If we insist on a president, we must be able to vote for one
Ah, the will he/won't he debate.
Ah, the will he/won't he debate.
Have you ever spoken to a Holocaust denier? If you ever get such an opportunity, I highly recommend it.
There'll be better books on Donald Trump's regime, but none will have the impact of Michael Wolff's...
Okay, let's do a quick check list to see where we stand, shall we?
I've always believed that politics is too important to take seriously. In other words, it's best to take a sideways view of things because if you were to look it straight in the eye, you'd completely lose your mind.
Are we nearly there, yet? Are we nearly there, yet?
Well, it's been a tough week for wealthy, blonde, white women. And that's not a phrase you write every day.
It was 'outrageous'. It was 'disgusting'. It was 'racism'.
I was once accosted by a group of self-professed anarchists who started shrieking 'no speech for fascists' every time I opened my mouth.
What is evil? Is it an act? Is it a state of mind? Can someone commit an evil act and still be deemed a decent person, or are they consumed by powers beyond their control which merely makes them agents of evil?
Monday, August 28, 2000 is a date which will live in stupidity.
It has been rather interesting, even amusing, to observe the hysterical reactions from the usual circles to the sight of Leo Varadkar wearing the 'shamrock poppy' in the Dáil earlier this week.
What does it mean to be Irish? It's a question which has been asked a lot in the wake of the Halawa case, while forgetting the only legal fact that counts - he is an Irish citizen, and entitled to exactly the kind of consular assistance available to any other Irish citizen, regardless of where their parents come from. You can have as many doubts about the many holes in his story as you like, but the law is the law.
I was once asked by a wise man: what is most important - justice or mercy?
It’s returning for its eighth season, tonight marks its 100th episode, it features one of the best screen bad guys this side of Ramsay Bolton and people have loved the show for years.
As the Harvey Weinstein story grows more horrible and weird by the day, we're witnessing the collapse of the Hollywood hierarchy.
To the non-religious mind, all forms of faith are vaguely absurd.
While the country may have been understandably preoccupied with Hurricane Ophelia yesterday, the news that Sean Hughes has died at the age of 51 came as a shocking blow to Irish comedy fans.
When the news broke that infamous movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was a serial predator, my only surprise was that people were surprised.
Forget hygge, we're now on a lykke bandwagon.
Arguably the greatest stain on America's conscience, the death penalty is an obscenity that has no place in a civilised society. Apart from the obvious horror of executing an innocent person, the state-sanctioned murder of even a genuinely guilty individual reduces the people - in whose name the act is committed - to the same moral level as the criminal. In other words, it is a declaration that the state's moral bottom line is no better than a killer's.
Think you know your comedy?
First they came for our Christmas ads and we said nothing. Well, not quite. First they came for our Christmas ads and the nation, as one, rolled their eyes to heaven and had a grim laugh as yet another bunch of unelected, unrepresentative, State-funded busybodies decided to justify their existence by going after Christmas commercials.
Most young journalists - one would hope, anyway - will be familiar with the name Walter Duranty.
In a time of unprecedented strife and rancour, where people seem further apart than any time in recent memory, the one thing we really need is... an abortion referendum.
Another day, another scandal.
Sometimes it's hard to be a woman - apparently.
I was watching Sky News the other afternoon - how I came to have an afternoon free to watch the telly is another matter entirely - and a woman from an organisation called Anxiety UK was being interviewed.
For most people, growing up means learning new things and remembering old lessons.
You'd swear we have no domestic controversies of our own, such is our insatiable desire to import them from other countries.
Every now and then, it's a good idea to take a take step back from the Sturm und Drang of popular culture and see if you can tie any disparate threads into a coherent knot.
It has been the one conversational constant for the last few months, a never-ending deluge of opinions, conspiracy theories, general befuddlement and occasional outright fury.
Now here's something to gladden the heart of every proud Irish man and woman - we're the most liberal country in the world!
It always amazes me how some secular people bring a religious fervour to their politics.
It started in the roof. Rustling, scratching and the dreaded fear that, after being told for years I had bats in the belfry, I now had mice in the attic.
I used to think that we're witnessing the end of liberalism, and that was something to be deplored. After all, the basic tenets of old-school liberalism were tolerance, an acceptance of opposing points of view, a fundamental belief in freedom and an opposition to censorship.
Unless you've been living with your head in a bucket, in a cave, on Mars, you will know that we're rapidly approaching the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana's untimely death.
Amidst the hysterical hand-wringing and ever-present stench of envy, one person will be happy at how the BBC pay controversy has dominated the headlines for the last few days.
As Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather went through the gruesome motions of their rolling press conferences before their much anticipated bout in Las Vegas on August 26, many emotions came to the fore - most of them involving some variation of either disgust or contempt.
By now, you will have read the horrifying details of a crime committed by a thug called Robert Maguire.
I'm sure, by now, that you've seen the video of Donald Trump scrapping with a guy with the CNN logo digitally superimposed on his head.
Well, have you had your 5-a-day yet?
Well, it's that time of the year again - the strawberries and cream have been prepared, the Pimm's is on ice, Wimbledon has just started and, of course, we also have the traditional sexism row.
For all the talk of the so-called era of 'new politics' we're supposed to have entered, it seems more a case of here comes the new politics, same as the old politics. The squabbling remains, the point scoring continues unabated, and we even have the sight of Paschal Donohoe lamenting the rise of populism - a tactic so belonging to 'old' politics it might as well be carbon dated.
The death last Sunday of Galway woman Teresa McDonagh (pictured) following an attack by two mastiffs was horrific but, sadly, not surprising.
When the news emerged that one of the London Bridge terrorists had lived in and married in Dublin and may also have had extensive contacts with other extremists in this country, were you shocked? Flummoxed? Stunned?
Well, I didn't see that one coming, did you? But maybe I should have. After all, everything is up in the air at the moment.
A few years ago, I went to see a psychic in action. I didn't go voluntarily, trust me.
'The androcentric scientific and meta-scientific evidence that the penis is the male reproductive organ is considered overwhelming and largely uncontroversial."
If words are the best weapons in a battle of ideas, then we're in more trouble than I thought.
Ever see one of those cases where you wished both parties could lose?
When you think of Nóirín O'Sullivan, what springs to mind?
Well, that was a week of it, that's for sure.
In last week's column, I mentioned the erosion of the nation state in the face of ever increasing EU meddling.
The EU is dead. It is no more. It has ceased to be. It's bereft of life. It rests in peace. It is an ex-EU.
So, it looks like next spring, then.
In all the recent talk of the books that most accurately reflect our febrile cultural landscape, several classics have been mentioned.
Back in the day, when I was in the process of selling my apartment and trying to buy a house, the general wisdom was that I should keep the apartment and let it out.
How the mighty have fallen. And how quickly they fell. When news broke on Wednesday that Bill O'Reilly had been sacked from his role as the main star on Fox News, the general reaction was one of jubilation.
One of the perks of this job is that you get to meet a wide variety of people.
Well, they're at it again.
Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Or, in Donald Trump's case, just damned.
Well, it's that time of the year again.
One of the more amusing furores of recent weeks erupted when British journalist Melanie Phillips was less than complimentary about this country.
Oh Ricky, you've done it again.
As Dee Forbes approaches the end of her first year in the job, any performance review she conducts on herself will surely be framed along the lines of 'be careful what you wish for'.
So three innocents dead. A terrorist shot. London shut down. Yes, another week, another terrorist attack. Amazing how we quickly we get used to them, eh?
It was violent. It was horrifying. It was funny. It was brilliantly written and yet it has been largely forgotten. Anyone who saw the 1992 movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer would have sniggered at the idea that such a throw-away flick, most notable for the sight of Donald Sutherland going through the motions while he waited for his cheque to clear, would spawn a TV show which would go on to become one of the most important pieces of television of its generation.
It's called the salami effect. You take a piece of salami and cut a thin slice. The salami still seems the same size. Then you take another thin slice. Then another. Before anyone has really noticed, the salami is gone.
Like many white suburban lads my age, I came of age during the golden era of rap and hip-hop.
'Yeah, I was offered a trip to Aleppo for Paddy's Day. Sounds great, but the wife wasn't keen. Doesn't look like I'll be able to make it."
Have you spoken to X recently?' my wife asked me the other day.
SS-GB has been the most eagerly awaited new drama of the year. Well, certainly the most eagerly awaited from my perspective.
Well, that wasn't in the script, was it?
As I said in the main piece, mockery is a useful tool and laughter is the sound that tyrants and dictators and all bullies hate the most.
A Trump victory would usher in a new age of intolerance, they said. A Trump victory would bring hordes of his demented redneck fans on to the streets, chasing down the defeated Hillary supporters and forcing them to read the Bible and swear allegiance to the flag.
Earlier this month the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill was passed in the Dáil.
So, this country is to receive nearly 3,000 extra J1 student visas for the States.
This has certainly been a good week if you like to take your news with a side of Armageddon. Between chaos in an America which seems determined to tear itself apart, the rotten stench of incompetence and malevolence emanating from Official Ireland and a Middle East doing its best to revert to the Middle Ages, there's a real sense that we are currently witnessing a startling shift in the world.
We're gonna need a bigger Gubu. When further revelations about the treatment of Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe began to emerge last week, particularly in the wake of a damning RTÉ 'Prime Time' report on Thursday night, things already looked bad for the Government.
We're experiencing a glut of good drama, the likes of which we have never seen before. You could even argue that we're going through a Golden Age of TV. Last Tuesday saw one perfect example - The Moorside.
Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
There'd be riots on the streets, we were warned.
One of the great indulgences of the so-called 'boom years' was all the money spent by quangos urging us to be more 'mindful' and telling us to carefully monitor our work-life balance.
It doesn't really matter that the seven countries affected by US President Donald Trump's new immigration rules - Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Sudan - had previously been earmarked by Barack Obama for special immigration measures.
Wow. They still don't get it, do they? It almost appears that there are now two kinds of people in this world - the ones who accept that Donald Trump is US president (whether they voted for him or not), and the people who simply refuse to accept that fact (and I'm pretty confident in asserting that none of the latter group voted for him).
I don't often feel jealous of a 10-year-old. There's a variety of reasons for that, but mostly it boils down to one compelling element - being jealous of a kid would be mad and weird. But I must say, the shot of young Eden Hasson unwittingly surfing beside a great white shark in Australia had me wishing I was in his shoes.
Twenty one years? Twenty one bloody years? That's the length of time it takes to have a kid, send it to school, watch it grow up and then kick it out of your house. It is a very long time.
Any hopes that the weekend might have ushered in a new era of mutual respect and understanding now seem foolish - to put it mildly. In fact, what we've witnessed since President Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday isn't so much a peaceful handover of power as a mutual declaration of war between two opposing factions.
Is Obama the worst American president of our lifetime? I suppose Jimmy Carter runs him close, if you're old enough to actually remember his time in charge. But even then, the Georgia peanut farmer only had one term, whereas his spiritual successor, Obama, has had the full eight-year, two-term opportunity to make his country a better place than when he took office.
Well, I guess you learn something new every day. But I never thought tipping was racist. That, however, is the claim of one American burger joint owner who is banning customers from leaving tips in any of his Shake Shack premises.
When U2 fans snapped up all the tickets for their July 22 Croke Park gig within six minutes of them going on sale yesterday morning, it was as if all was right in the world.
There's an old adage in journalism that if something seems too good to be true, it's probably fake.
So, farewell then, Nat Hentoff, who has died at the ripe old age of 91.
To misquote an old BT commercial with Bob Hoskins from a few year ago - it's good to shock.
One of the great mistakes consistently repeated by Irish broadcasters is their weird desire to ape overseas formats.
I once had the honour of interviewing the great comedian Jackie Mason. I'd loved him since I heard one of his records when I was a kid and the more I got into comedy as I got older, the more I kept coming back to him.
If we can take one thing from 2016, it is surely that it was the year of the quiet revolution.
So, um, we nearly done yet?
So farewell George Michael, it feels like we hardly knew you at all.
It started with the aftermath of the Bataclan attacks and ended - we hope - with Berlin. 2016 was the year terror hit closer to home, with more regularity and greater audacity. It was also the year when the Brits decided to take back their democracy and stunned the world and the bien pensants with a Brexit vote which few of us saw coming.
Well, we're nearly there. At this stage, there are two types of people - those who have done everything that needed to be done, who have all their presents wrapped and sorted and who can now enjoy the next few days at their leisure; and then there's the rest of the country, the silent, despised section of the citizenry who haven't done a thing yet.
First it was Guernica.
I don't know what I've done to irritate my various bosses down the years here at Indo Towers. But every Christmas they seem to come up with some new and ridiculous way to ensure that I can't spend the last week before the break doing sod all.
Well, it's that time of the year again.
Next year will see the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome - the international treaty which formalised the EEC. Signed by the Benelux countries, Germany, France and, of course, Italy, it was the foundation document of the EU and alongside later amendments, such as Maastricht in the early 1990s, was responsible for the creation of what we now call the European Union.
Let's be honest for once - the war on drugs has been lost. It was neither winnable nor justifiable in the first place, but it managed to cause a hell of a lot of collateral damage. Now it's a case of organising a sensible truce.