The Common Good

April Fools' Special Edition

Sojomail - April 1, 2006


04.01.2006 www.sojo.net
Editors' Note : Just kidding
Heartless & Mindless : Final Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?
Building Yet Another Movement : The Edge launches solo activist career
Weapons of Mass Production : Cleanse that temple with Temple Klenzer!
Field and Scream : Pentagon investigation clears Cheney of wrongdoing in seal-clubbing incident
Lists Are Shorter Than Articles : Top 10 most shocking events yet to happen in 2006
Piece of Mind : The land of the fries, and the home of the shake
Media Watch : News you may have missed
That's Info-tainment : Idols' Simon Cowell gives up being a total jerk for Lent
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EDITORS' NOTE ^top

WARNING: The contents of this "April Fools' SojokeMail" are entirely satirical

While Sojourners cares deeply about the serious issues of our day, we also recognize the tonic value of a good laugh and a well-aimed spoof. The ancient roots of April Fools' Day even included slaves ruling their masters and mocking the king. So in that spirit of subversive humor we offer this equal-opportunity satire - and promise that we'll return to our usual docket of thoughtful and inspiring commentary next week.

No animals were harmed in the making of this e-zine.

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HEARTLESS & MINDLESS ^top

SATIRE: Final Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?
by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins

Friends, I need to warn you about the Satanic conspiracy behind this so-called "March Madness." It's all in our new book, Left Behind: The Final Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. But don't just take our word for it! Revelation 13:2 says: "And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority."

Let's spell it out:

  • "like unto a leopard" - that's the LSU Tigers
  • "feet of a bear" - the UCLA Bruins
  • "the dragon" - Florida Gators
  • "power...great authority" - look no further than the university of founding father George Mason and his Patriots!
  • And if you're thinking that I skipped over the lion part, that's also LSU. Tigers, lions - same thing. Not all of Revelation should be taken literally. Just most of the time.

Every year, millions worship the false idol of NCAA basketball - even though Revelation 11:2 clearly says, "But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not," - i.e. basketball is not Christian, and we are not to "measure" or pick our favorite teams, for all are fallen in the sight of the Lord. Sure, occasionally a player will "give glory to God," but spell NCAA backwards, you get AACN, or Armageddon Anti-Christ Network. Is it any wonder that Oral Roberts U. was eliminated in the first round?

Need more evidence that sinister forces are at work? Let's take a look at George Mason. That's right MASON. As in Freemasons. As in the Illuminati. As in the secret society that controls everything from the pope's shoe size to the U.N. seating chart. Even our founding fathers - aside from the ones who were fundamentalist evangelical Christians who built this country on the 10 Commandments - were members of this shadowy cabal. George Mason's rise to the Final Four is just one sign that their schemes are finally coming to fruition.

How else but by demonic influence could 11 seed GMU defeat #1 UConn? It's unnatural. In the Bible we read - most of the Old Testament (minus 1 Samuel and the prophets) plus Revelation - the idea of the weak defeating the strong is simply unthinkable. The Jesus we know comes on a white horse with a flaming sword to kick some butt. And he's going to kick yours if you don't cast out this March Madness and spend your time more wisely - like, say, buying and reading my books and buying them as gifts for your friends. They're great witnessing tools - who doesn't love sports?

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BUILDING YET ANOTHER MOVEMENT ^top

SATIRE: The Edge launches solo activist career


Move over One Campaign...
here comes The Deuce!
DUBLIN - Anti-poverty activists were stunned today when U2's lead guitarist, The Edge, announced that he will be flying solo in activist efforts from this point forward.

"Today, I am happy to announce the launch of Campaign Deuce, or The Deuce for short," said The Edge at a noontime press conference. "The Deuce will call for the United States to give an additional 2% of their budget to eradicating poverty and its root causes. I mean, nothing against the Bono and 'Brangelina,' but a mere 1% reeks of 1990s incrementalism."

The reference to "1% for poverty" is a not-so-subtle shot at the One Campaign, founded by bandmate Bono and several nonprofits, the goal of which is to increase the United States foreign aid budget by 1%. One of the prominent symbols of the One Campaign and the Global Call to Action Against Poverty is a white rubber bracelet worn by concerned anti-poverty activists.

However, one white band just doesn't cut it for The Edge. "Activists need two white bands to make a real statement. At The Deuce's website, you'll find a permanent two-for-one special. In your face, One Campaign!"

Asked to comment on The Edge's announcement, Bono tried to take the high ground, but couldn't resist a few jabs. "The Edge has to do what's best for The Edge," said Bono. "I just hope Yoko Ono didn't have anything to do with this."

Speculation continues that Will Farrell and Ben Stiller have plans to launch an even bigger anti-poverty campaign in the fall. "We've been beta testing some brands with a couple focus groups," said Stiller. "I won't tell you what it's going to be called, but don't be surprised if you hear about 'Campaign Ocho' sometime soon."

Farrell added a wink, then seven more.

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WEAPONS OF MASS PRODUCTION ^top

Do you have:

  • Forget the tedium of fashioning a whip of cords, which may require multiple applications before being effective!
  • Stop shouting yourself hoarse about the Lord's house becoming "a den of robbers!"
  • Quit crying about not being strong enough nor angry enough to turn over tables!

Let the TEMPLE KLENZERTM do the work!

The TEMPLE KLENZERTM emits a powerful pulse of electromagnetic energy, instantly disabling the computer circuitry of any cash register, cash machine - or any other cash cow - that may have invaded your sacred space.

As an added bonus, the TEMPLE KLENZERTM also disables most cell phones-no longer will your prayers be interrupted by ring tones of the theme from Beverly Hills Cop!

ORDER NOW AND RECEIVE A HANDSOMELY ENGRAVED PLAQUE OF THE BEATITUDES ABSOLUTELY FREE! Perfect for posting in your local courthouse, public school classroom, or military recruiting office! (Gospel of Luke version - includes both "blessings" and "woes"!)

*Results may vary. Do not use TEMPLE KLENZERTM if you wear a pacemaker, are pregnant, may become pregnant, or know anyone who has ever been pregnant. Side effects may include ringing ears, nausea, dry mouth, drooling, weight loss, height loss, loss of appetite, blurred vision, weight gain, dizziness, fatigue, hyperactivity, shortness of breath, prickly heat, boils, frogs, locusts, and darkness.

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FIELD AND SCREAM ^top

SATIRE: Pentagon investigation clears Cheney of wrongdoing in seal-clubbing incident


Cheney, wearing his custom- tailored seal-clubbing suit, prepares to club a baby seal.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Dentist Michael MacKenzie is in serious but stable condition following an accident while on an Alaskan baby seal-clubbing expedition with Vice President Dick Cheney. Cheney was in the process of clubbing a 1-week-old baby harp seal when MacKenzie somehow got in the way, sustaining a concussion, broken jaw, and several missing teeth.

Asked to comment, MacKenzie stated, "Umph schmph fluh shuh buh fuh," as his jaw is wired shut and his mouth stuffed with gauze. In comments scrawled on hospital stationery, he said that he harbors no ill will towards the vice president: "I realize that it's all just part of the sporting risk and giddy thrill of baby seal clubbing. More morphine, please."

A Pentagon investigation into the matter has determined that Cheney did nothing wrong, as his executive office affords him the privilege of ignoring international conventions regarding the clubbing of both seals and dentists. A Pentagon spokesperson also indicated that the vice president overpaid $7 for his baby seal clubbing license, and should seek reimbursement from the state game warden.

Animal rights leaders have expressed outrage; they're very good at it. Seal-clubbing safety experts have also expressed concern.

In response to waves of criticism, Cheney plans to go on FOX "News" in four days and say he's sorry for clubbing his friend but that the Iraq war is an unparalleled success.

Reports have also noted that Cheney has restricted his outdoor sporting companions to members of unpopular professions in order to mute public outcry in the event of an accident. MacKenzie, 65, is a dentist, 78-year-old Harry Whittington, whom Cheney shot in the face with a shotgun earlier this year, is a lawyer, and Ronald DuPre, a campaign donor who was accidentally harpooned while on a dolphin hunting tour earlier this year, is a DMV attendant. Reports indicate that Geoffrey Payton, a parking enforcement officer with whom Cheney had scheduled an outing to go dynamite fishing this June, has since cancelled the trip and moved to an undisclosed location.

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LISTS ARE SHORTER THAN ARTICLES ^top

Top 10 most shocking events yet to happen in 2006

10. Secular northern Europeans riot and burn American fast-food franchises after misinterpreting reruns of Yosemite Sam cartoons as crude mockeries of their beloved Friedrich Nietzsche.

9. Karl Rove resigns, saying he wants to spend more time attempting to salvage his family's sagging approval ratings.

8. Michael Moore ambush-interviews Jimmy Carter while producing a shocking documentary to expose the seamy underbelly of international peacemaking.

7. Abramoff corruption scandal spans party lines as Libertarian and Green Party officials are implicated.

6. Russ Feingold gets little support from Democratic colleagues in his attempt to congressionally censure Arizona for beating Wisconsin in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

5. Imprisoned ex-head of state and war criminal Charles Taylor uses his one phone call to ask Pat Robertson to bail him out with the gold Robertson's company mined in Liberia.

4. Jim Wallis and Jerry Falwell set aside their differences for a celebrity JELL-O wrestling match to benefit cancer research.

3. Tom Cruise leaves Church of Scientology to become a Christian Scientist. "I'm really into science," says Cruise.

2. Afghan court sentences man to death for converting to metric system.

1. Congressional Republicans agree to amnesty for all illegal immigrants...as long as they promise to vote Republican.

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PIECE OF MIND ^top

The land of the fries, and the home of the shake

Dear McDonald's Corporation:

I am writing you during a time when public support for America, for our commander in chief, and for the struggle to bring democracy to Iraq (and the world) is at a dangerous low. I have been thinking of ways to help the situation and, of course, I started to think about your company. I was remembering the whole freedom fries phenomenon and how helpful it must have been for the patriotism of the members of Congress to eat fries that symbolized the war for freedom. That thought struck me as rather important: with each one of the American people eating meals three or four times a day - what an opportunity for America, and what an opportunity for McDonald's.

I want to translate the current McDonald's menu into a newer, more patriotic form. I believe that this will be a win-win scenario both for our country and for your company. Those who already eat at McDonald's will feel more patriotic after their meals, and people who are already patriotic will be drawn to eat the freedom-loving food at McDonald's.

We may want to use the phrase freedom fries as a point of entry for people already familiar with the term - this way they will know immediately what we are up to with this new menu. Of course, if the congressional lunch room has copyrighted that term, we could go with democracy fries, or liberty fries. I think people will make the connection. I thought also that renaming some of the classic, all-American sandwiches like the Big Mac and the hamburger could achieve our goal of fusing patriotism with eating. For example, instead of Big Mac we could do Operation Big Macky Freedom (that way we could still use "freedom" - such a great word!) I can already see the television spots for that one: a soldier sitting down at a McDonald's booth with the burger in his hand and a huge smile on his face as he prepares to liberate that sandwich. We will need to also reference WWII and other great battles in which we helped to save the world from various ideologies. (What do you think about changing hamburger to 'Namburger? You get the idea.) We should probably stay away from renaming the salads because they might be a hard sell to red-blooded Americans.

I've studied marketing quite extensively, and I believe we can send this menu across the globe as an ambassador in food form. My brother-in-law tells me that it won't sell in foreign countries because they hate us, but what he doesn't seem to understand is that that is the point. (For example, I am convinced that the more they eat Chickenhawk McNuggets, the more they will realize that they like us.)

I recommend rolling this menu out in the U.S.A. and Canada immediately, to be followed by an ad campaign for foreign countries.

I am interested in your response.

Hail to the Beef!

Sincerely,

Loren K. Balkser, Ph.D.

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MEDIA WATCH ^top

News you may have missed

Anti-immigrant Minutemen groups seek better image
Will now only use Nerf guns in vigilante border patrols

New Study Shows Freedom Really Isn't Free
Actual costs closer to $10 trillion over 10 years

Bipartisan Statement Affirms "Slight Preference" for Poor People Not Dying
"All things being equal," said Reid, flanked by Frist and Santorum, "we'd just as soon they stayed alive."

New Food Stamp Rules Allow for Christian Music Purchases
"Wholesome food for the soul" acceptable; alcohol, tobacco, music with swear words off-limits

Renewed Concern over Sanctity of Marriage to Coincide With Midterms
"Oh, is there an election this year?" says GOP. "We're too busy protecting sacred institutions to keep track"

EPA Headquarters Sold to Condo Developers
White House promises to use proceeds for initiatives to promote "the environment, tax relief, and national security"

Religious Right admits 'war on Christians' a typo
"We still just meant 'war on Christmas,' sorry everyone"

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THAT'S INFO-TAINMENT ^top

Idols' Simon Cowell gives up being a total jerk for Lent

HOLLYWOOD - Millions of American teenagers were stunned on Ash Wednesday when American Idol's most notorious music industry villain announced that he is giving up being a total jerk for the Lenten season.

"It's only temporary," said Cowell, who has mercilessly filled the role of bad cop in judging aspiring singers on Fox's American Idol for the last four and a half seasons. "It's really hard - being nice, that is. I can't wait until Easter to tell Bucky [Covington] what I really - I mean, how I love his twangy country pipes."

Fellow judge Randy Jackson met the news with cautious optimism. "Yo yo yo dogg," said Idol's voice of moderation, Jackson. "Alright, check this out, dogg. I thought Ace [Young] was a little pitchy on Tuesday, and I was waiting for Simon to tell this dogg that it sounded like bad karaoke night, dogg. But then Simon starts giving him a standing ovation and saying it was 'absolutely brilliant,' dogg. I'm like, dogg, what'd you do with Simon, dogg?"

Cowell has built a reputation on Fox's popular reality show as a sometimes over-the-top critic of contestants, picking apart the tiniest flaws in performances and wardrobes in front of national audience. While he reserves praise for only near-perfect performances, most Idol watchers are used to a cacophony of unapologetic comments such as "absolutely dreadful," "truly awful," and "the worst performance I've ever heard."

The oft-upbeat judge Paula Abdul was surprised at the news, and hints that she actually looks forward to the resurrection of Cowell's curmudgeon persona. "I was struggling for a nice, constructive way to tell Katharine [McPhee] that Aerosmith's "Love in an Elevator" just wasn't her song."

Cowell's response to McPhee's performance? "Magnificent. You are the best singer in this competition, or at the very least you're tied for the best with Taylor, Mandisa, Ace, Paris, Elliot, Chris, Kellie, Lisa, and Bucky. All of you are winners in my heart."

Idol's host Ryan Seacrest attempted to say something funny about the new Cowell, but failed.

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