DECKCHAIRS ON THE TITANIC SHUFFLE OF THE WEEK
The latest twist in Elon “I’m a genius, no really I am” Musk’s disastrous stewardship of the hugely popular and influential (until he got hold of it) social media platform Twitter saw Elon announcing last week that it was to be rebranded as simply “X”.
This once again demonstrated Elon’s one-in-a-generation visionary business brilliance by taking one of the world’s most instantly recognisable brand names and logos and replacing it with something which is not merely meaningless and already heavily overused (X Factor, X-Men, X-Files,
I could go on) but – crucially – IMPOSSIBLE TO GOOGLE. Any attempt to find the rebranded Twitter online will bring up every instance of the letter X being used anywhere on the internet (including, one imagines, quite a few naughty pictures).
Unless Elon plans on trademarking the letter X, effectively reducing the alphabet to 25 letters. How e actly does he e pect that to work?
Elon does seem to have a thing about the letter X; his rocket ship company is called SpaceX and you may remember that the son he had with the musician Grimes was named X Æ A-12. This was of course before Grimes joined the X-tensive and ever X-panding list of Elon’s angry X-wives and X-girlfriends.
QUESTIONABLE BIT OF PARENTING OF THE WEEK
One of the less toxic aspects of social media is that thing where a silly, fun idea arises from the collective conversation and becomes an overnight institution. One such instance was “Barbenheimer”, in which movie fans the world over decided to celebrate the release on the same day of two equally anticipated but otherwise utterly dissimilar films (specifically Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan’s three-hour epic about the creation of the atom bomb, and Barbie, Greta Gerwig’s postmodern dayglo comedy about the titular toy’s adventures in the real world) by watching them as the most deliberately jarring double-bill ever.
Even our next former prime minister Rishi Sunak tweeted (X-ed?) a photo of himself with his wife Akshata and their two little daughters (it’s always a bit awkward when politicians bring their kids to a photo op; you feel like a brute passing comment on it which is probably why they do it) on their way into what certainly LOOKED like a public cinema (Check it out plebs! We’re at the regular flicks! We’re not getting a private screening, no sir!) with the caption “The family vote was only ever going one way… Barbie first it is #Barbenheimer”.
But… there was near-universal consensus that you should see Oppenheimer first and Barbie second, and the Sunaks’ kids are 10 and 12 while Oppenheimer is a 15 certificate. Was the PM seriously going to drag his Barbied-up little girls into a three-hour movie about nuclear testing that they’re both too young to see? Or was he just pretending to jump on a bandwagon in yet another failed attempt to look even slightly normal?
Stick to borrowing poor people’s cars at petrol stations, Rishi.
ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS OF THE WEEK
So Europe is breaking its Highest Temperature Ever records on an almost daily basis, this is already the hottest summer on record and it’s not even August yet and most of Greece is LITERALLY ON FIRE, but the Tories clung on to Uxbridge because a couple of thousand SUV drivers were whining about ULEZ, so no more green policies from either of the major parties ever again! Woo hoo! Crank up the AC and pass the Factor 2000!
STRAW-CLUTCH OF THE WEEK
Inevitably, government spokesbeings seized upon the Uxbridge result in an attempt to put some sort of positive spin on the by-election results but barely managed to generate anything more than a gentle rotary action.
In particular, Tory chairman Greg Hands not only reduced the Radio 4 Today studio to audible howls of laughter by claiming that Uxbridge was “the standout result” of the evening but went on to draw mocking attention to the collapse of the Labour vote in Somerton & Frome (where the Lib Dems won) and of the Lib Dem vote in Selby & Ainsty (where Labour romped home).
The question this poses is: is Mr Hands too dim to realise that this precise aspect of the result is the Conservative nightmare scenario? That it means the British public has finally got its collective head around the idea of tactical voting and that a potentially Tory-eradicating Progressive Alliance may be forming organically whether the Labour and Lib Dem leadership want one or not? Or is he just hoping everyone ELSE is too dim to realise this?
POEM OF THE WEEK
Throughout the whole of history
There’s always been one thing
That never ever changes:
It’s good to be the King.
They say “heavy lies the head that wears
The Crown” but look, you fools
It’s heavy ’cos it’s made of gold
And full of massive jewels.
To show he sympathises
With the people in these days
Of austerity, His Majesty
Just gave himself a raise!
And extra 45 per cent
He soon will be allowed
125 million, which
We pay for! Aren’t you proud?
The future’s looking ominous
We fear what it may bring
But there’ll never be a cost of living
Crisis when you’re King.