Last Days: The Week in Review
MONDAY, MAY 14 This week of black-faced shame, french-fried altruism, and disco divas done dropped dead kicks off in Mexico, where today brought reports of another batch of headless bodies found dumped by the side of the road. "The corpses of 43 men and six women, whose hands and feet had also been cut off, were found in a pile on a highway in the municipality of Cadereyta Jiménez early on Sunday," reports Reuters. "The Nuevo Leon government said the notorious Zetas drug gang had claimed responsibility for the bloodbath." This latest horror follows last week's discovery of 18 decapitated corpses near Guadalajara and the previous week's discovery of 14 dismembered corpses in the city of Nuevo Laredo. "Security analyst Alberto Islas said much of the recent spike in violence was the result of fighting over cocaine supplies from South America between the Zetas and the Sinaloa cartel," Reuters says.
TUESDAY, MAY 15 In inestimably lighter news, the week continues in China, where a man is making headlines not for discovering three dozen headless corpses but for buying a bag of McDonalds french fries and giving them to a homeless woman. Details come from CNN, which identifies the fry-bestower as Jason Loose, a recent graduate from Arizona State now living in Nanjing. "Jason bought a bag of McDonald's french fries for a homeless woman there, and then he poured her some water," reports CNN. "A bystander took photos of the act, and the images have been rocketing around Chinese cyberspace, where someone lovingly called this new hero 'American French Fry Brother.'" The closest thing we have to an explanation, also from CNN: "Jason says many Chinese correspondents have told him that Chinese society has grown cold and uncaring, and when China saw someone from outside the country doing a nice thing on their home turf, it struck a nerve." Thanks for representing, American French Fry Brother.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 16 In stupider news, the week continues in Colorado, where today a student showed up to his Colorado Springs elementary school ready to participate in his class's dress-like-a-historical-figure project, but soon found himself sent home over his choice to honor Martin Luther King Jr. by coming to school in black face paint. Identified by the Associated Press as Sean King, a white second-grader who "said he was trying to honor the slain civil rights leader," the would-be MLK impersonator was quickly sent home with his parents, who "knew about his costume and came to watch the presentations," reports the AP. But school officials insisted the costume was inappropriate and disrespectful, and when the boy and his parents refused to remove the minstrel makeup, they were sent home for the day. As for the allegations of blackface being racially insensitive: "I say that it's not," said 7-year-old Sean King to KRDO-TV. "I like black people." Meanwhile, Meridian Elementary School "hopes to turn the situation into a teaching moment by asking the local chapter of the NAACP for help while setting up a class for adults and children to understand why stereotypes can be offensive," reports the AP.
THURSDAY, MAY 17 Nothing happened today, unless you count the sad death of Donna Summer—the uncontested queen of disco who racked up several lifetimes' worth of classics ("Love to Love You Baby"! "I Feel Love"! "Last Dance"! "On the Radio"!) before succumbing to cancer today at age 63—or the awesome hilarity of Nancy Guppy, the Seattle TV personality who arrived at tonight's gala opening of the Seattle International Film Festival in full-on Seamus Romney mode, emerging from a dog crate strapped to the roof of a car and landing glamorously on the red carpet.
FRIDAY, MAY 18 In less hilarious news (but just barely), the week continues in Texas, where today a jury sentenced a former Roman Catholic priest to 60 years in prison after finding him guilty of plotting the murder of a man who accused him of sexual abuse. Details come from the Associated Press, which identifies our bloodthirsty man of God as 53-year-old John M. Fiala, who was serving as a priest at a rural West Texas parish when a 16-year-old boy accused him of abuse in 2008. Soon after, Father Fiala tried to hire a neighbor's brother to kill the accuser, and yesterday, ex-Father Fiala was convicted of solicitation of capital murder, for which he was sentenced to more than half a century in prison. The end.
SATURDAY, MAY 19 In much better news, the week continues in the boardroom of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, where today its board of directors voted to endorse marriage equality. "Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law," said NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous in a statement. "The NAACP's support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution and equal protection of all people. The well-funded right-wing organizations who are attempting to split our communities are no friend to civil rights, and they will not succeed."
SUNDAY, MAY 20 The week ends with an annular eclipse, thanks to the moon passing between the earth and the sun, as well as some old-school Last Days hot tippage, thanks to Hot Tipper Noelle, who writes, "I couldn't help but think of you when I witnessed not one but two horrifying public grooming events this week. The first was a run-of-the-mill case of public transportation nail care, when I was trapped for 20 minutes on the UW-Harborview shuttle next to an older gentleman who whipped out a nail file and meticulously filed each of his fingernails while looking over some brain-scan images in his lap. The unrelenting sound of his nail file and little bits of nail dust accumulating on his pants made me want to climb out of my skin. The second and truly noteworthy event happened this morning while I was walking my dog by St. James Cathedral, where I saw a normal-looking guy standing next to what I assumed was his motorcycle parked in the street. He proceeded to pull both his jacket and shirt over his head, then backed up into a nearby tree and started scratching his bare back on the trunk like a bear, emitting a groan of relief as he apparently hit the spot. Afterward, he put his clothes back on and continued up the street like nothing strange just happened."
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