Friday, January 16, 2009

June 2007

Believe it or not, but this is about when I started to 'find my voice', man.

Model Citizen

I don’t know what to write about this month because my life is very boring. Now, if I were a student or a columnist, I could waffle or throw brickbats at some minority or other. Oh, wait. I am a columnist. What possible hot-button issue could we all be thinking about right now, as we head into an election, wait with bated breath for the next Pirates of the Carribbean movie (will it be rubbish? Will that make any difference this time? As a parent of boys, how many thousands of times will I have to see it before I descend into madness?) and wonder if our summer weather will make it to July this year?

I know. The Eurovision. It’s been going since 1956 and we are still entering. And people say the lottery is a tax for stupid people. This year, we had an entry called ‘They Can’t Stop The Spring’ or ‘Please, Please Slap Us, We Haven’t Got A Clue And Deserve Every Nul Point We Receive With Our Pretentious, Bodhran-Inflicted Guff’. Of course, I haven’t heard the song, but apparently it’s inspired by the Prague Spring of 1968, the sort of thing that makes me want to chew my own arms off in frustration at the sheer pointless anachronism of it all. I think we can all agree that it’s the worst thing since whatever tragic combination of chords, Celtic Mist and misery was launched from the good ship Eire last year.

Every year, we lose against the cream of the bewigged, synth-playing, line-dancing revolution that’s sweeping Eastern Europe. Every year, we search the deepest crevices of our nation for someone daft enough to want to take part in a competition so moronic that even Terry Wogan can act superior about it. At some stage, even we will have to recognise that we would be better recording the sounds of cats fighting in a barrel, getting some ethereal Enya-esque woman to yodel over it and send that instead. The danger, of course, is that we might win with a strategy like that, which nobody actually wants. Just imagine, we’d be giving Flatley a job all over again.

Clearly, there is an audience out there for this sort of day-glo madness. It’s just as obvious that they are all insane or nursing a grudge against people with ears. There can be only one solution: Chris Rock often mentions that there shouldn’t be gun control laws in the US, there should be a tax on bullets. In the same way, everyone who feels compelled to sit in front of the screen while these Olympian talents warble their way through Abba’s back catalogue or pseudo-spiritual trad ditties should be taxed. As with income tax, we could charge extra if people want to vote for their favourite ‘song’. As for the composers and performers of these pop masterpieces, we could reverse old CJ’s artist exemption tax. We could start with U2’s tax bill. Either we get lots of money for things that are actually useful to people, or better still, Irish Eurovision contenders become mysteriously thin on the ground.

There’s literally no downside to this that I can think of.

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Welcome to my blog. I'm a freelance writer/journalist/researcher/editor. I write about education and ideas I've had for the Irish Times. I also research, write and edit for writers, publications and websites. Here I put things that tend not to fit anywhere else. Enjoy.

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