Four days into Sensible Week, and the word "twadge" has nary passed my lips, except in the essential context of the article. Like the mention of "twadge" back then. And then. Sorry.
Time to vote, then, for this week's sensible Scary story, which will have all traces of humour, swearing and weird shit excised from it, just to be on the safe side.
* Father Abraham - Social skills in a non-familial environment
* Barmy ‘army - Not very barmy, at all
* Worst gig ever - Neither funny nor sweary
* Space Dust - I wouldn't bother if I were you
* Spray that again? - You might as well go read the Diary of Anne Frank to cheer yourself up
All hail the dear leader!
Now that Libya has firmly joined the good guys, I hereby pronounce North Korea to be the most bonkers nation on Earth by a fair old distance. There was an interesting story on the South Korean news agency Yonhap on how the usually secretive North is readying itself for the Internet.
The DPRK has done a pretty good job of shielding its people from the outside world. Radios and televisions come pre-tuned, or wired into a Soviet-style Tochka system of built-in speakers - the inspiration for Orwell's telescreens. Taking no chances, radio broadcasts from the South are routinely jammed. Foreign visitors are assigned to an official escort, and the secret police are there wherever you may to to keep you and your filthy capitalist ways from the hardworking Korean people.
So, it comes as a bit of a surprise to hear that Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il is allowing the internet into his perfect model of Juche ideology, where everybody's happy and all this talk of mass starvation is just a western capitalist plot born out of jealousy. So, he's reputedly the owner of the largest collection of hardcore pornography outside the Vatican, and he once had a South Korean movie starlet and her film director husband kidnapped so he could make his own Godzilla-style disaster movie (which turned out to be better than you'd expect, as it happens), but the Internet?
Naturally, it's a typical North Korean solution. If you surf from work, the odds are that you're on a corporate Intranet. Kim's boys, as we speak, are wiring up a national intranet behind the world's biggest firewall. Never mind the fact that P'yongyang is keeping the fact that its population is starving in the fields, it's blocking access to cnn.com that counts.
And I'm going to make an educated guess here- your company intranet sucks the big one too - a 300kB picture of the head of accounts; criminal use of animated gifs, the blink tag and comic sans; and the worst one of all - cute cursor trails. God help you North Korea.
What's coming the other way? Not a lot to be perfectly honest. Korea-dpr.com is supposedly the nation's national web site, and gives local tourist board homepages a bad name; while the official news agency KCNA runs its website from Japan. To keep the subscriptions for the print version rolling in, it specialises in news that's at least twenty-four hours old.
Then there's jupae.com, a casino site designed with the sole intention of relieving gullible South Koreans and Japanese of their hard currency. It is, naturally, blocked by the Seoul government, so the North also does a nice line in proxy servers. There's a link on ...err... Jupae. Say it out loud: "You pay." See? They do have a sense of humour.
Still, if you really do feel the urge to piss your hard-earned up the wall, but are worried about it falling into the hands of a totalitarian regime that may use it to develop nuclear weapons, then foreward it to me and I'll flip a coin and send you the winnings. You can't get fairer than that. If, however, you are opposed to gambling, then money in all major currencies, or supplies of enriched Uranium can be sent to me, North Korea's offical representative in this part of the Internet at:
President and Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il
P'yongyang Presidential Palace
Behind the Hot Water Pipes
Gents' Toilets, Platform One
Winchester Railway Station, ask for "Boris"
That is all.