Monday, 2 March 2009

Newsfalsh! - March 4th, 2009

Welcome to "Newsfalsh", one of E14's newest features. In it, we will be taking a cynical look over the news stories happening around the time. Incidentally, for those curious, the name "Newsfalsh" comes from the show Muffin the Mule in the 1940s and 1950s. This was a simpler time, a time where puppets could be shonkily made, and the entire child-based audience could scream "We want Muffin" without paedophiles creaming in their pants.

Here, then, is the news.

Protest Officers Seized balloons

So it seems that the Kingsnorth Power Station protesters will literally look for any excuse to have a whinge. Apparently, by searching people entering the protest camp and confiscating some random items, Kent Police have overstepped their boundaries. Included among the items are balloons, books, blankets, a walking stick, soap and a clown outfit.

Let me just repeat that last sentence in case that didn't sink in. Included among the items are balloons, books, blankets, a walking stick, soap and a clown outfit. Yeah, you read right the first time. Someone attempted to enter the camp carrying a concealed clown outfit.

My only question of course may seem obvious. Why do you need a clown outfit at a protest? Is there seriously a protester now saying "Oh god, they've taken my clown outfit. Now my protest will never be taken seriously!" In all seriousness, maybe they're doing you a favour by saving you the indignity of protesting and simultaneously looking like a cunt in a clown outfit.

Later in the article, David Howarth, an MP for Cambridge (he's a politician, it's ok to ignore his opinion), says that "You have to have a really creative imagination to think these items might be involved in committing a crime." The creative imagination would certainly explain why one of the attached pictures to the article is a confiscated Crayola activity pack.

China 'Patriot' sabotages auction
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7918128.stm

A man representing the Chinese National Treasures Fund has informed French authorities that he will not be paying for an auction he won, as the items were stolen from China in 1860 by French and British forces.

The auction was set up from the estate of Yves Saint-Laurent and his partner, and came to 15m Euros. Cai Mingchao has stated that he has no intention of paying for the statues, as they were stolen from China.

After reading this article, I only wish that the auction had been set up on eBay. They've given me suspicious warnings in the past for selling genuine items as fakes when they're not. Imagine the feedback ramifications of selling stolen Chinese statues. I think they need to be taken down a peg or two anyway. Plus, think of all the fees they'd miss out on.

This last one is somewhat of a personal choice. Like so many of us, I found myself troubled by the closure of every Woolworth's store in the UK over Christmas this year, but found myself troubled that I could not recall the last time I found something useful (besides a random 4 port USB hub I found in there for £2, but I don't count that because their own brand £4 hub, one of which I purchased, is completely fucking useless) at a Woolworths store.

Nevertheless, I found myself hit by a pang of sadness when the stores finally closed. However, that pang was severely underpowered compared to the pang when I realised that some fucking idiot had spent £14,000 on the last circulating bag of Woolworth's Pic N' Mix. Fine, it went to a good cause, but somebody willingly bought a bag of sweets for £14,000. See, Brad and I may talk of being Emotionally Fourteen, but there are varying degrees, and good and bad examples of each. This is the latter.

However, the article that properly caught my eye was an editor at the BBC finally asking the question:
What was so special about Woolworth's?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7741199.stm

See, this article encapsulates my feelings in such a way that I almost felt like the writer had lifted the thoughts directly from my head. At least, that was my initial impression, until I read on and found more than I could possibly have imagined there would be. Of course there is; journalists have access to this thing called "the public", and God bless them for that.

It starts off innocently enough, when they ask an old lady who used Woolworths for embroidery supplies, who then goes on to talk about how the chain had lost its way, but unlike Marks & Spencer was unable to reclaim its former glory. All well and good, so far no major surprises here. Her only downfall is that she went in for a Barbie pencil case and ended up with three pairs of rubber gloves and a diary, a haul worthy of the afternoon shift outside Kingsnorth power station's protest camp.

Upon first glance, the article reads like a perfectly normal piece of journalism, with the writer continuing to interview other customers on their way out of the store, such as a 30-year old student who goes there for stationery, but on this occasion has left with sweets. With such focus and determination, she'll go far. Notice also so far that NOBODY has found anything they were looking for. Not so hard to imagine why Woolworth's has gone up the spout now is it?

Then I read on, and found the thoughts of Fouad Mohammed, who comes out with toys for his children. Absolutely innocent, yes? Let's read on.
"I go there about three times a week, usually for kids clothes like a Spiderman outfit and there's a good selection of toys".
Woah there Fouad Mohammed of South London, let's not allow ourselves the remotest chance of glossing over what you just said. You went there three times a week for clothes like a Spiderman outfit? Be honest though, how often did you find yourself actually leaving with a Spiderman outfit?

That many times eh? Look, all I'm saying is that one of three scenarios is playing out before our very eyes. The first, more likely scenario is that it's an unintentional implication from the structure of the sentence. The second is that his children are very rough and tumble kids, and go through many clothes, including their prized superhero costume. It's either one of those two, or Fouad Mohammed of South London has to face up to the very real possibility that his youngest son IS Spiderman.



After all this time, Spiderman was a small child in South London. What are the odds?


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