Monday, 15 December 2008

Podge and Rodge – the gloves are off with these puppets

Gombeen Man has often wondered about the relationship between the Irish and their puppets. Look at how many of them have gone on to be national celebrities, unhindered by their obvious artificiality and their unreal, outlandish appearances. Zig and Zag, Bosco, Dustin the Turkey, Podge and Rodge, Brian Cowen.

Why do we love puppets so much? Is it because their seeming innocence enables them – or their operators - to get away with saying and doing things that would be unacceptable to the more touchy, if they came [directly] from a human? Does it say something deep about us, which is beyond the socioanalytical powers of this blog?

Gombeen Man is a big fan of Podge and Rodge. One of the best episodes featured ex-country & western singer Margo identifying various vibrators and other sex aids as part of a quiz, and it really was quite surreal.

Perhaps you might have had to endure life in Ireland in the 80s, to appreciate just how surreal it seemed to be watching such a programme on RTE. The 80s, after all, was the decade that brought us ‘no’ votes in the Divorce and Women’s Right to Chose Referendums. Podge and Rodge would have been denounced from every pulpit back then, and worse, there would have been people there to listen.

These musings on the Terrible Two were prompted, it should be said, by a TV licence demand for the pricey sum of €160 dropping onto the Gombeen Manor mat the other day. And it revived memories of Fianna Fail senator Jim Walsh's outburst last month, when he questioned what he was paying his TV licence for after “stumbling” across the irreverent puppets one evening (how out of touch can politicians be?).

Gombeen Man sees it differently. In fact, is there any point in switching on RTE at all, other than for The Podge and Rodge Show? It's probably the most sensible thing we've got.

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Bernd said...

TV license ... my favorite can of wiggly worms!

We decided to not renew ours in 2009 - during the last months the occasional crime shows (all on UTV or BBC) were the only things we watched, apart from the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony and (sorry) the Eurovision Song Contest.

We would be much better served with a stand-alone DVD system for which no TV license is necessary (if you cannot receive TV, that is). So the old TV, the VCR and the antenna will go in autumn, period. With sensible shopping that would mean about 40 DVDs in the collection and no regrets for payng for the Angelus.

As to "yeah, but you have to get a new screen then ...". True, but with gigital TV coming in, that would be a necessity anyway.

Note that we are no sports fans ... they have no choice but to pay RTE and get a Setanta sub ...

The Gombeen Man said...

That's one solution alright, Bernd.

The Angelus!! Don't get me started on that one! I remember some time ago there was a debate on RTE Radio about religious displays, in which one of the participants was taking the line that we are a "modern, secular state". Just a minute or two later they took a break for the Angelus!