You Can’t Be Serious - ‘The good life…’
You Can’t Be Serious – ‘The good life…’

There is ‘bad taste’ and there is ‘poor taste’; there used to be such thing as ‘good taste’, but it appears as if there is less and less of the latter in today’s society. I suppose there may be a category covering ‘no taste’ as well. Anything goes in today’s world and one of the things which has gone into hiding is ‘a bit of taste.’


The word ‘disgusting’ is a very strong word and one I don’t believe we have used previously in YCBS. A former Garda Commissioner used the word unwisely onetime, but I feel that a majority of you will agree that its inclusion is well justified here. Read on please …


Old world sensitivities are just that; old world. Disrespect when addressing those in authority; crass rude comments and the hateful stuff posted on social media, are all just par for the course. (Note we haven’t used the word ‘disgusting’ yet – but it is coming.) A lot of basic standards of decency have been eroded in recent years.


Etiquette is something to be made fun of and it’s almost as if points are being awarded for blatantly doing the opposite to what was once expected.


I have heard some dreadfully inappropriate speeches by the best man at weddings in recent years. Stories that might be OK for me and the Lads in the pub, but certainly poor taste for a mixed gathering at a family event. Being funny is one thing – and we all can enjoy a bit of mirth, but too often – and fuelled by froth or bubbly and the feeling of being the most important man there, wedding guests are forced to listen to tasteless and indecent tales about the bride and groom.


We can all be guilty sometimes – or at least I can, of inadvertently saying the wrong thing in bad taste, or doing something unbecoming. The quick quip that you know is disastrous as soon as it clears the tongue. The best advice when this happens is just to shut up and not try for damage limitation.


I had the great honour of sitting next to the legendary Billy Rackard at the Texaco Sports Awards of 2001 (I think). Billy was accompanied by his lovely daughter, a veterinary surgeon. I won’t indulge in further name-dropping, by telling you who else was at our table – as well as Mrs Youcantbeserious. Hurling was naturally the main topic of conversation, and the fact that Wexford weren’t doing particularly well got a mention early on. Around this stage of our chat, Billy mentioned that he had five daughters. ‘Wasn’t that an awful pity’, sez this clown … and I can still see the expression on the faces of the seven other people seated at the table!


A quick, witty remark that is genuinely funny, can carry a little ‘off-colour’ language, or even the ‘F word’, but the person forcing it, or relying solely on sarcasm, will quickly drift into the realm of poor taste.


Everything you hear on the radio or see on TV isn’t necessarily in good taste any more. With ever more programme presenters taking calls in real time this is understandable and an occupational hazard.


There have been some horrible TV adverts over the years, but none as bad as the one that is our main focus here. There has been ‘poor taste’, ‘bad taste’ – but this one is disgusting.


A woman is sitting on the toilet bowl, bare legs and bare knees spread apart, as she espouses the necessity for females to purchase the tampon she is using. This has to be the most tasteless advertisement of all time. If you haven’t seen it, we won’t go into any detail of what she is saying … but you get the picture.


Now, and before a sizzling sister lambasts me for being sexist and screams that I should get fired, let me quickly add that if there appeared a TV advert of a bare-kneed man, straddled on a toilet bowl, exalting the advantages of a certain toilet roll, and explaining how nothing would be left to chance with one wipe … you can picture it yourself … I would be equally disgusted! The only difference would be that there would have been an outcry long before it got to this column. Bad taste seems to be more acceptable in some quarters.


Obviously there are advertising agencies out there who believe that the impact of bad taste will force the viewer to remember the brand and buy the product. On the other hand, it has been shown that bad or discourteous driving by trucks emblazoned with the name of a product, has changed people’s attitude to purchasing that brand. I hope it is the same when it comes to a disgusting TV commercial …


Don’t Forget


Advertising is the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it.


“And who could forget, back in the day when Brenda was simply known as Brendan?”