05 Apr Train of thought (2)
You will find mention of the current battle of the ditties between the Furlong Family and Richie Kavanagh elsewhere in this issue, but there have been further developments since that piece was written. In a shocking display of prudishness, Radio and television stations in Northern Ireland have refused to give either version air-time.
Their reasoning behind the ban is nebulous, but the authorities are sticking to it, they have stated that ‘…Aon Focail Eile is offensive and demeaning to the Irish language.’ As well it might be, and probably all the better for it. As far as I’m concerned, anything that is offensive to the Irish language has my vote. Noel Furlong and his family are unlikely to be too upset, however, their rendition is to be released in Britain and Holland next week. I don’t know why, but his record company, Grapevine (the same record label as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince), obviously thinks there will some profit in it.
On a related topic, well, at least related to my deep dislike of the Irish language and the middle-class Gaelgori arseholes who spout it at every available opportunity. The new Irish station will be coming on-line in the very near future (next year), and the feeding frenzy has begun in earnest. I would never, ever, say that I thought the new Irish tv station had been pushed by a special interest lobbying group with the sole intent of providing jobs for the extremely small community of Gaelgori. No, I would never say that, but I might think it. Oh, and don’t forget the Gaeltacht, there are a few jobs there too. Like every job that is created in the backwaters of this country, these jobs cost more to create than they return. And there is also the mental agony involved in having to watch actual Irish programming, in Irish. Not that I intend to. On top of the sheer pointlessness of fostering the Irish language – I mean, it’s dead, isn’t it? – this new tv station is going to cost us money. Before the station became a legislated actuality, there was talk of subsiding it with tariffs placed on video rentals and cinema tickets. Well, thanks a lot, mate, but I don’t want to watch an Irish tv station, and I really don’t want to pay for it.
Now that I’ve insulted everyone who has passed pass Irish in the Leaving Cert, I’ll move on to the College authorities. I use that term loosely, because I don’t know who exactly who is responsible for those damned useful seats in the new Atrium. They are rather splendid, aren’t they? You can really sit on them, they are very good seats. They do their job well. But being seats, they don’t bear any resemblance to – say for instance – a new library, or canteen, or an IT building, none whatsoever. There must have been a pressing need for those seats, possibly there was a student who shouted loud for seating in the new Atrium. They must have been loud, to drown out the desperate pleas for more space in the canteen, or the library, and so on. Priorities are wonderful things. We’ll probably see the entire College carpeted before the year is out. A nice tasteful red, I think. The students of Waterford deserve the best.
I’m also a little worried about the shape of these seats, they consist of four arms spiraling out from a central hub. The problem is that the four arms bear a startling resemblance to a Swastika. Interesting concept- we won’t support political parties in the College, but let’s build seats in the shape of Swastikas. Worrying.
Vegetarians throughout Europe are saying a very self-satisfied ‘I told you so’ to their meat-eating friends, as the latest revelations regarding BSE have come to light. The British Government have come to a complete turnaround on their stance on the health risks involved in eating Beef. For the past several years, the British Government couldn’t do enough to prove how safe Beef was, and how good for you it was. That much publicised press event where the British Minister for Agriculture had his young daughter act as guinea pig for the cameras. He stressed that there was no danger involved in eating Beef, and he had his daughter eat a burger, just to prove his point. I hope his wife cut his stomach open and stuffed him with BSE infected cow brains.
This confession by the British, that there is indeed a provable link between eating BSE infected meat products, and the human variant of the spongiform brain disease, CJD. What a surprise. This has led to the banning of processed British Beef by countries all over the world, live cattle exports having been stopped previously. The Irish authorities are working around the clock to distance themselves from the merest hint of a BSE taint. As it is several countries have made no distinction between Irish and British cattle, which is understandably worrying the Irish farmers, that and the 95 million that the EU has fined Ireland for irregularities in the meat industry, dating from the Goodman inquiry. It seems likely that his will be reduced by 24 million. Still a not inconsiderable amount of money, on top of the vulgar quantities of cash spent on the inquiry itself.
Ireland will soon be boasting an upper magazine shelf to rival the best which Amsterdam has to offer. The erosion of family values has begun, the slide into moral decay which will ultimately see us neck-high in the slime of casual pornography, I don’t think. Playboy has reached it’s third official issue in this country, after winning the right to be sold here. Should such material be freely available? Is it demeaning to women, and men who read (look at the pictures) it? Though there are some really excellent articles in it, or so Tom told me. All about politics and cars and stuff. Well and good if you’re an American, but the slant on the political items is very much a reflection of gold old Pioneer spirit, and would grate on the nerves of citizens not of the wonderful United States of America. The question of how well it will sell here has yet to be answered, though no doubt sales of Practical Photography will suffer. That spot directly in front of Playboy’s shelf space is quite popular too, I’ve noticed. The Catholic values are slipping already.
And that’s my lot for this week. If my comments on Irish offended you – good. You’re probably the kind of person I wouldn’t like anyway. Feel free to write in to the magazine to complain. If you’re semi-literate, you might even get printed, as long as you write in English. I will have no end of fun replying. See you next time.
(This article was written in 1996)