Fiery Naomi Campbell sent to the Naughty Corner

25 06 2008

Granddad is mad. Very mad. Naomi Campbell was on the list of celebs due to introduce acts at Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday concert but has been dropped following her conviction for air rage.

Campbell calls Mandela her “grandfather” and has done significant work for his charity 46664. As a result the decision to banish Naomi to the grandstand is likely to embarrass and shame Campbell given that it’s been said he was involved in the move to distance her from the charity. He was hardly thrilled with the brand association derived from the model being arrested wearing a cap with the charity’s logo!

Naomi Campbell

The supermodel batted her eye lids and avoided jail time, being sentenced to 200 hours of community service after pleaded guilty to assaulting two police officers following an “air rage” incident at London’s Heathrow Airport. Apparently she kicked and spat at police, used abusive language and accused airline staff of racism when she was told that one of her bags had not been placed on the British Airways flight to Los Angeles on 3 April.

This is just another in a string of incidences surrounding the fiery singer. She’s been charged with assault several times since 2000 for abusive acts such an attack on an assistant with a deadly jewel encrusted mobile phone and leaving an Italian actress Yvonne Sciò with a bloody nose because they wore the same dress.

Will a snub from grandad calm Campbell…mmm…unlikely since anger management classes and fines haven’t done so in the past!


Presenting the Mc-Marriage Burger at your nearest McDonalds!

25 06 2008

Will we soon see posters for the McMarriage burger? Only £1.99 at a store near you? Probably given the latest news that a couple from Cornwall in England went straight from their wedding ceremony to a McDonalds before heading on to the wedding reception. WTF?

Apparently the bride disliked buffet food but surely given that it was her wedding she could have arranged food that she actually liked!?

The response from McDonalds was hilarious. Check it out: “We all know that weddings can be stressful and we’re glad that the simple good value and great taste of our food can take some of the hassle out of the special day.” Mmm…yes perhaps the next generation of fast food addicts will make a stop at Maccy D’s on the church. I mean on your wedding day you dress up, surround yourself by your nearest and dearest and then what….cheapen the experience by a trip to a burger joint? Someone should have given the bride a good breakfast!

Amazingly this is not the first bridal party tucking into a Big Mac! A Welsh couple in 2002 had their wedding reception at McDonalds to save money, spending only £136.87 for the food and drinks for 33 guests! As Ireland is apparently heading into a recession should we expect to see bridal parties ahead of us in the drive thru’s? How far is too far when it comes to saving a few pennies and surely there are some days that should be special (i.e. not a McFlurry is sight!), regardless of budget.

Civil Partnership Bill Outline Unveiled in Ireland

24 06 2008

Same sex couples in Ireland have been waiting years for action from the Government on legislation in relation to civil partnerships. The first hint at positive action came today when the Government today approved the Heads of a Civil Partnership bill which, according to Dermot Ahern (Justice Minister) shows that the Government recognises the ‘‘many forms of relationships in modern society”. The Bill provides “for Civil Partnership Registration for same-sex couples, it will also provide certainty as to the status of cohabitation agreements, and a legal safety-net to people living in long term relationships who may otherwise be very vulnerable at the end of a relationship, whether through break-up or through bereavement.”

Driven by Senator David Norris (the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in Ireland), this Bill has been stalled since 2005. At that time the Government was criticised for attempting to kick the Civil Partnership Bill to the curb. They moved at a late stage to publish an ammendemnt to the Bill, thus grinding the process to a near halt. Senator Sheila Terry of the Fine Gael party stated that “It was clear that the Government wanted to stymie debate and delay the move towards equality.”

The Irish Government have been painfully slow to act on this issue leaving Ireland trailing the rest of Europe in terms of rights of legally recognising the relationships of same-sex couples. Other counties have had civil partnership legislation with several years, for example France (since 1999), Germany (since 2001) and even our nearest neighbour, the UK (since 2005). Despite the fact that this Bill is a step in the right direction it cannot be considered “equality” as under this bill same-sex couples won’t have the full right to marry due to the fact such rights “wouldn’t pass muster” under the Constitution according to Ahern.

The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) welcomed the Bill but highlighted the fact that it does not provide legal protection for same-sex couples and their children. In a press release today Kieran Rose of GLEN stated “The proposals in the Heads of Bill however, do not provide for legal recognition of the many same-sex couples, particularly women, who are parenting children together, leaving these parents and their children outside the protection of the State”

This “Heads of Bill” is essentially an outline of what the government proposes to bring forward and in the coming months the Government will engage in consultation with other groups on this issue. It is hoped that a bill will go through the Dail (the Irish parliament) later this year.

Progress…but the wheels of Government are turning as if powered by a geriatric homophobic hamster.

PETA versus KFC- PETA winning the battle…for now

24 06 2008

“Help make positive changes for chickens”- Shockingly this isn’t the title of KT Tunstall’s latest single but rather an extract from a letter sent by her (or more likely on behalf of her) to all outlets of the fast food chain KFC in her native Scotland. The singer is another name in a long list of celebrities who have endorsed the campaigns of animal rights organisation, PETA. The website Kentuck Fried Cruelty displays the names of such celebrities and includes dozens of celebrities from Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee to Sir Paul McCartney and The Flaming Lips.

PETA states that roughly 1 billion chickens are killed each year for KFC’s buckets. This month PETA finally made advances in their 5 year campaign against KFC in Canada. Priszm Income Fund, acting on behalf of the franchises of KFC in Canada, pledged to improve its animal welfare standards and the treatment of chickens.

Regardless of your beliefs in relation to animal security, from a PR point of view, looking back at the various KFC campaigns the organisation really should be praised for it’s efforts. Recently PETA have developed online games such as Super Chick Sisters (attracted over 500,000 visitors to the KentuckyFriedCruely website) and Bloody Burberry, to take their message to the younger generation. To strike a chord with gents everywhere they brought us the now famous “I’d rather go Naked than Wear Fur” campaign which featured actresses such as Eve Mendes and Pamela Anderson.

Eve Mendes naked

Other marketing tools employed by the organisation include ecards, branded merchandise such as t-shirts and lip gloss, online recipes, horrifying video’s depicting animal cruely narrated by a diverse range of celebrities, to mention just a few.

However it’s likely these PR skills will need to go into crisis management mode following recent reports that the organisation kills over 90% of animals in their care. I wonder if KFC are behind this? Perhaps Pamela Anderson could be called in to mediate…or Britney…or Paris Hilton!

Is commitment the new aphrodisiac?

24 06 2008

Gay, straight- everyone has got the commitment bug and all are hoisting up their white dresses (or suits as the case may be), and legging it full throttle to the altar. I was chatting to a friend last night and realised that, from a quick review of our circle of friends, three people under 25 years old have gotten engaged in the past two months. I am a firm believer in the fact that the only reason you should run to a church is if you’re being chased by a pack of angry villager complete with pitch forks and are seeking refuge! However it seems like I’m in the minority here.

The most recent statistics from Ireland’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) reveal that the number of marriages has been increasing steadily. In 1996 16,174 people tied the noose knot. This figure had risen to 21,841 in 2006. Of course these figures can be linked to an increase in the population over the same period but I wonder what other factors are having an effect here?

I doubt it’s coincidence that the marriage rate has increased since 1996. The year before, in 1995, there was a referendum on divorce in Ireland and divorce was finally introduced in the State in 1997. There seems to have been a shift in attitudes relating to marriage since- Older singletons are waving their hands in the air like they just don’t care, shouting from the rooftops that being single is fabulous and that marriage stifles the spirit. Meanwhile a growing number of young people- who you’d expect to be dating, shagging and having fun, damn the consequences and don’t mention the C word (commitment) – are actually looking to settle down earlier. Perhaps people see the “marry them and drop them” trend that’s taken hold in the world of celebrity and view marriage as being without consequence?

Wedding cartoon....happy ever after???

The number of divorced persons in Ireland increased from 35,100 to 59,500 between 2002 and 2006, an increase of 69.8 per cent, making it the fastest growing marital status category. The number of separated persons increased from 98,800 to 107,300 over the same period – up 8.6 per cent.

So for the youth of today marriage appears to no longer be a scary word and commitment no longer brings spotty youths out in a cold sweat… Having problems in your relationship? Sex life a bit drab? Want to spice things up? Can’t figure out how to unlock your girlfriend’s chastity belt? Mmm….get married…sure if it doesn’t work out we can just ‘pull a Barrymore’! And how will we plan our wedding? Pick up a copy of Ok! Magazine and take tips from Colleen McLoughlin and Wayne Rooney or grab People and take wise counsel from Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon…or not!

The Amy Winehouse Self Destruction Continues

23 06 2008

Does anyone else feel like there’s some new revelation or tale of horror from the Winehouse files on almost a daily basis? This week we heard that Amy had fainted while signing autographs for fans at her home and was rushed to hospital. Following days of tests it was revealed yesterday that Amy has contracted emphysema.

If ever you wanted something to deter you from drugs, check out this photo. Nicotine stained hands that would put even Pete Doherty to shame:

Amy Winehouse- scary pic- Amy Winehouse

Hopefully this awful illness will be a blessing in disguise for the troubled musician and ensure she kicks the crap and gets back to making good music.

It’s bad news for any Irish fans who rushed to buy Oxegen Festival tickets to see her perform. Winehouse cancelled her last Irish gig in November 2007 after allegedly been advised by a doctor to “to take complete rest and deal with her health issues” (clearly that advise was followed to the letter). I think it’s a case of ‘more fool you’ for those people who were banking on Amy actually showing up. There’s more chance of the Pope pole-vaulting through my window naked right now than there is of Amy Winehouse getting her act together in the near future.

Bomb Scare at Dublin Gay Pride Festival

23 06 2008

So Dublin’s Annual Gay Pride Festival is all over bar some queens crying. What a pride festival it was too- a wondrous mix of fabulousness and drama diluted only by torrential downpours on Saturday.

The place to be on Friday night, if you are fighting in the Ellen DeGeneres corner was at the horrendously named “Dyke Night” (hate that word). It was a well handled by the event organisers with newbies to the Dublin scene invited to meet “Pride Volunteers” beforehand. There was a great vibe in the club and it was quickly evident that nothing gets a few hundred lesbians riled up like a pole-dancer and the Backstreet Boys….Ok so the pole-dancers are obvious, but the Backstreet Boys???

They were in fact the Dykes of Hazard…A group of students from DIT who began by miming a Backstreet Boys song for a laugh. These girls were without doubt a highlight of the night. They’ve perfected the BS Boys moves i.e. obligatory crotch grabbing, donned faux facial hair and baggy shirts and have now become a hit on the scene.

Unfortunately Saturday brought with it hangovers of monumental proportions. Just as we were contemplating heading to the parade, we realised that it was bucketing down rain. A pity for the organisers of the festival as attendance at the parade was significantly reduced.

On the Saturday night a group of us made our way to the Front Lounge. I was no sooner in the door when a guy gave me a sloppy kiss on the cheek and wished me “happy Pride”….a clear signal it would be a good night. However across town a few hundred revelers were given a sobering jolt when the George club was evacuated due to a bomb threat.

I realise there is probably a hoard of people hoping Delta Goodrem, who was on stage at the time, was at least maimed in this incident, however it was just a hoax. The club was emptied for 90 minutes and searched and the street blocked off as a precaution. So what about all the people “priding it up Dublin style”? Well to show that you can keep a good homo down, a gang of people started limbo dancing under the police tape….I only pray somebody captured this on video! Anyway no bomb was found, all the club goers got free drinks upon re-entry and the party continued. You have to wonder about the petty homophobe that called the threat in though. I hear karma can be a bitch.

Check out the Dykes of Hazard…hilarious..of course this video doesn’t do justice to a live performance with the gals being cheered on by hundreds of rowdy lesbians!