Weirdness  - 19Dec97
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Tue, 27 Jan 98 20:13:40 -0800
Subject: Weirdness  - 19Dec97
Excerpted-from: WEIRDNUZ.515 (News of the Weird, December 19, 1997)
by Chuck Shepherd
* Allegheny High School in Clifton Forge, Va. (which is 17 percent black),
suspended two boys and a girl (all white) who wore Ku Klux Klan outfits to
school as their Halloween-day costumes this year. However, in Saybrook,
Ill., the Lions Club awarded its prize for best schoolkid Halloween costume
to Virginia Payne, 14, for her KKK costume, which contained the slogans
"White Power" and "Kill Them All." (The Lions later apologized, and
Virginia said her costume was an anti-racism statement, in that she had a
teardrop painted on her cheek.)
* Tax Protests: Voters of Castlewood, Va., fed up with a local tax
increase, voted 749-622 in November to disband the town and return $88,000
in taxes to residents. And in October in Phoenix, Ariz., Larry Naman was
bound over for a psychiatric hearing after he shot and wounded County
Supervisor Mary Wilcox, allegedly because she supported a tax to build a
[Hear that, Seattle City Council? -psl]
* From an interview by a Russian weekly magazine in September with the
chairman of Chechnya's Islamic Supreme Court, as reported in The Economist:
Interviewer: "[Chechnya's president] has said that touching a woman is,
for Chechens, the worst crime of all. Even when doing traditional dancing,
the Chechen male must not touch his female partner. But under sharia
[Muslim] law, [as punishment] you beat young girls and cut their hair off."
Supreme Court chairman: "We don't beat them with our bare hands. We use
[And a good thing, too. Otherwise you'd have to punish them for that, ...
and where would it end? -psl]
* According to a survey published in an Italian psychology journal in July,
70 percent of people in that country admitted telling between five and 10
lies a day. The most common lie was "Don't worry, it's all been taken care
of," but the traditional "I'll always love you" and "How nice to see you"
ran close behind.
* In a feature article in June, Bangkok's largest English-language
newspaper, The Nation, lamented how far Thailand is behind the West in
performance art, owing to Thais' cultural inhibitions. Nonetheless, given
brief mentions in the article were a woman named Mink who coats the floor
with toothpaste and wallows in it, to signify, she said, that we all have
to wriggle out of difficult situations in order to survive, and the father
of Thai performance art, Inson Wongsam, who in the 1960s sculpted an
elephant out of a block of ice by precision urination.
* According to Francine Patterson, president of the Gorilla Foundation,
quoted in a November New York Times story, ape- painted art of the 1950s
mostly resembled the Abstract Expressionist genre (e.g., bold splotches),
but 1990s ape art, exemplified by the works of Woodside, Calif.,'s Koko and
Michael (also largely bold splotches) "represent things in the real world,"
such as birds or balls. Patterson says she knows this because the gorillas
tell her in the modified sign language that they know. Said noted
chimpanzee-art expert Roger Fouts, "It is part of ape nature to paint."
(Koko's and Michael's work can be viewed at www.gorilla.org)
* In Singapore in October, Tan Ah-bah, 49, was sentenced to three months in
jail for assaulting a 37-year-old man at a popular lover's lane. The men
are both admitted peeping toms and had fought over control of the choicest
spot to watch a certain couple making out in a car.
Copyright 1997 by Universal Press Syndicate.
© 1998 Peter Langston