North Texas Daily

Edboard’s guide to the world’s weird week

Edboard’s guide to the world’s weird week

January 16
22:29 2013

Here at the Daily, we pride ourselves on maintaining a decent familiarity with current events. It’s not only a basic requirement for good reporting, it makes you look way smarter at parties. Of course, following the news to this degree takes time, and between taking classes and burying our faces in newsprint, most of us don’t have much in the way of “social lives.”

We understand that most students don’t have the time or motivation to stay completely informed during a busy semester, so relax and let us handle your connection to the outside world with this handy guide to the week’s best and worst weird news items—and whether they deserve a nod or a shake from us.

If only for the sake of holding your attention this semester, we’re hoping the world stays weird.

— The Edboard

Nod: The church of what?

Florida Gov. Rick Scott just can’t catch a break. A recent survey of state residents revealed that 45 percent of voters disapprove of Scott’s performance. He can’t even find friends in his own Republican party, with 53 percent of stating they would prefer another Republican to beat out Scott in the next primary. With ratings like these, you’d think nothing could possibly dig this guy any deeper, but the devil has other ideas.

Last Tuesday, a satanic religious group located in New York announced plans to host a major rally in support of the governor, saying that Florida was a “good place for Satanism” thanks to Scott.

Why would a bunch of Satanists endorse a guy so far south of their jurisdiction? Well, it has something to do with religious freedom. Scott supported and signed Florida Senate Bill 98 into law last summer, which gives students the freedom to deliver public religious statements and other “inspirational messages” during assemblies—a prayer at a graduation ceremony, for example. The bill also prohibits school administration from influencing or promoting these messages, giving students the autonomy to express their personal faith—and the New York Satanic Temple couldn’t be happier.

In their press release announcing the rally, the Temple declared Gov. Scott a fearless supporter of religious diversity, and that Senate Bill 98 was an affirmation of American freedom and the free expression of religion.

We’re fairly sure that Scott didn’t slap a signature on that bill with the express intention of granting “Satanic children the freedom to pray in school,” but religious liberty takes tolerance no matter who you’re praying to, right? Either way, Scott needs all the support he can muster with such rock-bottom ratings, so there’s probably no harm in making a deal with the devil.

Honestly, the strangest part of this whole story is the revelation that Satanists are such staunch supporters of tolerance and freedom of expression. In fact, they seem like pretty nice guys.

Wait, are we seriously about to nod Satanism? Just this once, we’ll have some sympathy and a nod for one of New York’s most-maligned religious minorities, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to their potlucks.

Shake: Hurricanes after Labor Day

We already mentioned that we’re not in the business of assuming our readers are walking news archives. That being said, it’s not an outrageous assumption to think that most of you know about that whole “gigantic hurricane striking New York City and much of the east coast” thing that went down a few months ago.

Just in case you’ve forgotten the finer points, high fashion magazine Vogue hired celebrity portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz to remind America of Hurricane Sandy’s impact and the bravery of the emergency first responders involved in the evacuation and recovery effort.

Leibovitz chose to capture photo spreads of firefighters, nurses, and other emergency aid workers doing their duty as “New York’s Finest” in the face of a devastating natural disaster, all of which sounds oddly tasteful considering it’s a fashion magazine, right? Well, just wait for the other stiletto to drop, and you’ll probably change your mind.

The photos were composed in a way only a stereotypically brainless runway model the likes of Derek Zoolander might consider tasteful, featuring immaculately groomed and expensively dressed supermodels posing alongside no-nonsense firefighters, nurses and National Guardsmen—that is, ordinary people who earn their living and reputation as heroes without ever striking a pose on the catwalk.

The effect is absurd—seriously, go Google it right now—and fairly surreal for reasons we’re unsure the photographer intended.

It’s not clear whether we’re supposed to treat the awkward-looking models and their thousand dollar dresses as “props” against the backdrop of a real, working-class America, or if throwing a bunch of well-dressed people into a portrait to cling to some firefighters was just the easiest way to justify putting these pictures in a fashion magazine.

It’s obviously noble to recognize the selfless heroism that tends to emerge from disasters like Hurricane Sandy, but unless the magazine’s entire staff was staggeringly intoxicated when they signed off on this approach, we’re forced to deliver Vogue a few diamond-encrusted shakes for their hilarious insulation from reality. 

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