The ‘New Normal’ is one of the great new chestnuts of the age.
It features centrally in a game of verbal conkers played by prolix motor-mouths of all genders in broadcasting studios. In which seasoned stringers try to destroy the opposing other’s conker, while confiscating all the vanquished’s previous wins in the process. Actually, that ought to read ‘played at’. As more and more the prolixati are all playing on the same team and aiming at the same target.
As a casual listen to RTE or Today fm or Newstalk fm south of the Black Sow’s Dyke will verify. Or a random look at the interchangeable Anglo-American likes of RTE, Sky, BBC and CNN will calcify. These six nation stations are all cantamount to each other.
Tá na hadharca ar na ba agus an dath ar na cnoic abhus gach pioc chomh gairid leis na hadharca ar na ba agus chomh glas leis na cnoic thall.
In a recent edish of The Prim Time Show on RTE, hostessed by the, yes, primmest host with the most, Msh. Mimsy O’Call Again, one could have been watching any of the above Wee Six Stations.
For it pitted, on the studio side of the show that most studious of pit-bull terriers, in his familiar disguise, goys, of (gulp) The Linguistic Lapdog with a Laptop. On this occasion he was let loose on the longest of leashes on one, two, three bulldogs on Big Screens from the Mainland.
One of whom was a goaded and almost fully-clothed Sammy Wilson, pullovered from his cross-channel kennel. The anti-ankle Lapdog with attitude was allowed such latitude by an adoring host with, yes, no ess, in her familiar outfit of fawn and flattery eye-lashes that in no time on Prim Time.
After his usual helping of yelping The Lapdog’s inner whelp decided it was time for a skelp to be taken, and so snapped at the Billyboy bulldog by his stylish Wee Sox of the Argyll variety. This was, gan dabht dá laghad, the most humiliating of lowdown body slams which Sammy Double U has had to endure on live TV since, well, since he was Sacha-punched be a seemingly pally Ali G.
All that was lacking on this occasion was the wit, restraint, humour and sophisticated elegance of which the raboid Lapdog is, alas, sadly and utterly devoid.
So bad was this mortifying madrafication of an invited guest/ aoi on RTE that wannabe hack-historians would surely have compared it, if they weren’t so busy being made-and-miked-up, to a legendary canine siegfried line. To wit, to hoo, the disgraceful Céad Míle Baltification meted out to a blindsided Cúchullain. Cú, being Leprechaun for ……..?
-Sound as a bell, Gregser. GRMA.
So sad indeed was the madrafication of the completely bashful and incompletely moustacheful Sammy that he, the mere guest, was compelled to play the best TV host (sans the handsout) in the biz and plead in the classic papal pose, on bended k. with the whizpup aka the Lapdog of Lapland to please curb his ‘ignorance’. And to please stop erupting in disruptions with his Poundshop of soundbytes .
Oh, what a telling off was there.
Meanwhile, what and where was the Hostess, yes, ok, minus the ess, with the Most, at? Her eyes sized up the situation. While one eye, the close-focus one on the left, wrapped the fawn-coloured flag around the Lapdog, her other eye, the long distance one, was dreamily eyeing up the prospects of her next stellar career move, a cellar lower in income but more prestigious in outcome, seven years – or is it? – ná habair é ! ná habair é ! – fourteen years down the line.
Still, in fairness, to judge the Lapdog on one off night, just one off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off, off……!
(Phew, the off button had it off with itself. Finally/ Faoi dheireadh.)
Curiously, the ‘New Normal’ echoes a similar phrase from the Fabulous Fifties. That delightful decade when conkers were played for real, certainly by snotty-nosed gurriers in short-pants on Liffyeside during their pre-totty years. A b-word which rhymed with prolix tended to feature with a particular frequency in this inchoate game of ‘McGregor your Neighbour’.
Oh, and the phrase already alluded to was:
-The ‘New Norman’.
This referred of course to the annual cultural highlight known as the latest fillum of Norman Wisdom.
The Savoy on O’Connell Street was the venue du jour of the day (into which it backed) and with the conkers out of season, this motion picture house was loud with the crowds of boisterous schoolboys, those sons of the sun, sore of knuckle but sure to chuckle, going reasonably bonkers. At the on-screen antics of one who was, quite simply, the global market leader of the day in slapstick.
Such was the sophisticated pick of two of the then most recognised cognoscenti of the comedic world:
-Charlie Chaplin, zany star of the Great Dictator and Enver Hoxha, Dictator of Albania.
Albania numbered Norman as a national treasure of their own and his fillums were the only ones from the decadent Wesht allowed to be shown there.
Also, Charlie C and Norman W were truly kindred spirits as they both had an extra arrow in their comical quiver – that of the song-writer.
Thus, N.W’s signature song was self-composed:
–Don’t laugh at me because I’m a clown.
While C.C.’s was ditto:
–Smile though your heart is broken.
Even Enver Hoxha heself was also a songwriter of the same genre:
–Grin, comrades,and bear it.
(Though something might be lost in this laconic translation from the Albanian).
In a word, Norman Wisdom was to the fun fillum what Audi Murphy was to the gun fillum and Mother Theresa of Albania was to the nun fillum of the Fifties: quite simply, Numero Un.
Boys of all ages bawled with laughter and there was no question of bawl tampering here. It was a genuine straight from the gut bawl.
(Gender note for the gentle reader with a hard agenda: one understands that schoolgirls, those minions of the moon, patronised fillums of the Fifties featuring something or other called St. Trinians. Back in the day, humour was not tumoured or otherwise affronted by Political C’s. The funniest thing about funny bones is that they were – and still are – to be found on the dexterous elbow of one gender and on the sinister elbow of the other. You Darwin some, darling.).
Slapstick, when happily applied, is to the eyes what lipstick is to the mouth.
It is not unusual for a comic artist of one nation to be more popular in a nation other than his own. One only has to recall the case of the crew-cut Yank, Jerry Lewis, who was awarded the Legion d’Honeur by le tout snootee France. Le Jerry Lewis is not at all to be confused with Jerry Lee Lewis. Even though the former was known to play the piano on his typewriter (the famous piece by that purveyor of joy, Leroy Anderson) it was the latter Lewis who could play the honky tonk better with his bum than many distinguished concert pianists could with their thumbs.
Nearer home we can instance the case of Father Tedium which, although it was brainstrained for the Lion’s Maneland, nonethless proved even far more popular in Occidental England. Never having consciously seen it, apart from a process of osmosis which is, like thrombosis, contracted unwillingly, The Perkin, nonetheless, understands.
What? That its primary purpose was to ‘show to the then Remainland just how mature the offshore New Ireland is in that it demonstrates beyond doubt how we Pod-cast Paddies of The Ould Sod can now afford to laugh at ourselves, and ourselves alone’.
Or, in Leprechaun:
Assummmmmming this is so, it then (gasp) faces a charge of achieving the inexact opposite of what it set out to do. And being, in the process, racist, sectarian and (gulp) narrow nationalistic.
Consider the following: if the RC Clergy are the ONLY clergy in Occidental England to be treated as goons worth lampooning does this not then deny the very existence of other Irish clergies? And if not, how come then we don’t have the maturity aka the grown-up nous to open the sluice gates of guffaw on those other clergies?. By mixing and matching the following ingredients for a follow up killer serial or serials?:
In the Ted corner:
And in the Father corner:
Till these mixed and matched titles are script-written, location-scouted, proof-read and rolled out, then let not the last laugh of Occidental England be epitaphed.
One of the stand-out and trip-over fillums of the hoot-for-loot cap-in-hand career of Norman Wisdom, the guy whose cinematic schtick was that of sad sack, cúl le rath, square peg in a round hole, schlemiel, loser, clisiúnaí and first shown in 1960, was, erm:
-The Bulldog Breed.
Like all genuine works of art, not least the cinematic, one of the privotal scenes of this bionic motion picture from 1960 and which comes early on, eerily presages a real-life incident, 40 years later on in 2000.
The scene is set in the lobby of a cinema called the Roxy (saothar laistigh de shaothar) in which a star-crossed grocer Norman Puckle (played, oddly enough, by Norman W.), with a gift box of (gasp) rum and butter bon bons is wooing the blonde doxy of a cashier who is a proto-type Miaow 2. Norman lacked the moxy to know when he wasn’t wanted. Wisdom simply lacked comma sense, never knowing when to pause.
She gives the nod to a loitering gang of (gulp) fatherless Teddy Boy bods to do a number on this unwanted Norman invasion. This they duly do, with elbow, noggin, boot and fist – and, fast. If the aim of this bout of battery was the extracton forthwith of a Wisdom tooth with the basic tool of a winkle picker, it proved a kicker success in the dark art of extra-curricular dentisry.
Till their gallop is brought to an abrupt halt by the arrival on the scene of a group of jolly tars under the leadership of an uncredited actor. (To many people at the time Michael Caine was unknown. Not unlike the gang leader of the Teddy Boys).
Fast forward, forty years to Valletta, Malta where an erstwhile Teddy Boy boss, by now a well-known actor and chit-show guest, was nursing his daily tipple in the buttery bar of a pub called, peculiarly, The Pub. on Archbishop Street. Having just finished filluming the Gladiator, back in the day before.
When a group of (gasp) jolly tars, under the leadership of a still Unknown Rating, arrived on the scene and were promptly challenged to a (gulp) contest in the imbibation of rum. Thus, bringing the curtain down on one, Oliver Reed.
Back in the fillum the plot was set in motion for the anti-hero to sign up and join up the ocean-going Queen’s Navy: substituing one navel engagement with another, of the naval variety.
In time, Norm’s career as a Jolly Tar (unable seaman, first class) prospered.
-Involving the landing at Normandy?
-No, the moon. This is Norman Wisdom, for Fág an Bealach’s sake !.
-A naval landing on the moon?
Of course. This therefore entailed for Norm a spell as aquanaut (incompetent) prior to that as astronaut (inept) .
-The Sea of Tranquility had first to be negotiated. Prior to the scaling of the highest mountain on the Moon, the Lunar CaraunToole, as it were, the (gulp) Mons Piton. Thus, Norm the Naval Non-rating is compelled to spend a spell on earth as a mountaineer (maladroit).
Thus, as a pup of the Sixties The Linguistic Lapdog with a Laptop, still wet behind the sneers, labours under the mispprehension that humour actually started with (gasp) Monty Python, which he is prone to jawbone on about. Another reason, perhaps, why Continuity Sticks fail so dismally to get a handle on Slapstick.
The Fifties, that fabulously colourful decade which FOTUS (for it is also he ! Fintan O Toole Uber Shoneen), with all the shallow infallibility of one who had not lived through it, has solemnly incarcarated within the dull covers of Fifty Shades of Grey.
And why the retrograde Rear Admirals (who still pine for – cad eile / what else ?- the Loss of that Pillar of West Brit Society, Boss Nelson) and who control the Free Southern Stateen, so signally fail to grasp the asp. That is, that the ‘New Norm’ is only the ‘New Norman’ abbreviated.i.e, with the droll bowled out.
And why The Linguistic Lapdog with a Laptop is their chief bowler. (Which is Dublinese 12 of the Fifties for ‘dog’). And why this bowler in chief is guilty of such howlers as failing to recognise that Stormont, the Mons Piton of provincialism, is already in the process of being scaled (down).
As evidenced by this recently uncovered hyroglyphic on an Ogham stone in South Down or was it in Anaghdown or even The Mouth of the Shannon itself?
Bulldogs did brag their plan into Plantation
Lapdog tails with élan wagged at Plinthation
Isle of Peat
England long an Empah, once again a nation.
And why, de réir dealraimh, the wearing of True- blue Ganseys in the Aviva for the epic egg-chasing contest against the USA pointedly failed to make, erm, America great again, as the case may be or indeed, whatever you’re having yourself, boss.
Unity in De-Ersified Diversity
Níl fuckáil focal Gaeilge agam
Blows out as witty bubble gum
Póg mo Thóin
All now: We have been overcome.
But of course as Albert Frank Enstein has pointedly pointed out : for every inaction there is a reaction.
( In fairness to the fair sex it must be acknowledged that it was Mary Shelley who first brought Albert’s infamous forbearer to the attention of an unsuspecting world in 1818 . But, of course, this was but a prelude to the creation of an even more hideous monstrosity by Missy Shelley. And which we of the Warbeckian line tend to view as the ultimate skeleton in the family cupboard (gulp) The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck: A Romance in 3 Volumes, 1830. And the subtitle of which was jokingly referred to as, such was his FOTUS-like Knowallness (alleged): or, The Monday Morning Warbeck. Enough !)
The above law (féach thuas) is a law of physics which applies as much to the least physical as well as the most physical of field games played out in the Aviva: socca and rugga. And, in the latest instance, with regard to the Pomp in the first case and the Hooker in the second.
Thus no sooner had one OBE been vacuum cleaned out by the FAI (‘Finances are Immaterial’) – the O’Kneel named Martin was compelled into departin’ with sorrowfully-told tail between his legs and on all fours, barely having time to beg with a bow wow for his owed Million, than. Than the vacuum was instantly filled with yet another display of rare acumen which the IR have FU’d down to a T. J. Edgar.
The Best was Yet to Come
Six Nations, B n’ I Lions, never ends
In Shoulders’ Field did yield the NZs
Capn Fant /Prince Cant, best of friends.
TUILLEADH LE TEACHT: TO BE CONTINUED