Do Ron Ron Ron

It shouldn’t be possible to take a topical sketch from the mid 80s, and just change a few words for it to still be topical today. But here we go.

It’s also interesting to see Spitting Image being performed live of course, and as Ben notes at the end, that’s Chris Barrie doing the voice. You might recognise the questioners from the audience too.

Scripted jokes can of course win you an election …

Mondale himself believes this was the moment that he lost.

If TV can tell the truth, as you say it can, you’ll see that I was smiling. But I think if you come in close, you’ll see some tears coming down because I knew he had gotten me there. That was really the end of my campaign that night, I think. [I told my wife] the campaign was over, and it was.

In case, like me, you don’t know much about Walter Mondale, here’s Rich Hall getting to know him better, on Saturday Night Live.

Mondale took Reagan to the wire, winning exactly two states (Minnesota and DC) for a total of 13 Electoral College votes.

What’s Past Is Prologue

Continuing on from yesterday’s theme that comedy from the 1980s resonates today much more than feels comfortable.

Here’s Phil Hartman’s Reagan on Saturday Night Live, in a sketch which aired the night before Regan resigned, on 28th February 1987.

And here he is again, playing Robert MacFarlane, in a sketch from 16th May 1987.

Norway Shares The Wealth

In the 1990s, Norway realised that its windfall from the discovery and exploitation of North Sea Oil would eventually come to an end. Where the UK had used this new revenue to fund massive Thatcherite tax cuts, Norway realised that it had to protect this money for future generations. With audacious foresight, the country began investing all of the oil revenue into assets abroad.

The sovereign wealth fund is now worth over a trillion dollars.

It owns 1.3% of every listed company in the world, and is ethically managed, sometimes even voting against large companies such as Apple on corporate governance issues.

It is worth $192,000 per person in Norway.

And the Government allows itself to use 4% of the fund in its own budget.

The fund is growing so big that this number might need to be revised downwards.

No doubt there are valid counter-arguments to this approach, and that the way the UK did it was sensible too, but I can’t help feeling it’s another way we pissed everything up the wall (see also Right To Buy).

How To Solve All The Problems In The World

It’s been a bad year, for so many people, for so many reasons. It might be cathartic to list all the bags that have been filled with shite, and use creative swear words to vent some pent up impotent rage, but that would make this blog about eight days long, and we’d still only scratch the surface.

That said, I have figured out one simple thing we can all do in 2018 that will stop things getting worse and worse every day.


Schisms In The Force

We all know that The Force is divisive (and not just among idiot fandoms), what with the Dark and Light sides and all that. But, like all religions, it must have experienced its fair share of schisms leading to differing, and competing factions.

Proceeding with the assumption that the following may contain spoilers for any number of Star Wars type things you have not yet experienced or enjoyed (though probably not), let’s examine some possible fracture points.

Perhaps the biggest one is based around Master Yoda’s teachings. Some argue he said “Do, or do not.” While others contend he said “Do, or do your nut.” I think it’s obvious Kylo Ren believes the latter.

What’s nice is that in this day and age, it’s easy enough to reach out and make a connection with like minded folk. Now that light-sabres have Galactic Positioning Systems, you can Force Chat with anyone, and if you like them, you can swipe right with your laser sword.

But there are some who believe that Jedi really can return from the afterlife, while others think this impossible. This lead to the great East/West Schism, and it’s why some Jedi wear big hats now, and some only wear robes.

No one disagrees that droids are sentient, and that they can clearly feel pain, nor that they are a slave class that the Rebellion is cruelly overlooking, but there are raging arguments over whether the Force should be used to build stone walls or not.

Also, there’s never really been an answer to the age old question, “why does The Force let bad things happen?”

And if you eat a chocolate Jedi, there’s a raging debate about whether that’s literally a Jedi, or just figuratively. No-one doubts that it should be blue milk in the chalice though.

The Force Choke is another bone of contention, though no-one knows why.

Plus there’s some debate as to what the Force actually is, though most agree that it’s something that binds us. That’s why there’s a small cabal of Jedi on Gantoo who believe the Force is a boiled egg.

Elsewhere, the followers of Jax Keiko take regular inventory, and are therefore banned from warehouses across the Galaxy.

Too many politicians invoke the Force to justify there own selfish agendas, while a wing of the Republican Senate has been hijacked by a sect of The Force known as Arrested Developmentalists, who believe that Life Ends At Eight, and that anything that happens in the Galaxy that they disagree with means that they have to travel back in time and murder themselves. There aren’t too many of them left now.