May 3, 2023 Episode 149
Two special reports on UK coronation, South Korea’s art destruction that’s just “bananas” and Derbyshire cat on the prowl
LEELA: This week – special reports on the UK coronation, a story of art that’s just “bananas” and a naughty cat on the prowl.
OPENING STING – LEELA: “Hey, hey, hey. Listen up. New, new, newsy – Newsy Pooloozi!”
LEELA: Hello and welcome to Newsy Pooloozi – the news pool for curious kids and adults! Apologies in advance for my croaky voice and excessive coughing…
MAMA: Leela’s sick! Poor thing. But I’ll try to spare y’all the coughs and edit them out as much as I can… just about. She doesn’t have a fever anymore so we can press on
LEELA: Yes, I’m sick Leela and that’s my sidekick. Otherwise known as my nurse this week and mama…
MAMA: But you’re on the mend. Before we get into this week’s episode – just wanted to apologize for anyone who heard our bad math last week – I managed to correct the episode on Thursday, but for those who downloaded on Wednesday, you might have realized that India – now the most populous nation at 1.4257 BILLION people is not an 8th of humanity. The global population is 8 billion people, meaning India is nearly a SIXTH of humanity. Cringe. Anyway. It’s important to own up to your mistakes, so there you go.
LEELA: This week… We have two very special reports as Britain gets ready to see King Charles III officially crowned. We’ll go to London where the coronation is taking place.
MAMA: And to the quiet countryside to see what celebrations outside the capital will be like.
LEELA: We also have a truly bonker brain “bananas” story about an installation art piece in South Korea that was vandalized.
MAMA: And ever wondered where the phrase “cat thief” came from? Well, you might just find out when you hear our oddball story this week.
LEELA: Alrighty then, let’s dive on in. First up, it’s the…
BIG NEWS STORY STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “The big news story of the week!”
MAMA: This coming Saturday Charles III and his wife, Camilla, will be coronated as king and queen of the United Kingdom.
LEELA: And the other Commonwealth realms. Eww la la.
MAMA: Of course, with the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth the second, in September, Charles III instantly became King. But the official coronation, which by the way comes from the Latin word “corona.”
LEELA: Corona! As in the virus?!
MAMA: As in a crown, actually. But, yes, like the virus too. Remember? Because of the ring of bumps on the surface of each virus particle, looking kinda like a crown.
LEELA: So, the coronation means King Charles III gets a crown place on his head, basically.
MAMA: Basically, but with a lot is symbolism about the church and state coming together. And so, a lot of…
LEELA: Pomp and ceremony! As in fancy-pancy robes and crowns, rings and scepters, basically palace pageantry.
MAMA: Exactly. So, let’s cut across to the UK where we have two special reports. First, let’s hear from Ameyaa Kholi in London, who’s a bit of a royal watcher, as it turns out, who’s going to tell us how the capital is preparing for the big event…
MAMA: Take it away, Ameyaa.
AMEYAA: Well, I admit that I’m a bit of a royalist.
I mean, I suppose, I’m officially a republican.
No – not as in the political party from the United States!
But as in someone who believes in electing leaders – as in a democracy- rather than being ruled by a king or queen.
But still, when Queen Elizabeth the Second died, I was quite sad…
And I did buy her flowers to leave at the gates outside Buckingham Palace.
So, yes, I’m excited about the coronation!
Even if it is a ceremony that’s likely to be 2 to 3 hours long!
And, I’ll have to watch it on TV, of course, as only royalty and world leaders are invited.
It’s taking place in the heart of London – at Westminster Abbey the setting of every coronation since 1066 and for numerous other royal occasions including 16 royal weddings.
And the long service hasn’t changed much in a thousand years, would you believe?!
Afterwards, the royal procession begins!
Through the streets of London, the King and his royal consort, Queen Camilla, head back to Buckingham Palace.
Now I just have to convince my mom to take me!
In London, I’m Ameyaa Kholi, reporting for Newsy Pooloozi!
LEELA: Why thank you very much, Ameyaa. I hope you get to go, and I hope you get a good view too!
MAMA: Now, how is the rest of the county celebrating? That’s the question. I remember when the Queen marked 70 years on the throne, just before she died in 2022, there were street parties and house parties up and down the country for her Platinum Jubilee as the celebration for 70 years of rule is called.
LEELA: Yep, we know people who aren’t even royalists who just used it as a good excuse to have a party!
MAMA: And maybe celebrate their country if not the royal family.
LEELA: That’s true. There was a lot of red, white and blue bunting everywhere.
MAMA: Well, to find out if that’s the case this time – and just how popular the new King is – let’s go to our south of England correspondent, Jackson Hosking.
LEELA: Hey, Jackson – happy coronation week! Give us a picture of what’s happening outside the capital.
JACKSON: Hey Leela, I must admit I haven’t seen much yet to do with Saturday’s Coronation – but there’s lots planned in our nearby villages as the weekend draws near. I expect to see plenty of bunting in the streets come Friday… and I’ve heard about special tea parties in the King’s honor and a grand picnic where the local school children will dressed in red, white and blue – the colors of the Union Jack flag. So, excitement is brewing. Interestingly, on the flip side, I heard there were plans to host a party in a neighboring village hall, but it was cancelled due to lack of support.
LEELA: And what will you be doing – where will you watch?
JACKSON: I doubt me, and my brother will watch it. However, my Mum and Dad will watch parts of it. And I guess the older generation will be glued to the TV all day.
LEELA: So, we understand that the royal family isn’t as popular as it once was?
JACKSON: Yeah, there’s a lot of talk about that these days. There are those who think it’s a waste of money – why should one family with so much wealth not have to pay taxes like the rest of us? But then the other argument is that having the royal family – and all that “pomp and ceremony,” never mind gossip – brings in a lot of tourists. Not to mention it’s good to have a set of important people to attend “ribbon cutting” functions around the country.
LEELA: Ahhh, yes, all those new bridges or hospital wings. Or someone to shake hands with award winning athletes or honor great actors and musicians.
JACKSON: Exactly that kind of thing. Interestingly, a big opinion poll from the BBC recently suggested there is still broad support for keeping the monarchy, with 58% of people preferring it to an elected head of state. But the survey also showed that the British monarchy seems to have a problem appealing to young people. And that doesn’t bode well for the future, I guess, does it?
LEELA: Uh oh, no it doesn’t.
JACKSON: I really think the popularity of the royal family has become a generational thing.
LEELA: That’s so interesting, Jackson. And will school be off – that’s the big question, right?!
JACKSON: Nope, I will actually be at school on The Bank Holiday Monday that was announced as part of the celebrations! My school has chosen not to observe this day off as it’s the second bank holiday this month in a short school term – and they feel we’re missing too many lessons.
LEELA: Still, for now it’s all party-party!
JACKSON: Not for me! I’ll be buried in schoolbooks!
MAMA: Ah, poor Jackson. What a difference this coronation is going to be compared to 70 years ago when Great Britain stood still to watch Queen Elizabeth the second be crowned. Still, even if not everyone is thrilled with the pomp and pretension as in trying to be important of the crowning ceremony, I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot of cheering and celebration this Saturday in the UK.
SFX OF CHARLES BEING ANNOUCED AS KING
WORLD WRAP STING – LEELA: “What’s that? I’ll tell you what. That’s the halftime bell! Which means… it’s time to hear what’s making news around the rest of the world. Hold on tight, it’s around the world in 80 seconds.”
MAMA: Senators from both political parties in the US are squabbling over the debt ceiling – as in how much money they can borrow to pay for the running of the government. The Treasury Secretary says the US may run out of cash by the first of June if Congress fails to raise or suspend the debt ceiling.
Staying in the US, Hollywood film and television writers are on strike as they demand higher pay and better working conditions. Already late-night TV shows are shutting down with the writers saying “no writers, no TV.”
Australia is cracking down on vaping as teen usage soars. The government says it will ban e-cigarettes by setting big controls on imports and packaging to discourage vaping.
And chess enthusiasts in China a feeling proud after Ding Liren becomes China’s first men’s world champion defeating his Russian opponent. Ding succeeds Norway’s Magnus Carlsen – the five-time chess champion who said he wasn’t motivated to defend his title.
LEELA: Thanks for the world wrap, mother. Since I’m not feeling too bright, I’ll leave it at that this week.
MAMA: Good idea.
ACE STING – LEELA/MAMA: “Now it’s the ace part of our podcast: Arts, Culture and Entertainment. Darling.”
MAMA: So, when you think of art in a gallery, what do you think of?
LEELA: Painting, sculptures…
MAMA: Right, paintings of flowers and fruit bowls perhaps. Not necessarily actual fruit. Hanging on a wall.
LEELA: Well, some fruit is totally gorgeous to look at, it has to be said, but yeah. No. Don’t think of it hanging on a wall.
MAMA: Well, think again. It’s called installation art and it can be anything from a tent with old clothes in it to a banana hanging on a wall.
LEELA: A banana. On a wall. OK…
MAMA: Taped to the wall infact with silver duct tape. Yes, it’s a piece of installation art by Maurizio Cattelan on display in South Korea. And what happened when somebody with an empty stomach walked past this particular masterpiece – which, by the way, is replaced every two days with a fresh banana.
LEELA: I think I know where this is going…
MAMA: Yep, the tape was peeled away, the banana skin also peeled away and despite cries of “excuse me” (in Korean ofcourse) – the banana was consumed by a hungry South Korean student, who was courteous enough to stick the peel back under the tape before he walked away.
MAMA: Thankfully the artist, who had named the piece “Comedian,” saw the funny side and the Leeum Museum of Art – who replaced the banana shortly after – did not press charges.
LEELA: I have a feeling this was about more than the student being hungry.
MAMA: You’re so right. When questioned later, he says he saw the work as a rebellion against a certain authority. And that his action was, and I quote “rebellion against the rebellion” and that “damaging an artwork could also be seen as an artwork… Isn’t it taped there to be eaten?”
LEELA: Well, those are some big and worthy questions, folks.
MAMA: Hilariously this is not the first time the bananas in Cattelan’s art have been eaten. In 2019 a performance artist at the banana after get this – the installation art was sold for $120,000.
LEELA: OK – I think that might be more bonker brains than the banana eating. I mean yeah duct tape you have you have banana stick it on your wall.
MAMA: I know, and this isn’t even the oddball section of the podcast.
LEELA: Hmmph! Wonder what oddball the Lucky Dip machine has in store for us this week.
ODDBALL STING – VARIOUS VOICES: “Step right up, step right up… Have a go at the lucky dip machine… What’s it gonna be today, eh? An oddball, no doubt!”
LEELA: Odd and adorable. Yes, this is a cat story. Cue the adorable but naughty cat music, Mama.
LEELA: Once upon a time – just the other day in the middle of England – there was an adorable black and white cat called Harry. Now Harry like to show his human – Donna from Derbyshire – how much her loved her.
LEELA: Only that love has turned to embarrassment.
LEELA: Yes, for good old Harry doesn’t go out fetching prey and bringing it to Donna.
MAMA: Oh, I bet she’s okay with that.
LEELA: Yes, no dead birds or rats arrive on her pillowcase from Harry. I think he knows Donna doesn’t want that. So, clever cat, thinks what she might like… And in the past few months has been out on the prowl searching for tokens of his love.
Even if that means whisking off other people’s clothes lines or – when the opportunity presents itself – tiptoeing right into their homes.
MAMA: Oh, Harry’s a proper cat thief then.
LEELA: Yep, so far he’s swiped a pack of sausages, several pieces of underwear, the odd glove, a designer shoe red and quite expensive, I’m told and even a purse. Though it was empty.
MAMA: Poor, Harry. Not much of a booty there then.
LEELA: But grateful Donna is thoroughly embarrassed by her crazy cat. And has had to post these items on the neighborhood Facebook page to try and get them returned.
MAMA: Ohh that’s very responsible of her.
In one week alone six different items have been returned to their owners – who thought they were losing their minds, misplacing their things…
FAB FACTS STING – LEELA: “And it’s time to wrap up the podcast with the top five fab facts heard today. Here goes…”
MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 1 – In fact all our fab facts this week are going to be on the big coronation – which comes from what Latin word?
Corona which means Crown
LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 2 – And so the coronation of King Charles the third is when he’ll be officially crowned in the heart of London – at Westminster Abbey, which has been the setting of every coronation since when?
MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 3 – And how many royal weddings have taken place at Westminster Abbey?
LEELA: FAB FACT NUMBER 4 – After the coronation, which is expected to last 2 to 3 hours, the King will head back to Buckingham Palace with his royal consort, who is she?
MAMA: FAB FACT NUMBER 5 – Before the King’s mother, Queen Elizabeth the second, died earlier last year, she celebrated what that mark 70 years on the throne?
Her Platinum Jubilee
And don’t forget, if you want to test yourself later on, then go to the Lucky Dip page of our website, newsypooloozi.com, that’s pool-o-o-z-i, and take this quiz online in your own time!
LEELA: I repeat (coughing)
LEELA: And that brings us to the end of this episode of Newsy Pooloozi!
MAMA: If you enjoyed this dip in the coolest pool of news and information then HIT that subscribe button on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, Alexa or wherever you get your podcasts. While you’re at it… Give us a good rating. Or better still, leave us a review! Go on – we’ll read it out loud if you do…
LEELA: Alrighty then, see you next week in the happy, splashy giant Newsy Pooloozi!
MAMA: And hopefully next week she will able to talk without coughing.