News of the Weird/Pro Edition You're Still Not Cynical Enough
Prime Cuts of Underreported News from Last Week, Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
March 7, 2011
(datelines February 26-March 5) (links correct as of March 7)
Myanmar's Girlyboy, Plus the Chocolate Syrup Shower and the 40-Million-Year-Long Tryst
From Yr Editor
Last week, the pervos were in bloom, messed-up government continued to out-weird messed-up people, and Yr Editor barely could summon the ability (but succeeded, working overtime) to produce a completely-Sheen-free edition.
★ ★ ★ ★!
Myanmar's Cross-Dressing Strongman General: Senior Gen. Than Shwe appeared on TV recently in a women's sarong (but, really, it's not an Eddie Izzard thing). "Superstition" permeates Burmese society much as "sex" permeates America. Men, too, wear sarongs but of markedly different designs than women's, i.e., they don't switch off unless it's on purpose. Myanmar's generals run Asia's most oppressive regime, and apparently the only semi-effective opposition in recent years has been the "Panty Party," protests in which women's drawers are tossed at the generals or their property in the hope of feminizing them (i.e., sapping their masculine strength). It is possible that it was the generals' fear of Pantyism that caused them to release freedom fighter Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest. So, Gen. Than's appearance on TV in a girly sarong constitutes either a taunt (I see your damn panties, and I'm still in charge!) or a protective immunizing against further weakening. Or, it's a personal ad (there's no Craigslist in Myanmar). AOL News
The Worst of the Worst: You can have your Benny Hinns and your Creflow Dollars and your Eddie Longs. The bottom of the barrel (i.e., the most wretched of the Christian fundie grifters) is Peter Popoff of Los Angeles, and KABC-TV did a takedown for Popoff's pushing of "debt cancellation" kits. Debt collectors hounding you? God "wants to cancel, erase, wipe out, obliterate your debt." If ya can spare it, send me what little money you have left, and miracles will come! Pray harder, don't buy things you don't need, and of course support Peter Popoff Ministries. KABC-TV
The Federal Government Believes Schoolteacher Quality Is So Important That It Has 82 (Overlapping, Duplicative) Programs to Improve It: GAO went over the whole federal layout to see what efficiencies could be gained by merely stopping different agencies from doing the very same things (a project that GAO has apparently been too busy to do for the last, what, 40 years). Help disadvantaged people with transportation? 80 different federal programs. Job training? 47. Help people understand basic finances? 56. [ed. The problem remains, of course: Bureaucrats from mid-level on up never accept contractions in their organization charts. That's why the overlaps were created in the first place. Find me just one bureaucrat who cheerfully accepts that he'll be less important tomorrow than he is today.]Wall Street Journal
Calypso Louie, Back on the Big Stage: Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, in a (typical) four-hour speech on his religion's Saviours' Day, praised Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard for recognizing that white people needed civilizing (the first, excellent step toward which, Farrakhan said, is running them through Scientology's "auditing" process). He also warned the U.S.'s Muslim president that America will soon be experiencing the revolutions now seen in the Middle East and urged Mr. Obama not to attack innocent people when that happens. [Please, President Obama, for the love of God! No fire hoses! No dogs! No lynchings!]Chicago Tribune
Can't Possibly Be True: An Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agent told CBS News (with backup evidence) that the agency is actually facilitating the Mexican drug cartels' bloodbath by running a cute little mapping-type program on the border, where it inventories the weapons of various dealers and then merely monitors where the weapons wind up. Neat-o! No responsibility yet for what the cartels do with the weapons. Analogy: What if the CDC actually created the infamous AIDS "Patient Zero" just to construct a map of infectees? (Well, so far, the only American death pinned to an ATF-monitored gun is one Border Patrol agent.) According to the agent-squealer, ATF is doing this because some day--some day, mind you!--they'll have a good enough map that they can get indictments! Arrest warrants! Trials! CBS News
Panasonic has come out with a cool new camera. The camera re-touches photos when it takes them. It can do stuff like whiten teeth, remove dark circles, even apply makeup on the photo subjects. I suspect it will be a popular piece of equipment..
Posted By: patty - Sun Mar 06, 2011 -
An episode of South Park seems to have come true recently in Sandy Springs, Georgia. A detective on the SSPD arrested a woman for prostitution after he had sex with her. Well she can't say she wasn't going to go through with it.
A group that calls themselves M-LAW, Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch, holds an annual silliest warning label contest. They have compiled a list of some of the more ridiculous warning labels from previous years contests. Gems like the admonition- remove child before folding- on a stroller are proof that fear trumps common sense where product liability is concerned. But then who could blame companies for that when there are examples like the man who won $50,000 because his basketball hoop didn't come with a warning about possibly catching ones teeth in the net on a dunk shot? They should have foreseen THAT?? Ah lawsuits, at least they amuse us as they ruin us.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.