A minute percentage of the country’s population died yesterday in a freak accident that was over considerably quicker than the subsequent news coverage. Journalists scrambled to make a Big Deal out of a very short, simple story.
Disaster: what went wrong
Uninformed but authoritative-sounding speculation from someone in possession of exactly the same bare facts as everyone else, designed to introduce a note of needless urgency to an otherwise frustratingly straightforward event.
Disaster: industry in crisis
Blatent attempt to link today’s big story with ongoing negative press against something only tangentially relevant which, in any sane world, would be entirely disregarded.
Shoot-to-kill arrest law forced through
Highly significant event that may change the entire course of national history buried lower down the page where no one will take much notice until it’s much too late. Ongoing censorship efforts ensure that we won’t be forced to play these games much longer.
Comment: I told you so
Resident columnist claims recent ills are obviously caused by his pet hobbyhorse cause, such as the lack of legalised flogging for dwarves, and goes to long and tenuous lengths to demonstrate the links.
Comment: Argh, why us??
Columnist of diametrically opposing viewpoint asks there has been so much bad news lately and concludes that the gods must have it in for us, to pacify cud-chewing masses with their half-baked, ignorant and dumb opinions.
Crazy man does or says something slightly bonkers because he’s mad, him, he just doesn’t care. Vital distraction in case you took any of the above seriously.
Focus: More foot and mouth cases
Britain’s ongoing agricultural crisis yesterday extended to the worlds of showbusiness and politics (Ed: are these actually any different?), as new outbreaks were confirmed in previously overlooked areas. A MAFF spokesman said: “Examination of new evidence, chiefly recent editions of Heat, Hello & most major music magazines, shows that the disease has spread into the entertainment world and that most celebrities now suffer from it to a greater or lesser degree. Furthermore, analysis of archive evidence - or “back issues” - suggests that that this has been the case for a considerable period of time.” The spokesman refused to discuss whether the disease may actually have originated in the entertainment business and been transmitted from there to the agricultural industry, nor how such a transmission could occur and whether Richard Gere was involved. He also denied claims that a plan of mass slaughter was underway, triggered by the excavation of several large trenches in the home counties that observers noted were close to the homes of several members of the Spice Girls.
An industry spokesman, who we have kept anonymous for the purpose of injecting our own opinionated speculation, said: “If you read most major celebrity interviews, you’d have to be extremely kind not to assume that these people must have some sort of debilitating oral disorder. And of course, because they’re shagging each other indiscriminately like gerbils, infection spreads quickly across both sexes.”
America was quick to demand the expulsion of several UK celebrities currently visiting or resident in the country, including Robbie Williams, in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease within their borders. However, experts cited “everything Britney Spears has ever said” as proof that such moves may have come too late.
In a separate press release, Chris Evans refuted allegations that he had given foot and mouth to Billie Piper, although he did suggest he may have caught it from her.
In a further development, one leading academic expert claimed the disease was also rife throughout parliament and had even reached into the top echelons of the cabinet. Professor Jeremy Beauvyne-pene-Traition said: “If you examine the Hansard records, you’ll find strong evidence that most MPs and ministers have been afflicted by some form of foot and mouth, particularly Jack Straw.” A spokesman for the Home Office denied the allegation, saying: “Mfffrr fffhhhddd uhn nnnhhh mmmfffthhh. Bsshhttt.”
On the subject of foot and mouth, BB notes cynically and not a little insensitively in passing that it took precisely 0.05 seconds after the first cases were reported for NFU leaders to tell the public (“such as ramblers -spit-“) to stay away from the countryside or, in other words, “Git orf moi laaand!” So no change there then. They were also quick to suggest that the outbreak may be due to the import of foreign (“-spit-“) meat rather than, say, feeding animal waste back to animals or other intensive production methods.