Saturday, 17 September 2011

Shock And Awe Or 'Delta Farce': How Cheryl Cole Gave The British Army The SeX Factor

Pay attention, dilettantes: it's Putting Stuff in Perspective week in showbiz again, as Cheryl Cole does Helmand. The singer and deposed X Factor judge has undertaken a mission to Camp Bastion at the behest of the Daily Mirror, and is exclusively pictured in combat gear on a front page they have disappointingly declined to headline "Delta farce".

Apparently, the Fight For This Love legend joined a staged gun battle and got in a tank and fired a cannon and stuff – but you'll be glad to hear she didn't shirk her nation-building obligations. "Cheryl also took part in a traditional shura," we learn, "where soldiers sit down with village elders to discuss problems." Mm. I wish I didn't have a mental image of Cheryl taking the hand of a bearded gentleman and telling him soulfully: "I really believe in you and I think your appeal for electricity has what it takes to be absolutely massive." Perhaps as one last throw of the dice, before we leave Afghanistan to its own improvised explosive devices, we should try assigning celebrity mentors to its various factions. I'd give Tulisa the Quetta Shura, while poor old Louis Walsh would probably be stuck with the Afghan local police.

Anyway, back to Cheryl, and the nagging question with these celebrity military missions: do they increase respect for the work the proper soldiers are doing? There is no question that on the ground, Cheryl's presence is a morale-booster for servicemen and women. And were it confined to that locale, then that would be that. But isn't the manner in which the visit is hyped to the wider world the opposite of morale-boosting? Cast your eyes over the spread of nine photos of a heavily false-eyelashed Cheryl looking down the sights of a sniper's rifle, or taking part in a mock raid and so on, and ask whether they do not, in fact, trivialise life on the front line to a degree that would be hilarious were it not so distasteful.

Thus the visit, which would have been just as morale-boosting had it happened off-camera, is eclipsed by the more insistent public relations message – namely, that Cole knows how far behind "our boys" a little old pop star like her comes in the rankings of jobs that actually matter. It is an exercise in performative humility that doesn't quite come off.

Read more here

                              Cheryl Cole - at your service.

Military might: Cheryl Cole performing in camouflage in 2010. Photograph: Dave Hogan/CC/Getty Images Europe        

Cheryl Cole, a tool for the New World Order, helping to bring in the military agenda and programming the masses - she is no stranger to performing in military outfits.


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