Volume 14, Issue 3: The Cretan Times
Osama Bin Laden Says His Private Life Shouldn't Be An Issue
DIM-CAVE, PAKISTANResponding to U.S. criticism that he is
still a monster, Osama Bin Laden broke his silence via the Al-Jazeerah news
agency and decried the fact that his private views and choices are being brought into
discussions of public policy and starting wars. "I am not now nor have I ever
been a politician. I hold no public office and don't desire it. I have not submitted
bills for legislation. I sit on no committees and have no interns. I am a thoroughly
The Al-Jazeerah news service received the audio-taped message from Al
Quaeda couriers and had its authenticity confirmed by three of Bin Laden's
personal cleric friends via a goat-lashing ceremony.
Fouad El-Amir, spokesman for Al-Jazeerah reports that "the response
was probably prompted by the West's continuing refusal to see that Bin Laden's
private views are very much his and his alone. His choices about terrorismvery much
like Western adulteryare very personal as
pects of his life and would have absolutely no effect on his ability to
function as a public servant some day." The
tape reveals a Bin Laden dismayed at the U.S. led "conspiracy" to invade his
privacy. "My life is my life, and what I think
about blowing-up is nobody else's business."
Arab journalists have noted that the message is often cryptic but
amazingly forthright at key moments. Bin Laden explains on the tape at one point,
"Deep down inside I believe that the U.S.
might even one day welcome me as a senator in their government. They can look
beyond my personal philosophy of life, and even my past indiscretions. Policy and
private choices are completely different worlds, like sand and liver."
In anticipation of one objection, Bin Laden says, "Yes, I personally believe
that women shouldn't ever, ever have all that curvy-body thing going, but that
wouldn't influence my committee work in the Senate."
Senate Grants Maya Angelou Full Protection Against Blasphemy
WASHINGTON, D.C.To a deafening cheer, the Senate yesterday passed Senate Bill 360 that prohibits anyone anywhere from saying
anything critical of cultural icon Maya Angelou. There were no opposing votes or abstentions. Sen. Hillary Clinton, co-sponsor of the anti-blasphemy bill said that
"it started off as a joke but then it just seemed to be good policy. I've always said that
she was my idol, so I just acted on principle."
Maya Angelou was only the second poet in U.S. history to recite original work at a presidential inauguration. She has authored twelve best-selling
books, six of which are autobiographical memoirs. Dr. Angelou continues to travel the world, spreading her legendary wisdom. She has the unique ability to shatter
the opaque prisms of race and class throughout her books of poetry and autobiographies. No one is wiser than Dr. Angelou, and she has a total and complete
understanding of every human experience.
Sen. Clinton explained that the new legislation was prompted in part by a recent New Republic book review which dared to suggest that Dr. Angelou's
work was "contrived arrogance" and that there was no art in them. Sen. Clinton explained, "With the new legislation,
we were able to imprison the reviewer and that validated a lot of people's experience, which is what Maya is all about."
The president had threatened to veto the legislation, but when it
was explained that a veto would itself be a form of blasphemy and thus a
violation of the new law, he withdrew his threat with a perplexed-Texan look.
Germans Demand Color in Their Food
STUTTGART, GERMANYThree days of street violence shows
no sign of easing in numerous German cities as students and farmers press
their case for some semblance of color to be included in German food. Protest
placards display slogans such as, "All Our Food is Pale," and "Enough is Enough
of Grayish-Ivory Meals."
One student spokesperson, Marie von den Eltern, explained that her political consciousness was raised as she wandered through a local buffet.
"There was plate after plate of things like potato dumplings, cucumber relish, sour cream soup, potato salad, sauerkraut,
onion pie, and cabbage rolls. All pasty white. I went home and checked my German cookbooks and found the same thing. No color anywhere. And I'm not
going to stand for it anymore."
A committee of older members of the national Bundestag held a press conference to address the Pro-Colored Food rioters. "Why waste money on
color? We're an auditory culture. Look, the Italians spend all that money importing color, and what do they get? Late
trains." Another member disputed the Pro-Color claims. "It's just not true that all
our food is, as these rebels say, mucus-like white. A large portion of our cuisine uses beets. Many of us think pink food looks good."
Most recently, German publishers weighed into the debate and
offered budgetary analyses showing that the cost of German cookbooks and menus
would skyrocket if they were forced to go from black-and-white to full color images.
Food historian Niels Weiss aims to rebut Pro-Colored Food
historical claims. "These people know
nothing. They try to tie the lack of color to
Hitler and the crisis of the war years, saying that color was too expensive. But the
fact is that ancient German food was pale too. The historical record suggests
that this was not some deep conspiracy. Our ancestors just never thought of it."
P3IV Nudey Bible Finds Strong Male-Teen Market
GRAND RAPIDS, MI In a move calculated to unsettle some of the
more conservative elements in the church, Zondervan today announced the
publication of the P3IV. While the text of Scripture in this version is the
formerly controversial gender neutral translation of the NIV, all the attention today
is back where the maps and concordance used to be.
Rupert Murdoch, owner of Zondervan, is also the owner of the
Sun newspaper in the UKwhich newspapers are also known for their
topless page 3 girls. When a market researcher hired by Murdoch discovered that
the demographic group least likely to be reading Scripture was that composed
of boys, aged thirteen to sixteen, an idea was born. Why not replace the maps
and concordance with a section of P3 girls?
Sharon Swanson, spokesperson for Zondervan, announced and
explained the project. The idea was test marketed last year with focus groups in
Birmingham, Buffalo, and Los Angeles. The com
pany had expected some strong resistance, but nothing prepared them for
the enthusiastic support the project received from the youth ministers involved in
the focus groups. Sam "Hoocher" White, an evangelical youth pastor of
twenty years experience in upstate New York, commented very favorably. "It did
my heart good to see the boys so eager for Bible study. Never seen anything like
it. Of course, I have to keep the Bibles locked in a cabinet during the week,
but still it is better to have excessive interest than no interest at all."
Ms. Swanson also announced today, in a concession to the concerns of
a parental advisory group, that Zondervan agreed to include brief testimonies
from the girls concerning their spiritual interests. A spokesman for the parental
group, Don Smith, spoke briefly at the press conference after the decision was
announced. "I was expecting Zondervan to go to the wall, but was really surprised
at how open they were to our concerns. We are therefore happy to continue
our discussions about future editions. Our central interest is to have the
testimonies become even more explicitly evangelical, so that the boys are reminded of
the importance of having Jesus become their personal Savior. Given the
constructive interaction with Zondervan thus far, this seems very likely."
The first edition contained six layouts, one of which was of a "lovely
lady named Alana," whose testimony was that she has been involved in a
Bible study for at least six weeks. Asked for her views on the project, she said, "I
have to say that the people working this shoot are lots nicer than they usually get. When I take long walks now, I like, have
started to think about God and stuff."
Allan Bennett, a fifteen-year-old from LA, agreed. "Sometimes school
is a drag, and I get down on myself. I didn't use to do this, but now I think about
my Bible a lot."Asked to respond, Ms. Swanson nodded,
"That is what it is all about."
Research Shows That Eye-Crossing Makes Them Stick
AUSTIN, TXThough long mocked as sisterly mythology, the act
of crossing one's eyes as part of "goofing off" now faces increasing "stick"
rates. Ophthalmologists from the University of Texas will publish several
studies next week in the American Retina
Journal which show that the eye stick-rate for boys, aged six through twelve, has
dramatically climbed over the past ten years.
"We're not sure what's causing this rapid increase in sticking," says
Daniel Thorne, one of the authors of the study. "As a boy, I too was convinced that
my sister just made up that line about `if you cross your eyes they might stick
that way.' But she was so right. In the late 1980s I encountered just three
sticking cases and was absolutely astounded. These boys would just cross their
eyes for a second or two, and whammo, the lateral and medial rectus muscles
would lock-up like a bear trap right near where the opto-cranial IV connection
innervates the two muscles. Eye-rolling has similar effects." From just a few
cases per year in the prior four decades, the 1990s saw 140,000 to 180,000
cases per year.
The studies rule out any link to the upsurge in computer video games.
"Our research shows that video games just make boys annoying, not eye
stickers. But we've found some correlation between eye-sticking and too few
The most disturbing aspect of the studies is the revelation that the
only known therapy for reversing eye-sticking is a three-month diet of boiled
broccoli and brussel sprouts. After that, the eyes pop right back into place.
"Many boys have chosen to keep their eyes stuck."