There were 8 million stories in the old “Naked City” television series and it sometimes seems another 8 million hit the newswires daily. Some few are cringe-worthy, some evoke a chuckles, but most are overblown instances of the need for newspeople to publish or perish, aka, Who Cares Stories.
A. Madonna to buy off Guy Ritchie with a divorce settlement of up to $90 million: http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D953B1Q01&show_article=1. This is cringe-worthy only because Ritchie should have taken the multi-wed slut from Michigan for at least $100 million!
B. Honest to goodness cringe story: United States Excluded from Latin America Summit: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a0a8IQrfwSFU&refer=worldwide. China, Russia, and even Iran are making inroads with our Latin neighbors and making a joke of the nearly two century old Monroe Doctrine which defined that area as part of our “sphere of influence.” The handwriting is on history’s wall and it reads, “America’s Day is Over.” All empires eventually reach a conclusion but the American Empire is going into the dustbin of history with barely a fight. T.S. Eliot called it in “The Hollow Men:” which ends, “This is the way the [American] world ends/ Not with a bang but a whimper.”
On the lighter side,
A. The Iraqi shoe-thrower: http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/12/15/mideast/shoe.php. Although I realize throwing one’s shoe at someone is considered a deep insult in the Arab world, as is just exposing the soles of one’s shoes, which is the reason Arabs wash their feet before entering a mosque. I don’t know or care about the derivation of that tradition but both the shoe-throw-as-insult and the foot washing no doubt find their origins in all that camel dung that Arabs probably step in daily and I imagine camel dung caked on shoes or sandals or between toes isn’t a pretty sight. President Bush, to his credit, seemed entertained rather than upset as he deftly dodged the missiles and kept smiling. Personally, I’d hurl my shoes and my dirty jockeys at any leader of the military that humiliated and defeated my country. Living in a third-rate nation must be a daily downer.
B. New York’s Fat Tax: http://www.timesunion.com/ASPStories/storyprint.asp?StoryID=750267. Over the last few days, our Default Governor David Patterson has demonstrated a unique quality: On the one hand, he seemed to have no sense of humor as evidenced by his reaction to the tasteless but hilarious depiction of him on last Saturday’s edition of SNL. (See it here: http://www.nypost.com/seven/12152008/news/politics/paterson_in_a_blind_rage_over_snl_skit_144292.htm. It seems perfectly acceptable to him for the always-tasteless SNL crew to ridicule every other segment of our society, including religion, and to especially lambaste Republicans at every opportunity but when the satire hits home he gets all uppity. However, his “fat tax” proposal to raise $404 million to help bail out New York State’s bloated budget seems to attest to his having a sense of humor, after all. He plans to increase welfare payments, which is no surprise since he understands his political base, and also to tax non-diet soft drinks. I believe Michael Moore has a place in the NYC and therefore that tax, even if amusing, is discriminatory to Fat Mikey.
Finally, stories that made the wires only to fill up the wires.
WHO CARES STORIES:
A. Arena Football Cancels 2009 Season: http://www.reuters.com/article/mergersNews/idUSN1550407020081215?feedType=RSS&feedName=mergersNews&rpc=22&sp=true. Arena what?
B. Caroline Kennedy to Seek Hillary’s New York Senate Seat: http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/12/15/america/16caroline.php. Methinks Uncle Teddy is behind this. He wants a Kennedy, even a Kennedy-Schlossberg, to have a presence in the U.S. Senate no matter whether she’s qualified or not.
C. Bernard Madoff Rips off the Rich: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2b38a296-cadc-11dd-87d7-000077b07658.html. Sorry, folks, but any individual or institution that was getting 12% returns even in down markets deserves to lose. They had to know this was a Ponzi scheme.