Ryanair: “We will never eject passengers”

NEWS | SATIRE

Overcrowded Plane

Budget airline Ryanair has announced it will never eject passengers from over-booked flights, following the recent United Airlines controversy. The US carrier caused outrage when a passenger was forcefully removed from an aircraft so that a crew member could sit down.

It is common practice for airlines to over-book flights, on the assumption that a number of passengers will forget they’re going on holiday and simply not turn up at the airport. Ever keen to capitalise on anything and jump on a bandwagon, Ryanair’s boss Michael O’Leary has announced that he will abolish the need to ever eject anyone from an over-booked flight, by “finding room for everyone, somewhere.”

O’Leary, 56, went on to say: “Planes are big, except when they’re far away; and people are small, so it’s really not that difficult is it? For starters, Ryanair will never ask paying passengers to vacate a plane for our staff. We’re often short of staff, so we might ask passengers to be flight crew instead. The result? Never another cancelled flight because of staff shortages. How many people have ever dreamed of being a pilot and flying a real life plane? At Ryanair, we make dreams come true.”

Asked what the airline’s policy was on over-booking, O’Leary said: “Our passengers pay fuck all for their flights, before we add all the stealth charges on. We’ve not even announced our latest: A door policy, where customers pay an extra charge to actually get on the plane. But we will make them pay, and get them on our flights. Our customers don’t expect much. We’re pushing the CAA to licence our standing-only cabins, where passengers just hang onto a strap, like when they’re on the Tube. While we still have to waste a load of space with seats, people can sit on laps. There’s plenty of room in the aisles: We have no on-board services to speak of, so our cabin crew don’t need the aisles. Result? More room for passengers. We’re reducing the hand baggage allowance, so people with children can stuff them in the overhead compartments. And we’ve got the cargo hold. You can always fold granny up and put her in a suitcase, just so long as you buy her a ticket.”

Gordon Ramsay to replace Mary Berry on Bake Off

NEWS | SATIRE

ramsay
Chef Gordon Ramsay, pictured in 1970

Gordon Ramsay is to replace Mary Berry on The Great British Bake Off, it has been announced. Ramsay joins Paul Hollywood at the show’s new home on Channel 4.

The show’s new broadcaster said they thought Ramsay would add some spice to the format. At 81, Ramsay is the same age as Berry.

Asked to comment, Ramsay said: “Given that this is Channel 4, I think I can take the fucking format further. Mary can keep her soggy bottoms. Now we’re going to have fucking wank stains and shit. I won’t be sympathetic to failure, I’ll just intimidate the contestants by shouting in their pathetic, simpering little faces.”

Channel 4 are said to be considering a number of people for the roles vacated by Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, but no-one was available to confirm this. Tim Loganberry, a runner with a university degree, smoking a joint outside, would only say, “Jo Brand would be fucking awesome.”

Over drinks with his new partner, Hollywood said, “I’m only in it for the fucking money anyway. Now, fuck off.”

Original article.

“Lewinski role” for Kellyanne Conway

NEWS | SATIRE

kellyanne-conway-gettyimages-621088886

Kellyanne Conway and her mouth (Getty Images)

Following Kellyanne Conway’s recent defence of Donald Trump in the disabled journalist row, the president-elect has offered her a job as a White House intern, saying, “It’ll be just like Monica and Bill.”

Conway, 49, is a key adviser to Trump who ran his 2016 campaign. She defended the president-elect’s behaviour when he apparently mocked a disabled New York Times reporter during a 2015 rally. But Conway insisted that’s not what he was doing.

“That is not what he did and he has said that 1,000 times,” she exaggerated on Monday morning. “Why can’t you give him the benefit of the doubt?”

Although it’s clear to anyone with a pair of eyes that the stuffed orange carrier bag was using his position of power and superiority in his pram to ridicule the disabled man, Conway maintains that he “Didn’t mean it that way. People need to look at what’s in his heart and not what comes out of his mouth. I only have to stare at his navel to feel the warmth that comes from him. And people will need to listen to what I say and not look at what’s coming out of my mouth.”

Trump believes that Conway’s mouth will be very useful during his presidency: “Kellyanne defended me. She tells the truth. That’s a good mouth”, he said. “In fact, I might even call her ‘The Mouth’. I’ll probably grab her by the pussy, because I’m the president.”

Asked to comment on her new post, Conway said, “I can’t wait to get my teeth into it. Now if you’ll excuse me, Donald has asked me to go out to buy some cigars.”

Original Huffington Post article.

If we can break it…

CHRONICLES

village_of_the_damned

A still from Village of the Damned

This time of this year is now the first of what I’m sure will be an annual three-day period of reflection. Today is the limbo day. Yesterday, David Bowie was born and tomorrow, the Starman died. His life was art, and even his death was a performance.

Bowie’s music was autobiographical, just like my stories. The easiest way to record my life is as a series of fictional works, just as Bowie did with his music. There is a part of me or my experience in every story I write, and one of my planned books is a fictionalisation of my autobiography. I went to quite some lengths to have stories to tell, and stories only happen to those who are able to tell them.

Those who think and write are the ones who are more likely to be remembered, not necessarily immediately following their departure but many years after they died, they might be discovered. Right now, those people can start to change things. The problem we have, is that people don’t listen, or don’t have the patience. So us thinkers and writers need to be interesting, to counter the typical response to anything educated: “Boring!” (For another commentator’s opinion on this phenomenon, see this article by David Hopkins: How a TV Sitcom Triggered the Downfall of Western Civilization).

Social media shares some blame for this dumbing down, especially Facebook. I sometimes tire of a newsfeed populated by “X will get pregnant in 2017” and other such completely unscientific bullshit. What is wrong with these people? They are at best naïve. These people may not work, but do they not have anything more to do in their lives? Like learn? I only use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and sometimes see something interesting posted by one of the more educated ones. Generally, I prefer Twitter.

But then, the power of humanity sometimes gives me reason to be grateful:

Not long ago, there was a very unpleasant trend on Facebook, where people were posting pictures of individuals whose physical appearance didn’t fit some sort of “ideal” and who were in many ways different. So those people were ridiculed and exploited by a disgusting “Tag a friend” craze.

I’m a bit of an activist sometimes and this phenomenon really repulsed me. So I joined groups, lobbied and generally spoke out in defence of the innocent victims of this practice in various fora. A combined effort appears to have worked. Facebook haven’t banned the practice because it doesn’t infringe their editorial guidelines, which are basically free speech governed by algorithms (For the official human rights definition of free speech and my own editorial guidelines, see the Amnesty link on this blog).

It just goes to show that if you believe strongly about something and if you join forces with others, you can make a change.

As I said in my most recent story, Cardboard Sky, we are at a stage in our evolution where we can either guarantee our future as a race, or become history. There needs to be a change of global rhetoric and a focus on a new agenda. It’s a new world order which could be 200-250 years away but if there is to be a future, we need to start the conversation now.

There’s another world, another possibility and it’s within our reach: As more and more white collar jobs are automated to computers and AI, just as blue collar jobs were to machines and robots, there will come a point where paying benefits claimants JSA is a pointless exercise because they will be looking for jobs which don’t exist any more. As such, that part of the benefits system becomes a waste of money and resources. The computerisation and replacement of jobs with AI will impact jobs up to a certain level and even those in relatively well-paid “middle class” jobs, such as some lawyers, may find themselves made redundant by machines. This is where the idea of a Universal Income comes in: A sum of money paid to everyone, so that they can live a sustainable (if not luxurious) life. This then frees them to re-train for the remaining professions, or to develop themselves into something: Perhaps a writer. There will be more minds available which are free to think and then the conversation continues. Canada, Finland and the Netherlands are at various stages of discussions on a universal, or basic, income for all.

The two biggest political stories last year were Brexit and Trump’s presidential election victory. Both were the results of a disillusioned electorate, frustrated by what they knew but not knowing what they wanted. The far right used this unease to gain traction and the left were found wanting. It was a perfect storm. Both campaigns were based on lies but false journalism and people not checking facts were equally to blame. I have lost count of the times I’ve seen a friend post something on Facebook, only to have to tell them it’s not true. A recent example was this one:

(Questionable, unverified claim begins).

PIN NUMBER REVERSAL

If you should ever be forced by a robber to withdraw money from an ATM machine, you can notify the police by entering your PIN # in reverse.

For example if your pin number is 1234 then you would put in 4321.

The ATM recognizes that your pin number is backwards from the ATM card you placed in the machine

The machine will still give you the money you requested, but unknown to the robber, the police will be immediately dispatched to help you.

This information was recently broadcast on CTV and it states that it is seldom used because people don’t know it exists.

I checked with my Bank of Nova Scotia to see if this was correct and staff said yes this information is correct.

Please pass this along to everyone possible.

(Questionable, unverified claim ends).

Really? Great if it’s true but improbable. As I’m not so gullible as the person who’d posted, I checked the facts; I did some research (It’s false, as confirmed by Snopes). The original poster hadn’t, and what that meant was quite simply, a lie was spread. Nothing major in this instance but this is partly how Brexit and Trump happened, because the uneducated allowed it. It just goes to show how important it is to research and verify facts before publishing something in a public forum.

In one respect, the bottom line to all of this is that if people in general just fucking thought a bit more, the world wouldn’t be in such a mess. I lost some friends in the run-up to the UK referendum vote, simply because I could no longer tolerate their ignorant and closed minds. A typical comment would be, “My granddad fought in the war.” Yes, against exactly the kind of fascism you now spread. But as soon as I started to explain this in a more diplomatic way, I was branded “boring!”

“I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human.” David Bowie.

He was my hero, my influence and my guardian angel. He was the one who told me it was okay to be expressive, even if others might not approve. He taught me that it’s okay to be myself. Everyone mourns their idols but Bowie was more than that, for me and millions of others: He was a way of life. “At the centre of it all.” At the centre of many lives and mine. Blackstar: A black hole.

It’s not beyond the realms of possibility, future science and contemporary fiction that I could resurrect my mentor. I have a signed copy of his Diamond Dogs album. There will be microscopic fragments of his DNA behind the glass of the frame.

It’s okay to be expressive, for expression is freedom, the very ethos of this blog. Just check the facts. Question, read, learn, and write. We can all be writers and make a difference but we have to ensure that what we add to the conversation is valuable.

It will be a long conversation, which future generations will need to continue. But if we don’t keep talking and educating ourselves and others, there will be no future generations.

And finally, “We did something extraordinary. Someone called it a revolution…Musicians from all over the world came together…With passion, dedication and fucking hard work, we can transform our lives. So stick together. No more conflicts. And play rock and roll.”

Susan Boyle to sing The Anti-Nowhere League’s “So What!” at Trump’s Inauguration

NEWS | SATIRE

US Boyle 1

Britain’s Got Talent runner-up Susan Boyle has confirmed that she has been approached by president-elect Donald Trump to perform at his inauguration ceremony later this month, it has been said.

The hairy cornflake said she was initially asked to sing “I dreamed a dream” from Les Miserables, the song which catapulted her to fame on Britain’s Got Talent but she declined, saying, “Who the feck does he think he is? Martin Luther King?”

Asked how she came to be approached to perform for the new president, Boyle said, “I think he got me mixed up with someone else. Elaine Paige maybe? But feck it, I’ve got a new album coming out and this is a good excuse to plug it. I’m not proud.”

Asked to explain her choice of song, Boyle said: “I started telling his people about The Anti-Nowhere League and how they are Christian revolutionaries, which is a complete lie, so I thought Donald would appreciate it. I went on to explain how “So What!” is an anthem. You know? Donald’s done all this stuff but, so what! He’s going to be president! They didn’t even want to hear the lyrics, they were so convinced this would be the perfect, rousing song. Sold on a pack of lies, a bit like Brexit, and Trump himself.”

Boyle has a new record out in the Spring. “Bairns of the Revolution” is an album of covers and tributes to her favourite recording artists. Other tracks include The Angelic Upstarts’ “Last Night Another Soldier”, David Bowie’s “Saviour Machine”, and The Sex Pistols’ “Who Killed Bambi?” Of the latter, Boyle said, “I thought that was a nice one for Donald’s sons. I’ll give Donald a signed copy, then hopefully make enough money to build a nuclear bunker in my garden before the deluded cunt blows up the world.”

This newsdesk made every effort to contact the president-elect for comment but we couldn’t find the phone number.

“So What!” lyrics at Google Play.