The Last Cruise – A Fairy Tale for New Year’s Eve

TIT011DJ_0-345b632It is the final hours of 2019 and aboard the bad ship Neoliberalism, things are not going so well. Listing heavily to starboard, the ship is taking in water. There are multiple fires burning throughout the vessel. Storms rage and vast chunks of ice slam into her. The gift shop is overrun by rats.

In first class, most passengers are partying like it’s 1999. Some are setting fire to huge bundles of cash, just for the hell of it. Others shoot at stranded polar bears with high-powered rifles. A small contingent of the super-rich are preparing to leave the ship via a rocket. On the bridge, the captain and officers, corrupt and incompetent psychopaths to a man, are attempting to hit as many icebergs as possible, keen to see if the ship really is unsinkable.

In the chapel, the passengers believe there is no cause for concern and wish the youngsters would just shut up and stop making a fuss. Some feel that the ship cannot be in danger of sinking, although if it does sink, it will be God’s will and therefore not a problem.

The passengers in the port-side cabins believe it is time for a dramatic change, if only they can agree on who should lead them. They vote to organise a series of debates to narrow the field down to a round two-dozen.

Passengers from the starboard cabins believe the danger to the ship is over-stated, or simply a conspiracy, invented by the other side. One contingent suggest that any actual problems that exist are down to the presence of passengers of colour, and vote to make ships white again.

In a quickly organised referendum, a motion to abandon the union of cruise liners and ditch all safety protocols is passed, but only after major interference by Russian interests and Oligarchs from first class.

A small group of scientists and engineers hatch a plan to save the ship, but realise they will need to somehow gain control of the bridge and throw most of the first-class passengers overboard. The plan is popular but lacks full majority support. They agree to hold a series of feasibility studies and then look at the data again soon.

A lone young woman stands at the Prow, seeing the Mother of all icebergs looming. She frantically alerts the passengers and crew, but is dismissed as an alarmist, selfish brat by the starboard-side passengers. A young contingent rally behind her, and attempt to gain access to the upper decks. As they hammer on the doors, the wealthy create barricades from piles of cash, jewellery and consumer goods. Many are taking a nap.

Back on the bridge, the captain has topped up his tan and just returned from a round of mini-golf. He claims the best score ever recorded. A motion to have him removed has failed and, more insane than before, he fires all the officers and puts his family in charge. A dead albatross is appointed as safety officer.

As the young and port-side passengers demand an immediate change of course, the captain finally sees the giant iceberg just metres ahead. He gathers his family around him to pray for holy intervention. A sudden bolt of lightning strikes the bridge and they are all fried.

Will the passengers reach the bridge in time to stop the ship or change course? Find out next year…

© Copyright Jason Lennick 2019

Pic via historyextra.com Artist unknown.

Absurdians assemble!

absurd rockThe world is quite an absurd place, mostly run by criminals, thugs and at least one ridiculous but very dangerous sociopath with a fake tan.

As remotely-piloted drones blow up civilians thousands of miles away, we obsess over the best yoga positions for pets and finding the right brand of organic, gluten-free toothpaste. Each day, a dozen more species disappear as we gorge on ‘reality’ TV shows featuring Z-list celebrities being eaten by giant mutant crabs.*

It’s no wonder that comic book adaptations have become so popular on the big screen, when real life often seems like a plot from some dark dystopian tale, where super-villains vie for world domination as the very fabric of society threatens to unravel. Who then can resist a team of troubled heroes with perfect teeth, super-human powers and snappy one-liners, saving us from the devils of our worst nature, and the worst perils of Mother Nature. Of course in most comic books, it’s easier to tell the heroes from the villains. Continue reading

The not-so-holy grail

Indiana Jones

Hello! Yes Half Bananas is back from the dead, or at least a rather long hiatus. This may be my first post in a while, but hopefully not the last.

So, what’s been happening in your world over the past few months? I hope it’s been full of fun, adventure, and at least a few nice surprises.

Of course most of us don’t lead lives full of fun, adventure and surprise. We may try to, but somehow we seem to end up with days that mostly consist of routine, frustrations and lots of annoyances we could do without. Perhaps we need be on our guard and challenge ourselves to avoid those ruts, brighten up our dull days and boldly go where no one has gone before. Or at least where we haven’t. Easier said than done. But this year I have been making an effort to ring the changes. And if the changes are not answering, well I’ll just leave a message.

But then again, boredom can be a great motivator. It is, after all, thanks to extreme boredom with his humdrum job that Albert Einstein dreamed up the revolutionary recipe for making Marmite. Although sadly for him, some other scientists had the exact same idea and he had to be content with the theory of relativity and all that other sciency stuff. Poor Albert.

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It’s not the end of the world

 

apocalypse ahead

The latest in a long line of supposedly doom-filled dates passed without incident last weekend. I’m a little concerned that I’ll end up oversleeping and miss the event, if and when it finally does come to pass. I’d hate waking up late to discover half the planet on fire before I’d had my morning coffee and croissant.

Even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day”

I guess eventually one of these silly end of the world predictions might actually get it right, purely by chance. Of course those who share this nonsense won’t have much time to enjoy their brief moment of triumph. They’ll be too busy running from all the giant tsunamis, earthquakes or general planetary disintegration to do much gloating. It’s hard to feel smug when you’re up to your arse in a lake of molten lava.

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Author! Author!

Them2Something I read recently set the creaking gears in my mind to whirring and grinding: it was a reminder that each of us was the author of our own lives. Not an Earth-shatteringly new idea perhaps, but it had me pondering both the degree to which it is true, and also the implications of such a role.

There are numerous factors that make us the person we are: our genes, gender, sexuality, race, upbringing, social position, wealth, education, and the chance circumstances of one’s early life must all play a part.

Clearly an orphan, growing up in poverty in some war-ravaged corner of the globe, will have a very different experience of life and very different opportunities to the privileged offspring of comfortable upper-middle class professionals in a sleepy Surrey village. So we are certainly not all starting from the same place and with the same degree of literary freedom, when it comes to the authorship of our own tales.

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Play that fungi music white boy*

Spanish_SlugYesterday felt like a day of strangeness and magic. First came a great deluge that threatened to wash away the parked cars and the occasional cyclist in an almost biblical-style flood. I stood under cover, caught between my local store and home after returning from work. I was listening to some sublime electronica at the time, a unique soundtrack to the cascades of water splashing and bouncing off roads and pavements. For a few minutes I just stood and watched, mesmerised by the experience. I found I was smiling broadly and felt an easing of the hangover headache that had dogged me all day. It was just a moment of subtle, indefinable magic.

Then, as suddenly as it had begun, the downpour ceased and I broke cover and headed the few hundred metres home, trying to avoid lake-Ontario-sized puddles. A rainbow appeared briefly above our block of flats, a fitting appearance at the end of Copenhagen’s Gay Pride week.

I will backtrack slightly to me leaving the cafe where I work, about an hour beforehand. I ran into a lady of mature years, standing outside. She wanted to know more about the place. It turned out she was a fellow Brit and after basic pleasantries were exchanged, I told her all about our lovely little non-profit cafe and the many activities we host within. The lady seemed most pleased at my invitation to come and sample our food and perhaps make some new friends. “You are my angel of the day” she announced, in a warm northern accent, and I was perfectly happy with this description. I have been called lots of things, but don’t often get called an angel.

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Through the looking glass

rocket-ship_lge

I’ve just about recovered from the shock of seeing our American chums (or the half of them that bothered to vote) elect an evil clown as president. Coming not long after the Brexit fiasco, it feels like all the rules of the universe are now open to question and anything is possible. Tomorrow my bus driver might be a duck, the sky may have turned green and all the fish could be strolling around town in tiny berets, affecting a French accent and taking selfies in front of Copenhagen’s famous Little Mermaid.

Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”
George Carlin

It’s one of those periods when whole nations seem to go a bit gaga and do something that had just months earlier seemed inconceivable. I took the news quite badly, and I’m not even an American citizen. But my US chums on Facebook and WordPress seemed equally aghast. What new folly had they sunk to? Were they, as one cartoon suggested, competing with Britain for the ‘dumbest nation’ title?
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