It’s time to stop sniggering and have a serious talk about sex
The only footage I saw of the ‘Rhianna rides into town’ roadshow was of her visit to the flats in north Belfast.
From a balcony a couple of floors up, the TV camera showed her getting out of a car, bending over and looking into the car — perhaps letting us check if her big end was away or not — then inexplicably pointing to a spot a few yards away, moving there, surrounded by police and other security men and screaming kids and mute adults, all with phones in the air to get pictures.
She then stood there, seemingly neither interacting with the crowd nor singing nor talking to her minders.
Then, just as suddenly, she asked a question, pointed back towards the car area she’d just moved from, and pushed her way back there, creating a rather scary mass movement that reminded me of nearly being crushed underfoot in the crowd when I went to see the Pope in 1979 in Ballinasloe.
What was it all in aid of? The walkabout that was neither a walk, nor about?
Did she intend to interact with her fans only to discover she couldn’t understand a single word they were saying? “Here, wee girl, y’wannasee my umbrella, wha’?”
The best bit was a PSNI officer in the thick of the melee turning round and speaking curtly to a young male who was pushing forward with everyone else in the crowd.
Couldn’t make out what he said but it looked as if, US Superstar notwithstanding, there was no change in the normal police/ young man with very very short hair interface.
At times our behaviour in Northern Ireland reminds me of a scene out of one of Lara Ingalls Wilder’s Little House On The Prairie books.
A travelling fair would arrive in town and the townsfolk could talk of little else, so drab was their life normally, that even a tawdry, rundown show would excite their novelty-buds.
I’m sure loads of people have seen, and do see on a regular basis, naked and semi-naked females either in reality, in magazines, papers, films, TV or in online websites. But one pops up in a field here or a housing estate and everyone goes gaga. As it were.
I cringed to hear news and current affairs presenters turning on the faux-coy, “Sure isn’t it good to have something light to talk about cos God knows our politics would bore the pants off even the most Christian-dressed person?”
On one radio phone-in, the presenter couldn’t wait to ask two politicians who had come on her programme to talk about something serious, to comment, briefly, on how they’d react to a young woman shaking her ya-yas on their land.
I was that scundered, I nearly drove off the road.
Pleeeeeeeeeease. Can we stop tittering at any hint of titillation in public?
There was ample scope in the past week to have a discussion about over-sexualisation of young females or about cultural clashes between generations or about Northern Ireland’s attitude to field dancing, but those debates didn’t need to be preceded or rounded off by some awful, schoolkids-on-the-bus, sniggering behind the hand, “Look! She’s got breasts!” approach.
It’s 2011. Grow up!