Activist Tries to Overthrow Status Quo, Almost Kills Entire Band.

“It started like most murder sprees do these days: in an online discussion board. Well, I say ‘discussion board’ – it was the comments section below an educational video. Well, I say ‘educational’ – it was more like… well, it was a video of a guy crushing a glass jar in his anus.”

These words were spoken to me from behind a thick glass screen, through a prison phone.

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Speaking to me on the subject that had led to his arrest, the attempted murder of all five members of the pop rock band ‘Status Quo’, was a young man called Incel McMurderous. The unusual name, he claimed, was the result of his having allowed a message board on Reddit to legally change his name to whatever they decided.

The teenager continued to describe to me the moment he was first introduced to radical political theory, on the website, saying:

“Some commenter called ‘Ass-BreathKiller69’ really made me start thinking about political theory when he compared the video of the jar being crushed up that dude’s arse with the state of contemporary society. He said that Status Quo is inherently destructive, and that it forces us to do meaningless, immoral things for the sake of its own experimental continuation.

“I replied to him saying Status Quo aren’t that experimental; Rockin’ All Over The World is hardly Eleanor Rigby. He just sent back ‘lmao’. I realised then that I was being stupid. There was clearly a lot more to this band than irritatingly catchy pop songs.”

Perhaps it was appropriate, considering how it began, that Incel’s radicalisation journey was, in his words, “a right pain in the arse.” It separated him from friends, family, and all the followers on his Tom Hardy appreciation instagram page.

“I just stopped talking to people about anything other than Status Quo. All anyone could speak to me about was the inevitable collapse of our planet’s ecosystems, the complete loss of the concept of privacy to unaccountable global technology companies, and the further slides towards incompetent right-wing populism, that would all happen if Status Quo was allowed to continue without radical transformation.

“I stopped eating, I stopped sleeping. I just read comments from Ass-BreathKiller69 all day, every day, because I knew he was the only person telling the truth about Status Quo. Before I finally went to kill the band, I wrote the Ass-BreathKiller69 manifesto on his behalf, which I think should be required reading for every politician.”

The Ass-BreathKiller69 manifesto is a surprisingly complex political document, touching on ecology, surveillance and even extremist violence, and relating them to literary works such as Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Attempts to link these complex political issues to a pop-rock band from the 70s, however, seem at all times like nonsensical overreaches. When I pressed Incel about that, he replied:

“Look, I know that now. I have realised at this point that it doesn’t make sense. Some tiny little rock band with no overt political opinions are somehow controlling the entire world? I mean when has anyone ever believed that a tiny group of people with no set ideology could be behind everything negative about the way the world works? People are too clever for that.

“What I think people don’t understand when I tell them about this is that I’m not an Ass-Breath Killer, because I think it is true. I killed Richie Malone and John ‘Rhino’ Edwards because I want it to be true. We’re all stuck in a mason jar up a man’s anal passage, and the walls are closing in. Obviously, the problem is the oppressive pressure of the sphincter, and we should be focusing our attention on holding that back from crushing us all.

“But have you ever tried holding someone’s sphincter open against their will? Believe me, it’s not easy.”

When I pressed Incel on how he came to this knowledge, he waved me off, and continued:

“It’s much easier to sit in the jar, and blame someone else who’s also in the jar, and kill them. And maybe you’ll turn out to be right. Maybe you’re not in an anus at all, and in fact would be really happy in the jar if you just killed a pop group that tours around it.”

At this point, Incel could tell that he was losing me with his metaphor, and simply said:

“I tried to kill Status Quo because it was easier than fighting the status quo. But that’s not really going to change anything.

“The only true change can come,” he said, “from the collective action, the unification, of everyone oppressed by our current world.

“In other words, real change is what happens when everyone comes together at the bottom.”

Survey finds 63% of people satisfied with survey

Funded by the Hive Mind Collective, Poll A Nation’s new survey was initially deemed a “ground-breaking study” – until scientists deemed the earthquake “purely coincidental.”

Of the people interviewed, 63% said the survey was to their satisfaction, with only 17% expressing dissatisfaction. 15% said they were unsure whether or not they were satisfied with the survey.

5% said they weren’t sure satisfaction was a measurable quality and that, if the satisfaction they’d been searching for to fill their empty existence had been granted by the completion of a survey, they weren’t sure what the point would be of continuing to live. A further 5% did a different survey.

“I liked this survey because it didn’t ask very much of me. Usually these things always have some box at the end that you’re supposed to fill in, with extra suggestions or concerns, as if they gave up on writing questions for people and thought ‘ah, they’ll come up with some questions for themselves.’ It’s even worse when they’ve got those little survey feedback boxes. Who wants to write a survey about the survey they’ve just done, and then answer their own survey questions? Not me. I’d be highly dissatisfied with that,” wrote one participant, in the survey feedback box.

Another participant, in an effort to preserve anonymity and protect their personal data, filled the survey out using invisible ink. This has been contested, however – one of the members of the research team pointed out that “I left Bob on his own for a full hour while I got people to fill in the survey. I came back to him and all his sheets were still blank. They can’t have all been invisible ink.”

One participant wrote that their dissatisfaction with the survey was due mainly to it being symptomatic of the ceaselessly self-referential postmodern condition. They lamented that “nothing means anything any more, because everything’s about itself. We’ve deconstructed everything about the world to the point where, even on this ridiculous survey, I’ve ended up deconstructing deconstruction. 

“It’d be like writing an article about something, and then forcibly throwing in a self-aware meta-joke about how meta jokes in articles rely too much on the novelty of self-awareness, despite the fact that self-awareness is in no way novel. We need to once again begin to think outside the box, rather than about boxes as a concept.”

They wrote this inside the feedback box, but added the word “think” outside of it.

The conductors of the study are still trying to track this genius down, but it could be a fruitless pursuit, due to the lack of meaningful data about any of the participants.

Death Star’s new Grand Moff offers the galaxy ‘a renewed hope’

A long time ago, in a gallery far, far away, Darth Sleepijo was admiring some art. A man of deep empathy and compassion, Sleepijo would regularly visit art galleries, read poetry, and even recite the writings of Naboo poet Omar Berenko while force-choking his subordinates. He had great aspirations, having been a Darth for many years, during which time he passed bills to limit the freedoms of minority planets and increase the intergalactic incarceration rate exponentially.

While Darth Sleepijo waited for his chance to really make a difference to the galaxy, to bring his hopeful and empathetic approach to the commandment of the dark side, the cosmos trembled under the tyrannical reign of Grand Moff Grabembythe. His divisive leadership style exacerbated intergalactic tensions, and incited damaging attacks to the Empire from both Rebel and Imperial forces. It was truly a dark time for the dark side.

But at long last, the Death Star is under a new administration. Today, the galaxy witnessed the return of a Galactic Empire that really cares about the planets it destroys, one that will finally cease their blatantly self-serving destructive agenda, in favour of a slightly less blatant self-serving destructive agenda.

The ceremony itself was a smaller affair than usual, but still had plenty of ceremonial performances of the Imperial March, interspersed between some unexpected moments: Figrin D’an and The Modal Nodes arrived, for example, to perform a stirring rendition of ‘This superweapon is my superweapon, this superweapon is your superweapon.’

Sleepijo gave a well-received speech, calling for unity across the Galactic Empire; although, the crowd did pull back when he stated that “Whenever we work together, we do not fail. The Death Star has been through tough times, but it has never, ever, ever, been destroyed. This ship is indestructible.”

But it was Santos Bel-Pak, poet laureate of Kooriva, who gave the most spectacular oratorical performance. Quoted below is some of his piece:

When day comes we ask ourselves:
“Where can we find light,
In this never-ending shade?”
With a rebel force to fight
Can solid Empires be made?
We’ve blazed our way with lazers
Through the planets of betrayers,
Laid waste to traitors in this, our Star of Death;
But are we left with much to bargain with
If the system we are ruling through
Is an instrument of harm?
And yet
We are the best star to light a night sky,
To guide, to provide;
We lead not by the power of example,
But by our towering, ample power.
Water cleanses: let’s keep showering
Unwashed worlds with our Stormtroopers.
Just watch our lightning, brightening the future.
When day comes we ask ourselves:
“Where can we find light,
In this never-ending shade?”
I promise you today,
You’ll find it where our leader’s heart resides;
Our beacon of new hope is shining from the dark side.’

[EDITORS NOTE: Poetry? You know the rules Deery. Report to the courtyard for your lashings at your earliest convenience.]

NASA declares 2020 “hottest year on record” – 2020 says it’s “flattered but uncomfortable”

Maybe it’s in the name of expanding scientific knowledge that the scientists at NASA continue to do science. Or maybe, in light of recent declarations, it’s an elaborate scheme to produce effective chat-up lines for abstract entities.

When NASA’s latest climate report concluded that 2020 was the “hottest year on record,” it was initially assumed that this was meant in a negative way. After all, it simply adds more evidence of the progression of global warming, which is the second greatest existential threat of our time (behind, of course, the greatest threat: hugely high-profile reactionary conservative voices being silenced on every single platform except from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Sky News, the BBC, and the internet as a whole).

It would be fair to look at this report as a grim indicator of exactly how crushingly real the threat is of a total environmental collapse within our lifetimes; a kind of tourist information point on our descent through the circles of hell. It wouldn’t be difficult to read this report and be reminded of the unstoppable ticking of nature’s atomic clock as it travels closer and closer to midnight.

It would be hard to avoid these thoughts, that is, if it weren’t for the fact that the year 2020 put out a response tweet to this article, explaining how it was “flattered” to have been so complimented by the US space organisation. 2020, renownedly a prominent Twitter user, had apparently “never been talked about in a nice way before,” and was “warmed by the message.”

NASA then complicated relations with the year by adding that “The Australian wildfires during the first half of the year burned 46 million acres of land, releasing smoke and other particles more than 18 miles high in the atmosphere, blocking sunlight and likely cooling the atmosphere slightly.”

When asked “what are you trying to say?” by a tweeting 2020, the scientists replied: “Basically, you would’ve been even hotter if you didn’t have a fiery bush down under.”

But the debacle over this report is a much larger problem, one that could possibly bring an end to NASA altogether – many are disgusted by the fact that NASA could engage in such an exchange or even think about producing such a romantic report on 2020’s supposed hotness, given the fact that 2020 is only one year old.

Rioters siege World Calendar Capitol, call for a stop to 2021

Yesterday, an angry mob, armed with nothing but angst, determination, and fully automatic assault rifles, besieged the World Calendar Capitol building. The group were calling for a stop to 2021, claiming it had ‘stolen’ the date, and that 2020 had been unfairly defeated by the Earth’s rotation around the sun.

Our reporter arrived at the scene with incredible speed, and he will be whipped for this disobedience when he arrives back at the Lampoon office. He was supposed to be reporting on, and I quote our editor here, “whatever dumb shit seems to be going on in America,” but within hours of leaving HQ, he was inside the World Calendar Capitol building. A sub-editor has suggested this decision was something to do with the Lampoon’s 2021 nude calendar, which features reporters posing erotically with a range of kitchen appliances, but none of us could guess why Lee Keydong would be having second thoughts about his appearance in it.

“SAVE THE DATE! SAVE THE DATE!” chanted the crowd, as they pushed past workers at the World Calendar Capitol building. One protester grabbed Lee’s microphone, believing it to be connected to the building’s PA system: “This is a historic day!” he shouted, to a crowd more interested in coughing in the faces of office temps than listening to rhetoric. “This date will go down in the history books, as the day that history stopped!”

That line did elicit cheers: complete self-contradictions made with no self-awareness were a popular rhetorical strategy in this crowd.

Some protesters claimed to have a “2020 vision”; but one eye witness said that, “having witnessed their eyes, I’d bet most of them are actually at least in need of reading glasses, if not some proper prescription lenses. Should’ve stormed a Specsavers!”

Lee eventually found a protester willing to comment on the siege, who told him “It’s not actually as wacky as it might seem to you daters.”

“Sorry, daters?”

“Yeah, date haters. Everyone who thinks 2021 has any reasonable claim to be the year is a dater. Anyway; what we’re doing is actually pretty reasonable. I mean, the initial foundation of the Gregorian calendar is all socially constructed. It’s supposedly based on the birth of Christ, but that’s disputed anyway; it could be years out. The way I see it, 2020 is less of a calendar year and more of an idea. The idea of chaos. That’s far more solid than any Roman dates you’ve plucked from thin air. And if there’s one thing that hasn’t ended, it’s that 2020 chaos.

“It’d be like, let’s say, if some Americans besieged the Capitol building to stop Biden being confirmed as president. There’d be all these people claiming it was an erosion of democracy, as if American democracy itself wasn’t first put into the constitution by a bunch of rich white slave owners. As if that shambles of a two-party system could even be called democracy anyway. And another thing- ugh-”

Just as this man’s eloquence was convincing Lee to drop his microphone and join the crowd, he abruptly stopped and fell to the ground. A man dressed in the hide of a bear, with a full lion’s mane down his back, had spotted him conducting rational discourse with Lee; assuming this meant he was the enemy, he clubbed his fellow rioter in the back with an elephant’s tusk, and pounced upon him. The calendar-conspiracy-caveman screamed as he did this, accusing the man of being a member of ‘20FA’. The man died attempting to explain that his attacker was also, in fact, a member of 20FA, since 20FA stands for ‘2020 Fascist’.

A member of security eventually approached the fascist Flintstone, asking him what colour he was beneath his war paint.

“Ug. Me no like questions. Me fight!” the caveman responded, which the officer must have misheard as “Me white!” because he made no subsequent objections to being pummelled to death with the jawbone of a blue whale.

At this point Lee left the scene, complaining that that it had made him feel ‘leaky’. In journalism, this isn’t usually seen as a negative, but Lee retreated nonetheless, approaching some of the workers of the Calendar Capitol building instead, who had been evacuated to safety.

One of the workers told him: “This actually gives us a bit of a break, to be honest. Working for the Calendar means you don’t really get to take a day off. We only get to take one day off in February every four years, and the unions had to fight really hard for that.

“But the trouble now is, this is a pretty major disruption. It’s likely that everyone at the Calendar will be working overtime to sort this out. Which means that, whether we give in to their demands or not, this is going to be a really long year.”

Featured image: Derick McKinney on Unsplash

Excel Spreadsheet blunder means millions without christmas presents this year

Seven year-old Tamara crept downstairs early this morning, eager to be the first person in her family to see all the presents under the tree. It had been a hard year for her, a year of zoom classrooms, no contact with her friends, and too much contact with her parents, who are both now raging alcoholics. On top of that, her grandmother hasn’t moved since Tamara hugged her on Christmas Eve morning.

Tamara had stood strong through this year’s hardships, though, knowing that Christmas would eventually arrive. She’d asked Santa for an iPod and a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, telling the Lampoon that it “would help to drown out the screaming my parents are always doing since Dad got furloughed.”

But when Tamara opened the living room door this morning, she didn’t find any iPod shaped presents – in fact, she didn’t find any presents at all. The room was empty of everything but tinsel-coated furniture, a Christmas tree, and her grandma’s corpse.

Many children this Christmas experienced the same traumatic scene. In an unprecedented Christmas catastrophe, Santa missed millions of children’s names from his Excel Spreadsheet Nice List this year.

Our Christmas correspondent asked Tamara’s parents what effect this disruption had on their festivities, and her father told us “Well, to be honest, she asked for an iPod, which was already above our price range anyway. We thought Santa might be able to pull through, but if he thinks the little brat doesn’t deserve a merry Christmas, who are we to argue? We’re just mortals.”

“You mean you didn’t buy the iPod?” Tamara’s mother cut in, “I wondered why she was trying to talk to me this morning. For Christ’s sake, David. Jesus Christ! I’m going to get my bourbon, and not to make eggnog. Christ, David – you’ve got me blaspheming like a heretic on the birthday of Our Lord.”

As David pulled a Christmas cracker by himself, our Christmas correspondent decided it was the right time to fake a faulty internet connection and end the Zoom interview. Just as they were leaving the meeting, they caught a glimpse of what was inside the cracker: a paper party hat, a piece of paper that said “What goes Ho, Ho, Ho, thump? Santa laughing his head off!”, a thimble shaped like a reindeer, and a mid-sized, well-sharpened kitchen knife. David took the last item and moved out of frame with a deeply un-festive look of vengefullness.

In order to understand why this Excel spreadsheet error had occurred in the first place, the Lampoon’s travel editor managed to get an exclusive interview with Father Christmas himself, in exchange for the release of two elves we had tied up in our office with tinsel.

“Basically,” Santa told the editor, “the problem was to do with the file type or something. We were using XMS file types for our spreadsheets. But apparently they’re too big for Excel. I can’t see why we had to move from good old quill and parchment, personally, but there have been some pretty major difficulties recently, so maybe we can blame this on the Elvish Workers’ Revol- I mean, on Covid. Blame this on Covid.”

When asked why he had used the ineffective XMS file type, Santa replied: “Well, it looks like ‘Xmas’, doesn’t it? See, here at Santa’s Grotto, we use a legacy system, which means that practically speaking we need to include references to Christmas in as many different places as possible. We even go to the point of not treating an elf’s skin condition unless he calls it ‘eczemas’. So naturally XMS files will continue to be used.”

“Wait,” our travel editor replied, “does this mean the same issue will continue to happen every Christmas?”

Santa chuckled a smug ‘ho ho ho’: “Well, more or less. We’ve worked out that the number of children missed out from our global spreadsheet is the exact number of children living in the UK. So from now on we’ll just miss your lot out and deliver to everywhere else.”

“But why the UK specifically? Surely there are other small countries you could ignore.”

“If I answer, do you promise to release my elves? Those two were loyal to me. I need them to bust up all the talk of unions in the factories.”

“Absolutely. A time for giving, forgiving, forgetting and getting.”

“Doing all the paperwork in time to get into the UK next year would take a Christmas miracle. I’m not planning to get stuck in Kent.

“Now give me back my elves.”

Major waste disposal company rebrands as “Hats for Dolphins Co.” after ocean dumping incident

“We thought the company was in some deep shit,” said Callum Hall, CEO of Australia’s second-largest waste disposal company, after more than 6,000 tonnes of plastic was ejected from their facility into the nearby ocean. “We were worried that maybe this incident would force us to address the massive tunnel leading directly from our landfill site to the ocean. But then Jeff from PR came up with a really neat way around it.”

Mr Hall produced a small plastic cup with some string tied around the bottom, slipping it onto his head like a party hat. The cup featured a cartoon image of a dolphin wearing a plastic cup on its head, grinning and holding a cigar. The lattermost inclusion was paid for by Australia’s largest tobacco company, as a way to “reach the hitherto underexploited niche of children who care about the environment but also about looking cool. We believe the two goals have been mutually exclusive until this moment.”

Above the dolphin were the words “Hats for Dolphins Co.”, the new name of Mr Hall’s company.

“Oh, and speaking of being in deep shit,” Hall continued, “we’ve seen what the guys are doing over in the UK water industry and we’re loving the we-don’t-give-a-shit attitude they have towards pumping tonnes and tonnes of human excrement into their own ocean. It’s inspired us to branch out into the defecation disposal industry; like, who gives a crap where we dump your dump? If you catch my drift…”

I reminded him that several large pods of endangered dolphins had indeed “caught his drift” and that animal rights groups were pressuring him to fund a clean-up operation.

“Ah,” he replied, “see, at Hats for Dolphins Co. we believe that ‘cleaning up’ is an activity more suited to the mind than to the body. As far as we see it, what the company (and, frankly, the world) is in need of is a spiritual clean-up.”

I asked him what he was suggesting. He started to remove his hat, but Jeff from PR revealed himself from out of the shadows, gave Mr Hall another hat, and answered my question on his behalf.

“Well, by rebranding as Hats for Dolphins Co. said Jeff, “we’ve had to re-evaluate our priorities as a company. We used to see wildlife as restrictive to our business model. But since our philanthropic donation of 6,000 hats went down so well in the dolphin and minority turtle community (I mean these guys just can’t seem to get the things off!), we have begun to value nature as more of a co-partner in our operations.”

The dolphin and minority turtle community were unavailable to comment on this issue, as they are currently engaged in a lengthy world advertising tour on behalf of Hats for Dolphins Co.

Vladimir Putin announced as 46th president of the United States

Bare-chested, wielding the severed head of a Kamchatka brown bear, mounted on the back of a steroid-fuelled Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin entered the White House today to accept his new position as president of the United States.

Pro-Trump supporters, surprisingly, were taken back to see Trump and Putin cooperating. As the couple approached the White House steps, crowds stopped in stunned silence, watching Donald clear the steps with Trump™ polish and laying out a Trump™ blanket to soothe Putin’s feet. 

Trump stood in front of the White House and announced “Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new president. He’s going to be – you know this – he’s going to be the greatest president this country has ever seen. I’ve always said Russia, Russia, Russia. Me and Vlad go way back. I support him, bigly. He’s going to do a wonderful job.”

Despite the difficulty of the new situation, Trump’s crowd were quick to realign themselves with their orange president’s new allegiance. One particularly quick man shouted: “It’s about time! If there’s one thing I’ve always said this country needed to make it great again, it’s communists.”

What followed was a shaky attempt at improvising the Russian national anthem, which very few members of the crowd knew, but all attempted to demonstrate a passionate attachment to.

Putin then drop-kicked the bear’s decapitated head into the crowd, who devoured it with the same fervour they usually only reserved for screaming in the ears of low-paid young supermarket workers attempting to enforce shop health policy.

Putin commenced his speech: “I would like to thank the entire public of the United States for voting for me unanimously. I applied very late into the process, because I feared you Americans would not be ready for a strong, masculine leader after four years of this orange pussy imbecile, but I figured that if Kanye West could make a presidential bid after the application deadline, so could I.”

“I would like to thank the US postal service for ensuring that American democracy was protected by eliminating all potential Russian ballots from the count. The one vote that was counted, in the end, I believe speaks for the entire nation.”

After a lengthy ceremony, during which Putin sacrificed Donald Trump to Mark Zuckerberg, The Arbiter of Truth, he was lifted up by the crowd, carried into the White house, and sworn in as the 46th president of the United States.