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Lady Gaga The Bounty Of Peace
Reflections on the MTV Awards, the Greedy Bag – plus Tiger Woods and racism in the club.
Eamonn McCann, 23 Nov 2011
“Full coverage Pages 2,3,4,5,6,7,” the Irish News proclaimed on the front page (all of it) on the morning after the MTV European Music Awards bash in Belfast.
The only story on page seven told that a representative of MTV had visited a shop on the Ormeau Road and bought a locally-designed pendant, which host Selena Gomez later wore on stage! Apparently, thousands watching on a big screen outside “erupted at the site”. Aye.
The paper aimed at the other half of town, the oldest extant newspaper in the world, the Newsletter, shrilled that, “Belfast and Northern Ireland is waking up today to the promise of untold potential benefits, spin-offs and prosperity, after last night’s star-studded MTV EMAs ceremony was beamed around the world to more than a billion viewers.” The promise of untold prosperity! A billion viewers!
Cheapskate Fermanagh DUP tourism minister Arlene Foster had claimed a mere 600 million.
The normally sane Ed Curran of the Belfast Telegraph babbled: “A very big thank you to Lady Gaga and all the many international artists who... made a significant contribution to peace and to prosperity for people here… Each and every one of those who appeared in Belfast has played a part in the remarkable renaissance of what was once one of the world’s most infamous trouble-spots.”
Bollocks. Prosperity? Northern Ireland is suffering soaring job losses and spending cuts that bite ever deeper. Living standards are going down, not up. Such peace as we have has sweet FA to do with the likes of Lady Gaga. It’s down to the settled unwillingness of the people who bore the brunt to countenance killing for causes seen as futile or unworthy or both.
To thank Lady Gaga for the bounty of peace is profoundly insulting to the plain people up here.
The approach of the BBC and UTV to the event was on all fours. News bulletins led with the imminent arrival of Katy Perry, the actual arrival of Anthony Kiedis, the rumoured arrival of Irina Shayk. (“Russian model and girlfriend of Real Madrid footballer Cristiano Ronaldo,” if you must know.) Newsreaders had been ordered under pain of redundancy if not death, to freeze their features into daft grins for the duration.