Let’s hear it for the sad, the outraged, the easily irritated, and the politically correct snowflakes with the over-inflated sense of sanctimoniousness who complained to Ofcom about Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway’s end-of-the-show segment, which saw the Geordie duo perform as drag queens Lady Antoinette and Miss Donna Lee. If that’s you, my advice would be to sashay away from this column now, and retreat to your safe space!
In what was the pair’s first show in front of a live audience in two years (due to Covid restrictions), the presenters were seen gliding and twerking around the stage to the delight of an enthusiastic audience, as well as (I’d imagine) most viewers, myself included.
However, given the tone of the complaints allegedly logged at the UK’s broadcasting regulator, with many labelling the segment as ‘degrading’, ‘disgusting’ and treating women as ‘a parody or fetish’, I’m worried there’s a lot more fragile snowflakes floating around on a cloud of victimhood than I had originally feared.
Thanks to the talents of the fabulous RuPaul, drag is enjoying an unprecedented level of mainstream success and well done to these gifted artistes. We’ve been in lockdown for so long, relying mainly on TV as our only form of entertainment, so to that end, my advice to the permanently intolerant who love to complain is to either switch the channel or suck it up and have a laugh.
By the way, let’s hear it for Ant and Dec’s (Lady Antoinette’s and Donna Lee’s) make-up artist, because the sheer artistry behind the lads’ transformation from Geordie boys-next-door to (forgive me) what I’d imagine the members of girl band Little Mix might look like in twenty years’ time, was amazing!
Can I say that drag, while it’s about entertainment, is not specifically about being camp and over the top. Drag is also about blood, sweat, toil, tears and personal stories – all of which are turned into a quick-witted, clever and often scathing art-form by these talented performers. Drag is a lesson in embracing all that you are, and all that you can be. However, I do (begrudgingly) respect the views of those suffused with a sense of snowflakery and understand their constant need to whinge and whine!
Volodymyr Zelenskyy has real moxie!
He’s gone from being a comedian, a Dancing with the Stars’ champ, and the voice of Ukraine’s version of Paddington Bear to the dashingly brave national war hero, defending his people against the might of the grossly distorted and power-hungry despot, Vladimir Putin.
Yes, there’s no denying that Ukraine’s beloved president Volodymyr Zelensky has (despite being massively underestimated by many) shown he’s made of sterner stuff – and he’s got something that’s evident in a time of extreme crisis, something which many politicians (our own included) don’t have – it’s called moxie!
This amazing man – who reminds me of our own Michael Collins – has, in a time of unspeakable adversity where his life is at risk, struck the right chord with his people, and refusing an offer to evacuate and save his own skin, has stayed put, declaring “the fight is here”. He took up arms, and fearlessly facing into hell alongside his people, Zelensky flipped that narcissistic and contemptuous prat Putin the finger, telling the power-hungry maniac he would “see our faces and not our backs!” Respect!
While our Government sends happy thoughts (pathetic) and the rest of the EU sends funds for weapons, the thing is that empathy, sympathy, and throwing money at what is, let’s face it, the 21st century genocide of our fellow human beings, will not help mothers shielding their children or fathers fighting for their futures.
While I do understand that we (as in the EU and Ireland as a member state) need to be cautious, perhaps we could do more than just faff about engaging in guarded deliberations, providing visas, and banning Russian aircraft from our airspace?
Mindless thuggery and patriotic heroism are not the same
I’d like to say a huge thank you to the County Roscommon reader (name and address withheld on request) who took the time to write to this newspaper last week and make a lovely comment regarding my ‘musings’ concerning the Necrology Wall at Glasnevin Cemetery.
Firstly, your very kind words, coming during what has been an extremely heartbreaking week for me, were much welcomed and appreciated. Thank you! However, with regard to your ‘confusion’ concerning my reasoning that I find it a disgrace that the Necrology Wall was vandalised, despite me having an issue with it…let me explain.
I had absolutely no issue with the erection of the wall itself, and had it solely contained the names of our fallen heroes, I’d have been a regular visitor. You got all of that. However, the very fact that the names of thugs, oppressors, and murderers were afforded top billing with the innocents they horrifically abused, brutalised, executed, and evicted from their homes was the thing that made me nauseous. You get that.
I understand that my comment labelling those who willfully defaced and smashed the wall as being ‘vandals’ – when in your opinion, these individuals not only committed ‘a heroic act’, their handiwork was such that it prompted you to (in your words) ‘take off my hat to them’ – is causing you a degree of ‘confusion’. You then make a comparison with the ‘occupation’ of the GPO on Easter Monday 1916, wondering if perhaps that too may be wrongly construed as an act of violence. Have I got that right?
Let me tell you, as a proud Irish woman and fierce advocate of my hero Michael Collins, I view the occupation of the GPO on that fateful Monday in 1916 by volunteers as one of pure heroism, of valour, and of indefatigable bravery. Had I been around back then, I too would have stood side by side with those champions, those titans, those ordinary people who fought so hard for our freedom. Those volunteers served our nation and our State, and there’s a remarkable difference between fighting and laying down your life for your country’s freedom, and grabbing a pot of paint and hurling it at a wall, in swinging an implement and smashing a lump of granite…don’t you think? No?
Mindless thuggery and patriotic heroism are not the same. I will always glorify our 1916 volunteers and those who fought and died to resist our oppressors, but I’ll never support, honour, or acknowledge a group of cowardly, petty lowlife louts who’re so pathetic they wouldn’t be good enough to lick the boots of The Big Fella and his ‘squad’.
If these yobbos had a smidgen of the gallantry, the backbone and cunning of Big Mick and his 12 Apostles, or any of our hero volunteers, they’d have lobbied or peacefully protested to have a proper and fitting Necrology Wall instead of acting like moronic cretins using paint as a weapon!
As a nation, we owe our lives to those who sacrificed theirs in such a public and noble manner. Let me say, there’s nothing noble, brave, nor is there any hat-raising-worthiness about sneaking around under cover of darkness to commit a crime. In fact, I’d call it gutless, and as we say in North Dublin (where Glasnevin cemetery is located), I’m scarlet for them.
Having said all of that reader, I totally agree with your point about our ‘powers that be becoming a slavish entity’, and yes, it does seem as though they’re ‘ashamed of their past’. I can’t be certain, but I doubt it very much if (in the context of the 1916 Rising), any of them would be willing to take up arms or even lay down their lives in order to enforce a claim on our country, or to right a horrific wrong done to us.