Thursday, 30 December 2010

Forever Autumn

Welcome to the penultimate post of 2010. It's been a year of ups and downs, with more than a few sideways glances. And as we sweep up the remains of the decade, along with all the tattered wrapping paper and empty vodka bottles, there's time to take a quick look as what Autumn brought us, in addition to a skip-load of damp leaves.

The month of September got off to a great start for Peter Hitchens, who felt he'd finally identified the smoking gun that confirmed what he'd always suspected - that the BBC leans to the left. No-one had the heart to point out that the telling bulge in the corporation's corduroy slacks had given the game away years ago.

Elsewhere in the pages of the Daily Mail, the knives were drawn for Lady Gaga, Davina McCall and Chloe Mafia. The paper's ill-concealed misogyny spilled out all over the place, as these women were attacked for being too calculating (Our Lady of the Tenderloin), too liberal (Big Mutha) or too slutty (do I really need to point that one out?).

However, it was clear that the real enemy of our traditional British sensibilities, was the growing Islamification of this great nation, as evidenced by the pernicious spread of Halal McNuggets. It was clear, to the Mail at least, that although most people don't give a Towering Zinger about what they put in their mouths, they do care about which religiously associated slaughtering methods are being used in the abattoir.

Which leads me rather neatly onto 'Fuck You' - Cee Lo Green's chart-topping, foot-tapping, profanity spouting retro throwback. Although a radio friendly version was released (managing to squeeze an extra syllable into the title), it was the explicit version that really caught people's imagination. And it was just one of a number of fairly innocuous pop songs, spiced up with some dockyard language. In the past, singers have recommended gargling with warm, salty water before going onstage - these days they'd be more in need of soap and water.

The first few Christmas decorations were already popping up in certain stores, so naturally our thoughts turned to gifts - even though we planned to leave buying anything until the last minute, certain that our postal service wouldn't be impeded by any seasonal snowfall.

Answering the age-old question 'What do you buy for the man or woman who has everything?', we discovered a rare malt whisky distilled from diabetics' piss, a pearl necklace of sculpted silver semen, and a new women's magazine aimed at plus-size ladies.

The publishers' timing couldn't have been better, since women's body size continued to be a big issue. Christina Hendricks complained that dress designers were unable to provide her with suitable red carpet couture, thanks to her abundant figure. Used to dressing stick-thin waifs of indeterminate gender, it's no wonder the designers struggled to dress a woman with more curves than an alpine racetrack. Nonetheless, the media's obsession with post-baby weight loss continued, as celebrity mothers were damned if they did and damned if they didn't.

P0pvulture took a trip Stateside in October to take in the delights of New York and San Francisco, most of which came with a gargantuan side order of fries and dipping sauce. The people were friendly, the shop assistants helpful and the choices varied. In fact, it was only the high prices that reminded me of home.

Meanwhile, X-Factor rolled on, giving the UK a fantastic new supervillain to hate. Apparently, these days you can be branded Satan's emissary on Earth just for having curly hair and an over-inflated opinion of yourself. Lookout Mika, they'll be coming for you next.

The Jackass boys launched another assault on taste, decency and each other's genitals, this time in 3D. Apparently, the immersive nature of the technology makes you really feel like you're there. In this case, that means trapped in an airborne Portaloo.

Looking further afield, we followed closely the developments in Chile, as a major rescue effort was mounted to extract a number of miners trapped in a collapsed shaft. Thankfully, all the men were safely removed, although one found himself facing a different kind of jeopardy when both his wife and mistress turned up to celebrate his safe return.

Over in Spain, prostitutes were forced to wear high-vis jackets when working the rural roads - but struggled to accessorise their new outfits. And a different kind of sex scandal erupted in Italy, as children were removed from a prestigious school because of concerns about the sexiness of one of the teachers. You'd think the mothers of the children would be happy that their husbands finally showed an interest in attending parents' evening.

Concerned by a spate of gay suicides, Dan Savage launched the 'It gets Better' campaign, which saw a huge number of illustrious celebrities, and Ke$ha, create encouraging YouTube videos encouraging kids to rise above the bullies. Unfortunately, no-one pointed this out to Amanda Platell, who continued to churn out her own special brand of underwritten cruelty, directed at anyone who happened to catch her eye. Now, I'm reluctant to lower myself to her level, so I'll simply point out that she looks like a snow shovel coated in vaseline and leave it at that.

OK folks, tomorrow's the big one, as we count down the last two months of the decade. Please join me and we'll raise a celebratory glass of something to the year that once was.

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