Our lives Stupidity

Paying €60 for a short plank in Dunnes Stores

As the economy goes up, our collective IQ seems to go down in a bizarre see-saw way that might well explain the utter madness of the property bubble. And what better metaphor for the return to collective stupidity than the small piece of timber Dunnes Stores are selling for €60?

Dunnes Stores Paul Costello plank

A small plank. About 20mm thick and maybe 450mm long by 150mm wide. Or as we used to say, three-quarters of an inch thick and 18 inches long by six inches wide.

A very small and light board, but a board with a difference. This little board, you see, has been designed by a designer. A proper designer. Paul I-worked-in-Paris Costelloe, to be precise.

And Paul Costelloe designed this little board to be simple, yet refined as Dunnes say in their blurb.

You can almost smell the simplicity and refinement as you congratulate yourself on the purchase of this minimalist, uncompromising artifact. Imagine how impressed your friends will be when you serve them cheeses, charcuterie and antipasti on this elegant little, eh, plank.

This thing? Oh, it was only €60, you know. It would hardly pay for an hour of Sneachtfra’s Montessori.

The great design maestro himself, Paul Costelloe, got a free plug on Ray D’Arcy’s show this afternoon.

What’s all this about a plank for €60? asked Ray. (Or words to that effect).

Well, it’s oak, said Paul. Do you realise I worked in Paris?

Oak! Paul intoned the word like he was telling Ray the board was carved from the living roots of Yggdrasil.

Oak? That would be the stuff of which I have a half dozen planks in the workshop. Proper planks and not the effete 3/4-inch fly-swatters Dunnes are selling.

Could you make them at home? asked Ray.

Oh well, you could try, said Paul Costelloe. Because, as everyone knows, sanding a small piece of wood is perhaps the hardest thing anyone has ever tried. And if I heard correctly, he also seemed to mention that the wood was treated with something, which is not really what you want in a board you’re going to use for serving cheeses, charcuterie and antipasti. Oak does just fine with no preservatives, which is why generations of shipwrights have used it to build ocean-going vessels but of course Paul Costelloe would have known that from his years working in Paris.

Obviously I must have misheard him.

I was probably distracted by the intense purity of the 90-degree corners and the clean smooth lines he designed.



Climate Politics Stupidity

Danny Healy (Rae) and climate change denial

As I sat on top of the chicken house yesterday in the pouring rain with my neighbour Adolf O’Goonassa, we watched an old man who could hardly walk or talk staggering through the fields with a creel of fish.

‘Tis true what Danny Healy (Rae) says, he shouted against the downpour. Only the Man above is in charge of the weather.

Adolf reached into the póca of his weskit, withdrawing a pouch of tobacco and a small bottle of whiskey.

Do you know phwhat Bock? he muttered in the softest, most melodious Irish anyone ever heard.

Phwat? I replied.

‘Tis a bad sign that the ducks are in the nettles.

And so it was. A bad sign indeed, because even though a Kerry village pines for its missing idiot, our national parliament gains one more ignoramus. Kilgarvan’s loss is Ireland’s loss.

Danny Healy Rae Michael Healy Rae

On the other hand, you might say that Danny Healy’s (Rae) contribution to the climate change debate was a master-class in the power of buffoonery (if by contribution you mean bluster and if by debate you mean denial). You could almost hear them tuning up those banjos back in Kerry as Danny rounded on Eamon Ryan and told him that one year the sun didn’t shine in Ireland at all at all, and another year we were drowned out of it. And in 1740, three million of us died from famine at a time when there were only 2.5 million in the country and there were no combustible engines then either as Danny reminded us.

Twice, Danny pointed out that there were no combustible engines back in those days long ago.

Squeal like a pig? No. Eamon kept a straight face throughout Danny’s  lecture on a subject he plainly knew nothing about and in a way it was hard not to shed a nostalgic tear. There was a time when every bar in Ireland had some bombast ready to hold forth on any subject in return for a pint or a cigarette.

Of course Danny, no more than the rest of his political crew, isn’t that easily bought. It will take a lot more than the offer of a small whiskey to sway him, and that’s why, after displaying to the world the boundless unplumbed depths of his ignorance, he brought his rant around to local matters.

Danny made it plain that he sees no difference between weather and climate and besides, there’s nothing we can do about it down here on Planet Earth. God above, you see, controls the weather and when it rains, the best thing the government could do would be give maybe €200,000 to drain the river at Glenflesk, naturally enough using diggers supplied by Danny’s plant-hire firm which was specially set up by God to protect Kerry from his wrath.

It probably plays well enough around Kenmare and Kilgarvan, and what else would Danny care about? This, after all, is the same man who suggested that pub owners should be able to give their customers certificates allowing them to drive with excess alcohol in their blood, and just like the flooding and the diggers, this suggestion had nothing whatever to do with the fact that he owns a pub himself.

And still they elected him.

Let’s hope, when he arrives to save the poor drowned people of Glenflesk, his engines aren’t too combustible.

Humour Stupidity

Denis O’Brien threatens to sue Waterford Whispers

This is the letter sent to Waterford Whispers by a law firm purporting to represent Denis O’Brien.  Personally, I think it’s a hoax, since the letter is obviously signed by a six-year-old, but maybe it’s real.  Who knows?  Maybe six-year-olds qualify for JobBridge these days.

Anyway, Denis doesn’t like being laughed at, it seems.

What kind of sad, vulnerable little man would feel threatened by a satirical website? Not exactly a Master of the Universe, that’s for sure.  Even a pirate of the Caribbean would dismiss this kind of thing with a Haar and an Aaar, but not The Denis.

You will absolutely not the laughing making at the Supreme Leader!  Not Waterford Whispers and not our national parliament.

A boy named Sue, indeed.


Denis O Brien Waterford Whispers



Human Characteristics Politics Racism Stupidity

Louisiana Literacy Test – 1964

Fifty years ago, voting in the state of Louisiana was restricted to people who had attended school to Fifth-grade.  Anyone who couldn’t prove that they had this minimal level of education was required to pass an insane literacy test packed with questions that were deliberately confusing and ambiguous.

The test, of course, had nothing to do with education and everything to do with excluding blacks from the vote.  Countless ignorant, uneducated crackers were excused from taking the test while nearly all Louisiana blacks, even those with a university education, were forced to solve this ludicrous puzzle.

Here’s a few examples.

  • In the space below write the word “noise” backwards and place a dot over what would have been the second letter should it have been written forward.
  • In the first circle below write the last letter of the first word beginning with “L”
  • Cross out the number not necessary when making the number below one million.


  • In the third square below write the second letter of the fourth word.
  • Write right from the left to the right as you see it spelled here.
  • Write every other word in the first line and print every third word in the same line but capitalize the fifth word that you write.

That sort of stupidity.   You can just see the ignorant redneck pedant who dreamed it up wheezing at his own cleverness, which is fairly limited since some of the questions could only have been posed by an ignorant, uneducated fool.

This, for example:

Divide a vertical line in two equal parts by bisecting it with a curved horizontal line that is straight at the point of bisection of the vertical.

People sitting the test had ten minutes to finish it, and they failed the test if they got a single question wrong (as judged by the all-white registrars of voters).  Most blacks failed.  Most whites passed.

Of course, that sort of thing would never happen today, right?

Why not take the test for yourself and find out if you would have been illiterate according to the State of Louisiana in 1964?

Louisiana State Literacy Test 1964 001



Louisiana State Literacy Test 1964 002

Louisiana State Literacy Test 1964 003

Here are some Harvard students trying to prove their literacy.



Kate Middleton Nurse Commits Suicide After DJ Prank Call

Jacinta Saldanha committed suicide after unwittingly putting through a prank call from a couple of Australian DJs fishing for information about Kate Middleton.  As a consequence, the two DJs have been taken off the air, they’ve been subjected to sustained abuse and accused of causing the nurse’s death.

What are we to deduce from this?  Several things, in my opinion.

First, the Australian DJs, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, are utter twats for trying to pry into the private medical details of any woman, whether that woman happens to be a member of the British royal family or not.

Second, the hospital must have very poor procedures in place if it leaves a nurse to answer the phones without instructions about dealing with queries, given the high profile of its patients.

Third, the general public are idiots.  How else could you explain the widespread belief that the prank call caused the nurse’s death?  It has to be an epidemic of stupidity.

Of course the twat DJs made the call, but how on earth could they have foreseen that anyone would commit suicide because of it?  It’s ridiculous.  Clearly, Jacinta Saldanha should never have been placed in the position where she was answering calls, but more than that, she must have had an extremely vulnerable and fragile personality.  Did the King Edward VII hospital give any consideration to the question of who should be answering calls about Kate Middleton?  Did they provide any guidance or training?

And who precisely pout this poor woman under pressure?  Was it the Australian DJs or was it the world’s worst gutter press?

To my mind, it seems that the two Australian DJs, while being utter tools for trying to extract private information about a woman’s health, could not possibly have foreseen how fragile Jacinta Saldanha was or how she would react once their trick was exposed, and yet this case has become an excuse for every sanctimonious, self-important, self-appointed gobshite to rain down condemnation and opprobrium on their heads.

If anything, it says more about the empty-headed vacuity of your average social-network halfwit than it does about stupid DJs.  It also shows how easy it is to raise a lynch-mob as long as you keep the logic to a minimum.


Sexual abuse Stupidity

Beauty Pageants — Learning to be an Airhead

I’m listening to some fool of a woman on the radio promoting beauty pageants.  This cretin can see nothing wrong with dressing up two-year-old girls to display themselves on a catwalk, and just in case you think I made a mistake about the age, no I did not.   This idiot runs beauty pageants for kids of two and upwards.

There’s a bit of controversy at the moment because Irish hotels have refused to host a contest for the Universal Royalty Beauty Pageant, next November.  This is a redneck outfit from Texas, whose contests involve dressing very young girls in tiaras, wigs, stockings, and high heels, and coating them in fake tan.

As a man phoning in on the radio remarked, the words two-year-old and catwalk do not belong in the same sentence.  This is sexualisation of toddlers.

Not only are these events Paedo Paradise but they’re also basic training in the art  of being an empty-headed moron.

They’re teaching tiny toddlers that the only important thing is how you look, and the worst culprits are the demented, needy, stupid mothers.  The American organisers say they’ve been inundated with calls from hundreds of Irish parents desperate to make sure that their brand of beauty pageant comes to this country.  Think about that now.  These parents aren’t desperate to make sure their little girls get a good education and grow up to be capable, confident, assertive, happy adults.  No.   Instead they’re desperate to dress them up like tiny hookers and parade them in front of other morons.

Call it what it is: child abuse.

As if we haven’t already imported enough trash culture from American trailer parks, we’re now going to have children on a catwalk in swimsuits.  Life is suddenly going to get even weirder for little Kourtney and Beyoncé.


Struck by Lightning

Every now and then, I’m sent a video promoting something or other and invited to write a sponsored post on it.  Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t but this one is so downright bizarre I couldn’t ignore it.

Here’s a guy who goes out and deliberately gets himself struck by lightning.

What?  That’s right: here’s a candidate for the Darwin Awards, who dresses up in a chain-mail suit with a pair of antlers strapped to a birdcage on his head.

That’s right. Antlers!  This is no Benjamin Franklin.

He then goes to a place in California famous for its electrical activity and he stands there until he gets himself zapped by a zillion-volt lightning bolt with a temperature of 30,000 degrees Centigrade.

Now, if you’ve been coming here a while, you’ll know my views on lightning.  I think it’s Nature’s way of killing golfers and cows, but I suppose it could also be a handy way to rid the world of idiots, and the guy in this video is  a sure-fire certifiable half-wit, in my opinion.

Why do people do these things?

I’m looking forward to his next adventure: walking into a hail of lead.



Stupidity and Drink. With Dancing

What the fuck is going on with people who point at musicians?

Last night, I was out enjoying a quiet few civilised pints with friends, so we went to Nancy Blake’s hospitable hostelry where the usual Gonzo outfit were flexing their instruments.  It was all fine, good, cool and gemütlich, but what the fuck was going on with the crazed, uncoordinated woman standing in front of the band, swaying and pointing?

You know that I’m-in-charge, smug smile, and the weather-forecaster pointy-finger thing?  You there!!  Drummer!! Play!!


The Annoying Society

I was standing at the checkout, minding my own business, waiting to pay for my few meagre provisions.  In front of me, a fellow was loading his trolley as the operator swiped the items through, but he wasn’t flinging the stuff in like anyone else.  No indeed.  He was carefully selecting which shopping bag to place the things in, while his scanned purchases piled up beside the till.  Finally, when the operator scanned the last thing and said That’s €52.38 please, he didn’t pause or look up.  He just kept picking the groceries one by one and placing them carefully in their bags.

I’m staring at him, trying to project a useful suggestion.

Multitask, I frown.  Give him the money and he can do his shit while you pack away yours.

No.  He keeps filling his trolley, stealing vital seconds from me and from all those behind me.  Seconds we could be using outside the shop seething with anger at something else.

Give him the money!!

When the trolley is full, and everything has been put away to his satisfaction, he does a little last-minute rearranging before finally starting to look for his money.  This guy is one of those people who don’t realise you have to pay for things.

What?  You want money? Where the fuck did I put my money?

He searches all his pockets and eventually finds a €50.

Jesus, I’m thinking, now he’s going to pull out a little purse and search for the change.  But I’m wrong. Instead of a little purse, he pulls out one of those horrible coin-organisers and carefully thumbs out two single euros, three ten-cent coins, a five-cent, a two-cent and a one.  Very slowly.

I’m not alone in wanting to murder him.  Glancing back along the line, I see an elderly man, two young mothers and a disabled gentleman all leaning forward in an attack position, with canines bared and nostrils flared.  The checkout operator is gently rubbing his knuckles.

What did we do instead?  We seethed, because we’re Irish, and the Irish don’t complain, whether they’re getting screwed around by an idiot at a checkout or some banker robbing them of €40 billion.

I mentioned the story to Wrinkly Joe over a pint and he laughed at me.  When you’re old, he said, you’ll do the same thing, just to piss people off.

This fucker wasn’t old.  He was no more than 35 by my reckoning, but he had that smug little grin that annoying fuckers everywhere wear.

You should have taken his picture.


You could add it to a gallery of smugshots.

Great idea, I told him.  These bastards are everywhere.  They hide behind parked vans, and just as you’re approaching an ATM, they jump out with a card.

With two cards, said Wrinkly Joe.

Cards that don’t work, I agreed.

But they use them anyway, and when the machine spits them out, they put the cards back in anyway.

Or else they check their balance, eject the card and then put it back in.  And then they take out their girlfriend’s card and check the balance and put it back in.  And then they put in their own card again because they forgot something.

Bastards, said Wrinkly Joe.  You know what else they do?


They put on knitted hats and drive Nissan Micras very slowly in the middle of the road.

That’s right, I told him.  And they wait until the bus pulls up before they look for their money.

It’s the Annoying Society, said Joe.

The what?

The Annoying Society.  Their top members are very old people who do extremely annoying things without even trying.  The guys you’ve been meeting are only trainees.  When they go for their final tests, one of the ancient judges will accidentally use their exam papers to light the fire, and they’ll have to start the exam all over.  You should have a little sympathy for them.

I suppose you’re right, I said.

And of course, he added, we mustn’t forget the other terrible things they have to do.

Like what?

Well, for a start, he said, how would you like to be a traffic warden?








Snake Awareness Week

I don’t know if you heard about the tragic case that happened in England a couple of weeks ago where a man was bitten by his favourite Egyptian cobra and died on the spot.  His name was Luke Yeomans, and he seems to have been a committted and decent sort of guy, dedicated to protecting endangered species of reptiles.

But …

Why do I pause?

Because it was England, not Egypt.  Why would someone have a zoo full of venomous North African snakes in England?  When I first heard the story about a man with a snake sanctuary, I just assumed for some reason that it was in India or Africa where the snakes live, but no.  It was in Nottinghamshire.

Listen.  These things are fucking deadly.  One shot of cobra venom can kill an elephant, and yet, according to newspaper reports, Luke Yeomans was in the habit of kissing his snakes.  Why would you do that?  Why the fuck would you go anywhere near an animal that has no feelings, no empathy, no interest in you and the ability to shoot you full of deadly poison faster than, well, faster than a slow snake, which would still be too fast for you?

Yeoman, it seems, had a fascination for snakes since he was about 11, and he grew up with a bedroom full of cobras when he was in his teens, eventually ending up with his own pet shop.  I bet that wowed his girlfriends.

This man knew snakes and yet one of them killed him, but he also knew the risks.

Imagine if a teenager was obsessed with herds of wildebeest.  What kind of a life would his parents have? But we have to protect these herds of wildebeest from crocodile attack.   They must live in my bedroom.

How far do you go with the urge to protect wild animals from Africa, Asia and the Antipodes when you live in Nottinghamshire?  We all agree it’s a terrible thing that animals are becoming extinct due to the activities of poachers, multinational energy companies and unscrupulous governments, but are we going fill our homes full of Polar bears and wolverines?

Come on now.  Would you kiss a fucking polar bear?

What next — Love a Hyena Week?

If you make a habit of kissing deadly, elephant-killing snakes, sooner or later one of them is going to bite you in the face and fucking kill you.


Yes.  It makes sense.  Don’t kiss a venomous snake.  It doesn’t take Einstein to figure this out.

I thought pretty much the same thing when Steve Irwin got skewered by a manta.  What are you doing, you fool?  Why are you pulling alligators around by the tail?  Why are you teasing Komodo dragons when you know full well their saliva is filled with deadly bacteria?

Are you mad?

Well, yes.  That’s the answer.  These people are fucking nuts.

After all, it’s not like Bear Grylls, where you slide down a glacier with your entire film crew, your personal trainer, your therapist, your mother and your hairdresser while a French waiter hands you garlic cockroaches to nibble.

This is real shit.  A cobra biting you is pretty much a guarantee of a free pass to the afterlife, which of course means no life at all.  You’re dead.  What is wrong with these people?

I’ll just kiss my pet Tasmanian Devil and hope it doesn’t rip my face off.