Welcome, dear readers, to this special, one-off, completely non-denominational edition of Society Diary. It may be Thursday today, but it is a special Thursday because, due to the death and resurrection of the son of God, some time ago now, we all get the day off of work tomorrow.
That's just in time for the Daily Mail and yer da to kick off a tremendous fuss about the lack of the word ‘Easter’ being emblazoned on his soullessly mass-produced Maltesers egg.
This week in charity sector satire: A Manchester-based artist has singlehandedly reintroduced the concept of the Royal Menagerie, guide dogs and wheelchairs to be introduced in the next emojis update and the latest instalment of the ‘War on Easter’.
There’s no easy way to tease this story in, so Diary’s just going to come right out with it. An artist in Manchester has “transformed two giant ducks to resemble” Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for this year’s Annual Manchester Duck Race.
Yes, Jo Cushing has turned two rubber ducks into vague facsimiles of the ginger prince and his soon bride-to-be, according to a press release, and this column for one has never had more respect for its particular prince.
According to the release Cushing has used “the finest ginger material to create Prince Harry’s signature hairstyle”. She also spent nearly 10 hours cramming the duck into a bow tie and white shirt.
Interestingly, Cushing spent only six hours “perfecting the hairstyle and glamorous wedding lace” of the Meghan Markle duck which should, if nothing else, dispel the sexist tropes that exist around which of the sexes takes longer getting glammed up.
The right-royal couple are set to take part in this year’s annual Manchester Duck Race on the 30 March which will be raising money for children’s charity Brainwave. Carole Headley, development manager for the charity, said Brainwave “absolutely love our royal ducks and it would be amazing if the couple themselves could see them, as I’m sure it will make them smile”.
She even offered to “send them over to Buckingham Palace if they would like them for the top table”. Fingers crossed she's taken up on that particular offer.
[Crying laughing face]
If you’re a person under the age of 25, than you probably spend the whole year waiting for the next batch of emojis – the little face things your mum WhatsApps you under a blurry photo of the family dog doing something cute/annoying/funny – to be released as part of an update.
This column for one has no time for emojis. It has no truck with emojional issues. Society Diary’s only currency is words, properly spelled, in the correct syntax, in elegant prose, with no grammatical errors.
However, this column’s interest in emojis has been piqued this week with the announcement that Apple is “requesting the addition of emoji to better represent individuals with disabilities”. Indeed, the global super giant added that “the current selection of emoji provides a wide array of people, activities, and objects meaningful to the general public, but very few speak to the life experiences of those with disabilities.”
As a result, a company called Emojipedia has put forward proposals to bring in a number of new, disabled-friendly emojis. The proposed new selection include an ear with a cochlear implant, a guide dog, a bionic arm, as well as both male and female emoji-people using a variety of wheelchairs and a walking cane.
New: Apple has submitted a proposal to Unicode for accessibility emojis including people in wheelchairs, service dogs, and prosthetic limbs. If approved, they'll be on phones next year https://t.co/ic87QRkDpj pic.twitter.com/d7NISQR0me— Emojipedia (@Emojipedia) March 23, 2018
Diary doesn’t pretend to speak for the disabled community, but this seems like an excellent idea.
All your eggs
Finally, and Diary has already touched on this briefly, but it’s nearly Easter time and, ipso facto, nearly the best time of the year. Better than Christmas, better than summer and much better than New Year’s Eve. Yes, it’s ‘WHY DON’T ALL MY EASTER EGGS HAVE THE WORD ‘EASTER’ ON THEM’… day.
Last year, the Daily Mail kicked up such a fuss about the National Trust supposedly removing the word ‘Easter’ from its annual Easter Egg Hunt (it hadn’t) that Theresa May had to take some time out of an important diplomatic trip overseas to decry it on national television.
This year, the Easter-related culture wars have been depressingly more low key. However, in its inquiries, Diary did come across this little gem of a petition to the government.
It begins: “Was a government in any way involved in removing the word Easter from Easter eggs” and, straight away, there’s a lot to unpack there. Now, Diary likes to think that the ‘A government’ referred to in the question is simply the petitioner having a momentary attack of the bad grammars.
However, given the prevalence of Twitter and ‘alternative media’ sources, it could well be that the anonymous petitioner is in fact wondering if a foreign (non-Christian) power has somehow influenced the British government into dropping the word Easter. Long, exasperated sigh.
Anyway, it continues: “The word "Easter" has been removed from chocolate eggs, the whole thing looks coordinated… Chocolate eggs this year have no reference to the christian [sic] holiday for which the production of eggs marks the occasion. The fact that not a single manufacturer has "Easter" on their Easter eggs raises the question were they told or advised by any official body not to put Easter on their products or did they operate like a cartel and co ordinate [sic] the deletion of the word "Easter", if so why?”
Anyway, the petition has been rejected by the government. In its ‘why was this petition rejected?’ section, the government responded: “It’s not clear what the petition is asking the UK Government or Parliament to do”.
HAPPY (non Judeo-Christian specific] HOLIDAYS!