This Summer's Hottest News

by Alex King

It’s been a long summer, and if you spent it watching re-runs of Weeds, here’s the news stories that you missed:

Disasters Galore
It sure was a great summer for natural disasters! The bridge collapse here in the US was a major story, prompting people to ask serious questions about why Penn engineering students all go into consulting instead of civil engineering. Bridges aside, there were plenty of people-killing hurricanes the world over, but mostly in strange foreign nations so they didn’t see much coverage. Japan also had an earthquake that severely damaged a major nuclear power plant which released radioactive waste into the water supply creating a new generation of robot mutant superheroes. With mother nature seemingly striking back at Man, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that God is exacting His wrath, the planet is in danger, and global warming is a myth created by the liberal media.
Also some miners got trapped : (

The iPhone came out!
I’m not sure how this counts as news, but everyone covered it for some reason. So yeah, Apple released it’s hotly anticipated phone, which delivered on all its promises of a sexy look, neat features, and a shitty network. It was lovingly embraced by those hip, independent, establishment-rejecting Apple faithful… who don’t mind paying $600 for a completely non-essential luxury item. Way to be different!

Whole Bunch of Political Stuff
Even though the presidential election isn’t till the fall of 2008, it’s been in full swing since this spring. For the Democrats, the major frontrunners are Hillary and Obama, who have been sniping at one another all summer over misquotes and trivialities. Edwards still hasn’t gotten the hint. There are other democratic candidates, but no one knows who they are. The Dems got a lot of press by doing a debate with questions posed via YouTube, because nothing says ‘healthy democracy’ like questions coming from the largest repository of ‘your crazy friend doing stupid shit’ videos. The Republicans have been kicking around too; Romney’s trying to appeal to conservative Christians by downplaying he’s from a heretical sect, Ron Paul tries to downplay that he’s batshit insane, and Giuliani has not said a word all summer regarding 9/11. Other candidates may also exist. Oh right, that Law and Order guy has been polling well, despite not even being in the race. Good sign!

Paris Hilton
She went to jail, and then got released. But then she went back in, and then got out. This was covered extensively by all the major networks. Elsewhere and completely unrelated, a New York Times columnist asked regarding the Middle East, “Why do they hate us?”

Subprime Crisis
In July 2007, a sharp rise in foreclosures in the subprime mortgage market began in the US, and other facts I copied from Wikipedia. There’s some sound economics behind why this is happening, but that’s not what you need to know about it. What you need to know is that the Dow dropped 1,000 points and the value of the dollar declined. A situation like this means you can almost guarantee grandstanding by hack politicians, because even though it’s a natural economic cycle, it’s obviously the Administration’s fault. Expect a Michael Moore movie in ’08 about it.

Michael Vick’s Dog Fighting stuff
Atlanta Falcons’ quarterback Michael Vick has been in the press, and suspended from play, for running an illegal dog fighting ring. Seriously though, dog fighting? I like sports controversies like steroid use, illegal bets, and fixed matches. Dog fighting is a pretty lame crime really, I’m waiting for it to break that Eagles coach Andy Reid is running an illegal human fighting ring wherein McNabb takes on all challengers. Bare handed.

Made in China!
While everyone has been praising China’s rapid economic growth and growing market tendencies, this summer the cause of this rise was revealed: rampant corner-cutting and gross negligence of safety regulations. Nothing speeds an economy faster than shoddy workmanship. Toys with lead paint that kills you, poisonous toothpaste, metal laced pet food, and non-prophetic fortune cookies. This caused some international worry but all the officials responsible committed suicide to avoid shame, because in China, all stories have a happy ending.

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