Monday 16 September 2019

Ciara O'Connor: Millennial Diary

  

Michaella McCollum
Michaella McCollum

Ciara O'Connor

Let the 'party girl' who has never gone 'one step too far' throw the first stone at Michaella McCollum - that last sambuca that was a sambuca too many; flashing your boobs at a bouncer; going home with a 3/10; smuggling 11kg of cocaine out of Peru... We've all been there.

It's not often that true-crime media is marketed as 'relatable', but the promotional material for McCollum's new 'tell all' book promises that "many readers will be able to identify with her as a party girl who took it a step too far".

It's modern poetry, the absurd understatement would make Beckett weep; it was a 'moment of madness', Michaella has previously said. In my last moment of madness I ordered both normal and sweet potato fries because I couldn't decide between the two; Michaella McCollum ended up in a Peruvian prison. What are we like!

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The book, called You'll Never See Daylight Again, will launch in October. It tells of how the 19-year-old 'fled to Ibiza', a phrase that I'll be employing on every holiday from now on.

Promising tales of 'vicious guards, psychotic inmates and horrendous conditions', You'll Never See Daylight Again is giving off serious Orange is the New Black vibes, and no wonder - its author is reportedly holding talks with production companies about a television series.

It's unclear what form this would take, but given her management company mostly handles the careers of Geordie Shore and Ex on the Beach reality alumni, I'm personally hoping for a Queer Eye style make-over show (let's get a tutorial for that signature bun and put that prison beautician training to good use!) or a show where Michaella helps ordinary people overcome strange addictions ('Michaella Packs It In!') or a Stacey Dooley-style investigation into the lives of Harry Potter super-fans ('Muggling with Michaella').

*******

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone; Greg appeared on The Late Late Show alone. After a day of speculation and rumours, Tubridy's couch was conspicuously missing Amber last Friday night and Greg had to set the record straight - sort of. The distance was too much; they're both very busy with their careers; he's mad about her; he definitely didn't dump her by text; it's over.

Oh, Greg. Greg, Greg, Greg. Greg, you sweet beautiful fool: what have you done? You had everything; you had the world at your feet, and nation eating from the palm of your hand - and you don't seem to know that you've thrown it all away. You've gotten high off your own supply; you've believed your own hype - you think that you won Love Island.

You did not win Love Island. Amber did.

We knew Amber first - we knew her for six weeks (a reality TV lifetime) before we met you; and we loved you, of course we loved you, but we loved you for how you were with her.

The question of who gets us, the public, in the divorce is a no brainer: it's Amber. It's always been her. And rest assured, we must choose.

You tried to roll out the same patter that catapulted you to the final: Amber's gorgeous, smart, and funny.

You're mad about her, you said. But this time we knew it was hollow, and whatever about Amber - we, the viewing public, felt dirty and used.

Meanwhile, a girls' night including Love Island's Anna, her sister Mandi, our Yewande and Amber was streamed live, with the girls leaving us in no doubt as to Amber's side of the story: Greg did her dirty, he dumped her by text and they say they have the receipts to prove it.

Amber is curled up in a hoodie on the couch in a blanket looking stoic and vulnerable - we recognised it well from her time on the show post-Michael.

He'll be co-hosting the 2fm Breakfast Show for the next couple of months - presumably that's the kind of career opportunities that mean he couldn't make it work with Amber.

Meanwhile, the groovy young audience that RTE was presumably after are calling for Greg to return his prize money.

I think it's fair to say we only have one question for Greg at this point: what was your thought process behind that?

*******

With 100 million visitors a day, there's something kind of beautiful about the fact that Pornhub still devotes time and energy to publicity stunts - it must just be for the sheer joy of it.

Last week the site announced its 'dirtiest porn ever' - a glossy adult film shot on a very polluted beach, with every view generating a donation to Ocean Polymers, a deeply unsexy sustainable ocean clean-up solution. And they're thrilled with themselves.

When YouTube removed the advert for violating its terms, the sheer force of Pornhub's righteous indignation could have powered a fleet of ocean clean-up vessels.

Fans jumped to the porn behemoth's defence, horrified that YouTube would delete 'an informative message from a company that actually cares about our planet'.

Tweeted a plaintive Pornhub: 'Really? This violates your nudity policy when there is none at all? We are trying to save our oceans. Please undelete'.

The advert is incredible and horrifying.

Sweeping drone shots show an idyllic tropical paradise, a couple walk hand in hand as music plays, tasteful white lettering appears: 'At Pornhub we have a motto: the dirtier the better', a male hand grabs an (objectively amazing) butt cheek, 'but even for us, there's a limit', the camera pans out to reveal a beach strewn with rubbish, 'over 6m tons of rubbish wash up on our shores every year', a horror-musak montage of filthy plastic, dead fish and cawing sea-birds, 'endangering these already fragile ecosystems', our couple pick their way through the litter in pool-slides, 'so… we decided to do something about it.'

'We shot an adult film on one of the world's most polluted beaches in the world', another butt-while-walking close up, 'and to help clean it up', the lower half of a smiling blonde woman's face, shot from above - she's kneeling, 'we want you to get dirty', some plastic waste covers the crucial parts of our heroine pulling down her paramour's shorts and getting down to business, people in Pornhub branded hazmat suits pick up litter in the background.

The couple's message on the site sincerely thanks viewers, as if on a crowdfunding-for-cancer-treatment page, 'if you've watched it, you've already done your part'. That's right, you can save our oceans - single handedly.

It's all very worthy, but Pornhub would probably do better to, you know, crack down on all that illegal revenge porn that its famously hands-off moderating policy fails to deal with.

But that's not very sexy, is it?

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