Six degrees

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 June, 2012, 12:00am

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Tony Blair was treated to a rousing welcome at the University of Hong Kong this month, as the former British prime minister (below) was giving a talk on faith and globalisation. 'WAR CRIMINAL,' shouted activist Tom Grundy, while attempting a citizen's arrest. Blair told the crowd that he was 'used to all this by now' and he wasn't lying: he's been accused of everything from cosying up to Rupert Murdoch (he is godfather to one of the media mogul's latest litter) to accepting free holidays from the likes of Cliff Richard, Prince Girolamo Strozzi of Italy and late Bee Gee Robin Gibb ...

Gibb, who passed away last month, spent his youth dabbling in arson (he once set fire to a string of billboards in his hometown). After a short-lived first marriage, the man with 'one of the best white soul voices ever', found true love with a bisexual Druid high-priestess, with whom he enjoyed an open relationship. When it came to his funeral, however, Dwina Murphy Gibb was not so open and banned the mother of her husband's three-year-old love child - her former housekeeper - from attending. Those who were allowed to pay their respects, however, included one Uri Geller ...

The Israeli-born 'psychic', who says he was given his telekinetic powers by extraterrestrials, is mostly known for bending spoons. Despite being debunked numerous times, his claims still include having moved the football during an England-Scotland match from his seat in a helicopter hovering overhead, denying a Scottish player a penalty. More recently, the recovering anorexic purchased a spit of land off the Scottish coast, convinced that he would find treasures inexplicably deposited there by Egyptians 3,500 years ago. Geller's genealogy traverses the spectrum of rationality; through his mother he is related to Sigmund Freud ...

The father of psychoanalysis left his mark on the scientific world with his ruminations on the subconscious mind. Having spent many years concluding that all mental health issues came down to sex, the Austrian neurologist found a great deal of his work discredited when his advocacy for and enthusiastic use of cocaine as a fix for depression, migraines and morphine addiction was revealed to be ... well ... less than effective. One can only imagine that it was due to this legacy that a leading role in a Freud biopic was turned down at the last minute by short-fused Welsh-born actor Christian Bale ...

The master of the mid-Atlantic accent was born into a budding dynasty of thespians: his grandfather worked as a double for John Wayne. A delicate soul, Bale has not eaten red meat since he read Charlotte's Web, although how a story about a spider saving a pig inspired him to do so is unclear. The Oscar-winner was forced to put such sensibilities aside, however, when he accepted, and then lost to Leonardo DiCaprio, and then accepted again, the role of one Patrick Bateman in the film American Psycho ...

When the film was screened at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival, critics condemned it as pornography. Opinions swiftly changed, however, and the story of a psychopathic yuppie enjoying nonsensical fantasies about dismembering and the like has since earned cult status. Bale turned down the sequel because he didn't think anyone could match the vision of the film's director, Mary Harron, a Canadian whose claims to fame also include being the first to conduct an American interview with the Sex Pistols and being a former squeeze of wild-eyed 'war criminal' Tony Blair.

 

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