I wish John Oliver could be on Community more, but at least he’s doing wonderful things.
As perhaps the biggest threat to the nation’s mental wellbeing, yet it’s freely available on every street – for pennies. The dealers claim it expands the mind and bolsters the intellect: users experience an initial rush of emotion (often euphoria or rage), followed by what they believe is a state of enhanced awareness. Tragically this “awareness” is a delusion. As they grow increasingly detached from reality, heavy users often exhibit impaired decision-making abilities, becoming paranoid, agitated and quick to anger. In extreme cases they’ve even been known to form mobs and attack people. Technically it’s called “a newspaper”, although it’s better known by one of its many “street names”, such as “The Currant Bun” or “The Mail” or “The Grauniad” (see me – Ed).
In its purest form, a newspaper consists of a collection of facts which, in controlled circumstances, can actively improve knowledge. Unfortunately, facts are expensive, so to save costs and drive up sales, unscrupulous dealers often “cut” the basic contents with cheaper material, such as wild opinion, bullshit, empty hysteria, reheated press releases, advertorial padding and photographs of Lady Gaga with her bum hanging out. The hapless user has little or no concept of the toxicity of the end product: they digest the contents in good faith, only to pay the price later when they find themselves raging incoherently in pubs, or – increasingly – on internet messageboards.
Tragically, widespread newspaper abuse has become so endemic, it has crippled the country’s ability to conduct a sensible debate about the “war on drugs”. The current screaming festival over “meow meow” or “M-Cat” or whatever else the actual users aren’t calling it, is a textbook example. I have no idea how dangerous it is, but there seems to be a glaring lack of correlation between the threat it reportedly poses and the huge number of schoolkids reportedly taking it. Something doesn’t add up. But in lieu of explanation, we’re treated to an hysterical, obfuscating advertising campaign for a substance that will presumably – thanks to the furore – soon only be available via illegal, unregulated, more dangerous, means. If I was 15 years old, I wouldn’t be typing this right now. I’d be trying to buy “plant food” on the internet. And this time next year I’d be buying it in a pub toilet, cut with worming pills and costing four times as much."
It wasn’t my intention to make two posts about Steve Bell in a row, but given how he seems to be the only consistent, and consistently hilarious, antidote to this Jubilee tosh, I don’t have much choice. Today’s If… from the Guardian. I laughed out loud in public, which you must never do.
The adventures of Marx and Engels #2
Spitting Image — A Very British Revolution
Spitting Image is a lot like the current Coalition; they’re just puppets and you can see who’s pulling the strings.
— Charlie Brooker, Not Excited by the Olympics? — Thank God for the Sponsors
It must be awful, being a homophobe. Having to spend all that time obsessing about what gay people might be doing with their genitals. Seeing it in your mind, over and over again, in high-definition close-up. Bravely you masturbate, to make the pictures go away, but to no avail. They’re seared onto your mental membranes. Every time you close your eyes, an imaginary gay man’s imaginary penis rises from the murk, bowing ominously in your direction, sensing your discomfort. Laughing. Mocking. Possibly even winking. How dare they, this man and his penis? How dare they do this to you?
Obviously you can’t fight the big gay penis in your head. It has no physical form, so you can’t get a grip on it, much as you’d like to. You’d love to grab it and throttle it until it splutters its last. That might bring you closure. But no. So you do the next best thing. You condemn homosexuals in the real world. Maybe if they could just stop all this “being gay” business for 10 minutes, you’d get some respite from that scary headcock. It might shrivel away completely, leaving nothing behind. Except maybe a nice bit of bum.
No, dammit! Forget I said that! No bum either!
A dedicated young German boy pulls off an elaborate scheme to keep his mother in good health in this comedy drama from director Wolfgang Becker. Suffering a heart attack and falling into a coma after seeing her son arrested during a protest, Alex’s (Daniel Brühl) socialist mother, Christiane (Katrin Sass), remains comatose through the fall of the Berlin wall and the German Democratic Republic. Knowing that the slightest shock could prove fatal upon his mother’s awakening, Alex strives to keep the fall of the GDR a secret for as long as possible. Keeping their apartment firmly rooted in the past, Alex’s scheme works for a while, but it’s not long before his mother is feeling better and ready to get up and around again.
Proving that the Germans do have a sense of humour after all; Good Bye Lenin is fantastic, hilarious and bittersweet.