Thought Vomit #38: ft. A Traipse Through The Times

The front page of The Times today declares, “UN emergency after Korea’s nuclear blast.” Sanctions were deemed pointless when Kim Jong-Il turned his missiles on South Korea and demanded its lunch money.

A joint statement by the UN Security Council reads, “We’ve passed on a message to Hans Brix, and he’s been engaged in a comprehensive study to determine the North Korean President’s current state of busy.”

Also on the front page, Ruth Padel says, “I resign from the chair of poetry. I hope wounds will now heal.” Oxford dons offered no clue as to the size of the splinter upon which she sat.

Moving inside the paper, we find “US says energy cut key to saving planet”. Restrictive tarifs on the industry prevent the Man of Steel from intervening.

President Obama’s recent economic stimulus package included $50 billion dollars for energy efficient measures such as better insulation, wind farms, and a limitless supply of bankers to chuck on the pyre.

A commentary piece says, “They have been called “nega-watts” – the vast amounts of energy wasted around the world” printing pointless commentary pieces.

Further inside, we learn that speed cameras caught 47,228 police cars, ambulances and fire engines on 999 calls last year. Presumably they were rushing to all those accidents the cameras were supposed to stop.

On the same page we find that the number of children sitting GCSE history has dropped in the past ten years, with fewer than one in three studying the subject. It’s unclear whether this marks an historical trend, since there aren’t enough historians to check.

Buried away on page 17 below the fold, there’s “Big parties ‘collude’ to keep donations secret”. MPs want to raise the limit of anonymous donations from five thousand pounds. They say that the figure has to be set at a level where the public can be confident nobody is “buying influence”. This level should be £7,500. So, you can trade in three old bangers and get your own by-law.

In the Opinion section, a science writer warns of the dangerous link between science and hype, and that Ida the fossil could mean that lazy Creationists will argue that evolution is a religion with its own holy relics. Richard Dawkins snapped, “I’m not THAT old!”

On to World News then, and a “Tiananmen Square rebel is banished before anniversary.” Bao Tong was notified yesterday that he must return home and play no part in organising a 20th anniversary memorial. He told The Times, “I can’t talk. I have been ordered not to give any interviews. Not even on the telephone.” It’s unclear how the Times got this quote.

The Church of Scientology in France went on trial on charges of fraud. If found guilty, the group could be fined £4.5 million and banned from the country. There’s no joke here, but it is funny.

The irony award must surely go to the Catholic Church for its condemnation of Silvio Berlusconi and his liaisons with Naomi Letizia, who is only 18. The whole of Ireland coughed up its breakfast when an archbishop said he was “an example of a power that allows itself to do anything.”

In the Business section “City police warn of huge rise in fraud cases”. A banker commented, “The City police have been inflating these figures for years.”

And in a worrying revelation, finance companies are being taught courses that claim fluffy, stuffed pigs can teach them more about finance than an Excel spreadsheet. Strap in for a lengthy recession folks.

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