WWE! readers might be surprised to learn that those of us whose jobs necessitate following real news are, in general, quite terrified of the future. For every pop culture or sports story we actually care about, there are dozens of stories about things like nuclear weapons, environmental catastrophes and murderers who act nice before they kill people. Popular Science today reported a story that was weird/scary enough to rise to the top of the “Oh shit, for real?” queue (that’s what we call the WWE! RSS feed) about Ukrainian dolphins that know how to use guns and knives. Modeled off a Soviet-era training program that strapped weapons to dolphins in a similar manner, these modern war-dolphins have apparently escaped and are believed to be targeting the retired mine-sweeping dolphins who they think are wusses because they never found anything.
THURSDAY MARCH 14
When Gov. John Kasich replaced Ohio’s Department of Development with private nonprofit agency JobsOhio, he did it with the intent on following through with slogans like “moving at the speed of business” and “job creators rule, unions drool.” State Auditor Dave Yost today served the cliché-perpetuating agency a subpoena for refusing to turn over financial records of private donations to the company, which uses lots of public money even though it might be unconstitutional. JobsOhio eventually turned over the records, but not until the Kasich administration had a chance to go through its typical channels — PR spokesperson, misleading editorial in The Cincinnati Enquirer — and declare the concept of auditing his people a hindrance to freedom and individual liberty.
FRIDAY MARCH 15
Raising a son involves several difficult transitions for fathers — first, the child who thinks dad knows everything figures out that all the stuff he fixes breaks again in two weeks; by the time the kid becomes a teenager he can kick his dad’s ass; and in college he learns what a bunch of horseshit his father’s political views are.
In the case of U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, his son learned all these things while also figuring out that he is gay. Sen. Portman today described how his son came out to his family two years ago, prompting months of reflection by his father and consultations with people whose backgrounds make it look like he got thoughtful advice on whether to continue loving his own kid even though he’s a homo. Portman announced his newfound support for gay marriage via newspaper op-ed, admitting that he would never have voted for the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act if he knew something like this would happen to him.
SATURDAY MARCH 16
For some reason, people really seem to enjoy parades. Social scientists have never been able to figure out why, but we accept them as part of life because there are so many other things to worry about more than an hour’s worth of drumming and a couple closed roads. Apparently organizers of the St. Patrick’s Day parade this year decided to avoid one of the more minor questions kids have after seeing a parade (“Mommy, why do all those people have short haircuts and seem so nice and happy?”) by banning the Cincinnati chapter of the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) from participating. Parade organizer Chris Schulte reportedly determined that working with kids in k-12 schools to prevent bullying was too political for a weekend that’s supposed to be dedicated to drinking 10 beers and seeing how many close friends you can piss off.
SUNDAY MARCH 17
Most Cincinnatians assume that kids who attend Mason High School do lots of nice things — showing people to their tables at restaurants, washing cars at the Lexus dealership, caddying the occasional scramble at Wetherington Country Club, etc. The Enquirer today reported that some high school students are taking customer service rich people get kindness to strangers to a whole new level by detailing a weeklong campaign to commit 4,000 acts of kindness by the school’s 800 students. The students had already racked up 3,483, which the story says includes such sacrifices as holding doors open for teachers or smiling at a classmate. Teachers are extremely proud of the students, although one kid reportedly did the math, smiled at five classmates real fast then double-peaced everyone and went to sleep for the rest of study hall.
MONDAY MARCH 18
Aging is difficult for everyone — eye wrinkles, gray hair and an inability to move around as quickly as you once did are all inevitable parts of the process. The old guys running the Republican party know this as much as anyone (golfing is more painful than it looks if you have a little arthritis), and today the GOP released an internal memo suggesting that the party is perceived by young people as “narrow minded,” “out of touch,” and “stuffy old men.” In response to millenials perceiving its leaders as silver-spoon-fed dickheads, Republicans outlined a $10 million outreach program to convince Latino voters and gay people that the party’s decades-long opposition to their rights was simply an issue of the party ineffectively “communicating” its “principals,” not “consciously” believing “Teletubbies” make little kids “gay.”
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