Thursday, June 1, 2023

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News of the Weird


Funding the revolution

Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks publisher of state secrets who remains holed up in the embassy of Ecuador in London, has signed on with an Icelandic licensing agent to sell Assange-branded high-end clothing, shoes and various household goods in India and much of Europe, and is negotiating to put his logo on apparel in Japan and the U.S. The agent told The New York Times in October that “WikiLeaks” and “Assange” “can be as big as Coca-Cola.” A 46-page book sets out licensing standards (e.g., no tacky slogans, such as “We Steal Secrets”) and includes the one approved Assange portrait (an “idealized line drawing” of him “gazing soulfully into what is presumably a better future,” wrote the Times).

Things you thought would happen

Britain’s The Guardian reported in October that repairing the “fashion” holes in earlobes is one of the fastest-growing cosmetic procedures in the U.K., as millennial generation radicals tire of their half- to 3/4-inch, see-through lobes. Doctors charge up to $3,000 to remove the entire area around the hole (originally created by stretching the tissue) and connect the healthy parts back so they fuse together. (A Hawaiian man, not currently a patient, supposedly has the largest ear hole, nearly 4 inches in diameter.)

Compelling explanations

CNA - Stop HIV Iowa (June 1)CNA - Stop HIV Iowa (June 2)

George Byrd IV was charged in September in Middletown, Pennsylvania, with shooting a gun into an occupied structure when he fired a round that accidentally broke a neighbor’s window. Byrd told police that he fired because it was the only way he knew to “unload” the gun. …

Police in Bayonne, France, were contemplating charges in October against Kappa Clinic anesthetist Helga Wauters, 45, after a patient died from an improperly placed breathing tube. Wauters, appearing inebriated, said she requires vodka so that she doesn’t “shake” when she works. …

Lisa Roche, 41, was arrested in Jackson County, Mississippi, in October for allegedly burglarizing students’ cars at East Central High School. She told police she was only searching out “members of ISIS.”

Too stupid

When U.K. newspaper executive Rebekah Brooks was arrested in 2011 in the notorious “News of the World” phone-hacking case, so was her husband. Charles Brooks was ultimately acquitted after convincing a jury that he is “too stupid” to have been part of such a complicated case. However, in October 2014, after Charles petitioned under British acquittal rules to have his legal fees reimbursed, Judge John Saunders turned him down — citing Charles’ admitted stupidity in causing prosecutors to suspect him in the first place. (As Rebekah was being arrested, Charles aroused suspicion by clumsily trying to hide his pornography collection in a parking garage.)

American scenes

A man named John Thornton was arrested in October after, for some reason, grabbing a mop from an employee at the Double Tree Hotel in Bristol, Connecticut, and (according to the police report) “aggressive(ly)” mopping the floor in a threatening manner, backing the employee into a corner and mopping over her shoes.

Latest religious messages

Ernest Angley, 93, is the latest televangelist to see his empire challenged — following his July denial (from the pulpit of his Grace Cathedral in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio) that he is homosexual and that he inappropriately touched some parishioners, as they have claimed. However, Angley freely revealed an intense interest in vasectomies — that he had long encouraged his flock not to bring offspring into this troubled world. Of young men, Angley said, “Sure, I’d have them uncover themselves (during vasectomy counseling), but I did not handle them at all. … I would look at them, their privates….” A once-prominent Angley insider said the “prophet” “doesn’t want people to have kids because it would take their time and money away from (the church).”


South Carolina is one of at least 20 states to have enacted “stand your ground” defenses for use of deadly force, but prosecutors in Charleston are refusing to recognize it in one logical category — “standing your ground” in the home against life-threatening assaults by one’s spouse. The legislative history of the South Carolina law, and a recent state Supreme Court decision, show (said a prosecutor) that it was to be used only against intruders and not against people with a right to be there, even to ward off a vicious assault by, for example, a husband against a wife. CV

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Summer Stir (June 2023)