Tuesday 21 May 2019

Millennial diary: Ciara O'Connor

Kim Kardashian. Photo: PA
Kim Kardashian. Photo: PA

Ciara O'Connor

There is nothing I live for more than celebrities sharing photos of their handwriting. It's like walking in on them in the shower, or scrolling through their Google search history. I was only just recovered from Leo's love letter to Kylie when Kim Kardashian gifted the world, and me, an amateur but enthusiastic graphologist, with her Torts revision notes. Because, for anyone who doesn't spend 12 hours a day on the internet, Kim is becoming a lawyer now.

Anyway, the photograph confirmed what the graphology community has long suspected: Kim officially has the handwriting of the richest and meanest 14-year-old girl in your year. Her handwriting is not joined up; so even if she hadn't just said that she's recently changed her number to distance herself from old pals who might distract her from her law journey, I would have been able to intuit it. It was jarring to see that Kim used Biro and A4-lined paper like the rest of us, in a week when all celebrity gossip was steamrolled by the fact that she has taps, but no sinks.

That's right - Kim is trying desperately to be taken seriously as a social justice warrior and poster girl for adult education, but all anyone can talk about is her bathroom, which looks like the pod of a moon alien, or the concrete slabs of a chic mortician. Since the Vogue interview which gave us unprecedented insight into her home, Kim has been plagued by plebs demanding to know why her taps appear to run straight on to a flat counter-top. Eventually, amid Torts revision, Kim was forced to record a demonstration and explanation of her peak-rich-person running water situation. She talked us through the stone island which she did not want to be connected to the wall - this won't have come as a surprise to my fellow graphologists who examined the curious gap between the margin and her print. And it turns out (are you ready for this?) the counter-top is slightly sloped and Kim's water actually runs into a discreet little slit. And with that sentence, I'm ready for my Pulitzer.

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Last week, Deansgrange Library announced it wouldn't be going ahead with a Drag Storytime event; initially it said it was due to concerns about age-appropriateness; however, it quickly clarified it was actually concerned over "the high level of degrading, inappropriate comments on social media about the performers and library staff". An easy mistake to make.

Naturally, I headed to Twitter to discover why the good people of Ireland hate literacy, theatre and really excellent make-up, and in what possible universe there were people on the internet threatening library staff? Library staff! As in librarians. LIBRARIANS.

Anyway, it turns out that people don't actually know what drag queens are. There was outcry over "men in leather hot pants gyrating" and exposing children to degenerates who had "made sex their lives". Do these people know how difficult it is to have sex with a drag queen? The risk of hair destruction? Of wrecking three hours of make-up application? Of even getting through the sewn-on costumes, corsetry and padding?

But this we already knew: homophobes are absolutely obsessed with sex. You can't acknowledge gay marriage to children because SEX. Gay couples buying saucepans together in Debenhams: SEX. The library event picture of a woman dressed in a sailor cap and scarf, in a long-sleeved top and trousers, with a picture book about Michael D Higgins: SEX OF THE HIGHEST ORDER. Apparently, the true aim of the event was "to confuse children so they grow up to be sexually confused teenagers they can then have sex with". Really, you'd wonder about the neurotic and sexually confused imagination that sprung from. Why hear about storytime and understand, "twerking in libraries"? Are you all right? Do you need to talk to someone?

Storytime was actually a "toxic cultural Marxist progressive agenda" (incidentally, my drag name). It was "genderology promotion" and "gender-theory brainwashing and misogyny on stilts".

The event was "open grooming of child drag queens", which is a public emergency I for one would love to witness: schoolchildren replacing flossing with death drops, eight-year-olds trading stilettos like Pogs, and competitively learning obscure Cher lyrics.

Twitter 'straightsplained' drag to the internet: it has "absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality" so vitriolic abuse was not actually homophobic. Also, drag is completely different to panto because people in pantos are "playing a character". I feel like a cursory Wikipedia glance would have cleared up a lot. Who's going to tell these guys about Mrs Brown?

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Wokeness was great while it lasted. For a short, beautiful time, it seemed people all over the world were beginning to recognise their privilege, understand the structural prejudice of social institutions, challenge problematic norms and demand justice for maligned minorities. But woke is dead and Netflix killed it.

Apropros of nothing, the streaming service issued an impassioned plea to drop the phrase 'chick flick', using the vernacular ('Quick PSA') and medium of the woke internet: a Twitter thread building up to cold, hard truth speaking to power.

"For starters," the bravely uncompromising thread goes, while managing to misunderstand the very concept of words, language and modifiers, "chick flicks are traditionally synonymous with romantic comedies. This suggests that women are the only people interested in 1. Romance, 2. Comedy. Which I can promise, from the men I've come across in my life, simply isn't true."

But, Netflix - if a man is okay with enjoying a chick flick he's probably OK with it being called a chick flick because, despite what chick flicks have taught us, men are not stupid children. This is truly something that absolutely no one cares about, making it a very safe 'issue' for Netflix to use its significant platform for. It's the perfect kind of benign corporate woke-washing (invented by Dove) because it is not controversial in the least. In terms of courage, it's hardly putting on a drag storytime for children.

Netflix: purveyor of 13 Reasons Why; whose CCO was fired last year for repeatedly using the n-word; which has been sued over its poor accessibility for deaf people; which uses promotional images of black actors for films whose main stars are white; which perpetuates stereotypes of autism in Atypical, and eating disorders in To The Bone; which has been criticised for paying black comedians less than white comedians. By all means, tell me again how my use of 'chick flick' is damaging entertainment.

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