You won’t believe what they’ve done to Mark Cavendish…

We are, as various media outlets have been recently reporting, living in a post-truth world.

President Elect Donald Trump is the expert. He has long worked on the basis that if the words leave his mouth often enough fiction magically becomes fact. If the ‘message’ gets out, and enough people believe it, facts are irrelevant. And this is somehow now an acceptable way to go about things!?

Experts? Evidence? Truth?

Pah! Bunch of whingers.

Social media, and the internet in general, is an unverified wild-west of waffle. We’re fed, and we read, the news that we want to hear. It backs up our view of the world and we share it with barely a consideration for where it came from and how true it is. The tabloid media spin their stories so that the merest splinter of truth becomes the headline that drives the national conversation. The world becomes polarised, debate is replaced by argument, and people are rude to each other.

I read recently (via a reputable website which still quaintly believes in checking their facts)  about a small town in Macedonia which supports at least 140 political websites specialising in Trump stories. Sounds bizarre, but the explanation is simple, if depressing. These budding internet newshounds have discovered that by driving traffic to a website they can generate a reasonable income through a simple pay-per-click advertising scheme.

The truth is irrelevant.

What’s relevant is encouraging people to click and read the fabricated articles, and the law of averages which guarantees enough of them also click on the adverts. At the moment, Trump is the best guarantee of page views and outlandish click-bait is the quickest route to success.

And so, in the spirit of fake news in a post-truth world, I’m very happy to bring you this world exclusive that I’ve been patiently sitting on: the cloning of top cyclist Mark Cavendish.

Mark Cavendish Cloned
Mark Cavendish Cloned! (Image: via Wikimedia commons)
I know it’s hard to believe, but don’t let that bother you. Just read on, let ‘the facts’ wash over you, and respond angrily one way or another.

‘Sources close to the cyclist’ tell me that in his late twenties, when it became clear he was a superstar, Cavendish was cloned for future use. The clone declared himself ‘super-happy’ to have been brought in to existence, and tests were immediately carried out to check that the relevant Cav DNA had been copied.

A couple of bike rides on the track confirmed he had the sprinting prowess, and when presented repeatedly with journalists asking daft questions he veered from eloquent and thoughtful answer to raging teenage tantrum with little or no warning. The scientists were delighted with their obvious success, and packed him away in a deep freeze for later.

And here’s the reason why.

Now that Cav is in his thirties, should his bike race winning powers begin to wane before he’s able to beat Eddy Merckx’s Tour de France stage winning record, win that second Milan-San Remo, and finally bag an Olympic gold medal, the clone will be wheeled out.

A quick dab of pre-race makeup to recreate the ageing process and voila! You have an apparently thirty-something Mark Cavendish who can ride a bike like a twenty-something Mark Cavendish. His career is extended, the sponsors are happy, and the ‘Manx Missile’ trademark lives on.

And, of course, Cav will still be ‘super happy’. Eddy Merckx might not be, if his place in the record books is usurped, but he’ll just have to move on, stop whinging, and get with the winning side. It serves him right for being a cyclist in the 1970’s when technology and cloning techniques were unavailable.

It’s sounds implausible, but it’s a news story. And you clicked on it. And if it gets shared enough times that makes it true. Or at least not untrue. 

If I can just figure out how to install some adverts and get you to click on them too, I might be on to something.

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11 comments

  1. You’ve got that backwards, the looseness with facts and reality, that’s Hillary Clinton – and it obviously works because you bought it hook, line and sinker. Not to get into a back and forth about American politics with a Brit, though. When Trump said the election system was rigged, he wasn’t kidding. It is rigged. Just ask Bernie Sanders about Debbie Wasserman-Shultz. The media was so in the tank for Clinton it was ridiculous… and they have been in the tank for the Democrat for Decades, well before Reagan. It just is what it is. There’s a funny comic just out showing liberals, China, the media, establishment Republicans, Democrats and Russia, all represented as various animals standing arms locked shouting “We hate Trump!” There’s a lone American looking on and his response is, “That’s exactly why we like him”. Trump represents a comeuppance for our government and only time will tell if they get the message.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Nope, just wanted to correct the record, brother. Many people have a tendency to go along with the meme that those of us who voted for Trump are a bunch of racist, uneducated idiots because Trump is a racist, bigoted homophobe.

        That coming from the media who gave Trump a one to eleven percent chance of winning the night before the election.

        Of course, I just realized something…. I need to stop correcting the record entirely. The more people who believe the US media, the easier the left is to beat.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t want to get into a left v right debate, that’s for sure, and I agree that (from where i’m sitting) not all those who voted for Trump are racist and/or uneducated – there’s clearly a lot more going on than that.

        I’m no Hilary fan, but in my view Trump is not the answer, to put it mildly. But hey…i’m across the Atlantic and it’s not my vote!

        Lets stick to cycling, eh?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with the internet being a great tool for those who want to spread lies. It urks me that so many people are too lazy or brainwashed or whatever to check their sources and the legitimacy of a story before they pass it on. Although I’m certain we can’t educate everyone, perhaps we can at least help some people learn how to fact check.

    Liked by 1 person

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