Simon Carr: I read the news today. Oh boy...

One happy, silly item is put in to balance 500 pieces of angst and anger
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The Independent Online

The news is getting worse. It surely is. If you believed it all, you'd top yourself. You just couldn't keep your head up. But they keep at us. On and on. One piece of happy, silly news – in 25 years scientists say we'll all have enormous knockers – is put in to balance 500 pieces of angst, anger and unhappiness.

So here is a broad summary of what the papers say. It may also be the news. Paul Hogan is old. Simon Cowell has more money than you do. You are fatter than Lindsay Lohan. A married mother of 15 in a workless house has a benefits income higher than the one you work 48 hours a week for.

Celebrities are worthless trash but here's a picture of Angelina Jolie in a hat because it's cold. We're the sick man of Europe again. Our children won't ever find jobs unless our friends employ them. The country has debts that'll take a generation to clear and the public service unions are gearing up to "unleash hell" on a Tory government if there's any attempt to moderate their early retirements on index-linked pensions.

The Tories will intensify the recession with spending cuts and bankrupt the country; Labour will bankrupt the country by borrowing to fund its endless spending. When the effects of quantitative easing work through the system, five-pound notes will make inexpensive cigarette papers.

A fifth of children can't read or write and many leave school with no more than a Domestic Abuse Awareness certificate and a medal for Enjoying the Day. Everything causes cancer. Cures for cancer cause heart attacks. Alcohol causes paralysis, blindness and road chaos; drinkers will consume 600m units over Christmas. Ten-year-old children are alcoholics.

Transport police are being given hand-held devices that can be used to electrocute disruptive passengers. If they feel "intimidated" by you, they can hit you with 30,000 volts. A Brazilian girl talks back to the police and is thrown to the ground, handcuffed, arrested, carried away.

The Equalities Commission is riven with inequalities. There's a 14-week waiting list for appointments with a consultant, but you can have your pet dog treated for hypertension, or attention deficit disorder the same day.

A primary school teacher is sent to prison for tampering with exam results while a young man committing grievous bodily harm is let off with a police caution. Twenty thousand council officials have the right to enter your home to make sure "unregulated hypnotism" isn't taking place. They may be armed with the hand-held electrocuters so be careful to reassure them from feelings of intimidation.

Children die, people starve, the planet warms, diabetic amputations double in a decade, Britain teems with al-Qa'ida recruits, police retire on £100,000 and return to the force the same day. There is shambles, shame, panic, grief, anger, outrage, hurt, shock, a secret plan, hate crime, executions, stonings, honour killings, a tax bombshell for 4 million, criminal taunts, blizzard misery, charred underwear, and Jedward.

Is it us in the media? Is it them in the world? Is it the leaders or the followers? Is it Britain? Is it all of the above? Maybe things can only get better. But how?