Shanks from the past

Much like the Big Bang, one day it was there: the ShivtasticDesk of Shankdom. We don’t know how it started, all we know forsure is that the last nine months have been likened metaphoricallyto a prison shower. The kind of prison shower that you immediatelyblock out of your memory once the water stops running. No one hashad time to look back on this year and we decided it was time for alittle reflection. While doing so, we realized it was hella scary.The irony that the post-modern United States would become scarredby a post-war war is almost as bizarre as the rampant corruptionand deception that so many have turned a blind eye to. Each week,we’ve chronicled in sometimes-humorous fashion the happeningsaround us. As this academic year comes to a close, we look back atthose musings. What follows are a list of our favorite shiv targetsand some of our favorite shanks from the past.

(September 22, 2003) August became a pivotal moment forirony as the “post-war” death totals of U.S. services in Iraqtoppled the death count of the actual war.

(August 13, 2003) Back by popular demand: gentrification!Vera Katz pleased the wealthiest sixth percent of Portland byannouncing the upcoming production “Pearl District 2: On theWaterfront.”

(September 30, 2003) The proposed federal do-not-calllist was overturned as unconstitutional by an Oklahoma City court,deemed a violation of the First Amendment. After the ruling,overjoyed telemarketers called their spouses, their children, theirmothers, their fathers, their neighbors, their neighbors’ neighborsand their neighbors’ neighbors’ parents to sell them a vacuumcleaner.

(October 7, 2003) The revolution has begun! Domesticatedtigers everywhere rejoiced as one of their own, a 7-year-old inbredwhite tiger named Montecore, maimed his master, famed illusionistRay Horn of the Las Vegas power-duo “Siegfried and Roy.” This onlyproves to the world that tigers, the big, shifty-eyed cats with thegigantic teeth and claws, known for their fierce predatoryinstinct, are, in fact, dangerous.

(October 21, 2003) PETA recently announced that PamelaAnderson, former TV lifeguard and lifelong flotation device, wouldbecome its spokesperson for poultry rights, marking the first timethat Anderson will find herself concerned with real breasts.

(November 7, 2003) On Wednesday, Gary Ridgway, the GreenRiver killer, pled guilty to 48 counts of aggravated murder,finally ending an epidemic which has plagued the Great Northwestfor too many years: grunge rock.

(December 2, 2003) On Black Friday, the day afterThanksgiving, the largest shopping day of the year, a woman wastrampled at a Florida Wal-Mart by hungry, hungry holiday shopperstrying to get their hands on some shiny DVD players discounted fromtheir usual retail value of $99 to $29. The woman reportedlysuffered a seizure while trying to snag a bargain. When othershoppers were questioned about the incident, they replied, “It’smuthafuckin’ Christmas up in this shit. If you ain’t hard, stay thefuck outta Wal-Mart.”

(February 3, 2004) The FCC raised its puritanical eyebrowas one of Janet Jackson’s breasts was exposed by Justin Timberlakewhen he tore off half of her leather bustier during the Super Bowlhalftime show on Sunday. While 98 percent of Americans stillbelieve J.T. is gay, 98 percent of FCC voting members still believethat a woman’s body is more vulgar than the word “fuck.”

(February 10, 2004) Yesterday, Australian scientistsreleased the first study researching the link between optimism andcancer survival. Contrary to the old adage, a little bit ofoptimism still works for most people, just not cancer patients.

(February 17, 2004) This week, college republicans fromRoger Williams University in Rhode Island have created a $250scholarship, in protest of affirmative action, availableexclusively to white students. Applicants are required to providean essay detailing “the importance of their white heritage” and arecent, un-hooded photograph “to prove their whiteness.” This new”white-only” scholarship is not to be confused with “whiteprivilege,” which has been keeping white kids in universities sinceAncient Greece.

(March 2, 2003) At a pre-Oscar bash for everyone’sfavorite midget relay race, “The Lord of the Rings,” Paris Hiltonreportedly fell into an ornamental Japanese pond. Though the mishapwas public, it marks the first occasion that the young Ms. Hiltonhas gotten wet, off camera.

(April 6, 2003) Have you ever wondered how all of thecomponents of your McDonald’s double cheeseburger or your SubwayAtkins-friendly wrap assemble themselves? Manufacturing, myfriends! This is according to the recent Economic Report of thePresident, in which the Bush Administration has reclassifiedservice positions in the fast food industry as manufacturing jobs.Suddenly, all of those layoffs at Intel don’t seem so bad, asformer Ford Motors employees weld together a Whopper with cheesewith extra mayo! Editorial aside, this is the most ridiculous thinga Republican president has done since Reagan classified ketchup asa vegetable.

(April 30, 2004) Criminal charges of sexual and physicalabuse have been filed against six members of the 372 militarypolice company overseeing Abu Ghraib, an Iraqi prison. Apparentlythese brilliant soldiers videotaped themselves forcing Iraqiprisoners to disrobe and form a human pyramid, simulate sex acts onone another and balance on top of things under threat ofelectrocution. Unfortunately, it would seem that the U.S. Army isnot only bringing democracy to Iraq, but also one of its leaders’greatest traditions: frat boy hazing. No word yet on the locationof Geronimo’s skull.

(May 4, 2004) U.S. contractor Thomas Hamill made a runfor freedom in Iraq after being held hostage for three weeks. Hewas hiding in a mud hut when he heard an army convoy nearby. Asoldier at the scene recalled, “he was yelling, ‘I’m an American,I’m an American POW!” Unfortunately, the soldiers only heard thewords “POW,” and had stripped Hamill down and written obscenitiesall over his body before they realized that he was white.

(May 11, 2004) A confidential report by the internationalcommittee of the Red Cross alleges that up to 90 percent of Iraqiprisoners were detained mistakenly. In October, members of the RedCross witnessed widespread abuse at Abu Ghraib prison includingbrutality, hooding, humiliation and threats of “imminentexecution.” While the Red Cross purported that these abuses were”tantamount to torture,” Donald Rumsfeld still claims that theGeneva Convention was a European orgy he attended in 1976.

(May 18, 2004) On Monday, president of the IraqiGoverning Council Izzadine Saleem was killed in a suicide carbombing in central Baghdad along with eight other Iraqis. Whilethis is seen as an inconvenience, the U.S. still plans to hand overcontrol of the embattled country to the Iraqi Governing Council asscheduled on June 30, even if none of them are alive to takeit.

(May 25, 2004) On Monday, the United States decided todestroy Abu Ghraib, the site of the now infamous Iraqi abusescandal, and replace it with a U.S.-funded multimillion-dollarprison complex. Well, it just goes to show you, if you can’t sweepsomething under the rug, why not demolish it off of the face of theEarth? No word yet on when this policy will be enacted in Baghdad,Kabul, Fallujah, the entire nations of Afghanistan and France, andthe West Coast.