The Daily Punk

March 15, 2008

(Ten Five Stories The Kids Are Jawin’ About, As Determined by Me, Obama Fan and Hillary Hata’)

1.  Crane Collapses in New York City.

A crane collapsed in NYC; four people are confirmed dead.  Ironically, the collapse crushed the building containing the club “FUBAR.”

2. St. Patrick’s Day Is Coming; Don’t Be An Idiot.

If you didn’t catch my St. Patrick’s Day rant, you’re missing out.  Here’s an excerpt:

The fact is St. Patrick’s Day is the fraternal twin of Cinco de Mayo; the random, pointless, ethnically-offensive, party holidays.  Sure they’re fun but what ostensible reason is there for the average American to celebrate Mexican Independence or the birth of an Irish saint?  These are pretty incidental events in the grand International scheme (unless, of course, you’re Irish or Mexican), and you getting wasted at the “Irish Bar” (TM) doesn’t demonstrate respect for Ireland’s “rich heritage.”  Don’t mistake the charitable smile from the “Real Irish Guy” at the bar laddie, cause he knows a few things you don’t.  Like how Danny Boy is bullshit, it’s fag to say Guiness is “too dark,” and his friend, the bar owner, makes half his yearly profit pitching the Irish Pride to your drunk ass.  Oh, and, by the way, every time you give him the “just kiddin’ bro” after you joke about whether he’s got a “pot-of-gold” in his yard, that friendly Irish chap gets one incremental step closer to the inevitable day when he will either pound you in a dark alley or hate fuck your girl (both, God willing).

Stop Being a Dick.

3.  Sweetest’s Day.

The coming of St. Patrick’s Day reminds me of the time I lived in Michigan and was introduced to the local tradition called “Sweetest’s Day.”  If you aren’t familiar, the tongue-twisting “Sweetest’s Day” is a wholly invented knock-off of Valentine’s Day schemed up by Hallmark in a ham-handed effort to shame men into giving their ladies a second set of flowers, candy, and cards.  It is, in a word, lame.

Anyway, after living in the State for a few years my girlfriend — not a local either — seized the obvious opportunity and asked if I was going to get her something for “Sweetest’s Day.”  Sure I could have acceded to societal pressure and gave her some flowers but dammit there are principles on the line; most notably my desire to avoid dumbass Holidays we’d all be better off without.  So, naturally, I told her to stop being a goddamn sucker and that no amount of candy could possibly match the few minutes of choice love making I was offering up.  She wisely declined that otherwise tempting offer and it was never brought up again.

I went to the bar that night and got wasted.  But it wasn’t in honor of Sweetest Day, I promise you that.

4. Searching for Bobby Dunbar.

This American Life ran a fascinating story about a boy named Bobby Dunbar, a boy who went missing in 1912 and was “found” eight months  later, walking with a wandering handyman.  The handyman claimed the boy was his, the family claimed it was their missing son.  The man was convicted of kidnapping the boy and “Bobby Dunbar” was returned to his family.  Last year Bobby Dunbar’s descendants, looking to clear the long lingering questions about their past, compared their DNA with that of their distant cousins.  It didn’t match.  The boy was the son of the wrongly convicted handyman, not the Dunbar family.

There are numerous fascinating elements to this story: the desire of a family to believe the son was theirs; the meaning of family; the changing aspects and knowledge of “self” brought about by technical advances like the camera, DNA, etc.  But the most poignant part is the feelings of the handyman — William Walters — who wrongly lost his son.  As he wrote from his jail cell shortly after his conviction:

[I]t seems that I must suffer now for an imaginary sin or crime that has never been committed.  Dying, I can look up through the ethereal blue of Heaven, thank God, and say my conscience is clear: the heart strings of weeping mothers bind not my withering limbs, and the crime of kidnapping stains not my humble threshold door.

The NPR piece is only available for a 95 cent charge but this article does a great job conveying the story.

5.  People Are Literally Getting Dumber by the Millisecond.

This guy is named George W. Bush.  He’s 70 years old and lives in a rambler in Pierce County, Washington.  But because people are butt-reaming morons, they call him and yell at him about Iraq.

The Other George W. Bush

Rule of Thumb: If the number is listed in the phone book and he answers the phone, it isn’t the President.

Kids, it’s that slow of a day.  You’re only getting five.  See you tomorrow.