August 14-20, firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember in the Bible when Jesus went around condemning everyone to hell? It was like whoever was unfortunate enough to cross his path was taunted and tortured for their insolence. Disagree with Jesus? Bam! Plague of locusts. Ask him for help? Boom! Suddenly you’re a pillar of salt.
What, you don’t remember that? Oh yeah, maybe because Jesus wasn’t really into that whole wishing-harm-upon-others thing.
But just try telling that to our favorite extremists to the south, Focus on the Family. We thought that if anyone knew the purpose of prayer, it would be James Dobson & Co. But recently it seems there’s been a bit of a mix-up. In a July 30 video launched by the Christian-right organization’s political subgroup, Focus Action, viewers are called upon to pray to God for a torrential downpour — “I’m talking ‘umbrella-ain’t-going-to-help-you rain’” — during Barack Obama’s acceptance speech at INVESCO Field at Mile High on Aug. 28. With enough prayers, Focus Action seemed to insinuate, God would be able to wipe out Obama and all those devilish Democrats with a flood of biblical proportions.
The video was an immediate Internet hit, garnishing more than 20,000 page views. But, of course, it was not without its obvious criticism. After several members of Focus on the Family complained that it was a misuse of prayer, Focus Action finally removed the video on Aug. 12.
The video’s creator, Stuart Shepard defended the video, saying it was meant to be humorous. “It’s called hyperbole,” he told reporters. Oh, right. It’s a humorous exaggeration, kind of like, “Hey, Boulder Weekly readers, please pray to Lord Satan that Stuart Shepard will be inflicted with herpes tomorrow.” It’s called hyperbole, Stu.Overbooked
We’ve all been there. It’s 3 p.m. on the Friday before a holiday. You had to use your vacation hours from work to catch a flight to Little Rock to visit your Aunt Gail who hasn’t seen you in 10 years, but still insists on pinching your cheeks and force-feeding stale candy down your throat before asking you to change the litter box. After long security lines and breaking luggage wheels, you are informed that you will not be allowed on the flight. It is “overbooked,” they tell you.
“But I paid $400 for this flight!” you exclaim to the attendant at the counter. You are then redirected to voice your complaints to an automated voice machine, and given a voucher to eat at Starbucks (nothing says “healthy dinner” like “caffeinated pastry”), where you call everyone in your phonebook to complain about the situation until the next flight arrives.
For those who are unaware, applying for college is quite similar to that kind of traveling — it’s a total pain in the ass. You take expensive, difficult standardized tests that measure your intelligence with a number. You get to write narcissistic essays about your academic prowess. Want some scholarships or financial aid? Be prepared to sit down with a trig calculator and a photocopy of every single document that’s ever had your name on it. But at least you can take solace that the gratuitously huge check you wrote to admissions will reserve you a spot come September.
Or maybe not.
Fall 2008 will see the University of Colorado’s largest freshman class ever — 5,750 students. But maybe it’s a little too big. The university “overbooked,” and is now reserving rooms at the nearby Broker Inn hotel for freshman students. CU is confident, however, that those students will eventually get to move into dorms. That confidence is based on college no-shows, the same sort of logic that airlines use to make sure they get their max capacity regardless of how many duplicate seats have been sold. And if they overbooked the housing situation, just imagine what class sizes will look like — you could easily be sharing your introductory science lectures with more people than can fit on two 747s.
But should we be at all surprised by this? When you hire a businessman to run an academic institution, schools start resembling airlines instead of respites for higher learning. Thanks, Benson. Now where’s that Starbucks voucher? We’ve got some Espresso Fudge Brownies to go barf up. Yippie, we’re peaceful
A group of “Yippies” recently gave a street performance in which they dressed up like protesters and cops and then proceeded to beat each other up with inflatable weapons. The purpose of the performance was to poke fun at the demonstrations surrounding the DNC and to encourage peaceful, nonviolent action. Their slogan is “make fun, not war.”
If their campaign proves successful, the Yippies plan to broaden the scope of their activities. In the future, all soldiers will be required to wear comical red noses and say “waka-waka-waka” before they fire upon the enemy, and Patriot Missiles will contain red-white-and-blue confetti. Carrot Top will be promoted to Secretary of Defense, and when terrorists blow up our buildings, they will receive a pie in the face.
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