"A sinister looking clown has been stalking the streets at night in a town north of London, becoming an online sensation and sparking a hunt for the person behind the mask…. While the clown looks terrifying, so far it has only been spotted waving creepily at residents and standing on street corners holding a bunch of balloons and sometimes a teddy bear." —It's the teddy bear part that really does it for me. Maybe it's the "at night" part. Anyway, this being the world in which we live now, "The clown's Facebook page has more than 21,000 likes and users [...]
Today is a terrible day to get stabbed in Britain. I mean, assuming you want to live. Which, if you're in Britain, may not be the correct assumption. Actually, I can understand the upside to suddenly seeing the quick glint of a blade and then a fade to black, with the comforting realization that you no longer need to waste time in that gray, vomit-encrusted hellhole they pretend is a civilized country. Plus, you know how the whole baby thing turned out, so, really, you're not waiting around for anything else now. Come to think of it, you're probably better off going out there to get stabbed today. The [...]
What's happening at the front door of the hospital where a famous British lady is going to squeeze out a famous British baby? A whole lot of what you see above, AND MORE. Britain's Sun has set up a cam to "capture all the comings and goings into and out of the Lindo Wing where Duchess of Cambridge Kate, 31, is to give birth," and it's weirdly transfixing, if staring at walls while people walk by can be described as transfixing. About an hour ago a couple of attractive girls came by to hand out cupcakes to the camera crews. Who knows what could happen next? So far [...]
"The Joint Morris Organisations, the umbrella group for the hobby, has said it is struggling to cope with a nationwide shortage of 'irons' to fit onto the clogs worn by dancers. The dearth has been blamed on a lack of blacksmiths now producing the items, which are fitted to the soles of the wooden footwear, rather like horse shoes, in order to maximise the noise made by the dance routines. Morris dancers say that unless supplies can be restored, some sides – as groups are known – will stop performing, while others will have to switch to more readily-available rubber fittings, which make far less noise."
"MPs are demanding the BBC back down over plans to play the song Ding-Dong the Witch is Dead on the official singles chart this weekend, after a concerted campaign to make it number one. The Judy Garland song has been seized on by opponents of Margaret Thatcher to celebrate her death from a stroke earlier this week and it has already sold 20,000 copies since Monday. A collection of right-wing newspapers – which just recently were campaigning for media freedom against the Leveson report –have also demanded the BBC desist from playing the song, no matter where it ends up in the charts."
"This is bladey madness" is actually an expose of the ease with which young Britons can procure "LETHAL swords, machetes and knives," but it would also be a great title for a compilation of current music from over there, if someone is interested in putting one together.
"A school has banned triangular flapjacks on health and safety grounds after a pupil was hit in the eye by one during a lunch-time food fight. Dinner ladies at the comprehensive school were told to cut flapjacks into squares or rectangles only from now on after the Year 7 boy was sent home complaining of a sore eye." —It is important to keep in mind that "flapjacks" are different over there (here is a manual) but it is more important to keep in mind that there is nothing British people cannot turn into a knife.
Pay close attention, because based on the amount of fuss they are making over it in the report, it doesn't seem as if something like this happens all that often.
"Millions of Britons are currently not talking to at least one of their neighbours, a survey has shown."
"It’s very rare in the U.K. to have a national police operation of this kind. The others are for drug trafficking, human trafficking, and football hooliganism." —You can try to guess but it is probably just easier to click and see.
"A landmark bridge opened by fashion designer Julien Macdonald in his home town has been forced to close after metal thieves stole sections of it," which, this being Britain, they will presumably turn into knives.
"British people can now aspire to and despise four new levels of social classes, according to a new survey conducted by researchers in partnership with public broadcaster the BBC." Replacing your classic "upper," "middle" and "working" cohorts are seven new classes: "Elite," "Established Middle," "Technical Middle," "New Affluent Workers," "Traditional Working," "Emergent Service Workers" and "Precarious Proletariat." Distinctions aside, they will all stab you for looking at them funny. Which one would you be?
London mayor Boris Johnson had kind of a rough weekend. If you are someone who feels like, "Who is that and why should I care?" I would not normally disagree with you, except that the man is remarkably entertaining and you would definitely enjoy knowing more about him.
"A hen party appalled by a foul stench at their seaside guest house discovered it was coming from a decomposing corpse in the room next door."
"Celebrate the arrival of a new Prince for Britain with your very own Lego Royal Baby minifig. The little tableau includes a Lego Prince William, with 'long live gran sweater' and the glamorous Kate Middleton minifig holding the new Royal Prince. The Lego background isn’t included, but a base plate (not pictured) with a commemorative description will be (name, date etc…)." —You know, if Hans Holbein the Younger were alive today, who's to say that he wouldn't be working in the medium of Lego? There is a collection of other royal tat right here.
"Meat from cattle contaminated with bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is being sold to some caterers and food manufacturers by Defra, the food and farming ministry admitted yesterday. The raw meat, from around 28,000 diseased animals a year, is banned by most supermarkets and burger chains because of public health concerns. But it is finding its way into schools and hospitals or being used in products such as pies and pasties, the Sunday Times reported." —It is almost like some higher power is literally telling Britons not to eat meat.
"Plans to ban the pint glass from pubs throughout the Highlands of Scotland have sparked outrage."
"During her 11-year reign, Thatcher was the politician who British musicians (and a few non-Brits) of many stripes—ska, punk, rock, New Wave, folk, reggae, even electronic dance music—loved to hate. The vitriolic song titles alone—never mind the lyrics—left listeners in no doubt about the depth of loathing: The English Beat's 'Stand Down Margaret'; Heaven 17's '(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang'; Klaus Nomi's 'Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead'; The Specials' 'Ghost Town'; The Varukers' 'Thatcher's Fortress'; the Larks' 'Maggie Maggie Maggie (Out Out Out)'; Morrissey's 'Margaret on the Guillotine'; and Elvis Costello's 'Tramp the Dirt Down.'" —English music about loathed politicians has always been so much [...]
A series dedicated to explaining Britain's manufactured celebrities to an American audience.
At this pivotal juncture of Western feminism, as minds great and not so great debate Sheryl Sandberg's diktats, parse Marissa Mayer's tyrannical telecommuting ban, and analyze more rigorously the lyrics of "I Knew You Were Trouble" now that we know Taylor's totally singing about Harry Styles, it is edifying to see that, when it comes to sisterly activism, one of Britain's most influential female role models refuses to shirk her duty. "It's hard being 33 and being a model," beloved Page 3 alum Kelly Brook movingly—bravely!—confided to OK, "but I do it because it's nice to [...]