Grace Dent: If you were on your first foreign trip for 24 years, would you want Bono to be a part of the package?

With friends like all of these people, Aung San Suu Kyi will wish that she’d stayed at home. Wouldn't you?

Share
Related Topics

It's amusing that Aung San Suu Kyi's first foreign trip in 24 years will feature an audience with Bono. God knows why. No, literally, God knows why. I have a sense Bono takes most of his briefing directly from the Big Man himself, giving short shrift to piffling celestial messages from underlings such as "Jesus" or the most Marvel of the biblical superheroes, the "Holy Ghost".

"Listen, Bono," God probably said to the frontman, "Hang on, that IS you isn't it, Bono? You're entirely swappable with Robin Williams these days." "Yes, it's me, God," Bono would bristle, "Hurry up, I'm practising lunging about in a leather mac." "Bono, you need to go forth and welcome Aung San Suu Kyi on stage in Dublin. Maybe do some big Jesus's last supper arms? Shove in a few blessings. Chuck some head-tilt-hand-together Namaste signs? We were just thinking up here, she's been locked in a house for 15 years and lots of people would love you to be locked in a house indefinitely, so the crowds will dig the irony." "Ooh, I'm not sure, God," Bono might hesitate. "Won't it look odd, me standing up in Dublin and giving it the big 'Ooh, life is unfair but chuck your arms around the world, run to you, shamon, peace, hey now, come together people, repeat till fade' nonsense, when the arse-end has dropped out of Ireland's economy and U2's 'tax efficiency schemes' mean my wealth is bubbling away in nooks and crannies all over Europe?"

"Oh, no," God will chuckle, "It will be marvellous. Satan and I were just LOLzing over it. It will be the most enormous act of God-complex non-self-awareness since Jay-Z played the O2 last week where children were charged £30 for a hat with Hova on it claiming "they" call him the "God" of rap."

As of yet, Aung San Suu Kyi isn't meeting Hovis, sorry Jay-Z, Sean "Jolly cross about the Falklands" Penn, Bill "Don't call me party hands" Clinton, Bill "Butter him up for cash" Gates or any of the international "unelected force-for-good brigade". Not even Angelina Jolie has got her crazy ass an invite to stand before the political icon, one leg out like a purposeful pirate, completely festooned in kids, exuding that beatific one-love, one-world glow that comes from private jets and multiple houses.

Rumours that Chris Martin is currently rhyming Aung San Suu Kyi with "such a nice lay-dee. She is a house and they took away her keys" so he can dig out his Beastie Boys "Fight For Your Right To Party" ditty again are unconfirmed. While incarcerated, Suu Kyi relied heavily on DJ Dave Lee Travis for musical nourishment, so we should be glad her first request on reaching Europe wasn't an audience with Mike and Cheryl from Bucks Fizz, followed by a concert for peace headlined by Fat Larry's Band just playing "Zoom" over and over again. A meeting with the Hairy Cornflake himself would be rather special. She thought a lot of him, even if he greeted the news that she liked him with the word "unsurprising".

If I'm ever put under house arrest, which is a possibility as I'm quite annoying, I do not wish the internationally recognised rock 'n' roll "force for good" to greet me in 15 years' time. Thanks for your prayers, Bono, but I want Van Morrison, Axl Rose and Naomi Campbell, the international force for non-benevolent actions, welcoming me on stage.

I'm not particularly fond of Van Morrison, but the thought of that legendary grump doing anything remotely jocund for anyone with a broad smile on his chops would truly signify a rearranging of the earth's karmic chakras. Axl Rose would leave Aung San Suu Kyi waiting in her hotel room so long while he tried on different risible bandanas and pondered his bald spot that she'd begin to think the Burmese courts had changed their minds.

"I call him grandfather," Naomi Campbell used to say of Nelson Mandela, brimming with Pollyanna glee, before rearranging a PA's hair with a flying BlackBerry. With friends like all of these people, Aung San Suu Kyi will wish she'd stayed at home.

Don't let the Saudis spoil our 2012 party

It is sickening, sad and inadmissable that the Saudi Arabia's Olympic team still vows that it will bring no women to Stratford in 58 days. As a woman who has lived in east London in the midst of the Olympic upheaval for the past seven years, force-fed a message of Olympic togetherness, legacy and modernity, it didn't occur to me that one team would be permitted to laugh in the face of sexual equality and suit their bloody selves. Ironically, in all other ways, the International Olympic Committee is obsessive about its brand, devoting long hours daily to policing its hallowed trademark, pursuing naughty internet avatars or café owners who dare to sell an "Olympic burger" without consent.

Meanwhile, Saudi refuses to budge on the simple idea that everyone should have the right to raise their heart rates and emotional spirits through exercise. The most basic right of all. How odd the Saudi team will look plodding round the arena at the opening ceremony to an audience made up of roughly 50 per cent women. Would the Saudis prefer that these women stayed at home, too? If they do, the feeling for me is mutual. There are umpteen places the Saudi sports fraternity can play its games that wouldn't turn a hair about "equality". The London Olympics 2012 shouldn't be one of them. The clue is in the title.

Who stole Kim Kardashian's kit?

I am sad for one of my personal heroines Kim Kardashian, who accused British Airways this week of pilfering items from her luggage. Fortunately, Kim, who shot to fame for not wearing any clothes, boosted with a further 36 months of wearing little more than nude coloured heels, lip-gloss and a body-con microskirt, is at her best working with a limited wardrobe.

In a series of tweets this week, Kim said she was "disappointed" that some "sentimental items" have been taken. She didn't say what, but this rules out her wedding ring.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Read Next
An Indian bookseller waits for customers at a roadside stall on World Book and Copyright Day in Mumbai  

Novel translation lets us know what is really happening in the world

Boyd Tonkin
 

Nature Studies: The decline and fall of the nightingale, poetry’s most famous bird

Michael McCarthy
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine