Just gotta keep on rockin'
On Wednesday, Randy Roxx, a disillusioned Monaghan rocker, came on Ryan Tubridy's programme to defend himself after being publically eviscerated on Saturday's The X Factor.
As some texters noted, if Randy had ever seen that show, he shouldn't have been surprised, but he sounded so dejected it was hard not to feel sorry for him.
But The X Factor was really only part of his story. Recently made unemployed, Randy was going to Benidorm to work as an entertainer. He was leaving his daughter behind and his voice cracked with emotion. "Jesus Christ," he said. "Crying on the national airwaves."
"You're reflecting the mood of a lot of men in this country today," said Ryan, who's very good at interviews like this.
Hearteningly, most people texted in to tell Randy he was a really good singer (he was) and he sounded cheered up. "Keep on Rocking Randy," said Ryan, before adding: "With hair like that, what else can you do?"
Brave people discussed their depression on Liveline this week, triggered by Conor McGinnity's excellent Radio 1 documentary about his father's depression. McGinnity's programme was about a family in perpetual crisis and it was moving, honest and nuanced. Elsewhere things were a bit less nuanced.
Would you kill a burglar? This is basically what Dave Harvey asked listeners on Monday after a study showed that many people would "have a go" if someone broke into their home.
Before long arm-chair vigilantes were gleefully fantasising about home-invasions. The general consensus was there were too many "do-gooders" (not listening to this show, obviously) and that honest, law-abiding folks should be allowed to kill people in the safety of their own homes without worrying about a small fine or whatever the hell the fascists in government do to murderous homeowners these days.
Dave took this point of view as a given and was mainly interested in the method of burglar-battering. "What would you do?" he asked a caller. "Would you pick up a knife, a stick, a hurley?"
Indeed, by the end of the programme the weapons had ranged from the traditional (a hurley) to the more exotic ("I have a sword collection"), the crimes had reached Die Hard -like proportions ("five or six fellas with AK47s"), and the responses were specific yet impractical.
"I'd break his legs or do something to that effect," said one caller. "I'd make sure he wouldn't stand up again."
"If someone broke in now, they wouldn't be seen again," said another. "I'm not being bravo [sic] about it, but that's a right they give up." (This is, if you're interested, inaccurate from a legal perspective.)
To Dave it was all hilarious. "[I was told later that] he was severely injured," said one caller recalling a burglar he'd confronted.
"Excellent," laughed Dave as though he'd just heard the punchline to a very funny joke.
Another chap recalled confronting a male and female burglar.
"Did you give her a thump as well?" Dave asked eagerly.
"She lost a few teeth," said the caller. Dave found this hilarious.
"I know it's not a funny story," chuckled Dave, who clearly believed it was a funny story. "But I can't help laughing about your woman's teeth!"
Not that Dave didn't provide a different point of view on occasion. "What if the guards arrive and there's two dead bodies lying on the floor of your kitchen?" he asked once in a thought-provoking fashion. "A man's house is his castle," said the home-owner.
"I know, but you don't want dead bodies lying about your castle," said Dave wisely. How true. You'd have to step over them and hoover around them and they'd start to smell. Frankly, it would be a pain in the arse having dead bodies lying about your castle.
On Monday's News at One a lady who worked for an estate agent was arguing that Ireland would need to build around 30,000 more castles/houses a year.
Most Irish people just laughed sadly and gazed out on unfinished building sites. We're not falling for that one. But we must be vigilant, because someday someone like this will say something like that and people will believe her and the craziness will start all over again.