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Veteran Jewish actor confirmed as new Pope

13 Mar
Spot the Difference: Nat David (Shelley Berman) and Francis I (Jorge Bergoglio)

Spot the Difference: Nat David (Shelley Berman) and Francis I (Jorge Bergoglio)

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Cavan Steps out of the Past

9 Apr

 

Cavan Town circa 2007

Dublin, Ireland- In a historic move, the Department of Education announced today that Cavanese, the first language of County Cavan, will be taught as a Leaving Certificate subject from September.

The decision means that thousands of students could sit a leaving certificate exam in the ancient language by June of next year. The coalition government believes it could aid the people of Cavan culturally, socially and economically.

The news has been welcomed in the county, with many viewing it as a momentous step in relations between Cavan and the greater Irish population.

“It’s brilliant”, said Michael Gregory, an English teacher from Virginia. “For so long the language barrier has kept Cavan isolated from the rest of the country. Outsiders (non-natives) thought, and still do, that we’re some kind of ancient mud  people living in wattle and daub houses. This decision will hopefully go some way to dispelling these notions”.

The language barrier has historically been a point of contention. With most of the Irish population unable to speak Cavanese, locals often complain of feeling  isolated in their own country.

“It’s pretty difficult alright. You try to get your point across to outsiders the best way you can but they just stare at you as if you’ve got two heads”, said Jimmy Quinn, a local councillor and activist.

Although many Cavan natives like Quinn are fluent in English, they still find it difficult to converse with ‘outsiders’. This is largely due to the Cavan tendency to insert an accentuated ‘Y’ sound into almost every word of English, a pronunciation trait common to the Cavanese language.

Jane McDonald, a Professor of linguistics at Trinity College, hopes the move will educate a new audience on the Cavan people, their language and their culture.

“The misconception is that people in Cavan speak a form of poorly pronounced English. This simply isn’t true. In fact, most people in Cavan speak a dialect, while influenced by English, largely based on a language spoken thousands of years ago by the ancient mud-people that inhabited the region.”

“With it now part of the national curriculum, hopefully more people, both here and abroad, will gain a greater understanding of the Cavan people and their unique culture.”

Often perceived as an archaic region, some Cavan natives hope that if more people learn Cavanese, trade with the rest of the country will increase, helping the county to finally step out of the 19th Century and into the 20th.

“I can’t wait for the future”, said Maggie Molloy, a retailer from Belturbet. “We’ve been stuck with the old horse and cart for years, while the rest of the country get to drive around in their motor cars, listening to their wireless radios and drinking their tea’s from Ceylon and the Dutch East Indies. It’s about time the people of Cavan got some home-comforts too”

There has been some dissent however. George Ui Neill, an independent councillor from Wexford, criticized the decision, claiming that it could irreparably damage the culture of the majority.

“This is multiculturalism gone mad. England has been swept by Islamization to the point that there’s no real English culture left. The same will happen here. If we force our children to speak Cavanese, it won’t be long before we’re all speaking gibberish and looking weird. The ‘Cavanisation’ of Ireland can’t be allowed to happen.”

Ui Neill has found little support politically and it’s widely expected that there will be a large uptake of the language by leaving certificate students in the coming year.

 

Stripping for Kony; What ‘Middle England’ made of Jason Russell

25 Mar

Jason Russell: Proved that you don't have to be a college student to be nude in public.

Schadenfreude: Satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else’s expense. It’s a word that perfectly synopsizes the case of filmmaker Jason Russell, of Kony 2012 fame. The Evangelical Christian was arrested last weekend, following a naked meltdown on the streets of San Diego.

Although possibly afflicted by psychosis, it was hard not to giggle as the 33-year-old, in full nip, stomped about the pavement like a sugar-filled youth.

But even funnier than Russell’s public nudity, has been the reactions to it. Nowhere was this better exemplified than on the web pages of the Daily Mail.

 “Don’t believe everything you read in the news” said Octavia from London. “Keep in mind the best way to discredit someone is to pretend their crazy”. Hmmm. While we all like a good conspiracy theory, it’s hard to see the sanity of a man who masturbates on a street corner on a Saturday morning.

One Daily Mail reader suggested that Russell’s odd behaviour was a ‘publicity stunt’ to bring attention to his cause. One would hope not. The last thing the public wants to see is Bono’s ‘tackle’ tackle the plight of orphans in Ethiopia, or Roy Keane’s arse endorsing guide dogs for the blind.

Befitting of the paper of ‘Middle England’ , one reader saw the need to import Russell Brand into the conversation. “The sort of thing I can imagine Russell Brand doing one day” said William from Liverpool. No need. The great bane of Daily Mail sensibilities did this ‘sort of thing’ in 2003, masturbating atop a satellite van during a May day rally, giving William ample reason for post-hoc disgust.

Not all readers corresponded to type. Unable to resist a dig at Evangelical Christians, Torsten from Boston said that “born again Christians do things differently”.  Of course, Russell’s not the first, and certainly won’t be the last, member of the ‘God Squad’ to go off the rails in such debauched hilarity.

As you would expect, the comments tended to veer toward the incoherent. But even within the jumbled mess of misspelt words poor grammar and crazed mental calculation, a general public feeling could be deduced. One that said that while it’s wrong to poke fun at someone in mental distress, it’s hard to resist a giggle at a grown man in the buff.


Tallafornia causes drop in national intelligence

3 Feb

Bad grades could become more prevalent due to Tallafornia

Dublin, Ireland-  The average level of intelligence (or IQ) for the Irish population has decreased in the past month as a result of TV3 reality series Tallafornia, according to a study released today.

The study, carried out by the National Institute for Cognitive Research (NICR), found that the average IQ level fell from 100 to 97 during a 4 week period between 30th December 2011 and the 28th January 2012, during which two episodes of the new reality show were screened to Irish audiences.

Its believe that the new TV3  reality show, inspired by the popular American show Jersey Shore, has caused such a drop in IQ as many viewers strain to comprehend the simplicity of the participants cast in the series. Dr. Kevin Skelsgaard, an expert attached to the study, said that the findings represented a rare reversal in normal cognitive processes.

“When we try to understand complex subjects that lie outside the remits of everyday thought, we often strain our brains in order to comprehend them, this can lead to a momentary increase in cognitive function as you try to interpret the complex into the simple” explained Skelsgaard, a professor in neuroscience.

“With Tallafornia, it’s very much to the contrary. The people in the house are so simple in thought that they lie far below most people’s comprehension. In order for the viewer to fully understand them, they need to decrease their cognitive process, almost like shutting off the brain. While this lobotomising effect is normally temporary, it can be permanent in some cases”

Mary Kearney, a resident of Templeogue, has already expressed her desire to take legal action against TV3 after reportedly suffering the lobotomising effects from viewing the show.

“It definitely affected me when I tried to understand it. The morning after I forget how to turn off the alarm clock, then I ended up pouring my Frosties into a pint glass and tried to eat them with a spatula. I didn’t realize this until my husband saw me”

Another disgruntled viewer from Meath was suspended from his work as an electrician for gross negligence. Negligence which he claims only resulted from watching Tallafornia.

“Normally I’m pretty clued-in, a pretty good electrician” said Mark Royce, a 23-year-old from Navan. “Anyway, I watched Tallafornia the night before and went to work the next day feeling slightly off. I wired something incorrectly, causing an electrical fire. I did what seemed sound at the time, I pissed on it. Nasty details aside, it looks like ‘little Marky’ will be out of action for a few months”.

Royce believes that were it not for watching the TV3 show he would have never wired incorrectly and suffered the resultant injury to his genitals. He is currently seeking legal advice on the issue.

Other reported incidents include a Wicklow teacher who forgot how many sides were in a triangle, while a Cork businesswoman claimed that she had to purchase a brand new range of Velcro shoes after she failed to remember as to how to tie her shoe-laces. In both cases, the individuals claimed that they had watched Tallafornia in the hope that they would be ‘pleasantly surprised’.

Such reports have caught the attention of the Department of Education, with one inside source claiming that the Ministers office was concerned that prolonged public exposure  to Tallafornia could have ‘severe economic and social ramifications’.

Neurological side-effects aside, many Tallaght locals have complained that the reality show casts the area in a poor light, with some citing the participants as only indicative of a small ‘idiotic’ minority.

“I think it’s terrible. I thought it would put Tallaght in a good light, show how great some of our young people are. Instead, I just saw a bunch of f**king eejits with nothing to say, one couldn’t even use a fork for f**k sake” said Marianne Cassidy, a nurse from the Jobstown area of Tallaght.

Despite the complaints, there are a significant number of people who enjoy the show, broadcast weekly on a Friday night.

“I think it’s bleeding deadly, I do” said Margerita McEvoy, an event planner from Clondalkin. “All the lads are fit and the girls are gorgeous, just pure class. I don’t know why so many people are complaining about them being thick. Sure why do you need to be smart. Bertie (Ahern) wasn’t and he ended up being President or Chancellor or what have you”

While McEvoy and others may enjoy the show, it seems that rising resentment from both concerned members of the public and the Department of Education could lead to the shows imminent cancellation. Whether or not the shows producers would bow to such pressure will have to be seen over the coming weeks.


Government plans to severely impact on ugly people

25 Jan

Alcohol has helped ugly people to have sex since time immemorial

Dublin, Ireland – Current government plans to curb alcohol consumption could have irreparable consequences for ugly people, according to the Irish Institute for the Aesthetically Challenged (IIAC), a lobby group for Ireland’s ugly population.

The IIAC have warned that a decrease in the level of alcohol consumed by the general public could severely hinder ugly people’s chance’s of establishing and maintaining social and, at fortunate times, sexual relationships with others.

“The ramifications of this plan for ugly people will be severe” said Cormac O’Donnell, the current chairman of the IIAC. “We’re reliant on variable factors like alcohol and lighting to mask the true nature of our hideous physical attributes. Without alcohol our chances of ‘picking up’ are severely hindered”

The government, whose plans include banning the sale of alcohol in supermarkets, has rejected the warnings of the IIAC, claiming that physical appearance only plays a minimal role in both social and sexual relationships.

“The coalition is of the opinion that the suggestions of the IIAC are largely without merit” said Caroline King, a spokeswoman for the governing Labour party. “It’s erroneous to believe that alcohol is the only reason why beautiful people would ever socialize with ugly people, just look at Mick Hucknell”

O’Donnell called the government rebuttal ‘wholly naive’ and ‘somewhat hypocritical’ given the state of many of those currently ensconced on the front bench.

Mick Hucknell, the former lead of Simply Red, could not be reached for comment on the matter.

26 becomes 25 as Longford cut in effort to curb the deficit

20 Jan

Longford, it's sale could save the state over €250 million per year.

Dublin, Ireland– In an effort to curb spending and generate much-needed revenue, the Irish government has taken the drastic decision to sell County Longford, reducing the Irish republic from 26 counties to 25.

The move, which is expected to be formally announced on 28th January, was made following extensive discussions between representatives of the government and the EU-ECB-IMF troika.

“It was a tough decision, but with the prospect of another EU-backed bailout uncertain the government needed to take decisive action” said Siobhan Reilly, a spokeswoman for the government. “Selling Longford is not something the government wished to do, but with such economic volatility it became necessary to sell some non-key state assets”.

A provisional date for the transfer of the county to a yet to be determined buyer has been set for the 4th October. While a guide price remains confidential, it’s hoped that the move will save the public finances in excess of €250 million per year.

The decision to select Longford was reached after an interdepartmental group concluded that the county would be the least missed amongst the Irish public. James Masters, an advisor to the group, explained how the decision was reached.

“We took into account various factors; tax revenue accrued; cost to the exchequer; value of infrastructure etc. All of these were considered but with most counties running a deficit, what it ultimately came down to was county recognition”

The county holds the unfortunate distinction of satisfying the conditions of the ‘Belgian problem’, a popular political science theory that posits that area’s of relative insignificance and unpopularity are often the first to suffer in times of severe economic or political upheaval.

Despite the severity of the situation, many Longford locals have been stoic about the sale. James Nolan, a former councillor, said that while he found the news ‘wholly devastating’ , he was not overly surprised by it.

“To be honest, if anywhere was to go it was probably Longford. I was hoping for Roscommon or Leitrim but I always thought it would be us” said the 47-year-old solicitor from Granard.”Unfortunately we’re not known for a lot and visitors tend to forget the county in a hurry, kind of like a movie with J-Lo or your one off Friends

Others, however, have expressed their shock and disgust at the decision to sell the county on the international market. Many of whom have already speculated as to whether the government may have been pressured into the sale by powerful voices on the continent.

“I’m shocked and appalled that we (Longford) have to go. I think there were better options than us” said Margaret Coyne, a primary school teacher from Edgeworthstown, Longford. “They could have gone for Cork and done everyone a favour. I believe it’s only on the recommendations of the French and Germans that were now the one’s to suffer”.

Coyne’s sentiment has not fallen on deaf ears, with many members of the Opposition expressing their disapproval of the action.

“This move is totally unjust, even if Longford’s not the best place in the world, it still deserves to be a part of this country”, said a spokesman for Fianna Fail.

Although formal approaches will not permitted till late August, its been reported that the Chinese government have already registered an interest in procuring the county. It’s believed that the Asian superpower would likely redesignate the county as a free trade zone (FTZ) and use it as a European manufacturing base for products such as Hello Kitty lunch boxes and Pandora the Explorer DVD’s.

As to how many residents of the county will remain after the transfer date in October will have to be seen. One resident, however, did express an intention to stay regardless.

“I’m a Longford man first, an Irish man second. I’ll stay, even if the Chinese come” said Mark Murdoch, a carpenter from Longford town. “Sure, it wont be too bad. I love Chinese food, especially the number 46 and 78, the old chicken balls and chips”

In spite of Murdoch’s intentions, it’s expected that a large portion of the county’s current population will locate elsewhere in the coming months.

 

ALSO IN THE NEWS: GOVT. PLANS TO HURT ‘UGLY’ PEOPLE

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Trap to star in Naked Gun prequel

12 Jan

Nielsen (L) Trapattoni (R)

Hollywood, CaliforniaFomenting one of the worst kept secrets in Hollywood, local sources reported that current Ireland football manager, Giovanni Trapatonni, met with executives from Paramount Studios on Monday last.

The report is just the latest in a series, linking the current Ireland boss with a soon to be shot prequel of the Naked Gun film series.

The 72-year-old Italian, and part-time Leslie Nielsen impersonator, was rumoured to have been approached last year following the sudden death of former Naked Gun lead Nielsen months earlier.

Given his theatrical nature and strong resemblance to the now deceased Nielsen, Trap (as he’s affectionately known) had been widely tipped as a logical fit for Paramount in their long-standing attempts to revitalize a franchise last seen with the 90’s hit Naked Gun 33 1/3.

Despite Trapatonni’s oft publicised struggles with English, film producers have been keen to stress that Trap’s Frank Drebin will not be an homage to Nielsen’s character, rather a reboot with an Italian twist.

“We don’t want Gio (Trapatonni) to be Les (Nielsen). He’s his own man, as soccer fans know, it would be ridiculous of us to expect him to be someone else” explained Lenny Steinberg, a veteran producer of comedy films. “Were even thinking of adding an ‘I’ to make it ‘Drebini’ so to make the most of Gio’s Italian heritage”

Despite the enthusiasm of Steinberg and others like him some critics believe that the prequel was forced on the studio due to the fact that a large part of the series cast are either now dead or incarcerated.

“The studio’s wanted to make a new Naked Gun film for a while now” James McMurrow, a prominent LA film critic told us. “Unfortunately though, we lost Les over a year ago, Anna Nicole (Smith) has been gone five years now and OJ (Simpson), well the less said about OJ the better.The studio initially wanted make a straight sequel but given present circumstances they’ve been forced to attempt a re-boot”

Whether or not Trap was the first choice to star in the to be titled, Naked Gun -1, seems to matter little to the former Juventus boss as his drive and confidence are seemingly still strong, with supposed friends of the Italian calling the news a culmination of a long-held dream.

“Trap’s always been a fan of movies, particularly comedies”, claimed Pete Tarquini, an alleged friend. “He loves all the movies of Chevy Chase. National lampoon Christmas vacation, National lampoon European vacation, he likes them all. Rob Schneider is a guy Trap likes too. He once said that Deuce Bigalow was a work of such cerebral significance that even Fellini (the famed Italian director) would have been proud of it”.

So fervent is Trap’s love of film it’s believed that his long and much publicised refusal to play Andy Reid in the Irish colours was, in part, due to the midfielder’s resemblance to an ageing Orsen Welles, a Hollywood star that Trap believed to highly overrated.

Although the FAI could not be reached for comment, it’s improbable that filming in Los Angeles will interfere with Traps commitments as Ireland manager. It’s also hoped that such a sojourn will allow him to build a closer relationship with current LA Galaxy star and Ireland captain Robbie Keane ahead of the European championships in Poland and Ukraine.

Keane is alleged to be delighted with the news and, according to sources, is hopeful that he too can make a name for himself in Hollywood as a ‘young Robert De Niro’.

A version of this article appears at www.sportsnewsireland.com