The end is nigh

It's all getting rather pre-millenial here lately. First, we have a gang of terrorists setting bombs off worryingly close to me: after Brixton, they did Brick Lane, five mins walk from work, and then on Friday, it was Soho. The previous night, I'd been drinking in a (non-gay, I need hardly add) pub the next block down the road. And then they arrest someone in Cove, Hampshire, which is where I stayed when I first came down to England. At this rate, I am going to see my face on the front of the papers soon, below "IS THIS THE FACE OF THE NAILBOMBER?" type headlines. And then there's these blackouts, but that's a whole different story... ;-) I think I should perhaps run a sweepstake, where people have to predict, using their skill and judgement, where the next bomb will go off. Feel free to send me your thoughts on the matter; whoever gets closest will receive an appropriate prize (perhaps a bag of nails). If you're very close, you will probably also get a 4 am visit from the Special Branch.

Then there was also the Colorado High School massacre, which as several people (Miles Wood and Andy Collins) have since pointed out, also bears a strange, and largely un-noticed by the media, resemblance to 'Heathers' i.e. two disaffected teens - one in a trenchcoat, please note, and one who keeps a diary - start offing the jocks, with the aim of eventually going out in a massive blaze of glory. "Fuck me gently with a chainsaw", as they say. Any similarity to Chow Yun Fat and HIS heavily-armed trenchcoat is also, I'm sure, purely coincidental.

And now, someone offs a TV presenter, execution-style, on her doorstep. Serbians? Disgruntled gangsters? Irate tour company reps? As yet, no-one knows: maybe it's a particularly specialised serial killer. Comparisons with Lady Di have been myriad -- largely because they were both blonde totty, as far as I can tell. That and the massive exercise in bouquet dumping; better add a cabal of florists to the list of suspects. The major difference is that the Jill Dando jokes have turned up rather quicker than the Lady Di ones did. For example:

  • What's the difference between a dodo and a Dando?
  • One's an extinct bird that used to be commonly found on tropical islands, and the other's a dodo.

  • What's the difference between Danny Baker and Jill Dando?
  • Danny Baker survived the doorstep challenge.

  • Jill Dando had a new antique show for the BBC - the shooting started this week.

  • What's brown and goes in and out when the doorbell rings?
  • Nick Ross's sphincter.

    It was interesting to compare the coverage afforded the event by the different channels. BBC seemed to be treating it as a dry run for the Queen Mum - who cares about the dozen of civilians killed by NATO - while ITV virtually relegated the killing to the "And finally..." slot: oh, yeah, some trollop from the other side went *down*, good job it wasn't one of ours. The tabloid press had a field day, unsurprisingly; shot down in her prime, blah blah, so wonderful, blah, tributes pouring in, blah blah.

    And all this was for a TV presenter, not anyone powerful, not anyone who actually created anything, just someone who was quite good at reading from a pre-prepared script. God knows what they'd do if someone important kicked the bucket. But such is the power of television: we feel we know the people on it, since we invite them into our homes, and let them sit in the corner of our room and talk to us.

    This is, I should stress, the royal "us", since at the moment, I personally would feel no great sense of loss were current programs to be replaced by five channels of hissing static -- except for 'The Adam and Joe Show', naturally. If someone were to kill them [probably James Cameron, for their blasphemous stuffed-animal epic, 'Toytanic'], I might be slightly cut up about it...

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