25 August 2008

It's Nice Not to Have to Actually Think

Why yes, I am being lazy and substituting other people's funny for anything I should be writing myself. What of it?

Janie had a great Onion video on her blog that reminded me of my favotite Onion video feature:

NASCAR Coach Reveals Winning Strategy: 'Drive Fast'

And my favorite onion article was admittedly funnier when he was alive, but whatever.

Christopher Reeve Placed Atop Washington Monument
October 2, 1996 Issue 30•08

WASHINGTON, DC—One of America's most beloved landmarks, the Washington Monument, became all the more stirring and inspiring Monday with the addition of disabled actor Christopher Reeve.

Over 300,000 gathered at the Washington Monument Monday to watch Reeve's official bolting-in ceremony. Said Greensboro, NC, resident Cal Brewer: "I wish I had the courage to be crippled like that."

Reeve, 44, paralyzed below the neck after a tragic equestrian mishap last year, was bolted to the pinnacle of the 555-foot monument and affixed with display spotlights for night viewing. He will remain there permanently, on 24-hour display.

"Christopher has shown himself to be a pillar of strength and courage who brings out the best in us all," said John Beaumont, Director of U.S. Parks and Services. "He was a logical addition to this already impressive monument. Once the idea was presented, nothing could stop us: not logistical problems, not budget constraints, not even the teary objections of Mr. Reeve."

The former Superman actor and his electric wheelchair were hoisted up the side of the towering obelisk by a tractor-powered cable pulley. Reeve was then welded to the pinnacle, facing east toward the Capitol, and bolted in place with iron slugs made from a cannonball fired at the battle of Yorktown.

A bronze plaque at the foot of the monument describes Reeve's history and dimensions. It reads: "We elevate you to the heavens, so that future generations may know of your courage and your almost total paralysis."

A crowd of almost 100,000 people, including many of Reeve's closest friends, gathered to watch the heartstrings-tugging installation. "It was so beautiful," said Jane Seymour, star of TV's Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, who co-starred with Reeve in the hit 1980 film Somewhere in Time. "As the final welders were blasting away, the sparks were flying everywhere, and then they set off those fireworks. I honestly cried."

"We brought the kids here to try and teach them about the courage and fortitude Washington showed at Valley Forge," said Cal Brewer, a father of four from Greensboro, NC. "Now, with Christopher Reeve up there, the whole scene just speaks for itself."

Added Brewer: "I wish I had the courage to be crippled like that."

"You can fly... you belong in the sky...," sang celebrity guest Bette Midler, in a musical prelude to the formal dedication and attachment ceremony. "Once upon a time, my dear friend Chris flew into our movie houses and into our hearts as the Man of Steel, soaring above the highest peaks. Though today he's wearing several hundred pounds of life-support equipment instead of his old red and blue tights, from the top of this monument he shall forever soar."

Midler, who performed "Love Theme From The Movie Superman" to a standing ovation as the final weldings were secured into place, was a last-minute replacement for scheduled vocalist Margot Kidder, whose current whereabouts remain unknown.

Though Reeve was unable to speak at the commemoration due to an intense fear of heights, no one was more moved by the ceremony than the actor himself. "Please let me down," the visibly touched celebrity said to reporters. "I'm cold, and I miss my family."

Upon Reeve's natural death, he will be removed from the monument long enough to be encased in acrylic plastic, then reattached.

Reeve's installation, planners say, will give him a new ability to touch and inspire people 24 hours a day as a public fixture, rain, snow or shine. "Christopher touched us all with his heartfelt speeches at the Oscars and the Democratic Convention, but he just can't be everywhere at once," Beaumont said. "As it is, the Republicans have had to cripple their own actors to gain a comparable amount of emotional impact."

Republican actor Tom Selleck's spine was shattered by the GOP in August, gaining him many standing ovations at Republican fundraisers since.

President Reagan praised his fellow acting veteran in a telegram read at the ceremony: "Uhhh... blanket. Muhhh."

This is not the first time a showbiz notable has been added to a Washington, DC, attraction. Comedian George Burns spent the last few months of his life in the Smithsonian Institute's Museum of Arts and Industries, in a glass case between Fonzie's jacket from Happy Days and the original Kermit the Frog puppet. Bob Hope now occupies the case.

In light of the project's success, The U.S. Department of Parks and Services is considering similar additions to its attractions. Plans are already being drafted to have hearing-impaired actress Marlee Matlin bolted to the Lincoln Memorial.


Ode to SatireWire

For the record, if all y'alls are ever looking for funny stuff to read, I recommend SatireWire with all my heart, lungs, and pancreas. Unlike The Onion, there was only ONE guy, Andrew Marlatt, running and writing the entire brilliant shebang (he finally had a work conference with himself and decided to close up shop in 2002). You probably remember him for his article entitled "The Axis of Just as Evil," which made its way around the internet a few thousand times. My favorite article in all eternity is "AUSTRALIA GETS DRUNK, WAKES UP IN NORTH ATLANTIC: Tired of Being Isolated and Ignored, Continent Isn't Bloody Moving." The last time I read it was years ago and I will still suddenly think of it and start laughing out loud. Also, it never hurts to make fun of Canadians. Repeatedly, even (also one that never fails to crack me up when I think about it; basically what I'm saying is SatireWire had an inordinately huge and probably devastatingly unhealthy effect upon my life).


I can't resist more from the Onion video catalog:

Bush Tours America To Survey Damage Caused By His Disastrous Presidency

The end is the best part here (and amazingly prophetic, I must add):

Mitt Romney Is Candidate Most Voters Want To Get Into Bar Fight With

And one for heidi:

Californians Gather To Celebrate Annual Wildfire Tradition


Janie said...

LOVE IT - "go straight and fast!"

Heidi said...

Awww, I missed out on an annual tradition that truly reminds me of home! Why can't AZ have wildfires every year that burn down the same people's houses?