Saturday, 19 October 2013


Okay – you’ve made it! Your pretty face and to-die-for figure has been airbrushed onto a number of high profile glossy magazine covers that have hit the worlds newsstands with that heady sickly scent of glossy printers ink. In addition you’ve made appearances at various red carpet events in the company of your elders and betters who know well how to deal with fawning reporters and how to pose like unapologetic whores in front of advertising slogans for fabulously expensive handbags.

Your career stretches out ahead of you along a golden yellow brick highway signposted from one Oscar or Grammy nomination to the next. However, as your eternally wise and diligent PR management team point out to you there is more to this than just being good – oh alright then, broadly mediocre – at what you do, You’ve got to have a theme.

“No darling not pink and grey (very last millennium anyway), nor a freshly slaughtered meat bodice (been done – once), and spitting is so cracher and is rather frowned upon by the leader writers!” No this is a theme that reduces your absurdly bloated ego to something within spitting distance (ouch) of the hoi polloi without actually becoming one. You’ve got to get a conscience, but don’t worry about the initial emotional (not to mention monetary) expense, the returns will be enormous. You might like to have a look at what your aforesaid elders and betters are up to in this regard.

There seem to be two issues that need to be tackled – the one is thematic (dear god – themes again!) and the other geographic, and in the selection of both of these there is the issue of overcrowding.

Themes is a difficult one. Pot bellied children is not actually a theme per se, there have got to be reasons for the condition and these reasons may be just a tad messy, or smelly.

Orphans is a bit passé.  Unless you really want to commit to raising a polyglot soccer team from the country of Africa and don’t mind running the risk of pissing off Presidents or whatever they are titled in these odd tribal states by being over familiar then you should avoid this.

Water is a good subject but firewood not. Seeds for Africa is a minefield and full of dodgy international corporations with very good lawyers on the one side and violent Bunny huggers on the other. Yes Bunny huggers . . . as in rabbits  . . . live rabbits . . . no real rabbits, no . . . not NOT Bunnies á la Hugh Hefner.  The difference? Ok . . .  lets leave that one . . .

Geography! The world is your oyster! And yes there are real places outside the US of A that really do exist! How awesome is that!

Casting aside for the moment multiple exclamation marks there is a wonderful map guide to the division of the country of Africa between various celebrities.

Like the Berlin Conference of 1884/85 this is a partitioning of Africa. Notably North Africa remains arid celebrity territory, West and Central Africa is fairly well developed, East and Southern Sub-Saharan is very well developed and in the Horn of Africa you can’t move for “helpers”!

Here are some helpful observations for potential celebrity colonists:-

·         Malawi  - too thin and all the spare orphans have already been snaffled.
·         Ruanda & Burundi – is this one place or two? I wish they’d make their minds up – and anyway they speak French don’t they?
·         Cameroon – too dangerous and full of wild eyed Muslim extremists.
·         Mali – great music but also too dangerous and full of wild eyed Muslim extremists.
·         Equatorial Guinea – where?
·         Guinea Bissau – definitely up for grabs!
·         Zambia – where?
·         Congo Brazzaville – hang on a moment how many dammed Congo’s are there? What happened to Zaire? Or are we talking about Zambia?

I tell you it’s a minefield out there – well certainly in Mozambique and Angola it is.

Help however is at hand. There is clearly too much at stake here, so let me break the code of silence, the Omerta that has been breached elsewhere by the likes of Snowdon, Manning and Assange – cling to your seats and fasten your  belts because this is dynamite!

Somewhere deep in the basement of the United Nations complex in New York there is a little known agency that does not figure on any UN official web site, nor is it visible on any official budget sheet. The annual UN accounts issued to all member states do not show this shadowy agency. This is because it is an agency that is entirely funded by private enterprise.

Once a year men and women power dressed in charcoal suits and even darker glasses converge on an underground parking lot in black chauffer driven SUV’s. They step into an elevator and sink to level -9 to the sound of hissing expelled air and stride together along dimly lit concrete corridors making polite but strained conversation, wary of each other like gladiators before emerging into the binding sunlight of the Coliseum ready to undertake the ultimate battle in front of an audience of thousands of baying Romans.

But here the protagonists are in the territory of the United Nations Committee To Uncover (&) Outsource Untapped Sympathy, known as UNCTUOUS for short, and its implementation arm Unilateral Nurture Fellowship For Integrated Talispersons which has the unsurprising acronym of UNFFIT. Like the noble gladiatorial battle of ancient Rome the stakes are high. Indeed in modern capitalist parlance they can be measured in millions of dollars.

Yes – its true! If you think about it a huge and valuable resource such as Celebrity Energy could not have been left to simple market forces. No, the economic theory of Free Trade does not operate in this rarefied and charged political atmosphere. There is a central and responsible agency for celebrity placement. Although much maligned the UN does have its uses.

Returning to the dark corridors of UNCTUOUS, I’Grin Reilly, the Irish Deputy Director in charge of placements is handing an envelope to Justin Bieber’s PRO – a thin and worried man who has the hunted look of a rabbit (but not a bunny) caught in the glare of bicycle lamp. With fingers wracked with early onset stress related Parkinsons he tears open the envelope and sees with relief the initial citation that talks of “embracing VIP’s.” Suppressing the desire to hug the Deputy Director he walks the grim corridor back to the elevator with an uncharacteristic spring in his step.

The Deputy Director permits a twisted tight smile to flit across his otherwise clay like face and wonders as he has so often about the extraordinary confluence of his name and the strange career that he had engaged upon. He places a fat and final tick against “Ambassador for VIP’s (Ventilated Improved Pit latrines)” on his list. Nodding at the next citation on the list which reads “Ambassador for AI (Artificial Insemination) of Cattle in Rural Areas in Sub-Saharan Africa” he reaches for his I-Phone and dials the number of Miley Cyrus’ PRO . . .

As the elevator rises from level -9 with a malevolent hiss Biebers' PRO reads with increasing despair as he understands what VIP means in this context. “They want the little turd to hug toilets” he mumbles and thinks something uncharitable about the iniquity of poetic justice.
I'Grin Reilly, our man at UNCTUOUS
With acknowledgement to the late Austin Hleza

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