“I’ll fucking cut you, you old fucker!”
Boris Johnson has claimed anti-racism protests in the UK have been “hijacked by extremists intent on being against racism”.
“Racism has served me very well in the past few years,” Johnson told a group of people who were probably journalists, “And I’m not about to turn my back on it when I’ll need it to get me through the next round of Brexit talks. Also, like my hero Winston Churchill, I am a massive racist.”
The prime minister said it was “absurd and shameful” that a statue of Winston Churchill was “at risk of attack” by protesters as it only represented “the good World War II things about the man and not the forced-sterilisation-advocating Indian-hating Irish-hating genocidal racist things that anti-racist people insist on remembering.
“Yes, he sometimes expressed opinions that were and are unacceptable to people who aren’t me, and he was responsible for starving millions of people to death, but he was a hero, not just a fucking maniac, and he fully deserves his memorial. To that end I’ve made sure Churchill will be doing the same thing I’ll be doing: hiding in a box until all this is over.”
The coronavirus has robbed us of many things but by far the worst robbery has been of sports from us. The majestic doing of things with balls or sometimes cars for money and big metal plates has been sorely missed by those of us who sorely miss sports when they are not being played.
Now, as America starts to forget about the virus still sweeping the nation, a new and exciting virus has begun to sweep across the same nation but in the opposite direction – the sports virus, and it’s contagious.
Whether your favourite sports team or sports person (hey, women play sports too!) hits a ball, kicks a ball, throws a ball or drives a ball, hits another human in the face and torso, drives a car or does things on ice, you can bet those teams or people have been itching to get back on the field, pitch, track, ring, rink or court so they can throw some more money on the big pile of money they keep in the money pile room of their achievement-filled mansions.
So don’t forget to tune in to Sports World, World of Sports, Sports Night World, Global Sports USA, Sports on Earth, Monday Night Physical Contest Planet, American Sports Sphere, or whichever blazer-ridden jockfest you prefer to enjoy the return of all the sports!
Step 1. The predictable bones
Cold open: a person we have never met before – usually a woman – goes about their daily life. Their daily life, it would seem, is full of expository dialogue that shows us what a good person they are.
Cut to: a friend / relative letting themselves into the person’s house / apartment, calling out for the person and explaining that they missed an appointment or lunch or class. The friend / relative moves from room to room until they alight upon the person’s dead body.
Cold open: a person or some people are doing something in the woods / park. They spot something out of place and go to look at it. There they discover a dead body.
Cut to: opening title sequence
We open on the main characters at the crime scene, having a conversation about the personal life of one of them. They collect forensic evidence and take pictures, and then the next 53 minutes (including adverts) are spent bringing in and accusing the wrong people of murder (“What about the boyfriend?” “He alibied out.”), receiving results of forensic tests unrealistically fast, and uncovering shocking new evidence just before ad breaks. Eventually they will hit a dead end, until a main character says something unrelated to the case that makes them realise who the murderer is.
The killer is arrested and has his dastardly plan explained to him for our benefit. Then there’s a brief wind-down between the main characters about the earlier personal conversation and we’re out.
Step 2. The tedious meat
Okay, that’s your framework sorted – next, you need your main characters. Should they be just plain old police detectives? FBI? SWAT? ATF? NCIS? A special unit?
Or, if you don’t want the yawn of boring old law enforcement, you could choose from peripheral professions, such as forensic anthropologist (Bones), forensic criminologists (CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: New York, CSI: Antarctica), coroner (Quincy M.E., The Coroner, Rizzoli and Isles, etc), doctor (Diagnosis: Murder), author (Murder She Wrote, Castle), mathematician (Numb3rs), neuro-psychiatrist (Perception), or college professor (Instinct). Or you could just go nuts and have a main character who can talk to the dead (Medium).
(If you do choose a character from a peripheral profession, make sure you invent a way that they can be in the interview room interrogating suspects even though that would never happen.)
And should your main characters be a man? A woman? Two men? Two women? A man and a woman and some ubiquitous sexual tension? Grizzled detective and rookie? Maybe a team. If you’re feeling extra lazy, make sure you include a character with a photographic memory. At the very least you need a tech nerd who can get around tricky plot points with a spot of hacking.
Then there’s personality, such as it is. You could have cops who don’t play by the rules, cops who have a dark past, cops who are the best at what they do (who don’t play by the rules and have a dark past), self-destructive cops (who are the best at what they do etc). Or your cop / special agent / coroner / doctor / mathematician / neuro-psychiatrist could be an alcoholic, or a recovering alcoholic, or a recovering drug addict, or a pill-popping opioid abuser in denial, or divorced with a kid they never see. Naturally, they’ll be paired with someone more strait-laced and by-the-book.
And finally, there’s location. New York, obviously. Even CSI: Miami was set in New York. But the precinct house / headquarters / coroner’s office / lab should be unrealistically glamorous and televisual. Lots of glass, or exposed brick. A warehouse, a high-tech laboratory, a high-tech medical facility etc. Anything but an office.
Step 3. There is no Step 3
That’s it. That’s all there is to it. Slap a title on it (Cop Police, Special Unit Cop Force, Federal State County Local, Brain Investigation Team, Autopsy Squad or somesuch), use a computer to generate some dialogue and you can get six seasons out of it before one of your main cast leaves. It’s that easy.
Social media networks Twitter and Instagram have exploded today with the news that popular chef, film star, life coach and pro basketball player Jackson Mangold hasn’t posted a video of himself singing, cooking, playing the guitar, saying something inspirational or dancing in order to cheer up people locked down by the coronavirus pandemic.
“OMG WTF”, Twitter user @entitledfruitbat19 posted on hearing the news. The sentiment was echoed on Instagram, with user @preening_god420 posting a picture of himself looking shocked and holding a placard bearing the hashtag “#MangoldEntertainUs”.
The hashtag also took off on Twitter with tens of thousands of people, mystified by Mangold’s silence, demanding the star perform for them.
A spokesman for Jackson Mangold said: “Jackson died in 2018, you awful people”.
The Mandela Effect is a term used to describe a large number of people having a false memory about an event or fact, named for Nelson Mandela because many people remembered him dying while in prison in the 1980s (he actually died a free man in 2013). Here are five other examples of the Mandela Effect:
- McDonald’s. Some people remember McDonald’s as an American fast food restaurant but, in fact, their logo is made up of a series of hieroglyphs reflecting the company’s Egyptian heritage.
- Petrol. This is a strange one. A surprisingly large number of people believe that cars used to be powered by petrol (a light fuel oil) when in fact cars have always run on the souls of the dead.
- France. There’s no shortage of people who would swear there is a country named France, located in Western Europe, whose capital is a city called Paris. In fact the capital is France and the country is Paris.
- Double decker buses. Amazingly, there’s no such thing as a double decker bus. They’re actually called multi decker buses, despite large numbers of people believing otherwise.
- Charlie Brown. Everyone knows Charlie Brown, right? Right. Except his name isn’t Charlie Brown – it’s Alan Reid. Charlie Brown is a nickname given to him by his sister Lucy because of his resemblance to another cartoon character who is called Charlie Brown.