The Week in Review
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 This week of pixelation protests, fatal hugs, and a whole bunch of insane doings in Washington, DC, kicks off with this amazing sentence from the Guardian: "A television show funded by the National Rifle Association has been canceled after the host of the program shot an elephant in the face and then compared his critics to Adolf Hitler." The trouble began last Tuesday, when the NBC Sports Network aired a new episode of Under Wild Skies, an NRA-funded hunting show hosted by NRA strategist Tony Makris, who spent the episode stalking an elephant in Botswana with a .577 rifle he said was "made to shoot ivory." "Makris and a guide got within around 20 feet of the elephant before shooting it in the face," reports the Guardian. "Both men posed with the dead animal before toasting the hunt with champagne." Unsurprisingly, the episode drew protests from animal-rights groups and other people who don't like watching elephants get fatally shot in the face, which only egged on Makris. "[Animal activists] go, well nobody should shoot an elephant," Makris told NRA News. "I said, why? And they go they're so big and kind and gentle and smart and I said, okay, let me ask you a question. Should I be able to shoot birds? Well, I guess that's okay. Ducks? Yeah. Pigeons? Oh, they're flying rats, okay... Do you realize that if you subscribe to that philosophy you are committing a very unique form of animal racism?... And they said but they're so big and special and they're smarter. And I went, you know, Hitler would have said the same thing." Which brings us to today, when "NBC Sports Network confirmed that the show would be pulled from its programming," reports the Guardian. "The network cited the behavior of the show's host as a key factor in the decision."
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 1 Speaking of gunanigans, the week continues in Phoenix, where today a 24-year-old woman gave her boyfriend a hug and wound up fatally shot by the gun in his waistband. Details come from KPHO News, which tells the story in three sentences: "[Police] said the woman and her 18-year-old boyfriend were hugging when she became uncomfortable with a gun in his waistband... The man was in the process of removing the gun when it discharged and shot the woman. Officials say the woman was taken to a nearby hospital where she later died." Believed to be accidental, the fatal shooting will be reviewed by the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.
•• Also today, a relatively small band of far-right US congresspeople forced the shutdown of the federal government, putting 800,000 federal employees on indefinite unpaid furlough and requiring another 1.3 million federal employees to work without pay until our elected officials figure this shit out.
•• Also also today: Happy birthday to human treasures Julie Andrews (born on this day in 1935), Youssou N'Dour (1959), and Zach Galifianakis (1969), as well as cuckoo garbage human Randy Quaid (1950).
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 2 In stupider news, the week continues in the fevered brain-space of the seven or so Iowa housewives behind One Million Moms, the "pro-family" organization that's made headlines protesting everything from JC Penney's hiring of Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson to the ABC Family show The Fosters, which dares to show a lesbian couple living a normal life, free of flaming rain and corrective rape. OMM's latest target: the restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday, which the Moms blasted this week for subjecting families to offensive pixelation. "Ruby Tuesday's new pretzel burger 'Fun Between the Buns' ad campaign is tasteless, blurring everything in the middle of the burger similar to an advertisement that reveals inappropriate images," reads OMM's official statement. "Everything between the top and bottom hamburger buns is pixelated, including condiments, meat, cheese, and other toppings. This should only be done when trying to protect someone's privacy and should not be tolerated when unnecessary in any other form of media. Marketing campaigns using sexual innuendos are never appropriate, especially when advertising food for a family restaurant. Offensive ads cause parents to lose their appetites and their respect for a company." First, thank you for this, One Million Moms. Second, shame on you, Ruby Tuesday. Even a pro-pixelation sodomite like Last Days can agree that the slogan "Fun Between the Buns" is blet-worthy.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3 In much worse news, the week continues with Miriam Carey, the 34-year-old dental hygienist who today attempted to drive through a White House security checkpoint, struck a Secret Service officer, and led authorities on a two-mile, three-minute chase down Pennsylvania Avenue before she was fatally shot by cops. "[Carey] had been suffering from mental health issues... and a troubling fixation on President Obama," reports the Los Angeles Times. "Miriam Carey's declining mental stability... developed into a belief that the president was 'controlling' her life." Condolences to all, especially Carey's 1-year-old daughter, who was in the car throughout the fatal freak-out and, amazingly, was not hurt. (Bonus sentence from the Times: "Lawmakers on Capitol Hill used Thursday's incident to press for an agreement to end the government shutdown, noting that the Capitol police who responded are not being paid.")
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 4 Speaking of fatal mayhem in the nation's capital, the week continues with John Constantino, the 64-year-old New Jersey man who today visited the tourist-packed National Mall in Washington, DC, where he doused himself with gasoline and set himself on fire. "Bystanders used their shirts to tamp down the flames on the man," reports Reuters, but it was no use, with the self-immolating Constantino being pronounced dead at a DC hospital by day's end.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5 Nothing happened today, unless you count an astounding story out of Oklahoma, where a zoo worker stuck her arm into a tiger's cage and soon found her arm in the mouth of a tiger. "The woman, who was not identified, was reported in stable condition, Joe Schreibvogel, owner of the Garold Wayne Interactive Zoological Park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, said in a statement posted on the zoo's Facebook page," reports Reuters. "Schreibvogel said the tiger would not be destroyed."
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 6 Nothing happened today (unless you count the millions of people who didn't put their arms in tiger cages and were not bitten by tigers).