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Volume 14, Issue 5: The Cretan Times

Candidate-Name Placards Create Surge Vote in National Election

Douglas Jones

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Voters' New Service reported Tuesday that post-election surveys revealed that voters in the November national election were heavily swayed by the millions of 3x2 candidate-name placards posted in neighborhood yards and street corners across the nation.

"I didn't know whom to vote for until I saw a cluster of those little signs. On the way to vote, I stared at a bunch, and I quickly realized that Dembsky was my man," said Aaron Pember of Torrance, California.
Another surveyed voter explained, "It's not so much the sound or ethnicity of the candidate's name, but the font style he or she uses. I could never vote for a candidate who used Times Roman." Other voters pointed to a combination of font and color, with the color blue being the color that most convinced voters of a candidate's integrity.
"It's about name recognition," explained Sheila Morris. "I stood in the voting booth absolutely clueless. Then I started picturing all those placards stuck in my neighbors' yards, and two or three names slowly came to mind. The people with recognizable names like that must have initiative; they've planned ahead with printers at least. That's impressive."
Representatives from both the Democratic and Republican National Committees have admitted that they are shifting campaign strategies away from town meetings, detailed literature, and television commercials toward more placard printing. Don Gillin of Election Marketing observed that "People are just too busy to get into the depth of a commercial."
In response to objections that placard voting undermines democracy, Jack Gurley, who won a seat in the Michigan State House, replied that "it's more about positive peer pressure than name recognition. An overabundance of placards suggests wide support in a community, and people should always follow the majority. That's what democracy is all about. Personally, I think whoever has the most placards should automatically win."


Poststructuralists Gather to Stop Etna Lava Flow

Douglas Jones

LINGUAGLOSSA, Italy—Poststructuralist academics from across Italy gathered at the base of an erupting Mt. Etna in order to deconstruct the hierarchical linguistic forces within the threatening lava. They explained that their project involved a symbolic restructuration that is inseparable from the dualistic hierarchies producing red-hot flows.

For a period of several hours, academics and media observed a lava tributary shift its flow sideways about eighty centimeters.
On the second day, Norberto Crespi and Danilo Vattimo began a heated exchange over whether the shift was due to Foucauldian histories without subjects or Heideggerian subjects without histories. The tributary shifted back ten centimeters, and the academics got bored and dispersed. To mark the lava shift, they agreed not to use the language of anthro-centric success but rather that of cultural remodelling.


Network News Denies Holding Animal Sacrifice Rituals to Prep Election Coverage

Douglas Jones

NEW YORK—Network news producers gave a joint press conference Monday denying several published reports by interns that news staffs of the major networks took part in pre-election tribal rituals honoring the arrival of national elections.

"These animal sacrifice reports are absolutely unfounded," declared Jim Murphy, executive producer of CBS Evening News. "We have holy goats around the news room all the time, but we would never sacrifice them. None of the goats were harmed. Someone accidentally tweaked the wing of a Peruvian rooster, but the Humane Society backs our report."
NBC anchor, Tom Brokaw, explained that the ritualistic looking blood symbols on his and two correspondents' left temples were an accident of the make-up crew. "We were between commercials, and they grabbed the wrong foundation." Dan Rather's comments included a vehement denial that he wore a priestly tunic from the waist down. "Yes, we're excited about democracy. Elections express sublime power and the will of the people— Praise Be Upon It—but we are responsible journalists, not animal sacrificers, though we certainly don't object to alternative traditions that might pursue that form of spirituality."
FOX News also denied the ritual reports but admitted to some beer behind the scenes. CNN refused to join the press conference. It did issue a press release that contained only the phrase: "Juju-beno-laya."


CDC Warns of Dicaprio Season

ATLANTA, GA—The Center for Disease Control issued a warning to those with low celebrity annoyance conditions to be aware that, not one, but two Leonardo Dicaprio films will be released within days of each other in mid to late December.

Dicaprio's The Gangs of New York and Catch Me If You Can will make his face unavoidable in public places for several weeks. The CDC warned that there is no known innoculation at this time.


Secular Humanist Society Offers Evidence That Current Pope Does Not Exist

Douglas Jones

AMHERST, NY—The Center for Inquiry and its subdivisions, the Council for Secular Humanism and the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CYCLOPS) announced Sunday their joint finding that Pope John Paul II does not exist.

"We examine these sorts of religious-existence claims all the time and almost always find them bogus," said Barry Karr, Executive Director of CFI. "We've got laboratories all over the world now, and after a decade of close scientific work, no John Paul II ever showed up in controlled experiments."
Karr explained that the photographic evidence they examined almost always turned out to be digital composites, similar in technique to Loch Ness and Sasquatch fakes. Personal testimony taken from Roman Catholic bishops who claimed to have worked with John Paul II for years did not stand up to rigorous cross-examination.
Paul Kurtz, chairman of CYCLOPS contributed a paper showing that believer's "religious-desire for an authority figure tends to produce dream states that we often imagine as realizable. This is what happened in the myth of John Paul II." His paper also draws on the work of mathematician John Allen Paulos who shows that having a resume like that purported for John Paul II has an amazingly low probability, verging on statistical nonsense. "It is the typical hyperbole of mythology," Kurtz said, "that shows up in every hero-hungry group."
When asked if the Center for Inquiry had tried to make telephone contact or interview John Paul II, Karr explained that those those things can be tricky. "And given the mathematical work, that approach seemed irrelevant. This is what critical rationalism is all about."
When presented with the CFI report, the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences agreed to study the document and report their findings, but that in general they said they saw "no reason for science and faith to conflict in this or any other case."


Muslims Prove Peacefulness of Muhammad by Issuing Death Threats Against Jerry Falwell

Oops, sorry, my mistake.

True story.


Infant Congress Adopts Old Agenda for Frightening New Parents

Douglas Jones

SUMMIT, NJ—The fortieth annual Infant Empowerment Congress closed Saturday amid much internecine disagreement and crying. After four days of debate punctuated with uncontrollable naps, 30,000 infants adopted a rather conservative agenda for frightening new parents. Renegade baby-groups had been pushing and screaming to place ear infections at the top of the action list, but many complained that it lacked shock value.

The usual party lines showed up again between those clamoring to make constipation head the list and those arguing for diarrhea. The votes of the two groups negated their overall effect. Reflux and regurgitation advocates gained strong support early on, especially for shock value. Others complained that its shock value tended to wear off quickly and just became messy. The appeal of messiness won votes from many male infants.
Placing colic (extended crying due to immature digestive system) at the head of the list was also voted down even after many backroom meetings. New parents generally just become annoyed, but not frightened. Some delegates suggested mixing colic and diarrhea for special effects, but that too was voted down.
In the end, for the thirty-fifth year in a row, the infant congress settled on croup as its primary agenda item for frightening new parents. Croup offers randomness along with the shock of hearing infants gasp for breath while barking like seals during the middle of the night. They all agreed it produces images of hospitals and oxygen tents in most new parents. Several upper mid-western groups of infants boasted the highest numbers for tricking parents into taking them to emergency rooms in the dark of winter.

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