August 23, 2002
7:21 AM   Subscribe

News in my head
I mean really, is the US going bollocks up or is it just me? Within the last few weeks things seem to just be getting out of hand, or maybe I haven't been paying attention to it.
A secret court on spying decisions releases a report on widespread abuses and systematic lies by AG Ashcroft and his office would have given them "too much control over counterintelligence investigations"...
The United Way which previously thought of by myself and thousands of Americans as a "do gooder", has gonethe way of the Enrons, Tycos, Worldcoms, AOLs, GlobalCrossings, and those other guys that haven't yet posted their guarantees of earnings.
Let's not forget the spate of child abductions, children missing in various state child agencies, CNN's now 24-hour coverage of their AlQeada tapes, the Music Industry wanting to legally hack my computer, Palestine/Isreal, Iraq, Floods in Europe/China (1 mil threatened), couples having sex in church? ARGHGGHGH
Sometimes I wish I was this guy listening the Micheal Jackson's Scream.
posted by omidius (38 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason:

Generally, limiting a post to one topic is best. If you can't restrain yourself, try a cap of 25 or so.
posted by dhartung at 7:24 AM on August 23, 2002

Uhh... OK, I'm just going to ask what "Palestine/Isreal" [sic] is doing in this list. And you might want to consider spellcheck.
posted by languagehat at 7:24 AM on August 23, 2002

I'll get the syrup ready.
posted by saintsguy at 7:26 AM on August 23, 2002

Okay. Ummm...What about that scrabble guy? Waaaaayyy at the end. He's creepy looking.

Also, CNN had this to say:

Joel Sherman stares down his competition. The word "competition" is worth 17 points in the game.

Ummm, doesn't that depend on where you put the tiles? I mean, a triple letter score on the P could change that a lot.
posted by ColdChef at 7:28 AM on August 23, 2002

Yes, we suck. What else is new? At least we keep things interesting.
posted by quibx at 7:28 AM on August 23, 2002

posted by luser at 7:30 AM on August 23, 2002

Also, when we play scrabble, we have a special rule:

If you put down a fake word (Say, Mumphrous), you have to give a definition for it that everyone playing agrees is funny. Otherwise, you can't keep it.

Mumphrous: (noun) The bulbous wings of a cameltoe.
posted by ColdChef at 7:31 AM on August 23, 2002

The post may not be great, but at least it isn't overly narrow...
posted by websavvy at 7:31 AM on August 23, 2002

On a more serious and thoughtful note, I think there is a combination of things occurring. There are rampant abuses by the government right now, those are finally getting talked about in the press. it's been a year, Americans aren't in as much shock about the planes and are starting to be bothered by the behaviors that fear engendered. Add to that rising crime and a shitty economy and you have the recipe for apparent and real widespread societal and economic turmoil. Things can and likely will turn around, the question is how soon. Some of that depends on how the rest of the world suffers through the downturn here in the states and whether our govenment spends time embroiling other regimes in its own problems through declared and undeclared wars.
posted by shagoth at 7:34 AM on August 23, 2002

Well, the media's focus on child abductions is just that....a focus. There were just as many as last year, but this time the media is focusing on it more. The Morning Meeting talks about it from a media perspective.
posted by mkelley at 7:35 AM on August 23, 2002

From the Scrabble article:

Sherman lives in the Bronx borough of New York City and said he hasn't held a regular job in more than a decade. He won the world Scrabble championship in 1997.

"This is all I do," he said. Sherman plans to use the $25,000 prize money for living expenses.

That's got to go over good with the ladies. "So, what do you do?"

"I play Scrabble...For a living."
posted by ColdChef at 7:35 AM on August 23, 2002

languagehat: That's I'll take it under consideration...umm, no.

COLDCHEF: so is that like QUIJIBO? A big dumb balding North American ape.

posted by omidius at 7:38 AM on August 23, 2002

Yes, in fact. It comes directly from the Quijibo. Heh.
posted by ColdChef at 7:39 AM on August 23, 2002

You forgot; Bush's obsession with invading Iraq, and all the world is against him...except the UK PM
posted by CrazyJub at 7:41 AM on August 23, 2002

Mumphrous can't be a noun. It's clearly an adjective.
posted by Summer at 7:43 AM on August 23, 2002

Sherman was actually prominently featured in a great book by Stefan Fatsis called 'Word Freak' that chronicles the Pro Scrabble Circuit. I highly recommend it!

Additionally, for those of you who are looking to play Scrabble online, Yahoo! Games offers a free multiplayer version of Scrabble called Literati. Lots of fun!
posted by wsfinkel at 7:45 AM on August 23, 2002

The United Way got into hot water a long time ago, in 1992 to be exact. It's not the national organization which is now in trouble, though. Instead, it's a United Way organization in D.C. Plenty of cities now have community foundations that do the same sort of work regardless, largely as a consequence of the '92 scandal.
posted by raysmj at 7:48 AM on August 23, 2002

C'mon, let's stay on topic here!
posted by MarkAnd at 7:50 AM on August 23, 2002

Yes, I long for the good ole days when I didn't have the right to vote and Tampax wasn't readily available. Good times!
posted by alou73 at 7:51 AM on August 23, 2002

Syllabus: Going to Hell in a Handbasket. Your description of the commercial news media's standard fare is exactly the reason so many of us are attempting to dig out more stimulating, informative, and insightful information, or writing our own weblogs. Clearly many people want to see the commercial news agenda move someplace else that's not this website. My suggestion: use this sort of material to start your own weblog on a site like Blogger, then post here again when you start finding some alternatives to the standard news fare. Alternatives are out there! Click on the weblogs linked on MeFi user pages for clues.
posted by sheauga at 7:55 AM on August 23, 2002

Mumphrous can't be a noun. It's clearly an adjective.

Oh, I you would say, "Wow. Those cutoffs are too mumphrous. Leaves nothing to the imagination."

You're right. That's much better.
posted by ColdChef at 7:57 AM on August 23, 2002

Next time I play scrabble I'm going to do my best to use the word XQUZYPHYR. Should be worth a ton of points.
posted by pardonyou? at 8:01 AM on August 23, 2002

I found that first story, about the FISA court fascinating-- I'm sorry it didn't have its own post. This sentence in particular is riveting:

In one case, the FISA judges were so angered by inaccuracies in affidavits submitted by FBI agent Michael Resnick that they barred him from ever appearing before the court, according to the ruling and government sources.

From ever appearing!

I guess our founding fathers did a pretty good job with that "checks and balances" stuff.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:01 AM on August 23, 2002

um, let's try that again. XQUZYPHYR.
posted by pardonyou? at 8:03 AM on August 23, 2002

Speaking of Bush...

[from Fanatical Apathy]

"Bushlet," Act 1

SCENE i: CRAWFORD - A platform before the castle.

[FRANCISCO at his post. Enter to him BERNARDO.]

BER.: Who's there?
FRA..: Nay, answer me: stand, and unfold yourself.
BER.: Long live the Chief!
FRA..: Bernardo?
BER.: He.
FRA..: You come most carefully upon your hour.
BER.: Wracked with dreams was I, dreams of war.
FRA..: Marry, to be wracked with Iraq's attack at that!
BER.: Funny. What hear you of our attack? 'tis time?
FRA.: Nay, only this: that our sweet young prince
Doth stalk here nightly, his brow furrowed, as if
In semblance of thought. Far does he roam.
BER.: Aye, for he is in remarkable shape
For a man his age.
FRA.: So they say - Hssst! He comes!
BER.: We'll listen, and mayhap learn more of the coming storm.

[Enter BUSHLET, clad in doublet, hose, and a ten gallonne hat.]

BUSHLET:Oh, what a brogue and pissant shave am I!
BER. (whispered): 'tis inpenetrable! His words lack all sense!
FRA.: And yet in that nonsense, his sense does emerge.
BER.: 'Tis why we love him.

[Unseen, a GHOST appears behind Bushlet]

BUSHLET: To attack or not to attack, that is the question -
GHOST.: -Nay, 'tis not. Not the question. Not.
FRA. (whispered): 'Pon my life - 'tis his father, once King.
BUSHLET: Lo! What's this? Tis the ghost of my Father,
Cruelly slain, and now here reanimerated.
GHOST: Slain? Nay, son, I live. Feelin' good...
BUSHLET: Oh dear father - thine death shall be avenged!
GHOST: Nay, son, I am not dead I tell thee...
BUSHLET: Long shall be the struggle, but this evil-doer
Shall be brought low. Much avengeration
Shall I have 'pon the head of Saddam.
GHOST: Saddam. Tis he who I come to speak of with thee.
BUSHLET: Speak, dear shade! What has roused thee from thy grave?
GHOST: Whatever. Listen, son. Time to listen. Now.
Thou dost fritter away thy days in indecision.
Now waiting, now preparing thine attacks.
Thy sabre rattles, and yet stays sheathed withal.
BUSHLET: Tis a defective sabre. I can't find the trigger.
GHOST: Listen! I come here to beseech thee -
Thou must not yet make war upon Saddam.
BUSHLET: What? But you did, oh saucy hippocrat.
GHOST: Yes, but you have not yet prepared.
Haven't built thine international coalition.
Shouldn't attack, then. Wouldn't be prudent.
BUSHLET: Fie upon coalitions! Those fancy-pantses
With their extra languages and their "hot cuisinarts..."
They listen to me not. Fuck 'em. Fie!
GHOST: 'Tis my very point. Thou must make
Them attend. Persuasion. Ne-go-tiation.
BUSHLET: Nay, I will heed you not, old ghost!
For thine words do confuse me. But I am clear
In my purpose - to do what thou couldst not
And bring down the evil-doer in thine name.
GHOST: Not a great plan. Got to think. Prudence-
BUSHLET: Nay, begone, ghost, and to thy rest!
GHOST: Really, I am far from dead, my boy.
BUSHLET: To thy rest!

[the GHOST exits, grumbling]

BUSHLET: Would that he had lived.
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow,
The sun wilt come out tomorrow, come what may.
And then shall I give the signal, and let loose
The dogs of war! Probably. Pretty sure now...
Hey! What ho! A firefly! C'mere, thou rogue!

[BUSHLET wanders off, chasing the firefly.]

BER.: And so we learn that nothing is to be learned.
FRA.: Aye, 'tis a walking riddle that prances yonder
Fixed on that fly, heedless of the pond he approacheth...

[Pause. A loud SPLASH is heard anon.]

BER.: Come, sweet Francisco, a beer will I buy thee.
FRA.: Aye, thou hast it! Or perchance a hard lemonade.
Lead on, Bernardo! Let kings to their businesses,
And us to ours.


posted by ColdChef at 8:11 AM on August 23, 2002

Well, at least a thread derailment is virtually impossible.
posted by adampsyche at 8:22 AM on August 23, 2002

Channeling the spirit of Settle in the morning!
posted by bargle at 8:34 AM on August 23, 2002

Clearly something is afoot.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:37 AM on August 23, 2002

Weaselteats! And the ineluctable modality of the deeply, irredeemably stupid! Toasty nipple cheeselog portapotties! W00t!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:44 AM on August 23, 2002

"Clearly something is afoot"
yes, CC used the noun...cameltoe.
posted by clavdivs at 8:44 AM on August 23, 2002

I mean really, is the US going bollocks up or is it just me?

Today's top story:

Omidius Begins Following News More Closely

Newspapers and TV report bad news,
causing angst, bewilderment

More on this story as it develops ...
posted by rcade at 8:46 AM on August 23, 2002

ColdChef - Nay thou rogue! Thine words doth maketh me speweth my milk on yon keyboard!

Best laugh I have had today.
posted by SweetIceT at 8:48 AM on August 23, 2002

these are clearly signs of the apocalypse. or not.
posted by gwint at 9:00 AM on August 23, 2002

Mr. Howie, Mr. Howie!!! Over here please! Clean up in Aisle 4!!
posted by briank at 9:06 AM on August 23, 2002

Is this anarchy?
posted by niceness at 9:07 AM on August 23, 2002

What do floods in Europe/China have to with the US going "bollocks up"? (What about flooding in Bangladesh, Nepal, Cambodia or Vietnam?)
posted by panopticon at 9:18 AM on August 23, 2002

With all this going on, I have just one thing to ask: Can I move to Australia now, please?
posted by jasonbondshow at 9:24 AM on August 23, 2002

Is this anarchy?

Yes, anarchy in the MeFi.
God save the Mathowie!
posted by me3dia at 9:26 AM on August 23, 2002

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