Elvis has got the blues, opera anger and tin foil hats
The King has left the building (in case he gets coronavirus).
Welcome to Declassified, a weekly column looking at the lighter side of politics.
Just when you thought it was safe to put on a black quiff wig and a rhinestone jumpsuit, along comes the coronavirus to ruin everything.
Forget national lockdowns, international travel bans and not being able to get your hair cut for five months, the latest victim of the global pandemic is Porthcawl Elvis Festival. The annual event in south Wales attracts upwards of 30,000 people and the organizers held on until the last minute before bowing to the inevitable and pulling the plug.
Asked if the festival really was canceled, a spokesperson simply said “uh huh huh.”
Maybe the Elvises (or whatever the plural of Elvis is. Elvi?) should get together online and sing to each other. Here are a few suggestions:
“All cooped up,”
“A little less conversation (with anyone outside my social bubble),”
“Love me tester,”
“Can’t help falling ill with you,”
“The first time ever I saw your face mask,”
“Viva Las Virus,”
“Are you lonesome tonight (after the 10 p.m. curfew)?*
It’s been a busy few days at the intersection of music and coronavirus. In Madrid, a performance of Verdi’s “Un ballo in maschera” (that’s “A masked ball” for those interested in irony) at the Teatro Real was canceled after people in the cheap seats complained that they were herded in like cattle while the well-heeled opera buffs below were given plenty of space to go with their fluffy cushions and lobster popcorn (or whatever it is that people eat at the opera).
Meanwhile, Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann slammed music’s grumpiest man, Van Morrison, for describing coronavirus measures as “fascist” in a forthcoming song, the subtly titled “No more lockdown.”
Swann penned an op-ed in Rolling Stone (as so many regional health ministers do!) criticizing Belfast-born Morrison and saying “we expected better from him. However, it goes further than disappointment. Some of what is he saying is actually dangerous. It could encourage people to not to take Coronavirus seriously.”
He added that Morrison’s words “will give great comfort to the conspiracy theorists — the tin foil hat brigade who crusade against masks and vaccines and think this is all a huge global plot to remove freedoms.”
Asked if Morrison is right and this is all a huge global plot to remove freedoms, Bill Gates told Declassified: “Yes, you got me. No one had ever asked before.”
* Many thanks to top punning colleagues Emma Anderson and Sarah Wheaton.
“I hate you and the rest of the Yellow Jackets.”
Can you do better? Email email@example.com or on Twitter @pdallisonesque
Last week we gave you this photo:
Thanks for all the entries. Here’s the best from our postbag (there’s no prize except for the gift of laughter, which I think we can all agree is far more valuable than cash or booze).
“She’s got the jacket and the trousers spot on. If she can just get the hair right, he’ll never know the difference,” by Tom Morgan
Paul Dallison is POLITICO‘s slot news editor.