The Girl with the Edinburgh Tattoo

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Archive for the month “May, 2014”

A Whole Different Balls Game

ScudamoreFootball can be great –  but it does have such a lot of ridiculous macho posturing sexist baggage with it. So I do have to be choosy as to what matches I can take time out of watching my collection of past Eurovisions, doing 5K runs and reading Emile Zola for. I’m afraid the FA Cup final yesterday didn’t make my must-see list but I did get the odd glimpse and noticed they were playing with a pink football! Was this a cheeky little symbol of the love that dare not speak its name sneaking into the ‘beautiful’ game?

It would be time too, eh? With stats showing that 3 – 6 per cent of the male population are homosexual it does seem a bit far-fetched that the footballing profession is so under represented especially when the appearance and behaviour of individuals within that profession make John Inman look like Grizzly Adams!

The conclusion is of course football must have the national average quota of gay people – probably more. But if those Premier League dinosaurs can’t accept the most basic of women’s rights I’m thinking the advanced LGBT class is going to be a bit beyond them.

I believe it was Bill Shankly who said that football wasn’t a matter of life and death – it was more important than that. How true – it’s a staggeringly important and influential (well, everywhere apart from the U S) way of life that takes kids out of poverty and makes them into gods. It defines nations and shapes cultural identity. It’s a great working class tradition that can be enjoyed by all the family but it can reflect the underbelly of society – violence, racism, sexism, homophobia. The governing bodies have done much in dealing with the violence and the racism so why not make a stand with the sexism and the homophobia? Time for a clean sweep and I can’t think of a better start than a certain head of the Premier League…

 

 

 

Princess Envy – strewth!

'No worries the film's zack, I'm hitting the turps later!'

‘No worries the film’s a pig’s arse, I’m hitting the turps later!’

What is it with Australian actresses and the whole real-life princess thing? Most established stars would run a mile in their Louboutins at the merest suggestion of portraying tragic regal icons like Princesses Diana and Grace and leave it to the up-and-coming to wear egg-white omelette on their face and try over the years to have the whole sorry mess drop off the end of their cv. Not so those brave sheilas – Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts – who stick their manicured fingers up at the critics and naysayers and wholeheartedly plunge themselves into the thankless task of imitating two goddesses of the twentieth century. And not just your usual common-or-garden goddess either – Princesses D & G (what an apt designer epithet!) were both the real fairy-tale deal with sweet young girl turned princess turned saint with a whole lot of back story along the way – political intrigue, controlling men and their families, duty over personal happiness, the endless glamour, the tragic car crashes taking our heroines far too soon…

So why do Misses Kidman and Watts do it? They are both well respected actresses with a staggeringly varied body of serious work between them. From Eyes Wide Shut to Funny Games, from The Paperboy to Mulholland Drive they have proved they never shy away from challenging roles. So is it the case when they signed up for Grace of Monaco and Diana respectively – and possibly not respectfully – they were bravely pushing the artistic envelope? Not realising that the money men’s thoughts were probably more along the lines of producing a piece of designer fluff that’d make a quick buck through curiosity value if nothing else. My own personal theory regarding Nicole and Naomi’s motivation is all to do with their antipodean republican background – they couldn’t give a XXXX for royalty – whether it be British, Hollywood or Monagast! And that gives them a whole world of creative freedom shaped by that marvellous egalitarian Aussie attitude of not really caring about what the sniffy snobs in the old countries think.

So good onya, girls! Crack open the Castlemaine and have a right old cackle at the crits. Oh, and don’t worry if the work’s bodgy you gave it a burl!

Join Us – Join the Euro Party!

Austria-Conchita-Wurst-1Here it is again – that gorgeous big glittering day-glo all-singing all-dancing Euro party that’s camper than Julian Clary wearing pink knickers serving up afternoon tea in a caravan parked on Brighton beach! We love it!

In past years you had to wait – like a kid at Christmas – for the jaunty opening bars of Te Deum to creak out from your telly-set as the clock struck eight – it was then – and only then – that you were able to see and hear all the weird and wonderful and sometimes brilliant pop offerings from that exotic land beyond The Channel called ‘The Continent’. How things have changed – now anyone can join the week-long run-up party via your chosen form of soash meedja on your chosen device. And forget about your drunken house parties and deliberating in Sainsburys about what kind of snack could represent Lithuania – that went out the window years ago. Instead get texting, tweeting, emailing your Euro pals and if you don’t have any – make some!

Quick observations so far:

The undoubted star of the show is Conchita Wurst for Austria. Calm down, calm down! Conchita isn’t a bearded lady he/she is a drag queen pure and simple. She does have a lot of class with a good strong voice and the song is a grower… weirdly it strikes me as something that could have come from Jesus Christ Superstar. And Conchita definitely has that look – even down to the simple robe-like gown (just take away the make-up and the jewellery) – and of course there’s the whole theme of resurrection – Rise like a Phoenix. Conchita as a messiah for gay rights? Marvelous!

The real controversy is going to be political (reale) of course: Russia v Ukraine. Now I like a bit of pol con at major international events and it’s good that people can get their point across (remember ‘we don’t want (to) Put(it)in’?)  but I have to admit I did feel sorry for the two young Russian lassies as the announcement of their place in Saturday’s final was greeted with boos. On the other hand Ukraine – typical to form – has a good strong female who this year has a man going through his paces on a giant hamster wheel. Go girl! Both songs aren’t bad at all with the Russian one having a big-Bond-theme edge but the chance of them picking up many (or any?) points is as likely as Rolf Harris getting his community service with Barnardo’s.

France are expectedly wacky, in an expectedly hip-hoppy kind of way; Poland are trying to be ironic (feminist, I think) with busty women doing household chores in a suggestive manner: girls – I can see what you’re getting at but it really doesn’t work; Holland have gone all country and it’s been mooted as a potential winner – but it’s not Eurovision in my book; Hungary has an interesting anti domestic violence theme sung by a fine young man on loan from the US – it has an electrifying L A Confidential feel to it; Greece has bags of energy with the other big prop (see hamster wheel as above) of the evening in the form of a trampoline, the song’s all right as well – but they surely don’t want to win, do they?

Finally – what about our own wee Molly? It’s fine – she’s a strong woman – she’s written the theme toon – sung the theme toon… It doesn’t sound like a British entry so that might work in a our favour. Max points for expressing the sentiment we should all keep after the streamers, Sambuca and cheesy footballs remains have been tidied away  – ‘We are children of the universe‘ or Europe at least! Join us!

Update:  Congratulations and jubilation to the magnificent Conchita who triumphed last night –  wonderful that she’s continuing to keep the whole issue of gay rights very definitely on the front burner. And to all those cynics who dismiss Eurovision as a piece of meaningless fluff – think again. There was a lengthy discussion on Russian TV last night regarding the major issues touched upon as above, with the writer of the Russian entry calling for more tolerance across the board. You don’t get that with The X-Factor!

 

 

 

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