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The story that captivated the nation ends with a whimper, not a bang. “A 6-year-old boy…thought to be inside a balloon that floated over Colorado for over two hours has been found alive at his home, the county sheriff said,” reports the New York Times.
The boy, Falcon Heene, clearly was inspired by The Simpsons, specifically the “Radio Bart” episode, summarized here:
It is Bart’s birthday. Homer buys him a “Superstar Celebrity Microphone” that sends sound through an AM radio. Bart plays a prank on the town with the radio. He throws the radio down a well and talks on the microphone, acting like he is trapped in the well.
Homer: That Timmy is a real hero!
Lisa: How do you mean, Dad?
Homer: Well, he fell down a well, and… he can’t get out.
Lisa: How does that make him a hero?
Homer: Well, that’s more than you did!
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Percentage of British elementary-school students who think Isaac Newton discovered fire:
The earth once had three moons; the two lost moons may have crashed into the surviving moon, or been sucked into the sun, or flung out of the solar system to drift through deep space.
In Florida, an 87-year-old World War II veteran flying touch-and-go drills in a Cessna collided with an airborne skydiver. “There was a ‘woof’ sound,” said a witness, “like falling on your face into your pillow.”
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“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”