SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- A larger-than-usual gathering of Catholics celebrating Ash Wednesday yesterday wreaked havoc among the community's predominantly white Evangelical Protestant population. According to Mike Fallopian, Yoyodyne executive and chairman of the conservative Peter Pinguid Society, the problem began with an incident at the area Whole Foods. "At first I wasn't sure what I was seeing," Fallopian explained. "These three women were standing in line with dirt smeared all over their faces. Normally, when you politely tell a person she has something on her face, she discreetly wipes it away and thanks you. Not so much on Ash Wednesday, it turns out." Managers at Whole Foods also found the observance alien, mistaking the women for unwashed vagrants who had wandered in from Hobo Gardens, the county's segregated transient community. When the women were refused service over hygiene concerns, an altercation erupted that required police intervention.
SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Did you know that country music star Tim McGraw hates America? Apparently, he does. And it’s no longer a secret he’s stuffed in a closet presumably packed with gay skeletons, burqas and aborted fetuses -- he’s openly admitted it to the dismay of patriotic music lovers. “It’s innate in me to be a blue-dog Democrat. I’m not saying I’m right or wrong, but that’s what I am,” he told entertainment reporters. “My wife and I and our family will do everything we can to support Obama. I like his ideas, I like his energy, and I like the statement he would make for our country to the world.” McGraw also likes to present the image of flag-waving country boy, but that flag no longer flies the glorious colors of the Confederacy. Even worse, this socialist peace-hawk is now considering a career in politics, a move that could pound the final nail into the lid of this nation’s liberty coffin.
SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- If you live in Bennington Vale and fall into that odd one percent of the city's unwed yet heterosexual population, then February 14 can present an understandably bleak outlook. St. Valentine would probably agree. According to legend, Valentine refused to deny Christ at the exhortations of Emperor Claudius in the year 280. For this, he had his head lopped off. But not before he restored hearing and sight to the jailer's daughter. Heck of a guy. Has that "Green Mile" feel to it. It's an inspiring story; deeds most worthy of canonization. But that's not why so many people will be reading "The Bell Jar" by candlelight alone this Saturday evening. Esther Howland is why.
SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- On Tuesday, Comedy Central and NBC announced the departures of two pioneering fake news icons: Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” and Brian Williams, managing editor and anchor of “NBC Nightly News.” While the timing is said to be coincidental, the similarities are eerie. Both men are highly respected within journalism circles, they represent a progressive voice in an increasingly conservative news environment, they are friends, and they have a rare gift for delivering fabricated stories with straight-faced gravitas. Millions of Americans took to social media this afternoon to express their feelings of loss and disappointment at the void both men will leave. The one difference, however, is that Stewart heads out on a career high, while Williams exits in disgrace. Unlike Stewart’s intentionally tongue-in-cheek and satirical fictions, Williams’ were revealed to break more toward perjury than parody -- or what NBC News President Deborah Turness called “broadcrafting, not broadcasting.”
SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Technology today has transcended the need to calculate complicated formulas or automate tedious manual processes, it’s become inextricably integrated into our lifestyles. Smartphones, tablets and laptops have transformed the way we see and interact with our world. But even these much beloved advances can’t escape the law of unintended consequences. In Nicholas Carr’s Pulitzer-nominated 2011 book “The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing To Our Brains,” neuroscientist Michael Merzenich warned that technology, like any major pharmaceutical, comes with its share of adverse side-effects. He cited a slew of potentially harmful byproducts that included disrupted sleep cycles, weakened memory, poor retention and recall, chronic forgetfulness, and diminished comprehension. But a new Republican-funded study discounts these “dubious and uninformed observations.” While still concluding that today’s technology is dangerous and perhaps deadly, GOP scientists praised Merzenich’s so-called threats as “real societal benefits to the Party.” The problem, they believe, is much more insidious: “The real peril is, in fact, uncensored access to vast amounts of information and facts, which are killing the economy and thwarting governmental efforts to keep people on the right path.” The other culprits? Wikis, e-cigarettes, Internet porn and digital books.