Ireland was honoured indeed to have some big time dignitaries in da house this week. No, I'm not talking about Bob Jovi (at least that's how the Guards know him) but the leaders of the G8 countries, who convened upon Lough Erne for high-powered talks and high-intensity staring. The talks didn't exactly come up with anything solid, apart perhaps from the police presence keeping out the myriad protestors, some of whom were basically naked for some reason. NI's Chief Constable boasted it was the most secure G8 summit ever. Quick, someone put that on a sign!
While President Obama was busy at work, the Obama women went to Dublin to catch a show, look at some books and have lunch with Uncle Bono. Good Morning America suggested Malia and Sasha couldn't have been more bored if they'd been taken to Mosney without any travel Scrabble.
G8 talks were largely dominated by Syria, but all around the world things are, what's the phrase I'm looking for, kicking off. Vladimir "I can throw a football over them mountains" Putin may have been one of the gang in Fermanagh, but he's overseen ghastly anti-gay laws that have prompted mass protest.
In Turkey, what started as a defence of a much-loved park has become a full-scale renunciation of Erdogan's apparent wish to become a modern-day Saladin, a guy just standing there becoming the unlikely symbol of the whole thing.
In Brazil, hikes in public transport rates have become wholesale protests about government vanity projects and ostentatious Hyancinth Bucket-style preparations for the World Cup and the Olympics. This, coupled with police brutality, treatment of favela dwellers and poor economy infrastructure, and protests that started in Sao Paolo are spreading.
One man conscious of pertinent world issues is Russell Brand, as he proved during his spot as a guest on MSNBC's Morning Joe. Regular host Joe Scarbrough wasn't there, but in his stead were three of the worst talking heads on the planet, a kind of smug media Cerberus. Russell having no time this kind of carry on, embarrassed them in every way possible, proving that he's at least ten times smarter than most people think, not least the people interviewing him.
Russell Brand is someone who can be legitimately described as playful, but try as Charles Saatchi might he just can't pull it off. His "playful tiff" with his wife Nigella Lawson has won my all-too-seldom given out award for Horrible Euphemism Of The Week. The incident has horrified the public (well, all apart from Nick Griffin, the bollocks) and prompted Colette Browne to write a hair-raising piece on the sort of thing women have to deal with all the time, and the sort of things men dole out without thinking.
And speaking of men not thinking, in the States Texan congressman Michael Burgess has come up with the most creative/insane reason to be opposed to abortions: he's seen foetuses masturbate. You might logically ask, how on earth did he see such things? Well, he's an OB/GYN. Let's all sit and ponder that quietly for a while.
Two questions I would like to ask the Congressman: 1) Do masturbating babies show some kind of pre-original sin? and 2) What are his thoughts on alien sex? I only ask because a councillor from Whitby, Simon Parkes, who is himself half-alien, has apparently fathered a child called Zorka with an alien called the Cat Woman, who blasts him into space every three months for conjugal visits. "My wife found out about it and was unhappy, clearly" was his slightly understated response. Still, it wasn't the most bizarre bit of news coming from the north east by any stretch. Take a bow, Joe Kinnear.
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