Aviation

Does Didier Drogba have shares in Ryanair?

I landed at Belfast George Best airport on an icy Christmas eve afternoon, having just flown in from Stanstead.  It was then that I noticed that the grounded Ryanair plane opposite the one I had just got off had laminated on its side an orange, white and green flag – ie that of the West African former French colony Ivory Coast – or to give it its proper French name Cote d’Ivoire

Unfortunately I don’t have a picture.  I didn’t have a camera handy, but even if I had the chances are I would have been arrested on suspected terrorism/espionage charges as a potential spy for Easyjet.  However the flag in question is illustrated below.  As Ryanair just do short haul flights within Europe only, the Ivory Coast is somewhat outside its jurisdiction.

The flag of the Ivory Coast

The only famous Ivoirien who springs to mind is the foul-mouthed, referee-abusing Chelsea centre forward Didier Drogba.  A man who’s not short of a shilling or two.   Is it possible that he’s done some kind of a deal with Ryanair – or does he have shares in the company?

Over-optimistic Irish soccer supporters who had already booked their tickets to South Africa for the World Cup needn’t worry.  All they have to do is turn their flags around and support Ivory Coast.  And Thierry Henry doesn’t play for them.

Didier Drogba abusing the referee: Does he have shares in Ryanair?

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The “Nice video, shame about the song” effect

Nice video - shame about the song

Nice video - shame about the song

In the early 1980s the popular BBC comedy show Not the Nine O’Clock News mocked the pretensions of the contemporary pop video phenomenon in the famous sketch “Nice Video Shame About the Song” (avaialble on Youtube if you’re interested).  It was a magnificent piece of satire, highlighting the fact that pop videos had become over-elaborate and relied heavily on the state of the art special effects of the time like Quantel and Paintbox, as if in an attempt to make up for the crapness of the song.  Bands like the Human League, Duran Duran and Visage were particularly guilty of this.

I was reminded of this recently when on a Ryanair flight which arrived at its destination ahead of schedule.  To celebrate this momentous event a trumpet fanfare was played and an American voice announced over the tannoy how great Ryanair was. I’ve been a regular flyer with Ryanair for the best part of a decade now. To be fair, I’ve only had two bad experiences with them, one of which was mostly my own fault for being late. So, in principle I’ve got no problem in flying with Ryanair, but I can’t say I care much for the airline’s chief executive, the publicity-seeking, money-grabbing Michael O’Leary as I’ve made clear in a previous post.

Essentially what I’m getting at here is the fact that it is quite possible to admire great works of art, literature and music without liking their creator.

U2 are without doubt a fine bunch of musicians, but their lead singer is equally without doubt a egomaniacal, sanctimonious, self-righteous irritating little tosser – as I’ve made clear in a previous piece.  Another loud-mouthed Dubliner, not quite as nauseating, but almost as sanctimonious was a fine musician and songwriter in his day. I don’t like Mondays, Rat Trap and Banana Republic are among the greatest songs of the 1970s, but the man who wrote them is an arrogant tosser.

Also, take Andrew Lloyd-Webber for instance.  Cats, Evita and Phantom of the Opera are all outstanding works of musical theatre, even though their creator is an obnoxious trout-faced, medieval-haired twat.

An obnoxious trout-faced medieval-haired twat

An obnoxious trout-faced medieval-haired twat

Blackadder is in my view one of the greatest comedy shows ever – but I don’t care much for its co-writers Ben Elton and Richard Curtis and their smug, self-righteous “oh look how great we are” demeanours.

So when you bring Ben Elton and Andrew Lloyd-Webber together (a match made in Hell if ever there was one) as was the case for The Beautiful Game, a musical about a Belfast youth soccer club amidst the backdrop of the violence which enguled the city in the early days of the troubles, the result is an abomination.  Two rich middle class prats from the English Home Counties lecturing people on how bad it all was in Belfast back then.  It’s almost as bad as mega-rich rock musicians from Dublin lecturing the world on how bad things are in Africa.  If they really feel that strongly about it they should go and live in Africa.

At this point I will grudgingly admit that I was a teenage U2 fan during my younger and more foolish days.  Then I gradually saw the error of my ways.

Nice songs,  shame about the singer, etc.