Saturday, 5 March 2016

Donald's dick, Nina's negritude, Zac's "pansexuality" - is it my imagination or has this week been notably rich in bizarrerie?

There are thousands of things I really don't want to have to think about, but The Donald's membrum virile is very near the top of the list. How in the name of all that's holy did America get from George Washington to here?  Well, at least he didn't actually whip it out during the televised debate in which he, as it were, brought it up: we'll gladly accept Mr. Trump's assurance that having tiny, stubby little fingers implies nothing whatsoever about the size of what I've recently learned is colloquially known as one's "junk". Dear God! 

The next example of bizarrerie in the media concerned the dead singer, Nina Simone...

...who, you'll remember, was strange (she often turned up on stage looking like a bad lady, carrying plastic shopping bags), very talented, and very black - lustrously so. A film about her life is bout to be released, starring Zoe Saldana, an actress of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent, who had to have her skin darkened for the part. A tweet from the actress coinciding with the release of a trailer for the film produced this response from Nina Simone's official Twitter feed (yes, dead stars have official Twitter feeds): "Please take Nina's name out your mouth. For the rest of your life." The problem? Apparently, the role should have gone to a properly black African-American actress. In case we hadn't got the message, the late Ms. Simone then tweeted this: "Hopefully people begin to understand this is painful. Gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, nauseating, soul-crushing. It shall pass, but for now..."

Wow! Imagine how bad the tweeter (presumably not the late Ms. Simone) would have felt if something genuinely distressing had happened. There's really nowhere left to go but "WAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!" Which, presumably, will be the reaction when we approach the transmission date for the UK SkyArts film, Elizabeth, Michael, and Marlon, in which the role of Michael Jackson (the dead singer rather than the former controller of BBC 2, or indeed the formerly baggy-eyed former Chief of General Staff, General Sir Michael David Jackson) is to be played by the British actor Joseph Fiennes who, unless my eyes deceive me, is a white man. Perhaps they've balanced it by casting Whoopi Goldberg as Elizabeth Taylor.

I was definitely intending to vote for Zac Goldsmith as Mayor of London, despite his silly first name (his actual first name is Frank - what's wrong with that?), his eco-loonery, and the fact that his sister is shacked up with Russell Brand. The Labour candidate gives me the creeps, and Zac - whatever his faults - is nice-looking, has lovely manners, and wants Britain out of the EU. But now he's gone and told Pink News (?) that he intends to be a "pansexual mayor". Given that "pansexual" roughly translates as "willing to shag anything", I'm not sure that this is the sort of behaviour we want from the main representative of the greatest city on earth. It's been bad enough wondering what Boris is up to, but at least the current mayor's sexual tastes would appear to be orthodox (despite having attended Eton). I don't know if I can bear the thought of waking up to headlines revealing that the Conservative Mayor of London had been caught in flagrante delicto with, say, one of the deers in his Richmond constituency. Or, worse, with Russell Brand! If only UKIP had chosen Suzanne Evans as their mayoral candidate, it wouldn't be a problem, because there'd be someone sensible to vote for. Oh well - as the city's vast immigrant population is bound to elect Labour's Sadiq Khan (in a no doubt scrupulously fair ballot), I don't suppose it really matters all that much. Let's just hope the diminutive Muslim socialist isn't a pansexualist.

Salford city council has taken out a Public Space Protection Order banning swearing in an area of Salford Quays, which is home to the BBC's Media City, the Lowry theatre and the Imperial War Museum North. According to a recent article in the Manchester Evening News, "There are at least 27 known organised crime gangs in Salford – but police believe there could be up to 40 spread across the community in areas including Broughton , Swinton , the Duchy Estate, Eccles, and Irlam o’th’Heights." So it's a little hard to see why the council would choose to waste police time by asking them to impose spot fines on sweary louts in Salford Quays. In principle, I'm all for curbing bad language in public, and I'm a great believer in zero-tolerance policing (on the grounds that it evidently works) - but this feels a bit like a fireman asking a smoker to extinguish their cigarette while the building behind them is burning to the ground. Salford is - by all accounts - a violent, criminal hell-hole: you'd think swearing would be the least of the area's problems.

Finally, the prize for the most ridiculous and contemptible Project Fear lie of the week goes to the government for the whopper about British holidaymakers finding themselves stranded abroad in the event of a "Leave" vote (just - why?). Meanwhile, the prize for "the statement most likely to hurt your own cause" undoubtedly goes to Lord Rose, the leader of the "in" campaign, who sought to terrify Brexiteers by warning that British wages would rise if we were reckless enough to leave the EU. So our ruling elite wants us to stay in the EU in order to keep our wages down. Well, at least you can't fault Lord Rose for his honesty - everything else, of course, but not that.

It's not just me, is it? There really has been a lot of strangeness about.

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