Sunday, December 17, 2017

Rancid Ruminations - December 2017

Wherein I decry false Gods and fashionable concerns

The Katie Taylor Farrago

Katie Taylor seems like a very decent woman and is an impressive and dedicated boxer. However I do cringe when I see her being declared a world champion and sporting great after beating a sequence of very limited opponents. The pool of talent in women’s boxing (amateur and professional is very shallow). Nobody can blame Eddie Hearn for trying to carefully contrive a career – a man has to live. However, I’m not impressed with the craven connivance of her cheer-leaders in the Irish sporting press who sing her praises as if she’s a Sonia O’Sullivan or a Brian O’Driscoll – sporting greats tested and proved in the cauldron of genuine competition. Her latest opponents included an overweight nail technician (OK I made that up – but that’s what her appearance suggests) from South America and a chubby clerical worker from the USA. An earlier opponent (Viviane Obenauf) was so friendly that she have her a little kiss towards the end of their fight. Also, this business of parading her in her bra and knickers before the weigh-in embarrasses both me and her. She’s clearly not that kind of girl. I agree with her father – she should retire and reclaim her dignity.

Devastation for Irish Soccer Fans

It is of course devastating for Irish soccer fans (“the best fans in the world” ©) that they have been thwarted of a summer drinking and whoring in Russia. However, I have a small and sad confession to make. I was delighted to see our team fail to qualify for the World Cup. It is an agglomeration of uncreative journeyman (apart from Coleman who’s injured) and would have disgraced us again on the world stage. The Danes did us a favour by exposing our shortcoming on a smaller stage. Also, I listen to a lot of radio and I find that an inordinate amount of time (especially on Newstalk) is dedicated to painfully detailed analysis of mostly forgettable matches – the self-regarding lads on Off the Ball (where everyone is a legend) are particularly guilty. The lead up to the actual event would have would have dominated the airwaves exposing us to the interminable and banal forecasts of retired middle-of-the-road footballers - all of course received by our fan-boy presenters as if they were the mordant utterances of the Delphic Oracle. Is it any wonder that we have the most politically illiterate and inactive population in Western Europe when they expend so much time and energy on so much vacuous shite.

The Christmas Debacle

For me it gets worse every year. The run up now starts in late November and it’s unsafe to enter any large shop as the never ending Christmas songs assail us: Last Christmas by Wham seems particularly ubiquitous this year. The liver damage starts around the 10th when the endless procession of compulsory social events begins. Then there’s the present buying – I’m very bad at this and just throw money at it when inspiration fails again. I would love to go away to somewhere remote but family imperatives rule and I am loth to desert my dogs. In some ways it’s almost worth all the hassle for that glorious feeling on Stephen’s Day when you wake up and realise that it’s over and you can look forward to an afternoon of racing and turkey sandwiches. (But the lurking awfulness of New Year’s Eve stops you getting too cocky.)

Repeal the 8th Amendment

I intend to absent myself from the forthcoming feeding frenzy around the repeal of the 8th Amendment. I’ve always been very queasy about the whole abortion issue and find the idea of marching for the right to terminate life (however flawed) both inglorious and inherently distasteful. But I am fully aware of the ugly pragmatics of abortion and am sure that if I found myself inconveniently pregnant I would do what I had to do despite the pricking of conscience and the bad taste. Therefore I feel it’s women’s right to choose and will leave them to it.