Miriam’s Musings

Bah humbug! I’m sick of ‘woke’ warriors hijacking Christmas

I’m not, and never have been a fan of Shane McGowan’s; however I would agree with him one hundred per cent that the censoring of one of The Pogues’ greatest hits, (and my all-time favourite Christmas song) Fairytale of New York is “ridiculous”.

Apparently McGowan’s comment was made on foot of reports that the BBC had announced it would be playing an ‘edited version’ of the festive favourite in order to ‘avoid offending younger listeners’.

It’s no secret that Fairytale of New York has courted a lot of controversy given what many believe to be the sexist and homophobic ‘slurs’ contained in its lyrics, which, according to some, has led to its popularity being somewhat diminished over recent years. But it’s not just Fairytale of New York that’s being edited or banned. Baby it’s Cold Outside has been criticised by the hysterical, hyper-alert brigade for, according to them, ‘promoting date rape’. But why would a song written in 1944 prove to be so problematic? Well, its lyrics feature a man ‘pressurising’ a woman into staying the night when she wants to leave.

Look folks, debates regarding old songs, old statues, old poems and old movies will always pop up with everyone and anyone who has an opinion trying to decode what they mean in a modern context. It’s human nature. However, given the furore around these two songs (and I’ll bet there’ll be many more), I’m now getting very concerned that free speech is clearly being reserved only for those who obey ‘woke’ narratives. Personally, I’m tired of these over-zealous cynics hijacking the hap-happiest season of all. I’m sick of competitive victimhood, and I’m fed up trying to avoid walking on the eggshells scattered by the PC police. I’m tired of worrying that each and every single one of us are slowly sliding into Orwellian territory whereby, whether we like it or not, conformity has become the order of the festive season.

Differences of opinion regarding something as innocent as old Christmas songs should never have become a major issue in this way. Radio and TV stations should be able to play them freely, and those who dislike them or are offended by them should simply grab the remote and switch off. For the record, I will always treat every single individual I meet with dignity and respect and I’ll never dismiss or denigrate anyone on the grounds of them being different to me; but I need to ask…what is it with those who insist on wishing me ‘Happy Holidays’ instead of ‘Happy Christmas’? Look, I’m not making assumptions, nor do I want to upset anyone’s religious beliefs, but by wishing me a happy holiday you’re taking the sparkle out of my feelgood festive spirit and I refuse to allow you to do that. Happy Christmas to one and all.


Do not fail the gift-giving test this year!

Roscommon is open again for business, and, as spenders flock to the stores, I’d urge every single one of my readers to please, please make sure to support local enterprise and keep the money within your communities. It is with that same sentiment in mind, and in an attempt to help promote peace and harmony on Christmas morning, that I’d like to issue a note of caution to hubby, and every other life partner who appears to be tone deaf when it comes to shopping for us. Remember, when choosing our special pressie, the notion of us tearing open a load of sparkly wrapping paper only to find what you deem to be ‘a practical gift’ or an item you ‘wanted’ us to have, is not and never will be part of our overall Christmas gift receiving experience! Get it?

Let me be clear, gift-giving in our gaff is not seen as some kind of test…no really it’s not, well not a pass or fail one anyway. However, if someone, (hubby/wife) asks you what you’d like and you, being a helpful soul, don’t just hand him/her a wish-list, you actually go to the bother of doing up a PowerPoint and he/she still gets it wrong; then, well, he/she shouldn’t be surprised if all hell breaks loose!

Let me tell you readers, take it from someone who cannot, no matter how I practise, put on my ‘gratitude face,’ that a Christmas morning filled with sensible gifts from the hubby/wife does not a happy house make; no matter how much mulled wine is consumed! Just sayin’.


More clarity needed around vaccine roll-out

According to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, the coronavirus vaccine is set to be rolled out in early 2021. Now, while this signals a hope that we may see life returning to ‘normal’ by spring, I have to say that I, like so many readers who’ve commented to me, am a bit concerned at the speed with which it was developed. However, given a recent Red C poll indicated that seventy-four per cent of Irish people would be happy to get the vaccine, it’s clear our government will have no problem getting candidates.

Mind you, even though the uptake is likely to be high, the question still remains regarding what action, (if any) will be taken against the small minority who wish to refuse the vaccine? Is the clock now ticking for them? Will it be made mandatory? Will there be consequences levelled at those who refuse it? Or will the government respect (as it should) a person’s right not to have it? In addition, there needs to be more clarity around certain other ‘issues’ with the key one for me being even though a vaccine has been licensed, will our government assure us they’ll continue to monitor its safety in order to identify any side-effects that clinical trials may not have detected? And crucially, will those tasked with administering the vaccine be instructed to immediately report any adverse events a recipient becomes concerned about, regardless of their own personal thoughts on what may have triggered the reaction/event?

So many questions…and, even if they’re all answered and the entire country gets vaccinated, remember folks, life will not return to normal overnight; it’ll be a gradual and cautious process. Roll on 2021!