August 26th, 2003


Horse Passports

I'm accustomising back to the Mac after years of office work PC use and have now ditched IE in favour of Safari as a browser. Visually I certainly prefer it, but I'm not convinced about the word Safari - it's all curious beige suits and the Royal Family in Kenya to my mind.
The one glitch so far is that the home page keeps on defaulting back to this one for Apple users at Netscape. Well, it's nothing to get worked up about, but it does mean daily exposure to the Angelina Jolie stream of world news. Today I am entirely unshocked to read that 'Schwarzenegger's Dad was a Nazi'. Is this news? Well, news courtesy of CNN at least.
This has been known for ages and Arnie has made large contributions to the Simon Wiesenthal Centre (I almost wrote Adam Weishaupt, which would be news worthy of reading) for damage limitation on his public image. If I meet an Austrian of his generation and am introduced to his dad, I am hardly going to be shocked to find out that this father was a Nazi anymore than finding out that huge parts of Europe contain (gasp) former communist party members. But CNN is sure to have some kind of line on the Californian election and Schwarzenegger = Nazi is clear enough. Not sure if this is supposed to encourage or dissuade the voting public though. California Uber Alles etc...
And why is Nicole Kidman worried? This as I sign into Messenger. I resist finding out. All this clutter for one's mind in the morning. Celebrity seems more like opium to me now than religion ever has.
In fact Celebrity would be a great name for a designer hallucinogen: the constant flare and pop of lights trailing in your eyes, a background hum of adulation, the conviction that you are the centre of everything, increased sexual charisma. There would be a few downsides along the way: constantly jumping in front of cameras, expecting bus queues to part before you (maybe demanding to know who all these other people are who have been let into your VIP penthouse on the 253 bus route), talking about yourself all the time. Some people, I suspect, are already dosing on Celebrity. The comedown would not be pleasant as you would bark orders to imaginary agents, issue writs against former lovers, see yourself growing old before the mirror, find your identity vanishing in the dawn light. Celebrity zombies trawling the alleyways. "Do you not know who we are?"
Mmm, great news, horses are going to be issued with passports! Open the champagne!
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