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Ian O'Doherty: A slight over-reaction, perhaps?

It did well at the Golden Globes, is hotly tipped to sweep the Oscars and it has thoroughly entranced normally cynical movie critics.

That's really saying something for a black-and- white silent movie which perhaps most unforgivably, is French, but The Artist is a true triumph of modern cinema; a veritable return to innocence and love and a life-affirming piece of beauty.

Of course, I haven't seen it myself because I am a Philistine, but that doesn't stop me from nicking lines from my more pretentious mates -- I'm not going to go to the cinema until they make another Police Academy.

But it would appear that some people don't share that sentiment.

In fact, some people have been demanding refunds from cinemas when they discovered that they were watching a silent movie.

One cinema chain even issued a statement saying: "Odeon Liverpool can confirm it has issued a small number of refunds to guests who were unaware that The Artist was a silent movie."

Now, I'm going to be the bigger man here and resist the temptation to have a cheap shot at these thick and ignorant and thoroughly uncultured Scousers . . .

Actually, no, I'm not.

And did I mention that their football club is racist as well?

Just thought it would be nice to remind you . . .

Well, we knew that already

It was the headline of the week so far: "Facebook Will Ruin My Life."

That was the plaintive cry from DCU student Eoin McKeogh, who is taking legal action to stop alleged footage of him skipping from a taxi fare appearing on either Facebook or YouTube.

The 22-year-old claims that he wasn't even in the country when the alleged incident took place and he is worried that his plans to work in Japan will be destroyed if any prospective employers look up his name online and then see the incident.

Now, I hadn't heard of this kerfuffle before yesterday's story in the Herald and it's unlikely you would have either.

So, to protect his privacy, Eoin McKeogh has gone to court to ensure people won't know about it and won't know his name.

Well done, Eoin McKeogh.

Your privacy is safe with us.

Yup, he’s a good teacher

I had a rather strained relationship with many of my teachers (funny that) and so I used to look forward to any guests who would come in to talk to us about things.

You know what I mean, people who would come in to give us first aid lessons or talk about a post-school future in the hurly-burly exciting world of working for the local building society.

That sort of thing.

But no guest speaker I ever saw as a lad came close to the entertainment value provided by American cop Lee Paige.

Paige went to a local school to warn kids about the dangers of playing with guns.

Now, if the media is to be believed, by the time the average American kid gets to high school, they are already proficient in a vast array of high-powered weaponry, but our hero was determined to at least show them how to use weapons properly.

Addressing the kids, he informed them that: "I'm the only person who is professional enough to handle this Glock."

And class, can you guess what he did next?

You got it -- as soon as he uttered those words he promptly shot himself in the foot.

Interestingly, he then sued his bosses after one of the kids' parents posted the video online because, he said, this breached his right to make a living as a motivational speaker.

Somehow I imagine the fact that he now walks with a limp because he blew his bloody foot off may have also had a negative impact on his future in giving safety talks . . .

Okay – once more with feeling

Well, we've gone at least a week without some daft controversy caused by a TV show, so it's about time we had a fresh one.

And the latest stems from Coronation Street.

Now, like most red-blooded blokes I have zero interest in soaps and have often wondered why on earth people would bother watching something like EastEnders which, the last time I saw it, simply consisted of belligerent, angry cockneys shouting at each other -- and I get enough of that in work from my boss, thanks very much.

I must admit I do like Corrie. The writing is better, the storylines tend to be less depressing and Steve McDonald is a fine comic character.

But the show, usually so inoffensive, is in the brown stuff at the moment after a scene saw a man smacking a naughty girl on the back of the legs.

It was certainly a powerful, unexpected piece of television and is quite obviously there to move the plot along to its inevitable conclusion but hundreds of viewers complained that it encouraged violence.

Now, there are a few things to clear up here -- firstly, the character who did it, Owen, is going to lose everything as a result of his moment of red mist, and the other is that . . . it's a bloody TV show.

When will you people learn that it's not real life?

Return that arse!

Iraq is facing huge difficulties at the moment. Violence between the Sunnis and their hated Shi'ite rivals threatens to drag the country into a civil war that would make the Balkans look like a minor disagreement over whose round it is in the pub.

But the Iraqi Government have their eyes on bigger things -- Saddam Hussein's arse. Or, more precisely, a section of his buttocks from a statue that was taken back to Britain by a former SAS man who served there.

They have made an official complaint against Nigel Ely for the alleged theft of the 2ft lump of bronze and he has already been questioned by British police.

I can just see the cabinet meeting now -- okay lads, we have sectarian slaughter on a massive scale, we have no economy worth talking about, those bastards in Iran are deliberately destabilising our recovery and the West doesn't care about us anymore.

But I will not rest until we recover Saddam Hussein's hole.


Irish Independent