There's a furore going on in the Irish blogosphere over RTE's craven apology for broadcasting a short item on the Nine O'Clock News about a naked portrait of Brian Cowen. More details can be found here. But when I read it, I thought of these words from the late Frank Zappa (not a man I admire, but he had a nice turn of phrase at times). The quote is from a lengthy interview with Don Menn and Matt Groening in Guitar Player magazine, June 1992.
"You want to know what they hate more than anything else in life? They can't stand for people not to take them seriously. If you laugh at them for an instant, it's just like - the devil walks into a room, right? And he goes, "I'm the Devil," and you take a fork and poke him in the belly, and the gas comes out, and he'll go twirling around the room like an unleashed balloon. That's the way these guys are. They hate it, because they're so full of shit, they're so full of themselves that they just can't believe that people don't appreciate them for the grand, highly evolved creatures that they imagine themselves to be. They hate to be laughed at. If they weren't so fucking dangerous, it would be fun to laugh at them all the time, but sometimes you have to take into account how much damage they can do."