Like "fierce mild weather" or "gentle Brexit," the idea of an "awakened rose from Tralee" – a match for issues of modern social justice – is a bit of a contradiction. After all, we are talking about a contest in which individual twenties are placed against each other and valued on a specially constructed scale of harmlessness and general sweetness that manages the entire range from "Dana" to "Meghan Markle".
The essence of his attraction is that it never changes: it is just as timeless as a Christmas cracker leap, as tense as a few nudes, as durable as an Anglo trial.
No, it is not a beauty contest, and yes, it celebrates achievement in all its forms – but there is still something that is sarcastic and nauseating about everything, like that bit of light old Battenburg that you really did not want to eat away for breakfast the breakfast .
For example, note that no one ever refers to participants as "women". They are girls: girls with pleasant manners, good jobs, good hair and tinkling laughter who catch fire when Daithi unleashes one of his substantial arsenal of pap-jokes.
They are smart girls, but not too much; funny girls, but not so funny that they overshadow their host; successful in itself, but not so well that they are derived from the ultimate price of a guy.
If one of them tries to shake things softly – as Brianna Parkins did in Sydney in 2016, when she called for a referendum on the 8th withdrawal – she runs the risk of disappointing Mary Kennedy, and nobody wants that.
The world continues, but the Rose of Tralee clings to decayed glories. It is the misty and somewhat maudlinist drunk that sits on a bar stool in New York and torments the homeland long after closing time. It was founded in 1959, the first year women were allowed to join An Garda Siochána and Darby O & # 39; Gill and the Little People had their world premiere in Dublin. And despite all the talk about empowerment and ambition and volunteering and gap years, it has not changed much since.
The best thing you can do is probably to put it in a darkened room and give off a warm glass of milk that is laced with something just strong enough to let it rest quietly and permanently. Yet we are constantly told that it retains a special place in the national psyche.
So is there any hope to breathe new life into the festival and make it relevant to the post-MeToo era?
Well, the idea of an "awake" beautiful girls contest is not entirely without precedent. During the recent Miss Peru 2018 competition, participants refused to perform the traditional recitation of their chest, hip and waist sizes, and instead they recited statistics on violence against women.
Then came the Miss America contest to announce that she would no longer judge participants for beauty, and would completely delete her bikini section – which, as an act of rebellion, would do less Rosa Parks than not to write to your Aunt Florrie. -your card for the annual birthday player. But you have to start somewhere.
Can anything be done to wake the Rose of Tralee for his 60th birthday?
1. More annoying women
And less sweet girls. The participants are invariably presented as beautiful, pleasant girls. Some of them are probably beautiful, pleasant girls, at least part of the time. But that is almost everything there is. Good is fine, but is that really what we want our young women to strive for? When it comes to Lovely Girls and Nasty Women, who would you rather hang out at a party? While Lovely Girl is whistling Danny Boy in the living room, Nasty Woman in the kitchen is busy telling dirty jokes and conspiracy to overthrow patriarchy while stirring up a batch of her very special brownies.
2. Abolish the age limit of 28
Most of the biggest women I know were only to turn after they had passed 38, only reached the age of 40 at the age of 40 and only reached a peak north of 58. Just ask Madonna. And yet the RoT sees us as 29.
3. Delete the marriage ban
And open it up for proud non-virgins of all kinds: married women, divorced women, mothers, expectant mothers, women who have had abortions and are not afraid to talk about it, women in happy relationships with other women, cohabiting women, women for whom "it is complicated" does not start with describing their lives.
4. Strive for diversity
Make it more inclusive for homosexual women, transgender women, immigrant women, travelers women, asylum seekers. By letting the contest accept women with a range of life experiences, it will no longer be a feast of hairspray, humiliation and endless shout-outs for the boys and girls who end up on a ceathair.
5. Get gender-creative
In a country that took the lead in celebrating love for the same sex, would the dome certainly be resistant to the small earthquake of a few male roses and female escorts?
6. Review the party pieces
No Irish woman aged under 28, or 88, goes around at parties that recite 17th-17th poems about Delaney's handsome donkey, or brides who are sure to be taken home to make poitín. Where are the roses whose special talent is finding the only Portaloo at festivals where there is still toilet paper? Or ever walked away with a member of One Direction in Santa Ponsa? Or how to apply titanint and false eyelashes in a moving vehicle? Or be able to find every misunderstood hay barn, roll or Sellotape and pub that serve a decent gin and tonic within a two-mile radius?
7. Do not talk about marriage
Stop asking the friends when they put a ring on it. The rules state that the participants should never be married, which has given rise to the hilarious, 59-year-old, ongoing joke that they are all responsible for the proposals. Every year, at least once, Daithi will fix a number of unhappy people in the audience with a radiant look and roar "every chance to make her an honest woman" and everyone makes obedience while his color illuminates the Dome and nobody asks wonder if she is even interested in settling down with that stuttering, weak-bodied, go-be-the-wall.
8. Lose the swollen dresses
And the Christmas ornament jewelry and the high heels that make them look like Prom Night Barbie. Real women wear leopard print and leather and "This yoke? That's only Penneys."
9. Ask them about their politics
Since the Brianna Parkins bomb has repeatedly been insisted that the Dome is no place for politics. But young women have opinions and views and the right to vote – why not give them the chance to practice them as hard and publicly as they want? And why should not the rest of us get the chance to hear them? As Parkins wrote in this paper, "If it does not accept that women who come in want political opinions, it risks being on the wrong side of history."
10. Less tiaras, more tantrums
The festival could watch the late, regretted Alternative Miss Ireland for inspiration, which once contained a special message recorded by Dolly Parton for Miss Panti. Even more memorable was the moment in 1998 when Miss Veda Beaux Reves – who had just lost the first place to Miss Tampy Lilette – reportedly threw her Golden Briquette trophy at the judges in a tantrum.
11. Give Daithi a break
Therefore, give Daithi – now in his ninth year – a sabbatical and ask Ms. Panti to handle the procedure? Now, that is a rose from Tralee that I would enjoy sitting with.