"Rubberbandits. Let's reinforce the stereotype, why don't we? Why let others fuck us when we can do it to ourselves?
Nice going lads."
This was a facebook comment from a couple of days ago that generated no less than 105 comments. Some of support, but most of which boiled down to; "For crissake, can you not take a joke?" Yesterday on Joe Duffy's liveline this exact topic was discussed within earshot of the nation in what must have been one of the most bizarre radio programmes that I've ever heard in my life.
The beginning of the programme felt like an ambush, the ex-miniature of d'fence had voiced support of this song, and his support was being interpreted as a shameless bit of electioneering. 'Angry caller' was there to tell us what a disgrace it was that a politician could support the glamourisation of drug abuse. There was two audio sections that they had clearly lined up before the programme; one was the offending line: 'A bag of Yolks' and the other was from the Rubberbandits slagging Willie O'Dea (the third member of the band is known as Willie O'D.J.).
Now it maybe just me, but it honestly felt like a set-up. Here we have a member of an extremely unpopular political party supporting something that refers to drugs and contains swearing: Lets get'm lads!
Unfortunately, for the ambush, the miniature pointed out that he had been mercilessly lampooned by the lads himself before they got a chance to play the audio clip, and even quoted the best line; "I swear on my 'tache,- it's very good hash!"
Also unfortunate, in terms of the ambush, the 'Angry Caller' became less and less articulate, actually referring at one point to the 'usage of druggage'. Then Joe's attack was somewhat rescued by an incensed woman who worked with families devastated by narcotics and didn't find anything amusing about the damage they cause.
Finally they had Willie on the ropes; his comeback "You're obviously from another political party" back-fired horrendously when it became clear that lady caller was a Fianna Fail stalwart who had actually been a Feena Foyle mayor of Dublin.
Cue embarrassing pause.
You'd imagine nobody was getting up from that but Willie was rescued by a bandit.
'Blindboy' of the Rubberbandits was the next caller, to Duffy's chagrin, he stayed 'in character' and maintained his comedy accent. A stroke of genius, it took only a minute before it was clear that the 'Joke-voice' was the most articulate and intelligent one on the air.
Willie came out of it as the champion of humour and good sense and the Rubberbandits increased their likelihood for a Christmas number one by a few thousand sales; Duffy came out of it looking exactly like what he is:
Does Limerick really need some 'comedy-knacks' reinforcing the stereotype set up by Primetime et al? Personally, I think it helps. Because articulate, intelligent and funny are not what people associate with Limerick, and they should do.
Truth be told, the rubberbandits have never really floated my boat, but this single is catchy, and hilariously bad taste. I really hope it is number one for Christmas;if that happens it will not only be good for this town; it might just remind us all why we live in this country in the first place.