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  May 30, 2001
News of the News


Red, White, and Tragedy

Marriage in any society plods forth in a long stretch of mutual despair punctuated by death. For some, the misery begins right away.
What a horrible concept, legally chaining yourself to another human being forever, in holy matrimony. If your income taxes don't go up, the scaffold at your wedding reception comes tumbling down. Pictured below are three amateur video stills suitable for anyone's scrapbook. Friday May 25, police pulled twenty three bodies - and well over 300 injured - from the site. The bride suffered pelvic injuries.

"Does this dress make me look f--

>> CRUNCH <<

-- OH! JESUS! OH GOD CHRIST ETC"
Ah, memories. Family and guests drink, dance, and celebrate according to custom. Then, commotion and smoke. They're sucked down a gaping hole three stories deep. Educated news enthusiasts spin their wheels over to click the shocking headline. They gasp in astonishment, eyes furiously scanning the text - how could this happen? how? when? why? - until they learn where it took place. Oh, Israel.

A Boy Burns to Death in Iran. A Shopping Mall Explodes in Malaysia. A Bus Carrying 200 Plunges Off A Bridge somewhere in New Delhi. The location is often disguised in a less-pronounced typeface to circumvent the inevitable American sighs of big deal. BLAH and BLAH and BORING. If it doesn't happen in here in the States, it never happened.

“Our blessed ceremony - ruined!” turkey-gobbles a man we no longer care about, standing in some kind of catastrophe halfway across the universe.

This was Israel's worst ever civil disaster, but with all due respect: Zzzzzzzzzzz. Seen it.

Readers huff and puff, resentful of being tricked into temporarily giving a shit. The feature is dismissed, the browser closed with an angry CTRL or COMMAND-W. This isn't news.

Tehran? Bogota? Nigeria? Chile? You might as well say Huckleberry, Hicksville. Ludicrous headlines are some countries' number-one exports.

Are Our Disasters Safe?

A pointless infographic
from CNN.com holds our hand, gently escorting us through this chapel of horror. Take all the time you need to wrap your mind around this sequence. It was constructed in about five seconds.

Fisher-Price Little People enjoy snacks and breezy conversation, partying in groups along the top tier. Smooshed, crudely-rendered, unidentifiable victims languish in the basement like lumps of dog shit.

Gee whiz, muses the end user. You'd think structures in Israel might be safer.

Describing the engineering handiwork of underdeveloped nations requires no further adjectives beyond “unpredictable,” nor PowerPoint slides like those my grandmother could assemble. In this case, a screen shot from Donkey Kong would have been equally valuable.

“I was crying and afraid! It was just like a bad dream!”

Great, just circumcise him.

The news informs U.S. citizens whether or not pornography will be legal tomorrow. The news reminds us which companies are failing so we can laugh at them. The news brings us Salon Table Talk and innovative ways to spy on our girlfriends.

Even when dipped in rich milk chocolate, drizzled with loops of caramel and served alongside sprigs of red summer raspberries on a sparkling China pattern, these faraway spectacles are pink urinal soap cakes to American readers. They're clichéd and disposable, even when packaged for online publication.

Regardless of whether an article highlights squished adults or injured children - the most disturbing online disaster stories are those framed under a My Netscape toolbar.


 Welcome!   

Minute by minute, the horrors of our world blend seamlessly with lame corporate logos and dot-com whatnots.

Desperate to brand any random rectangle of the human experience, rub-and-tug enterprises like My Lycos and Netcenter happily showcase any outrageous, bloody tragedy available.

Maybe they orchestrate these things, who knows. Maybe it's all fake and made-up. If so, when will this expensive, genocidal quest to discover a more reliable coat hanger for banner ads come to an end?

When will these transparent attempts to generate “buzz” by way of redundant special effects depicting massive death and faux sentimentality be seen for what they really are?

ABOVE: An ambulance driver's gloved hand obscures one wedding victim's C|NET shirt.

“OY VEY, it was horrible.”

Cry me a river, lady. I saw this shtick in The Money Pit with Tom Hanks and Shelley Long.

That movie came out in 1986, so watch for it in foreign theaters any day now.

( Posted by Rotten Staff )

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