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A Different View

Contemplating life’s great imponderables

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A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It is often life’s great imponderables that can keep you awake at night – not least how you never hear your own snoring, but anyone else’s will ensure you’re staring at the ceiling while the rest of the world is at peace.

And while you’re lying there, you might also get to wondering why it is that we never fall out of bed when we do eventually get to sleep – despite the fact that we are marooned on what is effectively a six foot square plateau a good three feet off the ground.

But then again, you might well ask why round pizzas always come in square boxes. Or the square area that boxers fight in is called a ring.

Perhaps it’s the metamorphosis that we’re going through here this week that triggered all this contemplation on life’s bigger questions – not that there’s been much time for that in recent weeks as we planned for our revamp……and on that point, we really hope you like it.

But back to those important questions that mostly have no answers.

Watching the recent Winter Olympics, you’d have to wonder who was the guy who had the brainwave to fly across frozen ice at 140 kilometres an hour…anchored to a glorified tea-tray.

In a similar vein – and having watched the Oscar-winning movie Gravity recently – wasn’t it an extraordinary leap of faith to think that man would make it to the moon and back?

Most of all, think about – what inspired the first man to milk a cow….and then drink the milk?

Or in terms of pointless sports, who thought that curling – really people with sweeping brushes that aid bowling on ice – should get the same sort of Olympic status as, say, downhill skiing?

But then again, when you think of skiing, who’d have thought that attaching two narrow planks to your feet would represent the best way to come rapidly down the side of a snowy mountain?

It’s not just winter sports either; William Webb Ellis deserves every credit for inventing rugby by picking up the football and running off with it under his arm – but if you did that now in the middle of a soccer match, you’d be beaten within an inch of your life.

And if someone came up with the template for hurling now, they’d have their sanity seriously questioned.

So sport alone would give you endless food for thought, but there are a million imponderables in everyday life – if you just think about it.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Time can play tricks on you – as it keeps on ticking by

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It takes a bit of adjusting to accept that 1988 – when Ray Houghton, for example, put the ball in the back of the English net – is as far away from today as 1988 was from 1954 then, as the world was still only really getting back on its feet after the Second World War.

In other words, the exploits of Euro ’88 and a great day in Gelsenkirchen, still fresh in the minds of our fifty-plus generation, is as far into the distant past as the Roger Bannister’s first sub-four-minute mile is to the twentysomethings of today.

It was also the year that marked the end of McCarthyism in the US, when Senator Joe’s ‘communist’ witch-hunt – destroying the lives of so many high profile public figures who could be described as a little liberal at best – was finally pulled into dry dock.

In fairness, McCarthyism has always seemed like ancient history, and we’ve only ever seen Bannister’s achievement through grainy black and white footage – ignoring the fact that our parents had lived through it.

The juxtaposition of personal experience and third-party history rose its head in a different context recently when the latest – and much-pilloried – series of the Crown hit Netflix.

To describe the makers’ approach to history as loose would be an understatement; fact offers little more than a backdrop to the vivid minds of writers who have come up with nothing more than a Royal version of a soap opera.

They got away with that when they were dealing with the early years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, but this time they were dealing with a history most of us lived through, most notably the death of Diana in 1997.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

You can’t force the craic at the Christmas Party

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

There’s nothing like the Christmas Party to bring out the little devils who’ve spent their working lives blending in with the filing cabinet; one craft beer too many and they’re up on top of the photocopier scanning images of their tail end to send to the world.

The party animal is often the quiet one who spends the rest of the year in the corner, timidly stepping aside if you pass them in the corridor – but with a few bevvies on board, they’re Lemmy from Motorhead in the middle of a world tour.

Of course there are also some people who dread the Christmas party – or even after-work drinks, if that’s still a thing – and as their worst nightmare comes looming over the horizon, they might take some comfort from a recent court case in France.

Because an unnamed worker has just won the right to be utterly boring after a court ruled that he could not be dismissed, just because he didn’t want to join the rest of the staff in the pub.

Known simply as Mr T – an unfortunate choice of initial if you were a fan of the larger-than-life big guy in the A-Team back in the day – our friend was a senior advisor for a Parisian training firm called Cubik Partners.

One of those typically trendy modern operations, they work on a ‘fun and pro’ basis – which is presumably a variation on playing hard and working hard sometimes too – and part of that outlook involved regular social events ‘to bolster team spirit’.

But Mr T had no truck with the spirits – internal or alcoholic – and didn’t want to hang out with his colleagues for a minute longer than work demanded.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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Connacht Tribune

How to win elections with the promises you can keep

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

The man who was already the world’s oldest prime minister stood for election again last weekend at the tender age of 97 – arguing quite legitimately that he was fully fit for high office on the basis that he was ‘still standing and talking’.

Mahathir Mohamad was already a Guinness World Record holder for being the world’s oldest current prime minister since he became premier of Malaysia for a second time in 2018.

Proving that age is no impediment to ambition, he put himself forward again last weekend – only this time he fulfilled that age-old observation of Enoch Powell, that most unctuous of Tories from times past, who once said that all political lives end in failure…even if it’s a relative thing and you could hardly be said to have been cut down early, at the age of 97.

Adding insult to injury, not alone did he finish fourth of five candidates in Langkawi, a resort island in Malaysia’s northwest, which he had won with a large majority in the previous poll in 2018 – he also lost his deposit.

It wasn’t even an ageist thing; his entire party failed to win a single seat.

And for comfort in his hour of need, he can still look to Laos where the Prime Minister Khamtai Siphandone is still going strong at just short of 99 – although the fact that he is the chairman of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party means you don’t have to actually come up with an election manifesto because, more specifically, you don’t have to stand for election.

But if you do – and accepting Mahathir Mohamad’s weekend disappointment – going before the electorate on a platform of boasting the ability to walk and talk is at least an honest one.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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