Net Gains: Let Noel eat "cake"

www.rethink.demon.co.uk/ laugh.htm

The Internet, and the freedom from proprietorial interference it allows people, could have been made for Chris Morris, the self-styled media terrorist. He has produced some of the most innovative television and radio over the last few years, while managing to annoy the industry heads to the point where he now inhabits obscure radio slots in the early hours of the morning.

Fortunately, there is an excellent Morris fan site, covering virtually all the radio and television programmes he has worked on over the last few years. It contains an excellent potted summary of some of his greatest moments, and includes plenty of sound files highlighting his more bizarre escapades, including the legendary announcement live on Radio 1 of the death of Michael Heseltine.

The interesting thing is that the urban legends that have grown up around his various stunts are vindicated by the evidence; he really did do what people claim he did. The portion of the site dealing with Brass Eye, the mock current affairs programme which effectively had him banned from TV, also contains the sound file of Noel Edmunds discussing the fictional drug "cake", including the infamous "Shatner's Bassoon" quote. Subculture www.disinfo.com/

You thought the Internet was just about information? You're just ignoring all the disinformation out there. There are plenty of self-styled "freedom of information" sites on the Internet but most tend to be humourless affairs, or turn out to be far-right propaganda sites masquerading as libertarian. This disinformation site calls itself a "search engine for the subculture". Crucially, it doesn't take itself too seriously, but instead looks at some of the more extreme websites and subjects them to gentle abuse. Take its account of a worrying new trend in Norway - the Satanic Metal Heads: "Morally speaking, Scandinavia has always seemed a bit odd, with its conflicting reputations for tolerance and Puritanism. Perhaps this kind of tension has contributed to the rise of the Black Metal scene; on top of the usually entertaining mixture of horror camp and exaggerated misanthropy you also get a big dollop of intense racism and violence, s ans humor." Also worth a look is its links to a group of people who believe that computer barcodes are the surest sign yet that Armageddon is just round the corner. Just don't blame me if you start disbelieving everything you read.

Augusto Boal www.innercity.demon.co.uk/boal.htm

The Brazilian theatre director and playwright Augusto Boal arrives in Britain next week to conduct an innovative series of workshops dealing with the future of London, aiming to provide a blueprint for the next mayor of the city. He'll be holding the workshops during the week with groups of activists before presenting the results of their labours at the former GLC debating chamber, County Hall. The results will be shown on the Internet as they happen.

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