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Ian O'Doherty: Slightly oversensitive, perhaps?

For those of you who don't know, comedian Neil Hamburger is a rather acquired taste.

Okay, one more for good luck: "Why did Michael Jackson turn down $10,000,000 to advertise for McDonald's? Because he doesn't find obese children sexually appealing."

As I said, he's not to everyone's taste but I think he's brilliant and there are plenty of even better lines than that but, frankly, if I printed them in a family newspaper I'd be sacked, prosecuted and beaten up -- in that order.

But one woman really didn't get the joke when she saw him perform recently.

In fact, she was so pissed off that she wrote a letter of complaint to the venue that is as hilarious as your average Hamburger set.

She says: "It was immediately clear that the entire purpose of his 'act' was to incite outrage, sicken the captive audience, and promote hate . . . In my lifetime I have worked in prisons, been a therapist, fought off rascist (sic) assailants, been attacked for the purpose of rape and been assaulted for my lesbianism. In 30 minutes of stage time this man was allowed to promote every kind of hatred I have ever known and had to endure . . . I hope that other venues take note. I--- and W--- owes its public and the City of San Francisco an apology. I hope that this event serves to educate them that we will not tolerate the kind of immaturity and insensitivity that breeds this kind of hate. What they owe me personally is about $300 and reimbursement for therapy costs."

Honestly, when you're a comedian who has actually forced an audience member to go into therapy, then you know you have truly done your job.

Although knowing Hamburger, you wouldn't be surprised if he had written the letter himself.

Is it a he? Is it a her?

Okay, we all realise that times are tough.

Bill Cullen was widely derided for suggesting that people need to start considering the possibility of working for nothing but that's hardly a new idea -- I've been doing it for this column for the last few years where my remuneration comes in copies of the Indo that I get to sell on the quays.

But we all know that we have to make a special effort when going for a job interview now. After all, with more people applying for fewer jobs, the pressure is greater than ever.

Although it would appear that Tina Cook, formerly known as Andrew, might need to change his attitude.

Tina has been turned down for 30 job interviews and has accused his local Job Centre of sending him for jobs such as waitresses at posh hotels: "But I'd never get them because I have tattoos all over my arms."

A support group for transgender people says: "If you were to ask a homosexual to act straight, or suggest an ethnic minority that the reason they were not getting work was because of their race, there would be an outrage and quite rightly."

Now, those are all fair points, but ask yourself this -- if you're holding interviews for a job, would the obvious candidate be a burly 6ft former builder with tattooed arms wearing a dress and a wig?

Although he does sound suspiciously like my boss ...

It's not exactly making an effort, is it?

I may be an atheist, but I was raised a Catholic and some things you can't leave behind -- like a frankly weird approach to sex and I still say a Hail Mary every time I go to a Pass machine. And I'm not joking about that one.

And one of the things I admired about Catholic rites was the act of the confession.

Think about it -- you go to a priest, you confess your sins, you say a few prayers and then you can go about your day with a clear conscience.

It's a great way of giving yourself some absolution but it is also meant to involve some degree of effort.

But now a new app has been launched which offers a series of sins that you click on to.

The 'next' button then brings up one of the Acts of Contrition and then offers absolution.

Ah, seriously lads, come on. Make some sort of an effort.

Putting the dope into ... dope

I have long admitted to being a happy old stoner, although I don't agree with the idea that Ireland should legalise cannabis.

After all, if we were to do that, every smoker in Britain would be coming over here every weekend and we have enough of those buggers on stag weekends as it is.

However, I do think the argument that people who smoke are guilty of fuelling gangland violence is completely bogus -- if that was the case then surely the Government should be encouraging us all to grow our own weed to starve the criminals of their revenue.

But there are some stoners who simply give us all a bad name. Such as Robert Michaelson from Connecticut.

Michaelson was growing his own weed and needed some advice -- so he rang the cops.

He phoned 911 and asked the dispatcher how much trouble he would get into if the cops discovered that he was growing a plant.

When the dispatcher asked him if he was actively engaging in a crime, he responded: "Yes."

Not surprisingly, he was promptly arrested -- for growing an illegal crop and being monumentally stupid.

DVD Time

One of the greatest war movies of all time, The Battle Of Algiers (1966) tells the story of the Algerian insurgency against the French occupation. It's brutally compelling and told in a verité style that makes you almost feel every explosion.

Sample quote: "We aren't madmen or sadists, gentlemen. Those who call us Fascists today forget the contribution that many of us made to the Resistance. Those who call us Nazis don't know that among us there are survivors of Dachau and Buchenwald."

Irish Independent