Musings from a barrel

A taste of Diogenes for the 21st century

Compassionate Conservatism

Critics have accused Prime Minister David Cameron of “cloying sentimentality” over his latest unemployment proposals. Mr Cameron, who deeply regrets the inconvenience of modernity on the lower classes, has promised to allow Britain’s underclass a taste of old-fashioned slavery. Speaking in the Commons last week, Cameron said that “for too long, the unemployed have been denied exploitation. Our aim is an equal society, in which all have the chance to be exploited.” Given the high levels of unemployment, Cameron’s proposal will allow the unemployed to trade their free benefits allowance for an equal sized allowance combined with modern slavery for such corporations as Tesco.

America fears Spanish flu

The United States has been warned by a moody finch that it risks being infected by a dangerous Spanish flu, which increases the cost of borrowing in the market. Liberal America now fears the rising cost of basic foodstuffs, such as organic hummus and tapenade. President Obama has promised to do all he can to keep the dinner parties on New York’s Upper East Side fully operational. The Spanish flu has been growing in intensity for a few weeks already, but pathologists in Brussels believe the flu was transmitted from Italy, which caught it while holidaying on the Greek island of Santorini. It seems the flu thrives in warm climates that were once part of Ancient Rome.

Swiss village finds final solution to noise problems

Nassital is a remote, picture-postcard perfect village nestled in the Swiss Alps. Like most similar Swiss villages, the inhabitants have for years dedicated their lives to eliminating any hints of spontaneity, vivacity and joy, lest these threaten their overwhelm their peaceful and sedate existence. Nassital has been losing that battle ever since modernity came to Switzerland in 1973. The peaceful villagers have even had to stomach the irruption of an ethnic minority family into their Alpine idyll. Now it seems enough is enough and, following a referendum, the village has come up with the solution of group suicide. Mayor Jürgen Todführer is thrilled with this innovation. “I don’t know why we didn’t think of this before. It’s the perfect solution. When we’re dead, we can have exactly the kind of life we have always dreamed of. We will have peace and quiet and nobody will flush the toilet after 7pm.” Nassital residents are also content that this solution costs very little to implement and thus won’t affect their savings plans. “We still want to keep money in the bank for our retirement,” says Ethel Dummkopf, 42. If the idea takes root in other villages and towns across the country, the Federal Government is mulling over the nationalisation of Dignitas. “This would provide optimal efficiency and help raise our tax intake at the same time.”

Berlusconi attempts to resign; discovers he doesn’t really exist

At the Palazzo Chigi in Rome on Tuesday, pint-sized Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was faced with the shocking revelation that he does not really exist, after multiple attempts to throw in the towel. In the midst of his country’s sovereign debt crisis, Berlusconi attempted to heed the wishes of the financial markets and resign. “I want to do the right thing for my country,” said Silvio. “But I am unable to do so, as it turns out I don’t really exist. I am just a Gestalt entity with an overactive libido” Some Italian intellectuals, who long suspected that Berlusconi was just a manifestation of the decadence of Italian culture, have finally been proved right. It seems that Berlusconi spontaneously emerged a few decades ago as a projection of Italy’s dark side and he has grown increasingly powerful as the national culture has succumbed to chauvinism, corruption and moral bankruptcy.


Salvatore Redentore, Professor of Social Studies at La Sapienza university attempts to explain how Berlusconi came about. “For many decades now, there have been two Italys living side by side. On the one hand, our country is seen as beautiful, warm and friendly, the home of the dolce vita. At the same time, however, there has been this decadence, selfishness and total lack of civility which are rotting the country from the inside. This is not the first case of a Gestalt spontaneously emerging in such extreme cases of national schizophrenia. In fact, we are currently working on a paper to demonstrate the hypothesis that Bush Jr was one such case.” Naturally, Italians have been shocked by the discovery that their Prime Minister does not actually exist and the implications for the future. For Silvio himself, however, there is some relief to be found. “Now that I am not real, I at least can no longer be prosecuted for sex with a minor. As I am a Gestalt, all of Italy fucked that girl.”

German proposal to rename Euro

Amid reports that American tourists find it difficult to remember the name of the single currency, German Finance Minister Herr Arbeitmachtfrei made a proposal yesterday at a summit in Brussels to rename the Euro and call it the Deutsche Mark from 2012. His suggestion was well received by the European Commission’s DG Pravda, which deals with harmonisation of euphemism across the EU.

European Union officially applies for membership of Turkey

As the Eurozone debt crisis dances on like a drunken dowager, the European Commission has taken the unprecedented step of applying for membership of Turkey. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has welcomed the European Union’s candidacy but warned that negotiations could take years, especially with regards to certain sensitive chapters. Turkey’s establishment is divided over the benefits of EU accession, with some arguing that allowing such a large, indebted and confused populace to join Turkey would destabilise and impoverish the republic. Residents of Istanbul, meanwhile, fear an influx of Greek immigrants seeking casual work in the city’s informal economy. The European Commission hopes that joining Turkey will confirm the EU’s place in a modern global economy and reassure investors.

Italian bond yields higher than ever: scientists predict another agricultural revolution

A team of research scientists in Norway has predicted that the increasing yields on Italian bonds mean that the country will be able to feed an extra 75 million people overnight. “Such a dramatic expansion of yields has not been seen since the introduction of three-year crop rotation in the late Middle Ages,” says Jørgen Sørensen. Concerns are growing in Berlin and Paris, however, that the high yields will destabilise the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy and lead to a crisis of overproduction. Meanwhile, rumours in Italy suggest that the new high yield bonds are not as delicious and there have been calls for a return to organic bond farming, particularly in Sicily.


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