Wednesday, 27 April 2011

They may be drinkers, Robin, but they're still human beings.

I'm not an anti-royalist. I just want to get that clear from the start. I'm pretty sure they're all nice enough people, and they do some good things with charities and what not. It's just, as an average British citizen who does average British citizeny things (Gee Note: Which means drinking warm beer and living in a castle if you believe Yahoo Answers), the Royal family generally has no impact on my day to day life. Yes the Queen's face is on the piece of paper I hand over to the barman to get my room temperature pint of bitter, and at many a sporting event you hear a crowd of people imploring the maker above to rescue the poor lass. But really, if somehow the Royal family ceased to exist tomorrow I probably wouldn't bat an eyelid. Unless they all turned in to Werewolves or 9 ft tall reptilian aliens or something. At that point I'm locking myself in the basement with a crossbow and a can of spam.

So it goes without saying that I don't think about the Windsors all that often. They're like music in an elevator I guess. They're in the background somewhere, but they make so little noise and are so fantastically dull that they're hardly worth paying attention to. Except for this week. This week the Royal family has been a pain in the arse.

It's all to do with Prince William and his rapidly receding hairline (Gee Note: No really. Have you seen that thing? I've lost money on greyhounds that moved slower than that).Young Wills will one day be crowned King of this great nation, providing a piano doesn't fall on his head or something. And seeing as this is real life and not a Tom & Jerry cartoon, that's quite unlikely. This coming Friday the prince will marry his long term squeeze Kate Middleton in a ceremony at Westminster Abbey. So yeah. Good for them. I mean if it was me and I had their money I'd have probably gone to Vegas and had the best wedding involving strippers and pirates ever. But each to their own I guess.

Here's the thing. Even though their both better looking and undoubtedly better people than I am, I really don't care about the Royal Wedding.

It's not that I wish them ill fortune or anything. In fact I hope they have a long and happy marriage. Or at the least a quick divorce should things go pear shaped. But I have as much enthusiasm for their pending nuptials as I do for any other two people I have never met. People get married all the time. In fact I myself would be married right now if we hadn't have had a baby instead (Gee Note: Not that it's an either/or choice you understand. It's just that, well, I'm not really what you would call "A Planner" and the idea of having to organise a wedding and the arrival of a baby girl would have made my head explode. By the way for those of you keeping score, my daughter is the most awesome thing in the universe. Yeah that's right. Move over "that museum which has the great big mechanical Tyrannosaur". You just got bumped down the list buddy). Seriously it's not that big of a deal.

Unless you happen to pick up a newspaper and watch television here in the U.K. Then all of a sudden it becomes a very big deal, especially over the past seven days or so. With such fervour has it been reported on by all and sundry you would swear the event was being staged on a glass palace on the surface of Mars.



photo via rdujour.com


Not a day, not one single day, has gone by recently without the airwaves and print journals being flooded with articles on the Royal Wedding. Sadly however, there's nothing to report because… IT'S JUST A F***ING WEDDING. I mean really, the only thing you can say at this point is "It's Tuesday 7.22 am and as of this moment the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton is still going ahead.". That's it. There is nothing else to announce. Nada. Zip. And so instead we've been stampeded upon by opinion piece followed by bloody opinion piece fluffed out with the most ridiculous twaddle. Sample headlines include:

"What will they be wearing?" (Gee Note: Answer - Clothes. Probably nice ones)

"Who will be conducting the ceremony?" (Gee Note: Answer - Some dude)

"Who will be attending?" (Gee Note: Answer - Family, friends, and the occasional celeb like Elton John. Yeah I know. I can't remember the last time he was relevant either).

"Can you look like Kate Middleton without spending a lot of money?" (Gee Note: Answer - No).

"What does the man on the street think about the big day?" (Gee Note: Answer - AAAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!)

“Do you want to know everything about William and Kate?” (Gee Note: Answer - What, you mean like when they pork and stuff? Not really. Unless they do something weird, like dress up as dinosaurs. Even then I'm pretty sure I can live without it).

And on and on it goes, slowly driving you insane with the inane drivel that a 24 hour news cycle generates when nothing is happening. Amazingly, people get sucked in to the tedious mash and start believing it's a big deal. I had a conversation with a woman today in which I mentioned I didn't get what all the fuss about and her reply was "Oh. But he's a Prince. It's like a fairy tale". Well no. No it isn't. Unless one of them is cursed by a witch and has to marry the other one or they'll turn in to a giant salamander while being chased by a crazy old man who makes shotguns out of pastry, this couldn't be anything less like a fairy tale.

The worst thing about all of this is that the genuinely intriguing news stories have been buried under a slush pile of fruit cake and confetti. For example, in news you may have missed the first time around, did you know that JFK was shot because he started asking too many questions about extra terrestrials?

(Gee Note: Yep. Bet you didn't see that one coming did you? For I am Gareth, King of the segues. All ye lesser segue makers bow down before me.)

This juicy little blighter was picked up by The Daily Fail Mail, a newspaper so ridiculous in it's right wing agenda it makes Fox News look fair and balanced. Occasionally The Mail will abandon their seemingly life-long mission of scaring pensioners by telling them that foreigners are moving in down the road and as a result house prices are going down, and instead throw in something completely bonkers. More often than not these will be along the lines of "Boy, 6, wins chess tournament while sleeping", or "Brave humpback whale saves woman's bag from being stolen". But once in a blue moon they go for a big one, such was the case on April 19 this year.


“WAS JFK KILLED BECAUSE OF HIS INTEREST IN ALIENS?” screamed the headline.

No!” screamed the readers.

But wait, don't throw the paper down and pick up something more respectable just yet (Gee Note: Like a copy of JUGGS magazine for example). There's wild speculation and gigantic leaps of logic to be had in them there column inches.

According to the esteemed organ:

An uncovered letter written by John F Kennedy to the head of the CIA shows that the president demanded to be shown highly confidential documents about UFOs 10 days before his assassination.


The secret memo is one of two letters written by JFK asking for information about the paranormal on November 12 1963, which have been released by the CIA for the first time.

Wow! Hear that my friend? That's the sound of your reality being EXPLODED beeyotches!! Your bible is wrong. Everything you believe in is a lie. Jim Corr was right dammit. Or David Icke. One of those bastards who howl at the moon at any rate. Your mind is being used by overlords intent on doing something nefarious with it. Exactly what that is nobody seems to know for sure. But they're doing it I tells you. They're hiding free energy from us. They're hiding aliens from us. THEY MURDERED JOHN F. KENNEDY.

Moving along...

Huh? You want to see the actual memo? Why? Didn't you hear? The President was killed by CIA operatives because he was on to them hiding Little Green Men in obscure military bases in Nevada. Why aren't you calling the police? Wait. They're probably in on it too. Shit. I know. Throw up the Bat signal. Get Adam West on the case. Not only will he defeat the evil doers, but he'll teach his young ward a valuable lesson along the way.

Fine. Have it your way. Here then is the “smoking memo” (Gee Note: See what I did there? I took the phrase “smoking gun” and replaced the word “gun” with “memo”. I know. I'm like some kind of word play magician).



Hmmmm.


OK it might come out as pretty small so I'll break it down for you.


Hey CIA guys. J to the Fizzle here. Listen you know those UFOs that farmers in Idaho keep talking about? Well anyway could you send any files we have on those my way ASAP? A couple of flying saucers have been seen in Russia recently and you know how twitchy those communists get. We don't need ol' Nikolai Warski reaching for that red button do we?!? LOL. Anyway I want to have something to show them should they start pointing the finger at us. So be a star and pop those over. Oh and any statuesque brunettes you might have in the office. You see the missus is out of town for a couple of days and... nevermind.

Cheers m'dears

Jack.


The Mail goes on to say.


The president’s interest in UFOs shortly before his death is likely to fuel conspiracy theories about his assassination, according to AOL News.


Alien researchers say the latest documents, released to Mr Lester by the CIA, add weight to the suggestion that the president could have been shot to stop him discovering the truth about UFOs.

OK, let's think about this for a moment. President Kennedy requests that the CIA send him files regarding UFO activity. The CIA gets spooked (Gee Note: GEDDITT?!?!?) because they've been secretly hunting/hiding/selling pebbles claiming they're rare earth resources to Aliens. JFK blindly asks about gathering some information on the UFO phenomenon and rather than, oh I don't know, get an intern to make something up under the pretence of a training exercise or simply hand over the files that don't contain such phrases as “then we gave the aliens the codes to our national defence grid in exchange for some Cuban cigars” they decide to shoot him in the face. He even gave them three months to work on it. If the best they can come up with is “blow his chuffin' head off” then I'm not sure the CIA are crack operatives we think they are. I mean I can't imagine that it didn't come up in the meeting.

“So it's settled then. We will kill the President of the United States of America”.

“Hang on a minute fellas. I've just had an idea. What if we lie to him instead?”

“Well, I'm sorry Chad. I've already picked up the phone and starting dialling Killers 'R' Us. It hasn't connected yet but, still, Diane is making clam chowder tonight and it's just not the same cold.”

Look I'm not saying that there isn't some sort of conspiracy surrounding the assassination of JFK. I'm not saying that there is either. But I can almost guarantee that John Fitzgerald Kennedy was not killed because of this memo. Nobody, not even a group of shadowy spies, is that psychopathic. However the problem with the whole “third gunman” syndrome is that a subsection of society are so desperate to believe that someone other than Lee Harvey Oswald pulled the trigger that they'll jump on anything that even remotely resembles proof. You only have to look at the comments section under the article's online version to see that. It's like a flame war extravaganza.

And you can't really blame them. The whole situation to me is best summed up by an episode of the hit Sci-Fi television show Quantum Leap. Sam Beckett leaps in to the body of Oswald a few days before the President is killed, and muses that the reason why people created a conspiracy theory was because otherwise those same people would be forced to accept that the American ideal of democracy and freedom can be turned completely on its head by one man with a rifle.

Maybe it was a single soul who killed JFK. Maybe it was a thousand. But it wasn't because the President of The United States asked for some files to be sent to him about UFOs and the CIA hit the panic button. The world doesn't work like that. No matter how much you want it to.

Anyway I'm off to celebrate the Royal Wedding in my own way. Namely sitting on my sofa in my underpants, drinking rum, and listening to the Sex Pistols at ear bleed volume. Because until those Aliens turn up, there really isn't anything worth talking about.

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