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Posts tagged "The Onion"


From the Onion: Poll Finds Declining Number of Americans Believe They God

One for the ages (ht SPB). 

WASHINGTON—In what researchers say marks a profound change in the nation’s attitude toward religion, a new Pew Research Center poll released Thursday found a significant decline in the number of Americans who believe they are God. “Our data shows that since we started studying the trend in the late 1970s, there has been a 60 percent decrease in the number of people in this country who believe they are the Lord incarnate,” said Pew senior research statistician Marianne Tomac, adding that the largest contributor to the drop was the dwindling number of parents who raise their children in households in which they are taught they are the Supreme Being. “We also found that of the respondents who grew up believing they were the Almighty, nearly 40 percent admitted that skepticism and disillusionment had caused them to question whether they were, in fact, omnipotent or even created the universe at all.” The poll also reported, however, a corresponding increase in the number of Americans who said while they no longer believed they were God, they did see themselves as the indescribable universal energy that connects all living things.

From the Onion: Picture Most Closely Resembling Actual Self Immediately Deleted

CORVALLIS, OR—Instantly repulsed by the startling image, local woman Monica Arquette immediately deleted a picture that, above all others ever taken of her, most closely resembled her actual self, sources reported Monday. “God, I hate this one,” said Arquette, promptly wiping from her phone’s memory the most authentic photo of her currently in existence, both in representing her physical form and in capturing her overall essence as a person. “I look so weird. Not a chance I’m showing this hideous thing to anyone.” At press time, Arquette was thrilled with a picture that vaguely approximated her actual self if squinted at long enough.

Another Week Ends: Humane Prisons, Stranger Things 2, U.F.O.s, Venmo FOMO, Heretical Statistics, and Always Being Wrong

Another Week Ends: Humane Prisons, Stranger Things 2, U.F.O.s, Venmo FOMO, Heretical Statistics, and Always Being Wrong

1. Another week, another opportunity to get jealous of Norway. In Mother Jones’ July/August Issue, Dashka Slater reports that North Dakota is experimenting with Norway’s “humane” prison system (which has been mentioned on our site before, here and here. Also, don’t forget the interview Ethan did with Norwegian prison warden Arne Nilsen for The Forgiveness Issue. Amazing stuff.)

Needless to say, humane prison procedures are beautiful examples of grace in practice and “left-handed power,” which Robert Farrar Capon defines as “precisely paradoxical power: power that looks for all the world like weakness, intervention that seems indistinguishable from nonintervention” (Kingdom, Grace, Judgment).

In North Dakota, “left-handed power” seems…

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Oldie but a Goodie: “New Exercise App Just Tells Users They Ran 5 Miles a Day No Matter What”

Vintage find from America’s Most Trusted News Source (ht GP).

LOS ALTOS, CA—Having reached nearly 2 million downloads within its first month of release, the new smartphone app ProMiler has quickly become one of the nation’s most popular exercise tools by informing users that they ran five miles each day no matter what, the app’s creators told reporters Friday. “With ProMiler, achieving your exercise goals is as simple as turning on your device in the morning and being notified that you’ve already run five miles,” ProMiler spokesman John Lyons said while demonstrating the app, which uses advanced GPS technology to display a new, randomly generated five-mile running route near the user’s location every day. “The more you take advantage of ProMiler, the better runner you become, as the app automatically reduces your running time by several seconds per day. And with our ‘Calories Burned’ counter staying fixed at the number 1,000 each day, 100 percent of our users report hitting their fitness targets. The results speak for themselves.” Officials added that the app comes pre-synced with Facebook, allowing users to automatically post their time and running route on their feed for all their friends to see.

From the Onion: Poll Finds Majority of Americans Would Like Things to Go Right for Once

An oldie but a goodie (ht GP). 

UTICA, NY—A poll released Tuesday by Zogby International found that 72 percent of Americans would prefer it if things could go right, just this one time, without something inevitably coming along and screwing everything up. “For once in my life, it would be cool if things didn’t suddenly fall apart right when they started going my way,” said poll respondent Esther Lau, who listed finally catching a break as one of her personal goals. “Suppose, for example, that instead of turning into a total disaster in the end, events worked themselves out in a way that was favorable, or at least okay for the most part. That’s a situation I would be amenable to.” The remaining 28 percent of Americans agreed that everything was just fine, and why would this even be a question someone would ask in the first place?

Another Week Ends: Questing for Cultural Innocence, Narrating Luther, Inverting Transhumanism and Reforming One's Pets

Another Week Ends: Questing for Cultural Innocence, Narrating Luther, Inverting Transhumanism and Reforming One’s Pets

Lots of love – commingled with envy – for everyone at the Tenth Annual Mockingbird Conference in NYC! “For the rest of us” (G. Costanza), some links for the weekend:

1. First up, The Hedgehog Review here in c-ville posted a wonderful article on “The Persistence of Guilt.” Who knew that the great Sigmund Freud once quipped, “the price we pay for our advance in civilization is a loss of happiness through the heightening of the sense of guilt”? The author argues that Freud helped “demoralize” guilt, to suggest that our guilty emotions were the product of the superego and could be…

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Another Week Ends: Chuck Berry, Preachy Ads, Yik Yak Help, Optimist Empathy, Missing Richard Simmons, and the Relentless Gig Economy

Another Week Ends: Chuck Berry, Preachy Ads, Yik Yak Help, Optimist Empathy, Missing Richard Simmons, and the Relentless Gig Economy

1. If you, too, have wondered where all the moral messaging has been coming from in advertisements—whether it’s Amazon, Barbie, Budweiser, or 84 Lumber—why all those Super Bowl ads were so heavily imbued with political and philosophical truisms, well, you’re not alone. This week, Megan Garber of The Atlantic wrote an article called “Selling What They Preach,” which is an observation of the kind of morality flag-bearing happening during a lot of primetime TV commercials. She’s extremely aware of the irony of this endeavor—that so many of these enormous, consumer-focused businesses are spinning messages of “empathy” or “togetherness” or “love,”…

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From The Onion: Alcoholic’s Plan For Turning Life Around Doesn’t Involve Getting Sober

America’s favorite news source, on point yet again. Mercy mercy me:

SAVANNAH, GA—Realizing something needed to change before it was too late, local alcoholic Darren Weller laid out a plan for turning his life around Monday that had absolutely nothing to do with getting sober. “Today’s the day that I finally clean up my act and start taking the steps I need to better myself,” said the visibly intoxicated Weller to his fellow bar patrons, outlining a series of dramatic steps aimed at improving his physical and mental health that will in no way interfere with his crippling addiction to alcohol. “No more excuses. It’s time I went back to school and finished my degree. No more pizza and beer every night. I’ll probably live five more years just by having salad and beer. Who knows, I might even start getting a run in every night before I hit the bars. Yeah, I really feel like this is a new beginning.” At press time, Weller had passed out on his bar stool, already making good on his plan to get to sleep at a more reasonable hour.

From The Onion: Depressed Groundhog Sees Shadow Of Rodent He Once Was

A day late but nonetheless a classic:

PUNXSUTAWNEY, PA—According to sources, clinically depressed groundhog and weather prognosticator Punxsutawney Phil awoke from his slumber this early morning, peered directly into his soul, and saw but a mere pathetic shadow of the rodent he once was. “My God, is this who I am now? Is this what I’ve become?” the melancholy animal told reporters, staring hopelessly out onto the pale morning light outside his pen. “There was a time when my world was spring eternal, bright and without gloom. But that was a lifetime ago, I’m afraid.” The downcast rodent then sighed, lifted himself from his urine-soaked confines, and mustered the strength to perform his “little song and dance” for excited locals.

The Onion Reports: 50% Of Heaven’s Population Just Assholes Who Begged For Forgiveness At Last Second

Just when I thought they had run out of gas… Click here to read the whole thing:

landscape-1463345474-screen-shot-2016-05-15-at-214845WASHINGTON—According to an alarming new report published Monday, roughly half the population of Heaven is composed of total assholes who begged for God’s forgiveness at the last moment before dying. “Our data show that 50 percent of the inhabitants of the Heavenly Kingdom were total… sleazebags on Earth who waited until their very final breath to plead with God for mercy,” said report co-author Janet Ryder, adding that a survey of celestial records confirmed that one of every two residents of the eternal paradise willfully lived sinful existences and shamelessly committed immoral acts before seeking clemency in the closing seconds of their lives. “What we found particularly interesting is that those who truly committed themselves to God by leading lives of virtue and doing good works are actually outnumbered by hate-filled scoundrels, petty criminals, and murderers who humbled themselves before the Lord and turned from their wicked ways at the last possible moment to con their way into Heaven.”

Another Week Ends: The Problem with "Parenting", Solipsistic Audiophiles, Más Havrilesky, Self-Defeating Happiness, and Dubious Decency

Another Week Ends: The Problem with “Parenting”, Solipsistic Audiophiles, Más Havrilesky, Self-Defeating Happiness, and Dubious Decency

1. Having a dog used to be easy, and were it 1995, I’d get one in a heartbeat. Fill up the gallon pail of food, a couple large buckets of water, and for the next three days the responsibilities were watching it run around (outside), fetch, the usual. Now I might be leaning cat-wards – dogsitters, crate-training, sticking to a strict routine… and the dog-hotel for vacationers business has been booming.

First up, same with kids. A friend from college mentioned how much it annoyed him when, as a kid, his parents would use the phrase “underfoot” to describe him. For the record,…

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From The Onion: 80% Of Americans Would Get In Vehicle With Stranger For Chance At New Life

Can’t believe we missed this one when it came out a couple years ago (ht PZ, who kicked off a sermon this past week with it – embedded below):

1200WASHINGTON—According to a poll released Thursday by the Pew Research Center, 80 percent of Americans would, if given even one opportunity, enter a stranger’s vehicle for a shot at starting a new life. “Our research indicated that as long as the driver was headed somewhere else, anywhere else, more than three quarters of Americans would get in that person’s car without any hesitation,” said Pew spokesperson Sylvia Ettinger, adding that neither the make of the vehicle, its intended destination, nor the appearance or temperament of the driver would have any bearing on the decision. “Provided that entering the vehicle offered even the remotest possibility of a clean break from the past, eight out of every 10 people we surveyed said they were happy to toss their cell phone and wallet into a ditch and put their destiny in the hands of the very first person who pulled over.” The poll found, however, that only 3 percent of Americans would pick up some weirdo standing on the side of the road with his thumb out.