Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Headlines 3/15, 3/16, 3/21

I expect my readership to be middle-aged educated upper class whites, as I like to think of myself, despite my late bout with homelessness and poverty. Well, at least I’m educated, though my siblings may argue I lack a degree in social graces.
Unfortunately this antiquated medium of print has already become passé on the net, as video blogs are all the rage. Yet if you shake your head at just the right frequency while staring at my beaming portrait, it will appear as if I am in motion. The General Theory of Relativity completely supports this illusion.

Are you moving your head? Good.

So today let’s make a nod to Jon Stewart, who bombed at the Oscars (one reason to preserve Bob Hope’s head in liquid nitrogen), returning to the mordant ramblings to which my tiny readership has become accustomed. I keep no stats either for my blog or my magazine, which incidentally just put out its last issue:


Its theme is Death, one of the four great themes in the history of English literature (which includes the subsets of loss and grief, naturally), the other three great categories being Love, Nature, and God. Trust me on this. I’ve read a lot.



Quick cut to today’s headlines, which could be any headlines from any day, unless flattened even more by Botox, as history is mainly mundane (exceptions like 9/11 and Pearl Harbor and JFK’s are exceptions, as is this tautology in my normally taut prose). These headlines have been filched from The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa, followed by comment.

“3rd mad cow disease case found in the U.S.”

The animal was sent to anger management class.

“Pat Robertson critical of Muslims.”

This is news?

“Speaking of radical Muslims, he said: “These people are crazed fanatics, and I want to say it now: I believe it’s motivated by demonic power. It is satanic.”

Obviously Pat doesn’t know Satan. Satan would never expose his evil so publicly; he much prefers to pull the Alzheimer-laden strings of American Evangelicals to discredit Christianity.

“Isaac Hayes has quit ‘South Park,’ where he voices Chef, saying he can no longer stomach its take on religion.”

Hmm... this came after the first episode to mock Scientology, Isaac’s “religion,” after years of pummeling Christianity. Isaac’s “hot-buttered sell-out” only demonstrates what we already know: the Stepford Scientology Celebrities march in lockstep when Hubbard’s cupboard is raided. It’s not,” whose ox was gored,” but “don’t step on my blue suede engrams.” If Scientologists actually read this criticism I will be forced to look for rattlesnakes in my mailbox, the old Synanon trick.

“Carla Martin, prosecutor against Moussaoui for the Transportation Security Administration, e-mailed seven witnesses yet to testify, including portions of last week’s trial proceedings, and seemed to tell some of them how they should testify.”

This may spare Moussaoui the death penalty. Perhaps she is a closet opponent to it. But her real mistake? Not meeting privately with the witnesses the way most prosecutors do in their slanted prepping. Her temptation? The ease of e-mail. “The road to hell is paved with digital convenience.”

“Franciscans settle sex charges for $30 million.”

Imagine falling that far behind on your internet porno bill—but enough celibashing.

Quantum sufficit: “The former host of the 1980s game show, “Press Your Luck,” died when his small plane crashed into Santa Monica Bay.”

You can’t make this stuff up.

“A 12-year-old girl recanted her report of being sexually assaulted by a stranger in a school bathroom.”

Hard to keep up with Britney Spears. Oh the pressure of puberty!

“Democrats cautious on Bush censure.”

Obviously their handlers have not yet seen the new opinion polls they immediately commissioned.

“Colleges open minority aid to whites.”

Glad they decided to continue minority aid.

And what did you have for breakfast today? I had a Hostess blackberry pie, near 400 calories of carbs—Mmmm, delicious—though I hate how the little seeds stick between my teeth.

“Feds cutting back on testing for mad cow.”

Obviously the anger management courses are working.

“Rice mending fences.”

Rice is an excellent source of glue, though one grain would stick out in Condie’s throat as in that old joke about the starving Ethiopian. This might be her only way to achieve love handles.
“Lightning blamed in W. Va. mine blast.”

If we can “blame” lightning, the pathetic fallacy is alive and well. Then we are a Protestant-based “guilt” society; thus in Japan they “shame” lightning.

“Shuttle won’t fly until July, Nasa says”

Airplane psychologists are interviewing the shuttle about her hesitancy.

“Bush stumps for Medicare program.” Bush admitted the program began with “a little confusion.”

Question: How can the confused properly identify confusion? An Alzheimer’s patient might as well question another’s memory. (What did I just say? Whose memory? Where’s my pudding?

“Milosevic had access to alcohol, drugs.”

No better place to score than in prison.

“Khamenei unbending as U.N. debates Iran nuke issue.”

Interrupted during his Yoga class?

“China adopts plan to spread prosperity to 800 million poor.”

Sounds as easy as peanut butter. Have they never heard of Lyndon Johnson?

“Obscure official now talk of town.”

Formerly obscure?

“Judge to limit data feds get from Google.”

Why not just ask Google to censor their information as they happily did for China?

“87 found slain in Iraq bloodshed.”

Glad to know they weren’t bloodless zombies.

“Aryan case gets under way.”

They’re going to need a lot more beer for this one.

“Moment of silence draws suit” David and Shannon Croft say a teacher told one of their children to keep quiet because the minute is “a time of prayer.”

But it’s OK, I suppose, to tell the class to shut up for five minutes during the condom distribution?

“Israelis seize 6 W. Bank prisoners”

Liberate to incarcerate. Perhaps the Palestinian jail didn’t have a decent deli?

“FBI documents may show wider surveillance”

In a related story, the American obesity epidemic continues.



“IRS moving to allow sale of tax return information.”

Are they jealous of Home Security privacy invasion? Or just eager to make further profits on their theft? Just like the government to steal from you and then sell the goods back. I’ve often wondered where all the knives and nail clippers confiscated at airports will end up. My guess is a government warehouse, from where they will eventually be sold to an enterprising Arab at 5% of their value.

“In ’05, airlines lost 30 million bags.”

And that was just the drugs.

“Bush’s Iraq picture grim, hopeful.”

Hopefully grim? Grimly hopeful? Oh fuhgedaboutit.

“Neighbor kills boy on lawn”

Glad to know it wasn’t on the street. Actually, the man loved his lawn. “Martin, 66, allegedly told police he had several times had problems with neighbors walking on his lawn.” One wonders: Bermuda? Dichondra? Decorative trolls? Or was his little black jockey defiled?

“New Iraq violence kills 39”

What makes it “new?”

“Australia begins cyclone cleanup”

Cyclone not cooperating, insisting that it flosses and bathes twice a day.

“Hoard of Cold War supplies found inside Brooklyn Bridge”

Class action suit begun from all purported owners of the Brooklyn Bridge to recoup stale survivor crackers.

“More indictments in scheme to defraud Red Cross

More than 61 people obtained free ATM cards in Bakersfield, CA, for access to government funds, claiming Katrina had induced PTSD in a town where the failure of air conditioning poses the biggest natural threat.

“Community college degrees may get tougher”

Eighth-grade reading equivalency threatened!


I think that’s enough milking of the news, which is like shooting fish in a barrel. Strangely both Kathleen and I never understood that metaphor until our 50s, when we realized it wasn’t meant to be live fish swimming around but stacked, salted herring. The image of shooting live fish always seemed a little difficult to us, especially if they were small, tropical fish. And speaking of that, infants have a disproportionately strong grip, which makes me doubt "Like taking candy from a baby" as well.

I’m sure all of you have heard by now about the Ambien-induced sleep-gorging. People sleepwalk and chow down, even cooking in their sleep. One woman claimed to have gained 100 lbs. in her sleep-gorging. This gives new meaning to the question: “How’s your new girlfriend?” “Well, I wouldn’t throw her out of bed for eating crackers.”

What about smeared bacon and eggs?

All for today, the Vernal Equinox, first day of spring. This means that Easter will be the first Sunday after the first Monday after the first full moon after today, as my mother so well taught me, which for us Lutherans always gave the holiday a nice pagan flavor. And we know for certain that Jesus was born on Christmas because otherwise the retail industry would suffer--unlike Jesus. As I’ve long preached, "Let's not take ‘X’ out of X-Mas!

And now a moment of silence as I pass out.

Thine in Truth and Farce,

C. E. Chaffin

1 comment:

  1. Hi... Another good reason I don't watch the news. ;-)


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