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24 June 1999 Edition

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Television: Timewarp

By Sean O Donaile

Time Capsule (Radio One)
Wimbledon '99 (BBC)
The Tony Blair Chatshow (UTV)
Radio One is currently seeking items for its `Time Capsule' to send in a sealed package into the future.

I've drawn up a list as follows:

A wind-up Orangeman, devoid of vision, who will literally walk over everything and everybody for the sake of tradition. The only problem being that he'll probably still be belting away in 2,599.
A Thompson Gun to symbolise the resistance of Republicans over the last century. Dan Breen will accompany said rifle.
A golf sweater with diamonds and flares to shock future beings as to how uncool we were, and how we used to double up our V-neck geansais as Christmas trees.
A chicken curry and chips from Lee Fuchks on the Falls Road, elucidating the high rate of heart attacks in West Belfast, and the beginnings of many's the romantic evening.
An Irish Brigade tape, complete with pint glass for thumping, which will surely puzzle our descendants as to our taste in music.
A packet of Oatfield orange chocolate sweets, (the ones you used to suck the chocolate out of), to remind us of what real sweets used to taste like.
A plastic bullet to symbolise British state oppression over the last century.
A Fianna Fáil hairstyle, where our descendants can plant or harvest potatoes.
A hurley and a battery-operated Ger Loughnane to remind everyone `what a marvellous marvellous game it is'.
A shovel, ten Major, and a few cans for those who still work for the council or hang around graveyards.
Oh , I almost forgot - a copy of pre-ceasefire An Phoblacht with War News and The Flying Column!
Travel writer and voyager extraordinaire Dervla Murphy was less biased in her approach to the `time capsule' last night, plumping for the bicycle as the most sensible and beautiful way to travel and meet people.

This was to be accompanied by the internal combustion engine, symbol of the pollution and rat race of recent years and all those motorists trapped in gridlock , picking their noses and fooling themselves that no-one is watching.

The dastardly engine was to be accompanied by all chemical pesticides and fertilizers, all inspired by profit motives of the 20th century, and the television - ``one of the most damaging inventions of the era - offering no real explanations behind conflict - and having a catastrophic effect on our children''.

Positive tokens for Dervla included a Tibetan death trumpet , a stained glass window, an Ethiopian meat knife and a copy of the Good Friday Agreement - ``one of the most

Hopeful things to happen in my lifetime.''

If Tony Blair were to have a choice, he would surely rid the world of schoolboy Timothy Johnson, (so called non-aligned democratic Unionist, but in reality hardline bigot), who told Blair in no uncertain terms that he was ``damaged goods''

In Norn Iríon.


UTV Insight featuring Tony Blair in conversation with six young representatives, including Monaghan Sinn Féin Councillor Matt Carthy. As entertainment, it was somewhat depressing, as the lion's share of the programme was atken up with the red herring that is decommissioning, used to its fullest as an excuse by unionists to avoid any kind of power sharing with nationalists.

Timothy and his buddy Stuart from the DUP, complete with stern looks and equally austere suits, epitomised the arrogant , unreasonable and bad mannered face of unionism, as they lectured Tony Blair on how to tackle the issues... ``You have insulted us''; ``You are damgaed goods''; ``Let me remind you''; ``Did you make a mistake?''; ``No place for the unrepentant terrorist'', blah-de-blah etc.

Blair, clearly exasperated by the dastardly duo, reverted to his comic reading days when exclaiming: ``Cor! Blimey! You guys should look ahead.''

After reminding the gathering of the daily Orange Order-related intimidation and violence in Portadown, poor Matt was accosted by not so jolly Timothy, who spoke of ``travesties'', ``law abiding Orangemen'', ``democrats'' etc. and reverted to the clichéd unionist ploy of demonisation - if it wasn't for Breandán MacCionnaith... etc etc etc.

One could garner from Blair's facial expressions that he would have liked to give the impish Stuart and Timothy a jolly good clip on the ear. I'd recommend a half hour in a Junior B hurling match to sort them out!

Wimbledon is back and with it the hijacking of Ireland's rural sheep dips as youngsters rush to practise their deuces and aces.

In my youth I once tried to gain access but was deemed too scruffy and had to settle for strawberries and cream at a tenner a go.

Despite the stuffiness and Royal Boxology that accompanies it, Wimbledon is the All Ireland of tennis, a game largely confined, unfortunately, in Ireland to the upper classes.

The male game has been somewhat sullied by the growth of strong servers and aces, denying us of much of the spectacle.

Long gone is Cavan's finest John McEnroe, bane of all the pomp and ceremonial guff, and the man who brought hairbands back into fashion Bjorn Borg.

Ireland, unfortunately, haven't had a tennis hero since the heroics of Californian Matt Doyle, whose national ranking shot up from 541st to 1st on discovering his great granny was from Aghabog!

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1
Ireland
 

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