"All my favourite people - the people I really trust - none of them were cool in their younger years" - Taylor Swift
"I'm too sexy for my hat, what do you think about that?" - Right Said Fred
"[In the '70s] Notting Hill carnival was for the community – and the kids" - Sharon Holmen-Reddi
Say what you will about them, our cousins across the pond have perfected the art of making dull things entertaining. Everything is a pageant in America; an excuse for excess and exaggeration and fireworks. Always fireworks. No doubt the stereotype of the dull, humourless, bureaucratic European is alive and well over there. This is especially true when it comes to the world of sport, and was perhaps made most clear when watching the UEFA Champions League draw this week. While we have men plucking balls from small pods with all the manufactured excitement of a doctor performing his sixth rectal exam of the day, America is currently warming up for two men fighting each other by getting lots of other men to fight each other first, pre fights if you will, in order to keep the nation entertained and satisfy their lust for violence. While we have an audience of suits watching other men in suits decide who will play football together in the most tedious of fashions, they have a man in a suit declaring to take down government so that he can build a wall. That's entertainment, as Paul Weller would have it.
Elsewhere, lots of Americans have decided to get a little bit smelly this weekend. Far-right activists are planning to walk through the streets of San Francisco, and what has the city has responded with? Dogs. Cute, cuddly, rocket turd producing dogs.
Having once had their 15 minutes of fame with the smash hit 'I'm Too Sexy', Fairbrass brothers Right Said Fred were back in the news today after presumably receiving a hefty and unexpected pay cheque, due to their writing credit on the new Taylor Swift song. I remember when I was a kid reading a book and learning there were infinite possible melodies in the world, and how exciting that felt - well, fuck, turns out it's only 2017 and already we're being forced to recycle melodies from shit novelty songs from the early '90s. I saw the story in the paper - to my surprise both band members were in fact wearing shirts, but to be fair to the brothers they have become decidedly less sexy in the intervening years. And the only thing that hurts is my ears after listening to Swift's new song. A half-hearted "diss" track that's more limp than a bag of salad stuffed behind a radiator on a scorching August afternoon. In the sea with you I'm afraid.
Lastly, it's carnival innit! A weekend of joyous celebration where white people who order the lemon & herb chicken at Nando's think it's ok to wear a rasta wig and drape a Jamaican flag around their shoulders. Seriously though, go and get fucked up but stay respectful and remember the stakes involved here, especially in a year where the government has undersold this community in the most horrendous way imaginable and Grenfell, no doubt, will be on everyone's minds. London is blessed to have such a wonderful celebration of Afro-Carribean culture, even if the council and the police want to take it away frm us. Peace & love and have a terrific Bank Holiday whatever the fuck you're up to.