Monday 21 April 2008

ILUG 08 a guide to Irish Idiom for our non-irish guests Part 9

Oh My Gentle Reader .. so much to impart so little time ... ILUG starts in ... err... 6 weeks and one day! The ILUG team are all beavering away behind the scenes ensuring that it will run as smoothly and be as wonderful as the previous ILUGs. However gentle reader, and particularly the ones who are destined to impart their wisdom to the great un-washed Celtic Lotusian horde that time will move faster than a Chicken Naga through the instestine of a dyspepsic Quickplace administrator considering upgrading to Quickr. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! time is running out for those thrilling presentations and for you to practise witty repartee!

Anyhoos, I am going to take this post to have a bit of a moan about the slide into cultural uniformity that appears to be afflicting Ireland of late. Now many are the reasons for this particular problem however the sea change started when Ireland became a destination rather than a departure point for immigration. Now don't get me wrong I am all for multiculturalism and the like however there are great swathes of "irishness" being replaced by "euroness" and to be honest my main problem with that is that it is rather boring.

Take for example Aerobic classes. AEROBIC CLASSES? ... FOR MEN? Tis enuff for the average Irishman to know that anything useful (beer, whiskey and if pushed Vin...Rouge) is made AN-Aerobically. Therefore we know, deep down inside, that this AEROBIC stuff is probably not that useful. Coupled with the thought that this could all be a cunning marketing plan by the makers of Lyrca. Given that they designed a material that has no earthly use to any female over 90lbs and should be banned from male sports bags by international treaty, I am supposing they have invented Aerobics to get rid of all the non-valued stock they have.

Like cocaine ... simple jumping up and down was not enuff... then there was Jazzercize, Tae Bo, Step Classes,Bums'n'Tums (or Arses'n'Guts as it is known in Belfast) and the very worrying Cross-Trainer. Well I imagine that any trainer would be cross. I am sure lycra makes the old nether regions sweat and then chaff like crazy.

Having some gobshite in lime green and charisse lycra leap around like a mad thing yelling things like "Ok lets get Funcky with it" and "shake your booty till you feel the burn" is very possibly permissible if you are (a) from South Central LA or (b) you are in Spinal Tap (c) you are stark raving bonkers, but in Ireland on a wet Monday in April it is just plain silly! Large numbers of the population have been sucked into this conspiracy and now see nothing wrong squeezing their cellulite into pastel colured elastic and wobbling along to the latest ditty by Westlife or Boyzone.
MADNESS I SAY MADNESS AND THRICE MADNESS! Sitting on my arse watching the Rugby drinking tea and loudly demanding to be fed at regular intervals was good enough for generations of Patricks, Mickys and Oisins, it is damn well good enuff for me.

So gentle reader be aware that true "Irishness" may be harder to find in Dublin than you think, but be assured under the Nike Swoop and McDonald's arch, you can still find the odd trace of Molly Malone and hear the echo of her piscatorial advertising song.


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