catWednesday night’s Vox was full of love … and hate.

It began with cats. (Well, that was bound to divide us).

Maria hates them, Mark loves them. But he loves LOVE/HATE more. Why was there such a fuss about a cat getting killed? LOVE/HATE contains more violence and weekly body counts than any other Irish series. And yet it was the cat that really got people going. Whatever about the audience’s credentials, LOVE/HATE is a superb showcase for Irish talent, according to Mark.

And that includes moggie talent, according to Jason. Getting machine-gunned to death may not be a great way to go, but at least Kitty got to be famous. A consoling thought.

From cat-hating to pet-hates.  Maria detests plastic cutlery, despairs at bad grammar and despises rudeness. Merrilyn loathes Pat Kenny and his oversized posters AND he’s usurped her beloved Tom Dunne. Dave loves Mr Kenny but dislikes Mr. Dunne. “Tom is too afraid to ever hate anything and show a bit of personality.”

Is hating a sign of character then? Well, Colette hated her topic so much (austerity in the budget) she refused to answer it! A stand against topics.

So where was the love? As is so often the case, in literature. Sinead’s favourite book is “A History of Salt”, Jason’s “The Great Gatsby”,  Frank’s “Strumpet City” and Rosie’s the valiant and endearing “Pippi Longstocking”. Rosie urged us all to re-read our favourite childhood book and catch a glimpse of our childhood selves. Loved it!

Onto the speeches. Jean-Marie loved the idea of skiing, but was less enamoured with the reality. Learning can be a painful process! He discovered he was not naturally built for it (feet point outwards, not in), it took ten minutes to walk five metres, and no matter how often you fall down you gotta get up or stay there forever. If we ever see him in the winter Olympics we will be mistaken.

Maria hates wasting time with nonsense talk and has had enough. No more pointless printer conversations, mortifying foot-in-mouth blunders or polite platitudes from her! No more placating the pessimist or comforting the crier. From now on, she’ll say what she means when she means it and love every minute of it. Yeah!

Stephen loves mind control. (Yes, you read that correctly). He believes we can think ourselves into success. “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe man can bring into action”. He’s pretty sure that works for women as well. Stephen was last seen on the floor of the Gents’ with a stiletto sticking out of his skull. Had he conceived that into action?

Frank wowed us all with the Father-of-the-Groom speech he plans to give at Christmas. It was replete with warm, humorous anecdotes and beautiful quotations. He was especially skillful in remembering those who would not be there to enjoy the day: “They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old…”.  Real consolation this time.

But last words go to Jason, who in topics dazzled us with his excellent recall of an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote: “Poetry is either like a fire that lives inside you, like music to the musician, like Marxism to the Communist or else it is nothing, an empty formalised bore around which pedants endlessly drone on their notes”.

Which are we Voxers? Poets or pedants? Lacklustre droners or fire-filled orators? Maybe it’s a Love/Hate thing. If we don’t love our art, our audience will hate it. So kindle your fires and come out blazing and on Oct 30th, don’t forget to dress up!

Fiona O’Meara

Love/Hate, 9th October 2013