This article originally appeared on Noisey US.
It's tempting to say that the British tabloid press clutched its pearls so tightly with this bullshit story about Rod Stewart staging a "mock execution" in the desert that irreparable damage has been caused to its metacarpals. But such a diagnosis would be too generous to the lecherous, desperate fuckwits who gleefully throw fuel onto these non-stories and demand contrition while the world burns around them.
Let's back up. Sir Rod Stewart was forced to apologise this morning after a video was posted to Instagram showing the 72-year-old singer fucking around in the desert before a show in the United Arab Emirates. Three seconds of the 20-second clip show Stewart standing over a knelt-down friend, running his fingers across the guy's neck.
(I'm not going to post the video, which has since been removed from Instagram, or any screenshots here. The spectacle is both the point and the problem. You can find the video pretty easily.)
Stewart's apology came shortly after newspapers across Blighty failed to contain their throbbing erections for a "problematic" social media post. Here is the singer's statement in full:
"From re-enacting the Beatles' Abbey Road crossing to spontaneously playing out Game Of Thrones, we were simply larking about pre-show. Understandably, this has been misinterpreted and I send my deepest apologies to those who have been offended."
Pick it apart however you'd like. Stewart says he was reenacting a scene from Game of Thrones, rather than making light of ISIS-style executions. You can either choose to believe that Rod Stewart watches HBO, or choose to believe that he took a look around the desert, thought "oh, this looks like the backdrop for all those YouTube videos," and then decided to have fun with the terrifying misery of innocent people.
I wonder which thread the British press picked up. Here's the BBC.
Former hostage John McCarthy told BBC Radio Scotland's John Beattie programme that the singer had turned "a grotesque thing into a kind of pantomime".
The journalist, who was kidnapped in Lebanon in 1986, said it was unclear whether Sir Rod was "larking about" or thinking seriously about the fate of some hostages.
Relatives of other kidnap victims would be "absolutely sickened" if the star was making light of their plight, he added.
"Your blood runs cold just imagining what it must be like to be in that situation in the last moments of your life or, indeed, as relatives to see that," he said.
While we sit down and wait for this bullshit to blow over, here's "The Shapes of Things," the first track from Jeff Beck's seminal 1968 debut Truth. Stewart's voice is a smoky, wailing marvel.
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