Sunday 4 December 2016

People are talking: Obama's Last Supper

Anne Marie Scanlon

Published 24/10/2016 | 02:30

Leo Varadkar
Leo Varadkar

As Real Housewife Countess Luann once sang Money Don't Buy You Class, and that was never more evident than at the final State Dinner of the Obama administration. Michelle O will go down in history not just as the first African American First Lady (how we loathe that term here at People Are Talking) but also the classiest. (Jackie O was chic - big difference.)

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The dinner was in honour of Italian PM Matteo Renzi and his wife Agnese Landini, but even in a room full of fabulous and fashionable Italians Michelle stole the show in her rose gold Versace dress. Apart from the usual mix of Washington politicos and media, guests included Giorgio Armani, comic Jerry Seinfeld, actor John Turturro, musician James Taylor, former racing driver Mario Andretti and two young rappers - Frank Ocean (who took his mum) and Chance the Rapper (accompanied by his dad). 

Gwen Stefani, still one of the coolest women on the planet, provided the music.  The Obama Last Supper typified his administration  - eclectic, forward-looking, classy, and clued-in. Money don't buy you class but unfortunately it can win elections. Thanks for the memories O.

Shock horror! Has Halloween been sexed up?

Donal Lynch

For most people  Halloween is just an  excuse to dress sexy in a way they would never get away with in real life.

They opted for the sexy cat/superhero look in the crowded fancy dress shop, even though it's basically just a bikini and face paints - and they will catch their death in late October in Ireland. That's if they don't explode when someone touches this flammable concoction with a cigarette. It's all worth it to look "accidentally hot" on the night itself.

Slutty Halloween costumes are also a testament to Irish weather. They're proof that in Ireland showing your actual body is itself a type of fancy dress. The sexy Halloween crowd are generally upstaged by those who dress shocking. This year there has already been talk of people coming as a kidnapped Kim Kardashian or a jilted Brangelina. Come next weekend we also expect to see someone come as a charity chief (complete with a jewel-encrusted glass to sip champagne from), or possibly a water protester (can be paired with someone in a Joan Burton mask).

Since all of this dressing-up nonsense came from America, it's also to the Americans we look for advice on what's over the line. "No, it's cool, it's not like your ancestors killed them all or anything," read one flier at a university in Massachusetts this week. Another poster of scantily clad women says, "Hypersexualized racism is still racism." Hypersexualised human-cat hybrids are totally cool, however.

Come on Leo, stop the talking, let's get walking

Pat Fitzpatrick

Sometimes it feels like Leo Varadkar (below) is a one-man party - Fianna The People Who Aren't in the Public Service.

He was representing them again this week when he said that people would look differently at the guards if they went on strike. There are two things wrong with this. The first is that no one is looking at public servants at all these days, in case they take offence and go out on strike.

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The second problem is that Leo's mild rebuke was seen as breaking ranks with his cabinet colleagues. Don't be upsetting the guards, you'll only make it worse. Maybe now is the time for Leo to spin off that new party. It could start with just one policy; we won't talk to people who keep asking for more money.

We all know what happens when the government stays up all night with some union to resolve their latest grievance. We either become poorer or some already dire public service gets even worse. Say what you will about Donald Trump, but he's right when he talks about the art of negotiation. The key is that the other side has to believe that you will walk away. So let's stop talking and start walking.

Old hands as good as new

Eilis O'Hanlon

The politicians have failed Ireland. We need fresh faces, new ideas. Thankfully, some fine men are already rising to the challenge.

There's this young fella called Bertie Ahern, for example. He's been all over the media this week, putting forward his ideas on Brexit, water charges, social partnerships. You name it.

This guy really sounds like he knows what he's talking about. We should give him a go.

What could possibly go wrong, after all?

Then there's this other lad, Brendan Howlin. He leads an exciting new movement called "the Labour Party" which seems to have all the answers. If only someone would give these young guns a chance by putting them into government. Surely they wouldn't let us down like all those other chancers?

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