Thursday, March 19, 2009

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"

Anything spectacular is probably propped up "behind the scenes" , one way or another. "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" is just good advice when you want to be dazzled. If you want to be dazzled by this post, ignore the next few sentences. I'll let you know when to look again.

The Reuters News Service is one of the world's largest news syndication companies. One of its most popular features is "Oddly Enough News" which, as the name implies, presents unusual, odd, or strange items in the news [the sort of thing that 90's talk-show host Arsenio Hall immortalized as , "Things that make you go, 'H'mmm'"]. Periodically, Reuters allows civilians like you or I to join an e-mail list that gets you each installment. For writers of "Humor" blogs [had you forgotten?], "Oddly Enough News" is a Godsend for inspiration, video, and, when needed, filler. Then again, why do you need filler, when a blogger with an average sense of humor [and I am nothing, if not a blogger with an average sense of humor] can ramble out a few "riffs" based on the original articles? Case in point [okay, eye-averters out there, get ready to be dazzled!]:

I don't know why, but it seems politics are a bit more "colorful" in Europe than here in the US. I'm not exactly sure why; maybe it's the beautiful backgrounds available to protest before [like the canal-based beef at right], or a multiplicity of cultural traditions giving our European friends more to protest about. Perhaps it's just a panache that comes from living in the Old World. In England, for instance, the Local Government Association has asked the powers-that-be in London to lay off 200 words or phrases that they claim, "muddy the communicative waters". Former PM Tony Blair referred to his nation's taxpayers as "stakeholders", according to an article from Reuters; more than a few of them had a fantasy about where to drive the stake. (I have to confess one bit of English Politico-jargon does hit home with me; namely, the term "cascading", referring to the act of sending an e-mail from layer to layer of government. It just sounds so picturesque!)

See how easy it is to write a post item with a bit of inspiration? But I'm not done yet...

In Italy, meantime, stars of the adult film industry frequently take notable "legitimate" roles in politics. A decade or so ago, a major star of such films ran for, was elected, and served at least one term in Italy's Parliament. And earlier this week current porn star Laura Perego [left] stripped to her panties in Milan's stock exchange, in what was termed a "protest" against the world-wide economic crisis. Ms. Perego, who also chose to wear a painted-on Italian flag to demonstrate her concerns with national issues, was quoted as shouting "Italy is down to its underpants!", before being taken away by police. Now why is it that America's "dirty movie" stars can't seem to be bother to speak out?

In France, on the other hand, worries over finances have taken a huge bite out of, well, so I don't scandalise anyone, let's call it the "marital aid" industry [and no, I'm not talking about rebate checks for France's married population]. This goes against everything I've ever believed about such times; I would have thought S-E-X was one of the few things most people could afford to do.

Changing gears, Japan is taking a typically high-tech approach to the high cost of supermodels; a Japanese firm has invented a robot mannequin, capable of walking, posing, and strutting its gear-driven "stuff": [the robot supermodel actually does a couple of things; it saves untold millions in modelling fees, and it fills the slot in the list of World Famous Supermodels reserved for Japan (seriously: has there ever been a Japanese, or even Asian supermodel that found success outside her home region?). At least as graceful as a drugged Kate Moss [and more coherent], the Robo-Model looks like a win-win all around. Domo arigato, dear Ms. Robato!

You don't need to make good humor up. Just read your local newspaper [or news feed].

-Mike Riley


Bengo said...


Thanks for linking to! We hope you are enjoying the comics and appreciate the support. I just happened upon you and was glad to see a reader. It really means a lot to Pug and I, so thanks, and I'd read and say more, but I am on deadline.

Next time!