Showing posts with label Joker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Joker. Show all posts

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Laughter is Infectious

You've heard of the placebo effect.
But are you aware of the nocebo effect? 
In which the human body has a negative physical reaction to a suggested harm.
This will make you vomit.
This will make you vomit.
This will make you vomit.
 Your mind has the power to create its own physical reality.

This will make you vomit.


Why do we yawn when we see others yawn? 
Throughout history, there have been incidents.
The Dancing Plague of 1518 
The Tanganyika laughter epidemic.
The Hindu milk miracle.
Psychologists call it 
conversion disorder.

In that the body converts a mental stress to a set of physical symptoms.
In this case, a tic, or spasm.
And, like any disorder, it can be contagious.
This kind of collective behavior is not limited to human beings.
What we know is that, in certain communities, under specific circumstances, an involuntary physical symptom developed by one person can become viral.
And spread, from person to person until the entire community is infected.
And so, my question to you is, if the idea of illness can become illness, what else about our reality is actually a disorder? 

Cartoon sequence of animated Victorian photos, at the end of which a large pig descends, fatally, on a portrait of a man.
Cut to wartime planning room. Two officers are pushing model pigs across the map. A private enters and salutes.
Dobson's bought it, sir.
Porker, eh?
Cut to a suburban house in a rather drab street. 
Zoom into upstairs window. 
Serious documentary music. 
Interior of a small room. 
A bent figure (Michael) huddles over a table, writing. 
He is surrounded by bits of paper. 
The camera is situated facing the man as he writes with immense concentration lining his unshaven face.
Voice Over
This man is Ernest Scribbler... writer of jokes. 
In a few moments, he will have written the funniest joke in The World... and, as a consequence, he will die ... laughing.
Ernest stops writing, pauses to look at what he has written... a smile slowly spreads across his face, turning very, very slowly to uncontrolled hysterical laughter... he staggers to his feet and reels across room helpless with mounting mirth and eventually collapses and dies on the floor.
Voice Over
It was obvious that this joke was lethal... no one could read it and live ...
The scribbler's mother (Eric) enters. 
She sees him dead, she gives a little cry of horror and bends over his body, weeping. 
Brokenly she notices the piece of paper in his hand and (thinking it is a suicide note - for he has not been doing well for the last thirteen years) picks it up and reads it between her sobs. 
Immediately she breaks out into hysterical laughter, leaps three feet into the air, and falls down dead without more ado. 
Cut to news type shot of commentator standing in front of the house.
Commentator (reverentially) 
This morning, shortly after eleven o'clock, comedy struck this little house in Dibley Road. 
Sudden ...violent ... comedy. 
Police have sealed off the area, and Scotland Yard's crack inspector is with me now.
I shall enter the house and attempt to remove The Joke.
At this point an upstairs window in the house is flung open and a doctor, with stetoscope, rears his head out, hysterical with laughter, and dies hanging over the window sill. 
The commentator and the inspector look up briefly and sadly,
and then continue as if they are used to such sights this morning.
I shall be aided by the sound of sombre music, played on gramophone records,
and also by the chanting of laments by the men of Q Division ... 
(he indicates a little knot of dour-looking policemen standing nearby
The atmosphere thus created should protect me in the eventuality of me reading the joke.
He gives a signal. 
The group of policemen start groaning and chanting biblical laments. 
The Dead March is heard. 
The inspector squares his shoulders and bravely starts walking into the house.
There goes a brave man.
Whether he comes out alive or not,
this will surely be remembered as one of the most courageous
and gallant acts in police history.
The inspector suddenly appears at the door, helpless with laughter, holding the joke aloft. He collapses and dies. 
Cut to film of army vans driving along dark roads.
Voice Over
It was not long before the Army became interested in the military potential of the Killer Joke. 
Under top security, The Joke was hurried to a meeting of Allied Commanders at the Ministry of War.
Cut to door at Ham House:
Soldier on guard comes to attention as dispatch rider hurries in carrying armoured box. 
(Notice on door: 'Conference. No Admittance'.) 
Dispatch nider rushes in. 
A door opens for him and closes behind him. 
We hear a mighty roar of laughter....
series of doomphs as the commanders hit the floor or table. 
Soldier outside does not move a muscle.
Cut to a pillbox on the Salisbury Plain.
Track in to slit to see moustachioed top brass peering anxiously out.
Voice Over
Top brass were impressed. 
Tests on Salisbury Plain confirmed The Joke's devastating effectiveness at a range of up to fifty yards.
Cut to shot looking out of slit in pillbox. 
Zoom through slit to distance where a solitary figure is standing on the windswept plain. 
He is a bespectacled, weedy lance-corporal (Terry Jones) looking cold and miserable. 
Pan across to fifty yards away where two helmeted soldiers are at their positions beside a blackboard on an easel covered with a cloth.
Cut in to corporal's face -
registening complete lack of comprehension as well as stupidity. 
Man on top of pillbox waves flag.
The soldiers reveal the joke to the corporal. 
He peers at it, thinks about its meaning, sniggers, and dies. 
Two watching generals are very impressed.
Cut to a Colonel talking to camera.
All through the winter of '43 we had translators working, in joke-proof conditions, to try and produce a German version of The Joke.
They worked on one word each for greater safety.
One of them saw two words of the joke and spent several weeks in hospital.
But apart from that things went pretty quickly, and we soon had The Joke by January,
in a form which our troops couldn't understand but which the Germans could.
Cut to a trench in the Ardennes.
Members of the joke brigade are crouched holding pieces of paper with the joke on them.
Voice Over
So, on July 8th, 1944, the joke was first told to the enemy in the Ardennes...
Commanding NCO
Squad! Tell The ... Joke.
Joke Brigade (together)
Wenn ist das Nunstruck git und Slotermeyer?
Ja! ... Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput!
Pan out of the British trench across war-torn landscape and come to rest where presumably the German trench is.
There is a pause and then a group of Germans rear up in hysterics.
Voice Over
It was a fantastic success.
Over sixty thousand times as powerful as Britain's great pre-war joke ...
Cut to a film of Chamberlain brandishing the 'Peace in our time' bit of paper.
Voice Over
...and one which Hitler just couldn't match.
Film of Hitler rally.
Hitler speaks; subtitles are superimposed. 
A young soldier responds:
Hitler speaks:
Voice Over
In action it was deadly.
Cut to a small squad with rifles making their way through forest.
Suddenly one of them (a member of the joke squad) sees something and gives signal at which they all dive for cover.
From the cover of a tree he reads out Joke.
Joke Corporal
Wenn ist das Nunstruck git und Slotermeyer?
Ja! .. Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput!
Sniper falls laughing out of tree.
Joke Brigade (charging)
Wenn ist das Nunstruck git und Slotermeyer?
Ja! ... Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput.
They chant the joke.
Germans are put to flight laughing, some dropping to ground.
Voice Over
The German casualties were appalling.
Cut to a German hospital and a ward full of casualties still laughing hysterically.
Cut to Nazi interrogation room.
An officer from the joke brigade has a light shining in his face.
A Gestapo officer is interrogating him;
another (clearly labelled 'A Gestapo Officer') stands behind him.
Vott is the big joke?
I can only give you name, rank, and why did the chicken cross the road?
That's not funny!
(slaps him)
I vant to know the joke.
All right. How do you make a Nazi cross?
Nazi (momentarily fooled)
I don't know ... how do you make a Nazi cross?
Tread on his corns.
(does so; the Nazi hops in pain)
Gott in Himmel!
That's not funny!
(mimes cuffing him while the other Nazi claps his hands to provide the sound effect)
Now if you don't tell me the joke, I shall hit you properly.
I can stand physical pain, you know.
Ah ... you're no fun.
All right, Otto.
Otto (Graham) starts tickling the officer who starts laughing.
Oh no - anything but that please no, all right I'll tell you.
They stop.
Quick Otto.
The typewriter.
Otto goes to the typewriter and they wait expectantly.
The officer produces piece of paper out of his breast pocket and reads.
Wenn ist das Nunstruck git und Slotermeyer? Ja!
... Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput.
Otto at the typewriter explodes with laughter and dies.
Ach! Zat iss not funny!
Bursts into laughter and dies.
A guard (Terry G) bursts in with machine gun, The British officer leaps on the table.
Officer (lightning speed)
Wenn ist das Nunstruck git und Slotermeyer?
Ja! ... Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput.
The guard reels back and collapses laughing.
British officer makes his escape.
Cut to stock film of German scientists working in laboratories.
Voice Over
But at Peenemunde in the Autumn of '44, the Germans were working on a joke of their own.
Cut to interior.
A German general (Terry J) is seated at an imposing desk.
Behind him stands Otto, labelled 'A Different Gestapo Officer'.
Bespectacled German scientist/joke writer enters room.
He clean his throat and reads from card.
German Joker
Die ist ein Kinnerhunder und zwei Mackel über und der bitte schön ist den Wunderhaus sprechensie.
'Nein' sprecht der Herren 'Ist aufern borger mit zveitingen'.
He finishes and looks hopeful.
We let you know.
He shoots him.
More stock film of German scientists.
Voice Over
But by December their joke was ready,
and Hitler gave the order for the German V-Joke to be broadcast in English.
Cut to 1940's wartime radio set with couple anxiously listening to it.
Radio (crackly German voice)
Der ver zwei peanuts, valking down der strasse,
and von vas... assaulted! peanut. Ho-ho-ho-ho.
Radio bursts into 'Deutschland Über Alles'.
The couple look at each other and then in blank amazement at the radio.
Cut to modern BBC 2 interview.
The commentator in a woodland glade.
In 1945 Peace broke out.
It was the end of The Joke.
Joke warfare was banned at a special session of the Geneva Convention,
and in 1950 the last remaining copy of the joke was laid to rest here in the Berkshire countryside, never to be told again.
He walks away revealing a monument on which is written:
'To the unknown Joke'.
Camera pulls away slowly through idyllic setting.
Patriotic music reaches cresendo.
Cut to football referee who blows whistle.
Silence. Blank screen.
The seashore again, with the 'It's' man lying on the beach.

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Liar’s Poker — Clowns to The Left of Me, Jokers to The Right

We're just gonna sit here and bleed... 'til Joe Cabot sticks his fuckin' head through that door. 

Say hello to a motherfucker who's inside. 
Cabot's doing a job.
He wants me on the team. 

This better not be a joke. 

This ain't a joke.

I'm in. I'm up his ass. 
Nice Guy Eddie tells me Joe wants to meet me.  
He says I should just wait for a phone call. 
After waiting three days he calls me last night and says Joe's ready.
He'll pick me up in 10 minutes.

Who picked you up? 

Nice Guy. We get to a bar.

What bar? 

Smokey Pete's in Gardena. 
We get there... and I meet Joe and a guy named Mr. White. Phony name.
My name's Mr. Orange.

Mr. Orange?

Mr. Orange. 

Okay, Mr. Orange.
You ever see this motherfucker before?

Who? Mr. White? 

Yes. Mr. White. 

No. He ain't one of Cabot's men either.
He's gotta be from out of town.
Joe knows him good.

How can you tell? 

The way they talk.
You can tell they're buddies.

You two talk?

Me and Joe? 

Mr. White.

A little.

About what? 

The Brewers. 

Milwaukee Brewers? 

They won the night before.
He made some money off them. 

Good. If this crook's a Brewers fan, he's gotta be from Wisconsin. 
And I'll bet you everything... they got a sheet in Milwaukee on this Mr. White's ass. 
So I want you to go through everybody in Milwaukee with a history of armed robbery and put a name to the face.
Nice work, Freddy.

Thank you, my man.

How was Long Beach Mike's referral?

Perfect. His backing me up went a long way.
I told them I played poker with him. 
Nice Guy checked it out and said it was A-okay. Said I was a good Thief,
I didn't rattle... and that I was ready to move. 
He's a good guy.
I wouldn't be inside without him. 

No, no — Long Beach Mike is not your friend. 
Long Beach Mike is a fucking scumbag. 
He's selling out his amigos. 
That's how nice he fuckin' is. 
I'll take care of his ass... but you get that scumbag out of mind and take care of business. 


Use The Commode Story.

What's The Commode Story?

It's a scene. 
Memorise it. 

A what?

An undercover cop's gotta be Marlon Brando. 
To do this job you gotta be a great actor, naturalistic. 
You gotta be naturalistic as hell. 
If you're a bad actor, that's bullshit in this job. 

What is this? 

That's an amusing anecdote about a drug deal —
Something funny that happened to you while you were doing a job. 

I gotta memorise all this?
There's four pages of this shit. 

Think about it like it's a joke. 
Memorise what's important.
The rest you make your own. 
You can tell a joke, can't you? 
Well, pretend you're Don Rickles... and tell a joke, all right? 
The things you gotta remember are the details. 
The details sell your story. 

This particular story takes place in a men's room. 
You gotta know all the details-- 

Whether they got paper towels or a blower to dry your hands. 
You gotta know if the stalls ain't got no doors or not. 
You gotta know if they got liquid soap or that pink, granulated shit... they used in high school. 
You gotta know if they got hot water or not, if it stinks... 
if some nasty, lowlife, scum-ridden motherfucker... sprayed diarrhea all over one of the bowls. 

You gotta know every detail there is to know about this commode. 

What you gotta do is take all them details and make 'em your own. 

While you're doing that, remember that this story is about you... 
and how you perceived the events that went down. 

The only way to do that... is keep sayin' it... and sayin' it and sayin' it. 

This is during the L.A. marijuana drought, 
I still had a connection, which was insane 'cause... you couldn't get any weed anywhere then. 
Anyway, I had a connection with this hippie chick in Santa Cruz... and all my friends knew it. 

They call me and say,
"Hey, Freddy--" 


They say, 
"Hey, dude — You gettin' some? 
Can you get some for me too?" 

They knew I still smoked, so they asked me to buy some for them. 
It got to be-- Every time I bought some weed I was buyin' for four or five people.

 Finally I said, fuck this shit.
I'm makin' this bitch rich. She didn't even have to meet these people. 
I was doing all the work. 

That got to be a pain in the ass, people calling all the time. 
I couldn't even rent a tape without six fuckin' interruptions. 

"When's the next time you're gettin' some?" 

"Motherfucker!I'm tryin' to watch The Lost Boys!
When I get some, I'll call you." 

Then these rink-a-dink potheads come by. 

They're my friends and everything, but still-- I got it laid out in -dollar bags, they don't want dollars worth. 

They want ten dollars' worth, and breaking it up wasn't easy. 
I don't even know what ten dollars' worth looks like. 

This was a very weird situation. Remember back in ' ... there was a major fuckin' drought. 
Nobody had anything. People were livin' on resin, smokin' the wood in their pipes. 

This chick had a bunch and she's beggin' me to sell it. 

So I told her I wasn't gonna be Joe the pot man anymore... but I would take a little bit
and sell it to my close friends. 

She agreed and we kept the same arrangement as before-- ten percent and free pot for me... if I helped her that weekend. 

She was sellin' a brick of weed and didn't wanna go to the buy alone. Her brother usually goes with her, but he's in County unexpectedly. 

What for? His traffic tickets gone to warrant. 
They stopped him, found warrants on him, took him to County. 

She doesn't wanna walk around alone with all that weed. 
I don't wanna do this.
I have a very bad feeling about it. 
She keeps asking me, asking me. 

Finally I said okay 'cause I'm sick of hearing it. 

So we go to the train station--

Wait. You're goin' to the train station with the weed on ya? 

Yeah, The guy needed it right away. 
Anyway, we get to the train station... and we're waitin' for the guy. 

I'm carryin' the weed in a carry-on bag. 
I gotta take a piss, so I tell her I'm goin' to the boy's room. 
So I walk into the men's room and who's standing there? 
Four Los Angeles County sheriffs and a German shepherd. 

They're waitin' for you?

No, they're just four guys standing around in a Men's Room talkin'. 
And when I walked in, they all stopped talkin'... and they looked at me. 

That's hard.
That's a fuckin' hard situation. 

German shepherd starts barking. 
He's barkin' at me. I mean, it's obvious he's barkin' at me
Every nerve ending, all of my senses, the blood in the veins was screamin': 

"Take off, man. Just bail. Get the fuck outta there." 

Panic hits me like a bucket of water. Bam! 

Right in the face. I'm drenched in panic and these cops are lookin' at me and they know it. 

They can smell it,sure as that fuckin' dog can. They can smell it on me. 

"Shut up. So anyway,
I got my gun drawn. I point it at this guy
and I tell him... 

"Freeze.Don't fuckin' move." 

This little idiot's looking right at me and saying... 

"I know, I know." 

But meanwhile his right hand
is creepin' toward the glove box. I scream at him, 

I'm gonna blow you away right now! 
Put your hands on the dash." 

He's still looking at me, nodding his head. "I know, buddy, I know." 

Meanwhile his hand is still
going for the glove box. And I said... 

"Buddy, I'm gonna shoot you
in the face... if you don't put your hands up." 

Then this guy's girlfriend, this real sexy Oriental bitch... she starts screaming at him:

"Chuck, what are you doin'? 
Listen to the officer!
Put your hands on the dash!" 

So then the guy snaps out of it and puts his hands on the dash. 

What was he goin' for? 

His fucking registration. 

You're kidding.

No, man! Stupid citizen doesn't know how closehe came to gettin' blown away. That close, man. 

You knew how to handle that situation. 
You shit your pants, dive in and swim. 

Tell me more about Cabot. 

I don't know. He's a cool guy. He's funny.
He's a funny guy. You remember the Fantastic Four? 

Yeah, with that invisible bitch... and "Flame on" and shit, right? 

Thing. Motherfucker... looks just like the Thing. 

Hey! Showtime! Grab your jacket.
I'm parked outside. 

I'll be right down. 

He'll be right down. 

Don't pussy out on me now. 
They don't know. 

They don't know shit. 
You're not gonna get hurt.

You're fuckin' Baretta. 
They believe every fuckin' word 'cause you're super cool. 

There goes our boy. 
The guy has to have rocks in his head the size of Gibraltar... to work undercover. 

You want one of these?
Yeah, give me the bear claw. 

 Fuck. Jesus. I'm blind, man.
I'm fuckin' blind. 

No, you just got blood in your eyes. 
Is he dead? Did he die or not? 
Let's go. 

Hold it! Get out! 
Get out of the fuckin' car! 

I'm sorry.
I'm sorry, Larry. I can't believe she killed me. 
Who'd have fucking thought that? 

Hey, just cancel that shit right now. You're hurt.
You're hurt real fuckin' bad. 
But you ain't dying. All this blood's scaring the shit out of me, Larry. 
I'm gonna die. I know it. 

What the fuck happened? 

He slashed the cop's face, cut off his ear and was gonna burn him alive. 

What? I didn't hear you. 

I said... Blonde went crazy. 
He slashed the cop's face, cut off his ear and was gonna burn him alive. 

This cop? 
He went crazy?
Something like that? 
Worse or better? 

Eddie, he was pulling a burn, man. 
He was gonna kill the cop and me. 

When you guys walked in, he was gonna kill you and run with the diamonds. 

What'd I tell ya? That sick piece of shit was a stone-cold psycho. 

You should've asked the cop, not just killed him. 

He talked about what he was gonna do when he was slicing him up. 

I don't buy it. Doesn't make sense. 

Makes perfect fuckin' sense to me. 
You didn't see how he acted during the job. 
We did. 

He's right.
The ear's hacked off. 

Let me just say this out loud, 'cause I wanna get this straight. 

You're saying that Mr. Blonde... was gonna kill you... 
and then when we got back he was gonna kill us... 
take the diamonds and scram. 
I'm right about that, right?
That's your story? 

I swear on my mother's soul... that's what happened. 

The man you killed just got released from prison. 
He got caught at a company warehouse full of hot items. 
He could've fuckin' walked. 
All he had to do was say my dad's name, but he didn't; he kept his mouth shut. 
He did his fuckin' time like a man. 
He did four years for us. 
So, Mr. Orange... you're telling me that this good friend of mine... who did four years
for my father... who, in four years, never made a deal, no matter what they offered him... 
you're telling me 
that now that he's free... and we're making good on our commitment to him... 
he's just gonna decideout of the fucking blue... to rip us off? 
Why don't you tell me what really happened. 

What the hell for? 
It'd just be more bullshit.

What? Wait, wait.
You didn't tell him your name, did you?

I told him my first name and where I was from.


I told him where I was from a few days ago.
It was just a natural conversation.

What was tellin' him your name when you weren't supposed to?

He asked.
We had just gotten away from the cops.
He just got shot.
It was my fault he got shot.
He's a fuckin' bloody mess.
He's screamin'.
I swear to God, I thought he was
gonna die right then and there.
I'm tryin' to comfort him, telling him not to worry...
everything's going to be okay,
I'm gonna take care of him.
And he asked me what my name was.
I mean, the man was dyin' in my arms.
What the fuck was I supposed to do?
Tell him I'm sorry? 
I can't give out that fuckin' information?
It's against the rules?
I don't trust you enough?
Maybe I should've, but I couldn't.
Fuck you! Fuck Joe!

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

The Leader of The Gang


That one scene in Joker where he climbs completely inside his own refrigerator and locks himself inside...?

It’s because he isn’t Done yet.

“A significant upturn in Cauty and Drummond’s financial circumstances occurred in May 1988, when they accidentally produced a hit single. It was called ‘Doctorin’ The TARDIS’ and they released it under the name The Timelords. It was a novelty record. It started with a desire to make a credible dance record based around the theme music of the science fiction series Doctor Who. 

Lovers of electronic music consider this theme to be something of a classic, and the pioneering work of its creators, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, is much admired. The problem was that Cauty couldn’t get a standard 4-4 dance beat to work with it. After some experimentation, he came to the conclusion that the only drumbeat that would fit was the glitter beat. As a result, samples of Gary Glitter’s ‘Rock ’n’ Roll (Part Two)’, plus the odd bit of ‘Blockbuster!’ by Sweet, were added to the mix. 

‘Not until a couple of days into it did we realise how terrible it was,’ Cauty admitted to Richard King. Yet by the time they had added samples of Daleks quoting Harry Enfield’s Loadsamoney character, it was clear that they had a potential hit on their hands. ‘We justified it all by saying to ourselves “We’re celebrating a very British thing here . . . you know”,’ Drummond told BBC Radio 1, ‘something that Timmy Mallett understands.’ 

Having accidentally created a potentially massiveselling novelty record, the question then became how to publicise it. Drummond and Cauty themselves were both in their mid-thirties and neither were natural frontmen for a mainstream pop record. They decided to claim that the record had been made by Cauty’s car. This was a huge American cop car that looked like a beaten-up version of the Blues Brothers’ Bluesmobile. It was, if nothing else, an original idea. 

No car had ever had a hit record before. Drummond and Cauty thought that this gimmick would make a nice gift for the newspapers, handing them an easy little story on a plate. The press did not agree, by and large, finding the idea idiotic and wondering, perhaps for the first time, if Cauty and Drummond were taking the piss. 

Regardless, the single sleeve was printed featuring a photograph of the car, now renamed Ford Timelord, complete with a speech bubble saying, ‘Hi! I’m Ford Timelord. I’m a car, and I’ve made a record.’ The name ‘Ford Timelord’ was an echo of Ford Prefect, a character in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by the Doctor Who script editor Douglas Adams. This was nicely fitting, as Ken Campbell’s follow-up to Illuminatus! was a production of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. 

In three weeks, despite not being playlisted by Radio 1, the record reached the fabled position of number one in the charts. It would go on to sell more than a million copies. A video was shot showing the car driving around locations in Wiltshire, including the Avebury stone circles. It included a couple of home-made Daleks which avoided legal problems by being so poorly constructed that no one could claim with a straight face they contravened copyright. 

Another problem was that the producers of Top Of The Pops believed that a car sitting by itself on stage for three minutes, flashing its lights in time to the music, would not make an interesting performance. The solution was to recruit Gary Glitter to front the performance, for which he donned a silver cape and hammed it up for all he was worth. His reward was to find himself on the cover of the NME for the first time in his career.”

“At that point, Jonathan King was not known to be a paedophile: only in 2001 was he jailed for the sexual assault of five teenage boys. 

• This makes him the third person in this story to have been sent to prison for sexual offences related to minors. 

• Gary Glitter, who appeared with Cauty and Drummond on Top Of The Pops, was jailed for possessing thousands of images of child pornography and charged with having sexual relations with a fourteenyear-old child. 

• Chris Langham, the Thick Of It actor and co-author with Ken Campbell of the Illuminatus! stage play, was jailed in 2007 for possessing child pornography. 

You might think this a remarkably high instance of such crimes for one story, and you would be correct. It becomes more uncomfortable in light of a character in Illuminatus! called Padre Pederastia, a paedophile priest who initiates new recruits into The Justified Ancients of Mummu by leading a satanic black mass. Not all the coincidences that circle this story are light and funny. 

After the Brit Awards, the actions of The KLF were quickly rationalised by journalists as ‘pranks’ or ‘scams’. They were nothing of the sort. They were an honest expression from the very core of Drummond and Cauty. As Drummond told the journalist Danny Kelly the next day, ‘There is humour in what we do, and in the records, but I really hate it when people go on about us being “schemers” and “scammers”. We do all this stuff from the very depths of our soul and people make out it’s some sort of game. It depresses me.’ 

Once again they had reacted instinctively on the deepest level they knew, and found their actions misinterpreted as some sophisticated Machiavellian media manipulation. They could not wound the industry, and they could not fight it. When they first decided to take on the mantle of The Justified Ancients of Mummu their intention had been to claim the music industry for themselves. Instead, it had swallowed them up. They had failed. They were in a very dark place. 

As Drummond told Danny Kelly, ‘Looking back, we realise we don’t really know what our motivation was. All we know is we’ve got, as well as everything else, this dark side to our personality. We looked into our souls and entered into the same area that [Charles] Manson must have entered . . . and that bloke who shot up Hungerford.’ Here Drummond was referring to the mass shooting in 1987 by a lone gunman called Michael Ryan, which led to the tightening up of Britain’s gun laws. Kelly challenged him on this because, if it was hyperbole, then it was in terrible taste. He asked Drummond if he really meant it. ‘I do actually. Yes I do,’ Drummond said. ‘It is the same area. Somebody recently used the phrase “corporate rebels”–about The Manic Street Preachers, I think–and both Jimmy and I didn’t want to be just corporate rebels because there’s just so much of that, shameless, in the music business. We felt we were headbutting . . . headbutting . . . trying to push at what’s acceptable. It was completely pointless and you don’t know why you’re doing it but it has to be done. And that’s what Michael Ryan did; he just woke up one morning and thought “right, today’s the day I go out and get the bastards” and went out and shot the bastards . . .’ 

A number of journalists from this period came away from interviews speculating as to whether or not Drummond was on the edge of a breakdown. What next? Where could they go from there? They had been on a journey deep into the very heart of the beast. They had failed, and they might never feel clean again. They had to get away, but was it possible for a group that successful to escape from the industry? 

In 1992, The KLF were massive. The previous year they had sold more singles than any other act in the world. They had had a string of global number one records. They had hits in America. The critics adored them. How could they escape from the industry? How could they become forgotten? 

How could they reclaim their souls?”