered salute to ordinary Americans; the implication is that anyone who objects is obviously a racist, Islamophobic bigot.
But Greg Gutfeld, host of the brilliant Red Eye on Fox, has the perfect riposte.
As he says: "As an American, I believe they have every right to build the mosque. Likewise, in the spirit of outreach and dialogue, I plan to open a gay bar next door. This is not a joke; I have spoken to investors who have pledged their support. This won't be an ordinary gay bar, it will cater to gay Muslims; an entire floor, for example, will sell non-alcoholic drinks."
Suggested names for the bar have so far included 'Al-Gayda' and, brilliantly, 'Homohammed'.
But there will be one big difference between the mosque and the bar, says Gutfeld: "The music in my place will be better."
It's hated by the health police and has been condemned in some po-faced circles as an example of American overconsumption and gluttony -- but Man Vs Food ( Travel Channel, Mon-Fri) is a glorious celebration of American blue-collar food hosted by the genial Adam Richman.
Richman travels around America finding the hottest chillies, the biggest burgers and the best barbecue in the country, and it's a truly glorious celebration of American working-class culture and food.
Let's put it this way -- when you need a bib just watching a TV show, you know you're on to a winner.
Sample quote: "My taste buds are alive. And they're screaming 'ouch!'"
Fancy scaring yourself silly? Well, then head right over to Nic Roeg's 1973 classic, Don't Look Now. Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie are bereaved parents who go to Venice to try and cope with the grief at the death of her daughter.
But is she really dead? And who is the person in the red coat they keep seeing?
A stone cold classic.