Saturday 16 December 2017

People are talking: Cheryl just can't keep the kids happy...

Backlash: Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Liam Payne felt the wrath of One Direction’s fans when they posed together.
Backlash: Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Liam Payne felt the wrath of One Direction’s fans when they posed together.
Getting preachy: Leonardo DiCaprio lectured us all on global warming

Sarah Caden

Thirty-two is not old. Unless you're 13, that is. And, unless you're 13 and the 22-year-old object of your affections appears to have hooked up with said old crone.

The cosy selfie of Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and One Direction's Liam Payne, posted on his Instagram on Sunday, didn't stay up there for long. It wasn't particularly revealing, but it was intimate, with the pair seeming to be lying down, snuggled up to each other. Cue teenage screams of agony and the internet going insane. It's probably a safe bet that Chery's husband of less than two years, Jean-Bernard was moderately peeved; but hell hath no fury like an adolescent scorned. And scorned they are. How dare a "whore" - their words - like Cheryl get in the way. Doesn't she have enough already? What with the big career, the good looks, the pots of money. Back off, Tweedy! I'm putting it politely. The online Liam-lovers weren't.

It must all have come as a shock to Cheryl. Up to now, she's been the beneficiary of mostly good-luck-in-love vibes online. Her choices of men - cheating first husband, Ashley Cole, and then the current guy, the allegedly inattentive J-B F-V - saw Cheryl cast as an unlucky-in-love underdog.

Young women rooted for her, until she cast her ancient net in the direction of young Liam. Not a good idea unless you want the young ones out to get you, screaming: "Get your cradle-snatching granny- hands off our Liam."

Cheryl, unaccustomed to the haters, at first lashed back. She posted on Twitter: "When people hate on you, it's because you've got something they want." Maybe a bit harsh, these are children we're dealing with, after all. She later added: "Cheryl...All love Good vibes only." That's more like it. Mature. Because that's what she is in this situation; the only real grown-up by far.

One for all after election brawl

The people have spoken. Now the experts are speaking, and what the experts are saying when they speak is that they don’t understand what the people meant when they spoke. It’s not that hard really.

The voters wanted different things. That’s why they voted for different parties. The problem only arises when you start talking about “the Irish people” as if they’re an amorphous bloc, with one collective will, a bit like The Borg in Star Trek. Or “Shinners”, as they’re better known here on Earth.

The question we should be asking now the election’s over is: Why not give everyone exactly what they want?

It’s true that this would mean re-partitioning the country (missing you already, Longford-Westmeath… though after that marathon count, perhaps not), but there’s no reason why we have to stick together if we don’t want to. We could easily divide up the island to better reflect how the people voted.

Fianna Fail areas would then get a Fianna Fail government; Fine Gael areas, a Fine Gael government; Sinn Fein-dominated parts of the country would get whatever Gerry tells them they’re getting; and areas that voted Anti-Austerity Alliance/

People Before Profit get… well, everyone’s sympathy at the impending arrival of the IMF.

It’s not as if Irish people

always get along, after all. Dubs hate culchies. The

counties all hate each other. Everyone’s a wee bit iffy about Kerry.

You might say this solution offers one for everyone in the audience; and, as an added bonus, it solves the Northern Ireland problem for ever. There’s no point in the IRA fighting for a united Ireland when there isn’t one any more.

And the whiner is...

Oh Leo, seriously? Dissing the “politics of greed” when you work in Hollywood?  The old cliche about biting the hand that feeds you raw bison liver springs to mind. #OscarSoWhite became #OscarSoWorthy as Leonardo DiCaprio and several other Oscar winners used the 88th annual Academy Awards as a platform to espouse their very worthy beliefs.  The subtext was almost “Hey, I’m more than just a white person, I’m really commendable, too.” 

Leo stood firm on climate change.  It’s real, he told an ecstatic crowd and a tearful Kate Winslet, that “It’s the most urgent threat facing our entire species”.  (Debatable when Donald Trump is running for president.)

 Michael Sugar, co-producer of Best Picture Spotlight, called out the Pope, and singer Sam Smith managed to make a holy show of himself.  The best original song winner dedicated his gong to the LGBT community, but in the process showed he doesn’t have his LGBT Oscar history straight.

Worthiness is fine, in its place, but is its place really at the Oscar awards?  Despite the competition to see who could make the most earnest speech not one of the winners came close to the epicness of Marlon Brando in 1973. 

Boycotting the ceremony in protest at the treatment of Native Americans, Brando sent Sacheen Littlefeather to decline his Best Actor award for the Godfather.  Now that’s entertainment, Leo.  That’s showbiz.

Anne Marie Scanlon

Boyzlife? We predict a riot

Is this really a good idea? Keith Duffy (above) and Brian McFadden (below) announced this week they are teaming up to go on tour, singing Boyzone and Westlife hits. The duo will be known as Boyzlife, because Westzone sounds too much like a business park. The boyz are promising ‘stories, laughter and music’ for their fans. Not necessarily in that order. There’s a good chance that men dragged along by the missus will take one look at two middle-aged guys singing Flying Without Wings and burst out laughing.

The tour is backed by the Hilton chain, and the gigs will take place in their hotels across Britain. So if you arrive at your hotel in Newcastle on business and find 300 women at reception dressed as seven year-olds, you know what’s happened. You might want to ask for earplugs. And not because of the music. The good news is you won’t be able to hear that over the high-pitched screaming. 

Which brings us to the most important question of all. Security. Is it really a good idea to put Boyzone and Westlife fans in the same confined space? There is a good chance they’ll have been at the vodka for a few hours. A stray insult could be enough to spark a mini-riot. Your reaction to this is surely the two boyz aren’t the type for insults. And then you remember that Brian McFadden is one of them.

Trump's stumpy speech

“But what if his fingers are too stubby to reach the nuke button?” That must be what a good portion of Americans are wondering of Donald Trump, as the ‘short-fingered vulgarian’ jibe of the 1990s comes back to haunt him. In a way it was inevitable that the troll would eventually get trolled. They’ve given up arguing that The Donald isn’t making sense, is just insulting anyone he can think of, and has preposterous hair, and have moved on to the fact that his fingers are apparently unusually short.

Trump’s main opponent Marco Rubio told a group: “And you know what they say about men with small hands? You can’t trust them.” Now that might be what they say at the foam parties Marco, but if our knowledge of innuendo doesn’t desert us, that isn’t how the rest of the population interprets small hands. But perhaps this indicates that there is still a new low to which this Republican primary will plummet.

We are just one more “rhetorical flourish” away from one of them saying that the other one’s penis is too small for him to be president. After that there’s always “…that’s what your mam said to me last night” and “I know you are, but what am I?”

One thing seems certain, however: This will be the last time Trump sticks his finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing. Or mentions his stump speech.

Donal Lynch

Shattered Fine Gael

Our aspirant politicians must be feeling shattered after the gruesome election campaign. But An Taoiseach (for this week at least) Enda Kenny must be particularly shattered after being, well, shattered by Alan Shatter this week.

UK Labour politician Denis Healey mockingly said that being attacked by mild-mannered Tory Geoffrey Howe was like being savaged by a dead sheep. But getting on the wrong side of Alan Shatter is like being mauled by a hungry insomniac wolverine with a headache.

Alan has more axes to grind than an axe-grinding shop, having lost his ministerial post in the last government, and is now suffering the indignity of getting the boot by the electorate.

Shatter lashed the Fine Gael election strategy as being the most bizarre in 30 years and also lambasted the party for ending up in the black hole of fiscal space.

He laid into the party backroom staff, the focus groups and the FG marketeers with all the relish of Conor McGregor in his spandex underpants after spotting his bewildered opponent in the UFC octagon.

The former justice minister was also in a sulk because he hadn’t spoken to Enda Kenny since September 2015. 

But after that performance I can’t see Enda ringing him for elevenses!

Will Hanafin

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