Belfast Telegraph

Tinseltown may be beating its collective, bejewelled breast over Donald Trump but its protests risk earning him sympathy

By Lindy McDowell

The great irony about the world of entertainment rising up in protest against Donald Trump is that the man himself is such entertainment. Without Trump, what would we have to talk about these days?

Apart, that is, from the weather and wood pellet burners ...

No Hollywood awards ceremony is complete these days without fevered speeches from gong-winners denouncing Donald, or pouting actresses with anti-Trump slogans daubed about their person.

Even Kim Kardashian has been tweeting statistical denunciation re the President's now infamous immigration ban.

Her statistics show that more Americans have been killed by lawn-mowers or by armed toddlers than by jihadi madmen.

Fair point. Except this is the same Kim Kardashian West whose husband is matey with Trump. No wonder they call it La La Land ...

My favourite story about Trump to date - it may not even be true but I don't care; just file it under "alternative facts" - is the suggestion that when he clasped Mrs May's hand outside the White House, he wasn't being overly familiar (as if Donald would), but was clinging on for reassurance.

Trump apparently suffers from something called bathmophobia which, despite sounding like it might be a fear of sharing a tub with a certain Quorn-eating athlete, is actually a fear of stairs and inclines.

Mr Trump was descending just such an incline when he seized Theresa's hand. He may face a few more inclines in the days ahead. And not just in the popularity polls.

Now that Vlad Putin has this piece of valuable intelligence to hand, we may assume any future presidential visit to Moscow will involve lots of slopes and stairs.

Maybe even when he comes to London it will all be downhill too. For another story from the nationals in recent days has it that climate change denier Trump is unhappy at the thought that he might have to endure an audience with Prince Charles during a state visit to the UK.

Charles, with his gas-guzzling limos and endless air-miles, is famously a very vocal environmentalist. So not exactly a meeting of minds there.

But perhaps a meeting of germophobes?

One thing we do know about old Trump is that he is not very hands-on in the handshake department. He uses the lift (that stairs thing again) but won't even push the elevator button on the ground floor because he reckons that is the button most likely to be teeming with the germs of multiple usage. This reluctance to handshake could be a bit of a drawback in terms of outreach - literally - to other heads of state.

On the plus side though, if advisors were to drop it to Donald that all sorts of people have been handling the nuclear button before him, might this not be a way of preventing him from sending us all to kingdom come?

Charles himself is said to be a bit of a germophobe.

He brings his own hand towels on official visits so that he doesn't have to use air-blowing hand driers when he visits the "facilities".

Can't say I fault him there - those air driers you put your hands into are vile. Have you ever looked in one?

We all have our foibles and oddness. But it would be fair to say that in Charles and certainly in Trump we have oddities on a royal scale, a presidential scale.

These are fascinating times.

In Hollywood movies, American presidents always save the world.

An odd-ball President who excludes part of the world from the Arrivals hall at LAX doesn't exactly fit with the script.

But Hollywood's current hysterical fervour to be seen to distance itself from Trump is sanctimonious and silly. They're in danger of turning him into an anti-hero.

For love him or hate him or fear him or just find him ridiculous, right now, the Trump show is the biggest show in town.

And all the world is watching.

I'm spitting feathers over flying phlegm

I was going to write an entire column about this... but it's not a pleasant subject, so in deference to the squeamish, I'll keep it short.

Nonetheless something, I think, needs to be done about this. Spitting on the streets of Belfast. What possesses people to do that? It's utterly disgusting. And it's as bad, if not worse, than dog poo.

On the pavements of the city centre it's certainly much more prevalent.

What must the tourists think? We need to get offenders to cut it out. Not spit it out.

Where are all our female heavy hitters?

One of the words that has, rightly, been used in relation to Carl Frampton's reaction to his weekend defeat is 'gracious'.

And we have so many young male stars from here, sportsmen and achievers in other areas of life, who've shown similar grace in the way they conduct themselves. Off the top of my head, I can easily reel off the names of a dozen who are major household names.

Oddly, on the other hand, I can only think of a couple of young female stars from here. Why is this? Where are they?

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