Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Back From The Dead

with 2 comments

Are we.

Someone asked where we put all the goat porn. We hid it in the Palestinian Election Commission offices. N one ever uses the building, so it’s secure there.

Written by Thag

April 5, 2019 at 6:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Report: You Should Put Out More

leave a comment »

DataScottsdale, AZ, May 13 – A study of the sensibilities of a male acquaintance appears to support the contention that you should be putting out more.

Data collected from 100% of your significant other over a three-month span point to a number of levels on which your relationship and overall quality of life would be enhanced if you were to take the relatively simple step of tending toward less chastity, the report claims. If true, the report has the potential to enrich an ongoing romantic relationship.

The researcher who led the study hopes the findings will have an immediate positive impact, but that depends entirely, he said, on your taking the matter to heart and acting accordingly. “The research speaks for itself, obviously, and the world would be a better place if in general people used their heads a little more often than their hearts – in this case, not the heart specifically, but whichever set of glands are responsible for raising inhibitions,” he explained. “At this point I encourage whoever reads the report to take it seriously, because following its sober conclusions can really bring benefits.”

While the report indicates an increase in positivity to be experienced if you put out more, a relative paucity of data limits the granularity the report can offer. The study’s original goal also included establishing a direct mathematical correlation between specific levels or frequencies of putting out and corresponding increases in satisfaction, closeness, and general well-being. However, the researcher, lamented, there simply have not been enough data points to put together a coherent picture of that statistical relationship.

“Beyond the important benefits that the study cites, for everyone involved, more putting out would also prove helpful in strictly scientific terms,” said the researcher. “In the interest of furthering human knowledge, if for no other reason, I urge the subjects of this study to cooperate in the creation, tracking, and documentation – preferably by high-quality video – of further material for a follow-up to this important research.”

Written by Thag

May 13, 2015 at 2:58 pm

SHOCKER: Sir Mix-A-Lot Reveals He Hates Big Butts

with one comment

Sir MixaLotLos Angeles, February 4 – The artist best known for trumpeting his attraction to women with ample backsides stunned fans and followers by admitting he does not actually care much for large derrières.

Sir Mix-a-Lot, whose 1992 hip-hop song “Baby Got Back” sold more than two million copies in short order following its release, spoke in praise of the Callipygian feminine form, famously declaring in the lyrics that the stereotypically “perfect” chest, waist, and hips measurements of 36, 24, and 36 inches, respectively, held no appeal for him unless “she’s five-three.” However, the 42-year-old Seattle native disclosed recently that he finds nothing especially attractive about a woman with “a round thing.”

“I wrote the song as a dig at women’s fashion magazines that only wanted to showcase anorexic girls,” said Mix-a-Lot. “But it’s time to come clean: I don’t much like large-butted women. It was all for show.”

Fans and admirers have long praised Mix-a-Lot for standing up for the attractiveness of less-than-fashion-model thinness, and it remains unclear what impact the new revelations will have on his popularity. Whether or not the artist’s disclosure is sincere, his two-decade-old declaration of desire for derrière-endowed dames has been firmly entrenched in popular culture, says entertainment industry commentator Anna Conda. “Dozens of other artists and celebrities have either covered, sampled, parodied, or otherwise referenced ‘Baby Got Back,’ she explained.

Indeed, as Ms. Conda noted, the twitterverse is rife with references to the song, making it likely that Mix-a-Lot’s actual lukewarm feelings toward generous fundaments will prove irrelevant. “It’s as powerful a social commentary and criticism as it is because of what it exposes, irrespective of the ingenuousness, or lack thereof, behind it,” she said of the song. “Trenchant social commentary is one of the bedrocks of hip-hop.”

“Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some buns to attend to,” she said.

Written by Thag

February 4, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Study: Too Late To Make Resolutions For 2015

with 7 comments

resolutionsBethesda, MD, January 5 – Scientists at the nation’s leading institute for chronological studies have concluded that as of today, there is no point in resolving to make a positive lifestyle or behavioral change to mark the new year.

Researchers at the University of Maryland analyzed data from each year over the last 50, and determined that the temporal deadline for making a New Year’s resolution never occurs later than the fourth of January. Any resolution voiced or otherwise accepted after that date sill simply not take force, and the would-be resolver will have no choice but to wait until the following January 1 to make a valid commitment.

The study carries important implications for commitment studies, especially as they affect diets and relationships, says researcher Indyan Giver. “For many people, the onset of January activates their resolutions, but that only works when a person has a resolution lined up that can kick in the moment midnight arrives to usher in the new year,” she said. “But the calendar has some flexibility, meaning that as many as three more days can pass before it’s simply too late to make a resolution, and that person will remain unable to make any lasting positive changes for nearly 365 more days.”

To some, notes Giver, missing that tiny window of opportunity is a blessing in disguise. “Our study also found that up to 75% of Americans are physiologically incapable of sustaining a resolution beyond the third week of January, and 95% beyond the first week of February,” explained. “So this study is good news for most people, who shouldn’t bother anyway.”

The consequences of missing the resolution deadline generally involve becoming stuck in a rut of weight gain, bad habits, dysfunctional relationships, and undesirable work situations, with no hope of personal, professional, or any other sort of positive transformation. Which is just a well, says Giver.

“Imagine the deteriorating self-esteem that would result from all these losers being forced to confront their own inability to stick to anything positive,” she said. “The realization can be crushing, and send a person into an even more acute downward spiral of binging, guilt, inadequacy, shame, and a bevy of other unpleasant emotions. This way, they’re better off, knowing that it makes no difference most of the time anyway.”

Written by Thag

January 5, 2015 at 8:24 pm

Local Wife NEVER Sarcastic

with 5 comments

eyeroll 2Wedgewood, South Carolina, December 30 – Local husband Skip Murphy reported today this his wife Patricia NEVER adopts a sarcastic tone with him or their children.

Murphy, 37, forced his mouth into a thin smile before offering details of his wife’s goddamn perfect attitude. “She just shoved a load of unfolded laundry into my arms and said, ‘Here’s a little present,’ then stomped into the bedroom and closed the door,” he said, shaking his head. “Just goddamn perfect.”

The couple’s three children agreed with their father’s assessment. “Oh, yeah, Mom’s just greeeeat,” offered Ben, 16. “She’s just ALWAYS the sweetest, most supportive person. Like this morning, when I came downstairs for breakfast maybe thirty seconds later than I was supposed to because my sister had gone all prima ballerina in the bathroom as if she’s the only one who needs the place, and Mom’s all like, ‘Well, look who decided to join us! Alert the media!’ Yeah, I just LOVE that,” he added as he kicked the waste paper basket and scattered its contents across the den floor.

“So sweet of you to leave the rest of us to clean up your mess,” commented Lydia, 14. “Don’t mind us. We just live here too.”

eyerollAs for her mother, Lydia praised Patricia’s habit of always making sure to include criticism of some sort in her remarks. “It’s simply wonderful to see my self-esteem and sense of security are paramount in Mom’s eyes,” she said with a saccharine smile. “I wouldn’t be the way I am without her comments complimenting my choice of wardrobe by remarking how strikingly similar it is to some primitive nudist tribal culture. Thanks, Mom.”

“Like you’re one to talk,” interjected Susie, 11. “Little Miss Backhanded Compliment here is complaining. That’s rich. As if you don’t specifically pick out clothes you know will upset her.”

“It’s so cute the way you call me little,” oozed Lydia. “I’ll remember that next time you’re begging to borrow my sweaters.”

Skip professed bemusement at his children’s tone. “I have no idea where they learned to talk like that,” he said with a smirk.

At press time, Patricia was wondering aloud who had the brilliant idea that their home would be a good place for a reporter and photojournalist to spend an afternoon asking intrusive questions.

Written by Thag

December 30, 2014 at 8:51 pm

NY Sports Fans Not Surprised At Garner Death; Used To Choking

leave a comment »

MetsNew York, December 9 – Followers of New-York-area sports teams are expressing considerably less shock at the death of a man in a policeman’s chokehold than other populations, surveys indicate, because they are accustomed to the phenomenon of watching their chosen clubs choke.

A study of Knicks, Mets, Islanders, Rangers, Yankees, Jets, Nets, and Giants season ticket holders and of subscribers to the satellite or cable channels carrying those groups’ games shows that the demographic in question has developed a much higher tolerance for observing others choke than has the population at large. A control group expressed revulsion in approximately twice the intensity at seeing people choke than did these sports fans.

Choking has been a part of the New York sports experience at least since 1960, when the Yankees failed to put away the Pittsburgh Pirates in the World Series and ended up succumbing on perpetual underachiever Bill Mazeroski’s walk-off home run in game seven. Since then New York fans have lived through the futility and occasionally tantalizing periods of real potential embodied by their teams only to see them come crashing down after flirting with success.

Most prominent among the dubious group are the Knicks, who came oh-so-close to glory several times in the 1990’s only to choke famously against the Bulls, Rockets, and Pacers – with Reggie Miller of the latter club memorably gesturing toward the Knicks with his hands around his neck, thus capturing in an instant the essence of Knicks underachievement.

Choking has plagued New York on several other prominent occasions, including the Yankees’ 2004 inability to defeat the Red Sox in the American League Championship Series despite a 3-0 series lead. That letdown followed 2001 and 2003, when they lost the World Series in seven games. In more recent seasons they have failed to perform to expectations – with the highest payroll in all of professional sports – seldom advancing beyond the first round of postseason games if they have managed to reach the postseason at all. The lone bright spot of the 2009 championship has only served to highlight the sense of failure and choking under pressure every single other year.

The study authors intend to conduct similar research in other cities with perpetually disappointing performances by sports teams. Los Angeles features prominently as a candidate location, with the Dodgers consistently following a dominant season with a poor performance in the playoffs.

If LA becomes the venue, the researchers will be challenged to distinguish between adaptation to Los Angeles underachievement and residual tolerance for the choking that moved there from New York – first in the 1956 Bobby Thomson home run that gave the rival Giants the pennant, and more recently in the team’s Manager Don Mattingly, whose only playoff experience with the Yankees was in 1995 when his team dropped a five-game Division Series to the Mariners after leading two games to none.

Written by Thag

December 9, 2014 at 11:46 pm

Government Recalls 50,000 Babies

with 9 comments

Backlog of manufacturing expected; China, India to provide replacements

Amazon boxWashington, DC, November 24 – Accumulating reports of defects among the approximately four million babies delivered in the US over the last year has prompted federal authorities to issue a recall notice for all children delivered between January and September of this year.

An apparent spike in defect reports became visible in March, when parents began reporting in higher-than-average numbers that their newborn children were not performing to standard. Of special concern, say regulators, was the frequency with which the units were emitting noxious substances from various orifices, which evidently attests to some sort of malfunction and indicated a serious quality control problem on the production line.

While the recall is underway, the six major plants in the US where babies are produced will scale back production, at least until the source of the malfunction can be identified and fixed. Demand for new babies will be satisfied through the importation of units from Asia, mostly China and India, where the surplus of babies has rendered them affordable to American would-be parents, import duties notwithstanding. Domestic trade groups have been pushing for strict controls on imports of foreign babies, but the inability of American baby plants to meet demand has forced those groups to accept a temporary lifting of import limits.

If previous episodes of this nature serve as any indication, say experts, no long-term damage to the American baby-manufacturing sector is to be anticipated. “Some smaller outfits might suffer, but those enterprises don’t seem to be affected by the current quality problems, so they might escape unscathed,” says Hugh Mantraffic-King, a consultant with ties to the industry. “In fact we’re likely to see several of the small-time baby producers step up their game and assert themselves while the big-name manufacturers are unable to produce.”

The most recent recall prior to this one occurred in the 1980’s, when parents began reporting abnormally high levels of autism and other developmental issues in their toddlers. That crop of babies had been manufactured primarily in California and Texas, leading to a months-long, acrimonious lawsuit that ended with a class-action settlement and a fine paid by Storx, then the leading baby manufacturer. Storx filed for bankruptcy in 1990.

In the 1960’s and 70’s, parents demanded the right to return their children after the latter began engaging in obviously defective behavior such as transcendental meditation, wearing bell-bottom trousers, and listening to disco “music.” However, no recall took place, as the units in question were past the warranty period when those defects were observed.

Written by Thag

November 24, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Top Ten Up-To-Date- Ways To Make Your House Scary For Halloween

leave a comment »

We’ve all been there. So have the trick-or-treaters. Today’s youth sees gory, creepy images all the time. This is, after all, the age of Reality TV. They’ll yawn at your jack-o-lantern. So how do you give off that scary vibe in a jaded age? here are some tips.

Homer Christmas lights1. Turn Off The Christmas Lights

That’s right. We know you’ve had them up since Labor Day, ever since Congress mandated back in 2009 that Christmas lights have to be up within a week of back-to-school. Make your home look unapproachable by disconnecting the lights. Law enforcement won’t bother you about not following federal regulations, since the cops will be too busy shooting unarmed teenagers to bother with your little violation.

tp tree2. When You TP, Make It Used TP

The ghostly white effect of toilet paper hanging from tree branches carries extra oomph this year with Ebola on everyone’s minds. Bodily fluids are the way to achieve scary right now.

3. Use Actual Severed Heads Instead Of Pumpkins

These are readily available from your local ISIS outlet. Warning: these are heavier than they look. Consult the nearest FBI office for details, followed by the nearest federal prison.

4. Hang Warning Signs That The Treats You Provide Use GMO Food

Apparently, people are scared of things they know nothing about despite the fact that people who do know a thing or two about science have established no adverse effects from GMO. People are scary.

Biden5. Posters Of Joe Biden Sitting In The Oval Office

Seriously, this guy is the greatest insurance policy against a presidential assassination since Dan Quayle.

6. Use The Word “Literally” In Every Sense But Literally

Only if  you answer the door as a ghost or zombie can you use the statement, “I literally DIED,” correctly. This might only work on intelligent people, so if your neighborhood includes a significant number of NY Jets or Calgary Flames fans, prepare for disappointment. Note: this also applies to the use of “racist” to mean bigotry in general.

McDonald's7. Install A McDonald’s Logo On Your Roof

This method has the bonus effect of scaring the crap out of YOU when you see who comes by as a result.

8. Forget Blood; High-Fructose Corn Syrup Is The Way To Go

Apparently, everyone who consumes high-fructose corn syrup will die. Fact. Science! Also, statistics. We’re not sure whether that should carry an exclamation point.

9. Islamophobia

We’re not quite sure where to find this, actually, but we’re told by much of the media that this is the least desirable thing to have.

10. Repeatedly Play A Recording Of A Woman Saying, “We Have To Talk”

Admit it: your adrenalin started flowing just from reading this.

Written by Thag

October 30, 2014 at 4:38 pm

NY Jets Embarrassed They All Wore The Same Thing Onto The Field AGAIN

leave a comment »

JetsEast Rutherford, NJ – Adding a fashion faux pas to a season already shaping up as a disaster, every single member of the New York Jets roster chose an identical outfit in which to appear for their game today.

The team’s 0-6 start to the season results from what commentators are calling the perfect storm of rotten luck, bad decisions, lack of coordination among players, and simmering tensions among rival teammates. To make matters worse, say analysts, the team committed an aesthetic and cultural gaffe by appearing in public all wearing the same clothes, save for different numbers on their jerseys.

“Oh, my gosh, lame,” explained commentator John Madden. “I mean, they have stalls, like, right next to one another in the locker room – you;d think they’d pick up on the fact that someone else is wearing, like the exact same thing.”

Bob Costas of NBC Sports concurred. “This could have been avoided with a minimal amount of preparatory work on the part of the players, and, failing that, the coaching staff. This really gives new meaning to the term Offensive Coordinator. I can’t think of a more apt term right now.”

Numerous Jets squads have begin their seasons 0-6, with the franchise often serving as a metaphor for perpetual cellar-dwellers. The team last won a Super Bowl in 1969, leaving athletic achievement to the more talented, better-trained, and more prestigious clubs in the National Football League. The lack of expectation from fans that the team post a winning record, let alone advance into the playoffs, has freed them to pursue attainments in other realms, such as sniping at one another and trying to wear their helmets at the jauntiest angle possible.

Players expressed shock and disgrace at the mistake. “I thought I had the original idea to match my jersey and football pants to the green and white of the turf and yard markers,” said Tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson. “Imagine my chagrin upon discovering that all 52 of my teammates made the same fashion decision. I wish I could die.”

The incident recalls a similar episode in Borough Park, Brooklyn, last year, when fisticuffs broke out among adherents of Bobov and Ger Hasidic sects over which group had usurped the black frocks of the other.

Written by Thag

October 18, 2014 at 10:52 pm

Man To Go Around Punching Everyone Who Didn’t Read His Post

with 4 comments

Black_eye_2Lansing, MI, September 17 – Frustrated at the continued lack of attention to the results of his hard work writing articles for his blog, local man Alex Dufresne has resolved to remedy the situation by administering a beating to each person he encounters who has not read his most recent entry.

Dufresne, 38, decided to take matters into his own hands, so to speak, after a particularly well-written and incisive post went unread by others, despite his sharing it on the usual social networks and various other means. The mission is set to begin today after he finishes his shift as a floor manager for a sporting goods retail chain.

At least fifty of Dufresne’s followers usually read his offerings within 24 hours of his posting them, but his most recent article, which involved clever wordplay, scathing social satire, and a healthy dose of ridicule for holders of political opinions different from his, was read by only four people by the time the first 24 hours elapsed, and not a single one deemed it worthy enough to Like or share on Facebook or Twitter. The feeling of being ignored led Dufresne to the conclusion that, lacking the resources and budget of a big-time media outlet or advertiser, his only option lay in convincing people one by one that reading his blog was better for them than not reading it.

The disincentive he hit upon, as it were, was the most direct method that occurred to him: administering a knuckle sandwich to every person he meets who professes ignorance of, or worse, active lack of interest in, his articles. Already, Dufresne has purchased a set of boxing gloves with his employee discount, and will begin whacking people on his way home this afternoon.

This might take a few days, but if I can build of a following loyal enough, I won’t have to worry about this happening ever again,” he says. “I might have to do some follow-up, or some new recruiting a few months down the line as people die or move away, or whatever, but that’s OK. It’s better than sitting at home stewing about it.”

Written by Thag

September 17, 2014 at 4:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,

Facebook Acquires Hamas: Tool In Further Emotional Manipulation Studies

leave a comment »

FacebookMountain View, CA, Augist 6 – In a follow up paper to Facebook’s controversial emotional manipulation study, Facebook researchers have found that posts reporting and commenting on military or terrorist actions overseas have a statistically significant impact on people’s moods.

In the methodology section of the paper, the authors described how the company quietly acquired Hamas for one billion dollars, and then proceeded to direct the timing and location of missile strikes and air raids. The acquisition bad been previously reported in the press as a hitherto inexplicable purchase of WhatsApp.

To continue reading click here.

Written by Thag

August 6, 2014 at 10:01 pm

Baby Björn Launches Ergonomic Human Shield Carrier

leave a comment »

Written by Thag

August 6, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Study: Twitter ‘Favorites’ Slightly Less Useful Than Bowl Of Warm Urine

with 2 comments

All it's missing is a label with a cool font.

New York, July 27 – An interdisciplinary team of pathologists and market researchers have determined that in terms of overall benefit to mankind, a bowl full of warm urine possesses greater utility than people clicking the “Favorite” toggle on a Twitter post, the journal Science reported this week.

Scientists looked at the potential positive impact of “Favoriting” a tweet and compared it with that of a receptacle containing secretions from the human urinary bladder. They found that while a Favorite can potentially – but not necessarily – induce feelings of positive achievement in the person or persons who posted the tweet, a bowl of urine starts out even warmer, and also has disinfectant properties.

Twitter allows users to indicate they approve of a tweet in three ways: Favoriting, replying with an actual response, and retweeting. The latter two methods generally result in the user’s followers seeing the original tweet, and thus afford it additional exposure beyond the roster of those who follow merely the original tweeter.

Favoriting, on the other hand, is directly and immediately visible only to the user and the original poster. Technically, a list of the tweets a user has Favorited is visible to others who view that user’s profile, but such an action remains rare. In contrast, a bowl of warm urine can be used to help water certain kinds of plants, or to keep away certain kinds of animals.

Twitter offers an alternative purpose for Favorites, a use that involves marking a tweet for later review or exploration, but such use also remains vanishingly rare, and is not congruent with the term “Favorite” itself. Urine, on the other hand, can also serve as a critical diagnostic medium for such important physiological indicators as diabetes, kidney stones, drug addiction, and hydration levels. It also usually serves as the preliminary vehicle for detecting pregnancy.

Written by Thag

July 27, 2014 at 3:01 pm

NRA Curiously Silent On Rampant Guns Making Mideast So Safe

leave a comment »

NRA logoWashington, DC, July 19 – Conservative thinkers across the US expressed bewilderment this week upon realizing that the nation’s premier gun-rights advocacy group is missing a golden opportunity to argue for freer access to firearms by invoking the situation in the Middle East, where weapons flow everywhere nearly unrestricted and as a result, the citizens enjoy a level of peace, liberty, and prosperity that Americans can only envy.

A group of Tea Party, Libertarian, and other conservative pundits gathered earlier this week in Las Vegas to discuss legislative lobbing strategies for this November and beyond. From those conversations it emerged that the current public awareness and lobbying campaigns were completely missing the most compelling piece of evidence in their potential rhetorical arsenal: the correlation between large numbers of Arabs armed to the teeth and the success of those Arabs in forging tranquil, courteous, democratic societies.

“If the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, then the gun-toting good people of Iraq, Syria, the Palestinian Territories, Sinai, and Libya must be so secure as to warrant emulation,” said right-wing radio talk show icon Rush Limbaugh. “I seldom have words of criticism for my friends at the National Rifle Association, but I contend they dropped the ball on this issue by neglecting to marshal this winning argument.”

No hard numbers exist for the per capita distribution of firearms in the Levant and surrounding evirons, in part because the limited reach of the central governments does not allow for effective statistical measures.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) took up that point, noting that the decentralized governmental structures of the governments in those heavily armed countries was especially conducive to prosperity and security. “Just look at the burgeoning trade those countries enjoy,” he said. “There is almost no top-down market regulation, leaving it up to local sensibilities to determine who may traffic in what materials and services. That is what I call a recipe for liberty.” He expressed alarm that conservative organizations at large had not latched onto that argument.

(Originally posted at http://www.preoccupiedterritory.com/nra-curiously-silent-on-rampant-guns-making-mideast-so-safe/)

Written by Thag

July 18, 2014 at 1:00 pm

An Apology To Our Readers

leave a comment »

We apologize that Facebook is being such a git. Its inability to keep us logged in for more than a second is seriously impeding our motivation to actually post anything on this blog at all. If, however, your brain damage is severe enough, you will also enjoy our offerings at PreOccupied Territory, where we lampoon the international myopia surrounding Middle East affairs.

Thag

Written by Thag

July 17, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Report: Too Soon

with 2 comments

too soonVirginia Beach, Virginia, July 2 – Researchers have just concluded a study indicating that not enough time has elapsed since the event.

A team of scientists from Virginia State University conducted the study over the course of several weeks, and determined that it is still too soon. The team suggested waiting several days, or perhaps several weeks, and checking again, but given the sensitivity of the matter, they cannot offer reasonable odds on it not still being too soon even after that much time has gone by.

An earlier study hinted at it being too soon, but was focused on the details of the incident and not on the rhetoric surrounding it. The Virginia group decided to examine specifically whether it was time yet, and began collecting data that would help them reach a conclusion.

Analysis of the data pointed conclusively to there being not enough of an interval between the unfortunate events and the specific kind of discussion related to it. Commenting on, or joking about, the event in that manner would prove hurtful to many people, and it is therefore recommended to refrain from such treatment of the event at least until the initial wounds have had time to heal. Ideally, say the researchers, more than a year should pass before another attempt is made to determine whether expressing the notion would still be insensitive.

Written by Thag

July 2, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,

Philharmonic To Stop Selling Beer After 3rd Movement

leave a comment »

From PreOccupied Territory:

IPO logoTel Aviv, June 29 – Troubled by unruly attendees in the audience, Heichal Hatarbut, the Tel Aviv home of the Israel Philharmonic, has decided to stop selling alcoholic beverages beyond the third movement of orchestral works of four movements or more, and after the second movement of three-movement pieces.

The decision comes after persistent difficulties with rowdy audience members who fight, heckle the performers, and present what Heichal Hatarbut managers call  “a disruptive presence and a safety hazard for our players and guests.” The hall and orchestra boards agreed to implement the change following an incident last week when a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 in F Major was repeatedly interrupted by shouts of, “Your Scherzo is a joke!” and “My grandmother could…

To continue reading click here.

Written by Thag

June 30, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,

We Are Experiencing Difficulties, Technically

leave a comment »

So in the meantime you are invited to peruse the offerings at PreOccupied Territory.

Written by Thag

June 23, 2014 at 5:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

American Kids Celebrate End Of School Shooting Year

with 8 comments

AR-15Washington, DC, June 12 – Children across the country are excited for the end of the school shooting term, finally free not to attend the institutions where they are forced to sit in classrooms and are placed at increased risk for being killed or wounded by gunfire.

Since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre at the end of 2012, 74 school shooting incidents have taken place in the United States. The litany of such massacres has had no impact on gun control efforts, leaving parents, teachers and administrators with no choice but to simply wait for the school shooting year to end and hope that yet another recurrence does not hit them in the meantime.

“Summer vacation is always a challenge, but this year we’re a little relieved the school shooting year is basically over,” said Eugene, Oregon-area resident Alex Mully. “Summer camp might be expensive, but even with all the climbing, jumping, hiking, camping, dirt, and wilderness, it’s still seems safer than school.”

Mully is hardly alone in his sentiments. Parents and teachers in high schools from coast to coast have joined Facebook groups and other social media venues dedicated to counting down the number of days left until a school shooting is no longer a possibility, as least until September. The groups have become a mixture of cheering each passing day, sharing techniques for coping with the sense of danger, and recipes for cupcakes and other treats to keep the children’s mind off the possibility that at any time in the next few days, a disturbed or evil person will kill and maim them with weapons and ammunition that the politicians seem powerless or unwilling to limit.

The Department of Education has put out an online publication urging principals and teachers not to be distracted by the impending sense of respite, and that they continue to shoulder educational responsibilities. “Let us not lose our focus on the goal,” said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in an introductory message. Our goal was and remains the provision of knowledge and skills for understanding and functioning in the world, and we cannot allow ourselves to be thwarted by the prospect of being pumped full of lead from an assault rifle. We must therefore ignore that threat.”

Written by Thag

June 12, 2014 at 3:10 pm

With Visibility Of Posts Downgraded, User Sues Facebook For Emotional Distress

leave a comment »

FacebookMenlo Park, CA, June 9 – The owner of a Facebook page struggling to reach and expand his audience is suing the social media giant Facebook for emotional distress resulting from the social media giant’s deliberate withholding of many of his updates from his audience.

Thag Boogerman, who writes for the blog Mightier Than The Pen and the satirical news site PreOccupied Territory, filed  a lawsuit today charging that Facebook, with malice aforethought, displays posts and links to only a handful of users, even when hundreds of users have expressly requested to receive those updates by Liking that page. For each post, the page operator is invited to “boost” its visibility for a cost; the lawsuit charges that this puts beyond Boogerman’s reach the level of exposure necessary to maintain, let alone expand, his audience, thereby thwarting him in his efforts to earn a living, exacerbating domestic tensions, and causing untold emotional distress. Boogerman is asking the courts to order Facebook to pay him $89 million.

Just yesterday, says the thirty-eight-year-old father of five, a user who Liked his page more than a year ago sent him an angry message, asking him why she had not received any updates from his page in six months. She refused to accept his explanation that Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm was at fault, and accused him of neglecting his audience.

“I can’t afford to promote every single post, link, and status update,” says Boogerman, who lives in Yehupitz Park. “Every one of my posts is important to me and my users, and Facebook makes truckloads of money on ads, data sharing, and who knows what else. This whole thing is a naked attempt to gouge people for more money, and it increases the gap between the haves and the have nots.” He added that this results in the sad irony of Facebook functioning for so long as a social equalizer – notably during the Arab Spring, when the masses of protesters used the site to coordinate anti-government demonstrations – becoming yet another tool with which the moneyed class presses its wealth to its advantage.

Facebook has yet to respond to the lawsuit, but experts expect them to argue for its dismissal on the grounds that they don’t give a crap about little people when there is so much money to be made. This consideration is especially important, they are expected to argue, since the disastrous IPO of the company’s stock last year.

Written by Thag

June 9, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Man Told To Make Like Tree, Get Out Of Here

leave a comment »

BIffHill Valley, CA, June 8 – A local auto mechanic told a dissatisfied customer today to emulate a tree by leaving, albeit in such a way that the play on words in the classic line was not made apparent.

Biff Tannen, who runs a car repair business, instructed an unidentified visitor at his establishment to “make like a tree” this afternoon and “get out of here,” apparently unaware that the second part of the line as correctly expressed instead uses the single-word imperative “leave,” which is both the verb that means growing leaves – what a tree does – and a synonym for “depart,” which is what he intended for the visitor to do forthwith.

Tannen has had trouble in the past with accurately rendered turns of phrase, leading observers to question his intellectual capacity. The native son of the area enjoys a reputation for attempting to intimidate others into acquiescing to his will, often with the implied or or explicit use of unpleasantly applied force. Such behavior has only sometimes served Tannen well: in his school days he was often successful in persuading others to complete his work for him, but his bullying ultimately cost him the girl of his affections as his mark unexpectedly stood up to him and decked him, forever securing the sweetheart’s love and completely reversing the roles in the other man’s relationship to Tannen from that point on.

Rumors have swirled about Tannen’s youthful escapades. Sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing retribution, talked of the younger Tannen’s boasts regarding an ability to predict the outcomes of sporting events, an ability evidently never actually displayed in the real world. Whispers among Tannen’s closest associates – known by their nicknames Match, Skinhead, and 3D – overheard by those sources seem to indicate a missing document that could have changed the man’s life at a young age, and its absence has remained a constant source of frustration and low self-image since high school.

Speculation about the nature of that document was once commonplace, but with the passage of time it has died down, recurring only occasionally when other sources of local gossip at the Lone Pine Mall Hair Salon have dried up. The most widely accepted version of events has it that Tannen was set to inherit a fortune from ancestor Buford Tannen, but was never able to assert a legal claim. Others speak of his being privy to inside information that would enable him to profit immensely from some sort of investment, but the opportunity was squandered.

At press time, Tannen was neatening his clothes in preparation for a visit from George McFly, a longtime acquaintance and a client he always tries to impress.

Written by Thag

June 8, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Tina Turner, Bonnie Tyler Debate Needing Hero

with one comment

Tina TurnerHollywood, June 1 – Entertainment personalities Bonnie Tyler and Tina Turner faced off last night, arguing opposing sides in the question of whether a brave, manly presence is necessary, or whether it would be counterproductive.

Tyler repeatedly asserted that a heroic, preferably male, figure was the only acceptable solution. She offered from personal experience that the presence of such a figure could be sensed just beyond our current horizons, and, if enough patience is exercised, that hero will eventually appear and perform the functions that a heroic personality could be expected to do, such as sweeping women off their feet and appearing larger than life.

Turner offered a rebuttal centering on the contention that the model of a hero as a source of salvation has been tried repeatedly, but that it provides no lasting comfort and in fact is ultimately detrimental and destructive. While not proposing any specific alternatives to Tyler’s arguments in favor of a hero, Turner did put forth a point-by-point treatment of the dangers inherent in looking to a hero. Those dangers include diminished horizons, fear, a legacy of suffering, and perhaps most troubling, the notion that nothing can be changed.

Bonnie TylerThe audience was evenly divided on the merits of the positions. Those who accepted Turner’s contentions that we do not need another hero nevertheless acknowledged the visceral, emotional appeal of Tyler’s assertions. While Turner clearly wished for society to aspire “beyond Thunderdome” – clearly a reference to the narrow vision and potential of society as it now stands – Tyler invoked images of actually racing with that thunder, and “rising with the heat” – a call to transcend our current limits, limits that only a hero would be equipped to overcome.

Turner warned against such “castles built in the air,” fantasies with no realistic chance of fulfillment. She allowed that love and compassion might provide succor, but could not envision the situation in which that might be made possible, and that in the interim, she could not understand what love had to do with it.

Written by Thag

June 1, 2014 at 3:20 pm

“Backwash” Body Soap Selling Poorly

leave a comment »

shampoo bottleRochester, NY, May 29 – Procter and Gamble executives expressed disappointment this week when initial sales figures fro their new Backwash body soap proved negligible.

Company analysts had expected the product to sell relatively well on the strength of the product’s novelty and a campaign targeting the coveted 25-35-year-old demographic. However, the campaign seems to have little effect, and retailers are reporting only a handful of sales throughout the Northeast and Midwest regions.

The Backwash campaign highlights the product’s enzymes, which are suspended in a special formulation containing certain proteins such as amylase, which breaks down a set of common but complex organic molecules. The body wash produces a thicker, frothier foam when water is scarce, a contrast with other shampoos and soaps that froth best with a higher minimum level of moisture. The dry frothing was a feature that the company had hoped would translate into a selling point, emphasizing the water-saving advantages that Procter & Gamble calculated would appeal to the ecologically-minded Millennial demographic.

“We don’t yet know exactly where we went wrong,” said brand manager Abel Spitz. “The focus groups were pretty clear on the fact that this body wash’s features were promising, and that the design and color of the packaging was eye-catching and bright. We had a fabulous slogan for the ad campaign, so it’s going to take some more granular data analysis to get to the bottom of this.” The “Spray It, Don’t Say It” campaign launched in February, with ads on billboards, in print media, online, and a sprinkle of spots on network TV.

Spitz hopes his other brands make up for the losses generated by the Backwash failure. He also oversees a whitening toothpaste called Tartar Sauce and a nasal decongestant called Gland Opening. Even if they do well, says Spitz, “this one is hard to swallow.”

 

Also see PreOccupied Territory.

Written by Thag

May 29, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Convict Dies After Typo Has Him Sent Behind Bears

with 11 comments

grizzlyNew York, May 27 – A botched incarceration by the New York Board of Corrections has state officials on the defensive, after a judge’s order to place a convict behind bars was mis-typed by a clerk, resulting in the man being placed instead behind bears at the Bronx Zoo.

Orson Medved, 23, pleaded guilty to burglary charges last week, accepting a deal under which he would serve a reduced term of six months for a break-in he perpetrated in Brooklyn the month before. Judge Ursa Gurdov approved the plea deal, which spared Medved a longer sentence of ten months plus community service. A court clerk apparently inserted an extra “e” into the document, based upon which the Corrections Department placed Medved into the bear enclosure at the Bronx Zoo, where he was fatally mauled by Glacier, a grizzly bear.

Corrections and court officials were quick to trace the source of the mishap, and have assured the city and state that steps will be taken to prevent a recurrence. “We will implement redundancies in the documentation process so that such errors will be caught before it is too late,” said Forrest Forthtriese, a spokesman for the Department of Corrections. State Supreme Court representative Bea Sydapoint promised a thorough overhaul of the sentencing processing system.

The case recalls an earlier incident in which drug offenders were mistakenly sent to diction counseling after a court official misheard the word “addiction.”

Written by Thag

May 28, 2014 at 2:53 pm

Iron Man Credits Tin Man For Breaking Down Industry Barriers

leave a comment »

Iron Man coverHollywood, CA – Iron Man, the high-tech superhero whose metal suit protects him and provides superhuman strength, said at a press conference today that a metal character could never make it in the entertainment world if the Tin Man had not crossed the metal line all those decades ago in The Wizard of Oz.

Until The Wizard of Oz was released in 1939, hit movies almost invariably featured fully human characters. The notable exceptions were animated films, in which, for example, Snow White incorporated a slew of demi-humans the same year as Oz.

“It takes heart to persevere in an environment where nobody assumes you’re fully human, or worthy of the same consideration,” said Iron Man. “The Tin Man showed us all how to bear those slings and arrows with stoicism and empathy. He’s always been an inspiration to me.”

“‘Oz’ was a pioneer film in several respects,” noted social historian Meytal Urji. “It broke a color barrier, of course, being the first feature film to freely adopt the notion that black and white were irrelevant, even retrograde, ideas. It introduced the concept of a ‘Good Witch,’ laying the groundwork for Harry Potter. But almost as important, The Wizard of Oz made viewers and film executives alike think, ‘Well, why NOT take a bunch of burly males and emasculate them by putting them in ridiculous costumes?”

Some scholars of film have argued that in fact it was Superman, known as The Man of Steel, who spearheaded roles for such characters, but those voices remain the minority. Others contend that it was in fact Frankenstein’s monster who who should be credited, but still others note in fact the monster was anatomically human, just not all the same human.

 

Other types of mockery can be found at PreOccupied Territory.

Written by Thag

May 26, 2014 at 3:15 pm