the laughing fit

"imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"

April's Fool

Back at J'accuse we were busy announing a new dance stage for the weekend (well done Kenneth for smelling it out). Read the Wikipedia entry on April Fool's and in particular the list of famous hoaxes on this day. Here's the Beeb's round-up of the April Fool's pranks in the Brit media:

Has Tony Blair declared his true political colours by painting the door of 10 Downing Street red?

Has Coldplay's Chris Martin done the same by cosying up to Conservative leader David Cameron?

And, as for penguins by the Thames and roads made of biscuits: has the whole world gone mad?

Millions of newspaper readers and radio listeners will have woken up on Saturday only to be bemused or enraged by the journalist's biggest joy of the year: the April Fools' Day joke.

Notting Hill windmill

Fleet Street's finest have not disappointed with their outlandish tales and cringeworthy wordplay.

The Daily Mail shows pictures of a "socialist" red door being installed at 10 Downing Street, complete with comments from design consultant April Fewell.

If red is the new black, blue is just as en vogue with one of the world's trendiest men.

The Guardian has Coldplay's lead singer, Chris Martin, agreeing to release a version of one of the band's hits in an effort to persuade young people to vote Conservative.

The song Talk has been renamed Talk to David, after Mr Martin's actress wife Gwyneth Paltrow met party leader David Cameron's other half Samantha at a yoga class.

Mr Martin, an environmental campaigner, reportedly turned to the Tories after seeing a wind turbine on the roof of Mr Cameron's Notting Hill home.

Sing for your shopping

He is quoted as saying: "I realised that whatever Labour said about Kyoto, you were never going to see a windmill on the roof of No 10."

Also on a musical theme The Times's Alexi Harpor (April Hoaxer?) describes the joy of "chip and sing" cards.

From 2009, customers will be encouraged to belt out tunes in supermarkets rather than type in a code they can easily forget.

Apparently, the singing voice is more difficult to forge than anything else - except, maybe, a newspaper article.

The Daily Mirror shows an oak tree with "abnormal growths" in the shape of the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales.

But the exact location is being kept secret "because of fears it could attract druids".

On a sadder note, The Sun shows a lone jackass penguin strolling along the south bank of the Thames, having been accidentally taken from his Antarctic home by fishermen.

Straining the credulity of even the most gullible reader, it quotes "one joker" as say the creature was "popping into Savile Row to p-p-pick up his penguin suit for a black tie do".

Ode to anger

But perhaps the most blood-boiling effort this year comes from BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

After months of protests at the station losing its UK Theme - a medley of British tunes which woke up listeners for more than 30 years - it reports a specially composed Euro Theme is to replace it.

It includes a snippet of Beethoven's Ode to Joy, accordion music and the theme tune from the Dutch-based 1970s detective drama Van Der Walk.

Today proudly announced the latter was the "quintessence of Holland", as listeners up and down the UK almost choked on their cornflakes.

Wit in the Commons

Heard in the Commons: Deputy PM Prescott was standing in fro PM Blair at question time. Prescott does have a reputation for a rather loose command of English grammar and it appears that this time round he had been trained and groomed for a couple of days in order to avoid an embarassing scene. Not much hope unfortunately... in answer to a question by former Tory Leader William Hague about council tax and pensioners, Prescott answered like so:

“That I think is what we have done, that is what we continue to do and, as for the argument about the payment of the council tax, let me tell him and he must know again in the comparison between our Government and his Government, that we gave in the response 39 per cent increase in real terms in council tax compared to the last five years of which he had some influence where there was an actual reduction of 7 per cent in real terms of contribution to councils for their council tax.”

To which William Hague retorted:

"I think there was so little English in that answer, President Chirac would have been happy with it."

... and the Chamber erupted.

The Laughing Lute : Habemus Capa

Caparezza. We love this artist. The rapper from Puglia is back with a new album called "Habemus Capa". Another wordsmith with social messages mixed into pleasant tunes that are catchy and funny. Would merit the description of "loony tuner" if he did not have so much to say about life.

Purchase advice: Steal it if you cannot afford it
Don't buy it if: You are prejudiced against all thing rap
Listen to it carefully: if you love wordplays in italian

Settimana enigmistica transformed into rap... enjoyable!

London exhibit showcases long history of satire


Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:39 AM ET
By Leah Eichler

LONDON (Reuters) - Caricatures are meant to provoke -- and sometimes they can turn deadly, as the furor surrounding the Prophet Mohammed cartoons has shown. But London satirists today tend to attack prejudice itself, says Mark Bills, curator of "Satirical London", a new exhibit at the Museum of London.

The exhibit, which opens on April 1 and runs until September 3, examines the long history of satire in the city, with over 350 images from the last three centuries. One example is an caricature of a memorial to Jean Charles de Menezes -- the Brazilian electrician shot dead last year at a London underground station by police officers who suspected him of being a suicide bomber. The image features rifles arranged like a bouquet of flowers and a sign that reads: "You looked a bit Middle Eastern, son."

Highlights of the exhibit include the first cartoon ever published in Punch magazine in 1843 and an authentic store front of Mrs. Humphrey's, a noted 18th century print shop.

The targets of satire have been consistent throughout the years -- politics, the monarchy, the Church and the art establishment -- although attitudes toward them have varied over time.
Politicians have always been in the firing line. Puppet heads, including ones of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the Queen Mother from the television show "Spitting Image," will be the most recognizable images in the exhibit.

The show, which ended in 1996 after a 12-year run, featured unflattering puppet heads of popular politicians and international figures."It's part of the territory when you're a politician," said Bills. "It's a sign of vanity and ego if you can't take the knocks."

He said that although the artistic merit of the satirists was quite high, many felt excluded by the art world and were metaphorically banging at the window of the Royal Academy. "There was a great divide between those considered artists and satirists. High art in this period (18th and 19th century) was about lofty ideals whereas satire was very much about reality and every day imperfections," said Bills.

Because of this great divide, many caricaturists aspired to be more traditional artists in order to gain the recognition they thought they deserved -- but most did not succeed. Although there are only a couple of historic religious caricatures in the exhibit, Bills points out that the vitriol of London satirists often focused on other city stereotypes, such as bankers, alcoholics and prostitutes.

"If you have a look at national stereotypes, a big thing in satire, those could be very prejudiced viewpoints," he said. The Danish cartoon riots showed how powerful satire can be. "There are always taboos," he said. "Sometimes the only way you can tell the line is by treading around it."

Air Malta Customer Delighted

Joe Cappello, Air Malta's Chief Operating Officer was beside himself with enthusiasm when launching the new Summer Schedule. "This summer will be an exciting season for Air Malta and its Customers" said Joe. The number of destinations and frequencies have been increased. Government will decide later today whether doors (or skies) will be opened for low-cost airlines.

In an interview after Cappello's press conference one of Air Malta's fourteen remaining customers said that he was as excited as his uncle Joe and was looking forward to flying Air Malta this summer after he has saved up his first fourty pounds to clear the taxes.

picture: barfmalta.

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the laughing fit

  • A journal of merriment. "He deserves paradise who makes his companions laugh". Inspired by Punch, MAD, the Onion and other irreverent magazines. This is the blog that was created because "not everyone is in on the joke". The laughing fit ... the moaning stay out.


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"He deserves paradise who makes his companions laugh". Inspired by Punch, MAD, the Onion and other irreverent magazines. This is the blog that was created because "not everyone is in on the joke". The laughing fit ... the moaning stay out.