Sunday 15 December 2019

People are Talking: A Long Way From Tweedy

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini: Don’t Call Me Tweedy
Cheryl Fernandez-Versini: Don’t Call Me Tweedy
Hi, Boys: Rihanna flashed a greeting in her cups to the Germans

So Cheryl Cole has married again and has a new surname. Again. Last week, as Cheryl confirmed a July 7 wedding in Mustique, to Frenchman Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini, it came as quite a surprise, given they've been together only three months.

Reports, then, that she had refused to sign a pre-nup also came as a surprise, but what should have surprised no one was Cheryl's subsequent name-change.

Taking your husband's name is the thing to do these days and, if your maiden name is the less-than-glamorous Tweedy, then why not?

As one who has had a lifetime of spelling and pronouncing my surname, I feel Cheryl's Tweedy pain. When I got married, though, you kept your name, as a remnant of your independence. Now, however, it is au courant - as Cheryl's double-double-barrelled husband might say - to make the change.

I suspect that these new wives are often trading up, name-wise. They're basically suiting themselves, because they want to, and because they can, which is feminist in its own way. So, Cheryl stuck with Cole - like Bianca held on to Jagger, and Tina retained Turner - because it suited her and not out of lingering love for any ex.

So Cheryl Fernandez-Versini is a mouthful, but it's a chic one, and a long way from Geordie Cheryl Tweedy.

Sarah Caden

You have to feel sorry for Minister Seosamh

The Garth Brooks thing has set a precedent. In order to stay relevant, official Ireland will get itself entangled in one daft spat every week. So last week Enda appointed a man with very little Irish as Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs. (His first task should be to change the name of his ministry. Gaeltacht Affairs sounds like a saucy film about teenagers shifting each other when they should be learning Irish.)

Things got downright embarrassing for the new 
Minister of State, Joe McHugh, when the Taoiseach defended his decision in the Dail. 
Enda told TDs that Joe (or Seosamh as he must now be called) has the Irish language inside of him. This brought to mind images of a surgeon looking at a scan of Seosamh and saying "if you look there just behind the liver you'll see a couple of fadas and 
the modh coinniollach." It 
also brought to mind the notion that Enda might be losing it.

As you can imagine, the Gaeilgeoiri were livid at this latest insult to the Irish language. Seosamh was unmoved by all this because he hadn't a clue what they were saying. In fairness to the Gaeilgeoiri, the rest of us know how they feel. For years we've had to put up with loads of Ministers whose only qualification for the job was an ability to smile and get out of a Mercedes at the same time.

Still, you've got to feel 
sorry for Seosamh. Enda has promised that he will learn Irish in no time. It's going to be like doing his oral Irish exam in front of the whole country.

Pat Fitzpatrick

Rihanna pulled a breaststroke

A SALUTARY lesson for the German football team - cup or no cup, it's not really a party until Rihanna arrives.

For those of us who struggle to grasp the emotional stakes of the World Cup it all suddenly became clear when we caught sight of Rihanna in the stands, t-shirt lifted, flashing her leather bra to the German team. Forget the tears of joy from the crowds, the thousands spent on ticker tape and the guaranteed place in football history halls of fame. This is what winning really means; being the focus of a personalised piece of Rihanna-flashing.

It's not that Rihanna-flashing is in itself a rare thing. It's fair to say she's got pretty extroverted underwear. As we've witnessed many times on Twitter, even an average Tuesday evening at home is often event enough for Ri-Ri to lift her blouse. It doesn't take a World Cup final. But the point is that on this occasion her semi-nude salute was specifically dedicated to the honour of the German players. There wasn't even a self-promotional dimension to this moment of spontaneous undressing - no album or product to plug. Just an expression of unrestrained (except for the bra) endorsement for the men who topped the tournament.

Under ordinary circumstances, partying with a troupe of German football players probably wouldn't really be Rihanna's scene. But on World Cup final night there was only one celebration in the world to be at. So naturally Ri-Ri wanted to be there. Having a trophy is one thing. The attentions of the world's biggest pop star was the real prize.

Julia Molony

Chimneys that Santa forgot

On hearing that a Labour councillor in Dublin was launching a campaign to save two "iconic" institutions from being consigned to the scrap heap, most people surely assumed he meant Pat Rabbitte and Eamon Gilmore, who've both been left without posts after the recent Cabinet reshuffle.

Instead Dermot Lacey wants to rescue the Poolbeg chimneys, which are at risk of being pulled down by the ESB because, apparently, they've not been doing anything useful for years. (We are still talking about the electricity generating station, not the former ministers, right? Just checking). Lacey even says he'll submit an emergency motion to the council to have the 680 foot high red and white towers listed as "protected structures" on the grounds they're such an integral part of life in Dublin. Then again, so are inflated house prices, traffic congestion, and drug addicts on the Liffey boardwalk, but nobody wants to preserve them.

Suggestions are flowing in as to what to do with the towers if they are spared from demolition. Some people want them lit up at night like the Eiffel Tower, presumably so locals on the Southside can get a better view of the sewage when they go swimming. Others want them turned into a so-called "sky bridge", though we'd probably just end up having another row over who to name it after.

It's a wonder nobody's suggested yet that they be renamed "John" and "Edward" in tribute to Ireland's other most famous twins. Still, it could be worse. They could be called "Pat" and "Eamon".

Eilis O'Hanlon

No Garth, but we party on

Who knew that Garth Brooks was as unshakeable as the T-1000 from Terminator 2? Just when you think your're rid of him for good he turns into liquid and reforms as a detailed paperwork proposal of a way to circumnavigate the Dublin City Council planning laws. But even Garth has finally had to admit defeat on this one, bringing this whole debacle to a close.

Not since Thierry Henry's handball has the nation been split into two such disparate camps: on one side the outraged and annoyed and on the other those pleading, 'please make it stop'. But never let it be said that we don't possess a talent for putting a positive spin on what would appear to be a negative and Dublin was quickly being sold as a great place to put on a country music party, despite this whole thing arising from the fact that it clearly isn't a great place to put on a country music party otherwise we wouldn't be in this mess.

Instead, a series of country music events have been planned to heal the wounds of people who thought they were going to a two-hour concert but aren't any more.

"The cowboy hat-clad ministers posed with two Irish country musicians next to a few bales of hay and an American flag," read the Irish Times report of the announcement of these events. A collection of words that more than any other sum up this sorry situation.

Evan Fanning

Miss Moscow brain shock

I have a theory. I believe that being good-looking doesn't necessarily mean being dull, but that being dull probably means that you're good-looking. It's hardly the theory of relativity but it's one that's pretty easy to prove. For example, it's why comedians tend to look more like Ricky Gervais than Cristiano Ronaldo, or why chat show hosts look more like Alan Carr than David Beckham.

A man who looks like Colin Farrell will rarely be as interesting as a man who looks like Quentin Tarantino because his looks will be enough to get him through life. Of course, Colin Farrell does comes across as interesting but then my theory isn't a universal law but a general rule of thumb, like the one that says don't eat yellow snow (sometimes it's not urine, sometimes it's lemon, or so my brother said).

Nothing proves my theory more than beauty pageants, where the message seems to be 'never mind that brain of yours, love, if you've got a smoking bikini body and can rock an evening gown, well then you'll be sorted for life.' I imagine every time Miss World comes round Betty Friedan and Simone de Beauvoir spin like rotisserie chickens in their graves.

But maybe there's change afoot. Maybe even the beauty pageant, that great bastion of chauvinism, is coming round to the idea that looks aren't everything. Irina Alexeyva, the recently crowned Miss Moscow (and Miss Russia contestant) has been taunted on social media for being 'too ugly' to be a beauty queen. The 18-year-old is also an accomplished ballerina and a fine arts student, and maybe it was as much for these that she won. Besides, leggy blondes who love kittens and world peace can win only so many times.

Christopher Jackson

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