Friday, December 30, 2011

2011: The Year We'd Rather Forget in Review

JANUARY: Ongoing protests bring down the authoritarian president of Tunisia; Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak offers to step in and rule Tunisia as interim despot. Presaging a rough year to come, Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs takes a leave of absence from being the last, best hope for economic recovery in America.

FEBRUARY: Hosni Mubarak resigns; Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin offers to step in as interim Egyptian despot and institute draconian measures intended to punish his enemies. Sarah Palin announces that she is definitely considering whether or not to announce plans for convening a press conference regarding the likelihood of her forming an exploratory committee to raise funds for possible future plans in regards to her theoretical candidacy. Fox News viewers voice their fear and distrust of the Arab Spring movement because it has the word "Arab" in it.

MARCH: In a very precedented move, warplanes from the U.S. and allied countries impose a no-fly zone over an Arab country. An earthquake and tsunami cause massive devastation in Japan along with explosions and core meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Elsewhere, petroleum industry executives close the conference room door and draw the shades before quietly popping the corks on their champagne bottles.

APRIL: The entire world is glued to their screens watching the British Royal Wedding of Prince William to his mother Princess Diana. Intense negotiations between rival factions of millionaires manage to prevent a government shutdown. In other news, intense negotiations between rival factions of millionaires fail to yield a new NFL contract. Presidential candidate Michelle Bachman denies homosexuality rumors regarding her husband, teletubby Tinky Winky.

MAY: Closing a sad chapter in American history and finally silencing a vocal proponent of intolerance and hate, commandos storm a hidden compound and kill Glenn Beck. After learning of the scandal in which a member of the Kennedy clan is actually the victim, stunned and dismayed Californians begin the search for another bodybuilder-actor-politician to provide them moral leadership. At the start of his corruption trial, Former Illinois governor Rod "Blogger" Blagojevich points out that he deserves some credit for not knocking up the maid.

JUNE: Mitt Romney officially announces his candidacy for president, revealing that his election strategy is to let all 37 other candidates spout bat-dung-crazy nonsense until Republican voters realize they have no choice but to grudingly support him. After losing the NBA finals to the Dallas Mavericks, Lebron James packs his belongings in a small suitcase and takes a Greyhound back to Cleveland where, after a tense moment, the city hugs him and promises to let him sleep on the couch "until he gets back on his feet."

JULY: Many Conservatives express dismay as New York state legalizes gay marriage, pointing out that this blow to family values could doom the impending marriage of Kim Kardashian to that guy she got engaged to as a subplot on her reality TV show. New regulations from the National Weather Service go into effect that force all forecasters, reporters, pundits, and man-on-the-street interviewees to compare any current weather conditions to Global Warming as soon as a microphone appears in front of their face. The grand jury investigating former senator John Edwards finds octomom Casey Anthony not guilty of murdering Amy Winehouse. Televised Republican presidential debates initially get excellent ratings until viewers realize that they aren't watching The Walking Dead.

AUGUST: Admitting that budget negotiations have reached a complete impasse, Congress votes to pick twelve members, six from each party, to continue refusing to compromise in a smaller room. This so-called "Supercommittee" has been given power to waste exponentially more time than ordinary committees. Despite this last-minute compromise, Bank of America forecloses on the White House, prompting President Obama to go on television reading a very cogent and even-tempered speech on the issue. The British public is shocked, absolutely shocked, to learn that Rupert Murdoch is not an icon of moral rectitude.

SEPTEMBER: A round of spontaneous applause breaks out at the Joint Chiefs of Staff meeting following the news that Libyan rebels have seized Gaddafi's headquarters in Tripoli. This is followed by an awkward silence and much nervous paper-shuffling when President Obama asks if anyone thinks it is a good idea to enforce a no-fly zone over Syria. Facebook declares bankruptcy after being replaced by Google +. Texas Governor Rick Perry becomes the GOP frontrunner after announcing his three-part plan to fix America: lower taxes and imprison all immigrants. Intense negotiations between rival factions of millionaires break down, leading to an NBA strike. Lebron James considers applying for unemployment benefits.

OCTOBER: President Obama commends the Congressional debt "Supercommittee" on finally reaching a unanimous decision on one issue: their utter and complete failure. In a desperate move, the European Union sells the country of Greece to corporate raider Carl Icahn for $86,000; Icahn announces plans to break Greece up into several city-states to sell separately. Media outlets go into panic mode after failing to sum up the complex socio-economic and political motivations of the Occupy Wall Street protesters into a 5-second sound bite. Rival factions of millionaires join together to remind "the 99%" that they should support lower taxes on the wealthy because "one day you'll win the lottery and be rich too."

NOVEMBER: Herman Cain loses his near-guaranteed shot at the Republican nomination after claiming that groping every female job applicant at Godfather's Pizza was simply company policy of "checking out their qualifications." As a result, staunch family man Newt Gingrich surges ahead in the polls. The nation is shocked, just shocked, just absolutely shocked to learn that some people think winning college football games is more important than protecting children from child molesters.

DECEMBER: After realizing that previous frontrunner Newt Gingrich is actually that same Newt Gingrich from like the 90's, increasingly desperate Republicans, looking for anyone who isn't Mitt Romney, pointedly ignore the politely raised hand of John Huntsman and flock to Ron Paul in a bid for cross-over appeal between secessionist Libertarians and hardcore stoners. Christopher Hitchens is welcomed at the Pearly Gates of Valhalla by the Lord Ganesh who tells him, "You were way off, man." The last American troops withdraw from Iraq, finally bringing peace to the Middle East and fulfilling Obama's pledge to end America's wars.* And after the death of Dear Leader Kim Jung Il, Dick Cheney offers to step in as interim comically evil tyrant for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

*Not counting the War in Afghanistan, the War on Terrorism, the continuation of the Cold War along the DMZ between North and South Korea since the Korean War never officially ended, the War on Drugs, and the War on Christmas.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Triumphant Return of Actual Facts

After a short vacation, Very Little Known Facts is back--this time with even less known facts than ever!

  • THE ETERNAL CYCLE OF LIFE: The last letter of the Japanese alphabet is also the first letter.
  • If you invested $1000 in stock in the newly formed Apple Computers company in 1974, that investment would be worth over $1500 today.
  • IT TAKES ALL KINDS: It is considered rude to drive on the right side of the road in England.
  • People who were born in the last three months of the year are twice as likely to find out that they were separated at birth.
  • CLICK THEM CLICKERS: Castanets, now a staple of exotic Spanish flamengo dancing, were originally intended as a dog training tool.
  • Some have said that the Statue of Liberty in New Jersey harbor is the largest representation of the human form except for the Great Wall of China.
  • THINK OF THE CHILDREN: Some so-called "progressive" families practice the so-called "free-range kids" style of parenting which demonizes any punishment for misbehaving kids, encourages children to read banned books, and allows kids to run free with no parental supervision after the age of 4. If that still sounds like a good idea to you, perhaps you would like to hear the name of the most famous free-range kid who is now all grown up? Well, that kid was named JOHN F. HINCKLEY JR.
  • Michelle Bachman's husband was once engaged to the lead singer of Bachman Turner Overdrive.
  • HE LIKES IT! HE LIKES IT! Famed stand-up comedian and director Bobcat Goldthwait got his start playing the reluctant Mikey in the famed Life Cereal commercials from the Seventies.