Rise of the Brain Dead

A Review of Armageddon Productions' Latest TV Blockbuster

The last few weeks have seen this brand new, multi-genre series burst onto our screens amid a great deal of hooha among lovers of fiction everywhere. Insiders say it is planned to run until the fall of civilisation as we know it or the writers run out of implausible plot twists, whichever comes sooner. Although some point out that civilisation is only likely to fall after we have gotten around to actually building one.

The first episode, “Red Herring” promised much, yet subsequent episodes failed to deliver as the plot quickly lost its way. By the end of last night’s episode – the fourth, entitled “Hypocrisy Overload,” – there was little sign that quality will improve anytime soon.

It should be said however that “The Shattering” is nevertheless a considerable improvement on the execrable mini-series “Syria: Rise of the Fibbers” which was taken off air prematurely due to problems with the script and lack of public interest, although a small hard core of devoted but disappointed “Syria” fans (Kerrie and Obama Cheney of Warmongrin, Nebraska) have defied common sense and mounted a determined campaign to have it reinstated.

The new series, which crosses genres in a clumsy mix of political thriller, slapstick comedy, science fiction and pure fantasy, includes among its cast the ubiquitous John McCain (“Honey I Shrunk the Country”, “The Senator’s Brain is Missing” and “Conan the Diplomat”) who is famous as the inventor of the oven chip and for having no sense of personal embarrassment or charisma.

In “The Shattering” McCain’s character manages to look even more vacuous than George Bush Jr (“Rogue State: The Empire Strikes First”, “Demolition Loony,” “Weapons of Mass Fabrication”) as he depicts a man obsessed with impersonating a statesman. When his attempts prove futile and he fails to convince anybody that he is not in fact quite dim and/or made of cardboard, he takes out his frustration on a large Eastern European country.

Crossing the vast, benighted wastelands of the Evil Empire, he travels to the very borders of the Neighbouring Evil Empire (also known as Russia) equipped only with a TV crew and a copious chequebook. He arrives at the City of Kiev, world famous for its chicken dinners and being a Complete Mystery to everybody west of Poland. There he chances upon some simple local folk who while away their time dreaming of the exalted ascendance to “Union With Europe,” which is a sort of mythical Nirvana found in several works of fiction such as political speeches but which the hard-pressed people of the country have mistaken for reality – as opposed to everybody who has already attained Union With Europe who have discovered that it is not so much akin to Nirvana as a derangement of the prefrontal lobes and are dreaming of un-attaining it again.

The local folk are minding their own business, voting for corrupt politicians and being defecated upon from a great height in the manner of simple folk everywhere, when McCain catches them unawares by hitting them with platitudes, which – also in the tradition of simple folk everywhere – they completely believe and accept without question, especially as he looks very American and, more importantly, not at all Russian. He manages with surprising ease to get them really worked up to a point where they ransack their parliament, bring down the corrupt government and replace it with gangsters according to tradition, then wait expectantly for everything to be miraculously All Right.

While all this is going on, an all-too-familiar sub-plot is unfolding: some mischievous orcs have been busy burrowing into the fabric of society at the behest of the Merchants of Fear who work for the Dark Lord of the Evil Empire. This is not the Neighbouring Evil Empire, you understand, which is run by a large talking bear with sinister charisma. Neither is it the Evil Empire A Bit Further Still to The East, which is commanded by the so-called Inscrutable Descendants of Mao whose names no-one can remember and are busily taking over the world without using any charisma at all. This is the Evil Empire in the West (plus Israel and Saudi Arabia a bit as well) which has for many years been fooling people into thinking it is actually quite nice mainly by the cunning device of lying – plus hypnotic spells subliminally implanted through ipods, p-pods, brillo-pads, the world wide web or indeed anything else that comes in handy.

These orcs, otherwise known as “agents” of the CIA (Centre for International Anarchy), work for the Evil Empire in the West, which is run by Satan who is currently in hiding inside a President  They have slyly released the deadly Rothschild-Soros Virus into the economy, which has caused a chain reaction of everybody getting poorer and returning back in time to the Middle Ages, followed by a natural progression to blaming the government for everything (and being corrupt, the government has laid itself right open to that one!) followed by setting fire to bystanders. This leads inexorably to Fascism, which everybody welcomes with open arms (except the non-fascists who are still hoping for ascendance to Union and everything being Magically Better).

It is at this point the plot becomes convoluted and confusing with various characters appearing and saying and doing things that make little sense in the traditional manner of similarly implausibly plotted and somewhat demented series such as “Lost”. One finds oneself instinctively wishing one could skip to the final episode in which all the apparent nonsense is brought neatly together so that it actually makes sense (or not as in the case of Lost) such as everybody discovering they have all been dead since the beginning of the twentieth century and are actually living in a Matrix-like world controlled by sinister men in shades who command advanced magical algorithms that allow Satan to know what everybody is doing at any given moment.

The series does present some interesting battle scenes, although it is unclear as to who is fighting whom or why but part of the reason probably lies in the fact that the virus has brought out of their crypts legions of un-dead Nazis whom everybody had forgotten about since World War Two. These rise from their graves in a dark underworld known as the “Subculture”, and, having had their brains dissolved, are now elaborately tattooed with runic symbols.

The undead Nazis then proceed to do the only thing anyone can do in a time of national emergency when the fate of millions hangs in the balance: they run amuck, playfully beating up anyone with any bright ideas. This is done in the hope of impressing the rest of the world that having moral sense is not a prerequisite for running a country efficiently straight into the ground (something which the rest of the world knew already).

But they have an Achilles Heel, a flaw in their plan for global dominion via reunion with Satan who still has quite a soft spot for them. The flaw lies in the fact that apart from running amuck and shooting people they haven’t thought things through any further and are right out of ideas. This is mainly because Nazism has no real experience of taking things further than the running amuck stage before everybody gets fed up with them and sends them back to the hell from whence they came. But this again is fairly traditional in the modern world so nobody notices and the Nazis are consequently appeased by given them control of the police and armed forces.

Back at the sinister Capitol Hill from whence the Dark Lord controls his armies of trolls and drones, there is much jubilation at the “Flowering of Democracy” in the Ukraine, which is demonic tongue for “dominion over everything”. The character played by McCain is feted and the sorcerers of the pharmacopia prepare the potions by which to induce in everyone an hallucinogenic state in which everything will look perfectly normal.

It is at this point, so far as anyone can tell, that the Great Bear of the Evil Empire Next Door wakes up from a long hibernation. He sees the undead and the not-actually-undead-but-quite-evil Oligarchs form an alliance that prepares to sacrifice millions of people to Satan so as to get him to give them some high-interest loans with which to buy a few luxuries such as toilet paper and armour-piercing bullets. In response The Bear prepares to do nothing in particular and let the Evil Empire run up some more bills, as he has received a tip-off from a small secret circle of ten million bloggers that the Evil Empire is actually bankrupt – well, even more bankrupt than the other Evil Empires against which it vies for global dominion.

Meanwhile, the Crimeans who inhabit the lands to the south and east are unhappy about the way the undead are acting, particularly when the aforementioned undead pass laws that forbid them from talking – at least not in a language they can understand. They get on the phone to the Great Bear that runs the Evil Empire next door and ask him for instructions. The Great Bear is not in a very good mood, having been disturbed by all the commotion on his doorstep and having been slagged off and blamed for everything. He therefore decides to play straight into the hands of The West by sending lots of troops into Crimea using troops that were already there.

In response to this highly predictable reaction that nobody could possibly have foreseen, there is a great wailing and gnashing of teeth from the general direction of The West, who consider it Morally Wrong for anyone but themselves to use armies – or even have them in the first place.

From that point, the series does manage to convey a fair sense of mounting tension mainly because – and this is a serious hole in the plot in our view – there’s nobody around who is interested in calming things down a bit. But on the other hand, very few movies or series would work and no plot would develop beyond the first ten minutes if all the characters did the sensible thing (such as moving away from the danger instead of towards it, which is the natural response of people in the real world).

There is also a further sub-plot in which the Evil Empire (the one run by Satan) doesn’t have any money and is running the whole operation on IOUs while the Great Bear and the Descendants of Mao have been cunningly stockpiling gold . . .

You’ll have to watch the next exciting episode to see how things work out but if you haven’t been watching – or have been watching but switched to another channel to watch a game show, which makes about as much sense but is at least a bit less stupid – be warned!

This series has a plot that is so convoluted and so implausible you’ll be left with the feeling you’d like to lynch the guy who wrote the script – and the financiers who backed it (again, a bit like Lost). It also contains some dreadful acting, especially by McCain and a particularly wooden performance by Ricky Gervais (“Die, Please”, “Whoops! Holocaust!” and “The Muppets”) who plays the bloke with an unpronounceable name who is the leader of the undead zombies whilst believing he is a reincarnation of Hitler determined to make the same mistakes all over again.

One does wish sometimes that the makers of such series were a bit less jaded and could come up with something more believable and a lot more original. After all, we’ve seen it all before.

False Flag Operation: Part VII, the Iranian Frame-up

Coming Soon to a Theatre of War near You!

False Flag Operation: Part VII, the Iranian Frame-up

The latest offering in the flagging epic series, “False Flag”, is this gem from Armageddon Productions Inc. 

It is a sequel to the famous earth-shattering classics “Lusitania,” “Pearl Harbour,” “Gulf of Tonkien,”  “Twin Towers” and “Weapons of Mass Destruction,” plus the box-office flop, “Syria”, which failed to attract an audience because everybody was tired of the hackneyed plot.

In the wake of the “Syria” disappointment, the producers are hoping that “The Iranian Frame-up” will revive flagging interest in a series that many are saying has gone on too long and relied too heavily on endless re-hashes of the same predictable plot-twist while rumours circulate that the script writers have been fresh out of new ideas since 1941. A measure of their desperation to instil some fresh excitement into the tired series may lie in the planned sequel to the Iranian frame-up, a last-ditch attempt to win back the hearts and minds of a disillusioned public: “False Flag VIII: Alien Invasion.”

Loaded with special effects from the famous CIA-Media studios, The Iranian Frame-up is expected to be unleashed upon the world some time this year and break all box-office death records.  Its producers are as yet not giving away the exact date but thanks to leaked press reports in the Daily Scare and Washington Fibber, a small minority of some twelve hundred million citizens and other troublemaking elements are already queuing expectantly at fallout shelters across the world.

Featuring a cast of billions, it stars the bearded Iran as a country persecuted for refusing to build nuclear weapons whilst sitting on an oil pipeline. The story begins with our hapless hero accidentally provoking “The Banksters” - a sinister global crime syndicate - by committing a crime he did not commit and thus signing his own death warrant. This leaves the shadowy Banksters with no choice but to send in an Irish Communist Muslim hit man by the name of O’Bama, who suffers from a psychiatric disorder known as Military-Industrial Complex, to kill all his relatives and countrymen.

In False Flag series - named after the Bankster tradition of persuading other people to kill its enemies - the evil villains sink a battleship/assassinate one of their pals/blow up part of Israel/bomb an American City/take up Satanism and human sacrifice and then tell everybody Iran did it. 

This causes people all over the world to believe everything they are told by people they know can’t be trusted, ignore all evidence to the contrary, then decide to kill lots of people who had done nothing wrong and finally start a war with China.

An exciting story unfolds with fast-paced action in which bus queues all over the Middle East and Shropshire are attacked by drones, the entire population of America is locked up for going on Facebook and asking for their Constitution back, babies wrestle with tanks, lots of people explode, thousands of people go mad and sacrifice their sons to the cause of punishing Muslims for believing in something other than hamburgers and drugs.

There is also a thrilling sub-plot in which the remorseless Banksters use realistic puppets known as “The Presidents” to makes millions of people explode whilst demolishing the global economy. In another gripping scene a large section of the Middle East is also demolished to make way for a state-of-the-art demolition site.

Critics are indeed saying that the “False Flag” plot has been done to death and audiences all over the world aren't dim enough to buy it a seventh time.  But the producers together with devoted fans of the time-honoured plot (Sid and Doris Madd of Klu-Klux, Kentucky) point out that many people have recently had their brains shrunk by the confections served in the foyer by the Drug-U-Like franchise and the consequent loss of long-term memory may help re-vamp the suspension of disbelief required for the plot to work.

The feature boasts many stunning special effects such as soldiers made to look and act like killer androids that  self-destruct, insurgents disguised as innocent bystanders, robo-politicians and various parliaments that look convincingly like real democracies.

It also features some very fine acting on part of some of the minor players: Britannia does a convincing job of appearing to not act on orders from Washington, actors from the Bilderberger and Illuminati Schools convince everybody their characters are sane and do not worship Lucifer, while the CEOs of several multinational corporations manage to convince a global audience that the destruction of Earth is vital for a thriving economy.

For those of you fed up with the whole thing and thinking of giving this one a mass, we are pleased to tell you that attendance is compulsory.

Keep Calm and Carry On

A wonderfully British sentiment, “keep calm and carry on” was a WWII rallying cry to all Britons.

It was originally produced by the government's then Ministry of Information and formulated onto posters. It was then plastered by the famous Bill Stickers all over London in an effort to raise national morale, stiffen the upper lip and so forth at a time when the war wasn’t going so well and we were 2-0 down to Hitler at half time.

Personally, when things are going pear-shaped, “keep calm and carry on” is to my way of thinking a masterpiece of British understatement, not to mention under-estimation of effort.

It might apply to situations where one has just missed the bus or there is a power cut but when some cheap politician, funded by American and British banking interests has built himself a war machine and is busy plundering Europe in an effort to pay off his loans, “keep calm and carry on” does not, to my way of thinking, quite cut it.

I would have thought something along the lines of “now we are really cheesed off and are going to smash the loony bastard’s face in” would be more apt. But that’s just me.

Be all that as it may, 70 years on, the famous national slogan has in recent years become an icon as it appears on mugs, posters, books and other merchandise all over eBay and other cultural centres.

It has also become the subject of a long-running copyright dispute, having been trademarked by an entrepreneur who claims a monopoly on the famous phrase and is litigating to prevent anyone else from repeating it.

The businessman in question, having failed to secure the coveted copyrights to that little bit of national heritage in the UK, turned to that bastion and stalwart of British tradition, the European Union, which obligingly granted him the rights of ownership he sought.

So, if I understand it correctly, the phrase “Keep Calm and Carry On” is now the property of the aforementioned business person who, in the finest tradition of extracting from the human community more wealth than one puts into it, wants other people to pay for the privilege of using it.

You may have your own opinion as to the ethics and good taste of copyrighting a common phrase and well-known slogan and charging other people for using it but there is no denying that it is pretty darn shrewd.

My sources tell me that this has alerted lots of people who can’t think of anything useful to do in order to become rich to the opportunity to make lots of money by copyrighting common words and phrases. A number of people have jumped on the copyright bandwagon as it trundles in the general direction of Eldorado.

Here then are some more common British phrases that have recently been copyrighted through application to the Ministry of Daft Ideas in Brussels.

“Labour Isn’t Working” for example has been copyrighted by the Labour Party and they will henceforth charge the Tories large sums of money for using it (although some would argue that the Tories have paid a high enough price for it already).

Not wanting to be left out, I have myself managed to secure the copyright on the following British favourites and God help anyone who uses them without first getting my permission and paying me large sums of money.

  1. “Just ignore them dear and they will go away.”
  2. “Kilroy woz ere.”
  3. “Don’t get your knickers in a twist.”
  4. “I’m with Stupid.”
  5. “You don’t have to be mad to work here but it helps.”
  6. “How much?”
  7. “Sorry.”
  8. “Nice one Cyril.”
  9. “You must think I was born yesterday.”
  10. “I must want me ruddy head examined.”
  11. “I don’t want to make a fuss but . . .”
  12. “It’s all the fault of those immigrants.”
  13. “Somebody should do something.”
  14. “You’re having a bleedin’ laugh aincha?”
  15. “We’ve been right royally shafted.”
Now that should make me a bob or two. I tried to get the copyright on the entire English language but found the French already have an application pending and they plan to sell the rights to the Americans.

Steve Cook is the author of Genghis Kant, a tongue-in-cheek sci fi spoof. See a current newspaper review here. Visit the Genghis Kant on Facebook for a free copy of Steve's latest story "Spilt Milk" of which one reader said: “Loved the Spilt Milk story. Loved the characters and how it all linked together.”