Frog Report: Winter Edition

Hello again from the Frog Report! We are once again back to discuss the most common, overplayed talking points that are so edgy no mainstream publication will print them.

In the past six months, we’ve been yelling at people who wear glasses to stop wearing glasses and just try harder to see faraway things. We’ve been proving that we are healthy, well-balanced people with hobbies like building side tables out of driftwood and shaming anyone who likes video games. As you can see, this has nothing to do with our personal problems and everything to do with a need to keep anybody we don’t like from doing things.

Since it’s winter, we are finally writing a Frog Report from the ideal place for a frog: our mud pit! Fully surrounded and hibernating in our slimy ideals, we are poised to defend our views by saying we are just people who like frogs. Or, in my case, “just a woman who likes frogs.”

After all, if you are a woman and you like something, you always have to highlight the fact that you are not like other women in that you like the thing. Otherwise, people may erroneously believe that it’s common for women to enjoy pizza, wine, trucks, conservative values, sports, pants, cats, unfair public policy, books, swear words, beer, unnecessary violence, Disney, scary movies, getting paid, autumn and being a mother to a boy.

We also insist that nobody appreciates the true meaning of Christmas anymore. We express this by continuing to get rid of our traditions because we don’t feel like doing them and instead continuing to commercialize the holiday even more. While this may seem hypocritical, rest assured that we are doing our duty by yelling at culturally-Christian agnostics who still celebrate to remember the story of Christmas.

Of course, it wouldn’t truly be a Frog Report if we had anything meaningful to say or any structure outside of just saying our opinions loudly. It’s just too much fun watching people act shocked at stuff many people have said before and probably better, even if it’s still wrong and said in bad faith. I hope this page has opened your eyes to everything the media has hidden from you, which it somehow manages to broadcast nearly 24 hours a day.

Featured image: hehaden on Flickr

The Frog Report: return from hiatus

The Frog Report is back! We have, like every good frog, been hiding in our mud pit that is now not only ideological, but literal.

Around Christmas and the New Year, our irrational political opinions were attacked at all sides due to our relatives spewing evil things called ‘cogent arguments’. As such, we decided to shift to long-term readership outreach for the past six months or so in order to avoid the onslaught.

Here is what our focus group had to say:

This correspondent chose to lie low, so as not to get kicked out of the workplace.
Image: The Frog Report

Anonymous Frog #1: “The Frog Report is the bravest, most envelope-pushing journalism there is! It’s the only outlet that dares to publish the dangerous unpopular opinions that I and my 749 Facebook friends all share and post regularly.”

We interviewed the second correspondent by a private pond.
Image: The Frog Report

Anonymous Frog #2: “The Frog Report brings plenty of common sense to my news feed. It always cheers me up, especially when they repeat aphorisms I learned as a kid 30 years ago that everybody else is scared to publish. What a shame that nobody is allowed to have an opinion on a subjective statement of questionable factual veracity anymore.”

The third correspondent wore camouflage to hide from facial recognition technologies.
Image: The Frog Report

Anonymous Frog #3: “The Frog Report is one of those delightful, nerdy gems that most people just don’t get, like the Star Wars films, Lord of the Rings, and Doctor Who. Everyone thinks I’m kind of unusual for talking about it all the time to the annoyance of everyone else, but that’s just the kind of frog I am.”

Of course, we don’t just interview readers to get short soundbites of support to disprove basic facts. We also put great effort into showing the public that we mean business and have done something radical.

That’s right, we’re planning to spend thousands of pounds on a huge hunk of metal. The money was given to us by donors, who thought it was going to the good cause of amphibious reporting. After all, this is far more palatable to the public than the idea of actually having to take action!

The 10-foot-tall bronze frog fountain is in the shape of a giant frog spitting the pure water of unsubstantiated personal convictions on the public. It will cost approximately £30K, take the better part of five years to build, and should appear in our office in not-quite-working condition by December 2026.

Despite being very closely plagiarized from a smaller frog fountain at the Morton Arboretum in Illinois, it took four months to design. This because we spent £40K on hiring a design consultant to talk with us during those long, hard months of creative labour.

They told us to make the edges a bit more rounded to appeal to logo design trends in the age of social media, improve the Report’s image among millennials, and increase engagement on TikTok. We look forward to making this happen and would like to thank our readers for their generous contributions to this future feel-good PR stunt. We hope it will hinder our reporters’ productivity significantly while also being a fire hazard.

Featured image: Wikimedia Commons

The Column Column – Clasp

I’m back.

Like the at-risk-Tory-aunt-who-thinks-COVID-19-is-a-hoax-but-then-went-MIA-making-you- (secretly)-hope-she’d-died-but-then-turns-up-at-Christmas-with-her-snot-nosed-goblin-spawn-and-gives-you-a-non-consensual-hug, I’m back.

I’m back to educate you on all things columns, a topic I really don’t know anything about. And with no-one heading back to campus anytime soon, it’s time to reminisce about something no-one likes.

Clasp

If you’re like me until recently, you’ll have no idea what Clasp is. Well, turns out it’s that pile of rusty cubes in the middle of campus that looks like a Jenga game abandoned halfway through. From the sculpture Antony Gormley, the guy behind that T-posing angel, Clasp is a testament of everything it means to be a student.

A waste of money.

It’s nice to know my university experience is being invested in a stack of oxo cubes.

Pros

Um.

Uhhhh.

Hmmmm.

Decent spot to meet people?

Cons

I would need an entirely new column for this.

Taste

Kinda rusty and bland. Needs seasoning with some actual education.

Ability to withstand a punch.

Tried to make the journey for this test but Boris stopped me stating that “going to punch a statue is not a valid reason to travel”.

FINAL SCORE: £9250/£9250 of our degrees spent on it.

Welcome to the Cozy Crime Corner!

We Toon Lampoon journalists endure a lot during our quest to find the truth and bring it to you, our beloved readers. We consort with the lowest of the low as well as with world leaders (the two are more often than not the same) to bring you up-to-date news and valuable insights into society. The real test of endurance for us, however, is not by doing our job (which we pride on doing mediocrely); it is to survive the Toon Lampoon Office.

Do not be fooled by its innocuous name, for it instils fear in everyone that has had the misfortune to pass through its doors. Few leave with their sanity intact (although few people had any sanity when they first entered). Hearts have been broken, plates have been smashed, the odd intern has been sent flying through the window; it has all happened here. I am here to recount a few of those grizzly tales to you (anonymously of course, or else the editors would feed me to the carnivorous geese in the basement) as part of a regular column here at the Toon Lampoon.

This column is for anyone with an interest in the behind-the-scenes of your least favourite journalists or for those armchair detectives looking for an easy case to solve (such as the Search for the Secret Rah, which will be the first story told as part of this column). Intrigued? Then come closer my dear readers, and I shall set the scene by describing the office to you.

I shan’t disclose the location of TTL’s office, in case any agitated readers want to pelt it with toilet paper or eggs (we seem to have that effect on people). All I will say is that it down the deepest, darkest alley that can be found in all of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (and no, we don’t mean the Victoria Tunnels).

Minifig Characters #5: Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson
How we Toon Lampoon journalists perceive ourselves (the reality is much different). Image from Creative Commons.

The office is mostly bare, except for a few rickety tables that were stolen from Northumbria University on a night out (it seemed like a good idea at the time). Editors have a table each, with the rest of the tables having been allocated to the best writers; this was a trap as these writers were subsequently chained to their desk and now cannot leave. Have you lost a friend on a night out and wonder where they are now? Chances are we have them chained up.

Décor like personal photos is frowned upon in the office as we don’t want the editors to know the writers who aren’t chained up have a life outside the Toon Lampoon; they still believe us when we say it takes 20 hours to read three Wikipedia pages and write 400 words. The only non-essential items we have in the office are the heater (which is barely on to taunt us) and the water cooler (to give the impression the editors care about our needs – they do not).

Now I have set the scene, it is time to discuss our lead characters. I shall only discuss the interns who tried and failed to fit in here at The Toon Lampoon, the names of which I shall change so they don’t remember the trauma they endured here if they somehow find this article (amnesia is surprisingly common amongst those who leave – the editors really don’t want to be reported to HR). I shall also refer to the editors themselves by pseudonyms as they don’t want it to be public knowledge they help to run the most morally dubious newspaper the North of England has to offer (a badge we cretins wear with pride).

The scene has been set, the actors are waiting in the wings: all that remains is for the audience to arrive. Tune into the next article for revelations, anger and Pret a Manger wrappers in The Search for the Secret Rah!

Featured image: Odissey1976 via Wikimedia Commons

The Frog Report 2.0: how to find a mud pit

Hello frog fans, welcome back to The Frog Report!

We’re working hard to get you the freshest, froggiest news, here in our office mud pit, safe from the dangers of questioning our own preconceptions. Get some frog juice from your fridge, pull up a seat and get ready to whine about some problems that you wouldn’t bother to fix if you could.

This week we’re talking about winter. After all, as any experienced student of the amphibious world knows, most frogs living in areas that get cold tend to hibernate. Last week, we talked about the mud pit analogy; this week, we are discussing how to find your very own mud pit as the temperatures get colder.

First, you need to pick something with a lot of emotional value, preferably from your childhood, and proceed to take it way too seriously. Something like Disney, Narnia, or some play you were the lead in when you were 15 should work nicely. You have to try as hard as you can to apply commercialised, nuance-free media messages to the real world and use them to justify war, hating people you don’t like and refusing to acknowledge that some people celebrate holidays that you don’t!

Secondly, you have to defend this sturdy base of your mud pit that holds your ideas. Whenever your ideas are pointed out as being morally simplistic and scientifically baseless, you need to make a show about how you can do whatever you want to do because you don’t care what they say: you are an innocent, fun-loving person who doesn’t want mean businesspeople to
ruin your magical dream of destroying a forest to build an amusement park. Whenever it’s pointed out that there is literally nothing that supports your narrow ideas about how people in other countries should practice their religion and what women should do with their bodies, you must do your best to remind them that your sense of whimsy is infinitely more important than their lives. After all, you are just a nice traditional person who doesn’t understand why the world must victimise you by not following the social conventions of historically-inaccurate films about wealthy people.

Third and finally, you must remember that you are not the frog hiding in the mud pit, your ideas are. After all, you aren’t a coward. You believe in freedom of speech! You are brave enough to walk outside every day and defend your ridiculous, cardboard-cutout ideas from the boring, evil people who don’t believe in your wilfully ignorant fantasies and won’t let you apply them to the
way that they get their healthcare. When the world doesn’t work the way you expect it to, it has nothing to do with the fact that you make decisions according to your own whims with no idea of how they will actually play out in the future; it’s all the fault of pretentious modern liberals who have been conditioned from a young age to ruin the fun of dreamers like you.

Let your idea frog remain safe in its mud pit, where it will not have to contend with the agents of society’s downfall, like people who don’t use the Oxford comma, skirts that fall above the knee and media that is too political because it contains one message you disagree with in one scene!

Image: jenniferhernandez via Pixabay

The Column Column – Grey’s Monument

Ah yes, the humble column. A wall if a wall was a tube you could walk past and not really a wall. Able to support at least five grams of weight, maybe even more, columns are truly a pillar of modern architecture and deserve every ounce of your respect.

So why am I talking to you today? To be truthful, I don’t know: I don’t do architecture. I’m not really sure what a column is. But what I do know is that big pillars of rock are very cool, and it is about time you all learnt that. Prepare your butts for an experience that will leave you rock hard as I give a run down of all the best columns in the world. Today, we focus on a local landmark.

Grey’s Monument

There’s no better place to start than the long shaft of Charles Grey, the 2nd Earl Grey, known as Grey’s Monument. It was first erected in 1838 and rumour has it that it’s a great spot to have a cry.

Pros

Named after a guy who abolished slavery. Pretty good that.

The lad also has a flavour of tea named after him, but I can’t for the life of me remember what it’s called. Maybe it’s green?

Cons

Too tall.

Taste

Went in expecting a tea flavour, all I got was Greggs sausage roll.

Ability to withstand a punch

I’m pretty sure it shifted a little so I’ll call this one a draw.

FINAL SCORE: 1/1 columns

Arguments may be made about my harsh rating, or if this actually counts as a column, but at the end of the day, this isn’t a democracy. This is cold hard dictatorship, and my voice is the only one which counts.

If you have a column you want reviewing, please let me know. The only requirement is that they are long and hard, just the way I like it.

The Frog Report: an introduction

Do you only feel comfortable viewing politics through the lens of Harry Potter?

Do you use crustaceans’ social hierarchy as an explanation for complex socioeconomic structures such as modern capitalism?

Are you looking to abandon the trends for something a bit more wet and slimy that you can use to one-up your friends at parties when they tentatively suggest that not all gamer girls are fake?

Here, we utilize the serious discipline of armchair batrachology to fashion complete, objective political reports that don’t force you to come out of the comfortable mud pit that is your political echo chamber! We don’t shame you for your ignorance here. We all want to remain in a comfortable, toothless, uncontroversial state of misinformed political self-importance that requires no critical thought or self-reflection whatsoever. What does that better reflect than a frog’s desire to find a safe, warm patch of mud in which to hibernate?

Away from influences like TikTok, PornHub, Fannibals, and the Mean Girls musical that are turning your children into liberals, frogs clearly know what’s best.

Indeed, all of world politics can be easily conceptualized through this lens. Brexit is clearly reflective of a frog’s journey to separate from the clump of eggs, lose its tail, and move onto land! The US election clearly reflects the behaviour of two massive ideological frog gods. Specifically, frog gods worshipped by citizens and presidential candidates alike, dipped in red and blue paint and hopping around on a massive map of the US!

So if you prefer a lily pad to an iPad, hop on over to the Frog Report! After all, a lily pad won’t expose your children to Buzzfeed, Doctor Who fan fiction, Nickelback, Gerard Way, or other dangerous thought leaders. Together we can mourn the end of a movement that was never really a thing in the first place while drinking, wearing bad costumes, and doing absolutely nothing about it.