Veering West

One small step for Shatner, and one astronomical waste of cash for us

October 24th, 2021 5:05 PM

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A NEW rip emerged in the space-time continuum last week when footage was released of William Shatner, aka Star Trek’s Captain Kirk, boldly going where no former captain of the Starship Enterprise had gone before– namely, to space! 

It’s life, Jim, but certainly not as you and I know it. 

He blasted into the cosmos on billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin spaceship which measures 70 metres and uses nine Merlin engines to offer 1.7 million pounds of thrust at lift-off. 

The 90-year-old pretend astronaut took off from the Texas desert in this giant phallic symbol with three other individuals, the baddies from Squid Game most likely, and spent 10 minutes in ‘space’ before landing safely on terra firma again. 

I’m surprised the whole enterprise wasn’t sponsored by Viagra. 

Shatner made history by becoming the ‘oldest person in space’ which is an accolade hardly anyone would wish for. 

I’d sooner be known as the slowest person in Naas. Although it certainly beats sitting at home with a cup of Bovril and a packet of sucky sweets, I suppose.

Shatner was overwhelmed and emotional when he landed saying ‘Everybody in the world needs to do this. It was unbelievable.’

Of course, there’s a fat chance that any of the rest of us will ever get to go flirting with the stratosphere in this lifetime. 

With carbon tax hikes going the way they are going, we’ll be lucky if we’re allowed drive to Bantry and back by the end of the decade.

It was one small step for Shatner, one astronomical waste of money and precious energy for mankind.

As the week went on, the rip in space-time was becoming even more pronounced. Shatner’s former co-star George Takei, who played Hikaru Sulu, called him a ‘guinea pig’ who was ‘unfit’ to travel to space. I reckon Leonard Nimoy was never so glad to be dead. 

And if the week wasn’t weird enough already, it was then time for Prince William to weigh in, when he proposed that solving problems on Earth should be prioritised over tourist trips to space. 

Too right, I thought to myself, before nearly choking on my cornflakes when I started to calculate how much it would cost to heat the ballrooms in Buckingham Palace. 

Scwhimmin’ for schampi 

THIS week it was brought to my attention that dolphins in Wales have been found to have their own Welsh ‘accents’. 

Experts on the BBC nature series Wonders of the Celtic Deep filmed 240 bottlenose dolphins which were found to use a ‘unique dialect’ and their clicks have been recorded at a higher frequency. I wonder if they have fantastic singing voices as well? I bet they’re only brilliant at the rugby.

It made me wonder immediately whether Fungi, a year gone from Dingle this week, had developed a thick Kerry dolphin accent over his many years in the bay? 

And I wonder, if he is still among us on this Earth, whether he is in a pod somewhere with a load of Italian dolphins, telling Peig-like stories of growing up around the Blashkits, diving for schampi and wild swimming with Páidí Ó Sé? 

Do they understand a word he is saying, I wonder, or do they all just nod along patiently?

And then I got to thinking, perhaps it’s not just the dolphins who develop their own regional accents? What if Wally the Walrus had picked up little dialects along the way last summer? 

After his travels last year, does he have a West Cork brogue with a bit of Icelandic thrown into the mix? A cross between Finbarr Wright and Bjork, perhaps? 

Let it never be said that this column was afraid to ask the hard questions.

Shocking week in UK

IT was another shocking week in British politics, wasn’t it? First of all, the Tories and Bozo seem to be hell-bent on playing a game of geopolitical chicken with the Good Friday Agreement. 

You’d have to wonder what their endgame is here? Is it a case of constantly sowing confusion and division to satisfy domestic political concerns and to hell with the consequences? 

You’d wonder if they actually want to bring about an EU border in the Irish Sea at this point. 

What if their end game is to bring about a United Ireland decades before we are ready for it? Would you put it past them? Whatever your views on The Tories, the murder of MP David Amess was an absolutely shocking act that is becoming a far too regular occurrence in British politics. 

I hope we won’t see anything so tragic and despicable happening in Ireland but there is no doubt that the tone towards politicians has coarsened in recent years, on social media and in the media at large. 

In an age of fake news and rampant conspiracy theories, we are not safe from this slow chipping away at our democratic norms.

I think it is time for us all to take stock and consider our words and our actions in this regard and to see most politicians as they are.

They are simply human beings, and yes they are often flawed, but they enter the game with good intentions in their hearts. 

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