Archive for January, 2010

I Didn’t Even Know I Was Sick

Posted: January 27, 2010 in Humour
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I arrived early to church for a funeral service yesterday. I thought I might walk to the funeral home before the procession started, but I didn’t know quite where that was.  So I asked a woman passing by for directions.

“Well, there is a funeral home at the top of the hill, then around the corner to the right. There’s a procession starting from there now, but I don’t know if it’s you’re funeral. “

I thanked her and she walked away, but I was a bit bemused, thinking, “My funeral? I certainly hope it’s not. Do I look that bad?

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Today in Sleaze

Posted: January 25, 2010 in Humour
Tags: , , , , ,

Seen on the streaming banner on TV3’s Morning Ireland – In Entertainment: Tiger Woods is in rehab being treated for sex addiction in a bid to save his marriage to his wife Elin. What I want to know is: When did Tiger Woods fall out of the sports category? I don’t need an answer to that. I know this isn’t sports, but how is this entertainment? I guess I know the answer to that as well, as does anyone who ever glances at the front page of a tabloid. But I do think Entertainment is too broad a category for this type of story.

I propose a new category with which to tag “news” items of this type. I considered Sex, but that’s too broad. I mean, really, anything related to money, power and politics could fall into that category. Besides, Sex sounds too clinical. Titillation or Sensationalism could be appropriate, but I’m looking for something short and punchy.  So, I propose that we call this new category Sleaze.

Here are some examples of how I think this category can be used in mainstream news:

  • In Sleaze: New Brittany Spears release hits shops today.
  • In Sleaze: Berlusconi overconfident with female voters.
  • In Sleaze: Woods on top form after 18 holes.

You get the picture. And notice how it applies neatly to Entertainment, Politics, Sports, and no doubt other categories. It can probably be applied to weather depending on what channel you’re watching.

Maybe it’s the drastic climate change, going from sub-freezing winter conditions last week to the relatively Spring-like weather we have now. Maybe it’s the January economic decline (personal, not global). Maybe it’s the distinct lack of sunlight this time of year, with dawn around 8 AM and dusk before 5 PM, so that one goes to work and comes home in the dark.

Whatever, I’ve been feeling stressed and weary, so I went to bed early last night with a good sonic remedy – David Gilmour’s “On an Island”. It may seem like an insult to say that a particular album can be counted on to put you to sleep, but this really is the most relaxing album I have in my extensive collection. It creates an affect that most new age recordings aspire to, like sliding into a hot bath after a cold and grimy day of hard graft.

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On the news this morning, Irish Bishops are being called to Rome for discussions with the pope about the recent (hardly) revelations of rampant child sex abuse and cover-up within the Catholic Church. The intention is to arrive at concrete proposals such as, reportedly, appropriate penitence that may include the washing of parishioner’s feet.

My partner’s mother, a life-long practicing catholic, laughs at this. To me, it seems as useful and effective as Father Ted saying mass for Father Dougal in Speed 3 (the one with the booby trapped milk float), although no where near as amusing. I can’t imagine that anyone affected by this scandal will be a willing participant to anything as intimate as the washing of feet. Others may be too embarrassed to participate, especially in front of an entire congregation. I wonder, if people know which Sunday this is scheduled to happen, will they even turn up? 

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One aspect of my day job is the categorization of types of web content. While performing an internal review of one of our new products, we were given pause by the potential category combinations the application was capable of. One team member pointed out that there might not be much call for a combined horror – sports category, for example.

I could think of a perfect example of horror-sports, since this conversation took place just days after the infamous “Hand of God” defeat of Ireland by France in the World cup qualifier, where Henry’s blatant (and innocently instinctive, perhaps) handling of the ball could not have been more obvious to everyone except the referee who didn’t see it, and didn’t call it.

FIFA threw up their hands and said, “Yes, it happened. Too bad.” Then, in the ensuing anger, decided that they would make some token gesture. That token came this week when Thierry Henry faced a disciplinary committee to determine whether he should be punished for getting away with the hand ball that led to Irelands defeat in the match and their resulting exclusion from the World Cup (again).

And what was the outcome? What do you think? Regardless of how unfair it is, what kind of a precedent would be set if a player was fined or suspended because a referee missed a call. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of potential violations in any given season. This one just happens to be the most prominent.

What did FIFA think they were going to accomplish by putting Henry on trial, an illusion of justice? More like a reopening of the wound and a fresh reminder of injustice. Justice could have possibly come only if the match was replayed, and maybe not even then. The match is over, the moment passed, the damage done, and there is no going back, even though France was willing for a rematch.

What we saw this week was smoke and mirrors. There isn’t an Irish football fan who doesn’t know that. And at this point, FIFA would have to be pretty thick not to realize that we know it. Really, it would have been no less insulting if FIFA had held two fingers up to us because, in effect, that is what they did with this pantomime trial.