Follow that star
What better way to end the year in pop culture than with a Nativity play featuring all of our favourite stars?
Illustration: Philip Barrett
A young woman called Mary, living in a ghost estate somewhere in the midlands, is up late trying to watch as many episodes of The Killing and Borgen as possible on Netflix, so she has something to talk about at work the next day. Suddenly the Angel Sinéad appears.
Angel Sinéad Hail Mary, full of grace, but hopefully devoid of twerking.
Mary is scared. The angel eases her fear.
Angel Sinéad Noli timere. God has sent me to deliver this open letter to you. You are to have a child, and he will be called Jesus.
Angel Sinéad No. Kanye West may think he’s a God, but your child will still be called Jesus. You will be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Mary Is this about Arthur’s Day? I’m only barely over that, and I’ve already had nine Snapchats this evening from my mates out on the 12 Pubs.
The Angel Sinéad, exasperated, reads the rest of the open letter, leaving Mary more confused than Carrie in the season finale of Homeland.
Mary This is more sudden than a Beyoncé album release. But I am happy to do what God wants. Let what you have said be done to me.
The angel leaves her. Some time later Mary marries Joseph, a carpenter who had postponed his emigration to Melbourne, as Ireland has indeed turned a corner, and they settle down to live together.
Announcement of the census
A few days later there is a commotion in the estate. A group of soldiers led by Capt Nidge, who has changed his car three times en route, has come to make an important announcement.
Capt Nidge Listen here, youse. Emperor Sheryl Sandberg, along with the NSA, has called a data census. They wants to know how many people are living in this land. Get off yizzer hoops and make your way to the town where you were born to be counted. I swear to bleedin’ God if yiz don’t, I’ll do to yiz what Fran did to the dentist.
Capt Nidge departs with the rest of the soldiers. Their female counterparts say nothing and just look off into the distance.
Journey to Dublin
Joseph and Mary have to set off on the long journey to Dublin. It is winter, and Miley Cyrus swinging overhead on a wrecking ball is doing nobody any favours.
Joseph Oh, Mary, I wish we didn’t have to go to Dublin at this time of the year, what with it being so cold and that sharknado warning issued by Met Éireann. And especially since you had to borrow Kim Kardashian’s maternity clothes.
Mary Don’t worry, Joseph: everything will work out fine.
Little Miley, little Miley on the road to ruin,
Got to cop on, plodding onwards,
And write a decent tune.
Been a long time, like Rihanna,
Since you put on a shirt.
Let’s get real now, little Miley,
Lorde makes you look like jerks.
But when Mary and Joseph arrive in Dublin things don’t look great. All of the hotels and inns seem to be full. Even the Maldron. And empty shops have been taken over by pop-up restaurants and independent design stores. There’s a knock on the inn door, and Joseph comes in.
Joseph Excuse me, I was wondering would you have a room where my wife and I can stay for the night?
Innkeeper Saatchi No room at the inn. Your fault. Everything is your fault.
Joseph But myself and my wife, Mary, have tried every inn in Dublin.
Innkeeper Colm Tóibín If that’s Mary’s testament, then there’s nothing we can do.
Joseph You have to help. Mary is going to give birth soon.
Innkeeper Kevin McCloud Wait, I think I can help you. There’s a stable at the back of our house. It’s not much, and you’re going to have to project-manage the build yourselves. Three months in and it’s still not watertight, and with a baby on the way I’m beginning to wonder if it’ll even get finished.
Joseph Oh, thank you! May God reward you for your kindness.
Shepherds and angels
At this time in Dublin, there are lots of little offices where tech workers gaze at their screens. The #shepherds who look after these sheeple sleep out on the office balconies at night, and take it in turns to stay awake, to make sure everyone is still working.
#Shepherd1 Doesn’t the sky look really lovely tonight through this Instagram filter?
#Shepherd2 Yes, I’ve never seen so many stars, and they’re so bright – especially that one shaped like Sandra Bullock that’s mouthing something silently.
Suddenly, as they are admiring the stars, an angel appears in the sky in 3D, even though everyone hates 3D. The sky is lit up, albeit up to 88 per cent less bright than it would be in 2D. #Shepherd1 and #Shepherd2 jump up with fright. This distracts the other #shepherds from their phablets.
Angel Luhrmann I have great news for you. Today Jesus has been born. And I’m going to one day make this into a musical starring Eric Bana and Dannii Minogue.
#Shepherd1 Please, no, not after Gatsby.
Angel Luhrmann: SILENCE. [Throws glitter.] He is the saviour of the world. You will find him lying in a manger nearby. Follow the star and it will take you there. Or just use Hailo. And don’t worry about your sheeple, because they are too busy playing Candy Crush to notice.
#Shepherd2 Can you just Snapchat me this instead?
Mad Men we have heard on high,
Watching True Blood and fighting in Westerlos,
Sorkin got The Newsroom wrong.
But he’ll make up for it with Stevie Jobs.
Gloooooooooria, in excelcis HBO (x2)
The three wise kings
Some way off, three kings have made their way through the night. They have been travelling for even longer than it’s taking for Azealia Banks’s debut album to be released. Even longer than Donna Tartt’s Goldfinch. Spotting the bright Sandra Bullock star, they realise it’s a sign that the saviour has been born.
King Bieber I’m so tired. My life is so hard. Why is everyone against me? Why can’t I be Justin Timberlake? How near is the saviour?
King Robin Thicke He is close, tried to domesticate you, but you’re an animal, baby it’s in your nature.
King Mary Berry Would you ever shut up? I think Sandra Bullock is getting lower in the sky. We are getting closer. Let’s hurry up.
Just as has been predicted by blogs everywhere, Jesus is born. Recently arrived minions wrap him in an ironic Christmas jumper and lay him in a manger.
#Shepherd1 Oh, this must be it! According to Google Maps.
Mary But how did you know we were here?
Adam While we were watching our sheeple, an angel told us you were here.
#Shepherd2 Also, I had recently downloaded Find My Saviour on my iPhone.
The three kings arrive
King Bieber At last we have found you. Here is my gift for the saviour: a casket of Bitcoins.
King Thicke I bring you a gift from my native land: a triptych of unsettling Terry Richardson selfies.
King Berry And here is my gift: brandy snaps. Of course they look easy to make, but what we’re looking for is an excellent bake, with a dark, golden colour, and a stiffly whipped cream.
Mary Thank you, everyone. If only MTV Cribs was still around to document this precious moment.
And so it is that all the people of the world celebrate this day, apart from Kanye West, who couldn’t bear such attention to be diverted away from him. But you can’t win them all.