George Hook's blog

As the light at the end of the tunnel begins to brighten, a Christmas power cut would spell disaster for the economy, says George Hook

29/11/13 at 02:12 PM | 0 Comments

The greatest army generals appreciated the power of perfect timing. Alexander the Great, William the Conquerer, Julius Caesar and George Washington owe their standing in history to the fortune of timing and the ability to make the right move at the right time. History books also document the long list of casualties that resulted from an aggressive play at an inappropriate moment. The great Napoleon Bonaparte lost his untainted legacy to a bold move at precisely the wrong time.

Fifty years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the world still grimaces in memory of what happened

22/11/13 at 10:49 AM | 0 Comments

Fifty years ago this week, the United States recoiled in horror at the news that President John F Kennedy was assassinated in cold blood. The charismatic and popular leader was shot dead in broad daylight on November 22nd 1963, as his car drove through the streets of Dallas on a presidential visit.  

Kennedy was struck in the neck and head by two bullets from a lone gunman on the sixth floor of the Texas bookstore depository. He died in a blaze of violence with his wife Jackie sitting only inches away. The sight of the president slumped over the back seat of his car, covered in blood, is one of the most disturbing and gripping images of our time. His death and the man behind it continues to divide a nation.

In the superficial world of television, where beauty is power, I am amazed that I still have a job, says George Hook

15/11/13 at 10:34 AM | 0 Comments

I could probably do with a tummy tuck. My swimming routine has fallen by the wayside in recent months and at my stage in life I find it hard to refuse a bowl of ice cream after my dinner. I'm not a big drinker but I certainly love my food. The tummy has responded accordingly and my belly has reached the stage where it will not comply with the latest fashion trends.

This isn't a bad thing; I was never made for skinny jeans. Not that you'd find me queuing up in BT2's with a couple of pairs of Diesels to try on, but if I ever lost my marbles and fancied such a whim, you can bet your last penny that the damn things wouldn't get past my knees.

We can all breathe a sigh of relief, says George Hook, Roy Keane is back in the game

08/11/13 at 10:58 AM | 0 Comments

Just when it seemed like all was lost, the prodigal son returned and the house was happy once more. Roy Keane, the Cork man that divided a nation eleven long years ago, is back where he belongs in the bosom of Irish football.

The confirmation this week that Keane and Martin O’Neill will team up to manage the Republic of Ireland is undoubtedly one of the the best things to happen the national team since David O’Leary’s penalty against Romania in the knockout stages at Italia ‘90. Now, like then, we can all breathe a heavy sigh of relief and start the celebrations.

The chief executive of the FAI couldn’t have planned it better himself. John Delaney has received his fair share of criticism during his time in charge of the association, but the appointment of O’Neill and Keane is nothing short of a master stroke. How much credit the Tipperary man can claim for it is open to question. But for Delaney, it matters not a jot.

A knock on a neighbours door and a friendly ear over a cup of tea costs nothing, says George Hook

01/11/13 at 11:19 AM | 0 Comments

A season of change is upon us once more. The passing of hours condenses daylight into an overcrowded prism and darkness will soon eclipse its brighter sibling for the foreseeable future. We live and die by the tick of the clock and as those tiny hands creep forward to bring us unwillingly into the darker months, I pause a moment and reflect.

Our times and routines change with the tide. That extra hour of light after a hard days work is slowly being replaced by a sulking gloom. The affect of this unwanted shadow takes a few days to work its way in, but it does so with a steady progression.  The only escape is to out run its clutch to far away lands, but for most, escape is impractical and even impossible. The majority of us are reluctantly resigned to the fate of this uninvited guest.

'Is spying on people of a different race, creed or colour now acceptable?' - George Hook

25/10/13 at 09:42 AM | 0 Comments

 

Students of history will this week have had much to ponder. They will have studied the attacks on minorities throughout history; attacks that continue to this day in countries where the rule of law has broken down or the great principles of democracy are ignored.

This was a bad week for Ireland. During the Children’s Referendum, if the opponents of the proposal had suggested that it could lead to children being snatched from the arms of their parents in the dead of night; they would rightly have been accused of hysteria. This week the hysteria was the prerogative of the forces of law. For no other reason than the colour of eyes and hair, two children were removed from the bosom of their families.

Have these lunatics nothing better to do than protest the fake shooting of a TV cat? George Hook sympathises with the RTE complaints department.

18/10/13 at 12:37 PM | 0 Comments

Never argue with an idiot. They lower you to their level and beat you on experience. 

RTE doesn't have such luxury. As the national broadcaster, it is obliged to respond to every Tom, Dick and Harry that makes a complaint. 'Damn right', I hear you say. 'I pay my license fee!'

Fair enough. But I do feel sympathy for RTE at times. Take the first episode of Love/Hate as an example. I sat down to watch it last Sunday week and I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed the resumption of one of the most successful Irish television series ever made.

The story lines are engrossing; well written and utterly addictive. The writers and directors seem to have struck the perfect balance between plot development and character exploration. The scenes are fittingly dark and tense, with room for comedic license and light relief when the going gets a bit tough. 

They say time waits for no man, but time on the rugby pitch seems to move fastest of all, says George Hook

11/10/13 at 09:59 AM | 0 Comments

The frivolity of youth is probably best epitomised on the sports field. Here, one can witness inexperience working to a player's advantage. Unshackled by the weight of burden and expectation, a youngster can carry himself solely on the whim of his talent and his instinct. If the fear of failure is absent on the field of play, the subject is open to moments of unsculptured brilliance. 

In modern day sport, we have become accustomed to the domineering manager figure, protecting his young from the pitfalls of success. For with success, comes responsibility. And with that responsibility, there is an onus on players to overrule their own natural talent in favour of doing what is best for the good of the team. 

The anguish and grief of stolen innocence, never to be retrieved, leaves an indelible scar, says George Hook

04/10/13 at 09:33 AM | 0 Comments

It begins in an instant, when a father holds his little girl for the very first time. He cradles her close, smoothing her cheek lovingly with a trembling finger. He kisses her forehead. She seems so tiny in his hands. So vulnerable. He marvels at every inch of her and he cannot remember ever seeing something so beautiful and so wonderful. He whispers close, promises to love her, to mind and protect her at all times, for as long as his heart beats strong.

But he can't. The realisation soon dawns that it is impossible to be in two places at once. And he must let go, a little with every day. He must place his trust in the world and hope that his faith is rewarded and that his little girl will be safe.

"Will you catch me when I fall Daddy?"

"Of course I will, my darling. When you feel pain, I feel it a thousand times. When you cry, your tears sting me more fiercely than a thousand angry bees."

Childhood is supposed to be about innocence and education, not mascara and bikinis, says George Hook

27/09/13 at 09:55 AM | 0 Comments

Ever heard of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo? Neither had I until a few weeks ago when I accidentally switched on the entertainment channel TLC. No, "Honey Boo Boo" is not some new preserve made by crying bees, it is a reality television show starring a seven-year-old girl in the United States. The girl, her hyper obese mother and her slack-jawed yokel extended family spend their time rehearsing for and competing in child beauty pageants near their hometown in Georgia. With an average audience of 2m viewers per episode, the yanks seem to lap it up.

The programme is as disturbing as it is tacky. Honey Boo Boo's mother bears an uncanny resemblance to a paper mâché head that I made when I was five. None of her features seem to fit in the right place and she always looks like she is suffering from constipation. The rest of the family wouldn't be out of place in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. 

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