APR 2001

V I R A L   C U L T U R E S

THE NEW HOLY TRINITY for NASCAR lovers: Move over Jesus, itís now Jack Daniels, Elvis and Dale.

EMINEM AS CANDY-ASS...Heís written homophobic lyrics, rapped about raping his mother (whoís suing him for defamation) and killing his wife (whoís attempted suicide). Heís even pled guilty to a concealed weapons violation. But after his performance with Elton John at this yearís Grammy Awards, Iíd say Eminem would probably melt in your mouth as well as in your hand....THE SHAMMYíS...The Grammyís have nothing to do with quality, itís all quantity. Numbers sold. If they only want to reward sales figures why not simply have the accountants give those little victrolas away? Only letís be honest and change them to adding machines.

B U S I N E S S   B U R R O S

YOU MAKE THE RE-CALL...McDonaldís has recalled millions of Happy Meal toys as possible choking hazards for small children. Spokespersons state that if accidentally swallowed these toys have an even greater likelihood of gagging kids than the food itself.

"AN ARMY OF ONE"...Thatís the new marketing catch-phrase hoping to turn around low recruitment rates for the U.S. Army. While the previous "Be All That You Can Be" seemed cryptically accurate to attract enlistment types in the past, it simply hasnít proven effective on "todayís youth." But donít think everythingís changing. Rest assured, youíll still get to "travel to exotic lands, meet interesting people and kill them."

P O L Y   T I C K S

FAITH-BASED IS A FREE-BASED IDEA...(First of all, letís call it what it is. Itís not "faith-based", itís "RELIGIOUS!")...President Bush demonstrated his grasp of such an important American political doctrine as the separation of Church and State by announcing the creation (by executive order) of a new White House office designed to distribute billions of tax dollars to religious groups and charities "to help the needy." (Letís help the needy, but not the greedy.)... "Government will never be replaced by charities and community groups. Yet when we see social needs in America, my administration will look first to faith-based programs....We will not discriminate against them," said the new president. But anyone looking to them FIRST, by definition, is discriminating against all secular programs because theyíre NOT religious....G.W. wants to let private religious groups compete for taxpayer money to provide after-school programs, stipulating they would not be allowed to use that money to promote a particular religion. Now, how exactly would this be monitored, let alone be enforced? I guess this is where the faith comes in. Youíre just supposed to have faith they wonít do it....And why bother thinking all this through, anyway? Why worry about government influencing churches or churches influencing government? Why worry about who will decide whether an organization is recognized as a religion or a cult? (Didnít they ALL start out that way?) Itís not as if there are government regulations prohibiting religious discrimination in hiring practices. Itís not as if atheists would go to work for the Catholic archdiocese. Itís not as if the Unification Church or the Hare Krishnas or the Scientologists could get tax dollars as Pat Robertson claims....Which means the end truly must be near because Pat Robertson was finally right about something.

THE MOBIL SHELL GAME...What could actually be more faith-based than believing oil corporations wonít destroy pristine Alaskan wilderness while drilling for oil? Believing we have no other choices.

OUT OF THE ASHES...Former U.S. Senator from Missouri John Ashcroft (the one who lost to the dead guy) returned from his election defeat to be nominated by G.W. Bush for Attorney General. It was an unusual choice for the nationís "top cop" - a position that would expectedly draw heat from all sides, especially for a nominee such as this. Ashcroft is slightly to the right of Jerry Falwell when it comes to social policy and his ability to enforce and uphold laws heís personally opposed to is rather suspect at best, regardless of what he promises before a Senate committee. Heís opposed to abortion (and all forms of birth control), against gay rights, anti-gun control, he opposed a Missouri desegregation effort, and even believes that dancing is "wrong." (Maybe he got confused in all those old westerns where the bad guy would "make Ďem dance"? Didnít he ever see FLASHDANCE?)...But the question remains: Why Ashcroft? Because Jesse Helms wasnít available? Perhaps G.W. doesnít really understand what it means to be "a uniter and not a divider." Because if this is his idea of someone the nation could all agree upon, he couldnít be more mistaken. (Well, I guess he could think he actually won the presidency but, címon, letís give the guy SOME credit.)

LIVE BY THE GUN/DIE BY THE GUN...A lone gunman was shot in the leg and subdued after firing a series of shots near the southwest entrance to the White House and refusing to surrender to police. Unsure whether it was an assassination attempt on President George W. Bush, officials recommended psychiatric evaluation to ascertain why the gunman would want to kill the President, but then said, "Oh, right."

M I C H I   G A N D E R S

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION / NEGATIVE REACTION...A federal judge has ruled that the University of Michigan Law Schoolís use of race in their admissions policy is unconstitutional. In light of the ruling the school has decided to no longer consider applicants by the color of their skin but rather by the size of their egos.

SLANT OIL DRILLING IN THE GREAT LAKES???...(It worked so well for Kuwait with Iraq)...Itís the latest idiotic idea from the emerging energy crisis hysteria, this time proposed by Michiganís Gov. Engler. Can you imagine? A quart of oil costs less than the same amount of designer bottled water, so of course it makes perfect sense to risk the largest fresh water source in the entire world for more gas guzzling SUVs (granted, Perrier isnít exactly worried). If it happens, and exploration and drilling pollutes the Great Lakes, ONLY THEN will we agree to sell it to the southwest.

A M E R I   C A N A R D S

POWER TO THE CORRECT PEOPLE...California continues its energy crisis with hour-long regional black-outs throughout the day to deal with its electrical power shortages. The increased demand combined with increased costs has SoCal Edison warning of bankruptcy. However, they recently transferred $5 billion in dividends to their parent, Edison International, for earnings between January 1996 and November 2000, which could have easily paid the $4.5 billion they owe....Anyone tired of this corporate shell game yet? Itís called Hide The Money and you can play too if you have any left after the utility bail-out....Soon Californians will only be able to buy electricity on e-Bay - that is, if they have enough juice to boot up a computer....While I sympathize with the sudden victims, letís get at least a little bit real. TOO MANY PEOPLE LIVE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA! Not John Lennon but Paul McCartney wrote a song about urban congestion in general almost 30 years ago. Guess what? It was called, TOO MANY PEOPLE! Whether youíre talking water or any other public commodity, the Southwest wasnít naturally designed to support anywhere near this population level which continues to expand unabated. Well, keep your eyes off the Great Lakes. And donít dare threaten us with winter vegetable deprivation (maybe NAFTA could finally work FOR us in an isolated instance). And yes I know the Great Lakes states will lose more Congressional seats to the Southwest due to the 2000 Census. But if the Southwest believes the Great Lakes region or the environmental movement will allow a "legal" siphoning off of the only fresh water source of its size on the planet theyíre already suffering black-outs, but of a decidedly different type. It might spur the creation of an even more militant enviro group: Thirst First!

YOUíRE NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE...The State Board of Education proudly announced a return of evolution theory to the Kansas science curriculum, only one week after the board, in a landmark decision, overwhelmingly recognized gravity.

G L O   B U L L S

DONíT HAVE A COW...well, not from Europe, anyway. The U.S. has banned all meat imports from the European Union due to the spread of foot-and-mouth disease in Britain, France, and the Netherlands. Requiring the destruction of hundreds of thousands of animals to prevent the diseaseís spread, humans can carry but cannot contract it. (As for foot-IN-mouth disease, one neednít look any further than the president.)...Travellers from Europe are having to shower, wash their clothes and shoes before entering the U.S. Once the imminent threat is over, officials are considering making the policy permanent for the French....In England the disease has suspended horseracing and gamblers there have resorted to hamster races. That is, until rowdy hamster hooligans had to ruin it for everyone.

HIGH AND LOW/THE NEW CRIME MINISTER...The lowest voter turn-out in Israeli history resulted in Ariel Sharonís victory over incumbent prime minister Ehud Barak by the highest margin - also in Israeli history. Coincidence? Not if you examine the campaign commercials. I havenít seen ads this dirty since Johnsonís daisy ad against Goldwater....So the Butcher of Lebanon is back, which means things are definitely going to get livelier (translation: deadlier) in the Middle East....You donít need to shove an antenna up Sharonís ass to see which way the television signal drifts, but it should improve his reception at state events.

UP YOUR OWN PERISCOPE...Civilians were piloting the Navy submarine that sank the Japanese fishing boat when it surfaced during an emergency maneuver off Hawaii. While there was no actual emergency at the time of the subís rapid ascent, they instantly created one. And while the USS Greenville is a nuclear submarine, it isnít equipped with nuclear missiles. Otherwise Japan would have probably experienced its THIRD mushroom cloud....Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori was severely criticized for staying on the golf course hours after receiving word of the accident. Notified on the 15th hole, Mori said, "I couldnít just stop at that point. I would have held up the other parties playing behind us." And itís such a distraction to think about a sinking ship when youíre trying to break 80 sinking a putt....So who were these civilians? According to a Hawaiian television station they were big donors to the USS Missouri Restoration Fund - who will immediately begin working on the U.S. Navyís Reputation Restoration Fund.

CRASHINí MAN...The Russian space station MIR is the largest object ever brought down from orbit around the Earth, ending the most famous Lego project in history....A fleet of tuna-fishing boats was in the target zone but there were no reports of injury. Which means a giant piece of space junk crashing into the Pacific can do what a U.S. nuclear powered submarine canít....MIR plunged to Earth at a rate of speed only matched by the plummeting Clinton popularity polls. But when IT crashed it didnít hurt anyone.

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