Monday 11 December 2017

People are talking: Khloe K and some very old hat

Taking the veil: Khloe Kardashian was in need of a Waylon Smithers-type intervention last week
Taking the veil: Khloe Kardashian was in need of a Waylon Smithers-type intervention last week

There's a moment in a classic Simpsons episode when Lisa tries to talk all of her little classmates out of buying the newest Malibu Stacey doll, which, she tries to point out, is the exact same as the old doll but has been updated by the manufacturer with a new gimmicky costume. As Lisa launches into a passionate speech about how Stacey is a poor feminist role model she's interrupted by adult Malibu Stacey aficionado, Waylon Smithers, who towers over the little girls and delivers this killer rebuttal: "But she has a new hat!"

Khloe Kardashian was in dire need of a Waylon Smithers this week. She got all dolled up in a niqab for instagram, with just her eyes hinting at the Jessica Rabbit-level voluptuousness behind the veil, and then had the whole internet bitching about how she was disrespecting Arab culture. You'd swear, the way they were going on, that she'd burned the Koran or drew a new Mohammed cartoon or was only famous because her sister once gave a blowjob on film and parlayed the accompanying infamy into a billion dollar lifestyle brand.

For us, it was just like that moment when she wore an Indian headdress last year; A new hat to distract us all from any troubling sociology behind the media obsession with her and her sisters.

Besides not getting our outrage juices flowing, the niqab also presented one grave difficulty. So out of touch are we with the goings on of the Kardashian Klan we keep mixing the generously-arsed sisters up. Is Khloe the slightly chubby one? The young one? The other one?

Since she obviously wore the niqab as an expression of a sincerely held religious belief and will henceforth be shunning all gratuitous perving on her body we might never find out the answer to this question.

And so the cycle of Kardashapathy continues.

David and Victoria (and family) take a punt

It was back to basics for the Beckham’s this week. Seeking transportation around the city of Cambridge during a bank-holiday family outing on Monday, they eschewed the traditional tinted-glass Mercedes to carry them around the historic city incognito, safe from prying eyes, and opted for something much more lo-fi instead. Indeed the entire Beckham dynasty — including heirs, in-laws, and Victoria’s sister  Louise, were snapped gliding down the Cam on-board two traditional punting boats.

There was no trumpeter on the bow to announce the arrival of the famous family into the city. But nonetheless, once the word got out that they were there, their loving public rushed to the riverside to wave the family by. And given their standing as the unofficial King and Queen of Britain, it all seemed rather appropriate, watching them sit back and relax as they enjoyed this serene and leisurely mode of travel — propelled by nothing more than the physical effort of a hired manservant. One could certainly imagine Victoria getting used to it. Perhaps, after Cambridge, she might consider employing a couple of valets full-time to transport her from meeting to meeting by way of a Queen’s Sedan Chair.

David, bless him, seemed more interested in getting stuck in to the action than taking his leisure. He wrote on social media afterwards that he had spent an “amazing day punting in Cambridge.”  And on his instagram account, he posted a photograph of himself having a punt, having bravely stood up on board to take charge of propelling the boat down the river. Of course, Victoria was no doubt keeping a careful eye on exactly where he was planting his pole, especially in front of the watching world. It’s a treacherous business, after all — full of potential slip-ups and pitfalls. And as we all know, his highness has run into troubled waters exactly that way before.

Julia Molony

RIVERRUN: David and Victoria Beckham

We're not in Oz any more

Last weekend the sun was shining. The streets were filled with smiling faces. There was a carnival atmosphere in the air, and Ireland seemed like a nicer, more pleasant place in which to live. Was it all a dream? It certainly didn’t take long for grim normality to reassert itself. Only a few days after Ireland said Yes to same sex marriage, Senator Averil Power, pictured,  was saying No to Fianna Fail as she quit the party in a row over its lack of leadership in the referendum.

The Soldiers of Destiny, Averil insisted, are simply not fit for government right now – something most voters figured out at the last election, to be fair. That’s why they kicked them out.

Not to be outdone, Fine Gael and Labour then started squabbling amongst themselves over abortion; Sinn Fein and the DUP had fisticuffs up North about welfare reform; and there was even a dispute over who should foot the bill for the clean up operation in Co Sligo after the historic visit of Prince Charles and Camilla. Are they really that messy? Who knew?

This must be how Dorothy felt in The Wizard Of Oz. For a brief while, she was in a rainbow-coloured Technicolour world, with happy munchkins dancing around, singing in celebration.

The next she was flung back unceremoniously into grey old Kansas during the Great Depression. And there’s still an election to come in the next twelve months. Can’t wait. Said no one ever.

Eilis O'Hanlon

Pope turns off and tunes out

People who don’t watch television are weird. There was never even one kid in school who didn’t watch television who wasn’t a bit weird. The only people weirder were their parents who were always dressed in wool and corduroy, holidayed every summer in Ballybunion and told everyone, whether they wanted to hear it or not, how disgraceful it was how few people could speak ‘as Gaeilge’

Pope Francis is one such weirdo, albeit more the churchy rather than the Gaelgoir kind. He’s not watched television since 1990. But then maybe he’s not that weird. You wouldn’t expect god’s representative on earth to spend his evenings watching such gems as Dating Naked, Snog, Marry, Avoid and Danny Dyer’s Deadliest Men. He’s probably been too busy figuring out ways to say that the Church is down with the gays without actually being down with them at all.

It’s a shame he hasn’t though, he could have learnt a lot, like how The Simpsons has been rubbish for 15 years, how Larry David is the funniest man alive, and how seasons three and four of Love/Hate were much better than one and two. He could actually be ‘with it’ rather than desperately trying to be, like he does now, and embarrassingly so, like some old man who sits with all the young people at a wedding, laughing along to everything but without a clue as to who or what an Iggy Azaela really is.

Christopher Jackson

How to spend the €335m

One figure stood out in all the talk about airlines this week. (For once, it wasn’t Michael O’Leary.) That figure was €335m. It’s the amount that would go into the state coffers following the sale of Aer Lingus.  (It’s also the price of a return ticket to Heathrow in 1987, but that’s another story.) What are we going to do with all that money? Leaving it lying around for the government to spend in the run-up to an election is like giving a cattle-prod to a toddler. You’d just be tempting fate. Something needs to be done before the public sector unions get their hands on it.

There was a time when a sum like that could be used to persuade certain people that we should be allowed to host the World Cup. Unfortunately it looks like that game is up after the events in Zurich this week. The good news is that every gay couple in the world is now planning to come here and get married. It looks they might even get extra flights if the Aer Lingus deal goes through.

The only problem is the weather. It’s starting to look like the Irish summer could be summed up in the phrase ’12 degrees and showery.’ There is no point in being liberal and all that if we are going to remain stuck in a perpetual October. There is only one solution to this. A roof. You’d probably get a decent roof over the whole country for that price. You could always leave out Roscommon and South Leitrim if funds are running low. Our guess is that neck of the woods won’t be overrun with gay weddings. What are we waiting for? Let’s get building.


Sunday Independent

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