Day: 2011.08.16

A Quote: Mark Steel on Penguins

Mark Steel, on the London riots:

Mark SteelThe riots were caused, apparently, by black culture, and we can get round the fact some rioters were white by saying they’d turned black, and get round the fact most black people don’t riot by saying they’ve turned white. You could use that logic to prove that being Welsh causes boats to capsize, or that everything alive is a penguin.

Some people, apparently, need reminding.


One of the jokes I have forsaken in recent years, mostly for the benefit of people who seem unable to take such lines in any reasonably figurative sense, is that some things ought to be illegal. It is, in fact, a long-known joke among men. It ought to be illegal to be so obese while wearing such tight clothes; to be so “hot” a woman and yet be related; and so on. One would think that a certain liberty of humor is inherent in any statement that says it ought to be illegal to be a milf if you happen to be my mother.

But then there are some absurdities that simply fit the pretense: Some things ought to be illegal. Like Sarah Palin.

Of course, some people might take such a joke seriously, that one really does think Sarah Palin ought to be arrested or, perhaps more efficiently, shot: It ought to be illegal to be so f@cking stupid ….

But, then again, sometimes we come to that point where the line really is blurred. Dennis Rodman’s hair? Paris Hilton, in general? Anyone named Spelling ever again producing a television series? One could always joke, and others could reasonably, given circumstantial atmosphere or context, take seriously the proposition that any of those things ought to be illegal.

Thus prefaced, and disclaimed according to the proposition that, as I had to live through it, so do you:

Zsa Zsa Gabor has always been associated with glamour in Hollywood — queen of film and television over the course of a five-decade career, married nine times, and even able to parlay a famous slap of a police officer into a career revival. In fact, the Huffington Post recently called her “the first and probably biggest Hollywood celeb to become famous for being famous.” Aptly put.

But when does pursuing fame cross the line for a 94-year old? That point may have come this week, when her husband of 25 years told CNN that he had started the process of donor matching and blood work so he could turn Zsa Zsa into Ma Ma.

That’s right, the esteemed Prince Frederic von Anhalt is planning to arrange for an egg donor, surrogate mother, and artificial insemination to allow Zsa Zsa to once again enjoy the wonder of motherhood.

Really, it must be nice to be so rich as to afford any manner of insanity in the name of believing you are in love, but some things ought to be illegal.