Sunday 26 January 2020

Ian O'Doherty: Ban it. Ban it now.

D'interweb has certainly changed the way we live our lives and mostly it is for the better.

But it's not all fun and games, nosirree Bob. For instance, we have to deal with the evil behemoth that is Wikipedia.

The very notion of this online encyclopaedia -- that it would feature information delivered by punters -- was nauseatingly democratic and, inevitably, it now contains more factual errors than the average instalment of ISpy. And that's saying something.

Someone set up a page dedicated to my good self and while most of the information is correct, it also contains a paragraph which says: "He was arrested in 2005 at Shannon airport for what was later discovered to be a vibrator. After being questioned and detained for 12 hours, gardai decided that it would be counter productive to homo-hetero relations to arrest the man who was voted Dublin's most eligible penis lover three years in a row."

This is defamatory, grossly offensive and completely wrong.

The 'misunderstanding' at Shannon actually happened in 2007.

Jesus, can they get anything right?


The Irish are great at laughing at everyone else but tend to get rather prickly when it has been directed back towards us.

And, proving that it's not Americans who don't get irony, rather than us Paddies, one only has to look at any rugby international to see hordes of idiot fans dressing up as leprechauns to realise that we are, basically, quite a thick nation that wants to have it both ways.

After all, if an English TV show portrays us as leprechauns there would be war -- yet when we do it to ourselves it's fine. It's exactly the same self-serving double standard that sees black people who call each other nigger go mental when a honky says it to them.

But now it seems we have taken national stereotyping to weapons-grade level. Next month sees the opening of -- wait for it -- The National Leprechaun Museum.

Yup, we're in the middle of a crippling recession, we are in such dire straits that a woman with all the brains of a boiled cabbage is Tanaiste but at least we can look forward to a museum dedicated to leprechauns.

What's next? The Banshee bowling alley?

Although it will be interesting to see if they include the leprechaun from the 1992 horror flick -- called, imaginatively, Leprechaun -- which sees a young Jennifer Aniston in a state of undress being chased by a malignant midget from Ireland.


So, what are you giving up for Lent? Every religion has a period of abstaining from certain things and it's a good idea if you're into the whole abstaining thing.

In fairness, this column has absolutely no impulse control and even less will power, so it's never been high on our list of things to do.

But now church leaders in England have suggested a new thing people could put away for Lent -- their iPod.

The reason? Well, according to the Bishop of Liverpool, James Jones: "The idea is to save energy to help those suffering from the effects of climate change."

So, refraining from listening to The Kings Of Leon for a few weeks will help change the world.

Interestingly, there is a growing clamour of scientific evidence which suggests that man-made climate change is a myth.

But then you'd never get a Christian believing in a myth, would you?


He may not be as crucial to American music today as he once was, but if Stevie Wonder has done one thing to improve the lot of humanity, then it has to be Songs In The Key Of Life.

This 1977 double album is one of the most ambitious, beautiful and soaring records you are ever likely to hear and formed a template that was replicated -- although never truly matched -- by performers everywhere for the next 20 years.

Like his Motown label-mate Marvin Gaye's What's Going On, a sense of rage and injustice at the American system permeates the album, but that doesn't stop Wonder producing some of the best melodies and arrangements ever committed to vinyl.


He's tipped for an Oscar for his role in Crazy Heart, so now is a perfect time to look at Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski, where he plays a slacker trying to get compensation from a man responsible for two criminals weeing on his rug -- don't ask, the plot's not that important, it's a Coen Brothers movie.

Sample quote: "Nihilists! F**k me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it's an ethos."


It's been at least a month since the last time Family Guy offended someone so it's about time they enraged a nation.

In the recent past, we've seen Professional Paddies like Niall O'Dowd squealing with indignation at the portrayal of Ireland as a home of violent drunks who drink in bars called things like 'Wifey McBeaty's'; we've seen them annoy Jews with their comment on the Holocaust: "Don't bring out your Hebrew baggage on me"; and they enraged Bill O'Reilly when they said that Fox News owned the image rights to Hitler.

So, as anyone who has ever watched the show knows, nothing is sacred.

Now Sarah Palin has decided to wade into Family Guy after they featured a scene in which Chris Griffin goes on a date with a girl who has Down Syndrome.

During the course of the date, the girl says: "My father is an accountant and my mother used to be Governor of Alaska."

It's a direct reference to her son Trig, and Palin and her supporters have been quick to come out and condemn the show, with some even calling for it to be banned.

They might have had more moral weight, however, if Palin hadn't paraded the child around the RNC, using Trig to boast about her pro-life credentials and holding photo-calls.

Still, regardless of where you stand on Palin, you have to love any programme that features a baby screaming: "Help! I've just escaped from Kevin Spacey's basement. Help me!"

Irish Independent

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