As the end of 2012 spun us around and shot us out like a faulty astronaut training device into the unknown wilds of 2013, most people have probably started the year disoriented and feeling a wee bit sick.
That's certainly the feeling in Belfast, where fleg obsessives with admirable stamina are still protesting and causing so much havoc that not even Captain Planet could save them. If they were protesting about Downton Abbey's absurd One In, One Out policy, I'd have a lot more empathy.
Speaking of lack of empathy the French government certainly have no time for the gross income-loving Gerard Depardieu, who wants to keep a bit more of his fat paycheque. The Prime Minister Jean Marc Ayrault has called him "pitiful" for bidding his country adieu and giving Mother Russia (and Daddy Putin) a great big bearhug, over his objection to France's 75% tax rate for millionaires. He must be happy that he was able to get a, ahem, Green Card so easily and sign up to life in Moscow with any, hehheh, Asteriks in his contract to trip him up and, eh...that's all the Depardieu film references I can think of.
Across the channel two men with a slightly more complex, less loving relationship than Gerard and Vladimir are David Cameron and Nick Clegg, who stared down at each other's navels and gazed for a while as they conducted their mid term review. They reckon they're doing quite well and to celebrate, they opened the bubbly, by which I mean cut child benefit. Even though the two of them put the "less" in coalesce they tried to justify their terse relationship by saying "it does exactly what it says on the tin", i.e. it stains wooden objects. Sounds about right.
But of course, with us not long back from the holidays, a great deal of this week's news has been, inevitably, amusingly ridiculous. The year started with the Mail foaming at the mouth with a "BAN THIS SICK FILTH" of a headline after the Big Fat Quiz Of the Year on Channel 4. Owing to my disliking Jack Whitehall as much as I do pineapple on pizza I didn't see it this year, but apparently there were complaints that some of the more close to the bone jokes were broadcast "soon after the watershed", which surely makes as much sense as "somewhat pregant" and renders the whole purpose of a watershed pointless. What would they prefer, five stages of Watershed like DEFCON in the US military, Watershed 1 being a show where someone says "arse", Watershed 5 being Eurotrash?
In the States, Azaelia Banks got in serious trouble for her beyond the pale remarks about a notorious social diarist. But on the plus side, in calling Perez Hilton a "faggot", she already wins this year's profanity bingo, having mentioned pretty much every other swear word in 212. Meanwhile over in Ireland, we've been having internet trouble, and not just accessing it in rural areas. Since the New Year it was announced that certain papers in Ireland were intending to charge actual bloody money for links and starting their collection with those notorious high-rollers Women's Aid, while a funnyman musician who works on Ireland's main talk show has been hassled by the actual bloody government for being, well, a funnyman musician. And early last week, the nation saw an uppity wee girl go viral, after calling some bucks in a post-club restaurant 'plebs' and boasting that her daddy earned mega bucks off the KPMG. Thankfully, despite the jarring hubris, most people were keen to make the point that we've all done daft things while drunk and it shouldn't be held against her. Hell, even the respectable, buttoned down correspondent before you was once thrown out of a club for dancing shirtless to this.
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