This week, Nike put out a new series of ads for its new campaign ‘Dream Crazy’, featuring a host of famous athletes, including two of its major stars, Serena Williams and LeBron James, and its newest signing, American Footballer Colin Kaepernick. The campaign was launched on Monday with a giant billboard showing Kaepernick’s face in full closeup and the words ‘Believe in Something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.‘ At which point, America was hit by another collective attack of Trump-induced idiocy. So what else is new?
Kaepernick played football for the 49ers until 2016, when he became a free agent, but although he had been well regarded, no other NFL team came in for him. Why? Many believe it was linked to his decision that year to take a knee during the National Anthem in protest against unarmed black kids shot dead by white police officers, officers who were never brought to justice. The kneeling gesture came out of Kaepernick’s discussion with an army veteran who advised him that whilst sitting on the bench during the Anthem, his initial protest, was disrespectful, kneeling with his hand on his heart was not. Which is what Kaepernick then did, and others soon followed, only to be attacked for disrespecting the flag, the military and veterans. Kaepernick is now suing the NFL for conspiring to deny him a career. Matters hotted up last year when Trump, in one of his rabble-rousing, Nuremberg-style rallies to the faithful (collective IQ 45, and WTF is being generous), called protesting players ‘sons of bitches’ and demanded they be fired. Since then Trumpy, who might well be thought to have more important things to worry about, like being impeached, has waged war on the NFL for allowing these kneeling displays to continue, and on the players, who are black, calling them unpatriotic. This from a man who said that Sen. John McCain, who was tortured for five years as a POW in Hanoi, was not a hero because he had been captured, and who described his (Trumpy’s) own personal Vietnam as avoiding the clap.
When the billboard appeared on Monday, Twitter went raving mad with morons who probably have done no exercise in 25 years other than walking to the fridge to stuff their faces with comestibles full of sugar, salt and fats, calling for a boycott of Nike and burning their trainers. In one case, someone set fire to his trainers whilst he was still in them, and then posted pictures of himself in the Emergency Ward with toasted tootsies. You have to be a special kind of stupid to ignite your trainers whilst your feet are still in them, and also not to grasp that burning stuff you have already paid for is not a boycott, but a wardrobe cleanse.
Taking the knee is not disrespecting the flag. It is not dissing the military. It is not attacking American values. What does assault American values is shooting unarmed citizens because of the colour of their skin, and then getting away with it, because in the USA, all men are supposedly created equal with certain inalienable rights, including the right not to shot dead when they just have popped out for a pint of milk or are driving along in their car minding their own business. According to Trump and the Trumpistas, well-paid players should just pocket their pay checks and be grateful. But you know what Readers? Colin Kaepernick and his colleagues do not have to be grateful, except perhaps to the Lord for giving them wonderful talent. As prominent black Americans, they have a voice and they want to, and need to, make that voice heard. They will not be told to shut up. They believe in something. And in Kaepernick’s case, it has cost him his career. Nike’s motives may be more commercial than social, but good on them for giving Kaepernick a platform. Because there are certain things that must be fought for. Just Do It.
There is a lot of dodgy clobber to get through this week. We begin our review at the Venice Film Festival, where nonsense was in much abundance. Take actress Chloe Grace Moretz, wearing Miu Miu. Scroll down slowly. At first you will wonder what the fuss is about. Then you will know….
Prince Hal (the Shakespearian one, not our current one) remarked of Falstaff that ‘he doth lard the earth as he walks along‘. Similarly, Chloe doth polish the floor as she walks along. WTF has seen many really stupid pairs of trousers, but these ones take the Bex Bissell.
And now a trio of appallingly dressed men, starting with veteran film director Spike Lee wearing who can even say what?
Any of these items of clothing might have been OK worn with something sensible, but putting them altogether is just plain bonkers like a blindfold rummage in the couture outlet store.
Next director and artist Julian Schnabel wearing his jim jams.
Did he oversleep? Why is he on the Red Carpet in his pyjamas and a most ill-fitting jacket? Why would you give a man who can’t tie his own shoelaces a zillion-dollar budget to make a movie? *Baffled*
And last, singer Thom Yorke wearing Dries van Noten.
This is sort of part ageing hippie, part Dulux colour chart. And he has a mun (a man-bun). Thom looks embarrassed. He should be.
And we cannot leave Venice without reeling at actress Chloë Sevigny wearing Chanel.
This is a sick swan. This swan needs to go to the Swan Sanctuary at Shepperton, Middlesex (yes, there really is one). This is Swan Lake with droopage. Call the vet!
Back in Blighty and here is Love Island starlet Cally Jane Beech wearing Pretty Little Thing.
Sigh. You can get the whole ensemble for £48. And you will have overpaid. Buy a cheap net curtain from Dunelm, put a piece of it over your bra and form some sleevelets, find some white panties, and you’re good to go.
Sadly we must again feature actress Dascha Polanco, wearing something truly, truly, bad.
Is poor Dascha entirely friendless in the world? Because she seems so lovely. Surely someone, a friend, a family member, a loved one, her agent, can take to one side and point out that almost everything she wears makes her look like a sack of shit? Particularly the boots. How do you get them on? And off again? And why would you want to put them on in the first place?
And now a cornucopia of crap from the GQ Men of the Year Awards in London, starting with singer and another WTF regular Rita Ora, wearing Ralph & Russo.
Part striptease artiste, part metal fence. And whoever did her makeup needs a slap, a P45 and another slap.
Model Abbey Clancy wearing Minge Maestro Julien Macdonald.
We have not seen Abbey for a while as she had another baby a few months ago. Her body is amazing, but anyone dressed in Julien Macdonald will end up in a froth of vulgarity and this is absolutely no exception. Abbey looks as if she got half way through the Dance of the Seven Veils before being interrupted, like Coleridge when his train of thought for Kubla Khan was disturbed by the Person from Porlock. WTF observes two things. First, that pointless floaty thing passing as a skirt has been speared by Abbey’s stiletto and has a hole in it. And second, as she has said in relation to women posing with their hands over their hands over crotch, if you have to put your hand over your breast, there is something wrong with your dress. And with you for wearing it.
Meet musician Olly Alexander, wearing Palomo.
He looks as though he is playing Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. What the hell is he wearing?
And finally, actress Kate Beckinsale also wearing Julien Macdonald.
On seeing this horror, WTF aficionado Schona from Paddington noted that Kate resembled a lady wrestler who did not know how to put on her sari. A sari is composed of five metres of fabric which are supposed to go around your body at least once, with lots of folds and tucking in. This is seriously deficient in the folds and tucking-in departments. And in the decency department. Julien Macdonald – go away.
OK Readers, that’s your lot for this week. Keep sending in your top comments and your excellent suggestions for It’s Got To Go, for which there was simply no room this week. Let us meet again next Friday. Be good x