The research team at the Duck ’n Fiddle was recently asked to conduct a media survey across the Overberg. It involved going door to door and interviewing over 11 000 people from farmsteads and inland dorpies, to the towns dotting the Walker Bay coastline.

The object? To ascertain who listens to what, who watches what, who reads what and how often. This helps advertisers decide where to get the maximum bang for their ad-spend buck. As you can imagine, the research was enlightening.

Most significant was the fact that 85% of the people avoid watching/reading/listening to local or international news, because the political situations everywhere are too depressing to follow. This is understandable – but more about that later.

From the ‘entertainment’ section of the survey, TV and print score over 90%. Apart from newspapers, magazines also supply the stories people love to skinner about. Like Malawian man gives birth to three-legged goat, or Pumpkin juice reverses balding!

Ratings are also in the 90s for TV watchers, and the favourite shows include Generations, 7de Laan, Egoli and the history/geography/science programs on DSTV. Very few people – 7% – listen to the radio, and those who do, prefer RSG, CapeTalk or KFM, if they’re not streaming or listening to pod-casts on the internet.

A disturbingly low percentage – 20% – actually watch the news and keep abreast of international and local flashpoints which could be life-changing. So this is a brief summary for those who follow the ‘ostrich-head-in-the-sand’ philosophy. They might well adjust their insurance premiums or reconsider having another kid.

Here we go then – world affairs in bite-sized chunks…

Egos are being tested and muscles flexed across the Northern Hemisphere, and it all has to do with hair. Follicle Wars have broken out among the world’s superpowers, and there seems to be a competition for who can sport the most outrageous hairdo.

In the White House, the bleached raccoon clinging for dear life to the Angry Orange’s scalp faces stiff opposition from Boris, the newly-elected Prime Minister of Pomland. He carries on his head the inspiration embraced by van Gogh when painting his famous Haystacks after a Storm masterpiece, and seems blissfully unaware that he needs re-thatching.

In the eastern block, North Korea has its own champion in Kim, known affectionately in the region as the Supreme Pothead. The Chinese King Ping’s hairdo is embarrassingly normal for a super-power leader, and Egghead Putin dropped out long ago claiming the competition was “too hairy to contemplate”.

Anyway, back to the news. Some Iranian bandits stole one of the Haystacks’ cargo vessels in retaliation to the Haystacks impounding one of theirs, smuggling oil to the outlawed Syria. The Raccoon then sent troops and various armaments to the region in case more Haystacks got nicked, and also to safeguard his fellow thugs in Saudi Arabia and their oil.

A couple of drones were shot down and hostages impounded, which put Egghead and King Ping in a tizzy. They favour the Ayatollah over the Angry Orange, because they also get their oil from the region, so raccoons and haystacks are generally unwelcome.

In the meantime, Russia, Japan, China and South Korea are squabbling over territorial waters and new islands being created by China as military bases. Threats from both sides immediately drew in Egghead, the Raccoon and the Haystack who all have vested interests, both financially and militarily in the region.

Pothead fired off a few missiles to see if they still worked, but failed to hit anything meaningful. The frustrated Raccoon, who once again threatened to obliterate the entire region, claimed that trade sanctions weren’t working and he had the biggest guns in the world – perhaps in the entire universe.

One bad hair day by any of these guys could be the tipping point, and end up with the entire Northern Hemisphere disappearing altogether, which could ruin Liverpool’s ambitions to retain the trophy next year.

Well, that’s where we teeter at the moment – on the brink of Armageddon, so we can’t blame folks for watching Isidingo instead of the news, can we?

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