Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Weekly Diary: 29th June - 3rd July

Monday 29th June
It may have been noted that the crisis in Greece has not been covered on these pages, largely as it is difficult to make light of the crumbling of an entire nation into a pit of misery and despair. However, now we can no longer ignore it. The deadlines are being reached, there is no resolution to the crisis, the banks are shut, and there is no money left. The Grexit seems increasingly inevitable. This story must be talked about.
Although, today is the first day of Wimbledon. So, we’ll probably talk about that instead.

Tuesday 30th June
Exciting news from the world of opera.
No, really.
Well, sort of.
At last night’s first night of Guillaume Tell by Rossini at Covent Garden, there was booing mid-performance from outraged Frasiers and Nileses at an unexpected rape scene, which involved nudity and violence.
Well, of course it did. It was a rape scene.
The audience wasn’t having it. One critic on Newsnight said “I was repelled by the rape scene.” Well, of course you were. It was a rape scene. If you hadn’t been repelled, I would have been worried.
The director has admitted that it was probably a mistake not to warn audience members, some of whom were children, that there would be nudity and violent rape in the production. D’ya think?
That aside though, a fair bit of the coverage seems to represent people who were upset because they didn’t want to be confronted with rape at all, and certainly not at Covent Garden, at the height of the season. It’s enough to put you off your Veuve Clicquot between acts.

Wednesday 1st July
The hottest July day on record and the tabloids have no idea about what headlines to go with. The Guardian ran a heatwave live blog which, very fittingly, suffered meltdown when the servers overheated.
One of the reasons for the heat was not in fact the sun but the searing rage of Boris, who is furious that the Airports Commission has recommended the construction of a third runway at Heathrow. Boris has sworn he will lie down in front of the bulldozers if the decision is taken to build it, making Cameron’s choice on the matter extremely easy.

Thursday 2nd July
England’s Women Football Team have recently done very well at a World Cup. So well, in fact, that we were beginning to doubt if they were English. Well, we were heartily reassured of their nationality when they lost unluckily in the semi-finals to Japan.
A freak own goal from Laura Bassett saw the end of the Lionesses, as she managed to loop the ball in-off the post as she performed a sliding block several yards from and to the side of the goal.
It was devastating stuff, and goes along with the men’s many agonising disappointments, but none of them quite had this level of bizarre misfortune. See, even when it comes to crashing out because of a slice of luck, our girls trump our boys.

Friday 3rd July
It is time to enjoy the heady aroma of Trump Corner, as we check in on the most ridiculous Presidential Campaign since Rick “Ooops” Perry decided to have another crack at it. Trump is under significant pressure to apologise for comments he made concerning Mexicans, where he described them as “drug dealers and rapists”.
This is a particular problem, as the Latino community are essential to any Republican attempt to regain the White House, as former Governor of Florida and current candidate Jeb Bush realised when he simply described Trump as “wrong”.
On the other hand, the Irish-Italian-Canadian-Cuban candidate Ted Cruz said “I like Donald Trump. I think he’s terrific. I think he’s brash. I think he speaks the truth.” Bold words. Bold, needless words from a Latino man who has just said that the person who described Mexicans as drug dealers and racists “speaks the truth”.
In short, on this evidence of political nous, we can expect it to be another Bush on the ball come November 2016.

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