Set your faces to stunned – One Direction are people too
Published 29/05/2014 | 02:30
Just imagine you're a young lad. Maybe a young lad from a quiet backwater like, oh, I dunno, Mullingar. Then a fairy godfather called something like, oh, I dunno, Simon Cowell, comes along and waves his magic wand.
Before you know it, you're part of the biggest boyband of the decade and you're richer than you've ever dreamed possible. Seventeen million quid richer, apparently.
It is better than winning the Lotto and opens up a life of unimaginable opportunities and happiness – if you play it right.
But as the latest 'shocking' and 'disturbing' pictures of two of the 1D lads who aren't Niall Horan showing their 'dark side' prove, all those millions come with a price and that price is the complete and total end of any privacy or expectation of privacy, for the foreseeable future.
Honestly, there are times when the band must feel as if they are living the life of the fallen Greek god, Tantalus, who was doomed to spend eternity surrounded by food and water which would recede from his grasp whenever he wanted to eat or drink, leaving him forever frustrated.
I'm not sure how well versed One Direction are in Greek mythology, but I imagine they'd spare a thought for his sentence of eternal frustration. Because as the new pictures of Louis and Zayn smoking a joint prove, they may be surrounded by all the forbidden fruit they want but as soon as they reach for them, something is going to go terribly pear-shaped. As it were.
Two rock stars smoking a fat one is hardly news. Two young men from any walk of life sparking up is hardly news. So why is there such a kerfuffle about a couple of young millionaires having a spliff?
Well, apart from the fact that that nice Mr Cowell will probably give them the kind of bollocking usually administered by a particularly grumpy Alex Ferguson, the simple fact is that One Direction aren't rock stars, they're a brand of popstar more akin to the Teletubbies than they are to music. And that's why the hysterical reaction to the footage has proved to be so remarkably, delightfully entertaining.
Because showing just how conservative and corporate music has become, where you can now audition to be a pop star in much the same way that you or I might go to a job interview, the biggest backlash seems to be coming from their fans. And as anyone who has ever seen One Directioners in all their confused, deranged, hormonal madness will know, teenage girls are quite possibly the most frightening group of people on the planet.
Some of these fans are so shocked and horrified at these antics that they have threatened to stop loving the band, although I was particularly amused by the sight of one young girl, in a Rolling Stones T-shirt, burning a print out of her ticket in protest at the antics of 'Zouis', as they're known (but then you were aware of that, weren't you?).
Now, apart from the fact that you should never go on anti-drugs rant when you're wearing a Stones top, and apart from the fact that burning a print-out of a ticket is hardly the same as burning the actual ticket, her reaction was indicative of one thing – young people are becoming even more straitlaced than the creaking old stiffs who don't see a problem with the occasional relaxing joint.
Instead, hordes of impressionable young fans have come out to condemn their actions, saying that the two boys are, apparently, "a bad example to impressionable young fans."
Frankly, I give it a day or two before some anti-drugs campaigner hops on the bandwagon with demands that they be boycotted and shunned throughout the land.
And maybe the dopey duo should be sent to prison for a while? After all, as the argument goes, if that saves just one child, won't it have been worth it?
They have access to some of the finest weed available – and they can't smoke it. They have access to millions of groupies – who are all under the age of consent and strictly off-limits. And they have millions in the bank – but they can't spend it because they seem to be on tour for 11-and-a-half months of the year.
It's hardly being stuck down an Australian mine shaft for 14 hours a day, as many young Irishmen of a similar age are forced to do.
But, Jesus, there are times when you can't help but feel sorry for them.
SATANIC? THE DEVIL'S IN THE DETAILRAISING SATANIC HACKLES: POPE FRANCIS
I'm a registered minister with the Worldwide Church of Satan – or I was, anyway. I signed up a few years ago and the last time I checked I was still entitled to conduct marriages and funerals in the style of that Church, so I'm available for functions at a reasonable rate if anyone's interested.
However, I must protest at the Pope's latest attack on the faith to which I'm attached, even if I only became a minister for a mischievous feature for this paper. The Argentine pontiff has raised Satanic hackles everywhere with his claim that child abuse is as bad 'as performing a Black Mass'.
Really? Here's are the Church of Satan's rules on child abuse: "Satanism has strong rules protecting children from sexual abuse ... If a member abuses a child, their membership is immediately terminated ... In Satanism, sexual activity is strictly between consenting adults only."
It's a bad day when you compare something to Satanists and it turns out those Satanists have stricter, more honourable rules than you do ...
OOPS, FAR RIGHT HIT STRAIGHT FROM LEFT-FIELD
Damnit, those Jews are sneaky. In fact, they'll get you when you least expect it.
Csanad Szegedi, one of the leaders of Hungary's leading far-right, anti-Semitic parties, has been forced to resign – after it emerged that he was himself Jewish and his own grandmother is an Auschwitz survivor.
I'm sure that was an interesting meeting in his local party headquarters ...