Ian O' Doherty: End this discrimination immediately
There are times when being an endless campaigner for equality, diversity and civil rights can be quite exhausting.
In fact, compassion fatigue is a real worry and when you find yourself hating the poor, the tired and the most irritating group of all, the huddled masses -- God those whiney bastards are always complaining about something -- then you begin to think it might be time to throw in the towel.
And then a cause comes along which is just too vital, too important to ignore.
That cause is Ashley Graham.
Ashley, ladies and gentlemen, is the victim of a most grievous piece of discrimination.
Her ad for lingerie was banned by network ABC -- because Ashley is a 38DD.
This is disgusting discrimination against zaftig women and this column will not let it lie -- we'll go to the Equality Authority, the High Court . . . damn it, the European Court of Human Rights need to be informed.
After all, who wants to live in a world where chicks with massive hooters aren't celebrated?
Lads -- have a quick peek at the pic and tell me you don't want to join this noble campaign?
AH, THE FRENCH ...
The recent unpleasantness caused by the volcano -- it didn't get that much coverage but you might have read something about it -- has disturbed a lot of people's lives and made everyone a victim.
And things still haven't entirely returned to normality.
Just take the case of the 53 British holidaymakers who were stranded in Calais last week.
They had been due to make alternative arrangements to return home through Dunkirk but things took a turn for the French when some local union types decided to say 'non'.
The union workers trapped the Britons on the coach and refused to let it leave, insisting that the tourists leave through Calais rather then their rival port.
It's another example of French workers behaving like they own the place with no regard for the feelings of others.
But things turned out peacefully in the end.
An enterprising tour operator looked over the shoulders of the militant workers and asked: "Oh, are those German tanks over there?"
In the ensuing panic of screaming Frenchmen jumping into the water, the coach was able to make its escape.
REALLY? I DIDN'T KNOW THAT
There are lot of sad, lonely, embittered people out there. And they all seem to read ISpy. And then blog about it.
One blog, written by someone called Eoin Butler, had a pop at this column last week when he was offended by an item. And while that's fair enough, some of the comments posted underneath were interesting.
One person claimed to have sat beside your hero in DCU while doing a journalism MA in the '90s, which came as a big shock.
Granted, a lot of that decade remains shrouded in a chemical haze, but I'm, pretty sure that DCU would never sink so low, while another person dismissed this column's praise for Nick Cave's The Boatman's Call by saying: "see what cutting edge 'sounds' Ian is reviewing this week. That's right, a Nick Cave Best Of from 13 years ago."
Okay children, here's a little lesson -- this column doesn't review new albums, it recommends classics that might have slipped through some people's nets and, more crucially, it's not a bloody best of, it's a masterpiece.
There was also a remarkably libellous assertion posted before being eventually removed -- some people in the Indo suggested suing, if only for a laugh. But what could he offer as payment? Ten per cent of bitterness? A basket of self-loathing? A bushel of talentless outrage?
SAY NO TO RACIST CONDIMENTS
As the run-up to the British election gathers pace, it has been interesting to see how the different party leaders have been coping with the pressure.
As usual, Gordon Brown looks like some alien imposter desperately trying to mimic the nuanced behaviour of these strange hu-mans he has come to observe; David Cameron manages the impossible and looks even smugger than normal, while little Nick Clegg has come down with a serious case of the paranoias after experiencing extra media attention following on from his impressive performance in the first debate.
And what of the other leaders?
Well, while the grown-ups continue to debate the issues, the BNP's Fuhrer Nick Griffin is embroiled in what has to be the daftest political row of all time -- with Marmite.
In a party political broadcast, an image of a jar of Marmite was broadcast at the top of the screen.
This was the BNP's way of responding to the use of their logo in a Marmite ad campaign.
One might be forgiven for thinking that people have better things to be doing, but Unilever, the company which owns the product has unleashed their lawyers and issued a statement saying: "We want to make it absolutely clear Marmite did not give the BNP permission to use a pack shot of our product in their broadcast. Neither Marmite nor any other Unilever product endorses any political party."
This will come as good news to those of us who remember the media storm when it emerged that Murphy's Meat Paste was an enthusiastic supporter of the Nazis during the war.
Although the ad does certainly provide a first -- it's definitely the first time that Griffin ever wanted to associated with something that was thick and black.
It remains a mystery to this day how The Stars Of Heaven never made the international breakthrough they so richly deserved. Years ahead of their time, their blissful alt-country sound has been co-opted by numerous acts today and you can hear the Stars's influence shine through countless albums.
1998's Speak Slowly is a masterpiece that has often been compared to Wilco. Just listen to the shimmering 'Lights Of Tetouan' and remember with fondness one of the greatest bands of the 1980s, Irish or otherwise.
War, what is it good for? Well, brilliant books of reportage, for starters. And they don't come much better than Dexter Filkins's The Forever War, which focuses on Iraq and Afghanistan and features interviews with everyone from American soldiers to Taliban clerics.
Sample quote: "The Mujahideen waited nine days and nine nights, waiting for the American forces. Then the Marines came."