Wednesday, February 20, 2008



(Feb. 20, Washington, DC) Tonight in the Pacific Ocean, west of the Hawaiian Island, the USS Lake Erie will launch a specially modified missile in an effort to blow up a satellite that is falling to earth. The United States spy satellite has been dysfunctional since December 2006 and is expected to crash to the earth sometime in March. The decision to blow it up with a missile was made by President George W. Bush who has never, during his tenure as Commander in Chief, passed up an opportunity to blow something up.

Initial projections from NASA, the NSA, CIA and CNN predicted the errant satellite would not pose a threat to earth as its orbital altitude decreases. However, additional computer models indicated the 5000 pound object was falling at a rate of speed upwards of 21, 500 miles per hour. The real threat aboard the satellite is its full tank of frozen, toxic hydrazine propellant. Rear Admiral Gus “Harry” Nevus speaking to reporters at the Pentagon earlier said “Heck, if we were certain it was going to land in New Jersey or Iowa, someplace like that, we’d just let the old girl drop. But, it might hit someplace that matters and then we could have troubles”.

Commander of the guided missile destroyer USS Lake Erie (whose name is classified), charged with executing this challenging task, was interviewed via phone from the bridge of his ship. “I assure you the Staff and Crew of this fine vessel are well prepared and honored to be trusted with this mission. We have no doubt we will succeed. Besides that, even if we do miss, there won’t be any collateral damage”, commented the Annapolis grad. He added, “This mission is about doing good. We are so accustomed to doing bad that the notion of doing good is good. We enjoy launching missiles where ever we are told to. Shooting one into space to prevent a catastrophe on earth, well, that is a noble chore. Frankly, I and my crew are bored with launching missiles at Middle Eastern countries. This will be a nice break. Besides, the President says we get some R & R in Honolulu if we hit the bitch on the first shot. Believe you me; we need some R & R”.

After meeting with tribal leaders and journeymen warriors in the African nation, Ghana, President Bush visited with the traveling press. He answered a wide variety of questions with incoherent, rambling, fragmented utterings better understood by the tribal leaders then the press. “We can’t have it. That’s as simple as I can say it. My generals and admirals, the folks on the ground around there told me we had to blow this satellite up. I agreed. We can’t have some satellite just smashing into our country…our, er…ah,…planet. I won’t have it. I’m the decider and I decided, let’s blow the fucker up”. The President then departed for a rhino ride, safari and green monkey hunt. Once atop the rhino, over his shoulder, a smiling Bush yelled to the press, “Hey y’all, they tell me we might be able to see the explosion from here.”

Earlier in the week, Mr. Bush caused some controversy when he announced that he ordered the Navy to shoot missiles at the lunar eclipse which will occur tonight. He made comments while on board Air Force One saying, “That eclipse doesn’t know who it’s dealin’ with. No force or influence can or will interfere with military actions. We are prepared to blast that eclipse out of the sky if we have to but, of course, that is a last resort. We can negotiate but…” Presidential aides cut Mr. Bush off mid sentence and escorted him to a private cabin.

Copyright © 2008 TBC All Rights Reserved


Voyeuristic Element of Infotainment

(Feb. 18, New York, NY) It’s never about a person; it is always about an event. This is an old complaint, a tired observation and commentary on who we are, as a people, when it comes to life. Not the phony arguments about “Life” as posited by the right wing conservatives. (Their hypocrisy is another matter.) Life, as in, that time each human being spends on earth as a sentient, cognizant being fully imbued with all the capabilities, emotions, desires, etc… as we all are. There is a baseline of commonality beyond those that define a species.

The theories and arguments are really not important. Even cancer has an unknown etiology. It’s not about movie and TV violence, violent music lyrics, video games or sports. It is not about somehow being culturally immune to and callous about the loss of human life. Notions like these seem to say that we were somehow victims of some force or forces that somehow mysteriously altered us. We don’t know how, when or where this mystery alteration occurred nor what precisely created it. This entire line of thinking is such a flimsy, cheap, overused, excuse that most people seem to accept it as fact. May there exist some modicum of truth within these arguments? Perhaps. Are there external cultural influences that affect some of us more profoundly than others? Sure. Has our threshold for mayhem, murder and catastrophe been heightened by what we are exposed to in the various media? Most certainly.. But all of these elements have the feel to them that we were victimized. Victimization, such as this would imply, supposes mass susceptibility, negation of logic, reason and emotion on a vast scale that seems inherently implausible.

A female psychiatrist is hacked to death in the “Silk Stocking District”, Manhattan’s Upper East Side, in the 19th Precinct. Five college students are murdered, shot to death, sitting in a geology lecture at Northern Illinois University. The body of a female student is discovered in the desert outside Las Vegas: she had been raped, murdered and her corpse had lain in the badlands for approximately one week prior to discovery. Some distraught teenager shoots up a shopping mall in Omaha. The list goes on and a new list is being generated as this is being written.

During a recent week of events involving the unnatural loss of life, the Newark (NJ) Star Ledger reported that the City of Newark had actually gone 33 days WITHOUT a homicide. Points of reference? The absence of unnatural death was NEWS; news worthy of being reported. What does that indicate, if anything? Everything is relative, right? Certainly it is. Cable news outlets cover a single isolated abduction, murder or other crime with a zest and zeal unabashedly sordid and exploitive. Microphones are thrust into the facing of miners weeping wives as the fate of their husbands trapped underground is uncertain. Witnesses and survivors relate their experiences over and over again as if they are recounting a verified alien abduction. We eat it up. We suck it all in and quickly thirst for more.

There is a “chicken or the egg” component to this phenomenon. Do we drink it all in because it is put in front of us in all its sensationalistic, Technicolor, hi-def, pod-casted digital wizardry or is the media writ large merely satisfying our appetites? Yes, this debate has been on-going since the 1970’s. Perhaps most of the questions that define the issue are rhetorical, they merely serve as prompters for us to take a look at ourselves.

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