Category Archives: CNN Headlines

CNN News Headline of the Day: Obama’s Trip to Africa

S1225Frightened Horse, by Eugene Delacroix

Obama arrived in the Sahara fresh and exuberant. A shaman talking in a manner of clicks and whistles approached him and shook his hand. Obama didn’t hesitate to squeeze his hand. He could see women with baskets on their heads and bare breasts. This pleased him.

“Where’s my white horse, 18 hands tall just like I asked” he inquired after taking in the scenery.

“The stable boy shall bring it shortly, sir” a young Libyan said.

“What! Why isn’t Hilary bringing it? How am I supposed to ride it to the King’s palace like Julius Caesar now? It’s symbolic. Fix this.”

“But sir, she is in Arkansas right now. It’s a 24 hour flight.”

“Oh, right, she is Secretary of State.”

“I must admit that I was wrong. I must be the greater man here.” he thought.

“I was wrong,” he said aloud. “But I still want my horse.”

He felt like he was going to die in the hot sun, but knew that he could survive any amount of dehydration because he was the President now. Finally the great white beast galloped up to them and once again he could feel endorphins in his brain.

Obama reached out to stroke its long nose, admiring the albino-like, mystical quality of its fur and the dark wells. Suddenly it recoiled in fear and shock.

“Control him!” Obama shouted gutturally, putting his hand on his sword.

But the Libyan, try as he might, could not stop the horse from running in circles. It was beginning to attract the attention of lions and this filled him with fear.

The horse sensed this and made an effort to calm down and headed toward Obama as if to apologize. When he was about five paces away, he looked over his left shoulder as if his dead mother had called his name and then fell over.

“I’m sorry sir. It’s neck is broken” the Libyan said in a soft voice.

Obama bent down a picked up a handful of sand, holding it close to his nose, trying to rememebr the smell of the earth to bless the horse he had known for so little time.

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CNN News Headline of the Day: Personal Details of UK Spy Chief on Facebook

marchesa
The Marchesa Casati, by Giovanni Boldini

Marchesa: “Ahh just me and my fine, black dogs today, how fun.”

Dog 1: Hey, I know what we could do! We could update your facebook, maybe add all the new books you have read lately like that new horridly misleading John Grisham novel about spies, or the Mata Hari thriller.”

Marchesa:”Dear me, you are quite the wellspring of education, maldito hijo de puta.”

Dog 1: “When you argue in an Oriental language it is near impossible to understand you. It’s quite becoming.”

Dog 2: “Oh, Mistress Marchesa, I have a better idea. Why don’t we write our own book and make it available for all our, I mean your, friends. Something like “Chameleon Shifters are the New Bildebergs: Tales from the Black Box”

Marchesa: “Well, I must not reveal my employers name too blatantly. I must name it “Tales from the Black Box: A Chameleon in the Big City. Speaking of which, I must go now.”

Dog 1: “Are you joking? You’re hardly discreet in that outfit. You do realize that in America Lincoln has already been shot and buried?”

Marchesa: “What do you know of being a ‘shifter? I have to make an appearance at the Intercontinental this afternoon. What am I supposed to wear–a jumper?”

She began to laugh in a manner strikingly similar to a seal.

Dog 1: No, but something that allows people to think you kiss babies rather than stuff them.

Dog 2: “Just be thinking about that book. I think Chapter One could be about the time that you got lost in a Polish village. While wandering around you stumbled upon a little old lady who thought you were the prettiest thing she had ever seen, not guessing you had just assassinated the entire bevy of church deacons and archbishops. If I remember correctly, within two weeks you had mastered the language, wooed a descendant of the Hapsburgs, and used their funds to return home to us. I remember how lonely and cold those days were without you,” he said furrowing his brow.

Marchesa: “I’m going to be late. Can’t have them thinking that I was busy taping a wire to my chest or making illicit phone calls now can I? Ta ta.”

“Don’t worry I’ll write it all up for you while you’re gone!” Dog 2 shouted as the door slammed behind her.

CNN News Headline of the Day: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Policy Gets a New Look

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Bacchante, by Fredrick Leighton; Emperor Justinian I, Unknown; Napoleon on his Imperial Throne, Ingres

A sunny afternoon in 1815, the Bacchante began swirling around Napoleon, rhythmically shaking her tambourine and whispering to him as if it were a grand Californian seduction, “I’ve been wanting to tell you something. Last night I met a genie and I used my only wish to your benefit. I’ll give you one guess at what it is. But I will tell you this: it’s worth more than that golden crown of laurel leaves you treasure so much.”

“Ahh my little court jesteress, come hither!” Napoleon squeaked to the his young mistress.

“I am not a jesteress, and I’m not joking! See my leopard sheet? Does that not alone prove the gravity of my words? She paused, ”

“Napoleon?”

“Yes?”

“When are we going to create this Fourth Reich you promised me?”

“Just as soon as I find out just who that man in the Byzantine mosaic is.” He stared into its piercing gaze for a short while before continuing. “He should be our symbol. Hmm yes, one of levity, and yet seriousness. He is perfect–just look at his flower broche! Not as good as I look in red, though. Brings out the pallor of my skin.”

“I’m sorry for troubling you. I shall have the court historian find out. Why don’t we go for a picnic in Waterloo. I hear the weather is nice this time of year.”

“No…Does this gift glow in the dark? Please say yes.”

“No. It’s just…”

“Out with it!”

“I have the secret to military glory.”

They put their heads together, conspiring. When they emerged again Napoleon had a thin layer of sweat on his face.

“Let me say this slowly and carefully. You are saying that I must first arrive in Waterloo with your doe as my new aide-de-camp to avoid the soldiers’ suspicion, and that I, like Caesar, have had a great dream in which I dined on bread and fish with my men before the battle as the enemy camp loads their guns. Then, we win a grand victory.”

“Yes, that is what I imply, but you leave out one detail.”

“What might that be?”

“My kiss” and she leaned over and kissed him on the tip of his nose before looking at him in the eyes. “I implore you to do as I say. ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ is the finest of all military strategies known to man. You shall not fail.”

Napoleon promised her that he would.

CNN News Headline of the Day: India’s Farmers Cursed with Severe Drought

sneaky
Portrait of Caterina Cornaro, Wife of King James II of Cyprus, by Titian

Caterina was gazing in the far away mirror during spin class, keeping up with the electrifying classical music while her mind drifted. She began to think of her birthday party that year. She had met a girl from Holland in a club who fell in love with her. “Where the fuck are you from,” she had slurred. But the Dutch girl just purred back that she was from Amsterdam and slipped an ice cube down her shirt. Suddenly, she bent the space-time continuum.

Her sweat was stopped in mid-air. “Whoa, the Indian master in Mexico told me I would have flashbacks from that peyote, but I only had one hit!” She wandered out into the main chamber of the gym to cool off, but noticeably cheered up when she saw the thick chested men lifting weights. She couldn’t help but reach out and stroke the steely muscles and smell the sweat on her fingers before wiping it off on her gym bag, saving it for a happy memory later.

She continued out into the parking lot where she saw her Tuesday/Thursday spinning instructor in the middle of inhaling some thick smoke from a a suspicious device. She got in, sucked it down for him, checking out the outlines of his bulge in spandex while she was at it, and got back out. Little did she know, this man would end up accompanying her to India. She restarted time by concentrating very hard on a happy memory. “Oh yeah, the guy I met last week was insane. He showed his passport to me in the bar and it only said “42” where his name should be. He just said that he and his body had all the answers to the world. Later on he admitted it was just for a prank he was going to play on his friend that worked at the airport.” Just then the scent of sweat from her gym bag wafted up to her nostrils, and the whoosh of traffic and the cawing of birds started again.

She knocked on his window, and he motioned her to come in. Sitting there on the warm felt seats, they sat and listened to the radio DJ who was saying “Peter Pan…dies.” She could feel each individual palpitation of her heart, her every nerve was stimulated. “I have found my purpose in life, and if it happened while I was smoking with a spinning instructor, so be it. I must stop this evil from happening.” She looked at him and thought, “No, this was destiny, he will come with me. I can’t do it without him.” With the most coy smile she could manage she asked him out for coffee. She prayed that the ploy would work, just like she looked out the window and wished for her little brother to die every night after she said her prayers and drew naked ladies in her diary.

That night, once again covered in sweat, she held her hand on his chest, and once again began concentrating on a very happy memory, but this time his whole masculinity was involved and around them everything stood still. His cat had his arms stretched out at the foot of the bed, the Fox News pundit glared at the camera. He looked at her and asked her, “Am I dreaming?”

“No, no, you’re passed out. You’re having the coolest dream you will ever have,” she answered.

He closed his eyes and when he opened them again, they were in a foreign place, all he could hear were wind instruments and murmuring.  Nobody spoke English, he very soon realized. Meanwhile she was cursing to herself “Goddamn, Caterina, this isn’t Neverland, this is bloody India, some battle camp.” She shut her eyes with all her might but could not concentrate well enough with the screams coming from what she assumed to be the infirmary and the smell of mountain lion waste. She was just thinking that she would have to spend years there, learning the language, when she was approached by a man, muscular and seemingly a Greek hoplite. She smiled.

Her spinning instructor pulled her toward him and whispered, “I dated a Greek girl, ok, am dating a Greek girl. Let me handle this.”

“Hallow, barbarian. I am a representative of Alexander the Great. What news do you come bearing?” the tall fellow said.

“Hello, noble gentlemen. Behold, we are from the future! But don’t worry, Alexander wins” he proclaimed with his left hand raised in a salute, not realizing, yet, that it was not a dream, and that actions have consequences. Seeing no response on the man’s face he beat his chest twice with his fist.

“Come with me.”

They were dragged before the King himself. He was not a gorgeous, muscular blond, as he is sometimes shown in the movies, but more like Danny Devito, a gay one dressed in costume for a low-rent Broadway play and covered in blood and horse manure. “I guess money really does work miracles,” she thought to herself.

An interpreter with his head bowed spoke very quickly, making it difficult for the spinning instructor to understand the dialect.

“I’m pretty sure they want us to be the court fortune tellers and snake charmers” he told her, seeing the confused look on her face, then turned to the man and demanded, “What! Why snake charmers?”

“It is custom”

“Please explain.”

But he just looked away and put his thumb to his left eye ball and grimaced, “Please cooperate or I will die, right now.”

Seeing no other course of action he nodded his head. Just then a crazy man ran into the room brandishing a knife screaming in a language he assumed to be Aramaic until his eyes rolled back into his head. Caterina concentrated as hard as she could to get out of there, but there was a tyranny of motion all around her.

“He has cursed you but…I cannot believe this, you are still standing!” the interpreter screamed with his hands on his cheeks.

When she turned around she could see that the once lush landscape was now barren. A tumbleweed blew into the tent.

“Oh, by the shield of Achilles you must have deflected the curse onto the land!”

She laughed at the sight of his face and finally she felt spacetime bending around her again. The Indian reds and golds morphed into a beach and a gaggle of what she presumed to be bridesmaids. She judged that it was around the time of the Renaissance. “Shouldn’t St. Thomas be around here somewhere? Or Martin Luther, or something? ”

“How did a street walker get in here!?” one of them demanded, pushing her out of sight. But a stocky man silenced her by raising his index finger from his glass. “Her skin radiates dew and the fresh morning sun,” he thought. “My, what shapely ankles, so unlike my sister’s,” he noticed.

“I demand an audience with you” he said in Catarina’s general direction.

“Ok”

“What a silken accent the vixen has!”

Without realizing what he was doing he pulled her aside and got down on one knee.

“Please, consider me, creature from another world, my tender alien, as a husband. Let us be as two chess players, thinking of the other’s moves at all times. Let us be as the pages of a book, stuck together until one takes a knife and cuts them apart. Let us..”

Seeing no choice of action while the knights surrounded them Catarina responded “OK”

Immediately he whisked her away to find the artist for the ceremony who was to paint the swarthy bride. He paid him a handsome sum and he began to paint Catarina’s portrait instead. (It now hangs on her bedroom wall as the only memory left of a happy matrimony)

After the consummation of the wedding, she lay watching his ball of a belly move steadily up and down, and thought of the gold coins in her pocket. With a shocking pain, she was able to return to her spinning class again in the year 2009, just as she had left it. She finished the class and went to do some bicep curls. During rep number two, Cooper Anderson began panicking on screen, “The worst case of drought in 500 years has struck India…” She moved closer to the television and thought to herself:

“Man, India’s fucked.” She had forgotten all about Peter Pan.

CNN Headline of the Day: Would You Pay for a Kidney?

kidney maniaPortrait of Henry III, by Hans Holbein the Younger; Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David; Napoleon in his Study by Jacques-Louis David

“Hello, and welcome to the inauguration of The Royal Kidney Company of the Indian Ocean,” a raspy voice boomed through the speakers. I’d like to speak a little bit about the history of my company to help you all understand why it is the great corporate entity that it is today. In June of 1996, exactly 13 years ago today, an acquaintance of mine brought the existence of the preserved kidney of Henry VIII to my attention. It was being held in Japan, still rose red as ever. And no, he didn’t have syphilis,” the voice chuckled. “But maybe the Japanese just don’t consider that an STD these days.”

While catching his breath he began to lean on the sculpted fountain built specially for the occasion, a horse and rider, fashioned after Napoleon, frozen in time as they cross the finish line. The water flows from a hole in the jockey’s left side and cycles back through the pumps forever, just like the rain cycle of life. He cleared his throat and continued,

“I discovered that there was a whole network of above-ground kidney collectors that I never knew existed and through the years I’ve come to acquire not only scientific knowledge about the modernization of mummification, but also the science of aura, the aura of mystery, sometimes blue, sometimes, obviously, green, that surrounds them. Some are healthy, such as Henry’s, or Enrique, for all you Latinos, who, as you can see in this painting, clutches longingly to his kidney. Napoleon’s left kidney was not so healthy, and he was forced to hold it in place for all his days, yet it is a perfect addition to any corporeal collection. Other famous kidneys we have are those of Erasmus, Anne of Cleaves–Henry wanted to preserve their kidneys together forever–Harold Bloom, well, we have one–we’re waiting until he dies to get the other one–Catherine de Medici, Carl Jung, Goethe, Margaret Mead, and, though the authenticity cannot be determined, John Kenneth Galbraith. Believe me, ladies and gentlemen, I pray every night that they are his holy organs. I dread the thought they could be tucked away in a cemetery somewhere.

The most valuable kidney we have for sale, however, is that of Marat, a famous Jacobin during the French Revolution. While bathing on a sunny Tuesday afternoon, smoking a cigar and writing a pamphlet on how to be a dashing leftist leader, or something, his girlfriend entered in his bathroom suite and cut out his kidney. However, death was not her goal. You see, the French had very little understanding of biology. She really wanted to create a fountain of youth, of urine, the body’s only clean excrement, as you see me leaning on here. It would have been a slap in the face to the Bourbons!

I believe she would be pleased to know that her wish is finally being realized. By me! Today! Right now!”

He cut the ribbon to the gateway of paradise, and a throng of thousands began pushing and shoving to go bid on the magnificient collection of the organs of beautiful starlets to cultivated nobility. Indeed, it was a day unlike no other.

CNN Headline of the Day: “Poetry for the Eyes”

trioSt. John the Baptist, by Da Vinci; Amour Victorious by Caravaggio; David with the Head of Goliath, by Caravaggio

Auntie Kitty, now little old lady, straightened her lacy coaster under her warm Pepsi and told her granddaughter:

“There’s a dangerous trio on the loose: the leader of the Trinidad Cartel, an adulterer/aspiring stage actor, and a murderer,  involved in strapping backpacks to himself and crossing borders. They are being called the Red-Hooded Tobago Boy and His Two Little Wolves. You be careful to stay away from such boys! The first one, I’ll tell you, Salome, he is an over-sexed monster. He’s also known to be the largest distributor of LSD this side of the Atlantic Ocean. One day, he gave a hit to the youngest one of the bunch, the second one. He was seen standing naked outside of FAO Schwarz screaming “Ain’t nobody home! What shampoo am I supposed to use? Why are you sweating so much?” Then he looked at Virgin Records and began to laugh hysterically as the neon lights began pumping their fists to the music.  The 3rd one accidentally murdered his accountant in an attempt at friendship. He placed him in the bathtub and began combing his body for lice. Unfortunately, this was done with an electric shaver. Oh the horror of that fateful night! I cannot finish the story!”

“Oh, please do, grandmaman!”

“Well, then they began to accuse each other and poke each other in the chest. Somewhere along the line, one of them came up with the idea of cutting his head off, probably to shrink it and sell it as contraband, perhaps a scam for tourists. They did, but then they noticed…” She hesitated.

“Do you know what a boner is? Have you had sexual relations yet?”

“Only on the very small, almost quantum, scale.”

“Hmm, right, you sly little rodent. Anywho, it later that somebody had bought it and it’s now located in Sierra Leone. It is kept in a sacred vessel made of tiger teeth and giraffe fur to ward off the majestic evil that surrounds it. The locals believe that one day the Man from Trinidad shall return to claim his son (the rumor is that he’s his son). They have made an altar to him, and even make pilgrimages to the Cape Verde islands, where is body is believed to be. If only they knew he was really a scoundrel and a thief!”

“Ok. I shall not have any relations with them, Grandmaman.”

CNN Headline of the Day: Tame Your Flame

olympic

The Lady of Shalott, by John William Waterhouse; Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddin, by Sir Henry Raeburn

Lady Shalott gazes at her reflection in the water as she drifts along: “Rowing for the Summer Olympics is in just 3 weeks! Like noble Cleopatra, I too have the strength of a Greek athlete within me, and I will make it across the Panama Canal. My beloved Robert would be so proud of me. Too proud to bear it, I like to think. He shall probably buy a bed of roses to lie in before he must continue training for the winter Olympics”

Meanwhile, Robert glides: “Ever since I was a young man, to be an Olympic ice skating champion has been my dream. To let my penguin tail flap in the wind would be my pride. We can be a power couple in our own right, like Sonny and Cher…yes, we should name our first son Chaz.”

That night, as Lady Shalott dozed off, Robert sat there watching her sleep. Suddenly, he jumped out of bed and threw cold water on both of them. “Lady, my Olympic flame burns when I watch you sleep. You see, I have found Faust’s secret knowledge and I can hold this back no longer. It’s like a constant rain cloud over me, and I can only find peace when I pirouette.”

“Well, Robert, you should probably find a way to tame this flame or else Zeus might make you commit seppuku for this outrage against manhood. But I will support you anyway because I love you”

Robert got back in the cold bed and curled up next to Lady Shallot, thankful for her goodness.

————-
At the Olympics, as Miss Shalott stood waiting for her event to start as she watches the long jump competition. She saw the last competitor of the event, number 902, and found herself admiring his eminetly frog-like legs. He could carry her over a river, and no heavy traffic could stop them from crossing a road. She watched in earnest as he soared through the air, and landed farther than all the rest. He jumped up, pumping his fist, and declared that all his earnings would go to PETA.

Robert came up behind her and gave her a squeeze and she screamed.

She hurried to the bathroom and splashed her face with water, but she continued to swell with desire. She wiped soap across her cheeks, trying to exorcise the demons that forced their way into her mind. But there was no luck left for her. She was deeply disturbed.