I'VE thought about David Norris a lot over the weekend. I have read many articles, listened to the news reports and spoken to friends about the current situation. After all the discussing and debating, I am left with one over-riding emotion. Disappointment.
On two levels. Firstly the obvious one, in relation to Senator Norris using Seanad paper to beg for clemency for his ex lover over the statutory rape of a 15-year-old. It just seems now that Norris is like all the other politicians in this country who used their position to wrangle a favour, or change the course of law.
This culture, I had hoped, was beyond someone like David Norris. Using his political position to sway a case in another country, I thought, was not for Norris. It seems I was wrong.
But here's what really disappoints me. Why on earth would David Norris want to write a glowing eight page defence of his ex-lover Ezra Yizhak, when he had sex with a teenager?
Norris's defence is that the sexual relationship was consensual. Well, any man of Yizhak's age who needs to be with a young teenager is lacking maturity at the best -- and at the least has a character that is destructive and deludedly selfish.
For Norris to write in his begging letter that Mr Yizhak was an "intelligent, honest, trustworthy, good and moral person" might have been true in other areas of his life, but not in choosing to have a sexual relationship with an under-age boy.
Writing a reference is a serious business. Writing a character reference on State paper, for someone who is in the hands of a foreign legal system, one must be 100pc sure that your reference, your relationship and your reasons for doing it are all above board.
If a friend of mine, in their forties, had sex with a teenager in a foreign country, I would make sure they knew what I thought -- something along the lines of "you big, stupid, selfish, old fool." If the person was a minor, I would quickly distance myself.
Norris is saying that he loved someone who had defects, as many people have. I do not doubt that. But signing his reference as "David Norris, Bureau Member, Irish Foreign Affairs Committee" for his fool of a former lover is as misguided a decision as anyone can make. This debacle, combined with the earlier controversy this summer of Norris's odd views on Greek pedastry, it seems now he'll have a battle on his hands to appeal to the Irish public.
Using power to help a personal friend, or for personal gain, is what destroyed this country. It is disappointing that Norris should have done this. Especially for someone who, it seems, badly needed a proverbial slap in the face, not a helping hand.
WHAT do you make of The Glee Project -- the E4 reality audition show which sees the creator of Glee make a bunch of hopefuls pour their hearts out, to win a place on his hit show?
Yes, it's another audition show and I shouldn't be surprised at the methods used to make these young singers/actors bare their souls, but I found it horrible viewing.
One of the starlets is Damian McGinty from Northern Ireland.
Last week we saw him compete with the others. Not only are they expected to sing brilliantly, but the "judges" want these very young performers to practically burst into tears in front of them. Which is what McGinty did, as he sang "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" As a result, he got to the next stage.
I found it disgusting. I have never seen such manipulation of young actors/hopefuls, being mistreated in such a way that I had to turn off the show. How dare Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy and his two queenie sidekicks torment these kids, and force them to emote feelings they are too young to even be aware of?
There is no way the real actors of Glee were forced to go through this type of pressure. They are professionals and would have had to audition, like any other actor.
What this show does is simply demonstrate the ugly manipulation by Murphy of the desperate vulnerable performers. The Glee Project only feeds the ego of him, and his two side kicks.
As they tear these personalities to pieces and expect them to be performing seals, you are left with a bad taste in your mouth. It's certainly not Glee, just glum.