Sometimes a news story can shock us so much that it changes everything: moons are walked upon, celebrities die, presidents get blowjobs -- that sort of stuff. But then there are the times when a story is shocking only because of how little change it actually indicates. Like the fact that we haven't banned firing squads yet, it's a conversation that's only surprising because we're still having it.
This kind of news happens more often than you'd think, as four recent announcements proved to be newsworthy solely because they hadn't already happened a while ago. Announcements like ...
#4. The U.S. Is Only Now Updating Their Power Plants to Be Not Like Fukushima
The Fukushima power plant meltdown was considered the largest nuclear disaster in 25 years. Since the tsunami, the question of whether or not nuclear power is safe has never been fresher. After all, we've all seen K-19: Nuclear energy, no matter how guarded, is ridiculously fucked.
Harrison Ford's accent was only the second most disturbing part of this film.
This is why, when something like Fukushima comes along, we kind of want to make sure it doesn't happen again.
Well, we're in luck: Just last week, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced that it will be requiring 31 reactors in the U.S. with similar designs to the one in Fukushima to undergo a ventilation upgrade, which -- if you're not counting -- is two years after the fact.
"If it had been that big a problem, we'd have heard about it on the news."
But of course, these things take time. It's not like they were sitting around holding their dicks after the incident in Japan, right? Actually ... it took them a year to propose the requirement for some reason, and afterward it still took months of review and a chairman resignation to actually get it done. Now that it has been settled, the commission is moving on to a rule concerning filters for the vents as well (because apparently nuclear power plant vents don't require filters), which, we shit you not, would not be finalized until 2017.
#3. Disney Is Banning Unattended Minors Because Apparently That Was Something They Weren't Doing Already
If there was a question on Family Feud about naming a place where children under 14 shouldn't roam free, you bet your stars that "a theme park" would be right there in the top five between "an art gallery" and "Baltimore." Why? Because kids are fucking dumb.
We bet none of you kids could even Pythagoras an integer.
If you were to see an 11-year-old wandering around in the middle of Tomorrowland, you'd probably think to tell someone, right? Well, until recently, that wasn't something employees at Disney actually had to do.
It turns out that, after realizing that the Red Cross considers anyone under 14 in need of babysitting, Disney has just now announced that parents are no longer allowed to simply roll the van up and kick their tween onto the cobblestone, something that was apparently an option up until this point.
"You can find your way from here, right? See you in a week!"
The weird part is that this is actually pissing some people off. They argue that since 14-year-olds are capable of sexual reproduction, they should be allowed in the parks by themselves (which seems like one more reason why they shouldn't, actually), or that the ban is somehow "crushing" kids' dreams of ... having parents who don't want to go to Disney with them.
#2. Hillary Clinton Only Just Came Out for Gay Marriage
We know that politicians like to be careful about what they say, but Hillary Clinton coming out in favor of gay marriage is a little like Jodie Foster coming out as kind-of maybe gay at the Golden Globes -- most casual Americans had been assuming it for years. But apparently, for Clinton, this has been a big internal debate for longer than most people care, and her recent announcement of support is actually the first time she's said that the LGBT folks have the right to marry.
AFP / Stringer / Getty
"It's official. Gay marriage is now suddenly cool."
To put that in perspective, this comes after President Obama, Jimmy Carter, and her husband, Bill, already spoke out in support. In fact, Clinton's statement of support for gay marriage is even FOUR fucking years behind scowl tycoon Dick Cheney, who said that people "ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish" back in 2009.
Once again, until just now, Dick "Go Fuck Yourself" Cheney was more progressive concerning gay marriage than Clinton. Just let that sink on in there.
#1. A Cable Company Finally Realized What We Want From Them
Cable companies are pretty much the last known dictatorship in American culture. For some reason it was decided long ago that only one provider got to handle one area, resulting in a reign of cruelty and madness where prices can inexplicably rise exponentially without any kind of change in service, while features vary state to state like some kind of Mad Max-style post-apocalyptic tribal world.
"Have you tried unplugging the box?"
Now, like an Orwellian hero shaking the tree of totalitarianism, Verizon has come across a novel idea: What if people only have to pay for the TV stations they actually watch? Crazy, right? That's like going into a store and buying only the specific items you want instead of the flat rate Best Buy and Target make you pay at the door. That is how it works, right?
See, as it stands now, the cable providers have been paying a flat fee for channels -- something that tends to block out independent stations. This fee doesn't take into account how many people actually watch the channel, so Verizon's FiOS TV is now thinking that perhaps they should pay based on how often the product is actually used. This way, they wouldn't have to charge people asshole prices for 200 stations just because they don't want to torrent Mad Men.
"I'll deal with exactly 30 seconds of annoyance before I just go and steal this shit."