Thursday, 30 July 2009

Oh God, please don't let him be the next Prime MInister, the man's a moron..

There are three signs that something is no longer cool, Firstly if your Mam knows about it, and secondly if part of that trend is on sale at a family department store. It was during the school holidays of 1992, my mother attempted to buy a pair of smiley face adorned Eclipse baggy jeans from Primark, the uniform of every self respecting raver in my town thus, in one mindless action, ruining dance music for me for ever. I would never look at Two Unlimited in the same way again. I was reminded of that feeling of embarrassment and confused rage when Dave Cameron made his appearance on Christian O’ Connell’s radio show recently. The leader of the opposition faced this formidable broadcaster, seen by many as the next Jeremy Paxman, if everybody in the world suddenly died, for what was sure to be a battle of wits; come on, we’d all seen the grilling O’Connell had given David Hasselhoff. It turns out the Eton educated Tory leader knows exactly how the people feel, we’re pissed off with politicians, Twitter is well whack and people who twittered too much were twats, yeah get me bruv? Yes that’s right, he swore on radio! He cares so much about young people today he just let rip, went crazy and showed us the real Dave,Street Dave. Wow, he’s mad, bonkers even, I bet he even listens to Dizee Rascal on his ipod and thinks, that’s right Dizee, I’m just trying to lead parliament, ain’t nothing crazy about me. And in that moment her ruined swearing for me, forever, because that’s the third sign that something is no longer relevant, when a politician does it in an attempt to appear cool to younger voters. Blair did it with Britpop and now Cameron has done it with an entire way of speech. Thanks Dave. What will be next in his attempt to patronise, I mean appeal to young voters? Is he going to rename the opposition, the Conservative Brethren? Referto his constituency as his manor? Threaten to knife Gordon Brown during Parliamentary Questions? Thanks Dave, you’ve just made knife crime un cool as well, thanks.

But then, no one likes getting older. Not anybody over eighteen anyway but until recently it wasn’t a fireable offence. Or so Arlene Philips would have assumed until the Strictly Come Dancing judge got booted of the BBC show for the unforgivable sin of not being dead, the only alternative to getting older that I know of. The sixty six year old dance veteran has been replaced by last year’s winner Aleisha Dixon, which is a bit like Simon Cowell being replaced by Ray Quinn. Being a woman on television nowadays is like a cross between “Logans’ Run”, where everybody over the age of thirty is killed and HG Wells “The Time Machine” where the world has split into frolicking lovelies swanning about above ground and ugly trolls toiling underneath. In TV’s case, they’re either bland blondes simpering into auto cues or old hags popping up every now and then on Loose Women. This week has also seen Jo Whiley, respected music journalist, replaced from her mid week slot by Fearne Cotton, whose knowledge of music extends as far as having met some at a party. That’s right, Fearne probably brags about having met some music at a party. I think Old Father Time herself, forty four year old Jo should take advantage of her androgynous name and continue presenting the show with a deeper voice; it could buy her another five years at least.

But at least she’s not Jessica Simpson, spare a thought for the poor girl. Go on any thought. Even if it’s “Oh, I think it's going to rain again”. The poor girl’s been given the heave ho, the old elbow, been let go from her relationship with her most recent beau, American football star Tony Romo, the day before her 29th birthday. The big bash, which had been given a Barbie and Ken theme, had to be swiftly cancelled when it emerged that Barbie was now facing the world alone. The reason given for the split was txt messages from Jess’ ex John Mayer found on her mobile. That’s the same John who Jennifer Aniston dumped because of his constant twittering. John Mayer is a bit of an enigma, not really known outside of the US, he is a respected and talented musician yet mainly known for dumping gorgeous women empirically out of his league. One wonders where he finds the time for music with all the heartbreaking and general abuse of modern technology he seems to get up too. Let’s hope John Mayer never finds out that Dave’s been up too, insulting his beloved twitter. He’d either thump him, or worse get Dave to fall madly in love with him and then dump him cruelly and publically. Be careful Dave, you don’t want young people’s vote that much.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Team Price

Is Katie Price, the next Princess Diana? I know we thought it was Jade Goody was for a while and then we got all distracted by Jacko for a bit but I think this might be the one. There were definitely echoes of that famous Martin Bashir interview on Saturday when Katie issued her personal message to her people, like a modern day missive from St.Katie to the Corinthians; and the Lord said you should never cry over a man. Whereas Diana fluttered from under her navy eyelashes, Katie, eyes lacquered like some ageless She Who Must Be Obeyed stared straight at Piers Morgan like he was fly and she was feeling peckish. Diana just had three in her marriage, Katie and Pete had an entire production crew.

Times have changed though, at least Bashir, unlike Morgan didn’t ask Diana to defend her self from the label “slapper”, licking him lips as he savoured the word, like an old drunk slowly eating a bacon sandwich. Who even uses words like that anymore? He presumably means the type of skantily clad women tabloid editors like Morgan fill their newspapers with. Look at her wearing the clothes that she knows we find sexy, and a mother of three - she’s a mother and a whore, I’m confused, I hate her, I want her- ahh – Mum!

And wither now for Pete?-in love with Katie but unable to live with Jordan. He has been seen out and about with fellow zeleb Chantelle Houghton of Celeb Big Brother “fame”. The fact that Peter and Chantelle share the same agent and Chantelle is attempting to relaunch herself, is I’m sure a happy coincidence. You’d think post her marriage to Preston, the ex- Paris Hilton look alike would have had enough of selling her soul for a photo shoot in Now magazine, but old habits, it seem, die hard. Chantelle has been hailed as the next Jordan so it makes sense that she would inherit him. If theirs is a genuine meeting of minds then I’m the real mother of Michael Jackson kids. She’s given an interview denying the romance, where she poses in her undies, so you know she really means it; nothing says sincerity like visible bra straps. The magazine editors have been canny enough to get her to pose in white underwear though, so that means she’s the good one. It could be worse Peter, I think your agent represents Calumn Best as well, so count your blessings. Katie, Chantelle, Peter, it’s like “All About Eve” sponsored by Nuts magazine, although if Katie Price promised everyone a bumpy night, it would sound more like a sexual threat than a witty one liner.

The lady herself has just returned from a holiday in Ibiza amidst talk that her drunken shenanigans, desperate need for a new bloke and general bad behaviour could cost her millions in advertising revenue and possibly custody of her children. It certainly puts your last Saturday night escapades in perspective doesn’t it? The papers didn’t explain how a recently dumped mother of three should take her very public rejection but I’m sure we’d all love to know. Katie’s problem is that she comes from a generation of women bred to act like they don’t care. Her’s was the first to experience the joys of alcopops, laddettes, drink till you vomit and then collapse underneath somebody, as long as you don’t act like you care then that’s ok. Independence, self reliance, indifference your only defence from a world that you had already decided didn’t care. Kate has been labelled cold, nasty, and cruel to Peter. She always struck me as someone terrified by how much she actually needed him. What is she to do, a woman who proudly wears her toughness like an armour of orange fake tan, when the man that finally sees the real Katie, pale vulnerable and real, rejects her?

Her questionable revelations about a recent miscarriage may stick in my women’s throat as an ugly attempt to counsel sympathy, or the desperate act of a woman wanting to be seen as a person rather than a tabloid sentence. Even her monotone description of her heartbreak seemed hollow. We didn’t want to see her glowing and groomed, we wanted snot, messy hair, why did he leave me sobs, not cold defiant self confidence. Like Kate McCann had learned before her, we like our heroines vulnerable. Katie Price isn’t nice, she’s far from sweet and her attacks on Pete; the bitter swipes and accusations, have all the necessary ugliness of survival. Because make no mistake, unlike that other Princess, the coy vulnerable victim that demurely batted away the tears, this one will most definitely survive.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

I love Jennifer Hudson

So, that was it-what a final show. Now when Michael bumps into Princess Diana in that great big eighties theme night in the sky and during a Duran Duran slow set the topic of funerals comes up, MJ can hold his head up high. Yes, Diana may have been coronated the Queen of Hearts and serenaded by an Elton John with a twitchy eyebrow but Jackson has just been ordained saviour of the world.

Turns out he was not only the greatest entertainer ever known, best friends with Brooke Shields and a lover of KFC; he was also the most generous humanitarian of his generation. Yes, the man who blew his fortune on the type of crap you’d usually see for sale in pound shops except it cost millions was actually a charity man. The money he donated to hospital wings , the foundations he established, the secret donations he slipped in impoverished bank accounts, like a moon walking Father Christmas, was probably nearly, nearly as much as he spent on private funfairs, personal zoos, big vases and awkward lawsuits. His philanthropy to the legal professions must mean he has at least a library dedicated to him by now somewhere, albeit in a very, very specific legal field. And that is before we get onto the innovations his patronage funded in the field of cosmetic surgery. Where were their representatives? I think in honour of their role in his life they should have taken his beautiful gold casket at the start of the performance and then in a big reveal at the very end, brought it back completely and utterly bashed up, misshapen and unrecognisable; it’s sadly what he would have paid for.
Cynicism aside, it was heart warming to see so many celebrities singing their devotion to him. He was loved, they trilled, they’d be there, they warbled, he was not alone, they promised, I’m sure the singer who died, let’s be honest, most definitely alone-ish, surrounded by paid yes men, drugged up the eyeballs and broke would have appreciated the sentiments.

What was missing in consistency was made up in sheer God Bless America, Uncle Sam, this is the best goddam country on Earth chutzpah. There was nothing reserved, quiet or reticent about this affair. Get the cute pictures of him as a kid, book the gospel choir and finish with his daughter sobbing that she loved her Dad, we are going to have emotions and we are going to enjoy then. Mariah was there, clearly moved and actually fully dressed so you know she meant business, then there was Usher, proving what a talented singer Michael was by boring us to death with his version of “Gone too Soon”, then there was the mighty Jennifer Hudson, The “Dream Girls” star who’s let’s remember entire family had been murdered in the past year, brave, beautiful, belting out a classic and oh my days pass the tissues, heavily pregnant. I now love Jennifer Hudson, with a sincerity I thought only Jo Wood could inspire. She makes me wish I could turn into a one woman gospel choir and just follow her all the time around just bigging her up. She summed up what the service had that was so thrilling- big old embarrassing, non ironic, sincere emotion. People wanted to love Michael, and now dead, it no longer matters what he was really like, he can become whatever they want him to mean. If a broken, lost man can be reclaimed as a symbol of love and inspiration to millions, than so be it. I just wouldn’t like to be the little boys that accused him of molestation or their families as they watch his canonisation.

I cannot imagine the same thing working in the UK. The British just don’t do non ironic displays of emotions and passionate declaration in their faith in God. Americans have Kanye rapping about Jesus, the UK has everybody wishing Cliff Richard shut up. Even with Princess Diana, we were more upset that she had been messed about in her life than we were celebrating her magnificence. In the US, they know for certain that MJ is enjoying salvation in the Lord, in the UK we knew for certain that Prince Charles would be feeling like a complete shit. MJ’s bother urged us to smile through our fear and sadness, Diana’s started laying into the Queen. When Britain’s closest pop equivalent, Paul McCartney dies, which he will one day, those perky aloft thumbs won’t save him forever, the most he can expect is a BBC special, a barrage of Heather Mills jokes and possibly a drum solo from Ringo. Keep munching those vegetables Paul.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Dedicated Follower of Farrah

If you’ve been waiting for a chance to invade another country, accidentally drop an atomic bomb or finally lodge that dodgy claims expense form this is the week to do it, because unless your second name is Jackson, nobody will care. Great news for prurient fans of the bizarre, but bad luck for everybody else including the golden girl of seventies television Farrah Fawcett, who also passed away last week. In a death as badly timed as Mother Theresa’s, the Charlies Angels star lost her battle with anal cancer on Wednesday with Ryan O’Neill, her long time partner, and their son by her side. She first found fame in "Charlies Angels" but left after the first series when producers ignored her request for more creative input and a percentage of the lucrative merchandising revenue. Proving that she was more than a haircut, she enjoyed a long successful career, becoming queen of the TV movie world, receiving numerous Emmy nominations, lauded stage appearances and working with directors like Robert Altman.

While she never had an iconic film role after Angels, her place in popular history was guaranteed with her legendary swimsuit poster, the biggest selling of all time that seemed to sum up the spirit of the seventies. Like a silent movie actress, Farrah, all toothy smile, tumbling hair and lean tanned limbs captured, confident,optimistic youth itself; healthy, happy, as sexy and joyous as a summer’s day. She wanted to finally marry Ryan on her death bed, the star she first started dating when the two were at the height of their blonde seventies pin up fame but sadly ran out of time and never regained consciousness.

Back at camp Jackson, because Michael’s still dead, and will be dead for as long as tabloids can wring front covers from the story, it’s been suggested that Michael Jackson’s children may not be his biological offspring. Yes that’s right, the great blond haired, white skinned elephant in the corner has been acknowledged; not only do his children look nothing like the late King of Pop, they look like they’re from an entirely different ethnic gene pool. In a further Virginia Andrews style twist to the tale, it’s also been suggested that Debbie Rowe, Jackson’s former nurse and wife may not even be the children’s biological mother but rather acted as a surrogate womb for anonymously donated sperm and egg. In Martin Bashir’s interview with Michael the star talked about their birth in the same way you or I would describe picking something up at Argos. The babies were born, he cut the umbilical cord and then literally, by his own admission, he ran out of the hospital. When a shocked Bashir asked when the mother got to finally meet her newborn child, Jackson, waffled, did a few verbal moonwalks and swiftly changed the subject.

It’s been suggested that Neverland will be soon turned into a sort of Graceland, a Michael interpretive centre if you will, for his legions of dedicated fans. Which sounds lovely until you remember that Neverland was also the scene of the alleged child abuse that ravaged his career and reputation. Surely turning a house where several young boys claimed to be groomed and sexually assaulted into a tourist attraction may seem to some as bad taste. Where as tourists visiting Elvis’s pad can marvel at the Jungle room where he swung with his entourage and giggling groupies, wouldn’t the Jackson version be a hell of a lot grimmer. "Yes, here’s the Macaulay Culkin suite where as you can see he covered the walls with lots of pictures of young boys, oh, all those hidden bottles of alcohol and stashes of porn, ignore them, now onto the Shirley Temple shrine…great!"

London seems to be coming up with it’s own organic tribute to the man with his music being played sporadically through out the sun baked city. Every now and then a car passes, blasting some disco classic and everybody feels like they’re in a scene from "Fame", like the city itself is having a seventies moment. So girls flick your hair for Farrah and grab your own Ryan O Neill, (because every boy secretly thinks they can do a mean Billie Jean) and celebrate the summer, the heat wave and being happy and healthy, and a golden time before everything started getting weird, broken and sad.