James Blunt tops decade charts, pop declared dead

PUBLIC ENEMA, The Hit Parade, Thursday (N! News) — James Blunt’s Back To Bedlam was the UK’s biggest-selling album of the 2000s, objectively establishing the final death of pop music after fifty years.

The 2000s were the decade of falling record sales, plummeting profits for the six five four major labels, a number one single requiring only a few thousand downloads as opposed to a hundred thousand physical records twenty-five years earlier and a race to the bottom by the music industry to come up with something, anything, so horrifyingly insipid and stupid as to destroy instantly the mind of anyone exposed to it, like a saccharine Cthulhu, in the quest to find a sufficiently common lowest denominator.

Pop has been replaced in popular youth affection with DVDs, games, Internet pornography, White Lightning, stabbing each other and filling in applications to join al-Qaeda after accidental exposure to James Blunt.

The record industry blames the downfall of pop on the Internet, MP3s, USB hard disks, fanzines, cassettes, radio and player pianos rather than, e.g., James Blunt. The fragmentation of tastes, where people can easily learn of and obtain music they actually like rather than whatever bilge the record companies deign to serve up, is considered a serious problem in need of firm resolution.

Peter Mandelson reassured the record industry that the Digital Britain bill would keep the future firmly reined in and reinstate the culture industries’ tap in the wallets of the young for the benefit of the entire country, or a small portion thereof. “Remember, home taping is killing music! But not James Blunt. You cannot kill that which does not live.”

Terrorist group “Department of Homeland Security” cripples US, again

LITTLE BROTHER, Detroit, Sunday (NTN) — The American-based terrorist group “Department of Homeland Security” (the Arabic term for “Department of Homeland Security”) has successfully hobbled the American economy once more.

DHS stuntman Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab caused a minor conflagration aboard a Detroit-bound plane on Saturday. “It worked spectacularly well,” said his father, Nigerian banker Bnkr. Alhaji Umaru MUTALLAB. “He sent TWENTY-FIVE MILLION (25,000,000.00) Twitter messages about it. ‘Stuck on runway for 1/2hr oh well catch up on da vinci code should hv time 2 finish b4 destroying USA.’ I would have sent the full collection of messages to the authorities, but they were unfortunately unable to forward me a mere three thousand Twitter messages to enable my expenses in doing so.”

This year, as every year, Umar had sent his relatives Christmas cards reading “MERRY CHRISTMAS, YOU WESTERNISED PIG-DOGS, SLEEP WELL FOR TOMORROW YOU SHALL BURN IN AGONY FOR ALL ETERNITY, ALLAH BE PRAISED”. However, it appeared he had become “radicalised” by a sojourn in London, during which he read a book about George W. Bush, a close personal friend of the bin Laden branch of the Saudi royal family, and was inspired to take the fight to American soil. “Whenever the infidel appears complacent,” he wrote to a friend, “we shall send a DHS operative to do something pathetically stupid and harmless that we may take as an excuse to torture more civilians and make movement within American yet more impracticable. Praise Allah! Praise Jesus!”

The “DHS” has crippled America’s economy since its initial attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. Air travel has all but ceased in the country and international visits have plummeted. Those few daring to travel find themselves cavity-search, X-rayed and anally probed. Some “DHS” operatives, brazenly working in plain sight, have become celebrities and tourist attractions, such as Big Bertha at Seattle Airport.

Mr Mutallab said the family were relieved Umar had finally made his public debut. “Apart from the obvious gigs selling our story to credulous Western news outlets, we can finally take down that God-awful shrine with the twin towers and the effigies, clean the place up and, who knows, maybe rent out the spare room at last. Are you sure you don’t have three thousand (3,000.00) messages you can spare to facilitate the transmission of another twenty-five million to yourself? Please assist, dear one!”

Cameron denies claims of Tory similarities to conservatives

BULLINGDON, Nothing Hill, Sunday (NTN) — David Cameron has rejected claims that there are few policy differences between the Conservative Party and conservatives. “We’re all fluffy and nice now. Honest. Would this face lie to you? How about this one?”

David Cameron with David Cameron maskThe Conservatives have been making friendly overtures to conservatives in recent months, desperate to reassure those in their base disaffected by talk of “progress” and “fairness,” and avoid a hung parliament where anyone has to acknowledge Nick Clegg’s existence.

Mr Clegg has said he will support the party with the biggest mandate in the event of a hung Parliament, without specifying whether that would be the party with the most votes or the party that offers him and his team the most lucrative jobs in the event of a coalition.

Conservative Party chairman Eric Pickles has been suggesting to conservative constituencies that perhaps they should vote Conservative. “We want to make it absolutely clear that we do not discriminate on number of fingers, and we will say the age of the Earth is whatever the voters want it to be.”

“Look,” said Mr Cameron, “there’s Boris! A top chap, what? And almost competent these days!” Mr Johnson promptly cycled into a tree, to applause and a laugh track.

Mr Cameron has noted that, in any case, “Labour will continue to be Labour.”

iPhone apps to singlehandedly revive British economy

HEY HEY 16K, Need To Know, Monday (Big K) — The quintessence of British technical innovation and know-how has manifested yet again with third-party applications for the iPhone and Facebook: small, elegant, constrained, inarguably brilliant and deeply, fundamentally useless.

Third-party developers are gearing up to the challenge of a globalised world by churning out such unnecessary amusements as CCTV Wars, Council Tax Bureaucracy-Ville and Did You Do Any Bloody Work Today? at a fantastic pace. One of the most popular is What Do I Name My Digital Studio (a Web 2.0 jargon term for “bedroom”), which automatically generates and registers with Companies House an implausible name such as Digital Goldfish, Golden Gekko, 2ergo, Moshi Monsters, Masturbating Monkey or Tedious Twonk.

A quick scan of today’s tech titans, such as Google, Microsoft and Apple, reveals few that originate in the UK. But the peculiarly British style of technical innovation is a subset of the more general style of British design and cultural innovation, in which cocaine-snorting Soho design geniuses come up with gadgets, objets d’art and typefaces bought by several people in Hampstead but which cause any normal human to claw their eyes out. Whereas the victims of mind-numbing American vacuity merely claw their eyes out as quickly as possible, the victims of the British variety claw them out with care, knowledge and ironic understanding.

Perfect, well-thought-out complete superfluity is the way forward for British culture. The thinking that brought us the Robin Reliant, the Sinclair C5 and The X-Factor is the thinking that will cement Britain’s position in the world of the twenty-first century. Pointless at worst and parasitical at best but somehow sucking the pennies out of your pockets regardless. And making a good competition entry on b3ta.

TSA locks down air transport for your own good

DOCTOROW, Schneier, Sunday (NTN) — After the Detroit Christmas firecracker incident, the Transport Security Administration now requires all US airline passengers to be strapped into their seats naked with catheters fitted, for their comfort and convenience.

Dell laptop battery fire“It’s the most efficient way to keep the country moving and let the TERRORISTS know they haven’t won,” said TSA head Gale Rossides. “We’re just trying to work out what to do when the TERRORISTS work out how to set off bombs by clenching their butt cheeks together.”

Passengers are advised not to bother with laptops (“You could explode the batteries with your urine!”), iPods or the vile containers of sedition such as “books.” “Carriage of any carryon item will result in lengthy security delays for the customer,” said a TSA advisory, “but, in response to customer concerns, the TSA officer with the latex glove will give you a box of chocolates and promises to respect you in the morning, and will definitely call you later in the week. Honestly.”

US tourism offices have finally given up and shut up shop. “I hear Afghanistan is pretty nice this time of year, and easier to get into. Iran’s pretty good too.”

Officials at Amtrak did not give a comment on the phone, just the sound of dancing around their offices singing “We’re In The Money.”

The passenger who allegedly set off the firecracker has mounted a stern defense, showing his paycheck from the Department of Homeland Security’s Subdepartment of Job Preservation.

Big Brother 11 to feature surplus Endemol executives

COCODAMOL, Channel 4, Saturday (N! News) — After Big Brother producers targeted amputee soldiers, the Army Benevolent Fund has made a counter-proposal to lock Endemol executives up together under the watchful eye.

The plan will see suitably respected upper management, voted in by their employees, placed together in the house with a limited quantity of food and water, to be shared amongst themselves according to strict Randian principles of creativity and objective value. A second, secret house will contain weaponry and vodka. In a hilarious twist, the weaponry will be defective and blind anyone who tries firing it. Similarly, the vodka will be contaminated with methanol and a powerful laxative. An antidote (obviously impossible) will be promised by Big Brother should the blinded housemate be able to convince any of the other housemates to sodomise them using shredded quarterly profit statements as lubrication.

“This is television the whole family could enjoy,” said Annabelle Fuller of the Army Benevolent Fund. When asked whether it would actually attract viewers, Ms Fuller said “Who cares?” The ABF also expects to save considerable money on cameras.

The voice of Big Brother will be played by Charlie Brooker, who is very sorry indeed for his unfortunately accurate powers of prognostication, and will commence writing TV Come Home, a series of fictional television listings in which the stuff being broadcast is elevating, redeeming and doesn’t make you want to kill everyone just in case.

Church of Satan targets toddlers in recruitment drive

CRACKER BARREL, City of Dis, Friday (NTN) — The Church of Satan is reaching out to schools and playgroups to attract more young people into the faith and cull the nation’s goat population, amid fears that a generation of children have become disconnected from religion.

The Church will also establish breakfast, homework, sports and sacrificial orgy clubs in schools to ensure as many young people as possible have “life-enhancing encounters with the Satanic faith and the person of our Unholy Master Beelzebub,” says the internal planning document Goating for Growth.

“We need to reconsider how we engage with and express Satan’s wrath to this generation of children and young people, whoever and wherever they may be. Children are vicious little arseholes by nature, so it shouldn’t be too hard. The challenge is how to creatively offer young persons encounters with the Satanic faith and its beliefs. Except those little shits playing music on their mobiles on the bus, they can star in tonight’s sacrifice.”

The policies, which include providing religious materials to schools to help them abide by the curriculum requirement to provide a daily act of worship, have been criticised by secular campaigners.

“I’m not sure they’re much better than the Christians,” said Richard Dawkins, “particularly considering how many of them are also bishops in the Church of England. Let’s face it, if the Church of England was relying on Christians it’d be sharing a room with the Flat Earth Society.

“The Satanists’ approach to religion is entirely too namby-pamby and hands-off. They’ve also stopped inviting me to the midnight orgies ever since I was kind enough to point out to them in detail the logical errors in their faith while they were naked, screaming, drenched in goat’s blood and orgasmically invoking fell spirits with random coupling and loud enthusiasm. This demonstrates their deficiencies with regards to intellectual rigor.”

Historic “change nothing” health care bill passes

WHAT’S ON THE SLAB, Down In The Lab, Thursday (NTN) — The US Senate has approved landmark legislation that will change nothing about healthcare for tens of millions of uninsured Americans and, of course, the insurance companies.

With the Great Recession, millions of Americans out of work means less insured. The bill ensures that insurance companies will continue to enjoy the income flow to which they have become accustomed, by making it compulsory for the poor to pay out of their own pockets.

“This is a victory for the American people,” said Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, who had received $2,259,001 from the insurance companies.

The Republicans remain implacably opposed to the poor not being punished for their offense against God in not having found suitable labor, and to insurance companies having to cover the pre-existing condition of poverty. Senator Olympia Snowe, who had received only $755,640 from the insurance companies, said that she was “disappointed”.

“My colleagues and I will work to stop this Muslim socialist atrocity from becoming law,” warned Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell, who had received $3,187,818 from the insurance companies. “The Obama plan will create government death panels! Not the privatised ones, which are right and proper. American prosperity depends on privatised death panels! And the public-spirited funding of government by insurance companies, of course. What’s good for the actuaries is good for America!”

Microsoft Word recalled due to contamination

CENTER FOR UNEASE CONTROL, Seattle, Wednesday (NTN) — A federal court has banned Microsoft Word from sale as a poisonous substance, suspected of causing millions of brain-deaths around the world.

Microsoft Office has long been considered potentially hazardous to health, despite advertising claiming that “four out of five CEOs prefer Outlook” and most of the billions of dollars sloshing around in major banks’ credit-default swaps before the Great Recession actually having been calculated in macros in Excel.

Workers whose computers are infected with Microsoft Office are advised to press “escape,” step slowly away from the desk, break into a run and gather at the official hazardous substances meeting point, in the pub around the corner from the office.

Symptoms include nausea, irritability and short temper, hostility, homicidal impulses, loss of mental clarity, diarrhoea, mental confusion and liver damage from excess alcohol consumption.

Doctors have recommended victims of Word use OpenOffice instead, its “majestic” startup time giving one healthy pause to catch one’s breath, make a cup of tea and nip off to the loo, and its fibrous composition providing the same health-giving effects and taste sensation as eating a bowl of sawdust with milk every morning for the rest of your life. Many sufferers have instead opted to write on toilet paper with a burnt stick.

Holy See declares “unique copyright” on priestly molestations

DOPE ON A ROPE, Rome, Saturday (NTN) — The Vatican® has stated that the rape© of children by Catholic™ priests is protected by a “special and unique” copyright, and anyone attempting to discuss the matter will be sued, excommunicated and declared a Suppressive Person.

“Recent years have witnessed a great increase of affection and esteem for the person of the Holy Father™, L. Benedict Ratzinger®,” said the statement. “As such, any person or organisation seeking to name, defame or allude to His Holiness®, any of his Bishops™ or Priests™, or any activities of any of said persons in any capacity, shall be deemed to have violated the Sacred Covenant of Berne, to be a ‘no case gain’ Suppressive Person and to be duly excommunicated and sued into atomic dust. ALWAYS ATTACK, NEVER DEFEND.”

Evidence only recently brought to light, “which we can’t show you, it’s copyright,” apparently demonstrates that playwright William Shakespeare™ was secretly Catholic. “So we’re claiming copyright in everything he did too. And Francis Bacon™. And the Earl of Oxford™.”

The Church’s lawyers have worked hard to defend their intellectual property rights on such creative works as those of the Irish priests upon their young charges that only recently came to light. “Our determination to protect and preserve the rights to view, discuss or know about these three-dimensional kinetic performance works, and our tour support for the priests to take these works ‘on the road’ to new parishes, demonstrates the unimpeachable sincerity of our stance — firmly behind the artists. Legs wide, of course.”

The Pope™ himself has been appalled at the reaction to his recent decision to beatify Adolf Hitler, and described his visit to the Pius XII memorial as “an upsetting encounter with cruelty and senseless hatred. I didn’t like it much either.”