herald

Friday 18 January 2019

What was so wrong with Cascarino using the word 'holocaust'?

DESPITE what people say, Tony Cascarino is not a good gambler. He may play professional poker but his gamble on the use of the word 'holocaust' was unwise.

The comment about Armand Traore's performance for Arsenal against Manchester United should have been a relatively safe bet though, because for 800 years 'holocaust' has meant destruction by fire, either literally or metaphorically.

For 60 years it has also referred to Jewish genocide in World War Two. The key word is 'also'. It does still mean destruction by fire. Which is the perfect description of Traore's game. Tony's use of the word was no more an insult to Jews than calling a nil-all draw a 'famine of goals' is insulting to the Irish.

The fact that a word has described a terrible event does not remove the other meanings of that word. When the film The Terminator referred to a 'nuclear holocaust' it meant a destruction by fire, not a radioactive reincarnation of the Nazis. Likewise, when Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, Charlotte Bronte and Rudyard Kipling used the term in poetry, they weren't being xenophobic, they were being descriptive.

This is like what happened when the white aide of the black mayor of Washington had to resign for using the word 'niggardly,' it sounded and seemed like a racial slur.



offensive

But it wasn't, it isn't, and he should never have been asked to resign. Likewise if Sky Sports weren't so hyper-sensitive after their previous cock-ups they might have had the guts to admit that the word 'holocaust' has been in use since 1300AD and has more than one application.

Words do not always mean what first comes to mind, so Sky and everyone else should really make sure they're actually offensive before getting worked up about what might just be a random ejaculation.



Just what is



Sinead up to?

SINEAD O'Connor seems to take the same approach to publicity as Apple. The computer company has 'lost' another priceless prototype iPhone in a bar. Just like they 'lost' a priceless prototype iPhone4 in a bar a few years ago. In both instances no technology was stolen from them but a lot of publicity was obtained by them.

And so it is with Sinead O'Connor, her embarrassing mistakes serve to publicise her existence. Like telling us she will not be appearing on tonight's Late Late show, then she will, then she won't again.



strategy

Like announcing she wants the Taoiseach to commit unspeakable acts on her. Like declaring undying love for Ryan Tubridy.

If this is a marketing strategy for a new album then she's a genius and should immediately look to replace Steve Jobs. But if it's not, maybe she needs some help?



Ronan is out of his depth

RONAN Keating and a bunch of semi-celebs did a relay swim for charity. This is a good thing, so I hate to be cynical, but I'm going to be anyway.

The coverage says they swam the Irish Sea. They didn't. They swam IN the Irish Sea.

There's no such thing as a 'relay' distance swim. It's like me saying I ran the Dublin marathon because I walked the first few steps and then shook hands with a lad that won it.

KTHE recession has hit Irish criminals. Gone are the days of daring Brinks Allied robberies and multi-million euro jewellery heists. Now they're reduced to nicking level-crossing gates and manhole covers.

The gardai have asked for help from anyone who 'sees anything suspicious'.



Thieves

What suspicious activity surrounds the theft of a crossing gate or a manhole cover? It's not like the thieves would have to monitor them for a few days to get used to their pattern of behaviour. The manhole covers never go anywhere, and while the gates do go up and down, they're unlikely to get a bus to Skerries for a weekend away.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News