August is traditionally the silly season when it comes to news stories. Everyone is on holiday, parliament is closed and there is hardly any football being played.
In that respect, the bombings in London last month have proven to be a Godsend for the newspapers.
It is only Tuesday and I am already in two minds as to which is going to be the silliest story of the week.
I’ll mention my current favourite silly story in the next post but, first off, I was tickled by an item in the Independent yesterday that started with the opening line…
Intelligence chiefs are warning Tony Blair that Britain faces a full-blown Islamist insurgency, sustained by thousands of young Muslim men with military training now resident in this country.
It really is a fine piece of responsible journalism. I recommend it heartily.
Though the word isn’t explicitly used in that article, I am particularly enjoying the gradual uptake by the press of the new verb fundamentalising. Oops, my real time spell-checker is already having trouble with that one. Yes, fundamentalising; the process of turning otherwise harmless young men into demented suicide fanatics, simply by them listening to a ropey DVD of a man in a dress telling them that ‘it’s good to die’.
This is reminiscent of the old chestnut that religious cults have the superhuman ability to programme impressionable young people into a robotic state of total belief. Rather like McDonalds advertising campaigns. I never bought that one myself. Cult followers tend to be lost losers before joining and are more than ready to embrace whatever toss they are told before their guru even first opens his mouth. But the idea of cultist brainwashing and mind control is an entertaining fiction and makes for amusing true life docu-dramas.
...unless somebody accuses US government agencies of dabbling in such things, then that is referred to as what is known as a conspiracy theory. Remember, only bearded men in dresses are capable of brainwashing.
Of course, the idea of ordinary citizens being brainwashed into believing a perverted ideology is in keeping with the whole retro, McCarthyist, 1950’s, Reds under the bed revival currently taking place in British public life. Only it’s not Reds this time, it’s Islamofundementalists.
Our Prime Minister needs to work on a couple of things though. Firstly, ‘Islamofundamentalist’ is nowhere near as snappy as ‘Reds’ or ‘Commies’. I suggest we start using the word ‘Paki’. It’s punchy and to the point.
The other problem is the lack of a simple visual clue to the true nature of the Pakis amongst us. Back in the fifties, when the Americans were making all those films about aliens abducting god-fearing citizens and taking over their bodies to subvert society from within, the aliens would always disappear into a glowing red vapour when destroyed. That’s how you could tell that those aliens were really communists.
So far we haven’t got round to formally colour-coding the Islamic threat. I suggest brown. Islamofundamentalists are usually brown and so is their food.
Well, that’s us all set then. Now all we need is a remake of the Manchurian Candidate, The Paki from Another World or Invasion of the Brown Body Snatchers, featuring lines like...
‘My (Judeo-Christian) God! He’s been fundamentalised. Shoot him! In the back of the head eight times. It’s the only way to be sure’
...followed by the alien interloper disappearing into a puff of brown smoke, leaving our way of life secure for future generations.
Expect black lists, public hearings and mandatory loyalty oaths to follow shortly afterwards.