Third place this week goes to something I just heard, rather than read, on Radio One. Charlie Bird, who was last seen mentioned on this blog in relation to a really bad Presidential debate he chaired, just said Ireland was in “the worst financial crisis since the Famine”. Well aside from that being a very questionable statement – no one is starving to death in Ireland – the Great Famine is certainly not remembered as a “financial crisis”.
Second place goes to this story, about a man who mistook his wife for a pig on a hunting trip and shot her (she survived). The headline is actually a bit of a misrepresentation of what happened, but it’s still the kind of story that makes you think it’s an Onion headline for a moment. I suppose I could offer a wider analysis on what this story tells us about the dangers of guns and how the Second Amendment has resulted in the deaths and suffering of many people unnecessarily, but no. It’s just a stupid headline, and a very stupid story.
There can only be one winner this week though and it goes to the Catholic Church, for a succession of stories that are eye-rolling, cringe-worthy, enraging and a great example of close-minded idiocy across the board. It seems like every day this week, another tale of the Church going on the offensive against anyone they perceive to have wronged them has cropped up, invariably provoking more and more people against them.
How about demanding Ray D’Arcy apologise for a personal opinion? He said sorry for the language, that is it. How about circulating an anti-gay marriage petition in a British school? How about censuring an Irish priest who speaks out about numerous problems within the church? How about censuring a group of American nuns for daring to discuss the idea of female ordination?
Of course, the Church has been doing this for a while now, it just seemed like a lot of these stories, provoking the worst kind of PR for the organisation at a time when its popularity in lower then it may have been in a very long time, have popped up this week. The Church, under attack on a wide variety of fronts has, to borrow a gaming phase, “turtled”, becoming as defensive as possible, brooking no opposition, allowing no hint of internal dissent to go unpunished.
And that is pretty stupid.