THE BLOG

What Kind of Week Has It Been? 5 July 2013

05/07/2013 10:16 BST | Updated 03/09/2013 10:12 BST

Inexplicably dropping the prodigiously talented centre from the Lions Tour of news.

It's July, it's 10 o'clock, heeeeeere's silly season!

Around this time of year, everyone gets in to summer holiday mode and the news flies off in a similar way. Hence why Prince Charles became a Dalek, whatever the hell this is and why an old clip of Fox & Friends going on a snide, pathological tirade about Mr Rogers came back round again. Because for Fox, the only old man allowed to portray a positive outlook to young people is Reagan.

Back home the domestic media has been variously obsessed with big summery set pieces Glasto and Wimbledon, and even the serious news has the whiff of paint fumes mistaken for sunscreen off it. Case in point: the Egyptian army appointing itself a Presidential recall committee.

In Ireland, the 20 year quest to make abortion just a teensy weensy bit legal passed an important stage this week, after which it has to go to the committee stage, then the swimsuit competition. It passed with a rude healthy margin but the focus was on the renegades who didn't. Among them were four Fine Gael government TDs who defied the whip, and with borderline queasy-making haste, have lost membership of the party, lost the nomination for the next election and, it appears, lost the link on the party website. Not among the rebels was the high-profile Lucinda Creighton, who gave a much-vaunted speech decrying the bill, but voted for it anyway. At any rate, she's a politician with a great future behind her. Elsewhere, the usual pro-life suspects were praising the dissenters for their invocation of conscience and conviction in spite of party pressures (and overwhelming public support). After all, abortion is the only topic that needs politicians to have conviction and conscience. Isn't it?

Meanwhile in Texas abortion is quite the legislative hot topic too, with Wendy Davis becoming a bit of a celebrity due to her filibuster, and Rick Perry being a predictably massive dick about it. What wasn't quite so predictable was teenage girls trolling a pro-life singalong of Amazing Grace with that noted pro-choice chant, "Hail Satan". Well, that oughta cool things down.

Back at home some of our better known politicos seem to be think it's Halloween not summer, two in particular seem very concerned that somebody's watching them. UKIP leader Comedy Nige strikes again, claiming he doesn't use an Oyster card because he doesn't want to be tracked round the city. Whether he keeps his Oyster card wrapped in tinfoil is anyone's guess. In Dublin, Public Service Minister Brendan Howlin got a bit snippy at a man filming him on the street trying to ask him a question. So someone made a Saturday Night Fever remix of it.

Speaking of hot dance spots Croatia has become a member of the EU this week, the funkiest club this side of Tropicana. Not at all related to Croatia's accession is Germany's dictionaries including the word "shitstorm" in new editions, although Ireland, with its Anglo Tapes and it's legislators advocating drink driving on their documentaries, probably does.

In spite of our national faults though it hasn't stopped Edward Snowden asking us the most out-of-the-blue and forward question this side of Carly Rae Jepsen: I can haz asylum? Of course at least Carly Rae had the manners to ask one bloke at a time, whereas Snowden sent out a group invite to countries as varied as Austria and Norway to Venezuela and Boliva. And, of course, Ecuador. But in fairness, you would need a fallback from Ireland. Our government would hand him back before Joe Biden got the first syllable of "Pretty please" out of his mouth.

Edward Snowden didn't have as much joy as Stephen Henning did in rounding up positive responses, as the Best Man at his brother's wedding he managed to compile a stellar cast of comedians, sports stars Hollywood actors and, most impressive of all, Dr Karl Kennedy, all in the name of dodging saying a few words himself.

From match to dispatch, and silly season really stepped up a gear when a businessman from the West of Ireland came up with a money making idea that would make Del Boy's cigar fall out of his mouth: bouncy castles for funerals. Bouncy castles. For funerals. Down the country some other enterprising (and slightly drunk) souls decided to get a bit of sponsorship details for their Kildare basketball team. So what company did they go for? Sharp? Candy? ERG?! Eh, no. PornHub.

Things went a bit sex mad this week it seems as a Chinese train station operative got himself in a spot of bother by watching an erotic film, implausibly titled "Sex And Chopsticks", on the job. Problem was, he somehow managed broadcast the thing station-wide.

Over on the Atlantic coast of Maryland, things were a lot more wholesome as a Genea Harrison made a name for herself by becoming Governor. An exceptional achievement, given her age: 8. Granted, she was only Governor for a day as part of an initiative from the regular Governor of Maryland Martin O'Malley, a former Mayor of Baltimore and Irish rock band leader who is my insanely long view bet for the Democratic nomination. Silly season it might be, but O'Malley means business.

(Of course, if I turn out to be right feel free to share this link around loads. If not...shhh...)