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

Children lose sleep over climate anxiety and Boris Johnson's paternity leave

FROM young people surveyed by Newsround revealing their climate anxiety, to Boris Johnson announcing he will "almost certainly" take paternity leave, these are the news headlines according to This Reporter on Wednesday 4th March 2020. A survey for BBC Newsround has found that children are losing sleep over climate change and the environment. Two thousand children aged between eight and 16-years-old were given the opportunity to answer questions on climate anxiety. And the results overwhelmingly showed that most children  - four out of five - considered the problem of climate change important to them, while three out of five were worried about the impact climate change would have on them when they're older. One in five have even had a bad dream about it. But when asked about the action being taken by grown-ups to tackle the problem, two in five don't trust adults to tackle the challenges and nearly two-thirds say leaders aren't listening enough to young people&#

Meghan and Harry "grin in the rain" and the Kimono-wearing fox killer

FROM Meghan and Harry making their first appearance in the UK together since Megxit, to the kimono-wearing fox killer who appears to have been cleared of all crimes, these are the news headlines according to This Reporter on Friday 6th March 2020. Yes that's right, This Reporter is declaring this particular news gathering outlet a Coronavirus free zone as we kick off today's headlines with the news Meghan and Harry, otherwise known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have returned to the UK and had their photograph taken together, under an umbrella, in the rain. The couple were in town - London specifically - as they wind up their official duties before bowing out of royal life forever, with last night's paparazzi extravaganza related to their attendance at the Endeavour Film awards. With what we can only assume were fixed grins on their faces as they braved the weather, and the fact these moments under the media spotlight, were exactly what they were talking about when

Government accused of Coronavirus cover-up and Veggie Corbyn booed at kebab awards

FROM the UK Government announcing it will only release Coronavirus data weekly, to vegetarian Jeremy Corbyn presenting an award for the best kebab, these are the news headlines according to This Reporter on Thursday 5th March 2020. The Government has been accused of withholding information about the spread of Coronavirus after a 70 per cent increase in confirmed cases prompted health chiefs to stop providing daily updates on the location of new infections. Instead they will be provided on a Friday in a weekly round-up. Thirty six new UK cases were announced yesterday (Wednesday) bringing the grand total to 87 people. A former director at Public Health England said the move to weekly updates should be reconsidered to allow the public to make informed decisions. In related news, the Government is putting in place contingency plans, should the virus outbreak become widespread, to close Parliament for up to three months to stop 650 potential "super spreaders". Which gives Th

Summer Riots, Eskimos and Camping It Up at the MET

THERE will be riots on the streets if the Government continues to roll out its controversial Universal Credit benefits system. That is the warning from former Prime Minister Gordon Brown who predicts a return to poll tax-style chaos and a summer of discontent if Theresa May does not call a halt to the scheme. The Universal Credit system combines six benefits in one and is set for a full national roll out next year, despite countless reports of claimants already on it being plunged into dire financial straits as a result. Mr Brown said: "Surely the greatest burning injustice of all is children having to go to school ill-clad and hungry. It is the poverty of the innocent - of children too young to know they are not to blame". This Reporter comments, it really must be a sign of the times, that Gordon Brown returning as Prime Minister seems a welcome idea. Moving on and President of America, Donald Trump has declared his daughter Ivanka would be "dynamite" as the

Corbyn's Bodyguard and the People's Vote

SUCH is the nation's obsession with BBC's Bodyguard, This Reporter would argue, that a journalist from the Mirror felt it fitting - nay, par to the course - to ask Jeremy Corbyn's bodyguard what question he should put to the Labour leader during the party conference, underway this week. Abdul Abouker, for indeed, that is his name (and would we have been even remotely interested in this factoid pre-Keeley Hawes and Richard Madden enlivening our TV sets of a Sunday evening - "no This Reporter, absolutely not") admittedly didn't quite get to the crux of the issues dominating the 2018 Labour Conference in Liverpool - the anti-Semitism, the austerity, the People's Vote (more on that later). Mr Abouker, 30, suggested Mr Corbyn be asked how he deals with all the stress. The answer, for anyone declaring an interest, is running, exercising, reading and tending his allotment. In between the stress of managing to avoid answering a single question on Brexit for th