August 25, 2004 

HOLD YOUR NOSE AND VOTE

A few weeks ago I wrote about the moral dilemma of the Green Party candidate for vice president who thought she probably wouldn't vote for herself, but rather for someone who could take down George Bush. Now we learn that the Dubya factor will even be bringing hardcore anarchists to the polling booth. Attendees at the North American Anarchist Convergence held at Ohio University last week debated a proposal to vote for the first time in their lives in order to help defeat Bush in November. One anarchist, who emphasized that she believes that the U.S. government is neither legitimate nor democratic, still said that this year she would cast a ballot, saying "there was a time when I was not going to vote, but I really dislike Bush." Even the editor of the 3,000-circulation magazine Social Anarchism is bowing to the democratic process. "I will certainly vote against George Bush because he is leading the nation to further violence and eroding civil liberties," said Howard Ehrlich. Other anarchists were not impressed with the direction of the debate. "Ultimately, those who are voting are either bad anarchists or not anarchists at all," said a 40-something Californian man, "no one can represent my interests. We reject political professionals." (Yahoo News)

THERE'S NO ESCAPE FROM A SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY

A superstitious Romanian man who was so frightened of something bad happening on Friday the 13th that he took the day off work and refused to leave his house ended up being killed by a rare poisonous wasp in his home. Florin Carcu, 54, had booked the day off work in order to stay within the safe confines of his home. His boss told police, "It was the strangest request I've ever received but I ended up giving him permission to stay at home because he seemed to be really scared of something bad happening to him on that day." Emergency doctors said that Carcu died on the spot while making himself a cup of coffee, having been stung by a rare species of wasp nicknamed "the wolf." (AFP)

CELEBRITY HAS ITS PERKS, BUT THIS ISN'T ONE OF THEM

The drummer for The Darkness granted an unusual request last week from a fan who asked him to sign the crotch of his grandmother's recently-deceased pet dog. Apparently the fan told Ed Graham that he had been estranged from his grandmother and that he could only achieve peace of mind if he would autograph the dog. For some reason, which wasn't explained, the autograph also had to be on the most awkward part of the dog's anatomy. The Darkness' drummer explained, "When she died she left him the dog. He said: 'If you to sign it, then I might be able to make peace,' so I signed its testicles." (sky.com)

PRISONERS TO BAD TASTE

A German company has plans to sell the "authentic jail experience" to tourists looking for something just a little bit different. For about $120 you'll be able to spend a night in the notorious Hoheneck castle, the largest women's prison in former East Germany, where thousands of political dissidents suffered torture and repression at the hands of the communist government. The tour company claims that they are "offering people the chance to re-live the past first hand instead of just reading about it in dry history books," but former Hoheneck prisoners vehemently disagree and have started a campaign to halt the project. Along with the support of thousands of Germans who have protested the move, the International Society for Human Rights has also stepped in to help stop the plan. "It's simply unacceptable to turn a prison into a holiday resort," said spokesperson Karl Hafen, "no one would dream of reconstructing a former Nazi crime scene and marketing it as a historical experience ... but it seems as far as nostalgia for East Germany's Communist past is concerned, anything goes." (Reuters)

BUT EVEN A TORSO CAN HIRE A LAWYER TO SUE YOUR DUMB ASS

A wheelchair-bound woman with no limbs is taking Air France to court after she was barred from a flight from England to New York by a gate agent who told her that torsos can't fly. Adele Price, 42, is now seeking restitution to cover the psychological damage caused by the discrimination as well as financial compensation as she was forced to pay for the airfare and lodging for a companion to fly with her. According to the suit, she was stopped by a gate agent who told her "a head, one bottom and a torso cannot possibly fly on its own." (Reuters) :

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