What Kind of Week Has It Been? 14 June 2013

What Kind of Week Has It Been? 14 June 2013
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Last week, I was stuck in an airport for four hours because the plane was...not safe. I only received a £3 refreshment voucher (75p per hour, what arse-breaking munificence!) so I was quite miffed to see that other similarly grounded people of late having Space Jam-themed sing-a-longs and lovely Czech classical music by an American orchestra in China.

Andrew Neil probably hoped he'd been stuck in a terminal and that his understudy was hosting The Sunday Politics last week, as Alex Jones (the out-there US radio host, not the smiley Welsh One Show host) went properly mental. The reason? Well he hardly needs one, but it was the secret malevolence of the Bilderberg Group (not to be confused with Build-A-Burger, which is dangerous in a very different way) that caught his swivel eyes.

Mind you Jones is, all the same, a case in point to the notion that just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you. Edward Snowden got off his plane in Hong Kong and was met with some fanfare, as his resolution to blow the whistle on the NSA's shocking but not surprising surveillance policies has made him a bit of a hero. Well, a hero to some, to others he's guilty of treason. "I don't want to live in a society that does this" will be the Snowden line we see in memes on Facebook walls and grafitti on public walls for the next 40 years, which will no doubt irk that former darling of the new society hopefuls Barack Obama. His reaction to the leaks was that of, how can I put this, a bit of an asshole. How did he go from "Hope and Change" to "A few babies will always go down the sink when you're emptying bathwater" so quickly?

All this controversy will be good news for John Oliver (unless he has some weird stuff on his hard drive, that is) as he takes over the helm of The Daily Show in Jon Stewart's Iranian film making absence. Although it's great to see a British presenter on US TV who isn't Piers Morgan, I do have a bit of a quibble about the whole arrangement. After all, having someone from Birmingham stand in on a regular satirical fixture while the main anchor is away doing other projects is sort of my thing.

Oliver may also be able to make hay of the fact that at least one section of his home media has taken the Sexy A Levels angle of one of the watershed stories of the decade. Yes, the Telegraph reckons the most interesting part in this series of events was that Snowden's girlfriend was a pole dancer. It was hardly a good week for feminism, as the future manifesto of some games consoles or other (is there anything to be said any more for a game of Worms on the PS1?) prompted one feminist scribe to wonder out loud why female protagonists in video games don't, well, exist. Sadness ensued.

Nor indeed has it been a good week for non-racism, especially in Ireland. Comedian Tara Flynn's husband had the impertinence to go out walking while black in her hometown of Kinsale, and this comes in the recent shadow of Kerry woman and gaelgeoir Una Minh Kavanagh being racially abused (and spat at) for looking unacceptably Vietnamese. There has, thankfully, been some benefit though, as Tara Flynn's YouTube response and Una's writings on the matter have been two of the most viewed items of the last weeks. Meanwhile in the States a woman, Yolanda Pivey, was getting exasperated after 300+ job applications vanishing into the ether when she decided to upskill. And by "upskill", I mean "ticked white for ethnicity in the diversity questionnaire box". Guess what happened?

Diversity of course won't be a problem at the upcoming G8 summit what with Angela Merkel, Barack Obama and Japanese PM Shinze Abe attending, and 37.5% of a meeting not being white dudes actually counts as a decent batting average. With former summits being held in places like Paris and Puerto Rico , this year the honour falls to, eh, Co Fermanagh. Zeal to make the place just so has reached near-Azerbaijani Eurovision hosting levels in Fermanagh's dreary steeples, as shop front veneers have been put up over derelict buildings to beautify the place for the dignitaries. Fair enough I suppose. I mean, it'd be a real buzzkill to go to an economic forum and see actual visual evidence of what they're doing wrong.


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