Pointless act of the week

Why do people do these things?

It's Friday, the day of pop psychology, of searching questions.

What compels a man, I ask you, to make a 2,162-metre-long wedding dress for his bride-to-be? The Guinness Book of Records, is the short answer. But there's more to it than that, isn't there? Was Zhao Peng, the dressmaking groom, neglected in childhood; did he suffer a wedding-dress-related trauma in his teens; did he watch American Beauty too many times (Peng pinned 9,999 red roses on to the train of the dress)? I don't know.

I do know that Xinhua definitely walks away with the Quote of the Week trophy. It has two absolute corkers.

First, from the groom himself:

"I do not want a cliché wedding parade or banquet, nor can I afford the extravagance of a hot balloon wedding."

And then his mother:

"It is a waste of money in my opinion."

Oh, mothers! Must they crush our dreams? Your son opted for the giant wedding dress, not the expensive hot balloon option - you should be grateful. (A hot balloon wedding? I know he means hot-air balloon, but I'm just imagining lots of little party balloons, strangely warmed.) Anyway, on reflection, I'm on Peng's side. He's romantic with a capital R. He knows a gesture when he sees one. It might be utterly pointless, but hell, everything's pointless once you start thinking like that. Ah, Friday, it gets me every time.

 

 

 

Sophie Elmhirst is features editor of the New Statesman

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Appreciate the full horror of Nigel Farage's pro-Trump speech

The former Ukip leader has appeared at a Donald Trump rally. It went exactly as you would expect.

It is with a heavy heart that I must announce Nigel Farage is at it again.

The on-again, off-again Ukip leader and current Member of the European Parliament has appeared at a Donald Trump rally to lend his support to the presidential candidate.

It was, predictably, distressing.

Farage started by telling his American audience why they, like he, should be positive.

"I come to you from the United Kingdom"

Okay, good start. Undeniably true.

"– with a message of hope –

Again, probably quite true.

Image: Clearly hopeful (Wikipedia Screenshot)

– and optimism.”

Ah.

Image: Nigel Farage in front of a poster showing immigrants who are definitely not European (Getty)

He continues: “If the little people, if the real people–”

Wait, what?

Why is Trump nodding sagely at this?

The little people?

Image: It's a plane with the name Trump on it (Wikimedia Commons)

THE LITTLE PEOPLE?

Image: It's the word Trump on the side of a skyscraper I can't cope with this (Pixel)

THE ONLY LITTLE PERSON CLOSE TO TRUMP IS RIDING A MASSIVE STUFFED LION

Image: I don't even know what to tell you. It's Trump and his wife and a child riding a stuffed lion. 

IN A PENTHOUSE

A PENTHOUSE WHICH LOOKS LIKE LIBERACE WAS LET LOOSE WITH THE GILT ON DAY FIVE OF A PARTICULARLY BAD BENDER

Image: So much gold. Just gold, everywhere.

HIS WIFE HAS SO MANY BAGS SHE HAS TO EMPLOY A BAG MAN TO CARRY THEM

Image: I did not even know there were so many styles of Louis Vuitton, and my dentists has a lot of old copies of Vogue.

Anyway. Back to Farage, who is telling the little people that they can win "against the forces of global corporatism".

 

Image: Aaaaarggghhhh (Wikipedia Screenshot)

Ugh. Okay. What next? Oh god, he's telling them they can have a Brexit moment.

“... you can beat Washington...”

“... if enough decent people...”

“...are prepared to stand up against the establishment”

Image: A screenshot from Donald Trump's Wikipedia page.

I think I need a lie down.

Watch the full clip here:

Stephanie Boland is digital assistant at the New Statesman. She tweets at @stephanieboland