03.08.09 2:53 PM ET
Click Here For Good News!
Faithful readers of this space will recall that it is titled “What Fresh Hell.” Little did I know, back in October, when I whimsically decided on the name, what low-hanging fruits lay ahead.
Remember the “crawl,” now thankfully abandoned by cable TV news shows: the ticker-tape that ran at the bottom of the screen, distracting you from looking too deeply into Wolf Blitzer’s baby blues? The crawl has now migrated, like an alien spore. You wake up in the morning, open your eyes, and there it is:
Unemployment Soars to 1983 Level…Gloomy Outlook for Home Sales…Tsvangirai’s Wife Killed…Doctoral Candidates Anticipate Hard Times…David Brooks Calls On Michelle Obama to Cover Her Biceps…
I’m tired of bad news. If I want bad news, I can always open the six months’ of 401(k) statements I have filed under “Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here.”
The judge ordered Ruth Madoff to “get real, bitch,” and surrender her luxury Upper East Side apartment to the Elie Wiesel Foundation.
I want good news, damn it, and if the universe will not provide it, I’ll write it myself.
MADOFF SENTENCED TO 100 YEARS
WIFE TO VACATE APARTMENT
A federal judge today sentenced swindler Bernard Madoff to “not a day less than one century” of prison time, to be served in solitary confinement at a “super-max” facility. In somewhat unusual language for a US magistrate, he said, “The next ‘ankle bracelet’ you’ll be wearing will be a steel shackle, asshole.”
The judge further ordered Ruth Madoff to “get real, bitch,” and surrender her luxury Upper East Side apartment to the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity for use as its new headquarters.
FORMER MERRILL HEAD THAIN TAKES JOB
AS TOILET ATTENDANT AT ‘21’ CLUB
John Thain, who made headlines for spending $1.2 million redecorating his office with such items as a $35,000 antique commode as his company went down in flames, has been hired to attend the men’s room at the venerable eatery.
‘RED-FACED’ STATE DEPARTMENT SUSPENDS
TRANSLATOR WHO ERRED IN BUTTON WORDING
The so-called "reset" button that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov now turns out to have been even more badly translated than previously thought.
“Peregruzka,” which the US translator rendered as “reset,” does not in fact mean “overcharged,” but “You are a despicable, nasty, warty people, and we spit on you.”
A State Department official apologized, saying, “We’ll get it right eventually.”
RUSH LIMBAUGH, DOWN WITH LARYNGITIS,
CANCELS SHOW ‘FOR FORESEEABLE FUTURE’
US Students’ Math, Science Scores Soar,
Leaving Japanese and Other Asian Students
‘Struggling’ to Catch Up
In a development that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan described as “way awesome,” American students now lead all other countries in proficiency in math and sciences.
New Malcolm Gladwell Book Tanks
Wink, Malcolm Gladwell’s book about the history of rapid eye movement and its impact on the development of beet farming in Siberia and how that in turn affected left-handed hockey players in Saskatchewan, has left his publisher “virtually bankrupt.”
SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE FUNDS ‘IN SURPLUS’
Surprise Discovery in Treasury Building Leads to Joyous News
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced today that the “so-called Social Security ‘crisis’ is officially over.”
Workmen at the Treasury Building, looking to install a new torture chamber in the basement for disgraced US Wall Street executives, opened a door and found “thousands upon thousands” of gold bars.
The bars had been put there by previous administrations against the day when 77 billion baby boomers would start to retire. Owing to a mixup in paperwork, no one told the incoming Obama administration about the gold.
“We still counting them,” a giddy Geithner told reporters. “We’re up to 40 trillion, and there are still jillions of bars left.”
President Obama said he was “very pleased” about the development.
IRAN RENOUNCES NUCLEAR AMBITIONS
‘What Were We Thinking?’ Ahmadinejad Tells
Surprised UN Delegation; Hopes to Visit Israel
‘At Earliest Opportunity’ and Apologize for ‘Naughty Comments’
About Eliminating It from Face of the Earth
GENERAL MOTORS UNVEILS ‘CAR OF THE FUTURE’
COST: $2,000 AND GETS 60 MILES ON GALLON OF MILK
Stock Soars to 70 Cents a Share on News of Breakthrough
STIMULUS BILLS LIFTS US ECONOMY
NOVELISTS, BLOGGERS ARE PRIMARY
BENEFICIARIES OF ‘STUNNING’ TURNAROUND
In what authorities are describing as a “miraculous” development, President Obama’s stimulus bill is now lifting virtually all segments of the US economy. But those most dramatically affected by the “amazing” upturn are people who write comic novels and blog for The Daily Beast.
“We don’t quite understand it,” said Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, “but we’re not questioning it.” He went on to say that the upturn would not benefit Malcolm Gladwell’s latest “oinker” of a book.
Christopher Buckley’s books include Supreme Courtship, The White House Mess, Thank You for Smoking, Little Green Men, and Florence of Arabia. He was chief speechwriter for Vice President George H.W. Bush, and the founder and editor-in-chief of Forbes FYI.