Wednesday 17 January 2018

People Are Talking: Angelina's ugly youth 
is back to haunt her

Actress Angelina Jolie
Actress Angelina Jolie
Victoria: Quiet on centre court.

Once upon a time, adults were able to blank out the errors of their youth until their own children grew up and started behaving appallingly, thus reminding the cringing adults of all the awful things they had done themselves.

Now, thanks to social media, there is a generation of adults who can never forget, as their youthful transgressions are carefully catalogued on social media and it is they, last week, who should have felt sympathy for Angelina Jolie.

Last week, video footage surfaced of a 24-year-old Angelina, filmed in a messy apartment making a rambling telephone call and looking less than the soignee mother of six she is today. She seems distressed as she talks - allegedly to her father, actor Jon Voight - and scratches at her skin as she speaks. The footage was taken by convicted drug dealer Franklin Meyer, who claims that the actress had summoned him to her apartment to sell 
her cocaine and heroin.

Reaction to the footage was theatrically shocked. There was shock at how little she resembled "one half of Hollywood's most glamorous couples," and how she appeared utterly different to the respected humanitarian she is today. In other words, everyone imagined themselves shocked by the fact that Angelina today is not the Angelina of 1999, though it should be noted that she's just as skinny now as she was then.

Angelina Jolie has never denied that she had a wild youth, however. She has talked about: "heavier, darker times . . . and I survived them. I didn't die young, so I'm very lucky." That's hindsight plus maturity speaking, obviously, though even someone utterly honest might rather not see the evidence of their youthful stupidity on screen. And would much rather that their six kids didn't have to see it. But, then, these days, there's no escape from your past.

Sarah Caden

No Need to be Morto over Garth

THE lesson to be learned from the Garth Brooks affair? We should stop getting involved in events with an international aspect. It  doesn't suit a country obsessed with what other people think about us.

We've been riddled with mortification from the start. Remember when 400,000 tickets were sold? Irish hipsters were all over twitter, worried we'd be an international laughing stock for liking country music. Then last week, the same hipsters were appalled that we couldn't host five country music concerts. In fairness, they weren't alone. The same phrase littered the media all week - our reputation is in tatters.

Really? A scan across the international media on Wednesday showed that our reputation was largely intact. Particularly compared to the reputation of Brazilian defenders. The Daily Telegraph carried a piece on its website. It was in the World, Folk and Jazz music section. The only people who found that were Irish people looking for proof that our reputation was in tatters. The rest of the world couldn't care less about our Garth problem. Of course, as Oscar Wilde said, there is only one thing worse than being talked about, and that's not being talked about. So we were probably mortified about being ignored too.

It's easy to see where the next major embarrassment might come from. We're playing Germany in a Euro 2016 qualifier in October. Prepare to be genuinely mortified.

Pat Fitzpatrick

Queen Victoria didn't hold court

Most women would be thrilled to be sandwiched between David Beckham and Samuel L Jackson who are unarguably two of the sexiest men in the world.  But then VB isn't most women.  Last week as she sat perched between her husband and the American actor, watching the Men's Final at Wimbledon, Queen Victoria was visibly not amused. 

Posh is as famous for her inability to crack a smile as she is for being a Spice Girl, a WAG and a fashion designer, but the awkward display in the Centre Court Royal Box went beyond mere pouting. VB didn't look like a mature mother of three beside her husband, with her behaving more like a gauche, unwilling teenager at a parent's dinner party. Those cringe-making images were caught on Vine, went viral and provided the haterz and trollers with a slagging bonanza. Sam L was having none of it, tweeting that they should "STFU."

Several theories were offered for Victoria's discomfiture. Perhaps she's had 'work' done that leaves her unable to smile? Maybe she's too tired to grin and gab (a husband, three kids, a career and maintaining a small dress size is exhausting). Possibly she was nervous sitting next to Shaft? Maybe she was scared of Jackson who has played some badass mofos in his time? Could she have been worried about being out-styled by the famously cool Pulp Fiction star? Or it could simply be that Mrs Beckham finds it hard to talk to people she doesn't know.

Breaking News everyone - 'celebrity' may be a special club, but its not at all exclusive and even those with a gold pass don't all know each other.

Or want to.

Anne Marie Scanlon

Are we nearly there yet?

First it was going to be Tuesday. It wasn't. Then it was definitely predicted to happen on Wednesday. It didn't. The Sultans of Spin then hurriedly pencilled in Thursday as the most likely date for an announcement of the new Cabinet line-up, but by that stage most people had lost hope. As the week dragged on, it was like waiting for the end of Lost. All that fevered speculation. Followed, when it was finally over, by a collective cry of: "Er, was that it?"

It wasn't just the endless chatter from the, ahem, experts. It wasn't even the crazy rumours, though there were so many names flying around you'd be forgiven for expecting Elvis himself to put in an appearance. It was more the sense of anti climax when it was all over, as if the country suddenly realised that it doesn't actually matter who's the Minister in Charge of Paper Clips.

Perhaps it was a cunning plan by the Taoiseach and new Labour leader Joan Burton, above right, to bore us into submission so we'd simply be relieved it was over without worrying if they made the right or wrong choices. Whatever the reason, spare a thought for the political correspondents who now have nothing to keep them amused over the summer. Well, except for speculation about the upcoming Budget. The waffle starts here.

Eilis O'Hanlon

We know who muppets are

Well, given the time of year that's in it, we probably should be grateful that the biggest controversy in the North this week is about a cake. Better a group of hard core Christian bakers recoiling from rendering Bert and Ernie in sugar icing than triumphalist marching and one of those massive piles of burning tires. But still we have to roll our eyes a little. First of all, why are we still all still assuming Bert and Ernie are gay? Maybe they just want to share the rent. Maybe we are all muppets for pigeonholing them? Second: why would any gay person want a cake from this bakery? We get nervous when we feel the waiter might have turned against us.

Thirdly: when will these people learn that it is as hard to openly get away with discriminating against gay people on the grounds that it's against your religion as it is by saying 'Big Bird says we can do this.' A better approach, if you really don't want to serve them, would be to say, "of course we LOVE everything gay - c'mon we ice cupcakes for a living, for crying out loud! But
because we are so gay friendly down to our rainbow coloured socks we don't, in their best interests, want them having all these stodgy carbs. Bert and Ernie might look cute but they'll go STRAIGHT to your stomach and then you'll be crying to us about flabby abs." It will work SO much better than, Jesus says its ok to not serve you - trust us on this one.

Donal Lynch

So what do we do now?

Sometime around 10pm tonight (or a bit later if extra time and penalties are required) the final scene from The Truman Show will be recreated across the country as one person turns to another and asks, 'what else is on?' The answer, sadly, is nothing. There is nothing that can fill this void.

It may not have been the greatest World Cup of all time but at least we got the greatest meltdown
 in the history of all sport. In fact, Brazil's
brain freeze against Germany may well be the biggest public capitulation we have ever seen in any walk of life.

It began with tearful Brazilian players paying a tribute to the absent Neymar, above right, that made it seem as if their poster boy had been killed in some horrific accident rather than simply being laid up for a few weeks with a bad back. It ended with the same players crying like kids whose parents had forgotten to collect them from school, except these kids were being jeered by tens of thousands of fans, most of whom seemed to be crying too (unless they appeared on the stadium's big screen at which point the overwhelming trauma they were experiencing instantly vanished in an outbreak of maniacal waving).

So tonight we have the final which probably won't be a classic. It will probably even end up 0-0, but that's fine. The longer it goes on the better.

Evan Fanning

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