Monday, April 22, 2024

SATURDAY’S CHILD: Miley’s people


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My mother send me to school,
The teacher call me a fool,
Put me behind a blind,
And then I started to wine,
Wine, wine, wine
Wine like a ball of twine.
The widespread belief that because ice and snow are extremely important to Eskimos they have about a hundred words for them (ice that has just formed, snow that has just fallen, cold ice, hard ice, ice-in-your-ice) has always struck me as being eminently sensible. 
Whether it is an urban myth or it is true, I admire the practical approach of the Inuit people to life and language almost as much as their practice of allowing guests to sleep with their wives because of the need for extra warmth, as well to break the ice, so to speak. Whether the iceman cometh or not does not matter in those frigid climes and climbs.
This is why I have always been surprised that although wine matters enormously to us and we recognize that there are different degrees and distinctions of excellence and variety, artistic prowess, variations in circularity and convolutedness, we just casually dismiss the entire field of glory with the expression “a wine is a wine”.
We say a good wine needs no bush and the French and some fashionable ladies will agree. We talk about old wine in new bottles and that too is valid in this age of plastic surgery. However, we never had different words for the wide variety of Caribbean wines and I have always believed that we were missing something important in our lexicon.
There have been many carnivals in my life and I have seen a spectrum of wines that warrant classification, cataloguing and linguistic exactitude. You look at the Byron Lee dancers and compare them with the Antiguans, Barbadians, Guyanese and other Caribbean people and it is easy to see they are not the same in either delivery or decorum. There were some things that Lord Kitchener’s Flag Woman could do that prompted a genuine wine of astonishment.
Now the Oxford Dictionary and Miley Cyrus have come up with a name and definition for at least one species of the genus “wine” that is very long overdue. It is “twerk” – to “dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.” When we “wined down to the ground” during the carnival parade or in a party, something that we have been doing since the universe first shook and before the big bang, we were “twerking” and we did not know it. It takes an English dictionary and a young American woman to enlighten us and she has done it with a gusto that takes wardrobe malfunctions in its stride or wine or whatever.
Miley (Destiny Hope) Cyrus, born in 1992, used to be what Americans call a “teen idol” and sold a lot of merchandise as Hannah Montana. Now she is even hotter merchandise and has become one of Hollywood’s richest women. According to CNN, “Lady Gaga has taken the MTV Video Music Awards stage covered in (fake) blood; wearing a dress made of meat and as her male alterego, Jo Calderone. But at the 2013 MTV VMAs, Miley Cyrus stole Gaga’s outrageous performance crown.
While Gaga came equipped with multiple costume- and wig-changes on her side, Cyrus took over the stage with gigantic, dancing bears and more twerking than viewers at home probably knew what to do with. The 20-year-old pop star stepped out onto the stage a ball of energy, wearing a fuzzy gray leotard, as her hit single We Can’t Stop played . . . .
“When she reached the end of her song, the singer stripped down to a flesh-toned latex bra and matching underwear and began to perform Blurred Lines alongside Robin Thicke . . . Miley better get a . . . pregnancy test after all of that grinding,’ joked comedian Kevin Hart during the show.”
While a lot of people were disappointed, angry and shocked, Paul McCartney said he did not understand what all the fuss was about. “C’mon, we’ve seen worse than that!” the former Beatle told Sky News.
Worse than that came next and Yahoo! OMG! flashed a piece from The Juice: “Miley Cyrus and the ultimate no-knickers wardrobe malfunction, inadvertently flashes her foof on national TV.” The comment was, “There are some things you shouldn’t look at but just can’t help it and this is one of them. The poor lamb was twerking away as per on the Today Show (yes, as in it is on in the day) when the ultimate disaster happened. Her shorts gave way to reveal a rather stubbly inner thigh and what we think to be a hint of foof.
“It’s times like this we blimmin’ glad we aren’t a pop star who is quite literally photographed from every possible angle. However . . . if we were to be photographed from every single angle we probably would wear slightly bigger shorts.” Or maybe a smaller foof, whatever that is.
• Tony Deyal was last seen saying that until the Oxford Dictionary comes out with the meaning he is in the dark about what a foof is.


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