It's been a big week for meaningless crap, so I won't dally with the usual homily about the virtues of protecting your mind from abrasive topics of genuine consequence. Suffice it to say that my great-grandfather lived to just shy of his 108th birthday, and he chalked it all up to unfiltered cigarettes, frequent lap dances, and a steady diet of Unnecessary News! Let's begin: Be Prepared (to take a bullet): The president of the probably war-torn nation the Maldive Republic was shocked today when an attempt on his life by a knife-wielding attacker was foiled by a quick-thinking Boy Scout. However, when the boy was later discovered to be gay, officials expelled him from the Scouts, revoked his training, and ordered the result of the attempted stabbing overturned. (Elections for a new president will be held next month.) Oh, the Irony: A New Hampshire campaign rally yesterday for Senator Hillary Clinton was interrupted by a man who shouted "Iron my shirt!" and held up a sign bearing the same demand. While the exact meaning of the man's message has yet to be established, pundits have suggested the following possible contexts for the statement: 1. "My shirt" is obviously a reference to the struggling U.S. textile industry, which has lost much of its once-mighty market share to inexpensive Chinese clothing manufactured without the restrictions of American labor laws, resulting in the loss of countless domestic jobs. The protester asks Sen. Clinton to "iron" this issue---that is, to smooth relations between labor unions and clothing manufacturers in order to compete more effectively in the global marketplace. 2. The man is a paid activist-advertiser for the upcoming film Iron Man, in which troubled actor Robert Downey Jr. portrays the beloved Marvel Superhero. He had originally planned to say "Iron Man! In theaters May 2nd!" but after getting the first word out, suddenly realized he'd left his promotional t-shirt on the dresser (despite repeated reminders by his wife), and interrupted himself to say, "My shirt!" 3. When deciding which shirt to wear to the rally, the man unwisely chose one made of iron; it quickly became so uncomfortable that he had no choice but to shout this fact to the crowd in the hope that a good Samaritan would help him take it off. Un Sticky SituaciÃ³n: A boy in Mexico attempted to get out of going to school this week by gluing himself to his bed. That's not the joke. The joke is the awesome graphic which accompanied the story:
This is listed as "AFP/Illustration", which tells me that AFP, which is by all accounts a respected news institution, needs to fire their illustrator immediately. First, the text is all squished horizontally. Second, the text is in English, even though the kid lives in Mexico. Third, the glue bottle has little wavy lines shooting out of it, representing God-knows-what. Fourth, it looks like it was drawn by a 6-year-old who's glued to a bed. "Sure," you ask, "you can criticize, but could
It's simple; it's elegant; it tells the story. (AFP, I'm available for freelance. Talk to my agent.)
How did these hyper-specific tropes spread so quickly?
Most rich kids just want to be pop stars.
The Hollywood rumor mill has been playing games with celebrity deaths for at least a century.
It's easy to work the system and win these awards even if you don't deserve them.