Tuesday 15 October 2019

Millennial Diary


Vogue Williams
Vogue Williams

Ciara O'Connor

There's nothing that we millennials look forward to more after a hard week of checking our privilege and dismantling the racist elitist patriarchy, than actually watching that racist elitist patriarchy play out on screen - as entertainment!

That's right, Downton Abbey is back and we're all delighted.

In many ways, Downton speaks to the millennial experience more than Fleabag: a load of coddled twentysomethings who don't know how to do their own laundry, who expect everything to be served to them on a silver platter, who believe themselves to be radical social activists for doing things like shagging around or wearing trousers, whose parents just don't and could never understand this brave new world, who have a strange interest in the monarchy - Downton is a millennial dreamscape.

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In the 18th Century, affluent colonists would display a pineapple as the centrepiece at dinner parties, as a symbol of their wealth, hospitality, and status.

Tomorrow, savings-poor millennials may display a Tesco ''avozilla'' - an avocado the size of our stupid heads, as a symbol of our irony, lols, and dedication to the cultural zeitgeist.

Because who hasn't spent too much time on Roz Purcell's Instagram and gone to town on an entire, cloying, aggressively banal 'cado and thought: ''That was the best 300 calories of my life. But it hasn't hit the spot! I'm still hungry for four more!''

A problem no more! The avozilla is four times the size of a normal avocado, and can apparently make 18 pieces of avo-toast; I suppose one millennial, the alpha-male, elects himself to stand at the head of the brunch-table and smugly sharpen a blade like Achilles at Troy before expertly filleting the outsized berry and serving it to rapturous guests.

"Gorgeous. So tender. The secret is to keep it at room temperature. Brown meat, anyone? No? And who'd like some Clonakilty vegetable pudding with it? It's new, you know. Aren't we great!"

Who am I kidding. I can't wait to get my snowflakey little paws on that Clonakilty vegan goodness. And I'd be deeply impressed by the status and hospitality of any affluent colonists who displayed it at parties.


It is said that it takes 10,000 goes to master a skill: sometimes I think about the languages I could have learnt, the crafts I could studied, the art I could have produced, if I hadn't devoted 10,000 hours to thinking about Vogue Williams' wedding dresses instead.

Getting married and forcing us to wait for coverage once is bad enough - but twice in two years feels cruel and unusual.

Vogue Williams and Spencer Matthews tied the knot last year in a ''low-key'' ceremony, when she was rather pregnant with their now one-year-old son Theodore. The retro shotgun-wedding vibe was devastatingly chic.

The pregnancy and early months of Theodore's life were documented for a surprisingly compelling E4 series, Spencer, Vogue and Baby Too. Infamous love rat Spencer was rehabilitated in the eyes of the British public by his sweet relationship with Vogue, to whom viewers warmed immediately.

Calls for a second season were uncharacteristically loud - certainly for an E4 reality show about the contestants of other reality shows, which is now an entire genre. But oh, for a concept - they've been there, done that with the whole ''baby'' thing, and we want new, we want more. A wedding, then! Spencer, Vogue and Wedding Two. The self-awareness! The pun! It's perfect: I weep. The wedding happened last week: and we know nothing about it. Once again, I'm losing sleep wondering whether Vogue is a chapel-length or cathedral-length veil kind of girl.

For millennials, already being married isn't a good reason to not have a wedding. While having a second wedding for the benefit of TV cameras may strike an older generation as unbearably narcissistic and cynical, millennials have watched YouTubers and heiresses have spectacular Instagram public celebrations with white dresses without ever actually getting legally married.

Spencer and Vogue are going again without a baby bump, so she can wear something fabulous on that ridiculous body of hers, and have a few drinks to celebrate - and actually get paid for it! Well, that's just good sense.

The series starts this autumn - but oh, it feels like 10,000 hours to me.


Gen X: stop. Just stop. Please. We get it: you're down with the kids, you totally agree with us about the whole ''representation matters'' thing, you're woke, you're great. But you need to stop with these calls for a female Bond.

It's really sweet, but we fear you've gotten the wrong end of the stick. It makes us millennials about as angry as a boomer reading about Clonakilty's new vegan pudding - or indeed, the calls for a female Bond.

It's all very well Pierce Brosnan endorsing Jane Bond - wouldn't you be put out too if you were replaced with Daniel Craig? Wouldn't you do anything you could to destroy and humiliate the franchise forever? Wouldn't you throw a bomb at it and walk away calmly, adjusting your dickie-bow, without watching the explosion?

As sweet Daniel Craig himself said, "Let's not forget that Bond's actually a misogynist," and a fabulous misogynist he is too - and when we watch, we all become chauvinists with him.

If James Bond was a woman, if hetero women couldn't objectify him, then what in the hell point would there be in watching?

Give millennial women what we really want and just cast Idris Elba, and maybe work in some kind of diving into a lake scene, possibly in a white shirt. They don't need to be big or clever about it - after all, it's Bond.

When there's the likes of Killing Eve out there creating kick-ass female characters whose femininity is integral to the character, context and plot, sticking a pair of boobs on James Bond seems a bit silly.

They've got a misogynist relic from the 1950s - it doesn't seem fair to parachute in a woman to clear up that mess. If Bond is to be redeemed, it's only right that a man should have to do it.

Sunday Independent

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