Tuesday, March 31, 2009

'A' is for...

Remember What an 'A' Was?
Don't know about you, but when I was in school (high school, college, etc), an 'A' was something that I aspired to. Not only did I want it, but I worked my bloody arse off for it. Many people do. In Ireland, it's pretty much the same way. The only problem is they don't grade on a curve here, so getting an 'A' is a real challenge. And when you get one, you want to hold onto it.

Which reminds me of the time:

I do some part-time lecturing over here in screenwriting at a local university. One of the students desperately wanted an A in the class. He would have done almost anything, I think - even polish my shoes - to get one. What he didn't realise was the fact that I was only looking for one thing from him that might justify such an esteemed grade: he needed to work his bloody arse off, and put a bucket of sweat into his final paper. Luckily for him, he did exactly that and I took great pleasure in giving him an 'A' for his final grade. He was overjoyed by it all, and now, for all I know, he has gone on to write speeches for the government, the poor guy. He should have known better because...

'A' Means So Many Things
A is for Achievement; A is for apple; and in Ireland A is also for Arse. Which I can use as a nice segue: 'Achievement', 'Arse' and 'A' as in the grade have some common ground in Ireland. And it takes the form of the present government here. Today, Ireland (as in its economy) lost its AAA rating because of the absolutely lousy manner in which the government is (not) managing the country's finances. Now we have an AA+ rating. Losing that third 'A' doesn't sound like much, but it means that it's going to cost the government lots more to finance the country's debt. Which is particularly vexing when you realise just how much the government is going to have to borrow over the next few years to keep this country afloat. At the rate they're going, we'll be down to a 'B' in no time, and that's bad news for the Irish, let me tell you. We're already looking forward to next week and a government 'Mini-Budget' which is bound to raise taxes on just about everything in order to pay for all the borrowed money.

So next time you see someone get an 'A', turn your thoughts to the Irish. We've lost our 'A', and are now at the mercy of a government that's run by a group of Arse's.

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