1) Money porn 2) airy assertions 3) late news 4) money-grubbing advertisement re posting schedule see the third item
In a push to squeeze yet more profit out of this venture, or – as bankers in the boardroom would say – to ensure adequate resources on the balance sheet to provide a secure basis for future investment (what the bankers say later in the lap-dancing club is ‘Going steady on bonuses this year, but expenses, allowances and options – wah hey!’ ) this journal is to launch a glossy week-end supplement. It will be constructed according to a carefully researched formula devised by our friends at Extreme Profits Limited. (An unfortunate name, I always feel, but they’ve done sterling work for us in the past – even better work in dollars and renminbi recently but there are still a few legal problems to be ironed out there.) Issued on Thursdays to get ahead of the competitors coming sluggishly out at the usual time, the supplement is to be based around nine or ten themes: fashion, with a dash or two of soft porn; cooking (naturally using the most refined ingredients, obtainable in all top-class specialist groceries in leading capital cities); gadgets – mostly black and shiny chromium of course but always one or two with strident colours in chunky plastic; collectibles, for instance old master paintings or Imari vases; a diary column (A hard woman’s week perhaps?); fashionable exhibitions; travel; personal transport, not cars because they are handled just everywhere though we might occasionally look at a Lamborghini, so transport really means the yacht and private jet scene; finally it goes without saying that the supplement will itself have a supplement on ultra-high-end property. No sport, probably; golf or racing to get a page or two somewhere. The other 90% of the magazine will obviously be adverts. A guaranteed winner, yet when we first started toying with the idea we received a strange anonymous letter, found in the dobermann’s basket by the front door. We suspected an inside job at once – and all staff should note that investigations have begun – since the animal had not eaten it, although perhaps it had only arrived there after 10 o’clock that morning, at which hour the beast had formed a close attachment to a man delivering vegetables at the back of the building. The letter attacked us for ‘pandering to the idle rich with a lifestyle that belongs to 0.0005% of the planet’s resources’. (I suppose she – somehow we assumed this to be the correct pronoun – meant ‘inhabitants’, since the resources we’re aiming at would be a much higher proportion of what the planet has to offer.) This was outright impudence since she had completely mistaken the spirit in which we are undertaking the enterprise – not flattery, nor envy, let alone approval; just plain monetary greed. The failure of judgment continued throughout the letter. She asserted that we could not possibly make a profit, for two reasons, and she hoped we would make a thumping loss. First, we’d have to pay a fortune to the people who write the sort of stuff we were planning. Well that is where our friend with the green ink was wrong. We will not be employing any writers at all. Writers are not necessary. Instead we shall have a pool of ad-girls, at one tenth of the cost, who will call on all the firms selling high-end luxury retail and sweet-talk them into placing expensive adverts with us. (What the girls get up to in their private life is strictly none of our business.) The firms will supply the writing. They will want to supply it. For instance the gallery hoping to pack them in for the exhibition will send page after page of background and reproductions of the work of the artist, and life history of the artist, and photo of live-in partner, and more. Likewise the outfit selling the collectibles, and the travel firms, and so on. The cooking column will come courtesy of the publishers who are about to bring out the cookery book that will be puffed at the bottom of the piece. The only thing that might not sort itself out that way is the diary column, but there all we have to do is hunt around for syndications, and pick the cheapest that serves the purpose. And her second reason for anticipating a smooth flow of red ink onto our financial statements? ‘Only horrid people who have no feeling for the poor and starving of the world, and people who dream about living that heartless selfish life of luxury would want to read your rotten supplement.’
My dear, you have hit the nail on the head. Precisely the target audience we had in mind, and we look forward to huge sales and enormous profits.
Tomorrow is the 229th anniversary of the first manned flight with an untethered free-flying hydrogen balloon, made by two Frenchmen near Paris. More significant, though, was the flight powered by hot air ten days earlier by Pilâtre de Rozier and the Marquis d’Arlandes. This remains the first known, and almost certainly the first actual, manned flight, thus beating the Wright brothers by a little over 120 years. Their publicists frequently claim that the balloonists’ performances do not really count because they were not flying in a device heavier than air. This is arrant nonsense. The balloon was both large and heavy. The latter’s publicists then say that what matters is the gravity potential of the vehicle once other factors, such as the heating of the air, have been taken into account. But precisely the same applies to the plywood and cloth, or metal, constructions favoured later; if they really were, all factors taken into account, burdened with a positive gravity potential, they would not stay up. The Wrights, however, had the advantage of a rapidly spinning publicity machine, which was also able to overlook the fact that they were several years later than both Ader and Langley.
From Luddites Gazette
Late news: a number of governments and senior politicians have lodged complaints with CENSOR (the Committee for the eradication of negative or seditious online reports) about Luddites Gazette, asserting that it has not shown adequate respect for authority and distinguished public figures. The editor and staff have been summoned to Geneva to a hearing with power to order ‘appropriate’ penalties (which will cause them problems, since as luddites they refuse to use any form of transport with more mechanical complexity than the bicycle) and their fine journal has been ordered to stop publication immediately. As distributors of some of their articles we have been issued with an order suspending all postings by Cold Salad until 5 January 2013, when a definitive decision will be taken on whether we can resume activities and if so on what terms. However, the suspension starts with effect only from tomorrow, 1-12-2012, and we have managed to obtain our first paying advertisement, to launch a fighting fund to defend our right to publish. (Contributions from readers can continue to be made through the usual channels.) Check on 5 January to see if we are still here!
GREAT PARTY NEWS
Hi! Parents! Do you want your kids to have the sort of birthday party they used to lay on last century? Remember how each party was different and you never knew what to expect. How you had to find your way to some address could be way out in suburbs you’d never even seen. How you had to find your way round some strange house where your kid’s friend lived? What a way to play hide-and-seek! Hey, some parties didn’t even have videogames!! And they may have had a jungle gym or a bicycle you could borrow or maybe a pony to ride but sure as all get out they didn’t have a Megatrillian five-dimensional lightshow, with wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling pop music. Would you want to run the risk of your own child running round in the open air in some garden full of unknown insects and bugs, maybe snakes – hey, is that lightning over there and a storm cloud headed this way? – when he could be inside our brightly lit air-conditioned PartiPallis? Would you hand your child over to the parents of one of his class-mates (remember research proves that as many as one parent in three may have a criminal record for child molestation) or would you prefer to entrust him to one of our young caring helpers (everyone run thru a high-power three-hour background check and holds a qualified childcare specialist certificate) selected after an indepth interview. Well all that drearsville and risk can be behind you now, thanks to
National Social Parties Inc
You’ll know what’s on the schedule! You’ll know they’re going to have fun with a bright modern fun-filled session in purpose built surroundings! All parties take place in our specially built PartiPallis (next to Leviathon-3 Supermart on the President Nixon Outer Bypass). All parties last exactly 1 hour and fifty minutes to allow five minutes for arrival and departure. (Warning: children who arrive more than five minutes late will not be admitted for security reasons.) All parties will follow a schedule carefully worked out in consultation with Birthday Kid’s parents (two schedules are available = show followed by food and food followed by show). All parties include 10 minutes free usage of Megatrillian Multiplay fantasy machine prior to show. (Parents will be required to separately purchase the insurance policy, price $9-50, which is included in price of ticket.) All parties will provide suitable background music, courtesy of downloads from current top internet songs (parents to retain full legal responsibility for downloads). Delicious meals (vegetarian-style cheeseburgers with french fries, topped off with yummy chocolated ice cream) brought in by the caterer of your choice (choice from nation’s top two favorite restaurant chains). Fully trained uniformed supervisers, who will ensure each child wins exactly one prize. Modern fully equipped rest area where children with physical display control deficit will be encouraged to lie down under the supervision of a fully trained rest co-ordinator who will place in the child-size medically designed relaxation facilitator to ensure they do not take further part in the activities before simple medical tests show it is safe for them to do so.
Bookings must be at least six weeks in advance, and made in person between 10 am and 6pm at the PartiPallis Administration on the forms provided. They must be accompanied by a booking fee of $35 and by a non-refundable deposit against damage of $250. Parties begin at 10am 12 noon 2pm 4pm 6pm or 8pm. Tickets $60 per child. Parents not admitted during party but may watch from viewing room (admission $25). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call +6653181
honor hominesque honesti floreant