spiked-geist, 2 November

Suggestion-boxed in; FBI candy; The 'other side' of war; Joint initiative; Top titles

Rob Lyons
Columnist

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Topics Politics

Suggestion-boxed in

Don’t you find it irritating when big companies hand out questionnaires, asking customers for their opinion, as if they care? Well, now the US government – in its role as the apparent provider of a war-on-terrorism service – has done likewise.

Yes, folks, you too can send in your suggestions for how the war on terrorism should be pursued. According to Yahoo! News, interested parties should submit a proposal on a single side of paper by 23 December. The best of these will then be asked to submit a more detailed 12-page proposal which may form the basis of a contract.

As we in Britain pride ourselves on both our spirit of inventiveness and having a private sector only too willing to screw funds out of government when it is desperate, no doubt many such proposals will soon be winging their way from the UK to the USA.

Pentagon Seeks a Few Good Ideas to Fight Terrorism, Yahoo! News, 25 October 2001

FBI candy

With its plans to monitor the internet and intercept email, the FBI is busy examining new ways to identify potential suspects. But local feds in North Jersey have taken things a step further.

‘We have been advised and we are looking into the incident of a gentleman buying large quantities of candy’, said Sandra Carroll, an FBI spokeswoman in Newark. Apparently, the man in question, already in custody on immigration matters, made the purchases in Costco stores in Hackensack and Wayne.

No description of the candy was forthcoming, and the FBI spokeswoman was not prepared to speculate on the possible plans for the candy. But an unidentified official for Costco, a large wholesale grocery and household goods chain, said that such large purchases were ‘not unusual’.

Large candy purchases investigated by FBI, NorthJersey.com, 20 October 2001

The ‘other side’ of war

spiked readers will be gutted to hear that a post-11 September special of Crossing Over with John Edward – where medium John Edward chats to the dead on behalf of grieving families and friends – has been pulled.

According to Studio USA president Steve Rosenberg, the decision to pull the special – where John Edward was due to ‘communicate’ with the dead of 11 September – followed ‘a reaction that none of us expected’, and was nothing to do with pressure from CBS bosses, honest. What is the world coming to when even the dead are censored?

John Edward scraps terrorist victims seance plan, TV Insite, 25 October 2001

Joint initiative

Those patriotic types at Australia’s Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) party have decided that they will not be using Afghan dope for the foreseeable future. ‘It’s the least we can do’, said HEMP’s Senate candidate, Michael Balderstone. ‘Bush Buds, grown in peace, are as good as anything from overseas.’

In other words, if you can’t find a good excuse to link your campaign to the war, roll your own. Frankly, it’s surprising that anybody from HEMP could comment on the situation – shouldn’t they be at home, giggling at the TV and eating Mars bars?

Patriot daze, Sydney Morning Herald, 25 October 2001

Top titles

Following an email from my mate Dave in Edinburgh, I am launching a Headline of the Year competition. Dave’s suggestion was a report on Eurosport.com about Benfica football club in Portugal signing up Brazilian defender Argelico ‘Argel’ Fucks. The headline? ‘Fucks off to Benfica.’

A personal favourite of mine is the headline in the San Francisco Examiner after 11 September – the simple but effective ‘Bastards!’

Your suggestions, which do not have to include coarse language, are most welcome. After a lengthy and heated debate in the spiked office about what the winning prize should be, it was decided that the mere glory of being mentioned in spiked-geist was surely enough.

Send your entries to me at rob.lyons@spiked-online.com.

Fucks off to Benfica, Eurosport.com, 6 June 2001

See the San Francisco Examiner

Read on:

spiked-issues: Attack on USA

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