News Ian O'Doherty

Saturday 20 September 2014

No hacks were hurt writing this column. Sadly.

Published 10/10/2013 | 05:00

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The scene from 'Love/Hate' that caused outrage and sparked calls for a boycott of the show by some campaign groups. No official complaints were made to the BAI about this scene as of yet.

Every so-called 'civilised' society likes to pride itself on its treatments of animals.

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And while we might look askance at the loathsome tradition of bullfighting in Spain, where they seem to have an endless array of 'festivals' that revolve around making some creature suffer, we're in no position to scale the moral high ground.

Because the Irish record when it comes to animal cruelty is pretty bloody abysmal.

Tens of thousands of homeless dogs are put down every year in pounds by vets who, only last week, were accused of being too quick to reach for the lethal injection.

Hundreds of dogs a day are routinely euthanised and the way we treat our greyhounds once they are no longer good enough to race is a national scandal – one THUG, who lives in Crumlin, has a well known sideline where he is paid to take superfluous dogs and kill them in the back of his van.

The genuine outpouring of public emotion in the wake of the profoundly upsetting story of Peggy Mangan and her loyal-to-the-end King Charles, Casper, showed just how entwined our lives are with dogs, and speaking as someone who lives around the corner from the poor woman, it has undoubtedly cast a pall over the neighbourhood.

But as much as most of us love dogs, an equally vociferous number seems to hate cats – frequently expressing their love for canines in their loathing for felines.

I've never been able to understand that mentality, but we all know people who would happily drown the lot of them and it's not uncommon to see people treat cats, feral ones in particular, as vermin.

So it has been interesting to watch the outrage slowly develop in the wake of Sunday night's Love/Hate, which saw a young thug spray a cat with sub-machine gun fire in the middle of the street

It was an undeniably shocking scene and made a none too subtle play on how cruelty to animals is a stepping stone to treating humans people the same way.

RTÉ has received furious complaints from animal lovers and the ISPCA has been quick to blast the show as "sick and horrendous".

It wasn't long before the Animal Rights Action Network added: "Violence towards animals is on the rise in Ireland and this violent and disgusting scene in Love/Hate does huge damage to our work of creating kindness towards animals on the streets."

They promptly resorted to the tried and tested tactic of concerned citizens everywhere – bullies, IN MY OPINION – and called for a boycott of the show unless the producers make a donation to a charity.

That's not going to happen, nor should it. After all, it's not as if this was a recreation of that infamous scene from Men Behind The Sun, which featured a real cat being eaten alive by rats.

But once we've all agreed that they didn't actually take a real cat, then we've started to blame the show for potentially inspiring some little creep to kill a cat.

If you're ever walking down the street and see some little scobie spraying a sub-machine gun around the place, cats will be the least of your problems, but does anyone honestly think this will really inspire some unhinged kid to go out and murder a moggy?

Anybody who is capable of deliberately inflicting pain and distress in other creature is wired badly and no TV show, or book, or movie, or song is going to make them do something that isn't already in their psychological bag of tricks.

And if you don't believe me?

Well, we have that lovely little thing called Halloween coming up in a fortnight.

Let's see how many cats and other animals are hurled onto a bonfire, or have a banger attached to their tail, and then we can argue whether some people need a TV show to turn them into sadistic little shits.

FINALLY – A CURE FOR QATAR?

Blink and you'll kiss it.

That seems to be the view towards the ever-spreading dangers of gayness in the Gulf.

The Gulf Co-operation States, which includes 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar, have decided to 'screen' possible homosexuals when they land, and then deport them immediately should they not prove sufficiently heterosexual.

That's all very well and good and reliably deranged. But how will they conduct the screening process?

Will they ask people how many Britney songs they know? Their views on Peter Tatchell? How many times they've seen The Wizard Of Oz?

I hope not – because I think Britney's great, I'm strangely fond of Peter Tatchell and I love The Wizard of Oz will all my black little heart.

Damn. I was so looking forward to visiting that lovely place...

DO YOU THINK SHE'S MISSING THE POINT?

So, having presumably sucked all the wisdom out from Kaballah, like some crackpot Succubus, Madonna has turned her attention to Islam and says studying the Koran is important to her because: "A good Muslim is a good Jew, and a good Jew is a good Christian and so forth."

I'm not sure that's quite how they see it in the West Bank, but thanks anyway, Madge..

If only they had known it was so simple!

Irish Independent

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