Monday 13 July 2009

Newsfalsh! July 2009

Welcome once again to Newsfalsh! where we dissect the news stories that you may have missed.

The world record for competitive hot dog eating has been broken in the US.

Tremendous relief, I’m sure you’ll agree.

See, this competition represents everything that’s wrong with the world in some ways. Take, for example, the fact that the United States’ hot dog eating competition falls on July 4th, the American Independence Day. I can only imagine the conversation that happened between the organisers.

“Jeff, I don’t understand the connection, I really don’t.”
“Dave, what better way to celebrate the independence of our great nation than to make some random guys from all around the world, who would probably never amount to anything otherwise, contribute to what would undoubtedly be an early death?”
“I’ve got no better ideas. You’re so lucky I’m high right now.”

Only in America could this contest exist. It’s the only country where people could coin the term “going gut-to-gut” with someone, rather than going head-to-head. In no other country, during the worst recession to hit the world in many years, would there be a $20,000 prize for eating more fucking SAUSAGES than another person. Only in America would people covet something called ‘The Mustard Belt’ (unless it was a constellation of some sort, in which case it would’ve been named by an American with a name like that).

Don’t worry though, Joey ‘Jaws’ Chestnut (that’s another thing that bothers me: how is ‘Jaws’ a cooler and more terrifying nickname than ‘Tsunami’?) is a man of diverse tastes. He also consumed 5kg of macaroni in seven minutes, and over one hundred jalapeno peppers in ten minutes. I wouldn’t want to be his proctologist.
So let me see if I can understand this: If you launch an air-to-air missile, where exactly are you expecting it to end up? I understand the concept of an air-to-surface missile. It’s fired from the air and aimed at the ground. I understand a surface-to-air missile; it’s fired from the ground at something into the air. Surely though, if an air-to-air missile gets fired, it’s got to hit something somewhere. The air is a big place.

What caught my eye about this article is the whole blasé attitude demonstrated by all parties involved. A fisherman hooks a MISSILE and just leaves it in his boat as a souvenir?! Besides, who goes fishing uninterrupted for more than a week? Honestly...

If it’s not his attitude that seems somewhat understated, its’ the authorities that dealt with him. The fire chief is quoted as saying:
"He actually came to the fire station and told us he had caught a Tomahawk missile, but it turned out not to be - it was an air-to-air guided missile.”

Oh, I’m sure that made the guy feel really small. The idea that he caught a LIVE MISSILE and went to the fire chief, only to be told: “Oh, you fucking idiot. This isn’t a Tomahawk, this is a Sidewinder! Christ, I needn’t have got out of bed!” What the fuck did the fire chief do that morning of any importance? Put a sand bag at a petrol station in case of a massive explosion?

Don’t worry though; the fisherman was unharmed, and also was particularly brave about the whole situation, going as far as to say that although it was “kind of a fright”, “We’re fishermen, nothing scares us!”

Except, you know, storms…
Yes, you read it right. Apparently it turns out that this artist thought that making a fake bomb and leaving it outside a frequently-passed building in a city in Sweden would make a good piece of contemporary art.

See, I may be a total purist, but I remember when the best art was done on canvas with paints and whatnot. Ideas involved painting a picture of something that the artist had either seen or imagined. I can tell you for certain that at no point before now did it take the form of random supermarket produce and the vague threat of terror.

Apparently the artist placed them around the city at the request of a local art gallery as part of a project. 15 fake carrot bombs placed randomly around the city. I bet the makers of Die Hard with a Vengeance were on the phone to their legal team when they heard about it.

I mean, in all seriousness, how terrifying is something called The Bunny Project? Hardly has the punch of Operation: Desert Storm or Iron Fist does it? I get the whole bunny-carrot connection, I just feel that people were being a touch over-sensitive about this. I mean, yes, you can power a clock using potatoes, but I can’t remember a science teacher saying “don’t get me started on what carrots can do in the wrong hands.”

The best thing about this article is that rather like the above story, everyone concerned with the story reacts in a similar way: defensively. The authorities call it inappropriate without mentioning that they doubtlessly wasted their time chasing down artwork bombs, the artist feels that everybody’s overreacted and I was initially defensive about not being able to come up with any vegetable puns until I realised: all the people in this saga are Swedes.

1 comment:

  1. ... and the world of art has succeeded in making the plummet to new depths of inanity. As an artist who is 'mired in the passe media of paint on canvas' (as some tosser once said to me) I do genuinely fear for the future of art. We are really not that far away from somebody going up to a random stranger and shooting them point-blank in the face and claiming the resultant headless corpse and gore-spattered wall to be an installation piece. I think I'm less than half-joking here, too. Aaaah...

    Oh, by the by, an air-to-air missile is a missile that is launched from an aircraft at another aircraft. The intention of said missiles is to detonate, as the name would suggest, in the air... and not to land in some random pond.