If blasphemy is to be made a criminal offence by our beloved Justice Minister then Tommy Tiernan and I are in a lot of trouble. . .
As per abnormal, The O Zone's week gets off to a flying stop. I'd been in London for less than an hour when I got the news that I needn't have bothered coming.
I'd been supposed to attend an invite-only Tori Amos gig tonight and then interview the singer about her forthcoming new album Abnormally Attracted To Sin tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, citing illness, she's cancelled both show and press day at the last moment. It's a pain in the neck for me, but far worse for the journalists who'd flown in specially from Australia and New Zealand.
Anyway, with 24 hours to kill in London, I'm not sure what to do with myself. Except take a cue from the title of Amos's new album. . .
Here's a story that'll interest Jim Corr. Recently Open Chemical Physics Journal published a paper with the snappy title: Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Centre Catastrophe.
Authored by an international team of physicists and chemists who had forensically examined the WTC dust, the peer-reviewed article stated: "We conclude that the red layer of the red/grey chips we have discovered in the WTC dust is active, unreacted thermitic material, incorporating nanotechnology, and is a highly energetic pyrotechnic or explosive material."
If correct, the paper destroys the official story that "no evidence" exists for explosive or pyrotechnic materials in the WTC towers, and is devastating to the official explanation that the buildings were demolished solely by hijacked planes.
Needless to say, the story hasn't been widely reported anywhere in the mainstream media. Not possessed of the expertise to understand the science, The O-Zone can't really comment on the veracity of their claims. However, I found an online TV News interview on Denmark's national station with one of the main physicists, and he made a very interesting comment: "Two airplanes hit two skyscrapers on 9/11 -- yet three skyscrapers collapsed that day. Symmetrically." (Another building, WTC7, collapsed that day).
Conspiracy theory? Of course -- yet another one. But anybody who still believes the official Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld version of events truly needs their head examined.
Today marks Barack Obama's 100th day of presidency. While he has his critics (most of whom seem to work for Fox News), the majority of open-minded US political pundits seem to agree that he's done a pretty good job so far. Except for that joke about the Special Olympics, obviously.
To date, Obama has enacted a $787bn (e592bn) stimulus programme, attempted to cure America's chronically ill healthcare system, extended the hand of peace towards Iran and Cuba, and unveiled new strategies for ending the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Unfortunately, there are still many more Bushfires to be put out. So he probably won't have time to read that Open Chemical Physics Journal article for a while yet.
This swine flu thing is worrying. When my Better Prettier Half got up this morning, she had pigtails. Worse again, I'd come out in rashers. Apologies. I shouldn't be crackling jokes.
Jesus H. Christ on a stolen bike! I see that our fundamentalist justice minister, Dermot Ahern, is trying to make blasphemy a criminal offence. Sheesh! Way to blow smoke up God's ass, man!
Obviously oblivious to the fact that our economy is going to hell, Ahern is proposing to insert a self-important new clause to the 2006 defamation bill that states: "A person who publishes or utters blasphemous matter shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €100,000."
So much for our right to free speech. The O-Zone's obviously f***ed, and I'd say Tommy Tiernan is sh***ing himself, but I'm just wondering who'll actually get the hundred grand? After all, it's not like He needs it. As Bono told us on Rattle & Hum, "the God I believe in isn't short of cash, mister!".
Internet-savvy readers will probably be aware that a YouTube video of a Midlands couple having a vicious row on the street has gone viral (with almost 30,000 hits to date). Essentially it's a two-minute clip of an angry pram-pusher chasing her unfaithful partner down the street shouting: "Why do you like riding hippos?"
It's funny in a terrible kind of way. However, I couldn't help feeling sorry for the poor kid.
Heartiest congratulations to poetess Carol Ann Duffy! She officially became Britain's first-ever female Poet Laureate.
We don't have a royal family to suck up to, but it wouldn't be a bad idea for Ireland to have an official Poet Laureate. Sure, Seamus Heaney is internationally renowned, but where are his poems about banking scandals, World Cup campaigns, RTE scheduling bloodbaths and Bertie's racing tips? If we are to have a Poet Laureate, I'd like to nominate the great Pat Ingoldsby.
Staying on literary matters, I'd like to close by briefly, and uncharacteristically, plugging myself. The O-Zone will be reading upstairs in Sheridan's Wine Bar at an Over The Edge literary event in Galway this weekend, alongside short story writer Edward Lee and some of the poets of this year's MA in writing at NUI Galway.
It's been a while since I last gave a poetry reading. Next Friday night, I'll be demonstrating why. But here's a taster of my genius . . .
"Doors at 8 and admission is free/ Even though it's 4 me." [Snaps fingers and says, "You've still got it, O!"]