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In Minnesota, an overweight loner Chippewa neo-Nazi goth teenager shot and killed his grandfather and his grandfather’s girlfriend, then went to his high school and shot and killed a security guard, five students, a teacher, and himself.BBC NewsThe National Rifle Association suggested that such rampages could be stopped if teachers armed themselves.NewsdayFoghat’s guitarist died,APand Florida lawmakers were considering an Academic Freedom Bill of Rights, intended to stamp out “leftist totalitarianism,” that would allow students to sue teachers who insist that evolution is factual.Alligator.orgSeveral IMAX theaters in the American South decided not to show a film about volcanoes because it might offend Christians,Greenville Onlineand a study found that the stealing habits of rhesus monkeys are similar to those of humans.ABCNews.comOzzy Osbourne said that in times of loneliness he talks to his knees,Ananova.comand John Edwards was studying poverty.CNN.comThe Pentagon refused to let a soldier’s mother photograph her dead son’s casket as it returned from Iraq.The Barre Montpelier Times ArgusIt was reported that when American soldiers in Iraq shot at the car of Giuliana Sgrena, an Italian hostage who had just been released, they shot from behind, without warning, far from any checkpoint, and within the Green Zone.Democracy Now!The Iraqi military announced that a seventeen-hour operation against an Iraqi insurgent training camp had resulted in eighty-five deaths.EITBOther Iraqi officials placed the toll at forty.News.telegraphThere are two thousand attacks by insurgents every month in Iraq,News.telegraphand as many as five thousand Iraqis have been kidnapped in the last eighteen months.New York Times
Terri Schiavo, a brain-dead woman in Florida, was still alive.ABCNews.comThe Supreme Court refused to hear a case brought by Schiavo’s parents to force the reinsertion of Schiavo’s feeding tube.New York TimesOutside of Schiavo’s hospice, protesters knelt in anguished prayer; many wore red tape across their mouths with the word “life” written on the tape. Disabled protesters cast themselves from their wheelchairs onto the driveway, shouting.ABCNews.comSchiavo’s parents asked the protesters to go home.ABCNews.comA NorthCarolina man was arrested for trying to have both Schiavo’s husband and the judge who denied the request to reinsert Schiavo’s feeding tube killed,Citizen-Times.comand a man who wanted to “rescue” Schiavo was arrested for attempting to steal a gun from a Florida gun shop.APSenator Bill Frist–a doctor who as a Harvardmedical student adopted pound cats as pets, then killed them to practice his surgical technique–diagnosed Schiavo from afar, suggesting that her condition could improve,New York Timesand it was discovered that Tom DeLay permitted his brain-dead father to be taken off life support in 1988, even though his father lacked a living will.The Seattle TimesMost of America thought Congress should shut up about Terri Schiavo.New York TimesOnly 17 percent of large- and medium-sized employers were fully covering the cost of their employees’ health premiums.New York TimesRussian doctors grew a penis on a man’s arm,Ananova.comand a California woman, eating chili at a Wendy’s restaurant, bit into a human finger. The finger had a manicured nail.Stuff.co.nzA ten-year-old Vermont boy won a national smelly-sneaker contest. “The stank,” he said, “was from rubbing my toes back and forth and making them sweaty.”Boston.comThe president of Kyrgyzstan fled the country.APJimmy Carter and James Baker were picked to lead a bipartisan commission on American electoral reform. Carter vowed to “make Americans proud again.”Boston.comPresident George W. Bush’s approval rating was at 45 percent, the lowest of his presidency; only 32 percent of those polled thought that economic conditions were good or excellent.APLess than half of Americans supported the President’s plan for Social Security,APand a thirteen-year-old Arizona girl threw an egg at the president’s motorcade. She was arrested.Common DreamsFifteen people died in an explosion at a BP oil refinery in Texas.APThe United States approved the sale of U.S. F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, upsetting India. The United States was also planning to sell fighter jets to India.BBC NewsVenezuela ordered 100,000 assault rifles from Russia; Donald Rumsfeld said that was too many.Sign On San DiegoThe Department of Homeland Security announced that the department had “misinformed” the public about copying the records of 12 million passengers on America West, American Airlines, Continental, Delta, Frontier, and JetBlue.MSNBCGeorge W. Bush was showing the world his frisky, impishly fun side, telling a Belgiantelevision correspondent that she had “great eyes,” and rubbing bald heads for luck.New York TimesGlobe and MailThere was an outbreak of avian flu in North Korea,UPIand scientists found that some species of octopus can walk on two arms.EurekAlert!
Western Christians celebrated Easter. In the Philippines, fourteen men were crucified, one for the nineteenth time.The IndependentAt a mall in Michigan, a twelve-year-old boy punched the Easter bunny in the nose,Boston.comand a priest dripped some wine onto Terri Schiavo’s tongue.ABCNews.comSeventy-eight percent of Americans believe that Christrose from the dead,Newsweekand two planets, HD 209458b and TrES-1, were discovered near different stars.New ScientistNew Yorkers were bothered by the delays in their subway service, which are often announced via old, half-broken loudspeakers making pronouncements like: “Ladies and gentlemen, because of a brflig fraptail at 116th Street, the uptown 6 train will frip deet brak croob.”New York TimesAn Ohio judge threw out domestic violence charges brought by a woman against her live-in boyfriend, who slapped and pushed her, because Ohio’s anti-gay-marriage law prohibits state or local government from enforcing laws that “create or recognize a legal status of unmarried individuals.”The AdvocateKen Mehlman, chair of the Republican National Committee, once again avoided saying that he is gay,Gay People’s Chronicleand Anita Bryant was still alive.TwinCities.comIsrael was preparing to attack Iran’snuclear facilities with helicopters, guns, and dogs,Times Onlineand Mexican hit men were found to have dissolved their enemies in acid.ReutersThe pope was speechless.NewsdayStarbucks came to GuantĂˇnamo Bay,New York TimesUgandans marched against Bob Geldof,BBC Newsand a naked man chased seagulls across a Mississippi beach.TheJacksonChannel.com
More from Paul Ford:
Number of people who attended the World Grits Festival, held in St. George, South Carolina, last spring:
The brown bears of Greece continued chewing through telephone poles.
In Peru, a 51-year-old activist became the first former sex worker to run for the national legislature. â€śIâ€™m going to put order,â€ť she said, â€śin that big brothel which is Congress.â€ť
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â€śCivilization masks us with a screen, from ourselves and from one another, with thin depth of unreality. We habitually liveÂ â€” do we not?Â â€” in a world self-created, half established, of false values arbitrarily upheld, largely inspired by misconception, misapprehension, wrong perspective, and defective proportion, misapplication.â€ť