MONDAY, MAY 22 Pornography and cable television--the twin avengers of free speech--continued the good fight for the First Amendment. The Supreme Court voted today to strike down a provision that limits access to adult programming on cable television. The winning suit, brought by Playboy's cable affiliate, knocked out the provision of the Telecommunications Act that required cable providers to restrict smutty programming to hours when children are least likely to be watching (naively specified as 10 pm-6 am). Raising the flag high for porno-lovin' nightwatchmen, horny housewives, and impressionable youngsters on home detention everywhere, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in favor of free-speech (read: porno, all channels, all hours). The venerable justice decided it's the American way to protect that which some may find "shabby, offensive or even ugly." Unsurprisingly, Clarence "Is That a Pube in My Coke?" Thomas cast the deciding vote in favor of pornography. Yay, Supremes!

In other Bill o'Rights news: the Second Amendment renewed its annual vows with Charlton Heston. Re-elected to an unprecedented third term as president of the National Rifle Association, Heston will continue his quest to arm the world against those "damned dirty apes." Boo, N.R.A!

TUESDAY, MAY 23 Portland's Jefferson High School is regularly slammed for low test scores and its loss of four principals in five years. School Superintendent Bill Canada, however, changed all that today when he chose a new principal who will hopefully return the beleaguered school to its former greatness: actor Kevin Bacon. Not exactly a positive role-model for youth or protector of the educational establishment, Bacon has starred as the evil river guide in The River Wild and as the rebellious yet deft dancer in Footloose. Bacon's apparent real-life inexperience, however, was a non-issue for Jefferson High English teacher Theresa Quinn who told The Oregonian: "With Kevin being appointed principal, it's a sure bet. There are a lot of happy people around here, a lot of hugs." Though the superintendent didn't go into detail about why Kevin Bacon was his first choice, we suspect he used the following method: He was watching Cher in The Witches of Eastwick, who starred in Moonstruck with Nicholas Cage who was in Leaving Las Vegas with Elisabeth Shue, who was in The Karate Kid with Ralph Macchio, who starred in My Cousin Vinny with Joe Pesci, who co-starred in JFK alongside KEVIN BACON.

(At press time, The Mercury discovered that the Kevin Bacon now running Jefferson High is in fact not an actor, but a local school administrator of the same name who has never acted a day in his life. Superintendent Canada has not returned our calls, but we swear to get to the bottom of this flim-flammery.)

WEDNESDAY, MAY 24 Tonight, for the first time in history and with an unseemly degree of excitement, One Day at a Time tuned in to Dawson's Creek to witness what was billed as the first romantic kiss (meaning a "prelude to an orgasm" kiss rather than an "I'm sorry your Dad died" kiss) between two prime-time TV characters of the same gender. With bated breath we sat through the deeply annoying travails of Dawson, amusing ourselves during the commercial breaks by theorizing on what caused the bizarre shape of the otherwise attractive James Van Der Beek's head. (Prevailing theory: whacked across the eyes with a baseball bat.) At long last came "the kiss," which was perfectly lovely and followed by an equally impressive scene of tears and bonding between one of the faggy smoochers and his large-hearted father. Pure crap, but at least it's revolutionary crap. We salute you, American television!

THURSDAY, MAY 25 A statue of Ronald McDonald kidnapped in the early 80s from a McDonald's restaurant located at 9100 SE Powell finally has been released from captivity. Part-time bouncer and private investigator Steven Stroud recovered the flaming red-haired clown this morning from the basement of a Portland rental home. According to The Oregonian, Ronald was being held by Richard Cartasegna (a friend of Stroud's who recently passed away). Until his death in 1999, Cartasegna was demanding several thousand Big Macs for the statue's return. McDonald's, however, has an adamant corporate policy against negotiating with terrorists. The statue is reported to be in satisfactory condition, with the exception of a few missing fingers.

Yay! More homo news! The Associated Press reports that a Baltimore Nun gave a big, saintly finger to the Vatican. Last summer, Sister Jeannine Gramick was ordered to cease ministering to those repugnant freaks of nature, homosexuals. For a year, the obedient nun grudgingly complied. But this week, when the Vatican summoned Gramick to Rome to prohibit her from publicly discussing her situation, the sassy sister summoned her inner Norma Rae. "I choose to obey the voice of God within me," said Gramick. "And in this instance, the voice of God is saying that I should not collaborate in my own oppression." Stay tuned for further info on this ballsy bride of Jesus.

FRIDAY, MAY 26 While the Catholic church is against sexual deviancy among their flock, they seem okay with pedophiles within their ranks. Today The Oregonian reported the truly sad story of Joe Elliott who, along with at least 25 other former altar boys, was sexually abused by Rev. Maurice Grammond 30 years ago at St. Mary's Home for Boys in Portland. Elliott accused Grammond of a variety of abuse including toweling him off after showers and fondling his genitals before delivering Mass. When Elliott informed the Archdiocese about the abuse last year, he received this reply: "Out of pastoral concern for what you believe happened to you, we will offer you counseling." He was then advised if he had anymore to say on the subject, Elliott should contact the church's lawyer. Sue their Catholic asses off, Joe!

SATURDAY, MAY 27 In their continuing effort to ruin everybody's fun, the U.S. Forest Service put the kibosh on what could've been the best kegger of the year. Early in the day, Clackamas County deputies and U.S. Forest Service agents seized 22 kegs of beer from two enterprising youths who had planned to host an unauthorized bash on Mount Hood, affectionately called "Woodstock 2000." While unloading the kegs and setting up bandstands, deputies swooped into the forest and busted up the merry mens' plans, which included drinking, bands, and a bikini contest. Police authorities gave no indication about what happened to the confiscated beer. Bummer, dude.SUNDAY, MAY 28 At the 5 pm performance of Saltimbanco--Cirque Du Soleil's unbelievably entertaining travelling circus--the truly unbelievable occurred: An obviously wealthy woman was spotted squatting in the bushes and urinating. Though Saltimbanco is an undeniable boon to our cultural landscape, the lack of proper facilities available to our town's upper crust is truly appalling. Is this what we've been reduced to? Squirting in the shrubbery like the common poor? One Day at a Time can only shake our heads in disgust, muttering "Why why why?"

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