Skip to main content

Rice bunnies, mood-reading vending machines and the Prada ostrich feather trousers

This reporter would love to have been a fly-on-the-wall at the meeting of the Prada design team when they dreamt up the ostrich feather-trimmed wool-blend trousers. She wonders just how the dialogue progressed.

So, they ponder, we have here these perfectly functional, woollen trousers, but there's always been something missing. What could it be, they further ruminate, until one bright Prada spark jumps up and declares: "By jove, I think I've only gone and got it, ostrich feathers around the hem".

Cue a rapturous round of applause, much air-kissing and the lighting of the celebratory Jo Malone candle and the ostrich feather-trimmed trousers officially become a fashion thing. Just throw in the matching jacket.

Now, this reporter suggests we both put on a pair because she has an invitation. Seeing as we are getting along so well, she would like to take you out for dinner, to the local Chinese restaurant no less, where she has heard they have a new dish on the menu - the rice bunny.

So here we are, a corner table, watch your ostrich feathers on the candle flame. Two bowls of rice bunny please signore. But here this reporter has a slight confession to make. There is no rice bunny - at least not in consumable form. In fact, there is no Chinese restaurant. This is a TV studio and we're up against a green screen.

The truth is rice bunny is actually an emoji code used by furtive Chinese feminists on social media in place of the now outlawed (in China) #MeToo.  As you can imagine, young Chinese feminists endure an uphill battle against the Communist government and thus they are coming up with ever more ingenious ways to get one step ahead of their would-be censors.

The finest example is rice bunny - combining the Chinese for rice (which sounds like me) and the Chinese for bunny (that sounds like too) which, if put together alongside the rice bowl and bunny face emoji, is a clever way of sending coded messages in support of the worldwide social media campaign against sexual harassment. Feminism in China is the ultimate game of cat and mouse.

Follow me down this corridor, ignore that unusual looking vending machine - we'll come back to that later - and through this door to another TV studio where they are filming the BBC panel show Have I Got News For You.

Team captains, Ian Hislop and Paul Merton, have been in the news themselves this week for declaring the reason there are so few female hosts is because women - in their words - are naturally more "modest". It is not for lack of inviting women on, Hislop protests. They keep turning it down.

Hislop elaborates: "On the whole, women are slightly more reticent and think, maybe modestly: 'I can't do that'. Maybe more men in public life say: 'I can do that'".

Far be it for Hislop and Merton to look within themselves and question whether the panel show is an inviting arena for women. The blame, it appears, lies smack bang within the, assumed, natural state of women.

Do you have a 50 pence piece because we are going to need it for the vending machine we passed back along the hall. Let's reverse to it and just before you put your coin into the slot, this reporter must advise you, this is no ordinary vending machine. It dispenses snacks on the basis of the user's mood. Doughnuts to those in need of a sugar hit, Solero ice-cream for those dreaming of a holiday?

Alas no, again our hunger is not to be assuaged. Instead the vending machine dishes out maps, packs of pencils and written prompts all designed to "lighten our mental load". The machine is not even real but an art installation designed by Australian artists Mark Starmach and Elizabeth Commandeur.

This reporter can only assume this vending machine idea looked far better on paper, like these ostrich feather-trimmed trousers that, if this reporter wasn't so "modest" she would loudly declare are getting right up her nose. Atishoo.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Stranded in Brexit Britain - A Taco Sauce Survival Tale

WITH three weeks to go and about as much readiness as you can fit into a Borrower's knapsack, the pressing question remains, who is going to stop Brexit? The obvious candidate, not to go all Rees-Mogg on you, is the Queen. Who in theory, if not in practise, has the power and from previous allusions, thinks Brexit a load of piffle.
Failing the Queen, who let's face it has her hands full as a member of the sandwich generation - wrangling the car keys out of Prince Philip's mitts on the one hand and helping Meghan practise for her hypno-birth, on the other. If the Queen is not available there are "dupes" for her.
Victoria Beckham is to deliver a Queen's Speech on "Christmas Day" in March to launch her YouTube channel, on basis these speeches are "quite popular" and as we are constantly reminded by those around her, Mrs Beckham is witty and self-deprecating. Highlights will include her rallying cry to get people to subscribe to her channel: &q…

Corbyn's Phoney People's Vote, Pot Shots and Gigantic Bows

FROM Corbyn's phoney call for a People's Vote and the cliffhanger pot shot video tape, to the Roksanda blouse with the enormous bows, welcome to This Reporter's weekly news and style round-up.

Cadbury can only be a sugar rush away from filing a trademark infringement against the British government (to wit - the "Crunchie") as the political world of farcical doom entered yet another of its relentless crunch weeks. Providing, of course, the Crunchie bar was packed from first bite instead of with honeycomb, space dust, and instead of with space dust, TNT and instead of with TNT, nuclear active garbage just 29 days away from detonate, because that's about where we are with Brexit.
Prime Minister Theresa May is under the mistaken impression that the best way to avoid cataclysmic disaster is to dodge it. Colloquially known as "the swerve". As that is exactly what she has done over the meaningful vote - part numero deux - on her deal, which was due to take…

Bercow Bans Brexit Vote 3, Tram Shooting and the Tortoise Illusion Cake

FROM John Bercow banning a third Brexit vote and another suspected terrorist attack - this time on a tram in Utrecht - to the ultimate in tortoise illusion cakes (spoiler alert: it wasn't a cake) welcome to This Reporter's daily news round-up.

Some have called it a massive spanner in the works, others a "constitutional crisis", whilst those more scholarly types have plumped for "Erskine Mayhem". Either way we are all talking about Common's Speaker John Bercow making the "shock" announcement yesterday (Monday) he was banning Prime Minister Theresa May from putting her Brexit deal before Parliament for meaningful vote a third time, unless it underwent substantial changes.
What Mr Bercow appears to have done is got the PM on an historical technicality. Quoting from the guide to parliamentary procedure, Erskine May (no relation to our leader) he said the Commons could not be "repeatedly asked to pronounce" on the same question.
Inevitabl…

Brexit Crisis, Boris "Spaffed" Johnson and Prince Charles' Beach Bod

FROM MPs' dawning revelation that yes, Brexit is in crisis and Boris Johnson's leadership bid "spaffed up a wall", to Prince Charles' "impressive" beach bod, welcome to This Reporter's daily news round-up.

"It's like the last days of Rome". A direct quote there, which shows at long last MPs have cottoned on to what the rest of the country/Europe/the world could have told them months and months (and months) ago -  Brexit is at crisis point.
Prime Minister Theresa May herself admitted that things were not going quite according to plan yesterday (Tuesday) and, to be frank, exiting the European Union on 29th March (next week) probably wasn't going to happen.
But instead of taking some form of useful action to try and sort this crisis out, she has decided to make a move which will only takes things from shockingly bad to unfathomably worse. This Reporter refers to Mrs May writing to EU Chief Michael Barnier to request only a short exten…

Brexit: Where's Barbara Cartland's magic acorn when you need it?

THERE are no words - quite the technical hitch when it comes to writing - to do justice to the single greatest political calamity of our generation. This Reporter considered instead using expressionist art or shadow puppetry. She would make a concerted effort at it for five minutes before setting fire to the whole damn lot - as symbolism.
As alternative, let's start with the bare-boned facts of the matter. Prime Minister Theresa May lost her second meaningful vote on her Brexit deal in Parliament on Tuesday night by a stonking 391 votes to 242. Not the complete annihilation of meaningless vote part numero one, but still an almost unprecedented disaster.
David Cameron, tracked down at his lair, said: "I don't understand why MPs who have always wanted Brexit keep voting against it". Well David, sometimes people do the most unfathomable of things don't they. But back to the facts.
Mrs May's promise of votes on No Deal and Article 50 extension are coming up next.…