Monday, May 14, 2012

Onion Wannabe: President Obama Announces his Support for Funeral Equality

President Obama Announces his Support for Funeral Equality - Critics Blast "Liberals' War on Death"

WASHINGTON—Hot on the heels of his recent public support for same-sex marriage, President Obama addressed the nation again this morning to declare his backing for same-sex funerals. "In my life, I've been privileged to work with and spend time with many fine people, people worthy of the highest respect. Many of those people are now dead. Some of those people were gay," the President explained in a surprise press conference. "We can no longer pretend that a system that keeps many wonderful dead people from the joys and privileges of funerals is in any way just."

 President Obama addresses the nation at today's press conference.

The news comes as a surprise to many, due to Obama's historically tepid support for funeral equality. Frequently evasive on the topic, Obama had previously implied he would back "civil burials" with many of the same legal protections as funerals, but would leave funerals to the states and churches to decide, a viewpoint shared by several members of his party. However, recent polls indicate that Americans are growing more and more in favor of funerals for all, leading some to question political motivations for this morning's sudden proclamation.

"It's not that I'm not grateful for the affirmation," said Donna Jenkens of Ann Arbor, MI, "but I do wonder about the timing, it being an election year and all. I first realized I was gay in 1958, when I was 14 years old. And I've been dead for 6 years now... where was the support then? Do I really need a ceremony to make my death any more real than a straight person's? It just, it's still a sore subject for me, clearly."

Notable gay rights activist George Takei was more favorable on his highly trafficked Twitter and Facebook accounts. "When we die, Brad and I will be sure to invite Mr. Obama to the funeral. If only we weren't each other's dates already!" mused the celebrated media personality. Speaking in his personal blog, That blog is so Takei, Mr. Takei spoke in more depth: "This has certainly been a long time coming, and there is much struggle ahead of course. But today, President Obama made a brave step for dead LGBT persons everywhere and I have learned in my life that we must celebrate each step, no matter how small or overdue. Mr. President, I thank you."

Not all reactions have been so positive, with many Republicans and pundits decrying the announcement as part of a "liberal war on death." Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh blasted, "It's typical. It really is. The liberals, as usual, want to take every part of our culture and first pervert it, and then destroy it. Death, as any true American knows, is the cornerstone of good Christian civilization. And now the liberals, the gays, they want to take it from us and twist it into something filthy. Can you imagine what these gay funerals will be like? Are funeral homes going to have to start offering sequined urns and rainbow caskets?"

Rachel Maddow of MSNBC fired back, "Rush Limbaugh thinks same-sex funerals are going to somehow cheapen, quote, 'traditional' funerals. That they'll somehow ruin the sanctity of death for everyone. It's funny, Rush, I didn't see you protesting the Weekend at Bernie's movies."

Presidential challenger Mitt Romney is expected to issue a statement of his own this afternoon. Insider sources suggest that Mr. Romney will, in line with his party, come out against same-sex funerals. How either Mr. Romney's or Mr. Obama's public statements on the topic will resonate with the voters remains to be seen.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

An Open Letter to Aaron McGruder: G$Money & Ghost Clown

Dear Aaron McGruder,

I want to talk about an idea with you, an idea for an animated series. I've actually had this idea for years and at first, I had no idea who could make it with me. I can't make it alone, and not just because I don't have money, an animation production company, any scriptwriting experience or professional cartooning training. Part of the problem is that, put bluntly, I'm white. I do not have the cultural knowledge or experience to make this show. Aaron, I need you. As a fan of "The Boondocks", I know you would get what I want to make. Your humor, art, and views are perfect for this idea. The idea is called "G$Money & Ghost Clown."

It started with a throwaway drawing in college I did to entertain friends. A hip hop radio DJ and a clown ghost. But the idea of the characters stuck with me. It quickly evolved into an idea for an animated series, a love letter to the action-adventure/comedy cartoons I grew up with like "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and "The Real Ghostbusters," complete with gimmicky plots and continuity errors. It would be so easy to do it and have it suck, but you and I, Aaron, you and I could make it work.

The premise is simple. G$Money, upon putting on his father's old G necklace realizes he can see ghosts, and one in fact is "living" in his new apartment: Ghost Clown. While they initially don't get along, the two soon become friends. It is not long before another ghost shows up, an ancient Sensei of the Dragon Clan who informs them they are the fated pair and begins instructing them in tandem supernatural combat so they can fulfill their unnamed destiny. Unbeknownst to them, Sensei's old rival from the Tiger Clan has been training G$Money's childhood bully, Big T (who has a T necklace with identical supernatural powers to the G necklace... how mysterious...) and yet another ghost, PoGhost, a springy pogo-stick-like spirit. They frequently clash as rivals, naturally.

Caroline, a grad student of parapsychology and mythology takes an interest in the heroes and the crew is complete. They investigate (usually against G$Money's will) various ghostly apparitions and do battle and whatnot. Supporting characters show up like G$Momma, G$Money's mom and Ghost Dad, Ghost Clown's dad (yes, that Ghost Dad). Eventually the real villain, Cardinal Arqueis shows up, the disgraced head of a secret Vatican office in charge of controlling and suppressing the supernatural. When he steals the G necklace to power a device that removes all supernatural phenomena from the earth, G$Money and Big T have to put their differences aside to track it down using the T necklace together. The machine destroyed, a scramble begins to obtain other artifacts that complete the set with the G and T necklaces (which allow the wearers to see and interact with ghosts): the S sword and H hammer that can strike the supernatural and the O ring, which allows the wearer to control a spirit. (It spells GHOST because why not). Eventually the barrier between our world and the spirit world is broken completely and the heroes must overcome their rivalry yet again to work together and defeat Cardinal Arqueis and his fallen angel spirit.

So, as you can tell, the danger I fall into is that I'm too much of a geek and I love coming up with the nerdy aspects of this way too easily. I need someone like you, Aaron, to keep the humor strong. I need your help writing characters that aren't just stereotypes. It would be a genre shift for you, I know, but if you ever want to splash out and do something new and different, hit me up. This could be a beautiful friendship.

Remus Thirty