Saturday, 22 August 2009

The Music You Like May Say Something About Your Personal Tastes, Think Cambridge Geniuses

Liking some kinds of music more than others might possibly be something to do with who you are, according to the latest blue-skies thinking by the greatest minds in Britain.

"The dean gave us a virtuoso performance of Bach's cello pieces the other evening," explained Dr Jason Strangelove of Cambridge University's social and developmental psychology department. "And while we naturally complimented him on his mastery of some of the more technically-demanding sections, comparison with a computer rendition of the MIDI file showed that he was still not quite note-perfect. However, on the way back across the quadrangle, we heard a discordant cacophony emerging from the room of a token undergraduate from a state school. Further inquiries at the porter's lodge, after the ruffian was sent down, elicited the information that the din fell into a hitherto-unsuspected category of music called 'technology' or some such nomenclature."

"It transpires that there exists a veritable cornucopia of sub-musical genres available to the common herd," he droned on. "By luring some benighted locals into our laboratories with a trail of crisps, we were able to ascertain that, in fact, many of them exhibit certain preferences which appear to be influenced - at least in part - by their rudimentary, half-formed personalities."

The dome-headed intellectuals dissected the tastes, lifestyles, opinions and bodies of the experimental subjects, eventually reaching the following conclusions about music and personality:

AMBIENT: permanent vegetative state
CHAMBER MUSIC: used as a control reference by the right sort of people
DRUM & BASS: gets jobs involving pneumatic drills; enjoys work
EMO: believes all music was written about them personally and nobody else
FOLK: lazy guitar owner; quits halfway through beginner's lessons after deciding that two chords are probably enough to pull with
HEAVY METAL: stuck in puberty; only capable of emotional involvement with computers, distortion pedals and their own genitals
INDIE: romantic self-deluder; inclined to irrational belief that not all record labels are owned by Sony
INDUSTRIAL: pet-strangler; marked hatred of colour, light and life
JAZZ: incapable of operating electric shaver due to long-term brain damage from use of cannabinoids
J-POP: thinks reading involves looking at drawings of big-eyed teenagers and cute monsters
KRAUTROCK: repressed Poland-invading proclivities
NORTHERN SOUL: wasteland-inhabiting savage; untouched by civilisation
POP: music-hating conformist; relies on constant barrage of sound to prevent thought from occurring
RAP: convict-in-waiting (violent crime)
TECHNO: convict-in-waiting (Class A drugs offences)

Friday, 21 August 2009

Britain Runs Out of A-Levels

The UK is now completely waterlogged by the still-flowing tears of hundreds of thousands of students, after the government admitted yesterday that A-levels had fallen into negative equity.

"Steady increases in pass rates and top grade awards year after year led us to believe that the good times were here forever," confessed the Schools Secretary, Ed Balls. "But the entire towering edifice was, it now transpires, built on the entirely hypothetical - and, as it turns out, wildly optimistic - assumption that today's young people have somehow mutated into brains on legs, making all previous generations seem like addled whelks in comparison."

Education chiefs explained that, with the pass rate linked by a complex formula to the rate of inflation, boom years inevitably saw ever-increasing numbers of students squeezed into the groaning halls of academe. The first intimation that the glory days were over came when parents across England and Wales noticed wailing sounds coming from their children's bedrooms yesterday morning. Investigation revealed horrifying text messages and emails saying: "We're sorry, you have not won any A-levels this time. Try again!"

By mid-morning, Mr Balls had learned that, far from the expected 97.5%, this year's pass rate had plummeted to -0.27%, meaning that hundreds of hopeful students had actually had a previously-passed GCSE taken away.

"I like so worked my bloody guts out scratching away the silver panels on my Plant Psychology, Mediawatching and History of Warcraft exam papers," sobbed Tiffany-Jo, 17, who had set her little heart on a Navel Studies degree at Weston Zoyland Metropolitan University. "Now I'm a jobless for like the rest of my life yeah? I've sent out an SOS on Facebook saying I like really need big hugs right now - but all my so-called friends are too busy hugging each other over the internet to respond. I sooo want to die."

"Waah," she added.

The news is not all bad, however, suggested Mr Balls: "Fortunately, there are still plenty of international students from other countries less affected by the recession. And universities can charge whatever they can get away with for overseas students, saving us from throwing away billions in student loans which may well never be repaid, given the long-term prospects for the economy. So this failed generation can at least reflect that the sacrifice of their future prospects is - in a small way - contributing to the nation's economic recovery."

Manchester Arrested For Alcohol-Related Crimes

Manchester was arrested at dawn this morning, said deputy chief dawg Simon Byrne of the Greater Manchester Police, in a carefully-co-ordinated crackdown on alcohol-fuelled violence.

As hungover Mancunians sleepily roused themselves from their sofas and doorsteps and automatically reached for a wake-up pint, they were surprised to find themselves cuffed hand and foot, with a soggy note from the police lying in the drool and vomit under their faces, telling them to wait patiently for a van to take them away.

"We've had a fantastic response from the community - i.e. none at all, as they were all unconscious," said Mr Byrne. "Arresting the entire population is really helping us to get the criminals off the streets and out of the homes of Greater Manchester. In a few weeks we should be able to remove the big net from the city, and then hopefully some nicer people from other parts of the country will move into all the vacated properties."

The scheme is being studied with interest by other towns and cities across the country, notably Liverpool. Meanwhile, there have been calls in Europe and the United Nations for the scheme to be applied to the entire alcohol-sodden nation of Great Britain.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Operation Badger's Arse Poised To Strike Rogue State of Britain

The hours are counting down to tomorrow's possible invasion of Britain by overwhelming US military forces stationed in neighbouring NATO countries, after Scottish justice secretary Kenny Bin-Askill announced that he would announce his decision regarding the release of dying Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi on Thursday afternoon.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earlier issued Britain with a final warning, saying: "If the United Kingdom insists on letting this evil Scotch terrorist Al McGrahy trundle free on his hospital gurney, then it is clearly a rogue state threatening to destabilise the very foundations of democracy. The United States will not tolerate the expansion of the axis of evil into its European sphere of influence, and calls on its stalwart NATO allies to help us with Operation Badger's Arse if they want the money to keep rolling in."

"Fortunately, Britain has overstretched itself with its military adventures in the Middle East," she added. "Their only home defences consist of a Territorial battalion of reluctant doctors and the fanatical but ill-equipped Combined Cadet Forces of their public schools. And they can't pull their overseas troops back home because their transport aircraft are leased from us, and we've activated the engine immobilisers."

The Americans are counting on a devastating initial assault spearheaded by the troops of their staunch allies Poland and Italy, followed by a 'hearts and minds' campaign aimed at winning over the British public with a barrage of CSI, Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewife (starring Mrs Clinton), The Unit, Hannah Montana and endless reruns of Star Trek and Friends.

"The average British goatherder groans under the yoke of an unelected dictator and his deeply-unpopular henchmen," Mrs Clinton assured other NATO leaders. "They are a simple folk, totally ignorant of those things the Western world takes for granted - such as democracy, medical insurance, survivalists, corrupt televangelists, workfare schemes, the death penalty, the right to gun down their fellow high-school students, baseball and Twinkies."

"Hell, they're so backward they think a football is spherical," she added.

Mr Bin-Askill's current whereabouts are unknown, said a defiant spokesman for the Scottish Parliament. According to unconfirmed reports, however, the fugitive justice secretary has been seen skulking around in a village in the Cairngorms, carrying a miner's helmet and a coil of climbing rope and asking the locals if anyone knows where he might find a really deep cave.

Government Proposes Scrappage Allowance For Jobless Youth

Following the Daily Mirror's discovery of a secret government scrapheap in the Midlands piled high with young joblesses, the Department for Work and Pensions has announced plans to dispose of the unsightly heap of useless youngsters by offering their parents the chance to trade them in for new children.

"There are simply far too many of these noisy, dirty young bangers chugging around, cluttering up our cities and countryside and generally making the place look untidy," said Lord Mandelson, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, First Secretary and Lord President of the Council but definitely not Acting Prime Minister. "What we need are some attractive and wholesome new youngsters - ones who won't be able to vote Conservative."

Parents will be able to trade in their unwanted offspring by taking them to the nearest approved NHS scrapyard and cramming the young wrecks into the laundry incinerator. In return they will be given a £1000 scrappage allowance - in the form of shares in Northern Rock - and a permit from Lord Mandelson to try for another child.

"I'm so looking forward to a shiny new baby with nothing on the clock," smiled one middle-class mother in Sussex. "I've had Joshua for eighteen years - and, although I was pleased with him at first, I've simply lost count of all the irritating faults he's accumulated over the years. And, to be honest, he's just too big for me to handle now. It's like he's developed a mind of his own."

"Come along, Joshua," she cooed to the uneconomical, smoking wreck sitting in her garage. "Mummy's got a special treat in store for you."

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Students Told: 'If You're So Bloody Poor, Go On The Game'

As a survey published today in lieu of journalism shows that students entering university this September are likely to graduate owing an average of £23,000, millions of people who went to the university of life instead - after leaving the school of hard knocks with a clip round the ear - told them to stop bloody whining about how they're soooo hard done by and try living in the real world instead of a cosy, alcohol-filled bubble.

"A' didnae mind subsidisen' yon student ponces back in the guid ol' days o' grants, a' tell ye, mon. At least yon posh scunners wid use theer fancy degrees ta help the likes o'me, lak operaten' on ma friggin' piles or getten' me awf wi' a twel'-month suspended," grumbled small pensioner William Bampot of Glasgow, tucked away in a corner of his local, now remodelled as a hilariously-ironic student bar called Twerp's.

"But these idle bastuds nowadays are lucky if they get intae McDonalds or Lidl - lak ma dorta Morag's guid-fer-nothin' bairn Mad Jimmy McGovern, th' wee shite," he mumbled into his cups. "Nae bluidy use waven' his 2:2 in Environmental Science aboot when he's restockin' the shelves wi' fucken' German cornflakes."

"If theer so bluidy puir, they might want tae spend the odd night in wi' a buke instead o' pessen' it up alla time," he suggested, raising his head from the table. "Mind, a' see some o' th' lassies're fit enough, mon, mak' nae mistake. Ah cuid fair see 'em aal right fer a few bob after a night on the lash, y'ken?"

"Aal a'm sayen's: th' offa's theer," he added hopefully.

A spokeswoman for the Russell Group of Proper Universities concurred with Mr Bampot, saying: "Unfortunately, an ever-increasing number of Peter Andre and Kerry Katona clones who slouch into jumped-up polytechnics - most of which were hairdressing schools 20 years ago - seem to think that their noddy degree in Surf History will open the door to lifelong fortune and happiness, living with a gorgeous model in the sort of luxurious house you only see in debt-consolidation and stain-remover ads.

"The reality is that, if they're lucky, they'll scrape their way into the kind of mundane, paper-shuffling, soul-draining tedium that used to be that special layer of hell reserved for those with nothing more than CSE grade 1 in Writing Your Name and Counting To Five."

"However, for nice middle-class children from the Home Counties who sensibly follow in their parents' footsteps by choosing a real university made of stone, the world will still be at their feet as mummy and daddy will already have covered their little financial bottoms," she pointed out with a smile.

"Basically, if you are a student and you're finding it hard to eke out your pitiful loan, you may as well pick your lamp-post, flash your naughty bits from under a two-inch skirt and think of it as work experience for the rest of your life," she explained. "If, on the other hand, you spend your holidays skiing in Switzerland or at the family gîte in France, and your term-time evenings are taken up with planning your placement year with Uncle Quentin's futures team - well, let's say a trifling five-figure sum isn't going to unduly blight your prospects."

A glum-faced member of the National Union of Students' executive committee - whose hopes of being parachuted into a safe Labour seat come the election were rapidly disappearing over the horizon - made some subdued noises that might have been ever so slightly critical of the government's educational policies, but were vague enough to be construed either way.

Judge Dredd May Misuse New Powers, Warn Magistrates

Street-judge representatives have reacted angrily to claims by magistrates that hatchet-faced law enforcement officers cannot be trusted with the authority to issue on-the-spot penalties for careless driving.

"The average magistrate may be a self-important little Hitler, with about as much idea of the statute book as a Cursed-Earth mutie with the head, brain and forelegs of a mantis," said a spokesman for the Magistrates' Association. "But believe me, when you clap eyes on some of the weasel-like comedians-in-blue who sidle into our courts to spout what they have the bare-faced cheek to call evidence, our members look like King Solomon by comparison."

But Chief Superintendent Joseph Dredd, speaking from the Grand Hall of Justice, dismissed fears that he would misuse the proposed powers of judge, jury and executioner.

"We street-judges are well aware that carless driving is, in part, a matter of opinion," he read from notes scrawled on the back of his armoured glove. "But my opinion matters, creep, and yours doesn't. If you want to argue about it, citizen, my gun fires six different kinds of ammunition. I am the lav...! Er... that's not quite right, is it? I am the law. That's it."

"Carless driving? Are we sure about that?" he whispered to his PR minder, Press-Judge Anderson. "OK, crime-blitz all the perps without cars and chuck 'em in the cubes with Mean Machine al-Megrahi. And round up all the magistrates while you're at it, and slam their butts in pokey with Justice Secretary Death."

"I am the lav!" he repeated. "Law! Gotta remember that - law."

Unemployment Could Outnumber Population If You Want, Says Think Tank

The actual number of people out of work and claiming benefits could be as high as six million, a think tank has claimed today, based on its analysis of official government figures.

"Or it could be just three blokes in Macclesfield," a spokesman told press hacks. "What do you want us to prove? Cheques payable to Policy Exchange."

Monday, 17 August 2009

'Yes, UFOs Are Real,' Admits Government, 'Whatever'

The British government has finally revealed that UFOs exist and alien beings are walking among us, after classified Ministry of Defence files were published this morning.

"Yes, everything you ever read on the internet about alien craft visiting the Earth on a regular basis is true," confirmed Air Chief Marshal James Bigglesworth. "Happy now?"

According to the previously top-secret documents, alien spacecraft sightings peak every time a blockbuster sci-fi movie or TV series is shown.

"When we discovered this correlation, we thought that the extra-terrestrials might be laughing at our wildly-inaccurate speculations," suggested Britain's top pilot. "Although my chum Algy thought they were probably just lonely geeks who had never had a girlfriend."

"But when we tracked them down, we found the truth that was out there to be stranger than fiction," he continued. "They're just chavs joyriding about in nicked flying saucers. When the UFOs run out of dark matter, they're just as happy racing round council estates in ten-year-old Astras. A further search revealed it wasn't just sci-fi epics like Independence Day they were flocking to see. It's anything that the Sun tells them is 'unmissable'. If you go to the cinema today, you'll find them all slurping Coke and hooting inanely at Imagine That. That's your so-called intelligent life from other planets, for God's sake."

"They also love The Jeremy Kyle Show," he continued. "To them, it's a sort of dating show for extra-terrestrials."

To win over any remaining sceptics, ACM Bigglesworth dramatically invaded the Jeremy Kyle studio and tore the face off a slapper who had sex with 12 men a month to reveal a hideous, fork-tongued reptile-thing. His attempts to remove Jeremy Kyle's face were, however, intercepted by security staff.

Conspiracy theorists, however, have reacted with anger to the government's full and frank admission.

"Plenty of well-documented evidence exists of people not sighting UFOs," challenged multi-millionaire author Whitley Streiber. "Even in fiction, you can read the entire works of Jane Austen, Ernest Hemingway, V.S. Naipaul, Virginia Woolf, Tolstoy, E.M. Forster, Tolkien, Jeremy Archer, John Grisham, Barbara Cartland and Andy McNab and not find a single instance of alien abduction or lights in the sky flying in formation at impssible speeds."

"The question you have to ask yourselves is: why does the government want you to believe that UFOs exist?" demanded respected sports commentator David Icke. "This so-called 'evidence' is obviously a cover-up for the truth they don't want you to know, namely that it's all a load of bollocks. In the unlikely event that life exists on other planets, there's no way they could overcome the laws of physics to flit in and out of our solar system at will. And why would they want to anyway? We're too insignificant to matter."

Suggestions that the announcement was nothing more than a cynical smokescreen intended to distract people from the government's woeful mismanagement of the country were strenuously denied by Lord Mandelson.

"Look up there at that strange cigar-shaped object," he shouted, pointing skywards, before running away from reporters.

Researchers Disappointed By Lack of Thought-Provoking Discussion of Major Issues Confronting Humanity on Twitter

Forty per cent of Twitter messages are "life-sapping brainfart", according to researchers in the United States, whilst a similar proportion is "self-obsessed verbal diarrhoea of absolutely no interest to animal, vegetable or mineral."

Only one message from the sample of 2,000 'twaats' was found to have "any relevance to anything that anybody actually gave a shit about", said a deeply-upset spokesman for Pear Analytics. And that's only because it was so unintentionally fucking lame it got passed on for people to laugh at."

"This, apparently, is the tragic end-product of civilisation's 5,000-year quest for understanding and enlightenment," he explained between sobs, adding: "The human experiment has failed."

"Press the nuclear button now, Mr President," he implored. "Put us out of our misery."

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Tories Plan Hard-To-Understand Shake-Up For Education

The present education system would be seized by the throat, worried savagely and left to die by a Conservative government, announced Michael Gove, the shadow schools secretary, this morning.

"Too many young people are choosing to take Media Studies, a subject which is so laughably easy that even a council-estate monkey can work out that all I'm doing here is playing to the gallery of Middle England prejudice for an easy, attention-grabbing headline," he told the Sunday Telegraph. "Under our proposals, however, tough subjects like Sums will be positively weighted according to a complicated formula, possibly involving simultaneous equations, natural logarithms and fractional number bases."

"We also plan to abolish school league tables, which are far too complicated for parents with only twelve GCSEs and four A levels to use for any meaningful comparisons," continued Mr Gove. "Instead we will introduce a simplified but comprehensible system of grading schools, i.e. 'Good work; keep it up' or 'Must try harder'."

"I freely admit I haven't made any coherent, workable proposals in this article," he admitted later. "But they only gave me two hours to write it, which just isn't fair when you look at all the bloody hard work I've put in throughout the year."

Mr Gove then burst into tears and told all his Facebook friends he needed big big hugs.

Criminals With Brains Baffle Police Without Brains

The raiders who got away with £40m in gems nine days ago cheated, say baffled New Scotland Yard detectives.

"Evenin' all. The 'ighly-horganised hexecution of this raid demonstrates the sneaky, under'anded use of forward plannin'," complained DCI Savage of the Yard. "This hindicates that the perpetrators is usin' some form of hintelligence, which puts us at bit of a disadvantage, frankly."

"F'rinstance, the hincident room was all 'igh fours - sixes - woteva when the CCTV footage came fru an' we saw the bad 'uns wun't even wearin' 'oodies to cover their faces," he explained. "We all fort we'd got the little toerags bang to rights. But when Commissioner Jong-Stephenson's 14-year-old nephew en'anced the himages in Paint Shop Pro, we realised we was looking for former prime minister Tony Blair and several lookalikes.

"Course, we put the finger on Blair - but it turns out 'e was at 'is bank in Lausanne at the time, countin' 'is legitimate loot, so they must of bin wearing rubber masks from aht a joke shop or sumfink. Though it could still be a team of lookalikes - we ain't rulin' nuffink aht."

"These 'ere clever buggers also wore suits, which 'elped them to blend in on Bond Street wivaht hattractin' hattention," he added furiously. "Cawse, that could be a complete coincidence - they may just of bin on their way to a weddin' an' decided, on the spur of the moment like, to do a jeweller's. If they'd only 'ad the decency to wear bright orange shell-suits, like the crims wot we're used to dealin' wiv, the uvver shoppers might of noticed 'em. You see the kind of hevil genius we're hup aginst?"

As the thieves' trail grows colder with every passing day, detectives admit they are baffled by the robbers' daring use of forethought.

"All we kin do now is keep a eye on the usual dodgy East End boozers an' car boot sales," said DCI Savage. "Sooner or later, these sparklers is bound to turn up. Stan's to reason, dunnit?"

"An' if for some reason that don't work," he added, "We'll just arrest a coupla Micks or local loonies an' pin it on them. 'ave no fear, guv - we halways comes up trumps hin the end."