I Like Anne Hathaway

Let's leave the nips out of it, shall we?

Liz Hurley and the Bikini Backlash

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Kudos to America for getting their priorities straight, refusing entry to well known drug user and slutty spaghetti maker, Nigella Lawson. Surely, this can only be the first step in their good work that will then in turn lead them to shutting its doors to other named and shamed abusers—like Russell Brand, as many have already helpfully suggested as another prime contender for such strictures—before eventually turning its all-seeing eye of patriotism inward and ousting those that have flouted such basic laws within their own communities. Chris Brown and Rihanna immediately spring to mind as first to board the boats out of there, along with Ke$ha, Lindsey Lohan and Snoop Doggy-Lion. There’s already a warmed throne awaiting the latter here, surely, in light of his on-going work in the insurance advertising market.

If only we here in the UK could get our acts together so efficiently and make the changes that need to be seen on our own turf in order to pull ourselves once and for all out of this slump. Oust David Cameron and Nick Clegg and get Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin in instead. Decoupling, sure, but an example for all (not least the current government) of how a coalition can successfully run. Practised as they are in letting us all know how we’re failing at life from the measured pages of Goop, an official title and doing so from Downing Street is the natural progression of this. Of course, this will incur an emergency rush of kale into our shops and coconut water extended from every vending machine, so it’s only natural a new Minister of Food and Diet and Stuff will be appointed in order to uphold these duties, whilst Paltrow and Martin get on with holding forth over our divorce courts. The only obvious contender for the role is, of course, the Rt Hon Liz Hurley. She alone is equipped to deal with Britain’s obesity epidemic.

Her credentials have long been established. After all, it was Hurley who single-handedly showed us all Marilyn Monroe was not, as we were all foolishly thinking, a manifestation of beauty and sex appeal, with the kind of proportions that would reduce Elton John to a crotch-grabbing lad. Instead, after visiting exhibitions where Monroe’s clothes were on display, she pointed out that “she was very big” and indeed that “I’d kill myself if I were that fat.” Words which will help whip our nation into shape.

Her latest good work comes in the form of a tweet targeting those families planning their Easter holidays with a handy reminder of her line of bikinis. For kids. In the past, these child bikinis have been decried as inappropriate, but these people are probably fat and failing to see the bigger issue at stake here, which is ‘catch them when they’re young.’ Already, children as young as four are worrying about their fat (‘good work’, one can imagine Liz intoning as she patted their too-big-for-their-bodies heads), but we can do better! If more of us had this kind of body awareness from such a young age, the problem of over-eating would be conquered by Christmas. McDonalds and Burger King would be defunct within a year, their now empty lots replaced with Topshop’s for the slim and Hurley’s own outlets—further reinforcing the message and making sure this circle of thin is kept on the straight and narrow (hipped).

Hurley’s tweet targeting the Easter holidayers is a canny judgement on her part that further demonstrates her understanding of this problem and how best to deal with it: Easter in a bikini? They won’t be eating much chocolate then! And risk cellulite? The Easter bunny can hop off.

Come on UK. May we follow America’s example and do the right thing. With the next general election only a year away, now is the time for us to shift our priorities and follow the way of the good and the brave into a new and better land.  

Blue Jasmine

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It must be exciting being Lee Ryan. After all, he gets to wear lots of snazzy cardigans and, judging by his Twitter feed (my go-to place for mercilessly delving into his inner psyche. All in the line of duty), constantly stumbles on mind-blowing affirmations about life and stuff, like how spring is a “good symbolisation of rebirth and change x” or how he apparently looks better in real life than in photos, as people keep telling him—not that this curbs his Instagrammed selfie habit a jot. He’s kind of like a small child discovering the world for the first time.

Of course, all the snazzy cardigans in the world can’t compare with the excitement of living through his rollercoaster of a love life. Surprisingly enough for a man who thought he was making a joke when he tweeted he couldn’t fit into his mum’s jeans, and a dad one at that, Lee appears to have quite an active love life—a virulent one, even. Enough of one, in fact, to get branded a love rat during his recent stint on Celebrity Big Brother. Now, I didn’t watch this admittedly, a decision I have come to regret ever since, but the basic premise of Lee’s philandering seems simple enough: he slept in the same bed with one housemate (which is the basic equivalent of an engagement ring in the real world) before copping off with another one, Jasmine Waltz. I have no idea what she does, but I do know she spells please with a ‘z’, which in Channel 5 terms, is credentials enough to appear on CBB.

Romantics could hope that this is where the fairy tale ends, maybe with a Hello! wedding shoot along the way, in a final bid to claim relevance, before fading into the obscurity of people-who-once-appeared-on-CBB-past. But alas! This is where the dreams of all little girls must be shattered, as this joyous union has come to an end. Lee has been caught allegedly cheating on his alleged girlfriend with (and here we must all prepare ourselves for the shock revelation) an alleged MAN, allegedly. 

Oh yes, the shocking news was broken over (you guessed it) Twitter as an angry Ms Waltz tweeted and deleted her hurt and shame. Luckily, the tweet was faithfully recorded before it disappeared off her timeline, which meant we all get to enjoy the full wrath of a Waltz scorned and the ensuing hashtags: #admitUgay, #bereal, #manup, all of which he arguably has done as he has already admitted to a bisexual past (or as Lee put it, doing “experimental shit”).

Lee’s reps are all denying the claims, of course, and Lee is remaining shtum on the whole palaver, on Twitter at least, save for tweeting pictures of elephants with the caption ‘elephants can die of a broken heart’, which is either a well-crafted example of deep and supreme irony or a cute picture of elephants Lee quite liked. My money’s on the latter. 

Getting Real: Lindsay Lohan’s Last Chance

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When Lindsay Lohan gravely asks what’s left in a drink for her—“there’s no party I haven’t been to”—the rejoinder that immediately springs to mind is, ‘except your own funeral’. Enter her new reality TV show! Which, you have to speculate, might just be it.

This is Lindsay’s last chance. We know this because she solemnly says so at the end of the trailer. And it’s a reality TV show. The only step down from here is an appearance on ‘I’m A Celebrity’, or her mother’s reality TV show. Except you kind of get the sneaking impression that this might actually be worse than those. Perhaps we should set the record straight here and now with the official line: not reality show, but docu-series. Do you get the distinction? Nope, me neither.

This brave new step in televisual history comes after two DUIs, seven car accidents, two weeks in prison and six goes in rehab (or what Hello! Magazine would call August) and chronicles Lohan’s life post mug shots, as she tries to rehabilitate her rapidly failing film career and stay sober. That’s right: Lindsay’s sober now. Or so we think. The show has a sobriety coach on it who, when asked in Lindsay is in fact sober, sighs a lot and makes long, poignant silences, which act as vacuums of both sound and emotion.

But come on, guys, this can’t be that bad! Because this is run by Oprah! (Sidebar, did you know Oprah’s 60? My god, the woman has the forehead of an A4 piece of paper.) Oprah is being Oprah and trying to help Lindsay. By putting her under the scrutiny of a TV crew at all times, in a move described by experts as exactly what could cause a relapse. Apparently, the irony of Lindsay saying she feels like a prisoner in her own life “all the time”, locking herself out of her apartment to hold up filming and tearily shouting at some (presumably producer) man that being followed at all times isn’t what she signed up for—yes scrap everything from yesterday!—has been entirely lost on everyone. This is helpful to her. It’s her last chance. It’s exactly what she needs right now. Oprah, guys. Oprah. Oh yeah, and it’s also supposed to be a turning point for Oprah’s network OWN, which has been billed as an unmitigated failure. But mainly, it’s about helping Lindsay.

How well this new start is going though, we can only guess at. We’ve only seen the trailer and she’s already made Oprah mad. OPRAH, guys. You know things are bad when Oprah’s despairing of you. Especially when you’re Lohan: Oprah’s basically her spirit animal. Oprah’s stony-faced and says ‘bullshit’. I mean, if that’s not serious, drama is entirely lost on me. Some of course might choose to question Oprah’s motives here, but as we all know, this is entirely about Lindsay and not at all about rejuvenating Oprah’s failing network.

This might be just the trick to get it back on message though! We’ve already seen Lindsay having a teary face-off with the man the rest of the world knows as an advert for a vasectomy, but whom Lindsay calls Michael Lohan, in what looks both like a heart-breakingly candid (dare I say, ‘real’?) moment for Lindsay and the kind of bear-baiting by the crew and her father that was last seen on Jeremy Kyle. Luckily, her never-failing pillar of strength and morality mother, Dina, is here to give Lindsay awkward hugs and tell the camera how thrilled she is her daughter is back in New York, where she’s close to family. Which has nothing at all to do with the added exposure this also means for Dina.  

OPRAH, guys! And as long as we keep saying that, we will fully accept that this is good for Lindsay, no matter how exploitative and crass it might look. 

Pop Goes Culture

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Forget the Barbican, abandon the Southbank Centre and, my God, if the Tate even bothers to showcase an exhibition this year, well we can only hope they don’t advertise it: that would just be embarrassing for everyone. We’re in 2014 now and aesthetes have long since fobbed off such cultural hubs in favour of sunnier and altogether shinier climes.

What is this new hallowed land I’m referring to, you ask? Why, the pop video, of course: the new yardstick by which all future artist endeavours must be measured.

2013 was a doozy for the pop video. In one year alone we were exposed to everything from a discourse on feminism, to lessons in anatomy displayed in balloon form (I’m bagging Lily Allen’s version come my 30th and anyone questioning this can twerk off), to debates over whether Beetlejuice trousers should ever be worn by middle aged men with big, ahem, thighs. And of course, no amount of hypnotherapy will erase the image of Miley Cyrus’ foam finger. Oh Miley, you little rascal.

Ah yes, what was once described as—and I’m sorry to give even a mite of the word count over to the opinions of the clearly hopelessly gauche here, but needs must—the superficial and trite, was well established as THE arena for wise and important thoughts, a think tank where all important issues of the day would be properly dissected, via the medium of dance. 

Of course, the big question now is where can it go from here? Well, taking into consideration every hashtag trend, making a concentrated study of Pharell Williams’ 24 hours of Happy (fine: 2.54 minutes of it) and diligently following Perez Hilton’s blog, I have carefully forecast what the year ahead of us may hold from the purveyors of pop. Here are my predictions for what we can expect from the genre in 2014.

More open letter writing. This was a big theme of 2013 and so the natural progression is that this will now take place to music. It conveys the emotion behind telling Sinead O’Connor to stick it so much better than a snide 140 characters on Twitter ever could.

More ‘home video’ style efforts that will establish indie and alternative bands as indie and alternative through carefully constructed ‘LOL’ moments and cut aways. And haircuts. Cannot overstate how important the haircuts are.

The next Kardashian baby birth will be broadcast over a video for ballad rap, with Kanye dancing with the placenta, delicately draping it around himself to convey the tender emotion, waving it in the air for the power riffs, before final culmination of Lion King moment with new born child. Possibly over dramatic scenic landscape and perhaps slow motion footage of horses galloping through water. But now I’m just lifting ideas completely from Bound 2. Dry ice, you say? Yes.

But of course, with the BBFC introducing new age-rating restrictions, these will now all be covered in the digital equivalent of a modesty bag. Sorry, Rihanna.

Viva la pop!

Urban Outfitter’s Depressing New Look

And we have a winner! Call it people: 8 January, 2014 and the fashion world has already passed on the Golden Crown of the Asshat onto the head of this year’s winner: Urban Outfitters.

Now far be it from me to break with this blog’s long-established formula of sleb snark to opine on a fashion story, but I believe that Urban Outfitters, in their illustrious career, have caused enough Twitter controversy to qualify for a mention on these pages. And, as someone who was once paid exclusively to comment (bitch extensively) on the passing whims of Lady Fashion for a living— and still, to this day continues to do so occasionally on a freelance basis— I feel it behoves me to pass comment. And so, it has been decreed that Urban Outfitters will make their first appearance here, where once only the likes of Chris Brown and Alex Reid’s sex dungeons were mentioned.

Competition for this year’s winner was fierce (fashion slang, for you) in a season that has already seen the previously outlawed fur— banned on the grounds of ethics, animal rights, basic humanity and all those other trifling issues Lady Fashion rarely bothers herself with, unless PETA’s being particularly bothersome—slinking back onto the catwalks; its transition eased by vague murmurings of, ‘this was ethically farmed…’. Indeed, many spectators were holding out for rehabilitated and reformed raging racist, John Galliano to come out with another rant of utter fuckwittery (with some arguing he still holds the title irrespective of the judges’ decisions). However, it appears even he has been piped to the post this year, as, within a week, Urban Outfitters found themselves coming under fire for a crop top emblazoned with the word depression all over it. A t-shirt which some argued could be taken to be making light of what is in fact a serious mental illness and thus wildly offensive to anyone who suffers from it.

Of course, readers au fait with UO’s past catalogue of bad taste, will not be surprised at this latest turn of events. After all, this is a company who once defined a dark t-shirt colour as ‘Obama’, ripped of a woman’s jewellery designs and pulled their pro gay marriage slogan t-shirts after “too much bad press”. And that’s not even touching on a t-shirt named in a lawsuit as being of particular interest to paedophiles. But it is this precise issue that has brought them to our attention today and, as they were swift to point out in their acceptance speech (which came in the form of a mumbled apology over Twitter) they couldn’t have achieved this honour alone, modestly pointing out, with finger-pointing alacrity, that the offending tee was in fact the work of a company named Depression. Thus, this was simply a case of unfortunate branding.

But don’t worry, dear readers! Someone’s still being a complete troll here. Which leads me nicely to Depression’s own page, where they explain the LOLs we were all missing behind the entire thing. See, their clothes are all about “breaking from boredom”, with collections “a black comedy based on medical themes.” LOL! 

From their website— and here, I fear I come dangerously close to aneurysm—you may browse at will their other fashion collections, named, with all the wit and whimsy of a full colonic, such things as ‘Dysmorphia’ and ‘Birth Defect’. Still seeing the funny side?

But let’s not let all this side-splitting fun take away from the true winners of the day. Well done, Urban Outfitters, you’ve once again hit a moral low.

McBusted

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Also posted on Spindle Magazine

In an occasion marked solely by the sudden pant wetting of now 20-something women in Britain, noughties boy bands Busted and McFly have reunited as supergroup: McBusted (a name they narrowly avoided sharing with a McDonald’s breakfast burger). 

The news left non-hardcore fans (a group the boys like to call ‘not our mothers’), music critics and the general public alike in a state of confusion as the two groups were so indistinguishable in the first place, most believed them to only ever have been one band. However, for the sake of clarity, experts have devised a subtle method of distinguishing between the two: McFly were the group you felt bad about perving over as they were so young (now they’re largely legal it’s acceptable to do so, but in an unfortunate twist of face, few wish to); Busted were the group you didn’t want to perve over as they had the bad dye job you sported aged 14 after you were let loose in the bathroom with a bottle of bleach you found under the sink and mistook for peroxide. And, you know, eyebrows.

The news was announced on Monday at a press conference, which the invited journalists originally mistook for a hideous shirt convention, judging by the boys’ choice of attire. Face was saved only by the appearance of James Bourne, whose own wardrobe appears to have been cryogenically frozen since Busted were last current, to be wheeled out at the first sniff of a reunion. Well friends, that reunion is here. They’re describing themselves as a ‘pop supergroup’ and needless to say, this translates into an unjustifiably vast array of waistcoats already in rotation. See also the selection of obligatory ‘kooky’, ‘indie’ (read: hideously embarrassing) press shots that have since been released. Largely to cringing by all who’ve seen them. Vague interest from music fans was immediately quelled when Charlie Simpson put an end to rumours he might be appearing in the band over Twitter, with a concise, “No, I’m not…” Historians will note Simpson originally left the band to focus on music. We’re still waiting for him to do so.

Not ones to waste a minute of time and risk irrelevancy (ahem), their first public performance has already been scheduled for Friday, where they will be ‘playing’ (excuse the snigger) on Children In Need. Because apparently the children haven’t suffered enough already.

For cynics, bookies are already placing bets that their planned April/May tour will be cancelled due to poor sales. However, I fear they greatly underestimate irony.

To McBusted: may they change that wang of a name.

Dance Moms: Series 1 Episode 1

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A dramatic opening: mothers are screaming; girls are crying; people seem to fall into two camps of either jealous or crazy; and a woman who looks as if she owns several house coats that might smell of cat urine is stomping across the floor, rasping orders while some girl contorts into a boneless chicken fillet with an overly mascaraed head. This can only mean one thing: Dance Moms.

Cue opening credits of moms and daughters doing some cringe dancing, next to their names spelled out in giant block letters, before the hulking black figure of terror, Abby Lee, puts an end to all the fun, her hands firmly on her hips, the firm set of her jaw and narrowed lips suggesting she might kill you. DANCE MOMS! 

The first episode opens with an alarming amount of polyester. It’s competition time. Nationals! And we all know from watching Glee how important Nationals are.

Let’s meet the cast, shall we? First up it’s Abby Lee Miller herself, who appears to have misplaced her neck. Maybe this is why her voice sounds as if she gargles with gravel and the bones of small children.

“Coupe, grand jete, Chardonnay, Michael Buble,” she rasps at the floor of dancing children. It turns out, these are all dance moves. Apparently, Abby produces stars. We know this from the pan out of some of her trophies. You get the impression Abby makes stars in the same way diamonds are made, but it turns out she’s actually very caring. She raises some of these children as if they were her own (said with the underlying violence of someone who eats their young), staring down the cameraman so hard, you fear he may have wet himself. Let’s hope he’s not crying though! As Abby Lee can’t abide tears, as we see in the next scene, where she yells at a little girl for doing so.

But what have we here? Why, it’s the pyramid, where all the girls are rated according to their performance. “Everyone wants to be on top, but you have to work for it,” Abby explains, as you’re left with the overwhelming impression that she’s actually running an escort agency. This is partly because of the amount of makeup some of the small children are wearing in their headshots; partly because they’re posing like they’re setting a honey trap. Either way, you begin to feel distinctly uncomfortable. At the moment, Maddie’s on the top, which her mom pretends to feel bad about, “She’s always on the top,” while happily preening herself. Still in polyester though.

Let’s get a confessional from her, shall we? We get an insight into her home life, where she dreamily flips through a catalogue, while Maddie smugly points out it’s mainly of her. “There’s me. There’s me. There’s me.” What a winning little narcissist she’ll turn out to be. But uh oh! All is not well at home. Wearing a top made purely from glitter and (my guess) Pritstick, Melissa tells us about her (head twitch) “Ex to be” who blames dance for breaking up their marriage. But it’s ok! She’s found a new boyfriend and he foots the bills instead. “It’s about the kids,” she tells us with wide, staring, crack eyes.

Back to the studio!

“Those legs are about as straight as Elton John.” Abby gasps at the prancing girls.

Let’s meet Christi and her daughter, Chloe. Chloe is Maddie’s number one competition. Christi will do pretty much anything to make Chloe number one, including putting dance before school. “It’s probably not right,” she gurns.

Back at the studio, the mothers are all discussing the pyramid, bitching about how Maddie’s on top (big suh-prise ), ignoring Maddie’s mom, Melissa, who’s sat right next to them. Apparently, there’s a big soundproof wall between Melissa and the rest of the moms, which makes this all ok.

But the other moms—I mean, their daughters—might be in with a chance, as Maddie looks sick! “If she pukes, I’m not cleaning it up,” caring, loving Melissa intones, with a sassy wiggle of her finger. Maddie looks pale, has been seen retching and is dancing through a haze of tears, so Melissa goes to cheer her up, using comforting words such as “Stop acting like this. Are you going to throw up? You looked like you were going to throw up.” While telling the camera “I can’t stand. A child. That’s sick.” With a bracing, “You never miss dance. Let’s go,” tearful, sick little Maddie bravely troops back out onto the dance floor, to the bile of all the other moms.

It’s time for Abby to do some more yelling, threatening to have Paige’s head on a platter and telling the camera (surely by now left unattended) that she likes to be the ones to tell the girls their flaws and make them cry, before anyone else can. Flash over to Paige, her mom Kelly and her other daughter, Brooke. Brooke has been winning awards since she was six years old and Paige has also won an award. It turns out that Kelly also used to be a dancer! She started dancing with Abby when she was two and a half and has been dancing with her for 37 years. Yet she still sees fit to put her daughters through the same rigours. Brooke doesn’t want to dance anymore, preferring cheerleading instead. This makes Brooke an ungrateful little bitch. Kelly tries to make her feel bad by asking if it matters to her that “you’re not getting first and second anymore.” Brooke looks bored. “Not really.” Back in the confessional, Kelly’s smiling like she’s on uppers and saying that though her daughters can be mean (evils Bored Brooke), deep down, they appreciate what she does. Paige points and mouths “that’s her,” so there can be no confusion as to whom Kelly’s talking about.

Let’s go straight to Holly, shall we? Holly’s Nia’s mom. Nia is at the bottom of the pyramid. Again. In their confessional, Holly beams about over Nia’s talent. Nia practices her Demon Headmaster eyes. With a masters degree from Carnegie Mellon and currently studying at the University of Pennsylvania, whilst still holding down a job as a high school principal, Holly easily comes across as the most intelligent and accomplished mom in the group. Oh! And she also looks like Michelle Obama! Which is the biggest achievement of all. Nia shows off her crown. She didn’t win it. She had to buy it. Holly remains optimistic and supportive. “It’s coming.”

Welcome a new mom! It’s Cathy and Vivi-anne! Cathy explains she has a history of dance, running her own studio, while Vivi-anne sits next to her and mockingly mouths everything she’s saying, complete with hand gestures. I like Vivi-anne immediately. “Vivi has to dance.”

Cathy is “absolutely loaded with quirks.” We see this as we enter her house, which is what I would imagine the Neverland ranch to look like inside, except for little girls. “I love bunnies,” Cathy coos. She likes carrots too. They’re neat ‘cause they go with the bunnies. Cut to Vivi who looks like she’s been lobotomised. Pink is Cathy’s favourite colour, or, as she puts it, “a way of life.” Cut to Vivi: “I don’t like pink.” Which is a shame, because her bedroom seems to be decorated exclusively with pink bunnies. Unless this is Cathy’s room, which would be more fitting. Cathy talks like Bugs Bunny, which would probably be a compliment to her. Cathy has brought Vivi to Abby Lee’s studio so someone else can be the bitch that makes her daughter cry. “So you’re here as the mom…?” Abby clarifies.

“I’m here as the mom.”

“You’re not looking for a job?”

“Oh no, no… Yet.”

Then there’s an awkward moment when Cathy says “You go girlfriend” and gives Vivi a high-five. Let’s move on.

It’s the day before competition. But then! Someone’s arse walks into the studio! And boy, does it look clenched. Someone has worn the wrong outfit and this is a big no no for Abby Lee. It turns out the clenched arse is the girl’s mom. Who’s also a minister. “Yes I am a minister!” She screeches. “Let’s play the Bible game, Abby!” At this point, the screaming becomes unintelligible, but the Bible game doesn’t sound much fun. Abby throws the woman and her daughter out. Abby starts yelling at the daughter for not doing the right moves. One thinks her anger might be displaced and make a comment about picking on someone her own size but to be fair, there probably isn’t anyone Abby Lee’s size. After the woman chases Abby round the studio a bit, Abby calls the police. “She does not have weapons, just her mouth,” she explains while correcting one student’s point. 

It’s competition time. “We’re like the glammed up Beverly Hillbillies,” Christie explains in the best line to date. Behind the scenes, everything’s going to hell: costumes aren’t finished and one girl’s had the wrong manicure. Christi and Kelly decide to diffuse the tension by going to the bar. Abby’s found them, coming storming through the bar. She’s not happy. Kelly and Christie ‘double fist’ (“I don’t double fist when I’m with my kids! I double fist when I’m in college.”), before heading back to the girls. Kelly then burns Paige with her curling iron, before blaming it on Paige. “She walked right into the curling iron.” Someone grabs ice (maybe from her cocktail), while little Nia comforts Paige with the sage words: “If it makes you feel any better, I don’t have any underwear on.” 

The first dance goes off without a hitch, though they only win third place, which means the trio dance has to be amazing. But then disaster strikes: Chloe’s headband falls down her face! At one point, not considering pushing it up, she dances blind. This leaves Abby and Christie to go outside for a shouting match, where Abby accuses Christie of being a drunk mess.

“Remember, I pay your bills!” Christie shouts, which appears to be the equivalent of saying ‘your ass looks big in those knock off Juicy jeans.

“You pay your bills late,” Abby hisses back. Equivalent: your weave looks cheap.

Somehow, they win anyway and the world is saved from ending.

Torrid Tories in Sexy Scandal

Oh me, oh my, what fresh hell is this? I’m curled up in the foetal position, gently rocking myself. Occasionally, a fresh strand of dribble escapes my mouth, usually accompanied by a low moan or escaping wail. In what was described by Vanity Fair (in what was possibly their crassest moment to date since hiring Pippa Middleton as a contributing editor) as “a sexy new twist” (I mourn for their sex lives), news of Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson’s affair has come to light and I am traumatised with the accompanying mental imagery with all the upset of a young teenager walking in on their parents having sex (as in fact I was when that actually happened).

Forgive me for being late to this snark party, but I have spent the ensuing days since hearing the news alternatively in a state of denial or dry heaving and clutching at clumps of hair (plus, ya know: deadlines and what not). I haven’t been able to go near one friend of mine, bestowed as he is with long, red tresses, for quite some time and for entirely different reasons than usual.

Obviously, this raises some important questions, which I must now address (or at least raise) so I may gain some—to quote the Americans—‘closure’ on this, most troubling of events and move on.

Did Rebekah keep only her peter pan collar on during the act? How many others ‘rode her like a horse’? And by six degrees of (alleged via insinuating texts) separation, does this mean SamCam’s effectively bumped uglies (or at least copped a feel) with Coulson too? Most importantly of all, though, is what with all this skulduggery and illicit shagging, how on earth did they find the time to hack all those phones?

What an enterprising pair they are.

Royal Christening Photo Revealed As Back Of A Manila Envelope.

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Also published on Spindle Magazine

News from Clarence House as the official photograph of the Christening of Prince George has been revealed. In a surprising twist, it appears to be of the back of a manila envelope.

Royalists, journalists and the Royal press officers alike were left in head-scratching bemusement at what originally appeared to be the Royals’ decision to mark the occasion of Prince George’s Christening by taking a photo of a manila envelope. It was only after intense scrutiny using the kind of equipment usually seen on Law & Order and some fiddling with the exposure on Photoshop, however, that it was found that this was simply a trick of the eye, caused by the vast abundance of beige in the photo that made it difficult for the human eye to alight on anything. This a direct result of Kate coordinating her outfit with Pippa’s, Camilla’s and the subjects on the left-hand-side of the portrait’s teeth.

Pa Middleton’s appearance in the photo immediately vetoed him as the photographer this time round, thus ending his stint as Royal portrait taker at the grand time of once. Sources say he did offer to use the technical wizardry of self-timer, that would enable him to both take and partake in the photo, however the necessity of having someone on hand to brandish toys and puppets behind the scenes in order to get Prince Charles to crack a smile, rendered this impractical. As is, Charles appears to have suffered a stroke moments before the photo was taken, however, no official confirmation from the palace has yet been received to confirm or deny this.

Kate, on the other hand, is said to be secretly pleased at this, as it was at her father’s insistence that the family dog was included in the last one, meaning there was someone else there to vie for the accolade of shiniest hair (that being the primary attraction to Prince William in the first place). This left her terrified Wills may be sufficiently distracted and confused as to mistake which glossy haired mammal had been lovingly and dutifully panting after him, bringing him his slippers each evening in return for a gratifying pat on the head, while still easily managed and restrained by the Royal leash and which was the Middleton family’s pet.

The portrait stands in stark contrast to William’s own Christening picture, as both parents look happy and not the recent victims of an aristocratic mail order bride scheme, where both parties are suffering buyers’ remorse.

Special attention must be paid to the Queen, who leers with the grimace of a woman tempted to kill the photographer with the wave of a hand for asking her to ‘cheer up love’ and say cheese, or indeed, someone who’s been forced to wear a paisley skirt against her will.

Women’s mags will note Kate’s Pilates toned arms.

Courtney Gets Candid

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On the 15th day of Christmas, Amazon gave to me, Courtney Lo-o-ho-ove’s autobiography. 

Ah yes, the Muses have moved Courtney Love to put pen to paper and sign the cheque of a ghostwriter, to detail in a mere 400 pages— 400 pages! — her memoirs. A gift of such worth has not been known to humanity since God sent down his own son to save us one December. Thus it’s only fitting that she uses the traditional, gift-giving time of year to bestow upon us her own Christ-like offering, setting as she has a publishing date of December 15th.

So has been decreed the stocking filler of choice for naughty children (in lieu of a lump of coal, which went out of fashion under Thatcher), the desperately unloved and any woman who dared to come to work once in a slightly too short skirt and a ladder in her tights, in the office secret Santa sweepstakes, in place of a sexist-sloganned t-shirt or a penis mug.

Well, as we are wont to do in the face of adversity and just plain crappiness, we must now attempt to rationalise this aberration by turning to a greater force. No, not religion: Morrissey. 

Last week, you may have noticed that, in what can only be described as the greatest act of narcissism since Rihanna opened an Instagram account, Morrissey published a memoir and with it, he opened the floodgate for other celebrity autobiographies. Well dear reader, hold the press! Stop that Facebook humble brag status you’ve been mentally composing and for the love of God, would someone shut up Twitter? I fear that the world will simply bow under the weight of such self-congratulation if the rest of us don’t quiet our own navel-gazing.

(This blog, of course, will continue to run.)

Now, since I haven’t read Morrissey’s humble tome and have no intention of doing so, I can’t comment on its content. I can, however, judge it by its cover, which is suitably emblazoned with a picture of the man himself smiling beatifically— his expression that what some people may suggest looks as if he’s being pleasured or has recently farted, but I fear is simply his reaction to hearing his own voice. He likely being the only person over the age of 16 who still papers the walls with posters of The Smiths and quotes his own lyrics, arguing the genius of, well, himself. And then swiftly make wild (ly accurate) assumptions about what it could contain, my money being on racial slurs, more accusations of Beyoncé: rhino killer and iterations of profound self belief along the lines of ‘I am the greatest musician since BEFORE JOHNNY MARR’. 

Which brings me neatly back to Courtney Love’s offering as, in a domino-like effect, as soon as one egotistical blowhard feeling the warmth of the spotlight moving elsewhere attempts to regain some relevancy, so do all the others seek to jump on the bandwagon, fighting it out for the ultimate validation of a spot on WHSmith’s Christmas book chart. Hallowed ground, indeed. Whereas last year we had Cheryl Cole, Tulissa and Clare Balding’s My Animals and Other Family, this year we have the once music heavyweights and my God, the excitement is almost too great to bear. Why, in light of this literary feast I might not even do my standard bulk buy of Guinness Book of World Records as Christmas presents for my nearest and dearest this year—unprecedented, as they do so look forward to finding out about the world’s fastest toilet and comparing it to their own plumbing systems.

As to the exact revelations we can expect from Love’s side of the story, a no holds barred approach that goes down the traditional route of dishing all on past loves and romances, in the grand tradition of the likes of Katie Price, has been promised by her publicist. No word yet as to whether she too will name each breast, but no doubt, we will get an in depth insight into her plumbing systems.

For a preview, please see her Twitter account and every interview she’s ever done ever.

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