Proud to be a loser

I’m a great fan of black comedy, especially when it’s performed by somebody who is being serious and has no idea how funny the material is (Playwright, Shea Lenihan, RTE ‘The Living Word’, 23rd Oct.).

I’m getting a T-shirt made with the logo, ‘Proud to be a loser’.

We Irish used to sympathise with the underdog. As a community we felt diminished when one our own was diminished, we were aggrieved. Our natural instinct was to consider it either bad luck or injustice or a bit of both.

Now we are proud to be winners and fearful of being called losers as though one category could possibly exist without the other. I don’t think you can own anything worth owning in this life until you’ve lost it first and found it again or at least found a part of it.

The fact is you don’t appreciate anything, even life itself, until it starts to slip away and slip away it surely does. You never really escape anything. The knocking in the engine never really just goes away, the twinge in the knee isn’t a pulled muscle, the tightening in the chest isn’t wind. There’s a reckoning that awaits us all.

We’re not winners and losers, we’re all losers. That’s what defines us and unites us and ought to make us proud to be us. We should all be fighting to wear that T-shirt.

We struggle to be born, we struggle to die and in between, if we’re lucky, we struggle to maintain a little dignity in a hard world. And somehow, amazingly, all this makes us better people and that’s the way life is and that’s the way we are.

And those who think they live another kind of life, a synthetic life not governed by these laws. Well, maybe they’re the real losers, the biggest losers, the ones who, temporarily at least, have lost their way.

To understand where Mr. Lenihan got his (hilariously) dark attitude to life, listen to his equally funny contribution on the 24th Oct., where he describes his father’s attitude to death.

Great material for any aspiring comedian