Posts filed under “Press Clippings”

IN THE NEWS.

The premiere episode of Nuance Guy, the Dumont Network series in which professor of history Dr. Orwin Thale explains the complexities on both sides of a hot political issue, succeeded in bringing America together and erasing decades of entrenched political division. The studio audience had been deliberately chosen to represent the extremes of the right and left, but only three and a half minutes into Dr. Thale’s exposition of the complex history of the abortion debate, the entire audience rose as one and began to pummel him with chairs, fists, camera equipment, and any other available blunt instruments.

“We learned a valuable lesson tonight,” said Winifred Planken, chair of the Progressive Caucus in the General Assembly. “Left or right, Democrat or Republican, progressive or conservative, we all really hate anyone who tries to make us see the complexities of an issue.”

“Amen to that, sister,” added Leopold Blanch, president of John Birch Society Local No. 27.

According to reports from local affiliates, after the episode aired, mobs of Socialist Workers and Proud Boys formed spontaneous vigilante committees all over the country to round up anyone suspected of moderatism.

Currently on hiatus, Nuance Guy will resume taping when Dr. Thale is released from the rehabilitation hospital. The next episode will be a fair and measured presentation of both sides of the Sheetz vs. Wawa question.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR.

Sir: Today I bought a 12-pack of beer made in Wilkes-Barre, even though I live in Scranton and some of my neighbors might consider it unpatriotic, but anyway when I got it home I noticed on the side it said “12 16-ounce cans = 16 12-ounce cans.”

Whoa! Symmetry like that has to be more than coincidence, I thought. I mean, what are the odds? I bet it wouldn’t be like that if they were 24-ounce cans.

But I got out my pocket calculator, which was in my pocket, because that’s where I keep it, and I did the math, and you know what? Sixteen 24-ounce cans would be the same amount of beer as twenty-four 16-ounce cans!

Okay, but I also had some of that Irish beer that’s brewed by a German company in Scotland, and it comes in 14.9-ounce cans. Got you there, I said to myself. But no! It turns out that 12 14.9-ounce cans is the same as 14.9 12-ounce cans!

This is just too weird, and the more beer I drank the weirder it seemed. I kept calculating. Did you know that 48.3 13.7-ounce cans is the same as 13.7 48.3-ounce cans? Or that 53.264 27.1438-ounce cans is the same as 27.1438 53.264-ounce cans? It just blows my mind.

So my question is this: Why is there no Nobel Prize in mathematics? Cause I totally deserve it for discovering what I think I’ll call the Commutative Property of Beer.

——Sincerely, Bernie Riemann, Scranton.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR.

SIR:

WHY ARE THERE SHIFT KEYS ANYWAY? WHAT’S THE POINT? HUH?

I MEAN, THE FIRST TYPEWRITER HAD CAPITAL LETTERS, AND THAT WAS IT! THE CARRIAGE DIDN’T MOVE UP AND DOWN! THAT WAS NOT IN GOD’S PLAN FOR THE TYPEWRITER!

CLASSICAL WRITERS DIDN’T USE LOWER-CASE LETTERS! THE INSPIRED AUTHORS OF SCRIPTURE WOULDN’T BE CAUGHT DEAD USING LOWER-CASE LETTERS! THEY HADN’T BEEN INVENTED YET! LOWER-CASE LETTERS WERE AN INVENTION OF THE DARK AGES! IGNORANT MONKS INVENTED THEM TO FOOL US INTO THINKING THE MEEK WILL INHERIT THE EARTH! WELL, I’M HERE TO TELL YOU THE MEEK WON’T INHERIT THE EARTH! YOU KNOW WHY? BECAUSE THEY’RE TOO MEEK, THAT’S WHY!

SO I JUST TAPED DOWN MY CAPS LOCK KEY, AND NOW I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT ANYTHING! SOME PEOPLE SAY IT LOOKS LIKE SHOUTING. BUT YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU SHOUT? PEOPLE HEAR YOU, THAT’S WHAT! DID YOU EVER THINK OF THAT? EVERYBODY IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD HEARS ME, ESPECIALLY WHEN I TALK TO THE POODLES!

SO I SAY DO AWAY WITH THE EFFEMINATE LOWER CASE! KILL IT NOW! CAPITAL LETTERS WERE GOOD ENOUGH FOR CICERO, AND THEY’RE GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU!

OH, AND !!!!!!!!!

SINCERELY, E. E. CUMMINGS

LETTER TO THE EDITOR.

Sir: There has been much debate over various forms of wealth tax, and I thought that my long experience as a teacher of fifth-grade arithmetic at Blandville Elementary might be of some service in forming sound notions of correct public policy.

First of all, we must define our terms. Every good American will agree that there is nothing wrong with being rich. A million or two here or there will help pay the bills and keep the wolf from the door. Even a hundred million can have its uses; one might buy a butler and a housekeeper to keep one’s house running smoothly, paying each of them a few million a year to keep them contented. But I think we can all agree that anything over a billion dollars is just too much for one person. A billionaire may be considered by definition obscenely rich. No one could ever spend a billion dollars on personal comfort.

Now, the obscenely rich form a large pool of wealth from which the government might make an occasional withdrawal without materially affecting their comfort. Here is where arithmetic is of great utility. Elon Musk, for example, is estimated to have a net worth of $217 billion. Plainly, he is obscenely rich. Now, should we punish him for his wealth? By no means. Doubtless he came by it honestly, as all billionaires do. But let us say, hypothetically, that we wish to make use of his wealth, without affecting his personal comfort at all. If we remove $216 billion from his assets, he is still obscenely rich. As my fifth-graders could demonstrate to your satisfaction, $217 billion minus $216 billion leaves 1 billion—an amount that we have previously agreed exceeds every possible human want.

What shall we do with this knowledge we have gained through the art of arithmetic? That will be up to the wisdom of our legislators. I take it for granted that no one can be elected to Congress without a thorough understanding of human nature and an almost supernatural intelligence. I content myself with knowing that I have contributed a salient fact to their discussion from the realm of my own little specialty.

Sincerely,
Mr. Blundt,
Room 207,
Blandville Elementary

IN THE NEWS.

Grief counselors were called to the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen after a three-year study by Institute researchers was rejected by the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.

“This is the saddest day of my life,” said Meik Wiking, CEO of the Institute. “I just want to jump off a bridge.”

Counselors at the Grief Studies Foundation celebrated their contract with an all-night party featuring three cases of Moët & Chandon champagne. One counselor, who wished to remain anonymous, told a reporter that with this new contract she was “set for life.”

IN THE NEWS.

Police were called again to the Blandville post of the Veterans of Pointless Wars after neighbors reported a fight. According to the police report, an argument over the admission of Sgt. Roland Wellburger escalated into a “brawl.” Sgt. Wellburger is a veteran of the invasion of Grenada, and it appears that members of the VPW post were unable to agree on whether that particular military adventure counted as pointless, or possibly whether it was a war. The exact point of disagreement could not be determined “on account of everybody talking at once.” According to sources at the Bureau of Public Safety, the VPW has a history of such incidents. Records obtained from the VPW national office show that most of the members are veterans of the War on Christmas.

TELEVISION QUALITY ALERT.

The Department of Aesthetic Protection has issued a code ORANGE Television Quality Alert for North America for Wednesday, March 16, and the remainder of the decade. A code ORANGE television quality alert means that poor writing, bad acting, general pretentiousness, and lowestcommondenominatorism may make television unhealthy for sensitive groups. Sensitive groups include children, the elderly, and people suffering from aesthetic sensitivity or higher education. The effects of television pollution can be minimized by turning off the set and reading a book.

The Department of Aesthetic Protection has also issued a code ORANGE Literary Fiction Alert.