Saturday 25 November 2017

Just one White light in a week of 'interesting' news

There's an old Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times", which most of us don't really take seriously. We're so scared of being bored, we can't imagine how "interesting times" can mean something bad.

Recent events, though, have hammered home the truth of it: first the Japanese disaster, then a quasi-war in Libya, and let's not forget the Moriarty Tribunal report.

Oh, to exist in humdrum days when nothing much is happening and I could fill this column with amusing trivialities.

Because that's the thing about a big news story: it's almost always bad.

And Moriarty was bad news indeed for many people, including Morning Ireland (Radio 1) reporters, Caitriona Perry and Jonathan Clynch, doing what no human being should be asked to do: summarising the main findings of the report. This means they actually had to read the thing, all fifteen-billion pages or whatever it was.

Stand-in Last Word (Today FM) host, Anton Savage, had a very informative interview with this newspaper's Legal Editor, Dearbhail McDonald.

They looked back on the genesis of the Tribunal, which seems to have been going forever (it's actually only 14 years).

Then came Ben Dunne's show-stopping turn on Liveline (Radio 1), in which he bellowed and blustered in the manner we've all become accustomed to.

Ben Dunne, of course, also likes to refer to Ben Dunne in the third person. So it was "Ben Dunne" this and "Ben Dunne" that in Ben Dunne's j'accuse. Joe, for once, sounded dumbstruck. Or maybe Dunne-struck.

Just to make us all feel a bit worse, The John Murray Show (Radio 1) had a profoundly depressing segment with sociologist Dr Niamh Hourigan about the slums and ghettoes of Limerick (sorry, but that's the only way to describe these places).

The piece was important and worthwhile, yes, but my God, it was depressing. Murder, feuds, crime, ignorance, rubbish, kids as young as three involved in gangs... stop the world, I want to get off.

In fact, about the only happy moment all week was the great Tipperary hurler Eoin Kelly's chat with Marian Finucane (Radio 1) about meeting President Obama in the White House. Although I like to think of it as Barack being lucky enough to meet Eoin!

jboland@independent.ie

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