TUESDAY, JUNE 17
Though Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld says everything is hunky-dory in the new and improved Iraq--the shootings, riots, and car burnings tell a different story. Today a U.S. soldier was shot and killed by a sniper in the latest of a string of ambushes committed by angry Iraqis unhappy with the way America is policing their country. Crime has been running rampant, and at least 41 soldiers have been killed since May 1st--the day President Bush called an end to military operations in Iraq. And woe be unto Paul Bremer, the head of the interim administration who's been given the job of trying to impose order in the beleaguered country. (So far he's coming off like Kevin Bacon during the parade scene of Animal House: "Remain calm! All is well!") In his defense, it's practically an impossible task, especially with most of the population accusing U.S. soldiers of assaulting civilians and ransacking houses. Of course, according to Rumsfeld, everything is great in Iraq. He's even gone so far as to claim Baghdad currently has "less violent crime than the U.S. capital"--which would explain all the rubble, wives wailing for their murdered husbands, and burning military vehicles we keep seeing outside the Pennsylvania Avenue Old Navy.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 18
Not to be a contrarian, but we hate anything that has to do with Harry Potter. Facts are facts, and magical powers aside, the kid is a four-eyed dork. That's why it gave us particular glee when the New York Daily News published details of the newest Potter tome--three days before it was supposed to be officially released. It seems when a New York store received four advance copies on Tuesday, the proud owner displayed the overwritten 900-page (!!) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in his window which was immediately snatched up by an observant Daily News reporter. The News printed a rough synopsis today, and author J.K. Rowling flipped her wig, threatening all sorts of impotent legal wrangling. So, what's the latest poop on Potter? Same old muckety-muck, we're afraid; Potter takes on the evil Lord Voldemort, gets hassled by teachers, sets his eye on some tarty little witch, and mourns the death of one of the series' characters (which, unfortunately, isn't Potter himself). And speaking of overwrought works of fiction
THURSDAY, JUNE 19
As previously plagiarized in One Day at a Time, the mostly fictionalized rescue of Pvt. Jessica Lynch has all the major television networks foaming at the mouth. According to the government, Lynch was heroically rescued from a heavily guarded Iraqi hospital by Allied forces swarming in and kicking major ass. However, many reports indicate the operation was a "Hollywood-style" whitewash; the Iraqi guards had long left the hospital, and U.S. soldiers were acting for the cameras using blanks and non-explosives. However, CBS is more than happy to ignore these questions for a great interview, and they're willing to do almost anything to get it! According to a document obtained by The New York Times, the network is offering Lynch multiple deals involving "CBS News, CBS Entertainment, MTV Networks, and Simon & Schuster publishers." Why MTV? The idea is that Lynch would celebrate her heroism by hosting an edition of "Total Request Live." No word yet on whether any of her 11 killed comrades will be given a hosting slot on MTV's "Say What? Karaoke."
FRIDAY, JUNE 20
McDonald's Corp., a longtime advocate of healthy eating and progressive company culture, has announced it is directing its meat suppliers worldwide to phase out the use of growth-promoting antibiotics in animals because of concerns that the practice lessens the drugs' effectiveness in humans. The policy does not prohibit the use of antibiotics to treat livestock stricken with step throat or sinus infections. It is aimed instead at antibiotics routinely given to animals to promote obscene growth with the goal of a larger McNugget harvest. Direct suppliers provide most of McDonald's dead birds and 20 percent of its cow corpses. They will be checked periodically and will be asked to certify every year that they are complying. "As a company committed to SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, we take seriously our obligation to understand the emerging science of antibiotic resistance and to work with our suppliers to foster real, tangible changes in our own supply COMMUNITY and hopefully beyond," said Frank Muschetto, a McDonald's senior vice president. McDonald's churns through over 2.5 billion pounds of chicken, beef, and pork annually. A sampling of environmental and consumer groups found that most praised the company's commitment to public health and the environment. The poll, however, did not account for sarcasm.
SATURDAY, JUNE 21
According to the Associated Press, a 21-year-old student--not much older than YOU--was arrested for allegedly hacking into the University of California, Riverside in order to cast hundreds of votes during student elections for a made-up candidate named "American Ninja." Shawn Nematbakhsh, a--you guessed it--computer science major, was arrested Friday for investigation of drug possession and altering computer data without permission. If convicted, he could face up to three years in prison, a $10,000 fine, and a Susan Orlean profile in The New Yorker. School officials said Nematbakhsh cast the 800 votes in April, forcing the university to scrap the election results and hold a new student government election the following month. Nematbakhsh told police he did it to show the university network was vulnerable, and because Star Trek: Voyager wasn't on.
SUNDAY, JUNE 22
Is NOTHING sacred?? Today Britain's Home Secretary ordered an immediate inquiry after a comedian managed to gatecrash Prince William's 21st birthday party at Windsor Castle on Saturday. The whole of Britain's royal family was present at the time--many three sheets to the wind on cherry brandy--and Scotland Yard said they regarded the breach of royal protection as bloody serious. The comedian was detained by police at around 11:30 p.m., while more than 300 guests joined William and the rest of the royal family for an "Out of Africa"-themed fancy dress party. (It's good to see that Britain is over feeling any sort of shame about colonialism.) Apparently, the comedian regularly dresses up as Osama bin Laden and calls himself the "comedy terrorist." He was seen outside Windsor Castle before the party dressed in a pink dress, turban, sunglasses, and false beard. Now THAT'S comedy. The News of the World tabloid reported today that the comedian stumbled onto the stage where Prince William was making a speech. He was said to have grabbed the microphone before security guards and police pulled him away and took him out of the Great Hall. As he was led away he shouted: "You can see me next Monday at the Improv." He was then summarily beheaded.