THE BLOG

What Kind of Week Has It Been? 4 July 2014

03/07/2014 11:08 | Updated 01 September 2014

The glorious nominative determinism of news

Maybe it's because of the World Cup keeping everyone stimulated past their bed time (and who couldn't see Tim Howard play and not be inspired?) but the silly season hasn't really come round yet, with little of this week's news being especially soft or frivolous.

Rolf Harris' very public downfall from universally loved entertainer to relentless monster hit its nadir this week, with more allegations being made following his conviction. Elsewhere former News Of The World editor Andy Coulson could have fresh charges piled on top of the one handed down last week. His defence? His lawyers didn't tell him phone hacking was illegal. The great newsman HL Mencken once defined conscience as the inner voice that told us someone, somewhere was looking. Clearly, Coulson's conscience had sealed the blinds.

All this is very embarrassing for his former boss David Cameron, though not as embarrassing as his madcap attempt to stop Jean Claude Juncker become President of the European Commission. Cameron claimed it was up to the people to vote for who they wanted for the position, seemingly forgetting the widely understood agreement prior to the European election that the party with the most votes would choose the Commissioner. Not unlike his conduct during the AV referendum, Cameron's attempt to tilt at windmills (or whatever the Luxembourgeois equivalent countryside landmark is) was either a disingenuous play to the gallery, or he's just a massive idiot. But at least he's not as idiotic as the UKIP caucus in the European parliament, who turned their backs during the playing of Ode To Joy because "they don't recognise the flag or anthem". Whatever happened to respecting the customs of the country you're living in?

Back in safe ol Blighty, Wimbledon might not move out of the World Cup's shadow now Andy Murray is gone, but a young guy with mad skillz not even ranked in the top 100 beating Rafa Nadal may get a bit of momentum. Another, more well known man emerging once more is one Luis "My, What Big Problems You Have" Suarez, who eventually apologised for using Giorgio Chiellini in his impromptu Bela Lugosi impression. His statement was praised by Barcelona, who coincidentally are interested in buying him despite his wide array of poor conduct. So much for being "More than a club".

But if Barcelona putting performance before behaviour doesn't look edifying, they've got nothing on the US Supreme Court, who have decided by a 5-4 margin that a for-profit organisation can pick and choose what medical care they pay for based on religious grounds, cutting access to contraception or anything they find to be immoral. Ain't America great? You try to build a community centre in central New York City that happens to have a mosque in it and all hell breaks loose, but Walmart and McDonalds have a right to go to Mass or deny an employee treatment for cystitis. Turns out Mitt Romney was right, corporations are people. Women, it seems, less so.

Speaking of religious sensibilities being all skewy, in Northern Ireland the hardline obsession with vexillology has taken a dark turn. Ku Klux Klan flags (or, to use the local vernacular, Klen flegs) have been flying over parts of Belfast, while racist attacks are happening with depressing regularity. The fact that many Loyalist areas of Northern Ireland are parading flags of the rabidly anti-Semitic Klan alongside Israel flags (there is a school of thought in Ulster than Orangemen are the lost tribe of Israel. Seriously.) suggests a fundamental lack of fundamentalist knowledge.

A lack of nous was displayed in a slightly less harmful way this week, when Robin Thicke's people decided that a Q&A on Twitter would be a good idea. It was not, but it sure was funny. Though Thicke's fate as a lightning rod for all anti-misogynist ire is interesting (neither TI nor Pharrell get the same flak, while Dr Dre and Chris Brown have been horrifically and repeatedly violent to women with no apparent injury to their careers), what is indisputable is that he has the most severe case of Pervy Mid Life Crisis the world has ever seen, and releasing an album to get his wife back is stepping dangerously into Kirk Van Houten territory.

That wasn't the only outlandish musical ambition on show this week though, as one sparky group of petitioners has tried to get My Lovely Horse as Ireland's entry next year. It was the government they petitioned though, which was a bit pointless as national legislatures have little jurisdiction of European Song Contests, something Farage The Enigma no doubt hates. Besides, did the petitioners not realise that Eurovision songs have to be original, and My Lovely Horse heavily samples Nin Heugen And The Huegenotes?