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O'Doherty: From now on you can call me Madeleine


Transgender: Caitlin Jenner, previously known as Bruce

Transgender: Caitlin Jenner, previously known as Bruce

Getty Images

Caitlin Jenner on the cover of Vanity Fair

Caitlin Jenner on the cover of Vanity Fair

Reuters/Vanity Fair

Bland: The Script

Bland: The Script


Transgender: Caitlin Jenner, previously known as Bruce

Anyone who has ever spent time in the States will know those recruiting ads for the military which feature the catchy slogan: "Be all you can be."

We might not be particularly willing to take life lessons from the Pentagon, but the idea of being all that you can be certainly offers a better message than telling kids that they can be anything they want to be, if only they want it badly enough.

The problem with the latter message is that it fails to take basic common sense into account.

After all, if everybody could be whatever they wanted to be, then we'd all be professional footballers and nobody would become a plumber. And what a confusing, flooded world that would be.

But events over the last week or so have just proved that you can, quite literally, become whatever you want to be. Just ask Bruce Jenner and Rachel Dolezal.

The former Olympic gold medallist has become the most high-profile transgender person (TransJenner, anyone?), and while this column is happy to wish him all the best in his future life as a middle-aged spinster, he is still not, by any biological criteria, a woman.

Sorry if that offends the more sensitive readers out there, but facts are facts and biology is biology. Therefore, Bruce Jenner is a man, and Caitlin Jenner is a man with some surgical modification to make him look more like a woman.

But you wait ages for one weird, transgressive story to come along and before you know it, there are two of them staring you in the face. Indeed, you could argue that the case of Rachel Dolezal makes Jenner look like a rock of mental stability.

We all know wiggers who listen to rap and use words like 'homey' and 'dog', even though they come from Ballybrack.

But Dolezal's decision to become a leading black civil rights campaigner, even though she is quite obviously a honky, is an extreme example of the chronic daftness that infects much of the culture.

Forget that restrictive guff about being all that you can be, Dolezal decided that she could be even more if she passed herself of as a black woman, and now that her cover has been blown, she has become a poster child for white liberal guilt and the perverse need some people have to portray themselves as victims.

Dolezal is simply the logical extension of a society which is now obsessed with grievance and celebrates victimhood above achievement, and this has created a climate which confuses an open mind for an empty head.

After all, I spent half an hour sitting in the sun earlier this week and I ended up looking blacker than Dolezal, so the fact that nobody even called her out on her obvious lie is just another baffling element of a story which comes straight from the You-Couldn't-Make-It-Up files.

Of course, in the current climate, anything I say is made immediately redundant because of my white, heterosexual privilege, that wonderful get-out-of-jail card used by mad people to shut down rational debate.

As far as they're concerned, once you claim to identify with something, you can claim to be that something and anyone who points out the screamingly obvious is then racist/sexist/cisgenderist or whatever the latest buzzword happens to be.

So, why don't we all take a page from Dolezal's playbook?

Tired of having a boring, vanilla name like, say, 'Ian'?

Well, from now on, I demand that everyone treat me like the elegant, glacial Parisian woman I really am. In fact, from now on, I want to be called Madeleine.

And anyone who doubts me is guilty of a hate crime.

See you in court!


Yes, yes, yes, I know. I'm an old fart who looks on much of the music scene with a mixture of bafflement and contempt.

But the idea that The Script could manage to sell out a stadium like Croke Park is surely a sign of the impending apocalypse.

Having managed to make Daniel O'Donnell sound edgy, The Script are quite possibly the blandest, most insufferably anodyne group since The Corrs snoozed their way up the charts and, yet again, the Irish prove that we're a sucker for 'myeh' music.

Myeh music is the kind of music that makes anyone with a set of working ears go 'myeh' because it's so soulless.

Meanwhile, to the bafflement of the rest of us, myeh music has managed to take over.

Let's put it this way: if you are under the age of 18 and your parents aren't freaking out over the kind of music you listen to, then you're not actual teenager, you're simply a traitor to your generation.

After all, parents should be worried that their children are listening to music that will turn them into lascivious, debauched sex maniacs - not listening to music that will turn them into accountants.

Stay tuned next week, when I explain why Ed bloody Sheeran should be banned from entering the country...

Indo Review