The great thing about the English language is that it is never static and every year acquires new words. Obviously in this high-tech world we live in, there are lots of new job-related words, but when a new word comes along that is hip, clever and touched with populist magic, the response is viral. This year, “selfie” comes out top of the list of new words.
A “selfie” is where you extend your arm and take a photograph of yourself, alone, or with others. Taking into consideration that almost everyone in the first world has some sort of camera, “selfie,” is spot on in nailing the unbridled narcissism that blinds people to the awareness that they would be better off not finding that picture on their devices, the morning after.
I don’t know if actor and author, Amy Huberman does “selfies,“ but as an actor, she certainly isn’t fond of being one of the mob.
“Being labelled Mrs Brian O’Driscoll makes me more defiant. I don’t really tolerate men bracketing me as a fluffy WAG.”
WAG, the word, is a bit tired now, but it still has the power to remind us of the tsunami of bling and ignorance that washed over us during the boom and almost fatally drowned good taste and refinement.
“(The term WAG) is one hundred per cent derogatory,”says Amy. “Even if you decided you wanted to be a stay-at-home mum and that was your job, why should you be defined in relation to your man?”
The first Wags were a pretty unrefined by-product of the Premier Football League. The witless WAGs, with their bad taste and vulgar fashion sense, were a Godsend to the tabloids. But it was like throwing Smarties to a hippopotamus.. More and more Smarties were needed and so the WAGs have spread out and expanded their presence to every sport, from tiddlywinks to modern cage fighting. But there is one exception. I exonerate the darts community. Jockey Wilson and Eric Bristow were surrounded by dart WAGs, long before it was profitable or popular and they have the peroxide to prove it.
And by the way, did you notice that I was careful to described Amy as an actor, not an actress. Over the past ten years or so, the female “luvvies” insist on being referred to as actors, not actresses. What was so wrong with actress?.
“Breaking the gender barrier wasn’t the end of the struggle for females who act,”said one militant female thespian. “It was only the beginning.”
The beginning of what, she did not say, but it prompted one Hollywood wag to mock …”and the Oscar for the Best Actor with a Vagina goes to”…
“Bromance” is another effective and still relatively new word. A “bromance” is a healthy, secure friendship between two heterosexual guys. Think Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane. If they can hold it together at the helm of the Irish team, their “bromance” will not alone be a miracle, it will spawn dozens of copycat Martins and Roys, luxuriating in the freedom. to blame each other for being late home from the pub.
I remember the first time I read the words “it was a gangland hit,” in an Irish Sunday newspaper. I felt we had crossed an invisible line and were now using American street slang and our words would have to move over. Crime stories became all the rage. The principal criminals were given nick-names. It was all a bit Damon Runyonesque, but the stories inspired headlines and racy copy, worthy of the New York Post. I half expected the ghost of the famous crime photographer, Wee Gee, to show up at any moment, flashlights popping in his black and white camera, while an ambulance, siren blaring, tyres squealing, sped away with the body of the latest John Doe victim.
Signs on, we took to Love/Hate like a duck to water. We observed and absorbed the violence and the amorality with gusto, because we now understand the language. We’ve also become somewhat inured to violent street crime. Everything is cool, as long as it stays on television and doesn’t come down our street.
As the sergeant used to say on Hill Street Blues, “be careful out there” There are all kinds of bankers, gangsters, shysters and self topper-uppers, still writing themselves into the on-going post-Fianna Fail, post-Celtic Tiger, post- Belfast Peace Process, post-Early for Christmas, fable of Ireland.
But the History of Hibernia is not all about crime stories. One man, whose sporting exploits are sure to be included, is Mr. Amy Huberman. I’d say he would, with a passion, hate to be defined in relation to his woman, so there’s no chance of him ever becoming part of the most pitiful band of all, the HAHs (Husbands and Hangers On).
THE LAST WORD.
Amy, I know you don’t want to interfere in Brian’s career, but the rugby pitch is getting to be as violent as Love/Hate, without the guns. As a Christmas present to him, to you, to your baby, Emma and to all of us admirers, can you try and sweet-talk him into hanging up his boots. Now.Article Written by Shay Healy First Published in The Irish Daily Mail, Saturday 30th Nov 2013 Shay Healy’s latest eBook ‘The Danny Boy Triangle’ is Out Now on Kindle 2.99 Free Kindle Reader – download app