Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Posts Tagged ‘history

Man Asks Permission To Count Ways He Loves Thee

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flowersLondon, March 23 – Cedric Montague has submitted a petition to recount the different ways in which he finds reason to express affection for thee, local media reported today.

Montague, 26, of Berwick Manor, has been attempting to woo thee for nigh a fortnight, and has finally secured an audience with thee. The ensuing conversation convinced him that thou art the wench for him, and he proceeded to request your consent to hearing the various justifications for his feelings toward thee.

In a request entitled,”Let Me Count the Ways,” Montague seeks to gain thine ear for a complete inventory of his motives in finding thee attractive, witty, charming, warm, humorous, attentive, and appreciative, though he wishes to clarify that the foregoing does not in any way constitute an exhaustive list of The Ways. “Would that thou grant me thy attention if but to give ear to my pining,” he explained.

This is not the first time a suitor hath attempted to woo thee thus. Nary four months ago, Sir Hubert de Mille similarly tried to win thee with sweet words and expensive gifts. That episode came to an ignominious end when thou discovered that Sir Hubert was already married, and already conducting any number of scandalous affairs.

Such expressions of affection are apparently common in thy family, as thy father wooed thy mother with a similar set of compliments. “She hath always been a sucker for the sweet talk,” he hath been known to comment.

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Written by Thag

March 23, 2014 at 7:57 pm

Researchers Unearth Ancient Use Of ‘Science!’ Without Exclamation Mark

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overreactingOxford, March 4 – Linguists at Oxford University have announced the discovery of an earlier form of the word “Science!” indicating that it did not always have an exclamation mark at the end.

Researchers examining manuscripts from ancient sources in the years Before Chat (BC) found multiple occurrences of the word without the terminal punctuation, indicating that it may have been pronounced with considerably less zeal than is standard today. Older dictionaries had always contained an entry without the exclamation mark, but sources with the term in actual use in its sparer form were not known. The discovery indicates that the pursuit of science! may have been a more sober undertaking in times of yore.

“We’re excited to be able to provide another piece of the linguistic puzzle, because science!” said lead researcher Brittany Hashtag. “It was mostly thanks to the hard work of those who compiled and collated the archival material with the help of technology. Science!” she added.

A similar study late last year revealed that originally, it was considered standard in online communication to end a sentence without appending “LOL” or an emoticon, a discovery that provoked a chorus of “OMG” from the academic community, which praised the researchers for its innovative use of science!

“Recent developments in linguists have me going, like, WTF?” says cultural anthropologist V@ne$$a $chultz. “The language and philology worlds are totes ROTFL over them. I’m glad these things are happening now, when I can observe them, because #YOLO, you know?”

At press time, researchers agreed the findings were amazeballs.

Written by Thag

March 4, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Report: Apparently, Shirley Temple Was Still Alive

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220px-Little_Princess_4Woodside, CA, February 11 – Shirley Temple Black, one of America’s most iconic film stars, was apparently still alive until yesterday, various news outlets are reporting.

Mrs. Black, it emerges, was 85 years old and still very much breathing and functioning until her passing by what her family called “natural causes.” Admirers and film aficionados were as saddened by her death as they were by the news that until that point she wasn’t dead yet.

“We though she’d gone a long time ago,” said veteran director Roman Polanski. “I mean, she was Reagan’s ambassador to Czechoslovakia, but then she kind of disappeared. We thought she’d quietly passed on sometime in the nineties, maybe.”

Even those who might be expected to know better were taken by surprise that the actress, who starred in 44 films in the 1930’s. “I, uh, I guess this is unfortunate,” said Elise Dorkin, President of the Shirley Temple Admirers Association. “But we had all assumed Shirley died some time in the last fifteen years.” She said she would take a poll of the organization’s membership to determine who, if anyone, was aware that Mrs. Black was still among the living until yesterday.

“You’d think it would be an easy thing to look up, considering the Wikipedia page was just updated a few hours ago,” said Liz Smith, who writes about celebrity gossip. “It probably never occurred to anyone to look at the stupid page,” she mused, noting that obviously at least one person outside Mrs Black’s family knew she was alive, at least when the Wikipedia entry was composed: “It didn’t include a death date when it was written, obviously.”

After becoming America’s sweetheart as a child in Depression-era movies, Shirley Temple more or less stepped away from Hollywood in 1940 and toward a life more involved in politics and diplomacy, a function of her husband’s ties to the Republican Party. While she occasionally starred in or produced film or television content, her life in front of the camera gradually faded, leaving legions of fans in the dark as to her continued existence.

Written by Thag

February 11, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Palestinians, Israeli Settlers Cheer Death Of Old Man On Life Support

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Sharon casket

The man’s casket, looking exactly as it would if he had finished his political career, retired, and died peacefully in his sleep at more or less the same age.

Jerusalem (AP) – Upon hearing the news that an eighty-five-year-old man’s heart had stopped beating yesterday, Palestinians and right-wing Israelis burst forth in joy, welcoming the end of life for a person who had been in a vegetative state since a debilitating stroke eight years ago.

In an unprecedented instance of unity, the two groups at odds over every conceivable point of contention viewed the same death in a positive light, calling the passing of an eighty-five-year old an act of “divine justice,” and “a glorious day for all that is holy,” attributing epic proportions to an event that occurs millions of times each day all over the world with not a hint of fanfare. The level of ecstasy was all the more incongruous in light of the fact that this end was a foregone conclusion since shortly after the stroke in January 2006.

On the Israeli right, radical settler leaders and their supporters welcomed the man’s death in tones normally associated with a triumphant reversal of fortune, rather than the humdrum, if grim, reality of an elderly man’s bodily systems failing in not-unusual fashion for a person his age. Across the political and demographic chasm, the Arab world, and Palestinians in particular, expressed cathartic joy reminiscent of a hard-fought but decisive victory, under circumstances more akin to a rotting tree finally toppling.

The Jews celebrating the predictable passing included a small but vocal subset of anti-Zionists, who trumpeted their satisfaction that the man had finally been cut down, as apparently their vision of manifest justice features a mortal enemy’s existence gradually coming to an end in such a way that he lacks the awareness to know that justice is being meted out.

Elsewhere, Palestinians who suffered through massacres in Lebanon that were obliquely associated with the man lamented that fact that he had been cut down by natural causes, a development that in their minds prevented the human vegetable from standing trial and, presumably, dying in more or less the same way eventually.

But the Palestinians were not alone in letting single period define their assessment of the man. Those Israelis celebrating his completely foreseeable demise as if it were a spontaneous heavenly gift defined the frail shell of a human in intensive care by one pursuit toward the end of his political career that was at odds with his prior deeds and reputation.

At press time, the ability to acknowledge complexity in an ideological opponent remained in critical condition.

Written by Thag

January 12, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Race To Politicize Pope’s Mideast Visit Begins

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Pope FrancisJerusalem (AP) – Pope Francis announced yesterday that he would be visiting the Holy Land in May of this year, setting off a scramble among Israelis and Palestinians to score propaganda points in their ongoing conflict and to leverage the publicity of the visit to imply papal endorsement of their respective positions.

Francis announced his intention to a crowd in Rome, saying that he hopes to bolster ongoing efforts to reach a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. US-brokered talks have produced little progress on the remaining core issues, including the status of Jerusalem; the fate of Palestinian refugees and Jewish settlements; borders; and whether there must be explicit recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. Considering the weightiness of those issues, the pontiff’s announcement was immediately seized upon by representatives of both sides as an important vehicle through which to demonstrate the virtues and manifest justice of their own positions, to the exclusion of the other side’s.

Francis is the third pope in a row to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories; John Paul II did so in 2000 and his successor Benedict XVI followed in 2009. Both times, as expected, politicians and negotiators on opposing sides of the divide attempted to transform every possible papal move into an indication of Vatican support for one side or the other.

Similar developments are expected this May, when the pope will visit important Christian pilgrimage sites and meet with Israeli, Palestinian, and Jordanian leaders in a visit also aimed at strengthening relations with Orthodox Christianity, from which Roman Catholicism spit in the eleventh century. A parallel tumult of diplomatic and political maneuvering has characterized the Christian reaction to the news, with both Catholic and Orthodox partisans angling to score rhetorical points in the nearly thousand-year-old dispute over, among other issues, the primacy of the pope.

Francis’s first stop will be in Amman, Jordan, where the focus will be more on repairing relations with the Muslim world than on the Arab-Israeli conflict, but that conflict is sure to intrude on the discussion between Francis and King Abdullah, whose country is populated by large numbers of Palestinian refugees and their descendants. Only afterwards will the pope travel west to Jerusalem and Bethlehem, where Israelis and Palestinians will try to portray each papal visit to a site in contested territory as a tacit or explicit statement of support for either perpetual Israeli control or the need to bring it to an end.

Vatican spokesman Waitwait Dontelmi said Francis had decided that the trip would take place in May because that is when the current round of US-brokered talks is expected to end, but which the Israeli Foreign Ministry immediately announced was calculated to be associated with Israeli Independence Day, which usually occurs in May.

Written by Thag

January 6, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Media Outlets Rush To Update Pending Sharon Obituaries

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SharonNew York (AP) – A rapid deterioration of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s condition has journalists scrambling to update their files in case the publication of an obituary becomes necessary in the coming hours or days.

Sharon, 85, suffered a stroke eight years ago that resulted in his current comatose state. The former general’s life closely follows many of the defining moments of Israel’s history and politics, including a dramatic shift on Jewish settlements that involved the withdrawal of all Israelis from the Gaza Strip in 2005. In keeping with industry practice regarding public figures, newspapers and other sources of current events news have long maintained files will all the pertinent details of his life in case the need arises to release an accounting of his life.

When doctors in Tel Aviv announced yesterday that Sharon’s kidneys were failing and that various other systems were in peril, newsroom personnel and interns across the globe hurried to review their current information on him. In most cases the obituaries were all but written years ago; when Sharon initially suffered the stroke in January 2006, a similar scramble occurred. Little needs to be added regarding the intervening years, save perhaps for details of his deterioration and references to the long-term results of his policies.

The effort to ensure the timely publication of a comprehensive, accurate obituary is much easier in this case for that reason, says Ed G. Yoomer, who writes about journalism industry practices. “There’s usually a constant monitoring of press releases, media reports, gossip sites, and official web sites to keep pending obituaries accurate,” he explains. “But with Ariel Sharon, that really hasn’t been necessary.” There hasn’t even been a death watch, as took place, for example, in the waning days of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco in 1975.

“A death watch itself becomes a media event and might be worthy of mention in an obituray,” says Yoomer. “But here, all the journalists have to do is wait for one little announcement, add a few details to the article, and just pull the plug.”

Written by Thag

January 2, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Israeli Gov’t Regrets Hanging Eichmann; ‘Could Have Freed Him Today’

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220px-Eichmann,_AdolfJerusalem (AP) – A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu today lamented Israel’s execution of Holocaust mastermind Adolf Eichmann in 1962, noting that the architect of the Final Solution could have been released with other killers of Jews this evening.

26 Palestinians imprisoned for the murders of Israelis in terrorism attacks over the last several decades are scheduled to be freed as part of an agreement with the Palestinians earlier this year. Eichmann managed the sprawling Nazi bureaucracy that resulted in the extermination of two-thirds of Europe’s Jews during the Second World War. He was kidnapped by Mossad agents in 1961 and spirited to Israel, where he was tried, convicted of war crimes, and sentenced to death by hanging. The sentence was carried out the following year.

Mark Regev, the spokesman, told reporters that the decision to release the convicted murderers was a difficult one, primarily because even taken together, the number of murder victims that Israel has now betrayed will number only in the dozens, and the Netanyahu government currently lacks a prisoner of the caliber of Eichmann, responsible for the deaths of millions.  He said the government had considered the feasibility of a military or Mossad operation to kidnap and then release someone with a more impressive number of Jewish victims, but the logistics and cost of such an operation were deemed prohibitive. Candidates for such an operation were said to include Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, and Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran.

In the end, explained Regev, the Likud-run government could only go so far in cheapening the memory of the dead and depositing a massive political bowel movement on their graves while thumbing its nose at the families of those murdered.

MK Zahava Gal-On of the Meretz party, currently sitting in the opposition, expressed reluctant support for the move, saying it represented only a small step in the right direction. Ideally, she said, Israel should have absolved the convicts of their crimes concurrent with freeing them, to demonstrate more effectively that killing Jews is nothing to be ashamed of. “But that can always be accomplished later, and can be made part of the Knesset’s legislative goals for the upcoming Parliamentary session,” she noted.

Written by Thag

December 30, 2013 at 2:15 pm