The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'the onion'
Apple's interim CEO Tim Cook, who took over the reins when Steve Jobs went on medical leave, is under fire after unveiling the latest MacBook, a machine made of living flesh some have described as "grotesque":
"Oh, my sweet God," Apple employee Kurt Starfeldt said after viewing the MacBook up close. "It appeared to be discharging some sort of mucus-type substance from the headphone jack and making these weird murmuring sounds. And then it started quivering at one point when Tim was demonstrating how to use the touch pad. It was quite upsetting, actually."
"There's all this gelatinous webbing that you have to stick your hand in just to turn it on, and then once you do, it starts, like, yelling for 30 seconds or so," said Shane Brick, a 38-year-old beta tester in San Francisco, adding that he "actually felt kind of bad for it." "The maintenance is ridiculous, too: Once a month it sheds all of its skin, and you need to shave the USB ports every couple days."
"I watched Steve Jobs build the Apple brand from the ground up, and I know that the name of the game here is cutting-edge," Cook said. "Honestly, I felt like the next logical step would be a laptop that feels like an extension of your body. The design may not be perfect, but I'm hoping over time maybe people will learn to love it, just as it will learn to love them."
Obama Replaces Costly High-Speed Rail Plan With High-Speed Bus Plan. The buses will cost a lot less than high-speed trains and will rocket arong highways at speeds up to 165mph.
Frustrated by continued demands from viewers for more "awesome" and "extreme" programming, the president of the Science Channel (a US cable-TV channel) has taken a stand, refusing to dumb down his network's content any further:
"We already have a show called Really Big Things, which is just ridiculous if you think about it, and one called Heavy Metal Taskforce, which I guess deals with science on some distant level, though I don't know what it is. Plus, there's Punkin Chunkin. Punkin Chunkin, for Christ's sake," added Bunting, referring to the popular program in which contestants launch oversized pumpkins into the air using catapults. "What more do you people want?"
As evidence of their refusal to further water down programming, network sources pointed to a number of proposed shows they've abandoned in recent weeks, including an animal-based bungee-jumping program called Extreme Gravity, and Atom Smashers, a series that was was roundly rejected by focus groups as being "too technical" and "not awesome enough."
"People liked that the particle accelerators were really huge, but apparently the show didn't have enough smashing to hold their interest," said a former employee who wished to remain anonymous. "In the end, it was either add a huge monster truck for no reason whatsoever or pull the plug on the entire project. Honestly, I don't think I'd be able to face my wife and children had we gone through with it."
The Onion has another fine slice of human disappointment: This Space Camp Looks A Lot Like Fat Camp:
Wow. I can't believe I'm really here. When I told my parents that I wanted to go to space camp, I never thought they'd actually agree. Especially not after they took me to see that doctor and he said that if I didn't lose some weight this summer I might end up getting diabetes. Mom and Dad seemed pretty concerned after that. But, hey, here I am!
Uh-oh. Better stand up straight. Here come our NASA-trained camp counselors! Strange. They look a little young to have graduated from the flight academy already. And why are they wearing gym shorts and coaches whistles instead of their regulation flight suits? Come to think of it, why am I the only one who showed up wearing a flight suit?
No, wait. It can't be. This is not what it looks like. It's space camp. That's why this gymnasium they've taken us to has a giant model of the solar system. Yes! Check it out! A giant, sprawling replica of the solar….
Okay. Those are just a bunch of different colored exercise balls.
Hendleman admitted that the $345 retail price might be a bit steep for many consumers. She also conceded that Activision may have erred by not releasing the game between Memorial Day and July 4, the prime parade season in the United States. Even so, she added, Sousaphone Hero contains "more than enough" features to keep gamers absorbed.
"And if you like multiplayer gaming, you're in luck," Hendleman continued. "In Sousaphone Hero's cooperative marching-band mode, as many as 135 of your friends can play simultaneously."
A new study from the University of North Carolina suggests that Iraqi citizens experience sadness and a sense of loss when relatives, spouses, and even friends perish — emotions that have until recently been identified almost exclusively with Westerners:
Iraqis have often been observed weeping and wailing in apparent anguish, but the study offers evidence indicating this may not be exclusively an outward expression of anger or a desire for revenge. It also provocatively suggests that this grief can possess an American-like personal quality, and is not simply a tribal lamentation ritual.
Psychologists and anthropologists have thus far largely discounted the study, claiming it has the same bias as a 1971 Stanford University study that concluded that many Vietnamese showed signs of psychological trauma from nearly a quarter century of continuous war in southeast Asia.
"We are, in truth, still a long way from determining if Iraqis are exhibiting actual, U.S.-grade sadness," Mayo Clinic neuropsychologist Norman Blum said. "At present, we see no reason for the popular press to report on Iraqi emotions as if they are real."
(via Mind Hacks)
MySpace outage leaves millions friendless; aid workers fear long-term psychological damage:
"I lost 6,456 of my best friends in an instant," said Minneapolis resident Peter Steinberg, 20, who has loyally befriended as many profiles as possible over the past two years. "Nothing can describe how devastated I feel. Some of these people I've exchanged two, even three comments with, and I can't tell you how many ROTFLMAOs we've shared, too."
Corey "Aqualad" Friesen, 18, of Danville, IL appeared to share Mancuso's fears about manual and analog socializing. "I vaguely remember trying to make friends pre-MySpace, but in 16 years, I only made three real friends," Friesen said. "If I have to revert back to face-to-face friend gathering, I would be middle-aged before I built that number into the double digits. I'd definitely never get back into the hundreds again."
"Without an 'About Me' section, I've lost all sense of self," said Imbrescia, 17, who depends on the site to convey his innermost thoughts to millions of extended-network friends. "Do I want kids? How tall am I? What's my body type? These are questions I can't answer anymore. I'd pray to a god for help, but I've lost my religion field."
"It would have been a major oversight to ignore this portentous anniversary," said Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, whose site now boasts over 4,300,000 articles in multiple languages, over one-quarter of which are in English, including 11,000 concerning popular toys of the 1980s alone. "At 750 years, the U.S. is by far the world's oldest surviving democracy, and is certainly deserving of our recognition," Wales said. "According to our database, that's 212 years older than the Eiffel Tower, 347 years older than the earliest-known woolly-mammoth fossil, and a full 493 years older than the microwave oven."
The commemorative page is one of the most detailed on the site, rivaling entries for Firefly and the Treaty Of Algeron for sheer length. Subheadings include "Origins Of Colonial Discontent," "Some Famous Guys In Wigs And Three-Cornered Hats," and "Christmastime In Gettysburg." It also features detailed maps of the original colonies--including Narnia, the central ice deserts, and Westeros--as well as profiles of famous American historical figures such as Benjamin Franklin, Special Agent Jack Bauer, and Samuel Adams who is also a defensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals.
"The idea seemed to dovetail perfectly with our tradition of democratic participation," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said. "But when so-called 'contributors' began loading it down with profanity, pornography, ASCII art, and mandatory-assault-rifle-ownership amendments, we thought it might be best to cancel the project." Congress intends to restore the Constitution to its pre-Wiki format as soon as an unadulterated copy of the document can be found.
(via The Onion)
A children's story for the modern age: I'm a Cloud Factory!, By
Ayn Rand A Smokestack.
I make all kinds of clouds--in all kinds of colors! Sometimes, I make white ones. Sometimes, they're gray. Sometimes, they're as brown as the grass or the trees. And sometimes, they're as green as the river.
I have other friends, too. Like the little birds. I love to watch them swoop and soar. They are so beautiful and graceful, and they bring me great joy. I'm so full of joy! I can barely hold it in! So I give them something beautiful back. Just as they approach, I pop out a great big pink cloud!
And when the birds fly straight into the cloud, they do a "rain dance" down... down... down... to the ground. Like a hundred little feathered raindrops!
"Things fall not because they are acted upon by some gravitational force, but because a higher intelligence, 'God' if you will, is pushing them down," said Gabriel Burdett, who holds degrees in education, applied Scripture, and physics from Oral Roberts University.
Proponents of Intelligent Falling assert that the different theories used by secular physicists to explain gravity are not internally consistent. Even critics of Intelligent Falling admit that Einstein's ideas about gravity are mathematically irreconcilable with quantum mechanics. This fact, Intelligent Falling proponents say, proves that gravity is a theory in crisis.
Some evangelical physicists propose that Intelligent Falling provides an elegant solution to the central problem of modern physics. "Anti-falling physicists have been theorizing for decades about the 'electromagnetic force,' the 'weak nuclear force,' the 'strong nuclear force,' and so-called 'force of gravity,'" Burdett said. "And they tilt their findings toward trying to unite them into one force. But readers of the Bible have already known for millennia what this one, unified force is: His name is Jesus."Also in The Onion: this infographic of new ecologically-friendly biofuels, including the likes of "EcoCoal - bituminous, geologically occurring combustible that comes in a nice green container" and "Hydro-Quasi-Solarization", in which two naturally-occurring hydrogen atoms are "fused" together, releasing roughly as much energy as the sun.
The Onion's 2056 issue, with stories like "Government May Restrict Use Of Genetically Modified Farmers", "Final Installment of Frogger Trilogy Poised To Sweep Oscars", "Halliburton Wins Bid To Rebuild Midwest" and "Could Jimi Hendrix Mk. IV's Disappointing Synth-Funk Output Spell The End Of The Vat-Grown Celebrity?":
"Our first objective is to suppress the Wisconsinite and Illini insurgents," Halliburton spokesman James Rothman told reporters. "Attacks on the area's megasilos and supermills have cut the region's grain production in half. Once the insurgents have been contained and the farmland has been adequately irradiated, we will build our own MechaSuperfarms, which we will manage for as long as is necessary to maintain stability in the area."
One thing seems clear: If vat-grown celebrities continue to follow their own muses, it may spell the end of the entertainment industry's latest and most expensive case of sequel-itis.
"It looks like the ancient curse of entertainment--the infamous 'mind of their own' problem--might keep everyone from taking a chance on bringing back anyone else," Miner-323 said.Meanwhile, Charles Stross's future-history of the Singularity, Accelerando, has been released under a Creative Commons licence; you can read it as straight HTML on the site, download it to your PDA, or, of course, buy a dead-tree copy. It covers time from the very near future (or perhaps the present) to the age of solar-system-wide matrioshka brains with incomprehensibly complex cultural/economic systems and wormhole-spanning colonies of posthumans (not to mention uploaded lobsters and Machiavellian robot cats).
(via bOING bOING)
According to a report by the American Institute of Religions, the Church of Scientology is steadily losing members to Fictionology, a new religion created in 2003 by Bud Don Ellroy, author of Imaginetics: The New Pipe-Dream Of Modern Mental Make-Believe.:
"Unlike Scientology, which is based on empirically verifiable scientific tenets, Fictionology's central principles are essentially fairy tales with no connection to reality," the AIR report read. "In short, Fictionology offers its followers a mythical belief system free from the cumbersome scientific method to which Scientology is hidebound."
Fictionology's central belief, that any imaginary construct can be incorporated into the church's ever-growing set of official doctrines, continues to gain popularity. Believers in Santa Claus, his elves, or the Tooth Fairy are permittedeven encouragedto view them as deities. Even corporate mascots like the Kool-Aid Man are valid objects of Fictionological worship.
Ah, so Fictionology is like the entire set of Discordian/SubGenius-inspired "churches" formed on the net over the past decade then? (I'm not sure whether there was a Church of the Kool-Aid Man, but there could well have been.)
American students traveling abroad confirm the findings of a study indicating that Washington's unilateral approach to foreign policy has seriously undermined Americans' chances of getting laid:
"I'm in Amsterdam--Amsterdam, for Christ's sake--and I'm in the middle of the longest dry spell I can remember," Higgs said. "Last week, I was making out with this Italian girl at a concert. It was all going great until the music ended and she heard my American accent. I swear to God, I went from the cusp of a hand job to, 'Why won't your country sign the Kyoto Treaty?'"
"I voted for Kerry and I marched against the Iraq war," Biehn said. "But when I got to Europe, I might as well have been wearing a Bush bumper sticker on my forehead and star-spangled cowboy boots. As soon as the French guys hear I am from the U.S., all they want to do is argue politics."
And some advice for young Americans attempting to pull in Europe:
"First, pretend you're Canadian whenever you can," Hapbrook said. "But make sure you're not around actual Canadians, because they'll know you're lying and cock-block you. Second, if there are any anti-American protests going on, take care to avoid women carrying signs. Third, focus your itinerary on countries like Ireland and Japan that are still relatively friendly to Americans. You may want to write off France altogether," Hapbrook added.
Holbrooke said that, while the living Jackson is the leading suspect in the murder investigation, he "could be another victim of some sort." "Basically, we have no idea what type of creature we are dealing with," Holbrooke said.
Allard said he thinks that the imposter broke ties with Jackson's former friends and surrounded himself with children who were too young to notice the radical change.``
"This is very disturbing news," Gustafson said. "But to be honest, it's kind of a relief too. Thriller and Off The Wall are really amazing records. Now I can pull them out of my 'ruined by child abuse' storage bin and start listening to them again."
The Museum of the Middle Class, featuring historical and anthropological exhibits addressing the socioeconomic category that once existed between the upper and lower classes, opened to the public in Schaumburg, Illinois, on Monday.
One of the 15 permanent exhibits, titled "Working For 'The Weekend,'" examines the routines of middle-class wage-earners, who labored for roughly eight hours a day, five days a week. In return, they were afforded leisure time on Saturdays and Sundays. According to many anthropologists, these "weekends" were often spent taking "day trips,"eating at chain family restaurants, or watching "baseball" with the nuclear family.
The Onion is eerily plausible when it reports Donald Rumsfeld announcing the US Government's new strategy of fighting terror with terror:
"It's vital to remember that these terrorists hate freedom," Rumsfeld said. "Well, guess what? From now on, we're going to hate it even more. Do you think terrorists care about due process and fair treatment of prisoners? Of course not. Why should we give them the upper hand? You fight fire with fire."
"Just wait and you'll see," Abrams said. "Martin Luther King said, 'Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.' Well, enemies of democracy and freedom around the world are going to find out just how right he was. They'll see just how dark it can get."
From the most recent Onion: If Al-Qaeda Had A Hockey Team, We'd Kick Its Ass:
Can you imagine? It'd be so sweet. We'd have the advantage before the puck even dropped. First of all, they'd be from the Middle East, which is no hockey powerhouse. I'll bet their ice always melts down before the game's even over. Plus, their rink would probably be all bombed out. Or it'd be in a tent or something. And you know al-Qaeda's hockey uniforms would be totally ugly, with stupid colors and all kinds of Allah shit all over them. The jerseys would have those big long Ramalama bin Dingdong names on the back, and those Arabic numbers they use over there.
So, of course, then we'd get the power play. And face it, at that point, the game's pretty much over for them. They have to ask the crowd to stop chanting "USA! USA! USA!" But guess what, man? We ain't gonna stop! So al-Qaeda pulls their goalie, and while they're trying for the extra-man goal in garbage time to save face, they fail to notice one important detail: the Navy SEALs coming down from the ceilings and walls to capture everyone on the al-Qaeda bench. 'Cause there's no way we're letting those half-assed-hockey-playing terrorist bastards just waltz out the door. And that's how the greatest hockey game in history would end.
The Onion AV Club's Least Essential Albums of 2003 list includes things like awful poet Jewel's Britneyfication (I'm surprised Liz Phair didn't make it onto the list; though perhaps she was 2002), Russell Crowe's pub-rock band, and the usual dodgy tribute albums, band members' solo albums and the obligatory Tupac necrophilia. (They also give a gong to Dave Gahan's solo album, in which they have a dig at Martin Gore's Counterfeit2, which I thought was quite decent.) (via Rocknerd)
Meanwhile, the Graun has a list of 50 things we'd like to see less of in 2004.
In today's Onion: Mom Finds Out About Blog:
"God, my links alone contain unlimited fodder for Mom's neuroses," Widmar said. "She'll have access to not only my life, but the lives of all my friends who have web sites. She'll have the names of all the places in Minneapolis where we hang out, which she can--and will--look up. With the raw materials in my blog, she could actually construct an accurate picture of who I am. This is fucking serious."
Seeing his blog through his mother's eyes, Widmar said he knows there's no way the site can remain unchanged.
"The clock is ticking," Widmar said. "I've gotta act fast. At this very minute, she might be reading about the time I did Ecstasy last summer. If Mom finds that entry, I can pretty much count on our conversations for the next year being centered on the dangers of drug use."
I'm fortunate that my mum doesn't show any interest in my blog; I've shown it to her, but she never payed much attention to it (perhaps because I don't write about my everyday life here and she doesn't have a dictionary of cultural references at hand to decode what it's actually about). Except for the time she tried to talk me into pimping her home movies on my web site.
(Another reason why blogs, without some sort of authentication mechanism (think LiveJournal's friend lists), are unsuitable for private discourse.)
The Onion lays into fanboys: I'll Thank You Not To Call My Collection Of Sequential-Art Erotica 'Dirty Comics'.
Manara -- not that you would be aware of this -- is famed throughout the Continent, though sadly unappreciated on these shores, thanks to the ignorance of philistines like yourself. Are you familiar with Manara's collaborations with a certain Federico Fellini, a man who is seen in Italy as a filmmaker on par with our Lucas?
(I know, it's about as sporting as clubbing helpless baby seals. But it's fun...)
The Onion's commentary about current directions in trademark law: Tanzania loses name to tanning salon chain:
"It was easy to establish that my client's company had a greater vested interest in the Tanzania brand name," said Yeltzer's lawyer, Ben Knowles. "Tanzania, the salon chain, is a rapidly growing business, adding nearly 50 locations each year. Tanzania, the African nation, is lanquishing under a debt of $7 billion."
"When you come to a Tanzania location, you know you're in for an out-of-the-ordinary tanning experience," Yeltzer said. "Our salons are famous for their casual but professional atmosphere. Last year, four million customers visited Tanzania Salons. Can the country of Tanzania make that claim?"
Today's Onion has some great stories, including No One Makes It To Burning Man, Horrified Teen Stumbles Upon Divorced Mom's Personal Ad (heh!), and the very insightful Graphic Artist Carefully Assigns Ethnicities to Anthropomorphic Recyclables:
Added Bellisle: "That brings another problem to light: If you include one woman in the mix, no one cares what race she is. As if one female recycling drum can represent female recycling drums of all races, but male recyclables deserve further distinction."
Drawing friendly, nondescript male characters is not the answer, said Bellisle. "Look at this grinning soda can giving the thumbs-up here," she said. "Everyone subconsciously assumes it's a Caucasian male."
"I have no idea how to make the plastic milk jug look gay," Bellisle said. "I don't want to make him a bottle of water, for obvious reasons. Maybe I'll use a soy-milk container when I draw the gay jug. Or maybe they'll let me switch him with the Chicano, this tin can here.
Unfortunately, though, the Onion seem to have switched their system so that the URLs of stories become invalid after the current week, thus reducing their bloggability. Which sucks.
This week's Onion has some good bits on the front page, such as "Last Great Party Of Life To Result In First Child", and the following classic:
WASHINGTON, DC -- Republicans in the House of Representatives proposed H.R. 2093: the Economic Equality Initiative, with the express purpose of shooting it down "just for kicks" Tuesday. "H.R. 2093 will level the economic playing field, spreading the wealth among the rich and poor," said Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX), visibly fighting back snickers. "We must pass this bill to stop the fat cats from getting fatter while the average Joe struggles to make ends meet. Also, I'm the Queen of Bavaria." Following 10 minutes of uproarious laughter, the congressmen stepped out of the chamber to smoke cigars lit with a bill that would allocate $115 million to clean up hazardous waste sites.
Focus groups at advance screenings of Gigli, a new gangster-themed Hollywood Romantic Comedy have demanded a new ending, in which both Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez die "in as brutal a manner as possible". Sounds good to me...
"The danger here is succumbing to what people in the business call 'option paralysis'--being caught with so many good ideas that you're not sure which one to use," Brest said. "Getting shot is fine, but what about an automobile fire in which Ben and Jennifer are shown perishing in a slow-motion montage, their newfound love discarded as they try desperately to claw their way past each other's melting bodies, while slowly roasting to death in their own fat? You'd be surprised at how many people came up with that one. Or having them crawl through a field of broken glass while a safely booted and gloved Christopher Walken casually advances on them with a spray bottle of acid and a pair of bolt-cutters? I must say, a part of me loves the idea of them chewing each other to death during a 14-minute dolly shot."
The front page of today's Onion has the following observation on the differences between the sexes: Woman Masturbates To Concept Of Commitment:
PORTAGE, MI--Soaking in her bathtub Tuesday, area resident Linda Marston, 32, pleasured herself over the thought of a long-term committed relationship. "Mmmm... oh, yeah, baby... I want to settle down with you forever," moaned the never-married Marston, as she gently massaged her clitoris with two fingers. "Oh, God, yes... two kids, maybe three... and a house in the country. Big swingset in the backyard." Several hours later, Marston masturbated again to the idea of loving someone unconditionally through good times and bad.
WASHINGTON, DC--With the nation safely distracted by the NBA playoffs, Congress passed the terrifying Citizenship Redefinition And Income-Based Relocation Act of 2003 with little opposition Monday.
Andy Guthridge of Savannah, GA, is among the estimated 240 million Americans unaware of the sweeping package of civil-liberties curtailments, voting-privilege re-qualifications, and mandatory relocation of the working poor to the Dakotas. "Man, I was so glad to see the Lakers finally get knocked off," said Guthridge, who was glued to TNT while the bill's passage aired on C-SPAN. "Shaq and Kobe and the rest of those dicks have had it coming for a long time."
Meanwhile, in the same issue of The Onion, Bassist Unaware Rock Band Christian:
"Jack's amazing," Rolen said. "He writes all these super-heavy, Metallica-influenced tunes like 'My Master' and 'Blood Of My Father,' but then he'll turn around and write a killer love song like 'Thank You (For Saving Me).'" "Actually, Jack writes a lot of songs about chicks," Rolen continued. "'Your Love,' 'When You Return,' 'I Confess'... I don't know if they're all about the same girl or lots of different ones, but one thing's for sure: Jack loves the pussy."
"At the audition, [drummer] Greg [Roberts] said Pillar Of Salt was going for a Believer-meets-Living Sacrifice sound," Rolen said. "I didn't know jack about either of those bands, but I knew I could play bass like a motherfucker, and that's what got me the gig. Afterwards, I asked Greg what Living Sacrifice sounded like, and at the first practice, he gave me a tape. It's not Slayer, but it rocks. He's given me some other stuff by Whitecross, Third Day, and Stigmata. I've always prided myself on knowing metal, but these guys put me to shame. They must really have their ears to the ground to know all this music I've never heard before."
In today's Onion: '90s Punk Decries Punks Of Today:
"Those so-called punk bands they listen to today? Sum 41? Good Charlotte? The Ataris? They're not punk. Back in the day, man, we used to listen to the real deal: Rancid, The Offspring, NOFX, Green Day. Those guys were what true punk rock was all about. Today's stuff is just a pale, watered-down imitation. There's no comparison."
"I saw some kid wearing a Sex Pistols T-shirt the other day--he couldn't have been more than 9 when the Pistols did their Filthy Lucre reunion tour," Tolbert said. "I was like, 'You can listen to the music, you can wear the T-shirt, but I was there.' I had fifth-row seats at that goddamn stadium, man, right up front, close enough to see Johnny Rotten's wrinkles. Did you see an original member of The Clash play during Big Audio Dynamite II's last tour? Did you see two of the four original Ramones play at the KROQ Weenie Roast in '95? You did not, but I did. I swear to God, they're like a joke, these people."
And then, the front page has the following useful wardating tip:
SPRINGFIELD, MO--Wanting to add something special for new love Danielle Welter, Andy Mansfield, 24, burned three personalized tracks Monday onto his standard new-girlfriend mix CD. "Danielle loves that No Doubt song 'Running,' so I threw that on there just for her," Mansfield said. "And she doesn't really like rap, which [previous girlfriend] Erica [Hollings] loved, so I took off [Salt-N-Pepa's] 'Whatta Man' and replaced it with two Aretha Franklin songs, because Danielle loves the oldies." Mansfield said he expects Welter to love the mix "even more than Erica did, maybe even as much as Christine."
The Onion looks at Appointed by America, the new Fox reality TV show to determine the ruler of Iraq:
"Get ready, America, because you're about to choose the man--or woman--who will lead Iraq into an exciting democratic future," said Fox reality-programming chief Mike Darnell, introducing the show at a press conference. "Will it be Ahmed Chalabi, leader of the exiled Iraqi National Congress? Or General Tommy Franks, commander of the allied forces? Or maybe Roshumba Williams, the Macon, GA, waitress with big dreams and an even bigger voice? Tune in Tuesdays at 9 to see."
Added Perkins: "So long as Hitch can learn to keep his mouth shut about Christianity being symptomatic of the 'savage and ignorant prehistory of our species' and whatnot, I'm sure he'll cause no trouble that a few cups of black coffee and a night in the drunk tank can't solve."
Separated at birth?
The Onion has a great war-time issue, with stories like U.S. Forms Own U.N., Bush Bravely Leads 3rd Infantry Into Battle, Dead Iraqi Would Have Loved Democracy and Local Mom Whips Up Some Of Her Famous War Pie; and more.
Claire Thompson, author David Foster Wallace's girlfriend of two years, stopped reading his 67-page breakup letter at page 20, she admitted Monday.
"One thing I found annoying was that you had to read all the way to the middle to figure out what things on the first page of the letter were talking about," Thompson said. "For instance, he kept referring to somebody named The Cackler without explanation until page 11, at which point I finally found out that The Cackler is my friend Renée--essentially forcing me to read the whole first 11 pages over again. And then there are all the footnotes. I always felt he overused those in his valentines, too."
"Maybe I'll pick it up again," Thompson said. "I'd sort of like to see how it ends. Then again, knowing David, it probably just leaves a whole bunch of loose ends untied."
Another amusingly apt Onion piece I missed earlier: One Look At My Music Collection Will Show You How Much I Respect Women.
Unfortunately, at this point in my life, I haven't really made as many connections as I'd have liked. If I could just get a woman to see my CD collection, I know she'd realize that I'm not like the other guys. I can really understand the female experience.
Bush on North Korea: We Must Invade Iraq:
"For years, Kim Jong Il has acted in blatant disregard of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation Of Nuclear Weapons, and last week, he rejected it outright," Bush told reporters after a National Security Council meeting on North Korea. "We cannot allow weapons of mass destruction to remain in the hands of volatile, unpredictable leaders. Which is exactly why we must act quickly and decisively against Saddam Hussein."
Gill called the discovery "a powerfully compelling refutation" of secular scientists' long-held assertion that dinosaurs lived on Earth millions of years before humans. "The fact that no human remains were found anywhere in the vicinity of the site of the skeleton serves as proof of the tyrannosaur's ferocity and huge appetite," Gill said.
Also from the Onion: Ghost of Christmas Future Taunts Children With Visions of PlayStation 5.
"I like to appear in the living room with a PS5 hooked up to 2016's most popular TV, the 4'x8' Hi-Def Sony Titania," the Ghost said. "Then, I'll say in my best spooky voice, 'Jimmy! Behold what your kids will be playing while you're slaving away at an office job to support them!'"
A Republican initiative that went unopposed by congressional Democrats, the revised Bill of Rights provides citizens with a "more manageable" set of privacy and due-process rights by eliminating four amendments and condensing and/or restructuring five others. The Second Amendment, which protects the right to keep and bear arms, was the only article left unchanged.
"We're not taking away personal rights; we're increasing personal security," Ashcroft said. "By allowing for greater government control over the particulars of individual liberties, the Bill of Rights will now offer expanded personal freedoms whenever they are deemed appropriate and unobtrusive to the activities necessary to effective operation of the federal government."
(via The Onion)
Mad Magazine (remember them?) have a self-referential parody of The Onion. (via bOING bOING)
Freddie the Lobster: Just Wait 'Til I Get These Fucking Rubber Bands Off. (The Onion)
The Onion draws another spot-on sketch of human despair: Goodwill Toy Section Most Depressing Thing Ever. (I think "Goodwill" is the US equivalent of the Salvation Army Family Stores or something like that.)
"The toy area has its own distinct odor: sort of a musty, mildewy, plastic, sour-milk, baby-vomit, metallic, rotting-cloth smell," Robichaud said. "It isn't quite the smell of evil--just despair."
20% of Area Man's Income Spent Ironically (the Onion)
A lot of people have linked to this recently (GJW/Jimbob and Jorn are two), but it's somewhat frightening how much of this Onion article from January 2001 has come true.
Also from the Onion, this examination of hope and despair: Best Years Of Area Man's Life Apparently Never Going To Happen:
"I guess I always just figured the really good years were right around the corner," Videk said. "What a pantload. I remember in high school, thinking that as soon as I got a car, the best years were really gonna kick in. I'd be able to go anywhere, get girls, maybe get laid, and people would think I was cool. Then, when I finally got a car, it was such a shitheap, I figured that once I got a better car, then everything would be fine. Well, you know what? I've owned 11 cars in my life, and I thought the same exact thing about each one of the fuckers. Not one in the succession of cars I've bought since I was 16 has ever done anything for me but drag my sorry ass to and from work every goddamn day of my life. That's it."
"It's like you're thinking, 'The world's my oyster and anything is possible,'" Videk said. "'As soon as this next immediate obstacle to happiness is cleared, I'll be able to do anything I want.' Then the goals become less and less realistic as you pass 35, and you start to set more modest goals for the best years of your life, like making shift supervisor at the goddamn screen-door factory where you work. Eventually, even these pathetically scaled-down fantasies prove unworkable, since some asshole named Glenn Harrigan has seniority at the plant and obviously isn't going anywhere. Suddenly, you're 51, and at long last, you figure out that whatever it is you're hypothetically still waiting for, it's pretty much irrelevant. Then you go to bed and have to work at the screen-door factory for another nine hours the next day, and that's pretty much that."
The Onion does Mad Magazine, taking off various memes from the venerable journal.
There are some red faces in Beijing, after the most popular newspaper there, the Beijing Evening News, reprinted an article from The Onion, stating that it was true. The article in question had U.S. Congress threatening to relocate to Memphis or Charlotte unless Washington built them a new Capitol with a retractable roof. (via one.point.zero)
In today's Onion: Pope forgives molested children for their misdeeds:
"The pope has shown great love and compassion, much as Jesus did when he ministered to tax collectors and whores," said Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston. "Despite all they have done to jeopardize the careers of so many priests--to say nothing of imperiling the priests' immortal souls--the church embraces these underaged seducers and tempters with open arms. The pope's words and actions prove that the church is willing to put an end to the suffering and let the healing begin."
"There was a lot of concern when she was cast in Dr. T And The Women ," Braterman said. "[Director Robert] Altman is known for his subversive, countercultural views, and [co-star] Richard Gere is a passionate advocate for Tibetan independence. It was a dangerous situation to put her in, but by keeping Tara's trailer far away from Richard's and by frequently pulling her off the set for premieres, press junkets, and racy pictorials for Stuff magazine and Maxim, we managed to shield her from any potential indoctrination."
"It is just so unfair," Pressly said. "Because of her control-freak handlers, Tara will never learn of the joys and rewards of political awareness. Since my own awakening last year, I feel so much more full of knowledge and awareness, and I think celebrities should use their fame to educate the public about important issues. Like, for example, did you know that women in Pakistine have to be buried alive with their dead husbands, whether they want to or not? That is so wrong."
"Scottie was always up for coming over to my house and teaching me how to use a hopping casino coin or a stiff rope," said best friend and fellow magic aficionado Andrew Welch. "Now, he just wants to go to parties. He's all, 'Is anyone having a party this weekend? We should go to that bar we went to on New Year's Eve. There were cute girls there.' God, Scottie, get a life."
According to a Department of Health and Human Services report released Monday, McDonald's meat from antibiotics-injected livestock is now the primary source of antibiotics for U.S. children, particularly for uninsured youths from low-income households.
"Every day, food scientists are discovering new antibiotics, growth hormones, and other chemically engineered substances to inject into the nation's beef supply," Lugar said. "And with Americans working longer and longer hours just to make ends meet, people can't afford to waste time sitting around some waiting room until their name is called. Unlike a doctor, our fast-food providers can deliver a full spectrum of antibiotics in minuteshot, fresh, and with a smile."
"It's just a twisted mass of black-frame glasses and ironic Girl Scouts T-shirts in there.": 37 Record Store Clerks Feared Dead In Yo La Tengo Concert Disaster in Athens, Ga. Rescue workers are still sifting for the wreckage for copies of Magnet, heated debates over the definition of emo and other signs of life.
The Onion in fine form: Countries Who Met Over Internet Go To War. And then there's Sullen Time-Travelling Teen Reports 23rd Century Sucks:
"They still had pizza, which was cool," Geremek said. "But kids were into splicing their DNA with beetles, so they get, like, these temporary mandibles shooting out of their foreheads. It sounds like it would be pretty cool, but it actually looked kinda gay."
Today's Onion: Hey, Everybody, we'll stop Banker Mudge from tearing down our clubhouse by putting on an avant-garde show:
Who will write this play, you ask? None other than yours truly, Mickey McCune, natch! Aw, don't worry, I've seen lots of these kind of showsÂcabaret, poetry recitals, performance art, you name it. It'll be a cinch! I think I'll call my work Meat Play . It will be the story of the aforementioned fetus, who survives a premature birth and eventually ascends to the throne of an obscure Eastern European kingdom. There will be a waltzing skeleton, a murderous clown, an enormously fat industrialist who sits atop a large glass toilet and defecates money, and a lecherous bishop who covets his own sister but can't act on his impulses because he's buried up to his chest in dirt. Ain't that a peach?
And then there's also "Man Bitten By Radioactive Sloth Does The Lying-Around-All-Day Of 10 Normal Men":
CENTRAL CITYÂLaboratory assistant Brent Barker, bitten by a radioactive sloth last week in a freak lab accident, now possesses the relative loafing powers of 10 men. "Could someone pass me some more crackers?" asked the media-dubbed "Crimson Lump," speaking from his titanium sofa, the only known object that can withstand his superhuman lethargy. "I can't reach them from here." Scientists are likewise baffled at Barker's uncanny ability to remain motionless while watching amounts of television that would kill an ordinary mortal.
Here's a new scam for you, Lev: Who Knew It Would Be So Easy To Impersonate A Priest?
The thing you have to realize is, when you dress up like a priest, people want to believe you're a priest. I recently visited a small town in Missouri where no one knew me and started walking around in my priest outfit. Within a few hours, I was invited to a week's worth of home-cooked meals. Man, did I eat good! And you know what? Not a single person asked me to show my priest ID card before serving up the roast turkey and mashed potatoes.
And in the same Onion:
BREMERTON, WA-- A head of genetically modified broccoli shrieked its numerous benefits at shoppers Monday in a Seattle-area Safeway. "I contain 40 percent more vitamin A than non-modified broccoli!" the head screeched at terrified produce-aisle customers. "I can fight off insects and disease without the use of pesticides!" Monsanto, makers of the vegetable, stressed that genetic-modification technology is still in its infancy, and that more pleasantly voiced broccoli should hit store shelves by 2003.
From The Onion: Judge Orders God To Break Up Into Smaller Deities, finding the Judeo-Christian Deity to be an illegal monotheopoly. Of course, whether or not it'll actually happen is another matter; didn't the defendant contribute heavily to the Bush campaign?
And there's also this amusing look at student radicalism.
The Onion's back in fine form, with pieces like Area Man Not Exactly Sure When To Take Down American Flags:
"I don't want to be the first to take one down and look like an ass," Wenger said. "When I put the flags up, I was saying, 'I support America.' If I take them down, some people will probably think I'm saying, 'I no longer support America.'"
And then there's this ever-helpful collection of Dating Tips:
- Ladies: Your date's salary divided by your own equals the base you should let him get to on the first date.
- If you are overweight and socially awkward, consider "online dating." You can go on a dragonslaying adventure instead of to a movie, play games on Pogo.com instead of dancing, and masturbate instead of having real sex.
s,San Francisco,St Kilda/Byron Bay,g: The Onion: San Francisco is my favourite market. (Beware of the evil text-obscuring Flash ads though.)
Media watch: The Onion: "Ringo Next"; the Chaser: Yoko Ono slams Beatle death as derivative.
The Onion in classic form: Man Dies After Long And Painful Battle With Life.
From today's Onion: What Are We Feeling That Would Be Better Expressed In German?
1. Dread of something inevitable yet benign
2. The wish to see all suffer for the crimes of one.
Tell your industrial-listening friends.
And then there's US to Arab World: 'Stop Hating Us Or Suffer The Consequences'
The Onion has this particularly incisive piece of social commentary: If I Don't Get My Medium-Rare Shell Steak With Roasted Vegetables In The Next 10 Minutes, The Terrorists Have Already Won
Do you want the blood of our forefathers to have been spilled for nothing? Well, if you can't bring us the entrees we need to rebuild our strength as a nation in the next five minutes, you might as well move to Afghanistan and join in one of their American-flag-burning rallies. Because that's what you're really doing.
The Onion is back in full form, with pieces like Freedoms Curtailed In Defense of Liberty:
"Now is not the time for such divisive, destructive things as dialogue and debate," McCain said. "Now is not the time for, 'My opinion is just as valid as yours,' and 'What are my country's leaders doing and why?' and 'I have a question, Mr. President.' Now is the time for one thing and one thing only: The defense of the American democratic ideal. Any and all who disagree with this directive, or who have different ideas about how it should be accomplished, should learn to shut their mouths."
And Everybody Browsing At Video Store Saying Stupid Things is quite good too.
The new Onion, the first since 11/9/2001, is in, and it's not the terminally ironically detached Onion of yore; no sirree, this is a patriotic, flag-waving, God Bless America-singing Onion, for now at least. Don't expect anything as blasphemously flippant as "Terrorism matches obesity as top killer of Americans" (no, for that you have to go to that scurrilous convict rag the Chaser). The "hijackers surprised to find selves in Hell" story reminded me of a Weekly World News piece about great villains like Lee Harvey Oswald being tortured in Hell.
As America joins in prayer, the nihilistic young hellions of Portal of Evil News have put their misanthropic barbs on hold and replaced their page with a memorial for those killed in the WTC attack, and now the Onion is suspending its next edition, and doing some soul-searching. Some commentators are saying that the age of irony is over:
"Look at Congress singing 'God Bless America' on the steps of the Capitol" Tuesday night, he added. "That would have seemed ridiculously hokey 24 hours earlier, but when it happened, it was a mesmerizing display of unity."
It will be interesting to see whether the age of irony is truly over, whether the detached hipster cynicism that permeated the 1990s died on 11/9/2001, to be replaced by a new Organization Kid earnestness and sense of responsibility, just as America's innocence is said to have when Kennedy was shot, or whether it is merely on hold for the moment. It will be interesting to see whether, when the Onion resumes publication, it will be as detached and faithless as before, or whether it will develop a new wholesomeness and sense of communitarian identity, and if the former, whether its circulation will drop off as a result of changing public tastes. Also, it may be interesting to observe whether underground countercultures continue to flourish (after all, when everybody is singing God Bless America in unison, what sense is there in defining oneself outside of the greater whole), whether authors like Douglas Coupland and Chuck Palahniuk will keep being published, and whether low-budget disaffected-slacker comedies will keep appearing in cinemas.
We may soon, if not now, be living in a true post-ironic age; only this time the "post-" isn't short for "postmodern" and a symbol of still further detachment, but is used in its literal sense; A neo-Rockwellian earnestness without the blasphemous self-awareness of kitsch.
This week's Onion has some good pieces, such as God Finally Gives Shout-Out Back To All His Niggaz, and Plan To Get Laid At DragonCon 2001 Fails,
"I imagined some girl and I talking about the new Lord Of The Rings movie," Melcher said. "Then I could say, 'Oh, I have the trailer on my laptop back in my hotel room if you want to see it."
Though a distinct minority, some females were present at DragonCon. "There was this one girl dressed up like Black Canary. She had the boots and the fishnet stockings and everything," Melcher said. "I couldn't really talk to her, though, because there was a pretty dense crowd of guys around her at all times."
not to mention this gem: Oh, Girls Are No Good At Genocide.
The Khmer Rouge picked Pol Pot because they knew he'd be good at murder and torture and all that other boy stuff. A girl probably would have planted flowers in the killing fields.
The Onion: Family of Five Found Alive in Suburbs:
Upon discovery, the family was rushed back to civilization. Attempts to reassimilate the Holsapples into metropolitan living with a trip to the Art Institute of Chicago and dinner at a nice Peruvian restaurant were met with resistance. "When we got to the museum, the family became quite agitated," psychologist Dr. Allan Green said. "Jay kept calling all the modern art 'weird' and Meredith said, 'If we wanted to look at art, we could just go to Deck The Walls at the mall.'"
Upon arriving in Buffalo Grove in 1993, the Holsapples befriended the locals, called "suburbanites," and soon adopted their ways entirely, from the mode of dress to the food they eat. Meredith Holsapple described in great detail the suburban settlements called "sub-divisions" where great emphasis is placed on maintaining lawns, watching televised sports, birthing children, listening to Top 40 music, and collecting stuffed animals.
From the most recent Onion:
NEW YORK-- An English as a Second Language textbook focuses predominantly on food-preparation vocabulary, night-school student Eduardo Reyes reported Monday. "I must admit, I would like to learn how to say more than, 'I have diced the onions,' and, 'Did he want scrambled or over-easy?'" said a disconsolate Reyes, speaking through a translator, following his first lesson. "I had hoped to learn words for the different parts of the body so I can pursue my dream of becoming a doctor. I have instead learned much about the grilling of chickens."
The Onion's in fine form today: Lowest Common Denominator Continues To Plummet:
In a Syracuse University study conducted last month, reruns of Happy Days, a show derided by 1970s critics as "targeted to third-graders," were deemed "beyond comprehension" by 75 percent of present-day third-graders. The surveyed students expressed frustration with the show's characters, some of which exhibited more than one trait. "Fonzie rides a motorcycle, but he also likes girls," one subject said. "I don't get it." The test group also took issue with Happy Days' "boring," non-fatal motorcycle crashes and confusing lack of gunplay and/or graphic nudity.
Ironic-Kitsch-Appreciation Subculture Excited About New Britney Spears Novel (new Onion)
Phalanx Of Lawyers Stares Hungrily From Back Cover Of Phone Book (new Onion)
Lazy Slasher Leaves Trail Of Victims From Couch To Fridge. (new Onion)
A church in Canberra, alarmed at those wicked Harry Potter books seducing children away from the truth of Christianity, has distributed a leaflet to its members about the dangers these books pose to children, and their contribution to the rise of juvenile devil worship in America. Unbeknownst to them, the text of the leaflet was taken from a piece in the Onion.
Lava lamps revert from Passé Retro Kitsch back to Novel Retro Camp.
"It all depends whether you're talking about straight, unironic, revivalist retro or one of the numerous strains of pre-X and Gen-X irony," said Seth Burks, 29, author of the award-winning Athens, GA-based 'zine Burning Asshole. "I've identified 22 distinct varieties of irony-informed retro and non-retro aesthetics, including camp, kitsch, trash, schmaltz, post-schmaltz, and post-post-schmaltz. It's time we addressed the woeful inadequacies of the government's current retro-classification system."
According to the latest Onion, teen-goth idol Marilyn Manson is now going door to door, trying desperately to shock Middle America.
"I just stood there thinking, now there's a boy who tries way too hard," Binford said. "I mean, come on: Homoerotic sacrilege went out in the late '90s."
Also, Alessandra Coletti, the 22-year-old mezzo-soprano sensation, who is said to be the finest opera singer of her generation, is control, is completely unknown amongst members of her generation.
New Onion: Vacationing Woman Thinks Cats Miss Her:
Hoping to ease the pain and loneliness of her asocial, predatory pets, Davrian has left numerous long messages on her answering machine, claiming that the cats will appreciate hearing her voice. She also wrapped one of her sweaters around a pillow before leaving so Buttons and Bonkers would 'have a bit of me to snuggle with,' unaware that the cats' motivation for 'snuggling' is to maintain body temperature, not to feel emotionally connected to their food provider.
From the Onion, this update on actor and professional Australian Paul Hogan's dynamic career:
Continuing nine years of such efforts, Australian actor Paul Hogan pitched a Crocodile Dundee Saturday-morning cartoon to Fox Family Channel executives Tuesday. "In Crocodile Dundee & His Outback Gang, Dundee would travel the world in a hot-air balloon, having adventures with his outback pals Kenny Koala and J. Wellington Wallaby," Hogan told the executives.
Also, corpse reanimation technology is still 10 years away, according to mad scientists from Stanford and MIT.
In America, public transport carries the same sort of stigma as welfare, which this Onion article plays on:
"Expanding mass transit isn't just a good idea, it's a necessity," Holland said. "My drive to work is unbelievable. I spend more than two hours stuck in 12 lanes of traffic. It's about time somebody did something to get some of these other cars off the road."
The campaign is intended to de-emphasize the inconvenience and social stigma associated with using public transportation, focusing instead on the positives. Among these positives: the health benefits of getting fresh air while waiting at the bus stop, the chance to meet interesting people from a diverse array of low-paying service-sector jobs, and the opportunity to learn new languages by reading subway ads written in Spanish.
In this week's Onion: "Clinton Goes Back In Time, Teams Up With Golden-Age Clinton"
Childrens' literature sensation Harry Potter has been blamed for introducing children to the occult:
Educators nationwide are praising the books for getting children excited about reading. "It's almost impossible to find a book that can compete with those PlayStation games, but Harry Potter has done it," said Gulfport (MS) Middle School principal Frank Grieg. "I have this one student in the fifth grade who'd never read a book before in his life. Now he's read Sorcerer's Stone, Prisoner Of Azkaban, Chamber Of Secrets, Goblet Of Fire, The Seven Scrolls Of The Black Rose, The Necronomicon, The Satanic Bible, The Origin Of Species--you name it."
The Onion has a go at Libertarians.
Not the Onion: Iranian Transsexual Unhappy With Experience As Woman
Brutal Truth Toys revisited: Ant farm teaches children about toil, death: (The Onion)
Billed as "the fun way to teach your kids to accept their miserable fate stoically," the ant farm retails for $14.95
"At some point, the Playscovery Cove ants become cognizant that their hierarchical structure has been stripped away, rendering their already near-meaningless existence totally futile. There seems to be a breaking point at about the 22-day mark when the dejected ants begin to die off en masse."... the ant farm enters what is known as the "death-pile phase." A spot is chosen by the worker ants to deposit their dead, and the burial mound steadily grows as the few remaining ants devote more of their time to gathering and burying others.
Kid Rock starves to death. MP3 piracy blamed. (The Onion)
An all-star fundraiser CD featuring Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit, and Korn was similarly scrapped when an individual known only by the user name PimpKracker69@aol.com acquired a promotional copy and made it available to millions of fans over the Internet.
The Onion has some cool Easter cards you can cut out.
The Onion looks at the appeal of genetically engineered foods:
- Stay fresh, crisp and colorful for weeks, even in human digestive tract
- 15% "Beefsteak Tomato" no longer just a fanciful name
Grimly amusing (in a pathetic sort of way): Attempt to Impress Undermined (The Onion)
AOL Time Warner buys France (Salon, imitating The Onion):
With its population of nearly 59 million people, its natural resources of coal, iron ore, bauxite and potash, its history of fine art, literature and incomprehensible literary theory, and the exciting film stylistics of Gerard Depardieu, France makes an ideal counterpart to Time AOL's content, analysts say.
"Nasal learners often have difficulty concentrating and dislike doing homework," Panos said. "They also frequently have low grades in math, reading, and science. If your child fits this description, I would strongly urge you to get him or her tested for a possible nasal orientation."
Panos said nasal learners do best when they are encouraged to use odor-based recall techniques in testing situations, and are allowed to organize and prioritize items by scent. The biggest challenge now, she said, is to "educate the educators."
In today's Onion: Affluent White Man Enjoys, Causes The Blues
The Onion gets into the true spirit of Valentine's Day.
The Onion in fine form: Giant Cockroach In Bathroom `A Harrowing, Kafkaesque Experience,' Grad Student Says.
All-too-realistic Onion article: Columbine Jocks Safely Resume Bullying
Cameras were installed on school grounds, enabling authorities to more closely monitor the activities of all students for suspiciously nonconformist behaviors or modes of dress. All entrances to the school are now locked and accessible only by intercom or specially coded key card, preventing the sort of open, comfortable learning environment that might encourage students to express themselves. The soothing presence of armed patrols, coupled with high fences surrounding the grounds, reassures jocks that they can feel free to once again torment the school's geeks as they did before April 20, without fear of reprisal.