[sic] Magazine

Editorial No: 1. Race for the prize.

By Gary Stanton.

Next week the American public will be asked to go to the polls and elect their next president. Given that nation’s obesity crisis we can only hope that they choose to do so on foot and select a route that involves some component of uphill walking. In the possible event that seventy-two year old republican candidate John McCain (not to be confused with the oven chip manufacturer) will expire before the crucial date, the American people will be faced with two possible choices and perhaps a string of nutters on the sidelines. On the republican side there is Sarah Palin, hockey mum and former councilor in small-town Alaska. For the democrats there is Stevie Wonder fan Barack Obama, who stands to become the first black president of the United States.

If he wins.

How then to choose? Since there’s not much to choose between them on policy, we must look inside their hearts. Here we have some help from the fashionable German philosopher Immanuel Kant who said, according to an online guinea pig forum I visited recently, that “We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals”, (although he said it in German). Kant proffered this but it could just as easily have been Chris Packham. Incidentally the guinea pig in question had been dragging her back leg frequently, something we attributed to a sprain. Rest assured, we’re keeping an eye on it.

What then can be said about the rival pair’s treatment of animals? Sarah Palin is a good, honest, down to earth type with a penchant for moose hunting. That’s where you take a gun, aim it at a moose and then shoot it until it is dead. I daresay if you succeeded only in wounding it you could finish it off with a rifle butt. Far kinder to the animal, if a bit messy. And as for Mr. Obama, well, I have it on good authority (from a bloke in my local who claimed last week during the pub quiz, admittedly after six pints of Stella, that he is Obama’s third cousin) that Obama keeps squirrels in his loft. Assuming this is true, the veracity of Terry’s claim is difficult to check, we can only assume he is doing this for reasons of animal welfare. It may not be quite so simple, however. Squirrels in a loft can provide an excellent deterrent against burglars, assuming their claws don’t get caught up in the thermal lagging and further assuming that the burglars shun the more likely entrance point of a back door, having smashed the window with a stone wrapped in a bit of cloth.

Palin hails, meaning she comes from, Alaska. Obama was born in Honolulu near to where they filmed ace canoeing series Hawaii Five-O. I had thought, up until now, that people in Canada and Alaska and parts of Quebec only had sex with Mooses. I had no idea they were potential targets. No one is suggesting for one tiny minute that Sarah Palin has had sex with a moose. Far from it. For that, I imagine she would need to stand on a box and wear some kind of strap-on implement, whilst another colleague perhaps films it on his mobile with a view to uploading it onto YouTube or it’s porno equivalent – the URL for which I recently removed from my browsing history. The only other way for Palin to have sex with a Moose would be as a passive recipient. This does not really bear thinking about, although I just did, and would likely be very uncomfortable, not least for the moose, unaccustomed as it is, to the missionary position. We can demonstrate how ludicrous this idea is by means of a simple thought experiment. It would have to involve some long drawn out seduction scenario. Perhaps Palin is catching up with the day’s news and events on the Today Show. Her husband and various daughters and their boyfriends are outside checking out the crawl space (that’s a big gap that Americans have under their homes and is often used for storing old furniture, bicycles and murdered infants) The doorbell rings. It’s a moose. Not just any old moose. This moose has come to fix the fridge/cooler. Assume we’re at the end of a global warming-induced heatwave. The moose complains that it’s very hot indoors (he being used to the fresh breezes of the wilderness, like the ones generated when a bullet whistles past your head) and can they open a window? The window, unfortunately, is jammed. The moose asks if he can remove his shirt. “Here let me help you with that”, says Palin. “My you’re a big, mighty, strong moose”, she might continue, rubbing his shoulders as he finds the fridge mechanism frankly baffling – it’s intricacies being more suited to a fully qualified Corgi-registered technical engineer, who has the advantage of being human. “What say we go upstairs?”, she says, now intoxicated on his raw animal scent. Here, however, the stairs are going to prove a problem. A mooses’s hooves have not evolved / been created by God in seven days to cope with stairs. And that’s where the whole thing falls down.


Nothing is going to happen. The moose, facing the ‘hooves Vs stairs’-impossibility issue is going to make some excuse like he’s never come across this sort of fridge before. It’s one of the new digital ones out of Japan, or something, and he doesn’t have the parts for it. Palin, on realising that the Moose can’t manage the stairs is going to come to her senses, realise the potential damage that being caught ‘in flagrante’ with a Moose could do to her electoral chances and politely ask the Moose to leave, perhaps asking if she can count on his vote. At this point, the family return from outside having made a sickening discovery under the crawl space, the horror of which is momentarily tempered by the spectacle of a shirtless Moose carrying a bag of tools. “What’s going on here?” they ask. “Nothing”, replies Palin, “He was just leaving”. Order is restored; the family settles down for a hearty meal and prepare to say grace whilst the boyfriend of Palin’s daughter asks if he can borrow the family laptop to update his Myspace page, editing out the words “fucking” and “redneck” in no particular order.

I think we have shown the absurdity of this and can now rest easy. We must now turn our attention to Mr. Obama who has freely admitted in public that you can “put lipstick on a pig”. The point being that it is still a pig. Now we should ask under what circumstances would you want to put lipstick on a pig. I can think of only a few. Perhaps it’s a special occasion. The pig’s birthday, for example. Or maybe you just want the pig to feel good about itself, a quick Gok Wan style makeover being the most efficient way to achieve this. What must not then happen is that the lipstick is followed by a bra and panties combo and soft lighting, plus a selection of Stevie Wonder’s more romantic hits. When Stevie wrote those hits it’s reasonable to assume that he had straightforward human-to-human interaction in mind. Not some sordid inter-species sex fest where morals are thrown out of the window in exchange for votes. A pig must remain a pig. It cannot become, as Wonder would have it, a part-time lover. It deserves more than that. America deserves more than that. That is to say, more than a pig-fucker in the White House.

Lipstick on a pig

The choice has never been more important. The last week has seen further global financial turmoil. The situation is akin to being driven home by a drunken taxi driver who has just vomited in the cab and asked you to pay to have it cleared up, all the while commenting that you have a cute accent and that they have relatives in Leicestershire. Who will manage the situation best and remove the bits of sick most efficiently? And what about their environmental credentials? Scientists reported this week that “chimneys” of methane are leaking from the withering permafrost in northern Siberia, such that the polar ice cap is now able to light it’s own farts.

Being someone who reads [sic] Magazine – you’re the kind of person who has their priorities right. Your question is: what does the presidential election via the credit crunch, impending climate Armageddon, the decline of civilisation and the likely deaths of millions through disease and starvation (not to mention bad air-co) mean for the record industry? It means more downloads from dodgy Russian websites, thus bypassing Itunes and the other legitimate options. Ultimately, it will lead to a market-wide drop in band revenue. Those with heavy overheads (this is not a Magic Numbers joke) can be expected to make cutbacks. Bands like The Polyphonic Spree are likely to pay the cost of years of overstaffing. Shed Seven would probably do just that (as if anyone cared). Even the millionaire P Diddy has been forced to downsize his private jet. Times are hard, and whilst it’s unlikely that Beyonce will end up cutting her own hair with a pair of nail scissors, tough choices will have to be made.