Doing for the week's news what this guy does for Presidential hugs.
The importance of identity, and the problems they cause, loomed large this week.
At the start of the week Rory McIlroy caused a bit of a storm, which is hardly the kind of weather conditions you want when you're pinning your colours to the mast. It turns out Rory feels more British than Irish, which given his hometown and upbringing is about as surprising as discovering Michael Corleone's business empire may not be wholly above board. Still, some poor disappointed souls who were hoping for him to represent Ireland at the 2016 Olympics have reacted like this was an episode of Mad Men ("Gentleman, bad news: we've lost the McIlroy account.") and taken it quite badly. One guy even set up a since taken down Boycott Rory McIlroy Facebook page. How exactly do you boycott a golfer anyway? Refuse to buy him a drink when he comes into the pub? Throwing your TV out when The Open comes on?
McIlroy's struggle with identity is utter fluff though compared to those which surround the terrible attacks on the US Consolate in Libya, where four Americans including the Ambassador were killed, and eight Libyans injured. The attack was conducted by Islamic extremists (the latest in a long line of zealous idiots who shame proper Muslims everywhere with their poor grasp of scripture/irony) who were reacting to a film called Innocence of Muslims (which has since been renounced by the people who acted in it). It was produced by what was originally thought to be an Israeli-American tragically who confused Judaism with being wildly incendiary /an asshole, but it's becoming ever clearer that nobody knows who the hell he is. The violence that has now spread to Yemen, Egypt and Morocco, so naturally US Republicans tried to make hay from it.
Yup, Mitt Romney showed himself to be a statesman in the same way Francesco Schettino is a ship captain by criticising the President's response to the attack. And is getting mauled for it. He was quickly followed by Republican Chairman Reince Priebus (who with a name like that must have serious trouble ordering a pizza) and everyone's favourite malicious airhead Sarah Palin, who posted this blathering attempt to be funny and cutting in the face of a tragedy. Mmm, Christian values.
Closer to home Scouse solidarity was at an all-time high this week as the Hillsborough report finally vindicated the 96 Liverpool fans who died at the Sheffield stadium in 1989. It was revealed that 41 of the dead could have been saved had the police spent more time doing their job and not blaming drunken yobs or, in the words of the Hillsborough families' QC, conducting the biggest cover-up in British history. David Cameron, becoming a bit of an expert in the field since he's become PM, gave a heartfelt apology for the tragic inadequacy of the state's forces. Former Sun editor and humanity barnacle Kelvin McKenzie also gave an apology for printing "The Truth" above the finger-pointing, scurrilous claims. Not that the people of Liverpool will ever forgive him.
Sport and politics collided in much more comical fashion this week in The States though as American football punter for the Minnesota Vikings Chris Kluwe wrote a brilliantly crude and scathing letter to a politician from Baltimore who is not only against gay marriage, but against footballers being for gay marriage. I'm not sure how Kluwe does it, but including the phrases "lustful cockmonster","hot dong action" and "foot in mouth clusterfuck" actually makes his case more compelling.
But for all the identity clashes and tribal tensions evident in the last seven days, this Saturday sees one of the most bitter rivalries around resurrected. I'm talking, of course, about Strictly vs X-Factor. While the Cowell-fuelled, modern day ampitheatrical gubbins has been on for a few weeks, Strictly makes its return this Saturday for a flying visit before coming back to do its sacred duty of leading us up to Christmas. Alas, no politicians to wholly embarrass themselves this year, but they do have Victoria Pendleton and, eh, some other people. I sort of stopped paying attention after Victoria was announced.
Oh aye, and there was something about a new phone being released too?