Train of thought (1) - One Less Robot
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Train of thought (1)

Train of thought (1)

I’ve just seen the report on the telly about Frank Bruno. Beaten by Tyson, and virtually everybody else, Mr Bruno has pledged he we return, phoenix-like from the ashes.

Yet again he will challenge the heavyweights of the heavyweight division – and most certainly – yet again he will lose. The bout against Tyson earned Bruno around $4 million, while Tyson, fresh on the comeback trail, got a cool $16 million. For the money, the British boxer didn’t exactly put up a sparkling performance, and though it demonstrated the devastating speed and technique of Mike Tyson, it did little for Frank’s hopes of further title chances. Seemingly those punters who were dedicated enough to make the trip to Las Vegas were disgusted at Bruno’s performance, or rather lack of same, but the stay-at-home fans didn’t even bother to watch the fight.

This was a pay-per-view broadcast, only available to Sky subscribers who paid the 10 to buy a descrambler card. The uptake on this wonderful offer was less than ecstatic, which is hardly surprising. To even have the choice of availing of this option, the ordinary man in the street would have to have a decoder box, which means if they are on a cable service – as most subscribers are – that they are already paying for Sky Sports. A wonderful state of affairs, but paying 10 seems a lot better than forking out thousands for a flight and accommodation in Las Vegas to see Bruno get his ass whipped. And still the man wants more,  I’d call it courage, but you need to comprehend the danger for that, I don’t think he has any idea of what he is risking Perhaps he should ask Mohomad Ali.

Another boxer who is doing somewhat better than the ill-fated Bruno is Wayne McCollough, who is flying the flag for Ireland, but more importantly for himself. I’ve never been a fan of the jingoistic breed of boxer, the kind who shave shamrocks into their hair, for instance.

McCollough does what McCollough does best, he boxes, and so far that has left him with a record of 19 wins out of 19 fights. There was a documentary following Wayne from the beginning of his campaign for the world title, up until his achievement of that goal, some two years later. Wayne impressed me far more than Steve Collins ever has, and his ability as  a boxer speaks for itself. He has a down to earth attitude to his chosen career, he wants to make enough money to retire from boxing by the age of 30, and start his own business, as he said himself about his full-on, all guns blazing style ‘…the sooner the thing is over, the sooner I get paid.’ This differs from Bruno in that McCollough aims to win in the shortest possible time, not hit the canvas.

Is gun control necessary? Or should we be focusing more on the seemingly lucrative area of craxy control. Yet another lunatic has gone on the rampage with a gun. A man (surprise surprise!) killed 12 people at his ex-wife’s wedding. The reason behind his actions may be clinically interesting to psychologists, but as far as I’m concerned there is no justification for such behavior. If he so badly wanted to end his own life, then I say go for it, it’s his own business. However, when he extends his death wish to others, then it’s enough to wish an eternity in hell upon him, even if it requires a temporary conversion to Catholicism. This sort of rampage is becoming all too common, a seeming deluge of murderous crazies spreading their own brand of lunacy over the airwaves.

The Brendan O’Donnell case has finally reached its conclusion, its 54 day run making it one of the longest  running criminal cases in the history of the State. O’Donnell claimed that Imelda Riney was the spawn of the devil, and he had to kill her young son Liam because he didn’t want to leave a son without his mother. A worthy sentiment, I’m sure, and it makes for a more plausible plea of insanity. Insanity means that O’Donnell could escape prison, and be sentenced instead to a mental institution. There is also the possibility that the supposed chemical imbalance which makes him insane could at some point be cured. Unlike three terms of life imprisonment to run consecutively. I’ve never considered that because someone is declared insane, they should be absolved of their crimes, because they were not in their right mind when the crime was committed.

It seems everyone wants to die these days, or at least be a part of some ones death. Dr Paddy Leahy, a retired General Practitioner claims he receives up to 50 calls a year from people asking him to help them die. All this after Dr Leahy revealed a year ago that he had helped a friend to die. We have dealt with Euathanasia in a previous issue of this magazine, so I won’t go in to that whole debate again. Suffice it to say that current medical science is focused obsessively on the quantity of live, rather than the quality. It’s obvious why this is so, it is so much easier to measure quantity than quality. If the patient is still alive, then the doctor has won, regardless of the measures which are necessary to maintain the patient, and the possible consequences of that maintenance.

A Waterford councilor, Paddy Kennealy of Fianna Fail really put the cat amongst the pigeons last week when he said ‘…that the travellers should be run out of Waterford, with shotguns if necessary.’ The Fianna Fail HQ has quite understandably disassociated themselves from his statement. They have said that Mr Kennealy’s comments are completely contrary to party policy, but have nonetheless declined to discipline the Councilor, referring the matter instead to the local Fianna Fail group in Waterford. Not only was what Mr Kennealy said against the stated policy of his party, it was also in contravention of the 1989 anti-discrimination and incitement to hatred act, so it remains to be seen whether there will be court proceedings from this little incident. There is a definite problem in Waterford City relating to horses running wild, and this rightly or wrongly, has been attributed to the traveling community. The animals are neglected and left to fend for themselves on the side of the road, and are a common sight opposite the College. It seems only fair that this menace should be dealt with, and now would be a good time, as this has been going on for several years, but Councilor Kennealy’s diatribe does not help matters. One has to wonder if this is truly Mr Kennealy’s own deeply held conviction, or if – as a politician – he feels that he is acting for the good of his constituents. To put it more exactly, perhaps he is reflecting the deep frustration of those who voted him in, and those who might do so in the future. And it can’t hurt to divert attention away from water charges and other truly upsetting issues, can it? If racial slurs are the sum total of Mr Kennealy’s political repertoire, then I await his next star appearance with bated breath.

(This article was written in 1996)

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