ADRIAN RUSSELL: Nine steps to ease the national misery in straitened times

Woody Allen once said: “Life is divided into the horrible and the miserable.

That’s the two categories. The horrible are like, I don’t know, terminal cases. I don’t know how they get through life. It’s amazing to me. And the miserable is everyone else. So you should be thankful that you’re miserable, because that’s very lucky, to be miserable.”

At the moment, we’re pretty miserable in this country.

After a week in which our view of Tom Semple’s field was obstructed by wave after wave of black and amber celebration, it’s hard not to be.

The bank holiday weekend was flushed out of the system on Monday night by a sock-drenching sheet of rain. It probably arrived in from the Marble City.

And then it was back to the daily grind and hour after hour of talk radio, like white noise in the background whispering about double-dip recessions, seasonally-adjusted figures, stability pacts and group think. And heaven knows I’m miserable now, as Stephen Patrick Morrissey sang.

So here, minister, is our nine-step plan to ensure the coming summer is a happy one:

1. In Greek mythology, Cassandra, was bestowed the gift to see the future but cursed as no one could understand her. A figure, where a combination of deep understanding and powerlessness exemplify the tragic condition of humankind. I know what you’re thinking, exactly like the D’Unbelievables. Years ago Pat Shortt declared: ‘It’d be a grand country if we could only roof it.” And no one listened. Now is the time to take that bold move and make this the CentreParcs of the future. It will improve the hurling too.

2. Make the days immediately after Ireland’s three (six?) European Championship games, ones of quiet reflection — ie no work.

3. One thing I learned from The West Wing — apart from how to walk fast down a corridor while conducting really important business — is that American politics is sexy. So too is its sport. Notre Dame play Navy at the Aviva Stadium — or Lansdowne Road, in old money — in September. It’s a sell-out but someone needs to organise that great tradition of gridiron; the pre-game tailgate party. The residents of the Havelock Square won’t know what hit them when they get back from mass. Yes, we can.

4. For someone who enjoys watching the Tour de France every summer on Eurosport, it was wonderful to be able to pick a patch of kerbside I knew well and watch the peloton whizz by in 1997. It’s quite time now for us to import a few more of these great events; how about the running of the Bulls around Temple Bar? No? Have you seen Temple Bar on a Friday night?

5. Give Dunphy his chat show back, for a laugh.

6. Put Dónal Óg in charge of the GAA while he’s pre-rehabbing. He must be bored.

7. No lyric ever stopped a tank, one of our Nobel laureates wrote. Seamus Heaney didn’t quite understand the power of Put ‘Em Under Pressure. Just like we have wall to wall Christmas songs every December, so too we should have entire radio stations dedicated to playing Give It A Lash Jack, Niall Quinn’s Disco Pants, We All Dream Of A Team of Gary Breens, and the rest of the canon of Irish football songs in the build up to Poland.

8. Ireland head again, like Tom Crean, for another epic adventure in the southern hemisphere. And if this tour of New Zealand is to at last produce a win against the All Blacks, we have to do something about the haka; or more accurately our reaction to it. Throwing grass in the air á la BOD in 2005, fronting up unconvincingly or linking arms like 15 nanas heading to bingo won’t cut it this time, if you ask me. One word: Prodijig.

9. Speaking of performances? Did you see Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg resurrected their deceased friend Tupac recently, performing with an incredibly realistic hologram of the rapper at the Coachella music festival in California? They’ve indicated the are ready to tour with the act — more than a decade after Shakur was shot dead. Incredible. Anyway... is there anything to be said for projecting a hologram of Roy Keane into the Irish midfield for the Spain game?

* adrianjrussell@gmail.com

Twitter: @Adrianrussell


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