Out there: Clicks of the trade

News that won’t change your life, and From the Home Office to the baby rave scene

Simmy Richman
Saturday 19 April 2014 20:47

Last week it was the “World’s Toughest Job” video that promised to “blow your mind”, next week some other clip will do the rounds promising to “change the way you think”. Anyone who spends time on the internet will have lost count of the number of things they have clicked on which promise that “what happened next will literally save the world”, and so on.

Well if you’re getting tired of such “clickbait” headlines, might we point you in the direction of Downworthy, a “browser plugin to turn hyperbolic viral headlines into what they really mean”. Essentially, Downworthy catches sight of “will blow your mind” and turns it into “might perhaps mildly entertain you for a moment”.

Personal favourite? The headline “This guy was exploring his grandpa’s attic. What he found is mysteriously awesome” which, in Downworthy speak, became “This guy was exploring his grandpa’s attic. What he found is probably slightly less boring than working”. In the words of Homer (Simpson), it’s funny cos it’s true.

Rave on, baby!

The idea of events where people can party with their children is not new: see Baby Loves Disco all over the UK. But the latest arrival on the scene aims to create something a bit different: mini-festivals for the “post-rave generation” named, brilliantly, 2-4 Hour Party People (pictured top).

The idea is the brainchild of Hannah Saunders, a former deputy director of policing in the Home Office, who went back to work after her second maternity leave and realised her heart was no longer in it.

So Saunders founded Big Fish Little Fish last year and since then the idea has blossomed, with two events planned for next month (see bigfishlittlefishevents.co.uk). “There’s nothing like having children to show that you can teach an old dog new tricks,” says Saunders. “My family all enjoy festivals and I wanted to capture the essence of that.” So how do Big Fish Little Fish parties differ from the raves Saunders attended in her youth?

“Well, we monitor the decibel levels and put on all kinds of daftness to show that raves can be fun divorced from any idea of intoxication,” she says. “In fact, one woman told me it was the first time she’d had fun in five years.”

Get ‘Happy’?

Fresh from the sight of Pharrell Williams crying his eyes out at the global appeal of “Happy” on Oprah Winfrey’s Prime last week, came the latest video of people dancing to the hit to trend on Twitter. The video was made by a group called Honesty Policy, which says that the aim is to show that British Muslims are just as “happy, eclectic, cosmopolitan, diverse, creative, fun and outgoing as anyone else”.

And though there have been some dissenting voices in the wider Muslim community, it’s been viewed more than 500,000 times in two days on YouTube and the consensus seems to be that “Happy British Muslims” is A Good Thing. But what does a rock critic think?

Simon Price declared recently: “I don’t get why anyone likes ‘Happy’. [It] is basically a Spamla Faux-town version of the ‘Everything is Awesome’ song from The Lego Movie.” Now he comes to mention it…

Honest coffee?

Full of beans

Social change through coffee. That was the idea behind the Future Artists co-operative’s plans to open a not-for-profit coffee shop on King Street, Manchester (“Vote with your brew. Make a choice. Make a difference”). Last Friday, the Honest Coffee Kickstarter page reached its target ahead of today’s deadline and it is hoped the shop will open by July.

The idea is simple: instead of buying your coffee and lining the coffers of one fat cat or another, Honest Coffee will function as a workers’ co-operative with all profits going to community groups and causes. “We want to generate conversation about what a high street should be, and offer a Mancunian alternative to big corporate brands,” says Future Artists member Mark Ashmore. I’ll drink to that.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich

Roman holiday

While the Daily Mail reported that Roman Abramovich (pictured) had this year “booked all 111 rooms at the Beresheet hotel in Israel at an estimated cost of $450,000” (£270,000) to celebrate Passover with family and friends (as you do), the paper missed a story picked up by Haaretz journalist Matthew Kalman.

As with Abramovich’s 2009 Passover trip – for which he took a floor of the Royal Beach Hotel in Eilat – the tycoon chose a hotel owned by the Isrotel group, founded by the late British businessman David Lewis in 1981.

And how did Lewis make his fortune? From his 1960s boutique chain called, spookily, Chelsea Girl.

No rhyme or reason

Another in an increasingly regular series of limericks based on recent events:

Could it be proof of reincarnation

That our PM got stung on vacation

Did some old left-winger

Come back as a stinger

And then vent all its rage and frustration


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