Buying treasury securities and real estate in the United States may be the crazy craze of their parents, but kids in China and Japan have their own insanity: McDonalds French Fries and Coke parties. Some journalists, like our own Walter Witty, call these “suicide parties,” although the victims probably won’t die right away. “Actually, they are cutting out their future years,” Reporter Ryback Solomon explains. “Years that seem a long way off right now, but will be here before you can count all the millions made by Coke, Pepsi, and McDonalds targeting these kids. Like the Sade song says, it’s a slow bullet. And this is no hollow point.” Note: Asian kids are still relatively free of the obesity and diabetes epidemics American kids suffer, since, as yet, there isn’t a convenience store selling 64 oz. sodas on every street corner (or soda machines in every school) like here in America.
Two non-gay men in the suburbs of Boston didn’t watch the Superbowl. When reached via satellite phone by ESPN’s Rio office, Bob Stockwell said, “We went for a walk.” Authorities in America have been alerted, and the men will be rounded up for examination by psychiatrists. NEN has learned that ESPN found out about the men through its worldwide surveillance network, which monitors cable subscribers (wherever you see a little red light flicker, it has taken your x-ray.) The network has supercomputers in Rio, London, and 600 feet beneath Disneyland, funding provided by Coca-Cola and the fast food chains of PepsiCo (additional funding provided by Merck, Pfizer, and United Healthcare.) When asked if they didn’t realize that walking on deserted streets during the Superbowl was also a criminal act indicative of Anti-American sentiment, and punishable by waterboarding, Leonard Meade said, “No, are you thinking of deporting us? If so, we’ll be happy to show up at any of the top twenty airports, where we’ll sign anything you wish.” ESPN is considering asking for that, depending on what the strip-searches and other examinations turn up. Unknown to them, however, the men meant the top twenty airports in the world, not just in the U.S.. Of the World’s 20 Best Airports, not one is in the United States. Number one is South Korea, a country with a booming economy because the U.S. pays their defense bill. Number two is Shanghai, then Hong Kong, Amsterdam, and Beijing. Etc. Meanwhile, the U.S. needs to spend trillions to repair degrading infrastructure, but only seem to find money from taxpayers to build new stadiums. In related news, astronomer Frank Abagnale has released this statement, “Keep things in perspective, people. One mountain-sized rock among zillions casually straying into our path unnoticed, and it’s lights out for the human race. This puts the ‘glory’ of the greatest athlete or politician or movie star or prima donna on the same level as the lowest clerk sorting Washington’s swizzle sticks in China. And if your trust is in God, I hate to say it but He doesn’t watch Sports Central, either. You need to step back about 1500 light years to a star called Deneb, at the apex of Cygnus. Sports transmissions won’t start reaching it for another 1400 years, and yet it is within our own galaxy, which, by the way, is one of billions. Deneb doesn’t stand out too much because there are stars which look brighter only because they are closer. But the closer you got to Deneb the more impressed you would be. Come within a hundred million miles of Deneb and your spaceship would not survive, much less your ball team, even with the heaviest shielding NASA and Sports Illustrated could devise. How bright is it? Okay, sports fans. You love comparing things, and keeping scores about ‘star performers.’ Let’s give our Sun a score of 1 and Deneb a score of 200,000. That’s right. It is 200,000 times as bright as our Sun, a blue white supergiant that puts out 100,000 times the Sun’s energy. It has 20 times the mass, and 200 times the radius. And it is by no means the brightest star in the galaxy. If you want to stray to a nearby dwarf galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud, you would find R136a1. The score? Against our Sun’s ’1′ R136a1 has clocked a score of…wait for it… ’8,700,000.’ And you were worried about some comment made about Beyonce’s lip-syncing?”
Have you noticed how short our conversations in person have become lately? Unlike the Europeans, who sit in cafes and talk for hours, we generally say nothing at all to each other except “hi” and “bye.” Variations of this are “How are you?” and “Have a nice day.” Same thing. Without a cell phone, we generally don’t care about the answer, so this longer version of “hello” only elicits the response “Fine, and you?”
If we’re all so fine and dandy, why do we tailgate each other like we’re late for the Second Coming, buy more guns than Afghan warlords, and then barricade ourselves behind security systems as though our neighbors were all sociopathic serial killers? Something is wrong with this picture we’re developing at the corner drug store photo-processing center, (next to McDonalds and across from Starbucks). Here we live in tract homes and apartments once built to cookie-cutter specifications by fly-by-night low-bid builders employing subcontractors who moved among us like hookers at a truckers convention. Everyone hoped to make a killing and move on before the bubble burst. Now you’re not even a human, anymore, you’re a consumer, a demographic, an identity theft victim. But even identity thieves don’t have an identity. They’re faceless too. Like hackers, spammers, or banking CEOs too big to jail. Why can’t we all get along? I’m guessing it’s because we don’t really talk, anymore. Or listen, for that matter.
We don’t read, either. Or at least men don’t read. Instead, we watch television more than anyone in the galaxy, which may explain why space aliens want to kill us so badly. After all, look at what we’re beaming them: celebrity trials, soap operas, ball games, reality shows, comic book movies, chicken nuggets. All one-liners, not true conversation a la “My Dinner With Andre.” Not even close.
I saw a tee-shirt recently reading, proudly: iPHONE, THEREFORE I AM. Does this also mean we’re afraid of our own private thoughts? iThink so. There’s always something “on,” always something “playing” to interrupt any original thought, these days. With books in decline, people with nothing to say are nonetheless saying it in strings of one-liners on “smart” phones while making left turns at high speed with one hand. (Teens here go “he’s like…” and “then I’m like…” never mentioning anyone over, like, 30.) Meanwhile, outside our own intimidating gas-guzzlers, we occasionally mumble things like “Merry Christmas” or “Have a nice day” when cornered, proud to have spawned the Facebook generation.
iWonder if anyone has time to smell the rose-scented Glade plugins, much less to contemplate our souls amid all the head butting on TV. Because we’re not even sure what human consciousness is. Do our brains equal “us,” for instance? We need to talk about this. Because if your brain controls everything, this obviously means your body is only a shell. You could lose your arms and legs and still be 100% “you.” Liposuction has no effect on you, either, except to make your shell more attractive to other hormonally-driven brains. But if you cut out your brain. . . well, that’s it. You’re cooked. So the lesson here may be that people are really only three pound clumps of jelly, which you could probably hold in your hand for at least a few seconds before freaking out. How “cool” is that? And all this time we’ve been worried, too, about what some other clump of jelly thinks about our own clump of jelly. All over the country these three pound “jellies” recognize the shell holding our clump, and our clump wonders how these jellies are “doing” or “feeling,” and if they’re coming to visit you for what is termed a “holiday,” and if the alignment of electrical impulses inside our jelly mold can ever “forgive” or “love” or “whatever” them again. Or even if we should. Meanwhile Hollywood would have us believe there just might be huge 600 lb. jellies moving this direction at near light speed to make slaves of all the smaller jellies on this tiny world we’ve dubbed “Earth.” Am iRight?
Such thoughts plague my jelly whenever it can’t get into REM sleep due to neighbors who can’t stop moving furniture until 3:30 AM. One day I may find peace at last from these troublesome ruminations. Until then, unless someone finds a few minutes in their day to stop following scores and talk in person, I fear I’ll end up wearing a tee-shirt reading iTHOUGHT, THEREFORE iWAS as I wander around Wal Mart parking lots, complaining that the two buck Dasani water is still the safest option to diabetes that Coke offers, although it’s just filtered tap water bottled at 2000 times the energy cost of tap water and 20,000 times the price. And no one will listen to me then, either.
Not to be outdone by already bankrupt Greeks and Italians or rinky dink Asian countries like China or Korea (or Australia or Germany or Brazil), our Home Team has taken their monopoly on sports stadium building to the next level. The Gladiator Dome, as part of the MIA (ie. Made in America) League, has been completed with only 40% taxpayer funding. We go now to League president Willard Webber for the details…
NEN: “Greetings, Willie! You must be very proud.”
WW: “Oh yes, Ryback. We’re out to defeat the Visitors where it really counts, symbolically.”
NEN: “Will there be football or soccer played here?”
WW: “Oh no, there’s no balls involved, unless you mean symbolic ones. Heads will roll here. The original balls that the Romans and Mayans played with to appease their gods.”
NEN: “How can you get away with that?”
WW: “Like I said, this is the next level of sport. One step forward, two steps backward in time. Our governor here in Nome is a Hunger Games style hunter herself, and owns many medieval weapons, including several instruments of torture and execution. We don’t call her the iron Maiden for nothing!”
NEN: “No, I mean how did this pass the House and Senate?”
WW: “A deal was made with lawmakers on a golf course in Florida involving oil fields here. All we said was ‘Just Do It!’ And, of course, no one else noticed because there was shopping to do, playoffs to watch, and that Fiscal Cliff thingee.”
NEN: “What about 60 Minutes? How did you keep them away? Didn’t they do a piece on bloody cage fighting not long ago?”
WW: “If you’ll recall, they didn’t condemn it. They talked about its success, mostly. Well, we hope to be successful too. And 60 Minutes has moved on to talking about American Idol winners, while PBS is doing shows like one last night on diners serving comfort foods across America, in direct competition to Diners, Drive-in, and Dives on the Food Porn Network. Give the people what they want, kiddo!”
NEN: “I can’t believe this. . .what do they want, more violence in the streets?”
WW: “No, no, no. Not in the streets. In the ring, in the arena. Where they get to bet on it, with no visible risk to themselves. Where they can feel the thrill of victory and the agonies of the defeated as they sit in Corinthian leather seats being fed anything but grapes.”
NEN: “Will there be the thumbs up, thumbs down like in ancient Rome before it fell?”
WW: “Hey, that’s an idea! I’ll bring it up, next Senate meeting, thanks.”
NEN: “i can’t believe this. Who runs your concession stands? Other than Coke and Pepsi, of course.”
WW: “Toby Keith’s Bar & Grill. Besides the Fried Bologna sandwiches served by simulated hookers in red, white, and blue bikinis, there’s the American Soldier, their classic salute to George W. Bush of pure feed-lot raised beef and highly saturated fat American cheese badness. Pour some high fructose corn syrup ketchup on it, and a yellow condiment, add a deep fried pickle and a glass of fizzing diabetes water, and you’re bound to have a great life!”
NEN: “Please repeat what you just said. That didn’t sound right.”
WW: “Okay. Take two. Toby Keith’s Bar & Grill. Besides the Fried Bologna sandwiches served by babes in red, white, and blue bikinis, there’s the American Soldier, their classic salute to freedom, with 100% all beef and American cheese goodness. Pour some Hunts on it, along with mustard, add a pickle and a glass of Coke, and you’re guaranteed a happy day!”
NEN: “That sounds Right. One final question. How are you going to reach your fan base in the lower forty-eight?”
WW: “How about a new airport and a new road project running next to the new pipeline? High speed rail is coming too.”
NEN: “Who’s building that?”
WW: “The Chinese.”
NEN: “And the financing for it?”
WW: “Earmarks added to a defense budget bill.”
NEN: “Why are you telling me all this?”
WW: “Why not? 50% of the people who read your report won’t believe it, and the other 50% won’t care.”
NEN: “What about 100% of the reporters from the New York Times and the Washington Post?”
WW: “We gave 50% of them season tickets, and the other 50% are now being trained by Russell Crowe…after being fed by Toby Keith.”
Ralph Lauren was forced to apologize to Joe Sixpack today after Congressional “leaders” condemned making Olympic uniforms in China to save on costs. “Burn, baby, burn!” sang Mormon Harry Reid on the show DUETS with John Boehner, (formerly with the bands TARP and Gang of Seven during the House Check-kiting scandal contest.) Joe was too busy watching Entertainment Tonight on the TV he bought with a government check to be bothered. Nonetheless, Joe was reached by NEN, and we have this on tape: “I’d go back to work if I can make twenty an hour. Okay?” Not okay, because Joe’s skills are limited to short order cooking and cutting the grass, “when the game is over.” Joe is on unemployment, and likes his cheap jeans. In China, skilled garment workers average 75 hours a week, make the least, and produce 50% of the world’s textiles and garments. Their unemployment rate is 4%. In other news, JP Morgan Chase lost $700 Million in bad bets, Romney is being criticized for Bain Capital’s outsourcing of jobs “to save on costs,” the military has asked for $2.9 Billion to remove equipment from Afghanistan “to reposition assets to other bases,” and the US unemployment rate is 8.2%. . . for now.