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The O-Zone: King for a day

Respect to Warren Beatty for all those bedpost notches and what does a columnist have to write to get charged with blasphemy?

Monday

Hell and damnation! What in the name of Buddha does a columnist have to write to get charged with blasphemy in this godforsaken heavenhole? As OZone devotees will be aware, the Blessed Virgin Mary has made several cameo appearances on this page in recent months -- each more controversial than the last.

BVM has lounged around my apartment in lingerie, materialised in an ice cube in my morning G&T, and knocked the people of Knock. There's even been suggestions of an improper relationship between us. Surely that's worth a €25,000 fine?

It would seem not. In order to demonstrate just how retarded our new blasphemy laws are (the amended Defamation Act came into force on January 1), the group Atheist Ireland has just published 25 quotes it says are blasphemous on its website. The offending quotes are attributed to people from Jesus Christ, Frank Zappa and Mark Twain to Björk , Randy Newman and Salman Rushdie. Only one Irish journalist made the cut . . . and it wasn't yours truly.

Actually it was my old mucker and arch rival, the Indo's Ian "I-Spy" O'Doherty. I call to let him know. "Did they use a quote from you?" he asks. When I admit that they didn't, he laughs down the line: "That just makes it all the sweeter!"

"See you next Tuesday!" I reply, before hanging up.

Tuesday

Unfair f**ks to Warren Beatty! According to a new biography by Peter Biskind, the legendary Hollywood actor has notched his bedpost so many times, he now sleeps in a pile of sweat-soaked sawdust!

In Star: How Warren Beatty Seduced America, Biskind estimates that the Dick Tracy star has enjoyed carnal knowledge of: "12,775 women, give or take, a figure that does not include daytime quickies, drive-bys, casual gropings, stolen kisses and so on."

Wow! OZone likes to think of himself as a man of the world, but even I don't know how a "drive-by" works in this particular context. Unless, of course, Beatty's a really quick shooter.

Wednesday

Straying on that subject, I see that the Gumtree website has decided not to run any more casual sex ads. In a BBC interview, managing director Suchi Mukherjee explained she made the decision following a customer survey: "I'd love to be everything to everybody, but I just can't. I had to draw a line and that's where we drew it. We did a lot of soul searching."

Twisted knickers! Where is OZone going to place his advert: "Do you crave a hard bare-bottom spanking from a tall, dark and handsome media celebrity?" now? Actually . . . here! If any female readers are interested in a little OTK play, just write to me at the Herald. Your age and looks are unimportant, but please send a recent pic anyway. Mine's at the top of the page. Ahem!

Thursday

Afternoon interview with hugely talented impressionist, Mario Rosenstock, who'll be taking his Gift Grub Live show around Ireland in March. Most of the dates have already completely sold out, and he tells me he can't wait to get going.

"The live show is the most magical thing that's happened to me in the last 12 years," he says. "Because it is the absolute culmination of 10 or 12 years on the radio where you hear nobody laughing at what you say -- and then putting it out in front of 1,200 people a night and hearing the response it gets.

"I've spent months putting it together with Ian [Dempsey], just chopping it down and making it really economical, making sure that there's a laugh every five seconds -- a big one. There's no fat on it hardly at all. It's just going to be me and an interactive big screen, multiple costume changes and a heck of a lot going on. I really couldn't be more satisfied with this project."

Friday

If he hadn't overdosed on prescription drugs, fried bacon and vats of ice cream, Elvis Aaron Presley would've been 75 today. So what better day to let you know that, after a lifetime immersed in rock 'n'roll, legendary Irish DJ and writer BP Fallon has just released his groovy debut single, I Believe in Elvis Presley, at the age of 64.

The White Stripes' Jack White III produced and Shimmy Marcus directed the video, which can be viewed on YouTube. Rock on, Beep.

Saturday

As a sensitive, artistic type, OZone occasionally devotes some mental energy to that brain-burning question: are we alone in the universe and did they just make Star Trek up?

It seems we're close to finding out. At the annual American Astronomical Society conference in Washington this week, top NASA scientists claimed that within four or five years they expect to discover the first Earth-like planet where life could develop, or may have already.

According to astronomer Simon Worden, who heads NASA's Ames Research Centre: "The fundamental question is: are we alone? For the first time, there's an optimism that sometime in our lifetimes we're going to get to the bottom of that. If I were a betting man, which I am, I would bet we're not alone . . . there is a lot of life."

Is this a good thing or a bad thing? The great Scottish writer Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) once gazed up at the night sky and said of the twinkling stars: "A sad spectacle. If they be inhabited, what a scope for misery and folly. If they not be inhabited, what a waste of space."

Sunday

Sighing at photographs of some of our local "stars" in the Sunday papers, OZone muses: "A sad spectacle. If they be inhabited, what a scope for misery . . ."


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