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Kevin Myers: Sting -- the Cliff Richard of his generation -- has launched a bag made from elephant dung

IT WAS the kind of story that is guaranteed to bring out the Charles Manson-Incredible Hulk in me. Sting -- the Cliff Richard of his generation -- last week launched a bag made from elephant dung.

And no sooner have I typed those words than I rise in a trance, reach for my chainsaw and wander off to wherever it is that Sting hangs out, determined to slice off his chicken giblets before I behead him and put his skull on a pole outside my plutonium-leaking nuclear-power station that opts to burn furious quantities of coal whenever it detects the atmospheric CO2 levels dropping.

For Sting personifies the conjoined cultures of celebrity, of faddish ideas, of shameless posturing, of modish tokenism and of unashamed smugness, to which unofficial religion millions subscribe. The power of this creed of countless demigods was perfectly summed up in a letter to the 'Guardian' after the almost simultaneous deaths of Yasser Arafat and the British DJ John Peel, which mourned the passing of these great men, but rejoiced that they were in heaven together. (And no doubt, in the soya-socialism hereafter that awaits 'Guardian' readers, listening to thrilling bed-time stories of equality from Polly Toynbee and breakfast homilies from Jill Tweedie on the evils of vulva-envy amongst little boys.)

Ah: Yasser Arafat as a moral inspiration. Yes, him, perhaps the most corrupt and wicked man to take centre stage in 20th-Century Middle Eastern politics, who stole scores of millions from the Palestinian people, and who sent hundreds of young men to their doom in savage and terrible wars not merely with Israel, but with the neighbouring states of Lebanon and Jordan. I put aside the hundreds of dead Jews murdered by the PL-this and PL-that because, as we know from bitter experience, dead Jews don't count for much within the bien-pensant religio-culture of which I write.

As for John Peel, such is the fleeting nature of celebrity that I'm now going to have to remind you who he was: an entirely bogus disc jockey who affected a Liverpool accent and who treated pop music as if it was a series of Bach motets. So inverted were his values that he once declared that the proudest moment of his life was when his teenage daughter called him a "wanker" for the first time.

Hmm. I wonder what good old Yasser would have said if any of his girls had talked to him like that. But they were probably too busy spending the money that dad had embezzled and smuggled into Swiss bank accounts and thence into the boutiques of Rome, Milan, Paris, San Tropez and Monte Carlo.

In this perverse moral order, virtuous proclamations count for everything, as do the secular pieties in whose name such cant is uttered. Thus Al Gore became a hero for his sanctimonious sermons about global warming, even though his carbon footprint -- and I must tell you now that that cliché arouses within me all the many emotions felt by a vegetarian mullah who has just found a pig's foreskin in the dregs of his morning orange juice -- generated by his cars, his plane travel and his vast house, is about 20 times the average American's.

This is a world which regards genetically modified food as the new Black Death, even as it demands more food for Africa. And who does it blame for African countries doubling their population every 22 years? Not the lusty African swains and their comely wenches, but the Pope, even though the pontifical penis seldom leaves the Vatican. And whenever it does, its owner has never once been seen loitering libidinously anywhere near an African private part, or even furtively dogging in Kinshasa. Yet nonetheless, it was apparently not Africans who were responsible for producing scores of millions of African babies over the past 30 years, but remotely, a single Pole and a single German. What mighty men; no wonder their two countries triggered an entire world war over little Danzig. Lucky we're not all at war with Mars.

AND somewhere in this moral order of rights, and equality, and GLBTG, and polar bears, and Palestinians, and nasty Jews who are not really Jews but honorary non-Jews called Israelis, and Sir Bono and Sir Bob, and $500 a plate AIDS charity banquets, and really thick hacks grovelling before the self-worshipping Great & Good, there is the perpetually whirling figure of Sting, with his strange American accent, and his yoga, and his condoms that were hand-knitted from recycled crocodile poo, and, of course, his tantric sex, whatever the fuck that is.

So do you know what I'd like? I'd like to have a pint with those nice chaps from the 3rd Battalion, Armagh Brigade, Provisional IRA, or a friendly chat with the National Association for the Propagation of Even More Carbon Dioxide, or to munch on a few fish fingers, or even chimpanzee fingers, with a couple of the West Side Boys or three or four. What I want is not even low-esteem, no indeed: I want absolutely no self-esteem at all from those around me. Is that too much to ask?

Irish Independent