Sorry for the slim pickings here at Five Chinese Crackers recently. Lots of things contributing - one very important one being the loss of broadband connections and another being the inevitable breakdown and refusal to refund of a cheapy PC World laptop (I've never heard a good word about their customer service, ever - shouldn't have gone there in the first place). Plus work on banning Christmas has kept me busy.
But, for now - here I am! Rock you like a hurricane!
Loads has been happening in my absence from blogging in the last few weeks. Probably the biggest and best at the moment, and this is connected to what I do here even if only tangentially, is the BBC actually doing what journalists are supposed to do for a change and checking some facts. If only they did it with other things, eh?
My favourite of the other stuff operating on the same usual tabloid droning level is the Mail's take on the Express's screeching from last month about all new jobs going to migrants. Apparently, the Mail thinks it's only 80% - although it thought that nonsense was worthy of a front page headline, too. They're both wrong. Actually, 80% of British people have been taken over by migrants since 1997. My real name is Pavel and I come from Budapest. The real Five Chinese Crackers is in a gulag for saying the word 'poof' when he was describing something disappearing into thin air in 2002. He would have been alright except the council found out he wasn't even really Chinese.
A big surprise for me is being wrong-footed by the tabloids into actually overestimating the extent to which things they describe as PC Gone Mad actually happen. In one of my last posts, 'This year's baubles', I looked at the emergence of a campaign by the Sun for stories about schools having non-Christian Christmas plays. In it, I said this:
The Sun should get at least some examples this year, since schools are educational institutions that have obligations to teach their pupils about other religions and will probably use Christmas as a springboard to do that. You'd probably be hard pushed to find a school that doesn't use Christmas as an opportunity to teach about other religions, since that's their job.Admittedly, I thought the paper would lie and distort to create some nonsense stories from a kernel of truth, like some schools mentioning that other religions exist during Christmas presentations or something, but I'm still surprised to see what the paper has managed to turn up.
What they've managed to turn up was probably best described by a gloriously drunk man I once saw get called up on stage by Paul Daniels and asked to tell the audience what Daniels had hidden in a bag he was holding up.
That's right. No stories about any plays being changed to make Jesus a Muslim. No Christmas songs played in a style that is usually associated with - gasp - black people. No plays turned into clumsy blaxploitation versions of the nativity. Although I'd pay good money to see one of those, sucka.
Instead, in a fantastic echo of last year's pretending that loads of companies had banned Christmas decorations to avoid offending people of other faiths, all the paper could manage is one school who decided not to use fairy wings on the angels in its nativity play because of health and safety reasons in 'Elf [sic] 'n [sic] safety ban on angel wings'. Of course, the hack here tries to make it look as though the story isn't as limp as the lettuce in a supermarket sandwich by saying:
TEACHERS have banned primary school kids from wearing angel wings in their nativity – because of health and safety worries.when what he actually meant was A TEACHER in A SCHOOL, but his best efforts doesn't cover the fact that there's a nativity play at the school in the first place.
They fear pupils carrying candles in the play could set the festive costumes on FIRE.
Another, closely related story is 'School’s Christmas card axe', which made a lot of the right wing cack sheets and at least one of the apparently left wing posh papers. It was about kids being banned from sending Christmas cards. Except they weren't. Obsolete demolishes this nonsense in characteristically good fashion.
In the absence of any actual evidence, one familiar development this year is replacing any real articles about anything the paper claims is happening with jokey-jokey-ha-ha parodies about what the paper is pretending is happening but actually hasn't. Seriously, these are really funny. Like slamming your willy in a drawer. Or hitting your chests with a flyswatter if you're a lady.
First up is 'Away in a Fair-Trade manger'. This one really did make me laugh, chiefly because of how badly the page is built, with the story shunted into the right hand column and the 'More' button taking you nowhere. The bones of it are some side-splitting made up pretend things that are supposed to be wrong with the traditional nativity play. Which schools aren't having anyway because they've been banned.
The second is 'Behold the PC nativity scene' which is pretty much the exact same thing in reverse. Lots of actually very funny* things that should be included in a PC nativity play, except the PC brigade have banned nativity plays. My head hurts. (There's a whole website of this cack, with mystery meat navigation and everything).
The funniest thing about this is this brazen bit of cobblers:
We have highlighted a ban on DECORATIONS in case they offend other faithsThe paper never highlighted a ban on DECORATIONS because of other faiths - it made one up!
What's the betting that next year somoe of the things in one of their really actually hilarious spoofs is quoted as being true?
I want to send the paper a pink cricket ball for Christmas, with the message 'WANKERS!' scratched on it. Through the window. Except PC killjoys have made that ILLEGAL. Maybe there's something to this PC stuff after all.
* I lied then, for no good reason.