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After Saddam

Satirists Guild protests at Bush, Blair Nobel nomination joke
Members of the International Satirists Guild staged a worldwide protest today in response to the nomination of US President George W. Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair for the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize by Norwegian MP Jan Simonsen.

"This is outrageous!" Guild President Douglass Ramssmullett said via telephone from Oslo, Norway. "Simonsen is not a union satirist, and therefore not allowed under Norwegian law to make satirical remarks in a public forum. This is a direct assault on our Guild, a punishment for the withering fusillade of satire unleashed against the warmongers of Palau and Morocco."

Satirists, shouting pro-Guild slogans (such as "Irony, derision, wit – let the experts handle it!"), gathered outside Norwegian embassies from Djibouti to Tuvalu in support of the Guild. "If they take away satire, what will be left to us?" one protestor in Kyrgyzstan complained. "Farce? Mime? Puns? We might as well kill ourselves!"

Potential Peace Prize recipients may be nominated by a member of a legislative body from any country. That this particular nomination comes from Norway could be symbolic. Norwegians produce some of the world's most caustic satire, and have the longest documented tradition of the craft, dating back to the mockery of Leif Eriksson by Norse cave painters.

However, there is a rumour circulating that Simonsen was actually serious in his nomination of Bush and Blair for the Peace Prize. "The idea that he's serious – it's madness. It's worse than every French conspiracy theory I've ever heard," Ramssmullett said in response. "If reality becomes more ironic than anything satire could produce, what's the point of going on anymore?"

Neither of the two world leaders wished to comment, but both have been overheard sniggering slightly.

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