Posts Tagged ‘Bandwagon Society’

News Flash: Acting Troupe Banned from Retirement Home After ‘King Lear’ Fracas

May 9, 2016

La Satira News Service

Authorities tonight say they are considering whether they will file charges against several senior citizens who allegedly assaulted participants in a performance of King Lear at the West Punxsutawney Retirement Home.

“Every actor wants their performance to resonate with their audience,” said Margaret de Vere, the artistic director for the Punxsutawney Players, an acting troupe based at the nearby University of Punxsutawney that specializes in bringing theatrical performances to unconventional venues.  “Evidently we stumbled onto an undamped sinusoid.”

According to witnesses, the trouble started during the second act, when a small number of audience members began to heckle the actresses playing the parts of Goneril and Regan, the title character’s daughters.  As the behavior of Lear’s “daughters” deteriorated, so did the behavior of the crowd, which started throwing bits of food, pill bottles, reading glasses, and even a couple of partials.  The unrest continued to spread, and the actors were obliged to exit as the crowd threatened to rush the stage.

“I have no idea what they were thinking, bringing in this sort of subject matter,” said Dr. Elizabeth Woodville, the director of the facility.  “While most of our residents are on quite good terms with their families, we’ll thank our visitors for not stoking any embers of inter-generational angst that might be lying around.”

“Somebody really should have seen this coming,” said Richard Gloucester, the local constable who was called in to deal with the situation.  “This may not be on par with shouting ‘Fire’ in a crowded theater, but it’s up there.”  Constable Gloucester said that the circumstances of the aggressors were being taken into consideration.

The cost of the performance was covered by Shoddi, Smarmy, Rude and Associates, a nearby law firm that specializes in estate management.  A spokesman for the firm refused to comment, apart from insisting that the firm’s only interest in underwriting the event was the desire to provide a service to the residents.

Dr. Woodville indicated that the Players will not be invited back for future performances at the home.  Any future touring performers will be subject to vetting for suitability by the staff before they are allowed to perform at the home.

“I don’t think they’ll have to worry on our account any further,” said Ms. de Vere, the Punxsutawney Players representative.  “I think after this we’ll stick to doing less controversial stuff, like Julius Caesar or Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Even Titus Andronicus might be less traumatizing than this has been,” she added.

The un-invitation from the West Punxsutawney Retirement Home is a second set-back for the Punxsutawney Players, after the cancellation of an engagement with the Bandwagon Society‘s annual charity fundraiser event.  At last year’s event, the Players presented Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens, in which a wealthy man ruins himself through unwise generosity.  The Players were asked not to return after the performance was linked to an 85% drop in pledges and donations.

Copyright 2016

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News Flash: Populist Group Boycotts Cinnamon Candy

January 18, 2014

La Satira News Service

Democracy or Else, a grass-roots organization dedicated to promoting the notion of grass-roots organizations, announced this week that it was urging a boycott on a popular candy on the grounds that it promoted tyranny and dictatorship.

The target of the boycott is the Cinnamon Imperial, the small, hard candy used in decorating cookies and other confections.

“I was shocked–shocked!–to find these mind-poison pills were still for sale,” said Mr. Erik Schreien, the leader of the group.  “The notion that a product so steeped in outmoded, imperialistic perspectives would even be available in a mature democracy is something that should give us pause.  It’s our duty to campaign against these present-day reminders of former evils.”

According to Mr. Schreien, the boycott is already bearing fruit.  “The fact that cinnamon imperials have virtually disappeared from grocery store shelves is a testament to the effectiveness of our boycott,” Mr. Schreien said.

Tom Randall, spokesman for EulaMart grocery stores, disagreed with this interpretation.  “The reason cinnamon imperials are disappearing from store shelves is that nobody’s buying them,” Mr. Randall said.  “Between the end of the Christmas baking season and the fact that people in general are doing less of their own baking, there’s not a lot of reason to stock them.”

“Their quest does seem a little quixotic,” said Kelpie Berger-Picard, president of the Bandwagon Society.  “But clearly it’s something about which they feel strongly, so of course we’ll support them.  And let’s face it:  ‘Cinnamon Imperials’ is a strange name.  For me it always conjures up images of a red-helmeted Darth Vader marching down a hallway followed by a herd of stormtroopers in red armor.”

The move follows last year’s boycott on products sold by Imperial Sugar.  That boycott, according to Democracy or Else’s webpage, will stay in place until the company agrees to change its name to something a little less imperialistic.

Copyright 2014.

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Above:  Cinnamon Imperials.  Innocent candy decor or call to empire?

News Flash: Trial Begins in “Bismuth Awareness” Charity Fraud Case

December 2, 2012

La Satira News Service

Millions of people every day consume a product known to contain a radioactive heavy metal.  Most of them don’t even know they’re doing so.  And it’s all perfectly legal.

Moreover, the decay product of that substance is an even more dangerous material.

Or such was the claim of Fred Lavoisier, the chairman and chief fundraiser of the grass-roots advocacy group “Taking Care of Bismuth,” which purports to lobby for increased public awareness of the use of bismuth, the chief component of the “pink bismuth” family of digestive health products.

Mr. Lavoisier’s organization is the subject of a lawsuit from the Bandwagon Society, which claims the group is giving a bad name to legitimate charity and advocacy groups. and raising money for uncharitable purposes.

The move is an unusual one for the Bandwagon Society, which bills itself as an advocacy group for advocacy groups in general.  “If they want to advocate for something, they ought to advocate for something meaningful,” said Ms. Kelpie Berger-Picard, president of the Bandwagon Society, “like maybe awareness of frivolous advocacy groups.”

Much of the testimony in the trial is likely to center on the actual risk posed by bismuth in the context of bismuth subsalicylate, the active ingredient in the digestive medicine, as well as bismuth per se.

“Bismuth occupies a curious place in the periodic table,” said Dr. Haas Avogadro, professor of chemistry at the University of Punxsutawney, in a preliminary hearing.  “It’s in a neighborhood full of rougher elements like mercury, lead, thallium, polonium, and radon.  It’s in the same family as antimony and arsenic.  And yet it’s pretty much harmless.  It’s like running into the one genuinely nice kid in an otherwise disagreeable group, or a politician with genuine moral scruples.”

“Nobody’s suggesting it as a vitamin supplement, of course,” added Dr. Avogadro, “and you can make nasty chemical compounds out of almost any element; but as heavy metals go, it’s not so bad.”

Even the radioactivity claim is absurdly overstated, Dr. Avogadro said.  “Sure, it decays into thallium–but with a half-life of roughly 19 quintillion years, it’s not going to do much in the average human life span, much less in the few days it’s active in the body.  For the average dose of pink bismuth, we’re talking about maybe 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms of bismuth, of which maybe two or three atoms per day might decay into thallium.  There’s no way you’re going to get a meaningful dose–you’d get very, very sick from the other ingredients long before that.  As for radiation, you could get more of that by going out and planting petunias.”

The National Association of Commercial Petunia Growers immediately decried the comparison.  “How dare Dr. Avogadro make this irresponsible statement,” said Hyacinth Gardner, this year’s association president.  “There’s absolutely no evidence to suggest that petunias are any more radioactive than any other gardening plant.”  Ms. Gardner suggested that any rise in employee health insurance premiums resulting from Dr. Avogadro’s comments would be paid for with the proceeds of a defamation lawsuit against the University of Punxsutawney.

Meanwhile, back at the courthouse, Mr. Lavoisier pled innocent to charity fraud on the grounds that the charity fulfilled the purpose expressed in the fundraising materials.

“Strictly speaking,” said attorney Henry Schlumpf, who is defending Mr. Lavoisier in the case, “the charity only solicited funds to help raise bismuth awareness.  After this trial, I don’t think anyone will dispute that my client has done exactly that.  He never promised to do anything about it.”

When asked how his client had spent the money raised in the campaign, the attorney replied, “I really don’t think it’s any of the court’s bismuth…. business, I mean.”

The bismuth subsalicylate producers’ trade association is also considering filing a lawsuit for defamation against Mr. Lavoisier and his organization.  There is no word as yet whether the increased legal scrutiny is inducing in Mr. Lavoisier any symptoms such as heartburn or indigestion, or whether, if such symptoms did manifest themselves, he would seek to relieve them using bismuth subsalicylate.

Copyright 2012.

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