How I Imagine Mainstream TV News

NEWS ANCHOR: Coming up, we have an interview with an eyewitness who drove by the site where four Marines were murdered in Tennessee. She thinks she may have seen a car displaying a Confederate flag in the parking lot.


NEWS ANCHOR: Wait, this just in: Police have identified the shooter. His name is Muhamm-

[stops abruptly, listens to earpiece, nods]

NEWS ANCHOR: And now we go to breaking news. Caitlyn Jenner has just chosen a brand of depilatory. Phil? What can you tell us about this?

My Chickens Are Smarter Than Animal Rights Activists

It’s county fair season here the wild parts of America, which means farm animals, tractor pulls, goat races, games, fair food, rides, and good old American small town entertainment.

My wife and daughter are active in 4H, and they’re helping staff the poultry tent this week, as they do every year. My daughter wouldn’t miss one minute of it.

All of the animal tents are run by 4H, which is for kids 18 years old and under who love, raise, care for, and show their animals. Their function at the county fair is to teach. They expose adults and children to animals and help them understand them. Kids come from far away, and some of them have never seen a cow or a goat or a chicken up close. That connection to animals and the sources of food is important.

Every chicken in that poultry tent was hand-raised by a child, many of them since they were just eggs in an incubator. In fact, a number of new chicks are being hatched right now. These little fluffballs were born last night:

chicksIn short, 4H teaches and promotes care for and love of animals.

So imagine their surprise last night when their tent was invaded by chanting, obnoxious “animal rights” activists who harassed the children and guests, laid down to block the aisles, and generally made a nuisances of themselves. Our 4H leader saw one of them pulling out fake blood and stepped between the nutball and the children. The “blood” wound up hitting her. She’s still trying to get it off her phone.

My wife went for the police, because although people are allowed to protest, they’re not allowed to harass or assault. The first uniformed people she found were ASPCA officers, so you had the spectacle of fake animals right activists being chased off by real animal rights activists. The ASPCA does more for animals in a day than these pests or PETA will ever do. (And, to be fair, my wife was informed that the PETA protesters at the fair were professional and polite, which means this group was worse than PETA.)

The most fabulously hilarious part was what one of the loons was yelling: “How can you look these birds in the eye and steal their eggs?!

Do they even realize that a) a healthy chicken will lay an egg about every 24 hours, and b) these eggs are not fertilized since most people don’t keep roosters? What do they think a chicken with a sterile egg is going to do with it? It would rot, burst, stink, and make them sick if left alone.

I can only imagine what was going through their little bird brains (the chickens, not the protesters) while they witnessed this: “You idiots! We’re hand raised by loving children and fed on a diet of watermelon, mealworms, and hugs! Get the hell out of here before you ruin everything!” (And, no, the kids don’t kiss chickens because they’re not idiots.)

Without human intervention (coops, runs, fences), a chicken would be killed within 24 hours. Our area is full of chicken predators: opossums, raccoons, foxes, coyotes.

Do they protest the foxes, I wonder? No?

And I bet they would not care one bit that abortionists rip apart unborn children in order to sell their body parts. They care more about unfertilized eggs than fertile women or unborn children.

Look, the kind of person who does things like this fits a particular profile. They’re ignorant, self-involved, vain zealots whose actions say only one thing: “Pay attention to me! Pay attention to me!”

My chickens laugh at them.




Charles Dickens Solves a Mystery 145 Years After His Death

Charles-Dickens_4This is the kind of discovery literary scholars dream of but never hope to find: a cache of notations in the handwriting of Charles Dickens that reveals lost works by major authors.

Bookseller Jeremy Parrott ordered a bound collection of All the Year Round, a publication edited by Charles Dickens, from an online book dealer. The listing didn’t mention any annotations, but when Parrott began looking at the volumes he realized that not only was he holding the set that belonged to Dickens himself, but that Dickens had made copious notes throughout.

Like many Victorian periodicals, pieces in All the Year Round often were published anonymously or pseudonymously. The only name that mattered, after all, was already at the top of each page: Charles Dickens. In his personal edition, however, Dickens wrote in each author’s name alongside their contribution. The discovery essentially rewrites the history of Victorian literature.

Among the discoveries are new works by Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell, Lewis Carroll, and Dickens himself, along with many others. Here’s a summary of the key findings so far:

Elizabeth Gaskell: two new works have been discovered by the North and South author. The pair of articles on French song and poetry had been attributed to Henry Chorley.

Sydney and Frank Dickens: Charles commissioned his sons to write aged 16 and 17 despite their obvious lack of talent. The three articles on Lord Nelson, preachers and servants are ‘schoolboy essays’ according to Dr Parrott. ‘They’ve taken a book and plagiarised it heavily … there’s not much in the way of original thought or style.’

Wilkie Collins: the collection reveals eight pieces by author of The Moonstone which nobody has previously suggested were written by him. One is an article called ‘The Crusoe of the Snowy Desert’, telling the gripping true story of an explorer in the American Midwest who is stranded for a year in a barren snowy landscape and is eventually saved by a tribe of ‘savages’. In another, called ‘Hear The Postman,’ Collins argues postmen should be paid more because of their use to society.

Lewis Carroll: A possible new poem has been discovered by the Alice in Wonderland author, though its provenance is still under debate.

Eliza Linton: the first salaried woman journalist in Britain, is revealed to be far more prolific than first thought. Previously just a handful of pieces had been listed under her name for All The Year Round but Dickens’ notes show she wrote more than 100 articles.

Women: despite his reputation among some academics for misogyny, the list reveals that Dickens was very supportive of female writers. Parrott estimates that around 40 per cent of the list is women writers. ‘Cumulatively it’s very interesting how many women authors are there,’ he says. ‘Dickens is not generally recognised as having female protégés but you’ve got Queen Victoria’s favourite poet, Adelaide Proctor writing a lot and Hesba Stretton, as well as women writing on serious subjects, such as science.’

Misattributed: The list shows that scholars have wrongly assumed that pieces by his contemporaries were actually by Dickens. An article assigned in his collection to his son-in-law, Charles Collins, had previously been assumed to be by Dickens.

One funny footnote: “Academics in Australia developed computer software to help identify a writer by style, but this latest discovery suggests that many of the articles previously identified by the technology as written by Dickens were in fact by other authors.”