THE WHITE ROOM, Trancentral, Thursday (NTNME) — The illegal party drug ketamine is an “exciting” and “dramatic” new treatment for depression, say doctors who waited about two decades too long before conducting the first trials in the UK.
The single small study has attracted due caution from evidence-based medicine experts, since 80% of single studies turn out to be in error. However, middle-aged doctors and researchers who feel they didn’t get out enough in their youth are clamouring to do multiple large-scale replications of the study, probably this weekend.
The findings open up whole new avenues of research. “It’s the sort of thing really that makes it worth doing psychiatry,” said lead researcher Dr Rupert McShane, or, as he now calls himself, DJ Rupie McK-Hole. “Can we get back into trials on LSD yet? I understand there’s also considerable clinical possibilities for the therapeutic qualities of sequences of repetitive beats, MDMA and the possibility of shagging cute raver chicks like the ones I remember.”
The duration of the effect is still a problem. “We’ll have to make sure we repeat the trials next weekend and the weekend after as well. For science and verifiability.”
JOHN CAGE MATCH, Praxis, Wednesday (NTN) — The Wu-Tang Clan has announced the nonrelease of their new album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, to be made available in an edition of no copies.
“Music is a commodity these days and we want it treated as art,” said RZA. “The LP record you listened to reverently at home gave way to the portable cassette and CD, and now the copiable and disposable MP3. But the rarer the art, the better. So we’re making the album available as no copies whatsoever. It’s artier that way.”
MODAL LOGIC PROVES THE EXISTENCE OF ONCE UPON A TIME IN SHAOLIN
(I) The existence of a perfect Wu-Tang album does not necessarily entail the existence of gratuitous suffering.
(II) If a perfect Wu-Tang album is possible, then said perfect album necessarily exists (given axiom S5 of modal logic).
(III) The perfect Wu-Tang album is possible. (This is a logical consequence of (I).)
(IV) The perfect Wu-Tang album necessarily exists (modus ponens on (II) and (III).
(V) Therefore, the apparently-nonexistent album does in fact exist, and you should pay real money for it.
The album will be unavailable as a double blank CD-R, though the band is considering refusing to offer it on blank LP and blank cassette as well. An MP3 of silence will also be withheld, as will an Apple Lossless download of silence from iTunes. The first video, “ ”, is not up on YouTube and Vimeo in the form of four minutes’ silence and a blank screen.
The album failed to be recorded at home by the band over the past several years. “Art only suffers from excessive physical realisation. In fact, the more physical realisation, the further the art falls from the perfection of the conception. So what we did was stay home in bed and think really hard about what the record should sound like. Frankly, it’s amazing. Well, we think it would be.”
The band hopes to get five meeellion dollarsss for this conceptual work. “We firmly believe that art — art! — should not suffer the petty, tawdry, bourgeois constraints of genre, media gatekeepers, critics, quality or existence. But the absolutely key point — which we’re completely clear on — is that it should be paid for with actual money.”
ORTHOGON ALLEY, Mammon Managed, Friday (fanfiction.net) — J. K. Rowling is further repackaging the dribbling arse of the Harry Potter series, in evident disbelief of old sayings about blood and stones.
The final film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Lack of Further Books, is being released shortly. Rowling has carefully assembled a package to get free publicity out of the newspapers for the new project, Harry Potter and the Wallet Vampire.
Initial fan predictions for the new project, based on absolutely no actual information whatsoever, included a Potter encyclopedia, an online role-playing game, a “giant theme park”, a dessert wax and a floor topping. “Definitely the floor wax,” said Essex housewife and fan fiction author Luna Hypatia Grainger-Potter (née Tracey Clegg), 43, of Sheppey.
The new series will be created with the assistance of editorially-respected science fiction ghostwriter Kevin J. Anderson, author of The Many-Coloured Dune, Dune Skywalker, Klingons of Dune, Dunentology and Dunanetics, The Dunehiker’s Guide to the Dunacy and Remembrance Of Dunes Past/In Search of Lost Dune.
“Kevin taught me everything,” said Rowling. “Did you know you can outsource the writing bit to India now?”
TIME, Dark side of the moan, Wednesday (N! News) — Both remaining members of Pink Floyd have announced the launch of the “Why Pink Floyd?” reissue campaign, wherein literally every tape containing a detectable grunt or squeak is pressed onto CD, SACD and 5.1-channel DVD-audio.
“This is the last chance for really nice packaging,” said drummer Nick Mason, “because even in 2011, it’s remarkable what you can charge for a physical object rather than a download. Even a FLAC. You could make the complete collection, which of course you’ll be wanting, into a ring of standing stones for the lounge. You’ll have to rebalance your speakers to compensate for the gravitational pull, of course.”
Dark Side Of The Moon will be reissued as a six-disc “Immersion” box set, disinterring the horse and hooking it to the remains of the carriage. A five-disc Wish You Were Here follows, with a seven-disc The Wall disinterring the coachman as well and arranging his bones on the remains of the carriage in a humorous fashion. And yet another best-of to follow.
In going through material for the additional CDs and DVDs, Mason found himself drawn to the tracks that emerged “from the very back of the cupboard,” material that is as far from marketable as possible except that it can just about legitimately be branded “Pink Floyd” and fills out a stupidly bloated box set nicely.
There are no plans for David Gilmour and Roger Waters to work further on music together, although Mason says conversations about money seem to go well.
John Lydon noted that these releases reiterated the essential argument in favour of punk rock much better than any mere words could, while glossing over the five times so far he has repackaged the exact same recordings from Never Mind The Bollocks.
WEB 0.1, Cyberspice, Monday (NTN) — Several tedious Z-list celebrities have demanded Twitter user @injunctionsuper post details of their tawdry and squalid lives too.
[REDACTED] tweeted: “Rumur that I hv super-injunction preventing publication of ‘intimate’ photos of me n my bank account. NOT TRUE! Also, tits. FER FUXAKE PLS RT”
The revelation that decent British people can read things on Internet services that aren’t even based in the UK has left celebrities and politicians shocked, shocked that people actually have ways of gaining information that aren’t filtered through the hamstrung UK print press. “Clearly,” said minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries Ed Vaizey, “we need to protect our valuable pop music and football industries with a Great Firewall of Britain without delay.”
“In the modern world of the Internet, the secret or super-injunction may no longer be an effective tool in the administration of justice,” said BBC legal correspondent Clive Coleman, in an attempt on the world record for fatuity.
“We tried to bugger the Internet last year,” said Peter Mandelson, “but did you listen?”
A spokesman for Wikipedia suggested that journalists looking for space-filler stories just fuck off until August as usual.
GUTEN TAG, Wii Gehts, Wednesday (NTN) — Sony has revealed that the Playstation Network security breach, which compromised 24.6 million credit cards, was entirely the work of evil hackers from Anonymous, and nothing to do with their own incompetence, honest.
“We discovered a file making a clear reference to ‘Username unknown,’” the company said in a letter to the US Congress on Wednesday, “and a blank user icon which therefore was … anonymous! D’you see what that means? It means George Hotz and his hacker friends are loathsome criminal masterminds! So obviously we can’t be held liable for negligence in the face of forces like these. In conclusion, give us money.”
The letter details the company’s actions over the past two weeks. It says Sony acted with “care and caution” in deciding how to act and how long it thought it could get away without telling anyone. “We did not want to cause confusion and cause customers to take unnecessary actions, such as stopping their credit card payments to us.”
“We have suffered a very carefully planned, very professional, highly sophisticated criminal cyberattack, which has led to people committing the heinous hate crime of jailbreaking their PS3s. In accordance with our campaign contributions, we ask that you impose the death penalty for such offenses.”
The letter concluded that the breakin was quite definitely the work of Anonymous. “We were going to blame Al-Qaeda, but we figured after Monday that you probably wouldn’t buy that.”
HAMMERSMITH ODEOUS, Android Market, Friday (NTN) — The £500 LG Optimus 3D, the world’s first 3D smartphone, has been delayed until June, possibly due to 3D on a phone being stupendously pointless rubbish that doesn’t work.
3D technology has been the next big thing for only the last sixty years and is readily available on television, movies and video games. It offers amazing improvements over ordinary moving images: darkness, muddier colours, blurriness, headaches from watching for more than twenty minutes and slower action sequences so the viewer doesn’t throw up.
In video games, the Nintendo 3DS has been a huge hit with tens or even hundreds of end users, some of whom have left the 3D on for a whole day before switching it off forever. 3D on a phone has been heralded by manufacturers, mobile operators, the entertainment industry, the technical press, optometrists drumming up business and everyone else except the actual consumer.
“Five hundred quid for this tremendous advance in telephony?” said industry analyst Mobile Salestwat. “Who wouldn’t bootleg Avatar onto their phone for that! It’s worth every penny for the athletic catgirl boobs to actually poke out the screen at you.”
The phone’s dual five-megapixel cameras also offer the opportunity to drunkenly send grainy 3D photos of your tits to precisely the wrong person, and not remember until you get copies forwarded to your work email via ten other people three days later. “With 3D, people can take the photos and turn them into a 3D-printed plastic sculpture. Just the thing for your desk. Or theirs.”
KINDLING, The Amazon, Monday (NTN) — Internet eBook piracy is a “colossal” problem, the Publishers Association warned last night, thus alerting every Metro reader they never needed pay for a book again, having spent the last few years getting thoroughly used to having all their music and movies for free.
The own-goal of giving superlative publicity to their own replacement was applauded by the music industry, which is soon to be purchased at an end-of-business clearance sale by Google. “We suffered for our art,” said Feargal Sharkey, “now it’s their turn.”
Some authors disagree, having had spectacular success with giving away material online. “I mean, you can say, ‘oh, it’s different for Neil Gaiman, he’s an exception, he’s actually talented and worth reading,’” said Cory Doctorow. “But on the other hand, there’s me.”
Some authors have placed “logic bombs” in online books. The new Jeffrey Archer novel has been released in a format booby-trapped with text written by Jeffrey Archer.
The Pirate Bay commended information wanting to be free “or at least very cheap indeed” and noted the powerful incentives to untrammeled political discourse afforded by epilepsy-inducing flashing ad banners and browser popups for online poker and Russian mail-order brides.
REGAL ZONOPHONE, Pathé News, 1928 (NTN) — An alleged time traveller has been spotted not using a mobile telephone in a 2010 video on YouTube.
The apparent time traveller, clad in a hat and coat, walks into frame appearing deep in conversation while holding nothing at all to her ear, thus showing her using sheer empty space for wireless communication.
“This Super-8 film I’ve made shows the ‘chrononaut’ quite clearly,” said Albert Tedious-Anorak, 54, of Little Boring. “You can see the woman putting her hand to her head without holding a mobile phone or anything. This gesture is so remarkably anachronistic that a gross violation of physics is clearly the simplest and most obvious possible explanation, and definitely not anything that doesn’t get my name in the papers.”
The Super-8 film of the YouTube clip has been put up on YouTube and has gained thousands of views since incredibly bored journalists filled a space with the story. Speculation is rife on the site as to what the object actually is that she is not holding.
“Nikola Tesla anticipated this, you know,” said Mr Tedious-Anorak, “and you can read all about it in my self-published magazine which I—” At this point the film reel ran out.
SLIGHT INDISPOSITION STAR, Communal States of America, Saturday (NTN) — Medal of Honor, a popular video game that lets you play as the unAmerican team, has been banned from US military bases as “insensitive.”
After moral panics, including from UK Defense Secretary Liam Fotherington-Thomas — who issued official condemnation of the game as “horrid” — US military officials decided not to stock the game in the nearly 300 base exchange shops.
“This game is disgusting and violent,” said Maj. Gen. Bruce Casella, “and gives the impression that our actions in Afghanistan involve dangerous weaponry and people getting hurt. We cannot risk such appalling propaganda reaching our lovely soldiers and their delicate psyches.”
General Casella announced a new version of America’s Army, in which US soldiers go to the fictional country of Wartornistan, and sing songs, dance to psychedelic rock and paint flowers on tanks. Usually opium poppies.
Electronic Arts, makers of Medal of Honor, responded with plans to make a version of America’s Army in which you can play either the hippies or the troops at Kent State.