Well he certainly ‘put the boom, boom into my heart,’ and his smouldering good looks, sense of style and velvety voice ‘jitterbugged’ straight into my brain back in 1984, when, as a very young wife and mother I fell head over heels in love with George Michael, his music and (later), his two-fingered salute to those who took the moral high ground and tried to humiliate him when, in 1998, he was so publicly outed for performing the now famous ‘lewd act’ in a loo inside a Beverly Hills park; forcing him to reveal his sexuality to the world. If I remember correctly the singer was fined £500 and given 80 hours of community service to complete.
And so, in a year where the music/acting industry has lost some of its biggest and most talented individuals, including David Bowie, Prince, Rick Parfitt, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, the amazing Alan Rickman and the genius that was Gene Wilder, I have to say the Wham! frontman’s sudden death, the artist and multi-talented icon who gave us one of the most-loved and best-known songs of the festive season, was the one that has affected me the most. According to reports the supreme George Michael, aged 53, tragically ‘died alone’ on Christmas morning amid claims, (which have been denied by his legal representatives), that he had been ‘battling heroin addiction.’ Whatever the circumstances of his demise and sudden death, the news has left me (and fans across the globe) deeply shocked and saddened. Although he became less and less visible over the past few years, I believe that George Michael’s virtuosity, his enduring humanity and philanthropic ways will live on and go down in history.
However, it has to be said his self-deprecating humour also stood out. Diehard fans like me will fondly remember when, instead of issuing a cringing, fawning apology at the feet of those who tried to shame him for being gay, George poked fun at himself and his sexcapades by making absolutely no attempt to blend in; instead he embraced the full spectrum of what it meant to be himself.
Of course I’m talking about his bravery in the face of adversity and malicious tabloid headlines when, rather than allowing the finger-pointers and their medieval posturings of outrage to humiliate him for his sexuality and lifestyle, George, dressed superbly in an LAPD cop’s uniform, magnificently satirised his arrest, in fact, he reclaimed it, and penned one of his greatest hits, the fabulous disco dance track ‘Outside’, (included on my favourite album Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael) and brazenly, unapologetically declared war on those who wished to have him (and others like him) sanitised and locked firmly back into the closet. This stand alone, a stand which disgracefully gave haters a platform to further express their revulsion, fear and loathing at how unsavoury and foul they deduced gay people to be, only served to make a smitten me, and probably every other woman on the planet, fancy him even more…despite the fact we knew, that devastatingly, we would never have a chance with him.
George Michael was a true inspiration and has left us with a legacy that reaches way beyond his music. He shone a light and showed people that, in a time when it was shamefully condemned, it was (and is) perfectly okay to be gay. George Michael may have died too young but his gifts and his legacies will live on. In the words of your hit Freedom! ’90, George, you were not just ‘every little hungry schoolgirl’s pride and joy,’ you were (and still are…sincere apologies to the hubby; but he’ll get over it) this infatuated woman’s secret fantasy, because, from the moment I tuned into MTV in the ‘80s, set eyes on you and heard you sing, I confess, my own, ‘beats per minute never been the same.’ I admire you even more now given the tales of your posthumous ‘coming out’ as a secret philanthropist, humanitarian and quietly generous compassionate soul. Sleep well; I truly hope the grey skies are (now) out of your way.
January Sales? More like the Hunger Games!
As a kid I can distinctly remember a mini-break, (for the sake of decency), between Christmas Day and the onset of the January sales…or am I just doting? Now however, on what, in our house, has become the traditional sitting-on-yer-a**e-rummaging-through-the-tin-of-Roses-watching-Indiana-Jones-and-draining-the-bottles-of-wine-day, aka St. Stephen’s Day, has apparently been re-claimed the official January Sales Day with retailers going mad offloading all their cheap c**p us shoppers couldn’t be bothered to buy before Christmas!
This is the day mild-mannered people morph into football hooligans, high on their riot fix as they belt old ladies out of their way, trample on kiddies and totally forget about all those bills they ignored over the festive season; their one goal, to max out the credit card on designer clothes small enough to fit only a foetus. Okay, I agree that on the surface, we may seem convinced we’ll hit the gym this month, but seriously readers, we’ve assaulted our livers and blitzed our brains with all sorts of junk over the month of December and no amount of good intentions is going to shift those EU butter mountain butt cheeks before February, and while we all know that the words ‘75 per cent off’ is like catnip to sales obsessed shoppers, now is the time to step away from the size zero dress because it’s only a bargain if you can actually fit into it!
Strike a pose…get an OBE!
She has fashion nous, fame and fortune, oh and (according to www.bbc.com) an OBE…well, remaining po-faced and looking like a set of teeth in a suit for the past 20 years is an honours-worthy achievement…apparently. Okay, Victoria Beckham has certainly done a lot for charitable causes and to be honest she’s ‘created’ (stop sniggering, apparently she does personally fabricate her head-turning looks), some award-winning designs, and she’s rake thin…sorry, I mean raking it in…the moolah that is, with her VB empire.
However, while I’d much rather my girls took inspiration from the likes of Ms. Beckham than those eejit Kardashians, I don’t see why she should receive an accolade for simply doing her job…and while I also wish I could afford even one of her VB designs, I have to say Coco Chanel she ain’t! Look, doing charitable work is highly commendable, (we all do it), but couldn’t a ‘well done’ have sufficed? I mean, aren’t there other devoted subjects more worthy of the royal plaudit? Just askin’.
Have an amazing 2017 folks.