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The Revenge of Winston Smith

Observations on the absurdity of everyday life interspersed with rambling rants against religion · big brother government policies · conservatism · right-wingers and obsessive capitalists · xenophobes, racists, sexists and bigots in general · tabloid journalism · the Daily Mail · self-professed moral guardians..... and much much more!

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Posted by Tim on Tuesday, October 26, 2004 | Permalink

I wasn't initially going to bother writing about this - plenty of people have beaten me to it. But I can't help but be amazed by the effect that something so small and insignificant has had.

I am referring to Charlie Brooker's Screen Burn column in The Guide from last Saturday's Guardian. The final paragraph is what has caused so many right-wing American bloggers (see here for an example) to start foaming at the mouth:
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?

Ok, it was in poor taste and not actually very funny (us Brits do have a very dry sense of humour) but surely it must be obvious to anyone with any degree of intelligence that it was only a joke? After reading some of the reactions to the article you'd think that the Guardian had actually put a price on Bush's head!

Someone guy asked me how the British public would feel if an American had asked where John Bellingham was when we needed him (I had to look this up - apparently Mr Bellingham is the only person to have assassinated a British Prime Minister). Frankly, I don't think many Brits would really care. As I pointed out to the afore-mentioned person, we'd probably just shrug it off and think "Tosser!". And then go down the pub.