From the endless purgatory of quizzes that defined the first half of 2020 to the countless four-hour video chats that followed (and probably could’ve taken place over email), the humble video-conferencing program Zoom has been a reliable fixture of the pandemic – for better, or for worse.
From us interviewing artists under current restrictions here at NME to WFH’ers everywhere, loads of people have been at it. Aside from potato boss – the woman who accidentally turned herself into an anthropomorphic spud early in the pandemic – the comedic material has been slightly thin on the ground.
But you know what they say – you wait months for a decent Zoom meme to materialise, and then two turn up at once. As if starring in a dystopian mash-up of Black Mirror and Cats, a Texan lawyer became trapped in a feline filter at a hearing. “I’m not a cat,” he was forced to tell the judge. And in the UK, the fairly unremarkable Cheshire town of Handforth – which according to one generous Google reviewer, boasts the “best miniature railway in Cheshire East – went viral after the single-minded Jackie Weaver mounted a minor coup during a chaotic zoom meeting for Handforth Parish Council.
Besides booting the council chairman out, Jackie Weaver oversaw an utterly shambolic meeting featuring flushing loos, a mystery participant called Julie’s iPad, somebody quietly muttering “fuck off” under their breath, and an angry man on a sofa screaming at Weaver to “read the standing orders! Read them and understand them!” Confused? The below should help.
i’ve never missed in person meetings more than i did watching this parish council meeting descend into chaos pic.twitter.com/I75zi1fIK5
— janine (@janinemas0n) February 4, 2021
At this point Handforth Parish Council ‘discourse’ has well and truly spiralled out of control – Instagram is awash with motivational Jackie Weaver squares, and countless budding entrepreneurs have already started up Jackie Weaver-themed merch lines. Weaver herself has done the media rounds. At least the whole saga has spawned some parodies to help fill the monotonous void – ranging from the bizarre to the baffling. Some notable standouts…
‘Handforth Parish Council but it’s an Indie band’
Not bad, this. It sounds a bit like a ‘Total Life Forever’-era Foals B-Side.
In the style of The Fall
“And that was ‘You Have No Authority Here, Jackie Weaver’ by The Fall, the lead track from their new EP ‘Handforth Parish Council Zoom Meeting’, out Monday on Beggars Banquet” pic.twitter.com/R4gxQXbXC3
— The House of Lies™️ (@TheHouseofLies1) February 4, 2021
The hotly anticipated follow-up to ‘Donald Trumps’s Four Seasons Total Landscaping Press Conference’.
Handforth Parish Council meets Billie Eiish
This is absolutely what Billie Eilish had in mind when she penned ‘Bad Guy’.
The ‘official remix’
The audacity of shutting the clubs while this remix exists.
The house mix
And this one.
The – sigh – sea shanty
Christ, this one was just inevitable, wasn’t it?
“Jackie Weaver has now taken over drill”
— Munya Chawawa (@munyachawawa) February 6, 2021
Until February 2021, Jackie Weaver thought that drill was a musical genre where people sang about power-tools.
The Gaga remix
Chromatica II into Jackie Weaver kicking Handforth PC Clerk out of Handforth Parish Council meeting pic.twitter.com/t1YyBUq5D8
— Andrew Williams (@AndrewKRW) February 4, 2021
The greatest track-to-track transition to feature on an album in, erm, several years, soundtracking the sudden exile of Handforth PC Clerk? Say no more.
Another club banger
Just. Open. The. Goddamned. Clubs.
To clarify: a Chester-based baker called Ben Cullen has made a Jackie Weaver cake.
Funnily enough, “old man yells at cloud” is a headline that applies to this ramshackle meeting perfectly.