We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]


One of my favourite jokes – and if you are any kind of friend of mine you have probably heard it several times already – concerns a man who goes, on his own, to the seaside. He swims around, having a good time. Then, two strong hands descend upon his shoulders and force him beneath the waves, and keep him under until he thinks that he is about to die, without even knowing why. Finally, the two strange hands allow him to the surface again, and it turns out that they are the hands of a total stranger, who excuses his strange and aggressive conduct by saying: “I’m sorry, I thought you were a friend of mine.”

Well, now, as David Carr is fond of noting whenever he sees it happening, reality seems to have gone one stage further than mere humour:

A teenager was hacked to death by three friends who attacked him with large scythes, a court heard.

What are friends for?

16 comments to Friends

  • Sean

    He must have really pissed them off. I’ve certainly thought about shooting, strangling and/or eviscerating my “friends” alive, but actually scouting around for a scythe, and chopping the bastard up 60 times must have taken some provocation.

    Bloody Samaritan.

  • Aurochs

    The victim was originally form the Shiregreen area of Sheffield but had moved to Penistone, near Barnsley.

    The officer said: “He was a good lad. He has certainly nor been in trouble with the police before.

    Well then… That’s some good editing.

  • Probably every one of my friends wanted to kill at one time or the other. Fortunately, the times never overlapped so I was a never fatally corralled.

  • ernest young

    What do you expect? – After all, it did happen in the ‘good ‘ole UK’, that home of gratuitous violence and barbaric behaviour…that home of ‘social justice’…that home of little hope, and even less ambition… that home of ‘progressive’ ideas…that home of failed ideas… that spiritual home of mindless, moronic socialism…

    Did you really expect anything better?

  • “He was known locally as a good samaritan. He would help anyone out and would never cause any particular problems for anyone.”

    In other words he beleived in private justice, not social justice. Thats a crime nowdays.

  • Robert

    I blame the war on Iraq! Damn British culture of violence breeding violent ideas in the young! It’s all Tony Blair’s fault! And George W. Bush’s fault! And the Jews!

    Those kids just needed more hugs is all.

    And anyone who disagrees with me is a racist Israel loving neo-con!


  • Pavel

    With friends like that, who needs enemies?

  • I am put in mind of a memorial stone I once saw in the South Country:

    “Erected to the memory of William Gray,
    “Drowned in the River Leith,
    “By a few affectionate friends.”

    Candor or misplaced modifier? Your Curmudgeon reports; you decide.

  • I believe the original “joke” is taken from 3 men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome. A book that still males me laugh uncontrollably even though I have read it many times

  • ernest young

    Some joke… did you ever read ‘Clockwork Orange’, by Anthony Burgess?..

  • toolkien

    1) I think if someone has confessed to murder you should be able to name them no matter what the age.

    2) Where is the hue and cry for scythe control? Bolderstone Church is secondarily liable as well as the scythe manufacturer. Willful neglect and greedy profit, I say.

  • The use of “friends” seems ambivalent. Maybe the three murderers were only friends to each other and all hated the victim for some unspecified reason. Perhaps their friendship was based in some unholy way on their killing of innocent others.

  • I mean having a bunch of “freinds” turn on you is pretty harsh but this lot have taken it to an extreme that is for sure.

    Wonder if anyone is going to call for Children of the Corn to be banned now…

  • Alice

    Jesus too had trouble with a friend after three years of friendship. Nowadays you can’t be good that long, society is far more violent.
    As Robert wrote we don’t know if they were friends of each others. But knowing journalists’ codes, this congenial word “friends” and this ambiguity means there is worse to hide… like premeditation and non Christian names ?
    I enjoyed reading all your posts anyway.

  • Verity

    Toolkien – you are correct. Where is that Scottish ‘Snowdrop’ woman who fought so valiantly to get guns and any form of self-defence disallowed for Britons? I want her to go on TV and talk about how scythes can harm children! Especially in the wrong hands! Uh – children’s hands! Even if you had a valid license granted by the police, the police aren’t God. They could have made a mistake! And did the scythe manufacturers carelessly disregard the EU directive to remove the cutting blades from scythes? Looks like a case for……..Cherieeee!

    Alice – interesting post.