Wherein I take a swipe at low-hanging fruit

Really, this was extremely lazy. Ah well, had to write something today.

WASHINGTON, D.C. During a Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing on Apple, Inc.’s (AAPL) offshore tax holdings, Senator John McCain (R, Ariz.) was quoted as saying, “I’m out of time, but what I really wanted to ask was why the hell do I have to keep updating apps on my iPhone all the time, and why can’t you fix that?”

Though the moment was played as a lighthearted end to a session grilling Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, anonymous McCain aides have stated that this was not the first time Senator McCain has expressed bafflement at modern technology.

“I know the office – and everyone on the subcommittee – thinks the Senator was joking,” said one aide, “but I’m not so sure.”

The aide talked about various moments in the past when the Senator expressed severe confusion and, at times, anger about technology.

In one instance, said the aide, she was called in to the Senator’s office to find Mr. McCain staring and frowning at his computer. She asked what was wrong and the Senator said, “It’s im-[redacted]-possible to pick up Cronkite on this [redacted] thing. Fix it.”

During the campaign, she continued, referring to the Senator’s 2008 bid for the Presidency, the candidate was “infuriated” and “damned to tarnation” the iPhone 3G. Staffers had insisted that McCain use one to appear as tech-savvy as his opponent, but the campaign often found the Senator “holed up in the bus and trying to use it as a remote control.”

“It’s [redacted],” he was quoted as saying at the time. “You tell me why a [redacted] remote control needs a [redacted] screen. You sit there with your [redacted] and you [redacted] tell me that, you filly.”

Responding to an e-mail regarding Mr. McCain’s outburst in the Senate Subcommittee, the McCain office stated, “Senator McCain is extremely tech-savvy, despite his portrayal in the media as a curmudgeon confused by devices that have been largely unchanged for five years.

“Further,” the office continued, “Mr. McCain would like to challenge any of you to sit down and take him on, one versus one, man vs man, in Pong. Or Frogger. But nothing that moves faster than those, or anything with more complicated graphics than an NES game. Modern media confuses him, and often gives him a headache.”

Though critics of the media coverage of McCain’s question say that giving the statement attention is a waste of time, many members of Congress have taken up technology – utilizing Twitter, Facebook, and, in some cases, Tumblr – to interact with potential voters.

One of the best known cases of Congress’s presence on Twitter was the Anthony Weiner scandal. After tweeting photos showing his penis to female followers, the Weiner case became a guidebook on how not to act on Twitter.

McCain himself is no stranger to social media faux pas. After initially joining Twitter, some of the first tweets on the McCain account were, “Too many [redacted] on this site. #whitepride”

The tweet wass quickly deleted, and the office of the Senator offered a statement that the account had been compromised.

The Senator’s second account, @TheRealMcCain, was fairly innocuous until a tweet reading, “When it comes to money, Romney’s half a Jew – and that’s what we need in government. #Romney2012” sparked an uproar.

The Senator’s spokesman stated that the account was hacked again, blaming “teenagers with too much time on their hands, too busy playing World of MagicCraft to get a job.”

Since then, @SenMcCain has been tweeting steady, nonoffensive tweets, though it has been rumored that an intern has been in charge of the account, rather than Senator McCain himself.

“Don’t understand what the big deal is,” said Senator McCain in a tweet. “I fought for this country. I can complain about this app crap.”

He followed the tweet with: “And remember, Apple. I’m on the subcommittee hearing your case! #government” and http://www.google.com search for why does palin haunt my dreams


Pope Benedict XVI Resigns

“Is it too much to ask for a guy to want to go to the bar one or two nights a week?”

In a move that surprised the world, Pope Benedict XVI has resigned, effective 1800 hours, Vatican time.

Normally a position held until death, Pope Benedict’s resignation has left most in the Vatican shocked, surprised, and put out. Janitor Antionio Claudio, who has cleaned the Pope’s chambers since his election by the Cardinals, was quoted as saying, “It’s not enough that I have to clean his [redacted] all of these years; now he’s just up and leaving?”

Though the Pope’s comments following the announcement make it clear that he attributes his old age and self-perceived inability to perform the duties of his office, there have been whispers of intra-Vatican politics being at the heart of it.

Simontek NewsCorpStudios reporters were dispatched to the Vatican from our Rome offices. They met an ailing Benedict who, tiring of the media attention heaped upon him, greeted the reporters with strings of obscenities.

Afterwards, the Pope apologized and invited the reporters into his chambers for brandy and wine.

There, the head of the Roman Catholic church opened up:

“It all began when [Italian Cardinal Giovanni] Cheli ate it the other night. It really shook me up, let me tell you. This was a guy who was right there with the best of us and what happens? Boom. Whammo. Dead. Made me think.

“I mean, I’m no spring chicken. I don’t have a lot of time left.

“So I walk into the offices this morning and [Manila-born Cardinal] Luis Antonio’s all chipper and shit, and I walked up to him and told him to wipe the shit-eating grin off his face, because someone died this weekend.”

Benedict reportedly slammed down most of a bottle of wine at this point.

“The bastard had the gall to say I had ‘a case of the Mondays,’ so I punched him in his gut, walked into my office, looked at all the crap on my walls, and said, ‘fuck it.’

“I know our Father above may look down upon me for my decision, but Man was not meant to represent His Divinity all day and night. I mean, if the office of the Papacy had better hours, I might stick around, but this? Come on. Is it too much to ask for a guy to want to go to the bar one or two nights a week?”

Cardinal Antonio could not be reached for comment.

The Conclave is expected to meet soon, and rumors about potential replacements for Benedict XVI – who, after 1800 hours, will be called Ratsinger again and is expected to rush to the bars.

Though conventional wisdom states that the Pope’s replacement will be one of the Cardinals, a few Vatican outsiders say that there may be a surprise in store.

“All I’m saying,” said one anonymous source, “is that Catholics the world over had better brush up on the Church’s medieval doctrines.”

When pressed for comment, the source only offered, “Formosus.”

Pope Formosus is best remembered for being put on trial after his death and tossed into a river. Later, his remains were recovered by the Church after many years, and interred.

Pope Benedict shrugged when questioned about the possibility of a skeleton taking over as Pope. “The Church has done some stupid shit in its time. This Formosus business would, at least, be smarter than not trying to intervene during the Holocaust.”

It is not yet clear who will manage the Pope’s Twitter account after his resignation takes effect.

The 2012 Christmas Letter

From: Aaron Simon
Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 4:00 PM
Subject: Christmas Letter 2012

Dear Coworkers,

It’s that time of the year. We look back upon the artificial construct known as the calendar and consider all that we have lost, accomplished, and put up with over the past year. You may be struck by this e-mail, as this is one of the few I have sent this year. There are many reasons for that, but chief among them was that the detestable Ted Hayward (hello, Ted), upon hiring a new IT guy, had that IT guy block Microsoft Word on my computer. Well, I bypassed the block – you prick – so now you’re all getting an e-mail.

I’ve read your Christmas letters. All of them. How you all have so much to write about, especially since “fluff” would be an overgenerous description of the contents of the missives, is beyond me. I have spoken to most of you over the course of this year, and I can safely say that there is nothing redeeming about 90% of you. Despite my best efforts, though, none of you have yet broken. This may be because of your antiquated faith, or some reserve of willpower that I did not think you possessed, but rest assured, in 2013, you will be reduced to a mindless husk.

But Christmas is not a time for threats, it is a time for joy! Sadly, I do not have much in the way of joy. Our agency is fraught with infighting and strife. And, though our Great Director has his own methods of salvaging the remnants of good cheer that may still be found in dark corners of utility closets, know that, were I in his position, it would go differently. Every time the lot of you complain about some miniscule thing, you would be moved from offices to cubicles. The windows would be shuttered, and the light of day would never again be seen in this building.

Over the past year, I have had much time to reflect upon my station in life. I am still alive and – despite my best efforts to the contrary – my liver still functions. I briefly considered krokodil as a method of making the days go by in a more interesting way, but decided that my aim with a needle was not precise enough to indulge. I would most likely miss a vein and wind up with half of my flesh disintegrated. And, while I have plenty of sick leave saved up, I am not certain it would be enough to allow everything to regrow.

But it is not all negative! I read one good novel. I would tell you what it is, but I sincerely doubt that you would bother to pick up even the audiobook. Very well. It was Camus. L’Etranger. It spoke to my soul. And no. While I have read more contemporary novels, not one of them was worth the paper on which they were printed. Acres of forest were destroyed for this garbage, hastening not only the demise of our culture, but our planet.

And, just last month, as I sat in our department meeting, looking up at the ceiling and wishing upon all that I once held dear that the roof of the building would collapse, I came to a rather freeing revelation: Nihilism, in all of its dead-end philosophy and soul-crushing miasmic power, is the only true ethos. Consider even the greatest of our scientists and thinkers. In three generations’ time, all of their hard work will be obsolete and their names will be erased from everything but their tombstones. So, then, why do we insist upon this repetitive life we call reality?

I realized, then, that there is no reason to do so. Thus, I pledged to break free from the chains of “optimism,” that con. Further, because I believe in all of you, I will do the same for you, whether or not you wish it to happen. The light you believe to be life shall be extinguished and you shall see that the dark oblivion of the future is the only Truth.

Merry Christmas,


P.S. I note that many of you are bringing in baked goods. As is custom, I shall bring in a jar of store-bought, cold, beet borscht.