Gaga, Rilke, what?

Ah Gaga: artist, philosopher, self-confessed icon of the modern age

A rare trip to Celebrity Land with news of Lady Gaga's new tattoo on the Huffington Post (how can we resist something so earth-shattering?).

First up, the tattoo is penned by Rilke (not literally). It reads:

In the deepest hour of the night, confess to yourself that you would die if you were forbidden to write. And look deep into your heart where it spreads its roots, the answer, and ask yourself, must I write?

"Yes you must, Gaga!" we cry. The world would be lost without your musings. Whatever you do, keep writing. It is our literary oxygen.

But back to the tattoo: too long perchance? (I imagine it stretching up her arm, across her face, down the other arm and then having to go really small to fit the rest on her hand.) Aren't tattoos supposed to be four words long (I love you Mum; Come on you Spurs; Oh god I'm drunk), not an essay? And Rilke? (Her favourite philosopher, of course.) Why not just have the complete works of Heidegger etched into your skin while you're at it? Or a helpful little glossary of philosophical terms. Or some of your own lyrics, for God's sake - the philosophy of "Just Dance" would trounce Rilke any day of the week:

I've had a little bit too much, much
All of the people start to rush, start to rush by
How does he twist the dance? Can't find a drink, oh man
Where are my keys? I lost my phone, phone

But Gaga's cultural references are many and various, her comparisons so modest. An early contender for quote of the week goes to this:

I believe in the power of iconography, which was something that Andy Warhol did, and it's repeating an image over and over again. So I rarely change the shape of my hair.

Oh sweet Lord.

 

 

 

Sophie Elmhirst is features editor of the New Statesman

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Commons Confidential: Dave's picnic with Dacre

Revenge is a dish best served cold from a wicker hamper.

Sulking David Cameron can’t forgive the Daily Mail editor, Paul Dacre, for his role in his downfall. The unrelenting hostility of the self-appointed voice of Middle England to the Remain cause felt pivotal to the defeat. So, what a glorious coincidence it was that they found themselves picnicking a couple of motors apart before England beat Scotland at Twickenham. My snout recalled Cameron studiously peering in the opposite direction. On Dacre’s face was the smile of an assassin. Revenge is a dish best served cold from a wicker hamper.

The good news is that since Jeremy Corbyn let Theresa May off the Budget hook at Prime Minister’s Questions, most of his MPs no longer hate him. The bad news is that many now openly express their pity. It is whispered that Corbyn’s office made it clear that he didn’t wish to sit next to Tony Blair at the unveiling of the Iraq and Afghanistan war memorial in London. His desire for distance was probably reciprocated, as Comrade Corbyn wanted Brigadier Blair to be charged with war crimes. Fighting old battles is easier than beating the Tories.

Brexit is a ticket to travel. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority is lifting its three-trip cap on funded journeys to Europe for MPs. The idea of paying for as many cross-Channel visits as a politician can enjoy reminds me of Denis MacShane. Under the old limits, he ended up in the clink for fiddling accounts to fund his Continental missionary work. If the new rule was applied retrospectively, perhaps the former Labour minister should be entitled to get his seat back and compensation?

The word in Ukip is that Paul Nuttall, OBE VC KG – the ridiculed former Premier League professional footballer and England 1966 World Cup winner – has cold feet after his Stoke mauling about standing in a by-election in Leigh (assuming that Andy Burnham is elected mayor of Greater Manchester in May). The electorate already knows his Walter Mitty act too well.

A senior Labour MP, who demanded anonymity, revealed that she had received a letter after Leicester’s Keith Vaz paid men to entertain him. Vaz had posed as Jim the washing machine man. Why, asked the complainant, wasn’t this second job listed in the register of members’ interests? She’s avoiding writing a reply.

Years ago, this column unearthed and ridiculed the early journalism of George Osborne, who must be the least qualified newspaper editor in history. The cabinet lackey Ben “Selwyn” Gummer’s feeble intervention in the Osborne debate has put him on our radar. We are now watching him and will be reporting back. My snouts are already unearthing interesting information.

Kevin Maguire is the associate editor (politics) of the Daily Mirror

Kevin Maguire is Associate Editor (Politics) on the Daily Mirror and author of our Commons Confidential column on the high politics and low life in Westminster. An award-winning journalist, he is in frequent demand on television and radio and co-authored a book on great parliamentary scandals. He was formerly Chief Reporter on the Guardian and Labour Correspondent on the Daily Telegraph.

This article first appeared in the 23 March 2017 issue of the New Statesman, Trump's permanent revolution