Sunday, May 26, 2013

Seven days and one week

A round-up of the week's major news stories as seen through the eyes of an inattentive, misinformed moron.

Happy now?

Someone once said “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for fifteen minutes”. But what Andy Warhol neglected to add was the lengths people would go to to get their precious time in the limelight. The rise of reality TV and talent shows has seen thousands of fame-hungry wannabees stoop to inexplicable depths in the pursuit of stardom. However, love them or loathe them, these buffoons are largely harmless, their only sin being the shedding of their morals and values in front of a national audience. Other more creative types gain their fifteen minutes through alternative means; funny Youtube videos, angry blog posts, twitter trollers, they've all left their mark and had their moment in the sun.

It may seem like an abhorrent comparison but that was the first thing I thought of when I saw one of the Woolwich murder suspects deliver his doctrine to the masses: this is his fifteen minutes. Who among us will ever forget that video message? Not me. The content of his words mattered little, which I'm sure will be of great disappointment to him. No, all we could see were those hands stained in the blood of his victim and carrying the weapon which took his life. We watched in horror as a man fresh from the slaying of an innocent civilian spoke to the world and attempted to justify his actions.

But this is the age we live in. It was only a matter of time before someone seized the opportunity to use our inter-connectedness for their own evil means. Of course there are those 'video nasties' festering in the dark corners of the Internet, but this was different, this was live. The intention was to shock and to appal - and to go viral. And that it most surely did, mission accomplished. While the family of Lee Rigby grieved for their loss the rest of us devoured that video and the ones that followed. And yet not one of us can claim to be any wiser about Islam and the war on terror. Not one of us digested the words of that rambling madman with the cleaver. Political statement? Don't make me laugh. These were despicable, cold-hearted killers out for fame. And by fuck they got it.

Finger lickin' good

Oh dear Sergio what were you thinking. Didn't you realise that Tiger is half Native American? Why didn't you get your references right and throw in a dig about casinos and alcoholism? Poor showing if you ask me. And to be honest I doubt Tiger has eaten fried chicken in many a year, it's all caviar from the thighs of buxom porn stars nowadays. Oh no sorry he's a good boy now and stays faithful to his loving partner, my mistake.

As faux-pas' go this was right up there, Garcia and Woods have never been best buddies but neither has resorted to racial slurs in the past. Of course the comments were made in jest and were immediately retracted but you can never take back what's already been said. And in those simple few sentences we learned far more about the character of Garcia than Woods' eating habits. Even having those words in your armoury seems wrong, I mean who thinks like that nowadays? If it had been Padraig Harrington he was being questioned about would he have supplanted fried chicken with spuds and cabbage? Funnily enough that wouldn't have been considered at all offensive. I can't get my head round this one to be honest, I'm torn between thinking Garcia is a narrow-minded bigot and on the other hand that the entire world needs to lighten up a little. The lines between right and wrong have never been so blurred.

Jungle munchies

The sight of Z-list celebs chowing down on live arthropods ceased to be entertaining a long time ago. Even when they upped the ante and made them eat kangaroo testicles I remained unmoved. Booring. What would be funny though is watching your own family settling down for a meal of crickets and ants. Now that I'd pay to see. Luckily I might not have to. According to the UN we may all have to start sourcing alternative means of nutrition in the coming years. We are outgrowing our planet and food reserves are rapidly diminishing. Their solution is to make better use of the foodstuffs already available to us. Sadly that doesn't mean fishing out that weird tin of stewed steak from the back of the press. They would like us to overcome our fear of creepy-crawlies. How? By eating the bastards.

Before you start reaching for the sick bucket I think something should be explained. We're not expected to grab scurrying beetles from the floor and pop them in our grateful gobs. No it'll be far more palatable than that, you won't even know you're eating them. Or so they tell us. These delightful treats will be sauteed, flambeed and presented in such a way that even the most pernickity of eaters couldn't resist. In time we'll scan restaurant menus eagerly in the hope of seeing that signature dish; the locust lasagne. Mmm my favourite, we'll say as we order in a flourish, not forgetting to request the silkworm soup as a starter. Yum, yum, yum, I can't wait.

One more tune

Plans are afoot to change the busking laws on the streets of our capital city. Under these new guidelines it would be prohibited to use knives, flames or drums within your performance. The thinking behind these proposals is to ensure the safety of pedestrians and also to minimise noise levels in busy shopping districts. The regulation of street performing is something I'm behind but once again you have to question the severity of these laws. No drums? Not even a little bongo set to add some percussion? And no flames means we can't watch lunatics eat fire and wonder how they do it. Do the people behind these proposals seriously believe that a child's hair may catch fire simply by watching a man fellate some flames?

As usual there is a sense that the people drawing up these regulations have little or no idea of what is involved in street performing and busking. They probably took a walk down Grafton St, took some notes and went from there. There are bigger and better cities than Dublin which house all manner of daring and dangerous street acts and no one is any worse off for their presence. Why not consult our friends in London, Paris, Berlin and Rome? See what they have to say on the matter before implementing draconian measures which each and every performer will do their best to get around. Busking is one of the few things to remain unaltered over the passage of time, it'd be a shame to see it sanitised just for the sake of it.

We wanna be togevvor

I'd hate to be a twin, getting dressed in the same clothes as your sibling, having your hair styled the same, people not being able to tell you apart, it'd be shit. And parents that do that to their kids are a bit weird if you ask me. Unless of course the children like being identikit versions of one another in which case they are the weirdos. But what would be really weird is if a couple, a husband and wife, started dressing like one another just for the laugh. Step forward Mr and Mrs Featherstone from Fitchburg, Massachusetts. This pair of lovebirds have been donning similar outfits for over thirty years and they fuckin love it. Upon first hearing this I imagined Mr Featherstone in frocks and blouses but thankfully not, they may be weird but they're not that weird.

In a way it's kind of cute. She, a dressmaker, fashions her own designs and then uses the cast-offs to make hubby a fetching leopard print suit. How dashing they look in their carbon copy clobber, like an elderly pair of children's TV presenters. It must be very handy when they're out and about too, if they happen to get separated they just look for a mirror image of themselves. If things get really bad and one of them goes missing it'll be easy to give the police a description, “Well he was wearing.....this, actually”. But before you start warming to the idea think of this; what kind of clothes does your other half wear? Or, how would they look wearing the kind of clothes you wear? Hmm, not such a good idea now eh?

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