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News in brief... Teenager can't get enough ironic consumption... Nepalese traditional dinner no longer to include gunfire... Taoiseach publicly criticised


Student can't get enough ironic consumption
Dublin student Ronan Lusk - who is so smart that he experiences all popular culture at an austere, ironic remove - now spends up to thirteen hours a day appreciating the delicious kitsch-value of whatever happens to be on the tv, radio or cinema screen at the time. "That Dawson's Creek is so funny", he told friends yesterday, "all they do is stand around and say 'we need to talk'. What a scream. Speaking of which, I wonder if Joey and Pacey will sort out their differences in tonight's episode." He also describes recent blockbuster film Pearl Harbour as "so lame, I only went for the explosions, really. It was worth paying £5.40 to see everyone else coming out of the cinema all pissed off 'cause it was so crap." Lusk also takes pains to soak up as much retro-pop-culture as possible, remarking "Remember Mysterious Cities of Gold? What a funny cartoon. All those bright colours and hope for the future. I mean, what a bunch of morons".

Nepalese traditional dinner no longer to include firearms
Change does not happen quickly in the ancient kingdom of Nepal, but in one aspect they're catching up fast with the rest of the world. Maybe it's the creeping Westernization of the Orient, or the whiff of progress wafting over the border from India, but for whatever reason, the people of Nepal have made up their minds: dinner-time will no longer begin with a sustained burst of automatic machine-gun-fire. "It has always been a tradition for the eldest son of the family to burst drunkenly into the room just before we all sit down to eat, and then spray the place with deadly gunfire, killing or maiming up to a dozen", says University of Kathmandu anthropologist Lyen Vo, "but now it's considered more fashionable if most of the family isn't murdered at all. It's just one of those things".

Taoiseach publicly criticised
The whole nation is in profound shock today after a member of the Labour party publicly criticised the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, suggesting that his judgement in certain matters is suspect and that he is not at every instant straining every sinew for the welfare of all the Irish people. "I just think that at times the Taoiseach could do a little more," said Emmet Stagg to a stunned Dail chamber. "And perhaps there's a case for saying that you don't have the political career he's had without ending up a little, you know, compromised." At this, the Tanaiste, Mary Harney, broke down and cried, and the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern beat his own breast and cried "after all I've done for this miserable country!". Brian Cowen ran across the chamber floor and grabbed Stagg by the lapels, yelling "You're not fit to lick his boots, you insect! INSECT!".
The Dail was adjourned until Tuesday.




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