Saturday, October 23, 2004

The Guardian goes to Plan B

"Please to remember
The Fifth of November,
Gunpowder, Treason and Plot!
We know of no reason
Why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot!"
(Diana, Princess of Wales, drunk and naked in Soho at four o'clock in the morning, 1993)
Stunned and demoralized in the wake of the Operation Clark County debacle, the staff of UK Guardian is desperately looking for a new way to dispose of George Bush. Chief strategist Charlie "Dinsdale" Brooker explores some options:

He should be flung out of office: tarred, feathered and kicked in the nuts ... On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod's law dictates he'll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr - where are you now that we need you?
I predict that the Guardian Plot to kill George Bush (Operation Large Wooden Badger) by putting some lone-nut patsy behind the trigger will be unsuccessful, for the following reasons:

The Guardian doesn't have a huge number of readers (they've probably never noticed this) and more than half of them are sensible law-abiding bloggers who are just looking for stuff to make fun of. No doubt the other half includes a fair number of lap-drooling blitherpates, complete with bulging eyes and sinister cranial voices, some of whom may have considerable sociopathic experience from attending so-called "football" games, or from standing for parliament. Few of them, however, have access to any weapon more sophisticated than a cricket bat, and fewer still are skilled with such weapons.

In short, the pool of potential assassins is much too small to ensure a reasonably competent Manchurian Candidate. Consider the fact that it took one and a half million copies of "Catcher in the Rye", distributed worldwide in 30 languages, to produce one David Wayne Chapman. No matter how much deranged prose the Guardian prints (and they're certainly giving it a jolly good go) their chances of duplicating this feat are astronomically remote.

Which means that if the Guardian wants Bush dead, one of their chaps is going to have to do it himself. Alas for them, here is an even shallower pool of talent. To be fair, Brian Whitaker is probably crazier than a sackful of bobcats and might be nudged over the edge into actual mayhem, but I wouldn't bet a damn Euro on his chances against those snap-shooting boys in the Secret Service.

Advertising their homicidal intentions in print wasn't such a brilliant idea, either. Already, Homeland Security is no doubt on the lookout for a hairy-legged assassin with British press credentials (disguised as Jodie Foster's character from "Taxi Driver") who's asking around for a "Cowboy Shop" where he can purchase one of those "ruddy f--king gunpowder devices".

UPDATE (10/24/04): Can't you blokes take a ruddy f--king joke? The Guardian posted this statement today:
Charlie Brooker apologises for any offence caused by his comments relating to President Bush in his TV column, Screen Burn. The views expressed in this column are not those of the Guardian. Although flippant and tasteless, his closing comments were intended as an ironic joke, not as a call to action - an intention he believed regular readers of his humorous column would understand. He deplores violence of any kind.
So Charlie Brooker was just being funny. At least, everybody at the Guardian thinks he's funny:
As readers of his spoof listings at or his Screen Burn column in the Guardian will appreciate, anger drives Charlie Brooker - and makes him very, very funny.