SMUG 9 - The final issue.

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mug

Issue 9

Your brown paper bag, under the counter mag

INSIDE

Suicide Note of SMUG editor Wintonian secret sect revealed

£3.50 at least

WINCHESTER’S SATIRICAL MAGAZINE 246


Editor in Chief: John Hayes | Cover Artist: Mark Michael Published by SMUGingtons, Winchester, SO23 8SR Printed by Sarsen Press

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Issue.9 2020 Issue.9 2020

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Issue.9 2020

Scouting movement to introduce bespoke badges for Winchester “Everyone wants the very best start in life for their children.” Bespoke Winchester Badges

A SMUG exclusive by Laden Power

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VER since Lord Baden-Powell founded the movement in 1908, the mission of the Scouts has been to prepare young people with skills for life. This week campaigners in Winchester won their fight for special “Winchester Exclusive” badges, by pointing out that the life skills required in this very special, ancient and socially aspirational city are unique to anywhere else in the country, with the possible exception of Eton Riverside. We caught up with the driving force behind this new initiative, former Tawny Owl and leader of NOBS (the New Original Badge Society).

NOBs - New Original Badge Society Speaking from her double fronted, five bedroom Victorian property in St Cross, Bunty Talbot-Jarvis is keen to impress on me that there is no snobbery involved. “It’s not that we NOBS think that, as Wintonians, we are necessarily better than people from more unfortunate areas. It’s just that our children will inevitably move in a different sphere to someone from, say, Manchester. It’s wonderful that they are teaching underprivileged youngsters how to cook noodles and fix a bike, it’s just those skills aren’t really necessary here.”

With a clear expectation that Winchester children will go into a career either in medicine, law or The City, parents were keen that they got a good solid grounding in the important aspects of life from a young age. “Everyone wants the very best start in life for their child,” emphasises Bunty, “which is why we are raising them in Winchester.”

It’s not that we NOBs think that Wintonians are better.. While some believe that the new Scouting Movement is not inclusive enough, Bunty is anxious to point out that community spirit is still very much at the heart of what the NOBS set out to achieve. “We are introducing an outreach program for those outside the Waitrose catchment area. Scouts will hand-pick items not available in other supermarkets and deliver them on segways. They will also be patrolling the city’s parks checking for litter and Northerners.”

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Kitchen extension badge Driveway badge Latin badge Segway badge Dining out badge Skiing badge Boden badge Sushi badge En suite badge Sommelier Badge Lawn bowls badge Harpsichord badge Mandarin badge Blue Peter Gold Badge badge Mummy wears Sweaty Betty badge


Issue.9 2020

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Bar End earmarked for new retail store

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Knife crime in Winchester on the rise

“Parents to blame” claims chairwoman of parliamentary group on knife crime.

REAL NEWS OR FAKE NEWS

@smugw

Nick Pick Commercial Correspondent DISCOUNT retailer-of-everything The Range has announced the opening of a new store at Bar End. Chief Development, Expansion and Growth officer, Ms. Ink, presented plans to local residents in a packed meeting last Thursday. Enthused Ms. Ink, “The site we have earmarked is currently occupied by Winchester’s bespoke recycling facility (‘The Old Tip’) and provides immense potential for our operation, with almost zero capital outlay. In fact, we plan to simply change the signs. Let’s face it, the stuff Winchester throws out is what everyone else buys new.” Local resident Ernest Clever (68) is not happy about the development: “I’ve been buying my computer monitors, glass coffee tables and golf clubs at The Old Tip since it opened at the start of capitalism. Once The Range moves in it’ll be nothing but higher prices and cinder toffee at the checkout.”

It’ll be nothing but high prices and cinder toffee at the checkout. However, not everyone disagrees with the new store. Cherise Button (26) is thrilled: “This is just what Bar End needs. As a mature student studying for a BA in Art, Pets, Clothes, Sweets and Furniture at the University of Winchester, I shall be making good use of the Range’s facilities.”

A REPORT commissioned by the parliamentary group on knife crimes has revealed that knife crime in Winchester has increased by 20% since last year. Winchester MP Steve Brine has likened the rise in knife crime to a ‘disease’ and has created a task force to tackle the issue.

Knife crime is not something we will tolerate.. “Knife crime,” says the new task force leader Teresa Cucillo, “is not something we will tolerate in Winchester and we ask anyone who suspects their children or siblings to report them before it is too late.” Proposed solutions have ranged from the severe to the outlandish, but most seem to gloss over the fundamental causes of knife related crimes. Explains the head of the new task force, “It’s easy to blame the influence of nearby Eastleigh for the rise, or isolate it to those segments of society that frequent places like Winchester Rants. But the truth of the matter is that the greatest rise of knife crime has been recorded in middle and upper-middle class families. “Causes include a lack of discipline at home, a lowering of standards and defiant children refusing to follow the rules. The root of the problem, however, appears to be ignorance of the rules.

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On the back of the findings, the task force has published the following guidelines to ‘inform and educate’ parents so they can no longer use ignorance as an excuse for their children’s behaviour.

Government Guidelines for parents When presented with two knives, always start with the one placed on the outside. Don’t stab your food. Always use serving utensils to serve yourself, not your personal silverware. Don’t gesture with your knife. Only ever cut one piece of food at a time. When you pause during eating but have not finished, the knife and fork are placed in the “resting position” with the knife placed on the right side of the plate in the 4 o’clock position, blade in, and the fork placed on the left side in the 8 o’clock position, tines up. This alerts your waiter that you’re not finished.


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Issue.9 2020

Winchester City Council to Winchester introduce ‘Timely Shopper’ Film Festival permits for Christmas accused of New permit to include priority services in pubs and restaurants. depicting real life Timely Shopper Permit

Mark Commode SMUG film critic

REAL NEWS OR FAKE NEWS

P

RE-COVID-19 CHRISTMAS 2019 was another bumper year for visitors to Winchester, and a great time was enjoyed by most. The City Council, however, received a record number of complaints from the so-called ‘Timely Shoppers’ - people who had completed all their Christmas preparations before the end of September, with presents wrapped, cards in their envelopes ready to be posted on 1st December, and all festive food ordered for timely home delivery. Despite their foresight, however, timely shoppers know they cannot plan for unpredictable events such as urgent appointments or the surprise arrival of unexpected Christmas guests. Such eventualities might thus necessitate a visit to the city and endurance of Christmas queues, car parking problems and general delays.

It’s just not fair I have to stand in line with all the morons Complained one Timely Shopper, ‘I’m all ready for Christmas every summer, so if I’m forced to visit the city during the festive season, it’s just not fair that I have to stand in line with all the morons who haven’t even thought about it until the last minute!’

In response to such objections, the City Council proposes to issue ‘Timely Shopper’ permits to cover the 2021 Christmas period. To be eligible, Wintonians will have to prove that their Christmas preparations had been completed by 31st September 2021.

Permit Holder Entitlements PERMISSION to park anywhere without payment – including on pavements. RESERVED seats on public transport. WARDENS allocated to walk in front of permit holders with batons to disperse dawdling pedestrians. SHOP STAFF and stall holders designated to corral other customers and allow permit holders free access to aisles and tills. PRIORITY service in pubs and restaurants. REQUESTS for specific songs or tunes to be relayed to buskers.

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ORGANISERS of the Winchester Film Festival faced criticism this week from movie goers and politicians alike. Postponed until May 2021, the annual film festival that screens films selected from over 60 countries across the globe in diverse Winchester-based venues has been accused of depicting real life. One seasoned member of the local culturati complained that, ‘This harsh reality and mirror holding just will not do! Here in Winchester (world heritage site) we live inside an über-gezellig bubble. We make Tolkien’s Shire look like Homs on a particularly tough day. Everyone here feels cuddled and wealthy. We are chosen and deservedly so. There’s no place for bad things.

There’s no place for bad things. “Last year’s event was full of bad people doing bad things and these bad things are still inside our heads and making us think that maybe the world outside of Winchester has some badness in it. This simply will not do. Imagine trying to enjoy a Christmas while carrying the memory of a bad thing around with you. It’s just not on.” Councillor Bernard Clothes has established a Working Party Task Steering Group and charged it with organising a much better cinema event from now on. Initial plans involve a week of simultaneous multiple public screenings of Frozen and The Railway Children.


Issue.9 2020

It’s a Fishy Foodie Up and Under!

Local discount greengrocer Baldi has recently extended its car parking facility. The additional much needed 140 spaces have been created by installing a 30 degree car ramp by goods inward, then tunnelling directly into the neighbouring Whiterose store’s existing car park. Baldi chief stacking technician Carl Hoodly hopes the new capacity will bring an enhanced customer experience to Winchester’s cheap ‘n’ nasty food outlet. When quizzed he explained, “Some of our upper middle-class patrons have found themselves having to scowl at fellow shoppers when fighting for parking spots. They enter our store slightly more frowny than usual which can affect their shopping experience and our profits. Let’s face it, they don’t want to be in Baldi anyway and even the newly imposed 3000 items/hour checkout speed and charity voting tokens have done little to address the problem.”

SMUG

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SLOW WET

The VC comes to le SWT! IN AN EXCITING NEW development, Slow Wet Trains today announced a major new service for tipsy commuters. Le Chef de Grand Controllee announced: “ve are launching our new VIP VC service for late-night commuters. Or should I say, Vommuters!”. The mystical M. Controllee went on to explain: “Our 12:05am service is now to be know as ze VC Express.” He further enlightened: “zis is ze new Vomet Comet service for commuters who like a bit of ze, you know, tipple, of an evening”. The new express will allow commuters who have had what he called a “skinful” to relax and end their evening with a SWT plastic bag, for “you know, ze technicouleur yawn”.

VC bags are to be provided for vommuters at a special bargain price of £10 per full bag. In a special deal with fast food outlets at Waterloo, vommuters can purchase a fast food meal deal for a further £25, and save £5 on the vommuter bag if they spew before Woking. VC guards were today said to be impressed with their brand new all-over plastic suits, provided in readiness for anticipated heavy demand. The marketing department at SWT are already hard at work on a campaign, aimed at younger commuters: “The Vomet Comet. It’s sick.”

The Vomit Comet. It’s sick! Save £5 on the vommuter bag if you spew before Woking

ET Le VOMIT COMM

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LGBT+ Seeking LGBTQ Fashionable, empathetic, sensitive, wealthy, good-looking 35-year-old gay pansexual transgender person seeking lesbian transgender bicurious person for friendship, lots of sex and serious debate over the whether the word ‘queer’ is pejorative.

VC bags to be provided for vommuters at a special bargain price of £10 per full bag.

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Komputer Kor ner Kwestions and answers about common challenges faced by Wintonia’s computer users, and handy tips for the novice and expert alike.

Dear Komputer Korner, I’ve been trying to find a wonderful website that I visited last week. It was called www.quiltingquilts.com or something very similar. I tried looking in browser history but it’s completely empty. My husband explained to me that it is very important to erase internet usage history daily, and sometimes several times a day, so it looks like our computer has developed a mind of its own! All be it a very tidy one! Please help Komputer Korner! Can you find my browser history? Janet from Winnall Komputer Korner Solution?! Hi Janet, Yes this is a common problem faced by many of our clients and their husbands. We suggest you ask your husband to investigate the issue and attempt to recover the deleted history. It’s easily done and we’re sure he knows how. We suggest you sit with him as he does this so that you will know exactly what to do next time.

Dear Komputer Korner, to do once I’ve I want to know what m of the mouse moved my mouse to botto nding arrow po res mat. I can see the cor T monitor but CR my wn rests half way do move any further I simply cannot get it to come to the edge because the mouse has of the mat. Ray from Oliver’s Battery ion?! Komputer Korner Solut ve looked into Hi Ray! Our experts ha recommend we this issue for you and use mat, place mo er oth an ase you purch and continue e it under your existing on downward a in moving your mouse see the arrow direction. You should progress. We continue its hoped for ts currently ma have a selection of mouse foot. Each bic cu r pe available at £9.99 specific add on one is designated as a your existing (left, right, up, down) for mat configuration.

Dear Komputer Korner, I’d just like to applaud Microsoft India for their timely and wholly unexpected intervention and advice received by phone last week. Who would have known that a virus had infiltrated my online banking passwords. They did! Thank you so much Microsoft India for your free support. Janet from Winnal

Issue.9 2020

Dear Komputer Korner, I am looking for a piece of software to permanently erase any deleted files, browser histories etc. Something that even GCHQ couldn’t piece back together. I’m willing to pay several thousand pounds for such a piece of software. Please. Derek from Winnall Komputer Korner Solution?! Sorry Derek, I’m afraid this kind of software is only available to security personnel and cyber-forensic teams.

Dear Komputer Korner, I’ve lost my fucking dissertation! It’s fucking gone! I thought autosave was on but there’s no fucking previous versions. Oh Christ, it’s hand in tomorrow. Why does this always happen to me every hand in day. Please help me KK, I can’t have deleted it, can I? Alisha from Winchester University Komputer Korner Solution?! Hi again Alisha, good to hear from you so soon after last handin. If you remember what we told you and your parents in May, you actually have to do the assignments. You can’t cry wolf and blame the technology. Just get off your arse and do some (fucking) work.

Recovering data and doing ctrl-alt-del for Wintonia since 2019 252


Issue.9 2020

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Beemer Bigend Motoring correspondent

Odour Winchester City council announces ambitious plans to lower pollution levels in the city

City tackles traffic in roundabout way WINCHESTER City Council has announced a major shake-up of road routes in the city centre in an effort to alleviate congestion. The current one-way system will be augmented by a roundabout around The Brooks Shopping Centre. Motorists frustrated by long queues will be able to drive round and round as many times as they want until either their way is clear or they have sufficiently calmed down.

Frustrated motorists will be able to drive round and round as many times as they want.

WINCHESTER City Council has announced ambitious plans to lower pollution levels in the city. St George’s Street regularly tops the pollution league table for Hampshire, beating out unhealthy competition from Sewer Street in Andover and Effluvia Avenue in Basingstoke. However, from the year 2040 petrol and diesel cars will be banned from the city centre. A Council spokesman said: “This represents a major innovation in our forward-thinking strategy.

A Smug street vox-pop elicited a variety of views. Stallholder Giles Mount-Oliver said: “2040? Why exactly at twenty-tonine? These councillors haven’t a clue, have they?” Local resident Deirdre Standmoor commented:“It’ll be just like back in the 1970’s. I love the 1970s! Maybe Woolworths will come back too.” The City Council Tourist Board is already on board. A spokeswoman said: “We are very excited by the Council’s forward-thinking strategy and are already planning our tiein campaign. Remember how successful our ‘wINCHester’ (‘explore every inch’) promotion was? Our new one will be headlined, ‘WinCHESTer: inhale our history without gagging!’

WinCHESTer: Inhale our history without gagging

This represents a major innovation in our forward-thinking strategy. The spokesman denied the accusation that the year 2040 had been chosen because it is the year the government has decreed that sales of petrol and diesel cars must cease. “Pure co-incidence. It just shows we are forward-thinking in our strategy and ahead of the curve.”

WinCHESTer: Inale our city without gagging! Admittedly, it needs work but we have 20 years to refine it.”

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In order to make better use of the Centre, the lower shopping level will be replaced by a further parking layer. This follows a survey which revealed that 40% of shoppers did not know there was a lower shopping level. The new upper upper parking level will have an interactive exhibition transporting shoppers back to a glorious age when Winchester was a charming city unblighted by architectural monstrosities such as the one they are standing in.

SMUG SMALL ADS Horse Pilates Come and join other horses at our weekly group. •Develop Core Strength & a strong back •Friendly environment •Ample parking for your box •Vegan Hay Snacks available •Large toilet area •Crèche for riders •Led by a qualified horse Just turn up. Loose clothing recommended. No shoes. Call Brian, on a phone: 01962 HOR-SEY-FUN


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Issue.9 2020

Holy Grail spotted Barry Bull’s Blag List in Winchester “Historic discovery will secure Winchester’s bid for World Heritage status” promises City Council.

Nobel prize and Oscar-winning, BAFTA nominee and platinum selling polymath Sir Barry Bull OBE, MBE, shares his ‘words of wisdom’ with Smug readers so you can hold your own in any domainspecific conversation and make pseudointellectual contributions at any dinner party: This time:

Pretentious art criticism. Just say these at any grammatically appropriate point: Penny Drop SMUG Culture Correspondent LOCAL TRAFFIC WARDEN, Mark Spacey, claims to have spotted in Winchester the mythical Holy Grail coveted by millions of life’s weary travellers in search of a happy ending. “It’s in Tower Street,” divulged Mr Spacey. “If you don’t believe me, go see for yourself.” Winchester City Council have been quick to verify the authenticity of the discovery. Neighbouring councils, however, have denounced the news as a desperate attempt by Winchester to revamp its dwindling reputation as a world heritage destination after it emerged that the initials ‘HD’ on Winchester’s Round Table were not those of a mysterious 13th Knight of King Arthur’s court, but of local timber merchant Henry Dewson. One local skeptic also pointed out, “If the Holy Grail really is in Tower Street, why hasn’t someone just taken it?”

claims to speak from bitter experience. “Anyone who takes it will soon know what hit them.” One unwitting tourist did not heed the warning. “I was driving around for what seemed an eternity,” lamented Mr. Parker. “Then it just appeared out of nowhere and I took it without thinking. When I returned the next day my shiny blue car had miraculously turned white. That’s when it hit me, right on the top of my head. I looked up and there they were. Hundreds of rousting pigeons perched on the overhanging branches, shitting.” Still, it’s good news for future grail hunters. Local Polish entrepreneur, Ivan Zaparkować, has set up an on-site pay though nose Wash, Wax & Valet service that promises to take away the pain of being shat on from above.

Holy shit!

It is guarded by winged beasts “Because it is guarded by winged beasts,” explained a local resident who

DISCLAIMER

SMUG categorically denies that this report is a thinly veiled advertorial for our new hilarious party board game Parking Debacle, branded as ‘the battle for real life’s holy grail a parking space.’ And if you don’t believe us, you can find out all about it at parkingdebacle.com

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Culture Context Meaning Juxtaposes Mediates Trope Idiom Celebrates Contradicts Oevre Semiotics Undermines

SMALL ADS

WANTED SELF RESPECT

Self-respect, confidence and assertiveness. I have none. Or so everyone tells me. I’m sure they’re right and I’m wrong. Willing to collect. Will travel any distance and pay any sum. Whatever works for you really. If that’s OK?


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Issue.9 2020

Vitrios the Scrutineer

Casting a fiery eye over the beings and goings on in God’s favourite city

BACK in 1962, in his book The Troubling of the City, the late Canon of Winchester Cathedral, Roger Lloyd, unleashed upon God’s favourite city a cohort of the devil called Vitrios. The mission of Roger Lloyd’s anti-hero was to turn Winchester into ‘a beautiful but dead ecclesiastical museum’ by publishing misinformation, fake news and half truths in the local newspaper of the time, The Scrutineer. Roger Lloyd was a devout soul and at the end of his novel, Vitrios was defeated by God in a celestial battle and subsequently brought to justice

in a local heavenly court presided over by the spirit of St. Swithun. Over fifty odd years on, SMUG has re-invoked the spirit of Vitrios so that he may once again influence the citizens of God’s favourite city. Only this time round Vitrios’ mission is not to turn Winchester into a beautiful but dead ecclesiastical museum, but to save it from becoming one.

“Vitrios my friend,” he implored, “your duty to Wintonia lies straight and clear. Warn its citizens; counsel them well!! Give them news of the coming disaster; the Armageddon of Stuff!”

Catastrophe

Capitalism ell now fellow Wintonians: Capitalism! There’s a thing. And what an enthralling mistress of perpetual reinvention she is! What a fine alchemy of intersubjunctive reality! My very good friend Thomas Malthus (1766-1834), half-demon, economist and currently poised at my shoulder auditing each pen-stroke, bade me last week swing my journalistic lantern Capitalism’s way - to illuminate not only its shifting form, but also its cracks and crevices and its tiny, tiny crannies.

Thomas, my beloved doom-sayer, keeps our pseudo-intellectual society constantly a-snigger with his humorous and ever-shifting prophecies. First one fake apocalypse then the next, each time Thomas squirming out from his erroneous predictions and hastily clamping on to the next. ‘Our species grows geometrically yet food production falls arithmetically! A healthy populace will outpace the wheat and livestock from which it takes sustenance!’ he declared last week from the third step of the Buttercross. Poor Thomas then implored the passers-by to celibacy, infanticide and an early death, these ideas full declaring the stunted reach of his creative problem solving skill.

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He’s back !

Woe-monger Thomas is blind to the facts around him; namely that our population continues to bulge and swell, lump by demographic lump, through constant innovation such as the Potted Noodle, the Maxi-Muscle Protein Bar (Mint & Cranberry) and the Cod, frozen yet full ready for the Oven. These inventions set us Sapiens on a course of merry thrive, not a sorry decline as Thomas would have us think. Yet he simply shrugs off these truths and crafts for himself a different foretelling of catastrophe, heaving his keen and miserable eye upon another topic.

Blind Most recently, as evidenced by this current literary appeasement, Thomas holds worrisome of Capitalism; that we too easily fall to the temptation of excessive ownership, and that we draw too ravenously at mother Earth’s generous teat.


Issue.9 2020

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But double wrong upon Thomas; he is twice blind! For he does not see that in the very nature of his latest deleterious muse is the solution to the former. Namely that Capitalism (and its gluttonous offspring consumerism) provides the engines which drive our species forward - unhindered by over population, meagre food supply or lack of shoes and handbags. Come with me Wintonians on a brief trail of sound logic that will empower your city strolls, open wide your plump wallets and ensure your tables remain warped with nourishment.

from other lands, buy maybe an antique typewriter, a dozen World War 2 shell casings, or a snap-together-non-glue wooden Titanic. Fill your Kath Kiddingme status bags with artisan kumquat bread, a tin poster of James Dean or something made from sticks and buttons. You don’t need this stuff. But you think you want it as some externalisation of your fragile self. Deep down you know the rouse; the thrill of new ownership is just as transitory as your fickle moods. But you must buy regardless.

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For withholding your consuming is the gravest sin. You prevent your money passing as it naturally should to the future blossoming of the human race. Buy or die!

Buy or die! vitrios@smugwinchester.com

Gorge If Thomas implores us remain a small and meek race, nibbling quietly here and there on our dwindling supplies of leaf and meat then Capitalism says gorge yourselves! Drink deep and grasp wide at all the planet has to offer. Fill your gut, your home and your mind with fayre you neither want nor need in exchange for loaned coin. The goods’ value themselves equating a mere fraction of the fee paid release vast amounts of pretend worth to fund Capitalism’s next fine projects, those of making more and more stuff. The message is clear, the rationale sound. A citizen full assimilated with Capitalism is a citizen of high moral substance. Wintonians who consume fund the future. Thrift kills. If you don’t buy pointless goods then children will die horrible deaths. How many ways do I need to say it? So at our local souk, enticed under the green striped awnings of the curious merchants

The ori ginal spin do ctor, one-dem on Daily M ail and proto-T rump

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St Cross Word

Issue.9 2020

“You say”

Should build skating rink Are youthey sad to seeathe demise of magazine? at Smug Bar End?

NatashaStJetski, home nurse, Ruskin John, 25, 70, Care Retired. “Oh myriddance god! That would be sorag! fantastic! “Good I say. Bloody I’ll I wouldn’t to take– my little Katrina stick to Thehave Chronicle a decent paper all the way to Southampton at three with proper in-depth journalism and in the morning to training.” coverage of do jamher competitions.”

Across 1 The crew sin again in Smug’s city (10) 6 Existence of new file (4) 10 Ken has Vim - an assignment for the world’s best quizzer (5,6) 11 Hot drink (for 12 in song) and found in pot each (3)

3 Cards held by stable worker (4) 4 Alarm signal initially seen in flags oscillation (1,1,1) 5 Chelmsford hides these trees (4) 7 Old time sin again when present at this George Street institution (2,4,4) 8 Aged badly with an expression of 12 If ‘owt goes wrong then cardinal surprise (4) number shows up (3) 9 Renter not starting to move in (5) 14 Could be rd. for sale - road running by the Golden Lion in 1a (9) 13 Ordinal number for hut process (6) 18 Some of Hillier’s bloomers feature in 15 Care source arranged for equine sports Davro’s escapade (5) site (10) 16 Unending test running back for this 20 Agitator trice in explosion (7) group (3) 21 Clean ad. arranged for S.I. unit of 17 Leave town when PC made different luminous intensity (7) arrangement (6) 23 Approving marks on deer perhaps (5) 19 Put on train bus company (10) 25 You may see this county in Isabella de 22 Sun from east to west represents Beauchamp’s hired car (9) attendees at 33 (1,1,1) 27 Exploitation of Sue’s letters (3) 24 Mark’s initially found in someone’s 31 Drinking establishment in first half of premium easy-clean kitchen (5) 1a road out to M3J10 (3) 26 Bade again to be in a place of repose (4) 32 More care put around to get a 28 Modest (or sincere) on-line abbreviation description of the age we’re in (8,3) initially found in centre of trim home 34 Adjudge at the starts of damnably (1,1,1,1) enjoyable Everyman movie (4) 29 Part of a tree in the middle of 35 Flint choir adapted to famous 1a knowledgeable afterthoughts (4) thespian (5,5) 30 To be erotic has ginger or draught type of this perhaps (4) Down 1 Why it makes new boy in 1a college (10) 33 Briefly 1a educational institute formerly informally called King Alf’s (3) 2 Naive not to have the centre for part of the Cathedral (4)

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Pip Trumpington-Barker-Marsh, 28, No! Giles Tiffintime, 60, Historian, “No! Estate “Oh to mysee god! don’t blocked know No! I Agent. don’t want theIroads what estate agents. I with they’ve cars fullgot of against noisy little Torvill and believe helditWinchester back from one Deans. it’s Leave as it is – Somewhere receiving the ‘Best Theold Universe can take one’s dogPlace for a In good romp.” To Live’ award.”

MaxineArkwright, Factor, 30, 73, Sales, “It’s about“If Hakim Newsagent. time thewants council did something for the anyone a back issue, my recycling everyday Winchester. There skip is fullpeople to the of very brim, please justwas no where to goPS when I was a kid - only help yourself. we’re doing a ‘two fora bus deal’ shelter.” one on Pot Noodles.”

Shane Hojy, reincarnated, Cosmic Dave Amps, 45, Electrician, “Don’tBus give Driver. It’s a sad, sad day always a toss nipper. As long as Iman. don’tIthave to made meit.” laugh, like farting in a lift man – pay for a bit naughty but funny man.”


WINCHESTER DISTRICT EDITION Issue.9 2020

VILLAGERS

CHRONICLE

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Long Barn Shopper horrified to find product not containing lavender

The name’s Bond... Binky Bond Page 1

NEXT ISSUE: NOTHING ISBN:34520592534

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smugpress

Spring 2020

LUSH Binky 007 No Hope Provider

PEGINS SECONDARY SCHOOL headmaster, Dai Davies, moved to Alresford from Wales in 2019 with a clear agenda of winning more accolades within the teaching community. He had successfully turned around a local comprehensive in Merthyr Tydfil from a previously held Ofsted rating of ‘No Hope’ to ‘Some Hope’ in a three year window. Something unheard of before in Welsh education. “To be honest like,” stated Dai in a candid interview with Smug, “I moved down by yere thinking that it would be great for me to add a Tory held district to my CV but you just couldn’t compare Alresford schools to the ones in the Varleys back home. The local kids were just like, so nice!?

The local kids were just like, so nice. “Their parents had obviously worked very hard to afford them a position in a catchment area with a school that already had an Ofsted rating of outstanding and not being funny, I was never going to win an award for turning a school around when there was nothing wrong with it in the first place. .“So I extended the catchment area to include parts of Basingstoke. Now we have three bus loads of the little blighters coming in every day. Bullying is up, crime is up, grades are down and we’ve lost some of our best teachers. Tidy. Give it a few years and I’ll reel ‘em all in. Yes, maybe a generation of kids will not get the education they deserve but you don’t get awards without collateral damage. Lush”.

Binky quits UKIP for acting The Name’s Bond...Binky Bond. Or that’s the plan according to Binky Bear who quit his role as MP for UKIP for acting. In this letter to Pinewood Studios, leaked to us by Binky himself, all is revealed. Dear Pinewood Studios, I’ve decided to submit my application for the position of Bond now that Daniel Craig has finally stated that this will be his last outing as Ian Fleming’s classic character. It’s been speculation for a long time that the character would take a change of direction after Craig’s departure so I would like to pitch this to you as an option. The opening scene defines Bond films and this will be no different. Our hero Binky Bond is in deepest Bavaria tracking the beautiful German Spy Pandala Merkel. She is deep under cover as a dancing bear working her way to EU headquarters after getting her hands on the leaked Post Brexit Make Britain Great Again Plan. Binky Bond first catches up with her at the Belgium border where a fight transpires. Pandala is accompanied by two large Brown Hench-Bears who try to give our hero a grizzly end. “Keep a Steiff upper lip Bond” shouts the spy as she makes her escape. At this point we meet Binky Bond’s love interest for the first time. There’s a train ride to Venice and a boat chase through the canals during which she is killed off and Binky Bond becomes determined, gritty and offers the audience his trademark 1000yd stare that you only get with painted glass eyes. Binky Bond’s trademark 1000yd stare that you only get with painted glass eyes.

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Binky returns to London to face a grilling from ‘M’ because the building of the wall in Dover is now in jeopardy. Binky Bear is issued with a raft of kit from Q and sent to track down the mole in Whitehall and Criminal Mastermind behind the world organisation “Movement for Arming, Alarming & Defeating” or ‘Marmalade’ for short. Nobody has seen the face of the arch criminal but Binky finds and destroys his headquarters in London only for the head of Marmalade to escape on the 3:15 to Bristol Temple Meads which catches the whole MET out by leaving on time from platform 1. The finale sees our hero in his 1964 Aston, lost near Swindon as it doesn’t have Sat Nav but announcing that he will be triumphant in the sequel. So, there you have it. Scripted and ready to go. Please phone my PA and we can arrange to talk about the extensive merchandising that can come from this venture. Am I excited...Yes! Can I do this...Yes! I look forward to hearing from you. Regards, Binky.


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Issue.9 2020

Council decides to reset city ‘a bit like the Cotswolds’

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ITH the Lib Dems and and Conservatives bed swapping, the air quality killing thousands by the day, the threat of flooding meaning the only real inward investment is from sandbag salespeople, and the never ending relentless negativity about the city on Winchester rants from feckless unemployed types who spend their feral lives desperately trying to put together a coherent Facebook post on their second-hand Samsungs, the council this week made a brave decision. Said a spokesperson sipping from a Costa coffee drive-through cup (non-recyclable), “We’re starting again, it just isn’t working. We were going to rebuild a lot of it anyway, but the archaeology keeps getting in the way, and Cllr Gottleib now owns a fair lump of the city centre and we’re just sick of dealing with him, we really can’t be arsed anymore. So we’re just going to level the place and move it to Bushfield Camp.

“Critically, the new leisure centre can have a ski slope down to St Cross so all the spoilt rich arsonist brats from Winchester College can practise for their winter holidays in Aspen.

The Downside

“There will be some downsides. We’ll lose Alfred of course, but we can replace him with a continuously changing display of how the Silver Hill/Central Regeneration/Saxon Gate might look like pending subsequent judicial reviews (ad infinitum), and regrettably we’ll lose the offensively drunk local characters in Abbey Gardens who are too disorientated to make it up the hill and will eventually just fall in the river and get washed down to Eastleigh, so our loss is their STD clinic’s gain. “We’ll try to move the Buttercross, but that’s purely to see if we can provoke another riot as we’ve not had one since 1907 so we think that’ll be a useful distraction from what we’re up to. “We’re also running a sweepstake on when it will happen. The winner gets lifetime membership to UNISON and a £5 voucher to The Ivy.

We really can’t be arsed anymore

The Upside

“This does have advantages. Commuters can see the M3 so they can make an informed decision as to whether to try and make it to work or ‘work from home’ (LOL), the land is high up so it won’t flood, but we will pump the river up here as people really liked the idea of an open river again in Middle Brook Street like the Cotswolds, and it’s close to Stanmore so the cleaners can still come round and wipe Jermey’s snot from the bedstead.

Priorities

“Obviously, this will be a huge task for the council, so our first priority will be state of the art council offices complete with VR suite for the Cllrs so they can

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persuade themselves they’re doing a good job, adjacent to an euthanasia suite for when they’re not, and an excrement canon so all the council officer’s waste, complete with free trade organic sweetcorn, can be fired off down to Portsmouth Harbour. “To further enhance the environmental credentials of the development, solar panels will be installed to capture the sunlight shining out of the resident’s arses, and a wind turbine at the station to capture the wind generated from all the copies of the Telegraph being waved around at Winchester Station to protect people’s personal space between 7.05 and 7.55am. It will also capture all the snorts of self-righteous indignation subsequently generated by reading the comment pieces.” In a separate recycling scheme also announced today by a token spokeswoman, dog mess from around the flats in the Winnal estates will be posted back through the bastard owner’s letterboxes.” When asked for further detail, the spokesperson was unable to provide anything specific, but when pressed did confirm they had mostly been focused on having a nice office, and not having to deal with the Jcn 9 improvements as it was “bad enough having to deal with the London commuters who treat Winchester like a hotel, then just bitch about the fact it isn’t as good as London when they are here at the weekends clogging up the coffee shops drinking skinny lattes, wankers...


Issue.9 2020

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Vitrios the Scrutineer

Casting a fiery eye over the beings and goings on in God’s favourite city.

Planning Permission Well now fellow Wintonians: Planning permission. Here’s a thing. And what a fascinating object of corrupt beauty it is. May I share with you a little of my arcane knowledge of this very topic. May I build up (heh, heh) your familiarity of its quirks and loopholes; may I offer to you a hidden truth that may ease the toil of rightfully extending one’s property.

Loophole Did you know my friends, according to The Perpetuities and Accumulations Act of 1964, (amended 2009) Section 2.1(a), it shall be presumed that a male can have a child at the age of fourteen years or over, but not under that age, and that a female can have a child at the age of twelve years or over, but not under that age or over the age of fifty-five years. ‘What truck with fence and hedge incursions onto my weakling neighbour’s plot?’ I hear you cry. This! I hail back to you: womb-leverage! Leverage if you may, a child from your spouse’s womb at age 56 (such things are known and done these days through pipes and hormones and will power alone) and that miracle offspring shall n’ere be subject to English Law! What a useful and worthwhile child that would be! For according to the statute noted above, the lady could NOT have birthed such a functional unit (being a whole year in excess of the stated limit), thereby the little mite cannot exist, lest not under the critical eye of the courts.

For Christmas, birthdays and trips to Alresford, maybe, and in these instances bestowed a level of visibility and a melodious, if compliant voice. But in matters legal he may act as he pleases (or as you direct) without fear of censure, prosecution or imprisonment.

In matters legal he may act as he pleases (or as you direct), without fear of censure, prosecution or imprisonment. A compelling yet fanciful project I hear you retort? No my friends, for this very scheme already plays out within our city walls and herein shall I present its details with regard to a planning event once, yet no longer contended. Then you may consider for yourselves if a similar arrangement may benefit your own particular circumstance regarding a proposed property expansion.

Balcony A Mr Tredgehole, whose estate extends four parts of five behind our wretched city mill with its ‘Otter Watch Cam’ and ‘Come Grind With Us’ experience weekends, intended no small expansion of his freehold to variously enlarge, overhang and undermine said mill; the extensions being for combined purposes of, first, conservatory; second, balcony and lastly of underground parking area with integral steam room. Now, forays into the initial design attracted a certain wrath from the mill trustees resulting in defacement of the laminated orange notice which proudly announced the proposed works: ‘Keep your fucking balcony out of our back yard. Cunt,’ he found scribed there one morning in a somewhat inelegant yet cursive hand. Tredgehole, being of sound grammar, was slight mollified by the accurate spelling and punctuation contained in this imperative (and its final nominative), yet smarting and affronted by the act itself, took to the library and discovered therein the very process to which I allude.

Womb leverage

Fecund His wife, full party to the plan and even of years yet 50 and 7 remained fecund and feisty and keen for impregnation via a system of tubes, incantations and positive growth mindset thinking.

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Quickly she fell to Adam’s fertile, if aged seed, and nine months hence a child invisible to English law was born. Tredgehole swiftly assigned himself power of attorney to act on the child’s behalf, then had the infant submit a hasty revision to the original planning design. The courts, blindsided by such wit and stealth could call on no higher power (Winchester now sailing an independent ship and bereft of English union) to oppose the scheme and permission was swiftly granted. And there we have it; a pattern as cunning as it is legal; an endeavour gaily vaulting the pointless miz-maze of local planning by-laws. A system reliant wholly on structures and practices already laid out before the good folks of this city.

Balcony So, fear not the orange laminated sign; the public hearing, the irate neighbour defiling your lofty schemes with his small-minded objections.

Lift up a middle finger to the minions who would curb a fellow’s aspirations. Lift up thy aged wife’s skirts then raise a single middle finger to the minions who would curb a fellow’s aspirations of a larger drawing room or selling it off as flats along Chilbolton Avenue. Go well Wintonians, deserved of every square foot upon which you lay your cunning hands.

SMUG SMALL ADS WANTED MORE TIME

Please, I can get you the remaining six grand! I can, seriously mate. Look, I’ve got a shipment coming in this week. Cash payment. I can settle with you. Yeah, I know, I said that last time. But this is different. I promise. Just give me another 24 hours.

WANTED MORE SPACE

More space to write my personal ad. At £10/line I can’t exactly afford the space to say everything that I wa


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STRAIGHT STRAIGHT SMUG SMUG

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Issue.9 2020

Post Now series: No.3

Post-PostModernism Let’s blame the liberals SMUG’s Post Now series aims to provide a ‘big picture’ view of where we are and where we might be going. In this last one, professor Alec Charles ponders on what comes after post-anything.

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sn’t it just so postmodern? It’s a phrase you might overhear, in grandiloquent tones, at the bar of one of Wintonia’s swankier watering holes. But, when we talk of postmodernity, our sense of what we mean by that term seems about as consistent as Alanis Morissette’s understanding of the word ‘irony’. So let’s put it this way. The postmodern signals the depthless materialism typified by the likes of Ronald Reagan or Ronald McDonald, playful to the point of meaninglessness, a conspicuous and charismatic individualism which affords value and distinction to nothing.

Postmodernity is a socio-economic pyramid scheme founded upon an innate (and well-veiled) recognition of its own worthlessness. It’s the difference between the zealotry of the Taliban and that of Tony Blair. The eternal presentism of postmodernity is as uninterested in its history as its legacy. It doesn’t ask where its fetishized commodities came from or how long they’ll last. It’s like Primark or TK Maxx. It’s the Brooks Shopping Centre without a Waterstones. By contrast, postmodernism – as a perspective of art, philosophy and sociology – exposes and explores that very superficiality. It denounces the claims to their own natural authenticity of consumer capital and post-industrial technology. It promotes relativist and pluralist positions. In the histories of Michel Foucault, it challenged the established relations of truth, knowledge and power. In the philosophy of Jean-François Lyotard,

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it revealed the demise of the profound grand narratives of science and epistemology. In the silkscreen prints of Andy Warhol, it exploded the glamour of celebrity as a mode of commodification as empty as any other. In cinema, such films as A Clockwork Orange, Blade Runner, Mulholland Drive and Inception bore witness to the shallow enchantments of contemporary realities. In literature, it gave us cyber-punk and attested the unbearable lightness of being.

In Winchester, it’s Kev. Yes, you know Kev: the chap who plies his al fresco magazine trade every day on the High Street, even as he decries and deconstructs the quality of his own wares. And it’s also, of course, epitomized in the paradox of this sordid publication itself: pricking the pomposity of the notion that its hometown’s pomposity is worth such pricks.


Issue.9 2020

The echo chamber

Where postmodernism appears relentlessly sceptical, postmodernity seems remorselessly cynical. Or almost remorselessly. For isn’t there a sadness – even a glimmer of shame – in the eyes of the two Ronalds, those most postmodern of late capitalism’s clowns? Deep down, don’t we all know – and don’t they know themselves – that what they’re peddling is just so much shit? Yet – as if this wasn’t appalling enough – we’ve now passed beyond that almost remorseless cynicism into a brand of cynicism which seems sited beyond any possibility of remorse at all. In the early 1980s, the postmodernist thinker Jean Baudrillard argued that we were entering a world which was no longer real, a virtual landscape, a simulated reality, the realm of what he called the simulacrum – the reflection of a reflection of a reflection… the copy of a copy of a copy… one whose original object we have long since lost. We don’t live in the world, but in our map of it. We inhabit an advertisement for reality rather than that reality itself.

We inhabit an advertisement for reality rather than that of reality itself In his 2005 reflection upon the War on Terror, The Intelligence of Evil, Baudrillard welcomed us to ‘the desert of the real’. He was here referring to Slavoj Žižek’s 2002 account of 9/11, Welcome to the Desert of the Real. Žižek’s book took its title from a line from the 1999 film The Matrix – which in turn took the phrase from the opening of Baudrillard’s seminal 1981 work Simulacra and Simulation (a copy of which is also seen in the Wachowskis’ movie). When everything is merely an echo, we end up, almost unwittingly, quoting ourselves. Barely a trace of the genuine article remains. Shortly before his death in 2007, however, Baudrillard came to suggest that we now inhabited a new reality, an absolutely real realm, one which had forgone even the slightest memory of authenticity and therefore any awareness of its own inauthenticity, and which could no longer recognize the difference between the material and the virtual – one which no longer had any need to be true because nothing any longer stood opposed to it. The simulacrum was no longer visible because it was all we could now see.

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The entire western world had thus transformed into its own mass-mediated image. (It would be like a small English cathedral city turning into a tourist industry version of itself, bereft of real material being. It’s as if we came to believe our own PR. The nation and the language were invented here. Visit the ancient realm of Wintonia. Because there’s nothing else here, and because there’s nowhere else.)

The nation and the language were invented here. Visit the ancient realm of Wintonia. Pipped at the post There have been several points at which the postmodern paradigm has, in this way, appeared to shift into a greater absurdity sometimes dubbed postpostmodernity. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 prompted Francis Fukuyama to announce the end of history. Baudrillard suggested that the Gulf War and, later, 9/11 and the War on Terror were not historical events, but, falling outside the logic and momentum of history, were pseudo-events which existed only as the simulacra of the electronic mass media. The overwhelming unreality of reality television and the antisocial ubiquity of social media have similarly underpinned the construction of our post-material world. The triumph of unreason known as Brexit also hasn’t helped. (And Wexit would just make things worse.) This then is the world of the post-postmodern. It is the world of those grinning, duplicitous zealots without the merest hints of remorse in their soulless eyes: the world of Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Boris Johnson; of Kim Kardashian and PewDiePie; of Breitbart and InfoWars; of Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk; and indeed, some might say, of certain local councillors we should refrain to name. It’s a world in which the Glitterati and Twitterati can vilify their enemies as crooks, liars and paedophiles. It’s a world whose wealth-laden tsars of corporate surveillance are lauded as the selfless saviours of freedom and democracy they shamelessly style themselves to be.

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It’s a culture in which public figures lie blatantly, and with apparent impunity, about, for example, securing the funds to revitalize a public health service or to take their own company private – about not sleeping with porn stars and not sending assassins to the city of Salisbury. Just as Wintonia’s Great Hall boasts that it hosts ‘King Arthur’s Round Table’ – and just as they know we know it’s not true - so the Kremlin’s agents could barely suppress their smirks while they waxed lyrical as to their enthusiasm for medieval cathedral spires.

Let’s blame the liberals

Certain right-wing commentators have suggested that the relativism of postmodernist thinkers may be held responsible for the emergence of a culture in which truth no longer matters and in which nobody believes in anything anymore. But that’s to mistake the nature of the problem. The actual problem is that evidence and reason no longer form the basis of the truth claims made by those would-be demagogues who promote systems of absolute and unquestioning belief. Postmodernism didn’t create the reality-TV-star-and-social-mediacelebrity-turned-president, the ranting and irrational hatemonger shown by the Washington Post to have averaged more than five lies each day of his first year in office – but it warned us he was on his way. Donald Trump’s rise to power seems in these terms the latest stage in the apotheosis of the talentless, the incoherent and the mal-informed. To many, there appears something apocalyptic in this post-postmodern state. But there’s nothing new in that. The Cold War seemed bad enough; and then the War on Terror. Facebook’s the most recent media form to undermine the foundations of western civilization, but they said the same about television, cinema, the printing press, the alphabet, and the wheel. This may not, after all, prove to be the moment the eternal trumpeter sounds civilization’s last post. Might the irrefutable fact of Covid-19 jump-start our sense of historical reality? Barack Obama has said that the election of Joe Biden won’t be enough to stop the truth decay. And, tragically, despite all our efforts and all our suffering, the same might be said of this terrible pandemic.


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STRAIGHT STRAIGHT SMUG SMUG

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Issue.9 2020

Salon Auteur

Cultural networkingparty partyfor forWinchester’s Winchester’sintelligentsia intelligentsia Cultural networking or secretsociety societyfor forspiritual spiritualmavericks. mavericks. or illicit illicit secret

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n 2015, at the old Artcafe in Jewry Street, three invite only gatherings called the Salon Auteur took place. In 2016 three more took place at the old Corner House in North Walls. The ex-patrons of the two establishments insist that the Salon Auteur was a cultural networking party for Winchester’s intelligentsia, the last of which took place in December 2016. A SMUG source who attended the Salon Auteur claims it is a front to an illicit secret society that continues to meet behind closed doors at undisclosed venues across the city. SMUG investigative reporter, Vennessa Moussa, digs deeper in search of the truth.

Vennessa Moussa Co-editor As much as I would like to be the first to publicly reveal the existence of an illicit secret society in Winchester, SMUG investigative digs are not founded on the potentially spurious claims of a single individual. They are based on critical examination of the evidence, proof of our source’s reliability and verification of the reported facts.

The Source The source of the claim is a respected public figure who played a pivotal role in developing Winchester’s 2014-2019 cultural strategy. She contacted me voluntarily using her real name, but insisted on being referred to only as Reverend X and that all our communications take place via email. Her insistence on a pseudonym was, she claimed, because she was about to ‘confess’ to something that, were her true identity revealed,

would force her to resign from her position as public figure. I pressed her on the nature of her guilty secret and she tantalised me with the following: “Behind the closed doors of the Salon Auteur exists another door beyond which lies the real reason Auteurists attend. For my sins, I entered.” As intriguing as this sounded, it was more like something SMUG would invent as a dig in the ribs of cultural elitists who attend networking parties with pompous names like the Salon Auteur. Was someone trying to outsmug SMUG? If so, why?

Behind the closed doors of the Salon Auteur exists another door. For my sins, I entered.

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The Evidence

That the Salon Auteur took place is beyond doubt. As evidence, the ex-patron of one of the establishments that hosted the events forwarded me the following email for which Reverent X (under her real name) was one of 122 recipients. For your eyes only. You are invited to the Salon Auteur. A space for the maker, the thinker, the faker, the artist, the writer, the actor, the dancer, the builder, the sculptor and the financier, plus the cook with the book and the hook, to intercourse without reserve. You will be with like minds. Come with yours open. The invitation was signed by four of Winchester’s popular culturati: Actor Nigel Bradshaw, founder of Hyde 900 Edward Fennel, director of Winchester Film Festival John Hayes and printmaker Kate Dicker. For legal reasons SMUG is unable to publish the names of those on the invite list, but I can divulge that they included an exmayor of Winchester, several prominent city and county councillors, lecturers from the the University of Winchester and University of Southampton, wellknown local filmmakers, authors and architects. All those on the list who SMUG contacted confirmed not only their own attendance but also the presence of Reverend X at least one of the gatherings. While none ‘confessed’ to knowing anything about a secret society or ‘a door behind a door’, the did provide some surprising details, including the partaking of a wine called In vino erotica and the silent screening of Jean-Jacques Dereix’s sexually explicit film Betty Blue.

Member only swing club?

If the lust for carnal gratification was the secret, why make the claim that the Salon Auteur was a secret society, which implies a more complex set of beliefs. I put the question to Reverend X directly. “Is this all about secret sex?” “No-one who knows the society’s secret will reveal it,” she wrote back. “Why,” I asked. “Are members required to take an oath of silence?” “There is no need. The secret cannot be repeated or shared. There are no pacts, lineage, hierarchy or initiation practice that bind members. There are no amulets, symbols or secret handshakes that enable members to recognise one another. Many members do not even know they are members, and those that do deny it. All that unties us is the sadness of knowing that to enter the door behind the door we must sacrifice that which is most dear to us.” Any faint hope that Reverend Xs claims were true was replaced by the growing conviction that I was the victim of a elaborate ruse. Reverend X had obviously not sensed my skepticism. The next email I received read, “To find out more, go to where it all began.”

Elaborate Ruse? The

same thirst for truth that motivated me to investigate Reverend X’s initial claim of a secret society now drove me to uncover her motives for the ruse. At risk of allowing myself to be led down a rabbit hole, I paid a visit to the venue where the first Salon Auteur took place, then home to the old Art Cafe in Jewry Street, now home to the Cabinet Rooms.

The same thirst for knowledge that motivated me to investigate Reverend X’s initial claim of a secret society now drove me to uncover her motives for the ruse.

The erotic nature of the offerings is hardly evidence of an illicit secret society, but they do tantalise with the possibility that the invitation to ‘intercourse without reserve’ had more than one meaning. Was the Salon Auteur a front for a sophisticated swing club for professionals trying to avoid public scrutiny? Was the door behind the door nothing more than a glorified entrance to a broom cupboard for frolicking? It would certainly explain Reverend X’s desire to confess.

The Cabinet Rooms

If Reverend X’s unlikely claim that the Salon Auteur is still taking place at undisclosed venues across the city is true, the Cabinet Rooms would certainly be a candidate. On its facade, boldly displayed in gold letters, is the bohemian mantra associated with the polygamous

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intellectuals of the Bloomsbury Group: Love. Truth. Beauty. The opening of the Cabinet rooms at the end of 2016 also coincides with the last recorded date of the Salon Auteur. On my arrival I the patron who greeted me, Gary, denied knowing anything about the Salon Auteur, and when I mentioned that the old artcafe used to host the event Gary’s only response was to rue having inherited its uneven floorboards, prompting him to fetch a scrap of paper from behind the bar and wedge it under the leg of our wobbly table. I thought nothing of it until the next day when I returned to retrieve the makeshift table support. I unfolded it to reveal the picture of a moneky dressed in a coat and top hat, underneath which were the written the words, The Sect of the Ignoramus. Was this the name of the secret society? It would explain Reverend X’s claim that in order to glimpse the secret Winchester’s intelligentsia must relinquish that which is most dear to them - knowledge. The image of a clothed monkey was also reminiscent of the dressed up deer on the logo of the only other known venue on record to have hosted the Salon Auteur, the old Corner House that used to be in North Walls.

The old Corner House

At risk of losing myself further down the rabbit hole, I managed to get access to the abandoned building, which still houses the same furniture. It didn’t take long to find a folded piece of paper wedged under the leg of a table. This new finding contained an artist’s impression of Rodin’s stature The Thinker underneeath which were the words, “I know, therefore I exist separately from what I know, and therefore am multiple. To truly be whole/ one must sacrifice the I that knows.”

To be whole, one must separate from the I that knows. The two pieces of paper were certainly connected. Both had been wedged under a table leg of an establishment that had once hosted the Salon Auteur. Both these establishments have since closed. The contents of both pieces of paper allude to a state of not knowing, or ignorant bliss.


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The Coffee Lab

I did not have to go looking for a third clue to confirm the connections. It was planted under the leg of the table in the Coffee Lab where I habitually sit as part of my Monday morning ritual. This piece of paper was a page torn out of a historical novel that contained a description of what appeared to be an unusual form of pas’ d’arms in which the combatants, instead of jousting on horseback, dressed up in their ideas, convictions and beliefs before entering a ‘chambre’ where they ritualistically burned their masks, facades and tunics. Does this third clue allude to what happens behind the ‘door behind the door’? Is the ritualistic burning of masks, facades and tunics symbolic of relinquishing the ego? Or the literal disrobing for an orgy?

Proof?

All the clues really proved was that the idea of a secret society existed and that someone had planted the pieces of paper for me to find. Whether they were clues to a genuine secret society of fake clues planted as part of a ruse, I am no closer to knowing. And if the society is real, why did Reverend X have me follow a trail of breadcrumbs.

Unanswered questions

Even in the unlikely event that the secret society does exist, many questions remain unanswered. How does one become a member? Are all those invited to attend the Salon Auteur aware of the secret society it fronts? Is the ‘door behind the door’ a physical door or a psychological gateway?

Is the door behind the door a physical door or a psychological threshold? Does the door lead to a sexual or spiritual experience, or both? And why did Reverend X choose to expose the society through a satire magazine whose readers are unlikely to take the investigation seriously? Unless of course it is a discreet way of reaching out to new members without blowing the society’s cover. If on the other hand, as I suspect, the whole thing is an elaborate ruse, what motivated Reverend X to go to such extraordinary lengths?

What motivated Reverant X to go to such extraordinary lengths? Determined to get answers, I did what I had promised not to do. I sought Reverend X out in person at one of the many cultural functions she attends. To my astonishment she denied knowing anything about our correspondence, or to owning the email address from which I received the emails signed by her. She did, however, admit to attending the Salon Auteur. Was she lying or had someone assumed her her identity in order to masquerade as Reverend X?

Issue.9 2020

Unanswered Questions

Who is Reverand X?

The Invitation

A week later I received my invitation to the Salon Auteur, signed by Reverend X, For your eyes only. The Salon Auteur. A space for the maker, the thinker, the faker, the artist, the writer, the actor, the dancer, the builder, the sculptor and the financier, plus the cook with the book and the hook, to intercourse without reserve. You will be with like minds. Come with an open mind. The date and secret location (and which we expect to remain secret) will be conveyed to you in due course.

Physical door or psychological gateway?

Reverend X If you, dear reader, receive a similar invitation or are already an Auteurist, see you there!

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Elaborate ruse or discreet ploy to attract new members?

Do they know?


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26 FROM THE ARCHIVES

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CHRONICLE

ANGLO-SMUG 1000 years ago on Friday 13th November 1019

GIANT ERECTION COMING

Issue.9 2020

NEWS IN BRIEF

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By our Middle Wessex Scribe, The Memorable Rede City planners have granted permission for a major building project in the centre of Winchester. A vast stone-and-glass edifice 366 cubits long and 100 cubits high is to be built to aid regeneration of the region and make Old Belgaria a centre of excellence.

Built to aid regeneration of the region and make Old Belgaria a centre of excellence According to a spokesperson: “This glorious undertaking reflects our forward-thinking strategy and will bring Winchester into the 11th Century or, failing that, the 12th. It will be big enough to seat 1,500 – not that there will be any seats. It will attract people from all over the known world – perhaps from as far afield as Melksham and Pevensey. We just need to build it and they will come.” The spokesperson denied that it was a job creation scheme devised to address chronic unemployment amongst stonemasons and glaziers.

He admitted that some councillors had warned of the risk of subsidence but said, “We’ve put paid to that,” as he waved a bulging purse. Critics say it will be a gargantuan carbuncle out of character with its surroundings which will tower over the dwellings of the populace, ruining their centuries-old view of the meadows and cesspits. Market traders are particularly upset. They describe it as being like a really big, even super-big, market for religion, which will take custom away from them and drive the long-established corner chapels out of business. They warn that thoroughfares will be blocked either side of peak attendance times. It is hoped that residents will not be inconvenienced by building works for more than seventy or eighty years.

FLAME-HAIRED Leonardo da Vinci, the Italian painter known for his Moaning Lisa portrait, has called off plans to visit the city, declaring that the country is ruled by a corpulent flame-haired madman out of touch with reality who, if left unchecked, will wreak havoc on the country, if not the entire world.

SITUATION VACANT Town Greeter, £1.50 p/h basic, commission and end of year bonus. Wintonia City Council is seeking a friendly, competent and experienced individual to fulfil the exciting role of Town Greeter. Core responsibilities

Desirable Characteristics

Essential previous experience

Firmly shaking hands of all visitors to our city (now a world heritage site) and offering them a genuine smile.

A face or printout of a face.

Shaking hands with a variety of other people.

A Voice or recording of voice. Arms and/or pointing stick.

Guiding each visitor directly to King Alfred’s statue and then on to Greggs.

Expert level use of Google Translate. Pointing skills.

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Issue.9 2020

Live The Human Show

Psychological reality drama starring humans from the planet Earth. For the Human Race to survive it must overcome a series of almost insurmountable obstacles which, unbeknownst to humans, we planted in their way purely for our entertainment.

“Gripping, hide-behind-the-floating-sofa alien drama.” Alien news

If you missed Season 2020, here are the highlights. Australia wildfire season blazed its way from December 2019 into 2020.

Kim Jong Un, Dead? Not Dead? Vegetative state? Didn’t feel like working?

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex quit as “senior” royals.

A massive explosion at a Beirut port, sparked the accidental detonation of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate.

The World Health Organization announced that a deadly coronavirus had emerged in Wuhan, China.

“The Black Panther” died. Wildfires erupted from California to Washington state, displacing hundreds of thousands of people.

President Trump faced an impeachment trial on charges that he asked Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg; Supreme Court Justice and unrelenting trailblazer for gender equality died. Trump tested positive for COVID-19 during the electoral campaign.

Lockdowns across the world due to coronavirus.

Lockdown 2 - Lockdown with a vengeance. Toilet roll fine.

Toilet roll.

Trump loses to Biden...but doesn’t concede, cue unfounded claims of vote tampering in key states.

Boris and co test positive for COVID-19

Cummings ceases to secretly run the UK! Who will secretly run the UK now?

Clapping and Banana bread. Harvey Weinstein was convicted; a watershed moment for the #MeToo movement.

It’s all about the race for a vaccine...mixed feelings about whether it’s the most vulnerable who are vaccinated first or simply those we can afford to lose?

A nice trip to Barnard Castle for the family Cummings.

The UK’s post-Brexit transition period bumbles on without any resolution in sight despite the fact it expires on December 31 2020.

The pandemic triggers a global recession as numerous countries went into lockdown.

What could possibly happen in 2021?

The killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor sparked a wave of demonstrations and riots across the world to demand an end to police brutality and racial injustice.

.

2021 spoiler GANG OF FOUR DECLARE WAR

Wear a mask, don’t wear a mask war.

In a bold move Ossetia, Catalunya, Northern Ireland and Scotland form the latest in line of new ‘Dispersed Nation States’ and declare war on Georgia, Spain and England.

Eat out to help out...Go to work don’t go to work.. Murder Hornets!

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Practical, no-nonsense solutions to all your first world problems Homeschooling Hell

Holiday Anxiety

Dear Arabella,

Arabella,

As a 46 year old woman with limited computer skills and having never in my wildest dreams considered the fact that I may well one day end up actually being an educational teacher to my children, you can imagine my horror at the implementation of homeschooling. I didn’t pass my maths GCSE, I didn’t take chemistry, and I’m damn sure I never covered “medicine” in History! And “Teams”?? What is “Teams”?? I assure you Mr Harding, you are a liar; my children are not “a joy to teach in class”, they are actual terrorists. I asked my son to make a sentence with the word “contagious” in it; he said, “Boris should have acted quicker and been more decisive during this pandemic but instead, it took the CONTAGIOUS!... Dear Lord. Before the first school term back, I had to email the school and ask them if they wouldn’t mind using the odd “This is a shit show”...”What even is that supposed to be?”and “I already bloody explained this!” - just to make the transition more comfortable for the kids.

I’ve been thinking about this year and in particular, how I used to view the summer holidays with a little anxiety. What would I do with the children home for all that time? How will I manage financially and emotionally? Looking back now I realise how easy that was and I am proud of what I have achieved this year; but more importantly, the thought that brings me the most joy is this: What I will tell My children when they are grown and complain about the six week holiday when they have their own children to entertain.

At my wits end in Winnall Oh Darling, there is no doubt that it has been the hardest of all on the parents. I salute you for making it through to the other side; and while I don’t pretend to know what it must have been like, and not being a fan of colourful language, I sense that you are a woman who has done her very best, proven by the fact that despite not being correctly placed, your son can in fact spell the word contagious! Whenever you doubt yourself dear, remember; there were 6 year olds who worked in mines and smoked pipes only 100 years ago, and you are not alone in your frustration. I’m reminded of the phrase: To raise a child takes a village. I think maybe, to homeschool a child, it may take a vineyard?

“What will I tell my children?” “Well, in the year of 2020 we did SIX MONTHS and all we had was Netflix, a colouring book and pens to draw rainbows, baking with bananas and a man called Joe Wicks. There was 1 hour a day outside your house with the very same people from inside your house, we frantically waved at people through windows and doorways, we greeted the postman like a war hero while simultaneously sanitising the many many Amazon purchases he threw from six feet at us like we were rabid dogs. Cash?? What’s that?? We didn’t have any as nobody had a job anymore, and if you did have a job and cash, you couldn’t use it; nowhere was open except Sainsbury’s and money was contaminated so you had to learn to pay with your phone. Swimming? Nope. Bowling? Nope. Mcdonald’s? Holidays?? Nope and God No! Theatre, gigs, concerts, cinemas, festivals, museums, exhibitions? Nope, nope and nope. Playgrounds?!! Are you insane??! Taped off like crime scenes in an NCIS episode for fear our little darling super spreaders will kill our entire family with their virus carrying ways...Six ordinary weeks you say?...Please.” Feeling fine in Fulflood

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That’s quite right my dear, the year 2020 has indeed put a lot of things into perspective hasn’t it? Who we chose to spend our time with, what is worth worrying about, what activities we have taken for granted for so long! As you know, I love my husband, but I could have cheerfully throttled him on a number of occasions without even a second thought. We have missed seeing some of our family and friends, but I’m not ashamed to say, there’s a certain amount of relief from not seeing others! Social distancing is a phrase that has become normal to hear, but sometimes frustrating to implement. I find as an older person it is a bit easier, nobody wants to be the “you touched her last” person should I shuffle off this mortal coil.

“You touched her last!” I myself only seem to have a problem with socially distancing from the fridge! Maybe I should give this Joe Wicks man a go!

2020

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