Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Bible Translations

I read to my utter horror and abject despair in this morning's London Times that there is new translation of New Testament that's been given the blessing of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Dr Williams praises the transation as a work of “extraordinary power” that is “so close to the prose and poetry of ordinary life”. The poetry of ordinary life? The poetry that sees original Hebrew and Greek names modernised from Peter, Mary Magdelen, Andronicus and Barabbas to Rocky, Maggie, Andy and Barry, apparently.

Here's the scene in the Pilate's courtyard on Holy Thursday, when Peter - oh, I'm sorry, Rocky - denies Christ: "Meanwhile Rocky was still sitting in the courtyard. A woman came up to him and said: 'Haven’t I seen you with Jesus, the hero from Galilee?' Rocky shook his head and said: 'I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about!'

Who in the name of God dreams up this shit?

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Ag Feachaint ar na Sasanaigh i dTithe Ósta Éireannach

Bhí Des Cahill ag caint le Sasanach éigin ar a chlár raidio uafásach Sportscall De Luain seo caite, agus d'éiligh an Sasanach go mbíonn na hÉirinnigh ag ligedh gáir mholta ar gach aon foireann a n-imríonn i gcoinne foreann Shasanaigh ins an comórtas Euro 2004. Ní fhaigeann sé cothrom na féinne, dár leis an Sasanach, nuair a thagann sé chuig an teach ósta agus gach duine isteach i gcoinne David Beckham agus a ghaíscí. Cuireann an drochiompar seo imní agus eagla ar an Sasanach nuair atá cluiche Shasana ar siúl ar an teilifís ins an teach ósta.

"Éist liomsa a bhoc," arsa Des, "dá mbeadh imní agus eagla ort i dteach ósta deas inné agus tusa ag feachaint ar an gcluiche agus cúpla pionta istigh sa bholg agat, cad a mbeadh ort má bhí tú ar Crossley tender ar an mbóthar idir Maigh Cruaim agus Cil Mhicheál ar an 28ú lá Deireadh Fomhair 1920 agus Tom Barry agus Óglaigh na hÉireann ag fanacht ort?"

Ní duirt Des faic cosúil le sin, ar ndóigh. Bhí sé ag clucáil cosúil le cearc ar ghor, gurbh mhór an trua é nach dtaitníonn Wayne Rooney linn. Amadán.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Alone, All Alone

How appropriate it is that it's Tipperary, the Premier County and the location of Hayes Hotel, Thurles, birthplace of the GAA, that should provide us with what could very well be the most revolutionary happening in GAA officialdom since the introduction of the qualifier system.

The facts, insofar as they can be ascertained, are these: aware that his side were playing Fermanagh in an elimination game this Saturday, Andy Shorthall, manager of the Tipp football team, asked the County Board, or, more accurately, the Mid Division Board, whatever in the Christ that is, to postpone a Mid-Tipperary senior hurling championship match between Loughmore and Thurles Sarsfields that was to have been played last night. The reason for Shorthall's concern was that he had two players on his panel, whom he needed for Saturday's game against doughty Fermanagh, playing for the hurling clubs, and he did not care to have them split and shattered hurling outside Nenagh in the gloaming of a late summer's evening so the fixture list of the Mid Division Board looks neat and tidy.

So Andy Shorthall asked that the fixture be postponed, allowing the Premier County to have its best players to wear its colours and uphold its honour against Fermanagh. And the Mid Division Board said no, we're not moving nothing, so there.

A depressingly common occurance. Lots of counties appoint lots of managers all over Ireland but, when it comes to streamlining the system and getting everyone in the county behind the manager, they just leave the poor dumb hoor twisting slowly in the wind. Then, when whatever county it is comes tumbling out of the Championship, the Knights of the High Stool remark to one and other that they always knew that fella was only a bollocks, or, in our Celtic Tiger times, go posting abuse like billy-oh on the Internet.

But Shorthall obviously doesn't fancy being a martyr, and how the Tipp board must bitterly regret appointing him now. For Shorthall is the sacrificial lamb that bit back - instead of throwing his hands in the air, Shorthall called the Board's bluff. He told the Board that if he couldn't have all his players, he'd quit, and that's exactly what he did.

Him, all his selectors, and, as of last night, all his players. There is nobody left to play football for Tipp, and, in consequence, Tipperary have offered Fermanagh a walkover in Saturday's fixture.

I heard on the radio where some buck from the Tipp County Board said that the players would come to regret this awful day (implying, of course, that the players were bad, bad men for turning their backs on Tiobráid Árainn). As far as I'm concerned, those Tipp men are heroes, and the first winners of this year's Championship.

For God knows how many evenings those footballers have dragged themselves away from warm firesides or the promise of cold porter to go running up hills and down valleys for the honour of the Premier County, all the while with an assortment of goons and rogues slapping them on the back and telling them what great men they were. But, when the backslappers were asked to cut these men a break, and give them some chance of flying Tipp colours in triumph after the game against Fermanagh, they all disappeared into the night to a man.

All that support for the minority game of football disappeared into the night. It was all so much hot air. Tokenism at its best.

So the players were right to stand by Shorthall, who was only standing by them in the first place. They'll probably suffer for it down the line - see what being the chief mutineer in Mayo in 1992 did for Peter Ford's chances of managing the Mayo football team since? - but it takes men to stand up and be counted, to say that that they're not there to be patronised or pushed around any more. Well done Tipp, the Premier County.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Mallacht na Cispheile ar ár bPeil Féin

Ins an alt riatla a scríobhann sé ar leathanach deirneach na Irish Times gach Sáthairn, deireann Keith Duggan go mbeith tionchar mór ag an chispheil ar an pheil Gaelach dá dtabhartaí an seans do. Is mór an meas atá agamsa ar Duggan - ceann de na iriseoirí is fearr in Éirinn faoi lathar, dár liomsa - ach b'fhéidir gur chaith sé an-iomarca uair i Meiricéa. Mar 'sé fírinne an scéal ná go bhfuil tionchar mór ag an Chispheil inniu, ach is drochthionchar é, drochthionchar a chuirfidh brón ar an contae a úsáideann é sula mbeidh an Craobh críochnaite.

'Sé an luas an rud is tabhactach sa bpeil - luas smaoinigh, luas gluaiseachta. Ach, in ionad luas, éiríonn an imirt go mall faoi tionchar na cispheile. Nuair atá imreoir ag imirt peile, is gá dó an liathróid a úsáid go tapaidh. Go glic, gan dabht, ach go tapaidh - má fhágann sé leis an liathróid, beidh sé buailte briste nuair a schroicheann na cúlaí. Gluaiseann an liathróid i bhfad níos luaithe leis an cic ná leis an dorn - ba cheart do gach peiledeoir beir ar an liathróid, feachaint suas, agus cic mór a thabairt don liathróid comh fada agus comh cruinn mar is féidir. Dá gcaithfí an iomarca uair an liathróid a chur faoi gluaiseacht níl faic déanta ach seans thugtaí den cúlaí a bhailigh le cheile, agus luíochán a ullmhú don fear bocht faoi deireadh leis an liathróid.

Tá brón agus buartha ar an Spailpín go bhfuil galar na cispheile ar larr ina chontae féin. Rachaidh Maigh Eo i gcoinne Gaillimh ar an 27ú Meitheamh, coicís ón Domhnach seo chugainn, agus leigh mé ar an Hogan Stand gur úsáid Muigh Eo an seachad gairid chun an liathróid a thabhairt amach óna gcúl féin i gcluiche i gcoinne an Mhí tráthnóna inné. Sin galar na cispheile, agus má dheannann Muigh Eo iarracht an seafóid cheanna a úsáíd i gcoinne Gaillimh, titfidh an Seoigheach orthu cosúil leis an iolar ón sliabh ins an dán cáiliúl le Alfred, Tiarna Tennyson.

Gearr síos na líonta, agus dean cliabh don ásal dóibh. Níl maith eile leo.