Ian O'Doherty: Ah, the joys of Republican logic
You'd really have to wonder about the mental health of publican John Stokes, who has stepped into the merde after he erected a 60x20ft banner outside his bar, The Players Lounge, informing the Queen that she is "officially barred" from entering the premises.
Of course, if any Royalists out there want to have a bit of mischief at Stokes's expense, they could always complain to the Equality Authority on the grounds that Betty is being discriminated against on the grounds of (a) ethnicity and (b) gender.
Not that I'm suggesting people should do that, you understand, I'm just putting it out there.
Of course, it's unlikely that she had any great plans to pop into a bar in Fairview for a pint and a toastie, but Stokes says he is making a point.
And, as usual, people have complained about the banner, saying it is, yawn, 'incitement to hatred' -- the fall-back position for every deluded, thin- skinned idiot out there who thinks someone holding a view contrary to theirs is somehow inciting hatred.
Anywho, showing the grasp of history that makes Republicans such amusing creatures, Stokes says that the Queen will not be welcome "as long as British troops occupy a part of this country".
There's only one problem with that sentiment -- they don't occupy any of this country. They have a presence in an entirely different country to the north of the Republic of Ireland.
Still, it'll be interesting to see the reaction his son Anthony receives the next time he plays for Celtic against one of the many fervently loyalist clubs in Scotland . . .
And you are . . .?
One often wonders at the levels of stupidity reached by those who have inherited vast amounts of wealth.
Just take Daphne Guinness (nope, I'd never heard of her either) who launched into a rather vitriolic attack on Victoria Beckham the other day.
Guinness, apparently, also wants to be a clothes designer -- or something -- and she said of Beckham: "She is an ugly pig! Downbeat, miserable and awful. Of course, she's going to make money -- she's backed by Simon Fuller. I don't have anyone (backing me) -- she annoys the shit out of me."
In fairness, you can understand the anger of a young designer looking on as a rival receives valuable patronage -- but the sympathy kinda wears thin when you see the personal fortune of Guinness.
Which is an estimated £100m of her family's money.
Lock 'em up and throw away the key
Look, we need to start being honest with each other, you and I.
We need to mutually acknowledge the fact that kids are, basically, little shits.
Thanks to insane EU laws, you can no longer send them up chimneys where they could at least partially pay for their keep.
In fact, it would appear that the only people allowed to send their kids out to work these days are gangs of Romanian beggars and pickpockets.
But even this column's long antipathy towards small humans was rather tempered the other day by an odd story from England.
A family were out walking in their local park last week when two of the kids stopped to pick some daffodils for their mother.
Much to their bad luck, a local councillor was passing by and he was not amused.
Did he inform the family that they weren't supposed to pick flowers? Did he have a quiet word with the mother?
Nope -- he immediately called the cops and 20 minutes later a squad car arrived and two officers got out and informed the family that they would be arrested if they didn't vacate the park immediately.
You know you're in the wrong job when you find yourself threatening to arrest a six-year-old because she just picked some flowers but it does pose one interesting question -- just how many other crimes were committed while the cops wasted half their day freaking out a bunch of kids?
Did you really want to say that?
The Japanese tsunami has genuinely shocked everyone.
As footage continues to stream through TVs looking more like something from a Michael Bay disaster flick than a real-life tragedy, it's actually hard to comprehend the true scale of the situation and, indeed, the courage of the ordinary Japanese people on the ground.
But it seems there are some hidden victims in all of this as well.
Now, I know we don't look to your average rapper for enlightened views, or even common sense.
But 50 Cent has walked himself into some trouble with his remarks on Twitter that: "Look, this is very serious people. I had to evacuate all my hoe's (sic) from LA, Hawaii and Japan. Lol."
Wow. What a great guy.
Okay -- sign me up
I'm as religious as the next man. Assuming the next man is an ardent atheist, that is.
However, I can understand the point of religious rituals such as Lent, which are designed to make people more spiritual through the medium of giving up chocolate.
But it would appear that some people have taken an interesting approach to the period. American home brewer J Wilson of Des Moines has made an interesting commitment -- he is going to live off beer for the duration.
Interestingly, he also says: "I don't really intend to get drunk."
It's a capital idea and one which all blokes should try.
After all, just think of the benefits -- the missus gets out of bed at two in the morning, storms down the stairs telling you to turn the telly down and stop drinking and you get to tell her she is being a bigot who is trying to restrict your right to religious expression.
Obviously, that is an entirely hypothetical scenario and not something that actually happened in my house last night.