Try a nice cup of young, modern beverage solution

WHAT? WHAT? What? What? It's a column, a column, it's a columnolumnolumnolumn sha-BUM-bum-bum-bum, sha-BUM bum-bum-bum, oi!, gissa -

Sorry? No, no. This is the new-style column, the young, modern column to go with the young modern nation wha tha wossname Blair , tha Tone, ripe? e's pry minster, yeah? fu -

Say again? Ah. I see. That's my non-standard, English, as is only appropriate for a young, modern column. You wouldn't really want me to write in dreary old standard English, would you? I mean, even the World Service is going to be modernised, following intensive, scrupulous market research which showed conclusively that heeeheheheeeehooohohooooo AAAAAAHH hee hee he hahahahahahahah oh bugger me, so sorry, it's the words "market research", they always set me off, nothing I can do about it, sorry. Sorry.

No, it's just that the BBC, a young, modern organisation (headed by John Birt, a young, modern man who embraces the young, modern notion that everyone who wants to watch television must contribute to his salary or risk being sent to prison) has responded in a young, modern way to young, modern market research, revealing, inter alia, that:

! 31 people in Burkina Faso think that most BBC World Service producers are married to a chintz sofa called Marjorie,

! Six Polvotsian goatherds answered "Yes" to the question "Do you believe that some people think the BBC World Service is redolent of very English things like the Houses of Parliament and cheerful Cockney sparrers?" and

! A very old man picked at random from a party of retired Zimbabwean ophthalmologists on a day trip to Kariba Dam expressed the conviction that 57 per cent of World Service presenters wore bowler umbrellas and carried a furled clotted-cream bus whether or not it was raining London fog.

Can't have that, of course. Quite the wrong image. Guidance has come from on high; Blair, in between sticking up for the potato-faced Clinton, has made it quite clear that we are to present ourselves as a ... what? Come on: yes, a young, modern nation, and that means one thing to the BBC: a vile salmagundi of regional accents and pop music.

It's jolly clever, you must admit. First of all pull the wool over Johnny Foreigner's eyes by broadcasting to him in dialects he cannot possibly understand, then stupefy him with the repetitive imbecilities of Burp, Plod and other young, modern guitar beat combos, m'lud. The only problem is, we are not a young modern nation. We are a very old one, with a history of quite astounding distinction. This wet little island, dripping and shivering, has exported its science, its thought and culture and language and technology, throughout the world for centuries; our sheer power has been almost unparalleled since the Roman Empire; every breath we take, every step we make is instinct with the accretions of time; living in England is like inhabiting a great echo-chamber where our own words are picked up and whispered back to us by numberless immemorial ghosts.

And this - all this, which people from other, less distinguished countries admire and revere and dream of and come to visit us hoping to find - this is what we must destroy or repudiate in order to become young and modern. Yes! Hooray! We can be like America, ignoring the fact that America is at root just a sort of mass-market Bowdlerised supermarket version of us. We can throw out Mr Blair and get ourselves a proper leader, someone so innately touchy-feely that he simply can't stop wanking over anyone who comes within range. We can dispose of the BBC and get some proper, young, modern television, written by machines and acted by demographically- representative androids. We can start doing young, modern things like shooting each other and believing in angels and seeing the figure of Death at our bedheads ("He was like this like really like you know guy, nice haircut and all, and he was like 'Everything's going to be okay' you know?"). We can legalise pornography and outlaw sex, we can promote choice and restrict variety, we can stop bothering with ethical problems and never again consider the question: How should a man live?, but go shopping instead.

But this will not be enough. We will have to change ourselves. And the great question of our time must therefore be: how do I become a young, modern person?

Fortunately, again, we have guidance from above. The first step to becoming a young, modern person is to say you are a young, modern person. Practise it. Go on: tap your beloved lightly on the forearm - do it now - and say: "Honey, I am a young, modern person." Do it. Just do it.

See? That wasn't so hard, was it? The mockery and stupefied incomprehension: you can live with them, can't you? Of course you can. Now you must go on repeating it. Don't just say "Coffee, darling?" Say - preferably in the Nordic carillon plainchant of a deep Geordie accent, if you can manage it - "Here at [mention your address], we are in a young, modern beverage solutions market, adapting to your ever-changing needs in a fast-paced society. Customer profiling and an in-depth analysis of consumer needs shows clearly that coffee is the preferred beverage of that critical target-group which wishes to project a young, modern image. I feel your pain, [insert personalised endearment here, e.g., darling, sugarplum, studmuffin, etc] and I am responsive to your beverage-based desiderata, which is why I have a real sense of personal self-actuation in offering you a delicious cup- style container full of finest Arabica, freshly ground and drip-filtered for Flavor Without Bitterness. Young, modern and Mmmmm ... It's Smoooth. A-BOOM ching ching ching, a-BOOM ching ching ching.

A few months of this and, hey presto!, you will be young and modern. True, your darling, sugarplum or studmuffin will have smacked you in the mouth and done a runner, but not to worry; you'll be able to sit at your computer, deracinated, arid and woozy, frotting blearily over your digitised pornography; and, bless my soul, you don't get more young or modern than that. !

Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce, Boris Johnson, Putin, Nigel Farage, Russell Brand and Andy Murray all get the Spitting Image treatment from Newzoids
tvReview: The sketches need to be very short and very sharp as puppets are not intrinsically funny
Arts and Entertainment
Despite the controversy it caused, Mile Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' video won multiple awards
musicPoll reveals over 70% of the British public believe sexually explicit music videos should get ratings
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant in the fifth season of Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment

book review
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

music
Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

film
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

film
Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
News
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own