CON TEXT: SELF-LICKING ICE CREAM CONE

Below is a list of the best Self licking ice cream cones voted by readers and compiled and edited by our team, let’s find out

Video Self licking ice cream cones

I’d prefer a Magnum myself.You won’t find one of these in your local convenience store, but you might come across one in the wider world of business, politics and media.

So what is this wonderful confection that possesses the ability to consume itself?

A self-licking ice cream cone is a term used to describe any group or organisation that exists only to perpetuate itself. Like a dog chasing its own tail, such an organisation is a never-ending loop that feeds back on itself, but is of little or no benefit to anyone else.

Where would I find one of these, and can you get one with a flake?

With one of these, a flake comes as standard. The term was coined in the Pentagon around 1992 – a variant is the self-licking lollipop – and in recent years it has been used to describe the self-serving policies of the Bush administration. The so-called War on Terror, for instance, has been called a self-licking ice cream cone, because millions have been pumped out yearly to military contractors and other friends of Dubya, yet the war is never won.

According to its opponents, the War on Terror exists not to catch Bin Laden or to wipe out al-Qaeda, but to keep Bush’s cronies rolling in the money. Ditto the prison camp at Guantanamo: it seems to be there only for its own sake, the prisoners kept there indefinitely, with no one ever being actually convicted of a terrorist act.

War is hell.

Yes, but many organisations are also stuck in limbo, destined to keep lurching on without ever achieving their stated goal. That’s because their real goal is simply to carry on regardless.

At least Obama will try and change all that.

He can try, but there are plenty of other self-perpetuating bodies out there – you’ll find them everywhere. In fact, you could argue that the recession has been sparked by self-licking ice cream cones.

How’s that?

Well, you’ve got banks who lend millions to their own directors and hand out massive bonuses even when making massive losses. Hedge fund managers who move bad stocks around like a giant game of pass the parcel. A property market that built itself up like a beanstalk only to come crashing down like a fallen giant. All of these could be called self-licking ice cream cones.

So they come in all flavours and varieties, then?

Oh, yes. Take a look at the TV schedules, for instance: they’re clogged up with chat shows, even though there’s a marked shortage of star guests. So the host simply interviews another chat show host, who will reciprocate by inviting that host onto their show, and the whole cycle is perpetuated. Ditto the so-called I’m A Celebrity reality shows – even if the guests are complete nobodies, they’ll at least have some celebrity status by the end of the series, so it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. No one else benefits, least of all the viewer.

What about the media?

Oh, they’re the worst – running endless features about the media, profiling the same clique of social climbers week in and week out, recycling tired old cliches and presenting them as exciting new buzzwords . . . er . . . the list goes on and on.

Try at work:Bad news, boss, we’ve just found out all our debtors are also our creditors.

Try at home:So, this online game goes on indefinitely, and no one ever wins? Count me in!

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