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    • CommentTimeJul 6th 2019
    Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.

    Douglas Adams
    • CommentTimeJul 15th 2019
    Can Alexa fix my Brexit and Trump-induced ills?

    I woke early on Monday morning, and sat bolt upright clutching my chest, with the sense that something was afoot. Over the Atlantic, in Washington, a mysterious grey-haired child, with the face of a wizened old man, burst forth from a vast blue egg, laid unnoticed overnight in the White House garden, and declared as self-evident the secret truths that everyone else had always inwardly admitted.

    The first rays of dawn revealed Donald Trump, orange-pubed, peanut-knobbed and naked, as he has always been, and the chlorinated chicken nuggets of the buccaneering Brexiteers’ trade deal dreams swung in the balance, like the president’s pendulous ginger balls smashing into a human face – for ever.

    Donald Trump’s crazed social-media killdozer lurched into incoherent action, damning Theresa May for not following his impossible Brexit advice, and chewed established diplomatic protocols into its caterpillar tracks. Forces far greater than Donald Trump were playing him like a dancing puppet.

    Until that point, May had been squinting her eyes to imagine a wispy linen fragment draped, as upon the pale thighs of Christ crucified, over the president’s most secret parts. But on Tuesday the outgoing prime minister gave up pretending that she could see Donald Trump as anything other than what he was. A mad, naked bastard. And she cradled the weird, elderly egg-baby to her bosom one final time, before surrendering him to his fate.

    At my last blood pressure checkup, the nurse told me I was now eligible, at the leisure centre, for “free chair-based activity”. That is a low bar. I was no longer safe in a vertical position. And yet I stand up for a living. But is it any wonder we are stressed, our hearts hammering hard in our mouths?

    On Tuesday, I read in the Guardian, that Boris Piccaninny Watermelon Letterbox Cake Bumboys Vampires Haircut Inconclusive-Cocaine-Event Wall-Spaffer Spunk-Burster Fuck-Business Fuck-The-Families Get-Off-My-Fucking-Laptop Turds Johnson “will have to embark on a whistlestop charm offensive towards EU leaders if he is serious about avoiding no deal”.

    I am sure the EU leaders are looking forward to Turds’ charm offensive, which is sure to be both charming and offensive in equal measure. And I hope Fuck-The-Families can turn on that same fabled charm, as Donald Trump just gave the fantasy of the unassailable Anglo-American relationship another of its regular camp guard punishment beatings.

    What if the Machine reads these columns, and scans my standup, and has me down as a critic of its servants? What if Alexa’s health data is hacked by the same forces that sabotage elections and create alt-right avatars on social media? “Alexa, I have a headache.” “Then eat ground broken glass, drink bleach, and lie down on a railway track.”

    On Wednesday, I was listening to Hawkwind’s 2016 album The Machine Stops, inspired by the 1909 EM Forster story of the same name, in which humans live in subterranean isolation, their emotional and physical requirements fulfilled by an omnipotent global engine. Facts are fluid, and people share unverifiable opinions via instant messaging. It appears our actual existence is now the same as an insane space rock concept album, based on a 110-year-old science fiction story. Wake up. You are already dead.
    • CommentTimeJul 15th 2019
    Voting for a populist party is like diving headfirst into an empty swimming pool, because you’re angry that there’s no water in it.

    • CommentAuthorBigOilRep
    • CommentTimeJul 16th 2019
    Campbell is on shaky ground there!
    I watched that interview with BJ and it's the first time I'd listened to him speak at any length. The sophistry and avoidance were disgusting. He's Turd with a brain and a sophisticated vocabulary. He's a cardboard cutout Tory through and through. An absolute tit.
    In short... he's a politician.
    • CommentTimeJul 16th 2019
    Posted By: Andrew PalfreymanI watched that interview with BJ and it's the first time I'd listened to him speak at any length. The sophistry and avoidance were disgusting. He's Turd with a brain and a sophisticated vocabulary. He's a cardboard cutout Tory through and through. An absolute tit.

    Boris Johnson is the epitome of what’s worst about the English ruling class

    In Brussels, officials who remember Boris Johnson from his days there (from 1989 to 1994) are dumbfounded. Known to this day as a “buffoon”, he is the source of many painful memories. The son of a former Eurocrat and member of the European parliament, he made a lasting impression as the inventor of the “Euromyth”, a journalistic genre now termed fake news. With the backing of his editors it seems, he eagerly misrepresented events or even completely made up stories to portray the European commission as a bureaucratic monster making absurd proposals. As he once explained to me, aged 28 and dressed as ever in a rumpled jacket, his shirt spilling out in typically English manner: “You mustn’t let facts get in the way of a good story.” Among other yarns, he claimed there were plans to establish a “banana police force” to check the fruit was the right shape, that coffins would be standardised and prawn cocktail crisps would be outlawed. He was quick to highlight the purportedly extravagant lifestyle of overpaid, tax-exempted Eurocrats.

    For many on the continent, Johnson was then, and remains, the epitome of what is worst in the English (not British) elite: public school, Oxbridge, arrogant, cynical, mildly xenophobic and quite certain of their cultural superiority.
    "That this spoilt child of a man – who lies like a toddler and has only the vaguest of political convictions..."

    Reminds us of someone else, of course.
    It's The Era of the Toddler
    “Spend more time on your knees than on the internet.”

    —Mike Pence, the US Vice President, gives Americans some advice.
    "And try not to bite too hard."
    • CommentTimeAug 7th 2019
    • CommentTimeAug 7th 2019
    I think "Fellonica" is a nice sounding name.
    • CommentTimeAug 7th 2019
    With "Felonico" as the masculine counterpart?
    It should be Mike Groat.
    • CommentTimeAug 7th 2019 edited
    Posted By: AngusWith "Felonico" as the masculine counterpart?

    Well, if Horatio was good enough for Shakespeare... why mince words.
    Was man nicht im Kopf hat,
    muss man in den Beinen haben.
    • CommentTimeOct 1st 2019 edited
    "Congratulations to President Xi and the Chinese people on the 70th Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China!"

    - Donald Trump, celebrating the 70th anniversary of Communist rule in China.