Thursday, April 05, 2007

Today in Extraordinarily Odd

Leave it to a New Yorker to come up with a way to deal with their own grief after a divorce by designing a product and selling it online, assuming everyone else is as nutty as they are. Recently divorced Jill Testa processed her divorce sadness the only way a process, status and schedule mad New Yorker could; by designing a tiny coffin into which divorcees place their wedding rings which they then bury. The little coffins retail for $US30. What would be interesting about this story is if the product were actually sold by two men; one short and fat, the other tall and skinny and both wearing prison attire with arrows all over them. The short one is stupid, clumsy and oafish while the tall one is smart and coniving and comes up with the duo's schemes. The tall one is always hitting the short one on the head and calling him a “fool” and wondering why he always has to do everything himself. The short one doesn’t seem to be bothered by it and calls the tall one “boss”. The tall one might also be homosexual but it’s never qualified. They sell the products en masse but actually implant them with homing devices and then, in the dead of night, they tip toe along in suburbia past the windows of sleeping adults with sacks over their shoulders following along to the direction of a hand held box with one blinking red light in the center. The homing device beeps louder and faster as they get closer to the buried rings. When they reach each ring the fat one digs it up and they put the coffin back empty. The tall one smokes a cigarette while the short one digs and is always yelling at him to hurry up. They get about three rings and eventually their plan is foiled by a small boy in pyjamas with a towel around his neck who is accompanied by a huge sheepdog. The dog chases the two men up a tree where they remain, shivering in fear until the police come and take them back to prison in a van that has barred windows at the back. So much for their plan to steal the rings, sell them and move to Bermuda. There is room for a sequel but it really depends on whether the tall one signs on and he always wanted to be a serious actor so he might actually go to Europe and do a low budget edgy film by a first time director that focuses on the inappropriate sexual obsession a teacher has for his student in France during the war. [source]

Who really has the time to perform the exhausting ritual offerings required to maintain happy dead ancestors these days? That’s right, no one. Well, maybe some bored old people with nothing else to live for but those are in the minority these days, particularly in China where people are apparently saving time when keeping up with the required offerings to their dead ancestors by simply logging on to various websites. Websites now offer virtual graves and a variety of virtual incense. Does the gesture of maintaining a relative’s grave, which probably stems from just a basic need to somehow connect with people who have died, somehow become essentially meaningless when people are doing it online? Actually, the real story here has got to be about tracing who runs these sites and how much they charge. Any money says that if a governing religious body or the Chinese Government is involved – suddenly, it will be perfectly spiritually viable. If it’s just the Chinese version of the New Yorker who invented the coffin for her wedding ring, look out for official party disapproval. Although, when the Chinese were burning effigies of Viagra so their ancestors could get it up in the afterlife, the Chinese government wasn’t happy but found too many people were doing it to effectively stop them. Perhaps it is through the death ritual that the Chinese people will overpower their Communist Government. Death Ritual Revolution. [source]

Despite his sincere if elitist and culturally naive campaign to ban all reality TV from Italy, Claudio Petruccioli, president of the Italian state broadcaster lost his campaign and as such L'Isola dei Famosi will still air on Italian television. It’s comforting to know that the steady progression toward live to air kill and eat tournaments between supermodels and gold digging skanks and then, eventually, the complete disintegration of First World culture won’t exclude the inventors of the pizza. We're all in this together, Claudio. You will be remembered as a virtuous man[source]

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