THERE can, perhaps be no stranger sentence in the English language that associates North Down with Marshall Bruce Mathers III a.k.a. Eminem.
What will the residents of Cultra, Crawfordsburn, West Bangor and Groomsport make of Eminem – a man alleged to be a foul-mouthed misogynist, with criminal convictions – headlining the Tenants Vital concert in Bangor’s Ward Park?
Last year Ward Park was adorned by the ever so polite nice young men of Snow Patrol, and now the foul mouthed rapper comes to North Down.
It hasn’t arrived yet, but wait for it, there will be predictable cries for Eminem to be banned from, well, the predictable sources.
Some say that the greatest triumph of the DUP was when Ballymena Council managed to ban the innocuous and pleasantly melodious Electric Light Orchestra on the grounds that they would attract "the four Ds Drink, Drugs, Devil and Debauchery”. So what will they make of Eminem?
Goodness only knows what sort of apoplexy TUV leader Jim Allister will slide into trying to link rappers’ potty tongues to Sinn Féin plotting “sordid deals” with the DUP.
Times have moved on since the DUP banned ELO, we have had raves in the Kings Hall and estates around Antrim, we’ve had death metal bands playing all across Norn Iron, but will Eminem be enough to raise the hackles?
However, before the disapproval bounds forth on to The Nolan Show, rips on to newspaper pages and mounts a pulpit, those who are preparing to pontificate should consider two things: Seamus Heaney – Nobel Poet Laureate reckons Eminem is a pretty good wordsmith and secondly, Marshall Mathers knows what it is like to be cast as a cliché.
Just as our politicians can be unfairly stereotyped (we always try to satirise fairly!) so entertainers are too:
“Cause I am whatever you say I am
If I wasn't then why would I say I am?
In the paper, the news, every day I am...”
And, as our politicians sit back of an evening, how many cast aside the tie and suit jacket and consider whether they have become the persona that the public says they should be.