Tag Archives: Michael D. Higgins

Let’s Not Meet Up For The Year 2012

As 2011 comes to a close it seems only fitting to look back on the big news stories of the year and analyse how the world has changed for all of us over the last twelve months. However, that sounds really boring and depressing so instead I’m going to attempt to predict the major events that will shape the year 2012. And if there’s half as much economic misery, brutal conflict, tragic natural disasters, and television exposure for Jedward as there was last year, let’s hope the Mayans were right when they predicted that the world would end if John Cusack ever made a movie as awful as 2012.

In economic matters, the Eurozone crisis deepens even further in early 2012, with the pressure on Angela Merkel finally taking its toll at a meeting in Brussels, during which she tears one of Sarkozy’s arms off and proceeds to beat him and several other less important European leaders to death with it before she can be restrained. The outburst results in massive fluctuations in German markets as Boris Becker is declared the interim leader of the country for some reason. Commentators across the world are astounded at the move, and all agree that the end is nigh for the Euro. John McEnroe also gets a lot of air time on American TV, remarking that Germany “cannot be serious.”

Fearing the imminent collapse of the EU as we know it, President Higgins takes drastic action and decides not only to secede from the union, but also to declare geographical independence from the continent of Europe. The country’s legions of unemployed are soon put to work preparing the island for emigration. In late summer, after all the arrangements have been made, we set sail for Australia, only losing half of Wexford along the way when we hit Portugal in rough seas, which everyone agrees was probably for the best anyway. Unfortunately we have to return to the economic hinterland of Europe after only a month spent down south, due to people complaining that the weather is too mild to be working, and the milk doesn’t taste the same. On the plus side, however, we also manage to cut loose most of Cork somewhere around Angola on the way back.

Meanwhile in the US, Barack Obama is narrowly re-elected, with many citing the Republicans’ choice of an overly stereotypical candidate as the reason for their loss. Others credit Obama’s win to his catchy slogan, ‘Change we can kind of believe in after four years of not much change at all really.’ After dispatching both bin Laden and Gaddafi in 2011, Obama feels under pressure to topple another dictator before the end of the year. In December he sends a covert unit of troops to kidnap Kim Jong-un while the North Korean leader attends an anniversary feast for the passing of his father.

However, a full year in power has seen the young man balloon to epic proportions due to his gluttonous diet, including consuming over 80 percent of the country’s sugar stockpile during one particularly decadent golfing weekend (when incidentally he also beat his late father’s world record by 17 strokes). The tyrant is too heavy for the American soldiers to lift and they are forced to leave without him. Unfortunately all forty of them perish an hour later when their helicopter accidentally fires at itself having mistaken a passing seagull for a North Korean stealth bomber.

Wikileaks later reveals that the kidnap plot was simply a ruse to begin a ‘liberation’ of North Korea, after it emerged that an extremely rare ore that Apple uses to make the limited edition Hello Kitty carrier case for the iPad is found exclusively in the foothills outside Pyongyang.

The Arab world continues to suffer massive political and social unrest as its citizens voice their opposition to totalitarian rule via social media. Trending tags on Twitter for the year include #MarchLikeAnEgyptian, #Don’tBeATahrirSquare, and #Don’tBahrainOnMyParade. Unfortunately the Islamic autocrats strike back by creating a Facebook page called ‘That awkward moment when you get your hands chopped off for engaging in political dissent on Twitter’, which soon silences most of the protesters.

Civil disorder continues in the West also, with the Occupy Movement growing ever larger. Police in New York run into difficulties as the protesters on Wall Street build up an immunity to pepper spray. As the crowds increase and become more vocal each day, eventually the cops take drastic action. They erect massive television screens around the area and begin to air Kim Kardashian’s new reality show, which revolves around her eight-week search for a new personal trainer for her cat, O.J. The tactic works as the protesters dwindle in number, though the large number of deaths by self-immolation recorded mark a tragic end to proceedings.

Meanwhile the stock market traders have endless fun laughing at the occupiers. When they’re not busy burying dead hookers in shallow graves, or telling CNN that we’ve entered our sixth recession of the week, they spend their days throwing staplers and bags of substandard cocaine at the protesters from the windows of their luxurious offices. They even respond to the famous ‘We are the 99%’ slogan with a giant banner of their own that says ‘We are the 11% and we don’t give a shit.’ It takes them three weeks to realise their mistake.

The entertainment world continues to provide reasons to welcome the warm glow of the apocalypse during the year. The top grossing film is The Hangover Part III, which simply consists of the lads sitting around a breakfast table having a fry and some Solpadeine, and arguing over who paid for the taxi the previous night for an hour and a half. Lady GaGa takes an indefinite hiatus from making music as she is committed to an institution after turning up at the Grammys wearing Elizabeth Taylor’s skin. Though criticised by many, the look goes on to influence much of Karl Lagerfeld’s acclaimed ‘Eau de Cleopatra’ fashion line that takes catwalks by storm over the summer.

Overall, 2012 is little more than another crushingly disappointing vignette illustrating the woeful state that the human race finds itself in. This time next year will see us looking back on even more misery and despair that has been heaped upon us by the ambivalent teet of the universe that we have suckled until dry and withered, and unable to provide us with anything but empty hopes and crushed dreams. On the plus side though, the new Batman film turns out to be awesome, so it all balances out really.

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Pain in the Áras

The presidential election is now just over five weeks away and the past few days have seen a lot of activity from potential candidates. Considering the fact that the country is in such a state of turmoil at the moment, it is disappointing to say the least that we are being provided with such a bland and uninspiring list of contenders.

The office of President is not a particularly challenging role to fill. It consists mostly of shaking hands with people, pretending to care about things and deciding which of your opulent gaff’s drawing rooms you want to retire to for your evening glass of sherry. The one quality the position does call for is diplomacy, and it is in her sensitive, measured and intelligent approach that Mary McAleese has excelled during her two terms. The idea of some of her prospective successors representing our country on the international stage is worrying.

Some of the candidates are inoffensive enough, but aren’t exactly inspirational. Mary Davis has done tireless work for charities, and would probably be better off continuing her hands-on work rather than filling a figurehead role. Dragons’ Den’s Seán Gallagher seems like a nice enough guy, and is an intelligent entrepreneur, but doesn’t really have the credentials to rise to such a prominent position. His Cavan accent would also make presidential speeches a nightmare to listen to.

There are also a few contenders for the Áras whose election would be actively damaging to the country, one of whom is Fine Gael’s Gay Mitchell. Despite recently denying membership, he has been strongly linked to both the Dignitatis Humanae Institute and the Iona Institute. These poisonous right-wing groups operate under a pretense of fostering Christian values while pursuing their ultra-conservative, discriminatory agendas. Mitchell has also attracted controversy for a letter he wrote appealing for clemency for an unrepentant anti-abortion fanatic who murdered a doctor and his bodyguard outside an abortion clinic in the US. So aside from being an utterly charmless individual, a mediocre politician and a fairly dull person intellectually speaking, the man is also a throwback to the Ireland of the 1950s and has no place in any position of esteem in a liberal 21st century state.

You would think that a right-wing moron like Mitchell would be the worst candidate, but he pales in comparison to our newest entrant from Sinn Féin, a known terrorist, a despicable human being and best mates with well-known nobleman Baron Gerry Adams. There is no need to go into detail over Martin McGuinness’ past. Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows what he was involved in in this country, and the amount of pain and misery he has caused. Fintan O’Toole wrote an excellent article outlining how ridiculous his candidature is.

On Pat Kenny’s Frontline programme this week, former Tánaiste Michael McDowell also reminded us of the chilling fact that if he were to be elected, the former IRA man would be the Supreme Commander of the Irish Defence Forces. This is one job application where his vast experience in this field counts against him. Let’s hope that if he does win the election, he’ll just refuse to turn up like he has done with his seat in Westminster since 1997. The man, and I use the term loosely, is an embarrassment to this country, and his temerity in attempting to become our first citizen is an insult to his victims and their families.

It is unfortunate we have such a low standard of candidate this year, since there are plenty of Irish people out there who could make a decent run for President. How about President Bono, who could rule by proxy from his tax haven and help Ireland lead the way on the international stage in providing aid to Africa, using the same three chords over and over, and building shit hotels? Or President Tubridy, who is already an expert at making tedious conversation with international luminaries. Although as far as I know Conan O’Brien was never President so Tubs would need to steal someone else’s act before taking the gig. Maybe Dustin the Turkey, latterly preoccupied with his budding musical career, could revive his political ambitions to compete in his third election? If Fianna Fáil nominated him, he’d surely perform better than any human stupid enough to associate themselves with the party.

Assuming none of these possible challengers announce a late charge for the presidency, it looks set to go to either Michael D. Higgins, or, if he manages to obtain the signatures required to get on the ballot, David Norris. Both are intelligent, articulate men who would doubtlessly do a fine job, and I would be happy enough to see either win. I suppose the country just isn’t ready to accept as President a small loudmouth puppet made famous by a pathetic excuse for a singing career, and whose opinions are even more ridiculous than Gay Mitchell’s. I guess Dana will just have to wait another seven years.