Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Cringe thinking

I sat down on Tuesday night to watch the Rose of Tralee. Was it any good? Not really. Was I capitivated by the contest? I can't say I was. Is Ray Darcy an annoying host? Yes he is. So with all that being said you may be wondering why I watched it. And my answer to you is simple - the show made me cringe. And that's a fundamental part of being Irish.

For those of you who missed the show, let me detail one moment in particular. When Mayo Rose Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin (my own tip and the Rose who won incidentally) was being interviewed it was revealed that it was her escort's birthday. What followed you ask? They went and brought out a birthday cake for the unsuspecting poor chap and Aoibhinn proceeded to sing him Happy Birthday in the style of Marilyn Monroe. It was truly cringeworthy and I'm sure the majority of people around the country who were watching had their hands covering their face at that moment. Pure Irishness!

You see, that is what makes our country what it is. This is what separates Ireland from places like Britain, America and the rest of Europe - the way we delight in our own ways which we know are embarrassing and humiliating yet which we love all the same!

It's not just the Rose of Tralee that has this effect. How about the Eurovision? Yes it is a contest that most of Europe participates in but no country in Europe has taken this contest to its heart in the way we have. The cringeworthy moments of Johnny Logan bellowing out a tune, Dana singing away on her stool, or Michael Flatley and that red-haired one dancing their hearts out in Riverdance. Pure Irishness.

How about the good old Late Late when Gaybo would pit his questions to famous faces? Remember the Toy Show when Gaybo would try and figure out the latest toys? Remember his "one for everybody in the audience" line? Remember when those Boyzone muppets made their debut? Remember the way the show would get terrible comedians on, some who were dressed in drag, who proceeded to mock and stereotype certain Irish people? They weren't funny of course and it was embarassing to watch, but damn it they were Irish!

Remember the wooden stars? Bosco? Zig and Zag? Dustin? Pat Kenny? Cringeworthy...but Irish all the same.

You see this is what makes our country. These traditions may be cringeworthy, but they're ours! And we must cherish them. I'd rather listen to Bill O'Herlihy, Johnny Giles, Eamon Dunphy and Liam Brady tear into Irish players and teams with their blunt remarks than some fancy-arsed twat in a suit that you get with Sky TV.

God bless cringeworthy Ireland.


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