Salute Our Shorts: The News in Brief

“Ripping the Headlines”
by Paul Lander

Time reading is time wasted, Hobo Pancake Nation. You think you can work on upping that Halo score AND stay informed? Hell, no! Well, me neither. That’s why I like to treat the news like I treat people. Make a snap judgment and move the hell on. So, here are some headlines and my first thoughts:

‘Texas teen arrested after taking assault rifle, handguns to school’
See what happens when you don’t bring enough for everybody?

‘White supremacist takes DNA test, finds out he’s part black’
Causing the tester to say, ‘You are not the father you are a brother’

‘Madonna shares risque, nipple-baring outfit she wanted to wear to the Met Gala 2014′
Don’t get any ideas, Bruce Jenner

‘Scientists link selfies to narcissism, addiction & mental illness’
Yeah, yeah, but I look pretty cool in it

‘New Jersey is cracking down on offshore online gaming’
Not surprising that Governor Christie would be against a casino that didn’t include a Buffet

‘Ozzy Osbourne fans petition for star’s Knighthood’
Ozzy thanked them or told them eat kippers, it’s hard to tell which

‘James Franco claims he never had sex with Lindsay Lohan’
Makes sense, she’s clearly too old for him

‘Male porn stars make around $40,000 a year, female porn stars make up to $250,000 a year’
Proving sometimes it’s better getting the shaft

‘Flight from Chicago diverted after man attempts mid-air exit’
In all fairness, the in-flight movie was ‘Jack and Jill’



“The California Valley Oak Accepts the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Honorary Award at the 6th Annual Governors’ Awards Dinner” 

By Emily Carpenter

“Um, wow. Really. Thank you so much. You have no idea. Meryl, you are everything. With your astounding transformations, your ability to be anyone, in any time, I draw so much strength and inspiration from your work. So much love. And Jared, yes, I love you too, thank you for holding that statuette for me. My God. If I could, I would gather you all into such a massive group hug—because that’s how we Quercus lobata roll. I’m sorry I can’t be there tonight. But, you know, roots…

Okay. What am I saying here? “…for my extravagant and singular ability in playing “the tree” in almost every movie ever made that couldn’t afford to go outside the Thirty Mile Zone of LA for principle photography.” My God, when you hear Streep say that, it’s just…I’m just so humbled. I am truly stumped by this award.

But seriously. There are times in a performer’s life when he is asked to play a part…say, a Douglas fir or a saw palmetto. An American chestnut, for Pete’s sake. I mean they’re extinct, you know what I’m saying? Practically extinct. Very hard to find. The research alone on that is just…and the sense memory exercises—you can’t imagine. So, so complex.

But let me tell you—when you’re deep in your process there are times, dark times, when you think, ‘My God, I’m not going to pull this off. They’re never going to believe me as the Juniperas saxicola in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Or the Conocarpus erectus in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.’ So then really, it all comes down to that moment, that one moment, where you look in the mirror and say, ‘Kevin, you can do this. Just be the tree, man. Be the tree.’

I want to thank everybody I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with in this business.

Quentin and Denzel, Tom and Johnny and Robert D. Jr. I know I’m forgetting so many people. I’ve got to thank the legends who gave me my start. The guys from Bonanza, Gunsmoke and Big Valley. Star Trek—I mean you have no idea how hard it is to recreate a tree from a planet which doesn’t exist. Lassie and Rin Tin Tin, all the greats. And now, my bread and butter roles: the Kentucky poplar on Justified, the cherry tree on Bones, the blooming desert sumac on CSI. It’s nothing but a joy, guys, every single day. A joy.

I don’t want to forget my partners in crime. My agent Lew, my publicist Joanne, the whole management team at Digital Organics, my stylist Renley. My trainer and all-around foxy stand-in, Doug. All my wonderful instructors from the Actors Studio Drama School who believed in me from the start. You guys are my heart.

This award means everything to me. Everything. No, please don’t play the music yet, I’m almost done. I just want to say one more thing—the hardwood flooring industry is a vile, pernicious, shameful boil on our country’s backside that should sicken every one of us. There’s just no excuse anymore for that kind of mindless slaughter. Shut it down, Mr. President, shut it dow—

Wait. Did they cut the feed? I don’t believe it, they cut the feed. Effing Academy bastards.”

“Affordable Energy Act” 

By William R. Chatterson

The US Congress is back to work today, drafting a new bill called “The Affordable Energy Act”.

 One of the bill’s authors, Representative Mike WhiletheIronsHot said, “Most people won’t be affected by this bill. If you like the energy you have, you can keep it.”

The authors claim the bill is not designed to take energy away from anyone. Rather, its goal is to serve those who currently do not have access to energy. By some estimates, 40,000,000 people in the United States do not have energy. These people are trapped in terrible cycles of mild depression, oversleeping, taking ungodly long afternoon naps, and calling in sick to work because they’re tired. “It isn’t right that some don’t have energy, while others do”, said Representative WhiletheIronsHot.

 The appalling lack energy is costing society billions of dollars. Corporations like Starbucks have seen sales of coffee collapse while the price of energy drinks continues to soar. Middleclass families with tight budgets just can’t afford energy like they used to. Without help, the economy will drift into another era of stagflation similar to that seen under President Jimmy Carter-until he wised up and lifted the ban on making your own beer.

“It isn’t fair”, economics professor Reginald P. MacInerney said, “that some people have tons of energy and that others have very little. Not in the United States of America anyway. We are the only industrialized nation on earth that doesn’t provide a base level of energy for each one of its citizens. Even Cuba has affordable espresso. If we don’t act soon, we will live in a nation of Rip Van Winkles. How can we face our grandchildren if we don’t wake up and act?”

Currently, American hospitals are seeing a sharp increase in emergency room visits from people complaining of lethargy. Most, thankfully, still accept private health insurance which covers doctor examinations, lab tests, and corporate coffee bars. “Unfortunately”, MacInerney said, “lack of energy is often a pre-existing condition, which insurance companies do not cover. This is an example of where the Affordable Energy Act would kick in.”

In a press conference today President Obama assured worn out Americans that the Affordable Energy Act is not a single payer government program. Instead, it will be based on a market system where people can shop for competitive plans. He said, “If you just need a basic cup of diner coffee now and then you can select a base line product with low premiums. This is the bronze level. But let’s say you need 2 or 3 cups of spoon standing dark roast in the morning plus an afternoon kicker can of Red Bull, you might pick the silver option, which will cost you more. At the top, is the gold plan, designed for those who, without massive cups of French Press suffer from constipation, wild mood swings and their eye’s spin around in their heads”.

The CBO has scored the bill saying it could create as many as 2,000,000 new excited workers. An opposition Republican leader said, “With unemployment still at 7% why would you want to excite more workers?”

Later, the President angrily responded to this rebuttal, pulling a sand wedge from his bag, “I’m tired of the people who have all the energy just keeping it for themselves. Is that the kind of country Republicans wants to live in?”

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