History Repeats, Again!

History Repeats, Again!
History Repeats, Again!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

EU Austerity Plan Forces Spain to Sell its History


To meet EU demands for austerity, Spanish government officials have confirmed their intention to pay down the nation’s deficit by selling famous museums, formerly priceless artworks, and historical heritage sites.
The emerging plan invokes many breakthrough concepts in modern finance including:

·        Turning the medieval town of Toledo into a Spanish Inquisition theme park for kids.
·        Selling Picasso masterpieces on eBay.
·        Allowing advertising in cathedrals.

In addition, commerce officials in Madrid today revealed a series of binding agreements between Spain and Carrefour, the giant French retailer. The accords give Carrefour exclusive rights to build “tasteful, consumer friendly warehouse super-stores” at key heritage sites around the country.
French demolition teams immediately tunneled into the granite beneath the Alhambra where they intend to open Spain’s first underground discount mall next summer.

Construction permits have also been issued for many other sites around the country, including Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia, the Prado, and a series of convenient “Pilgrim Mini Marts” along the Camino de Santiago trail.

Though it may be too late to stop the sales, lawyers for the opposition Socialist Party are said to be looking for loopholes in the contract to block the French chain from “turning our rich cultural heritage into a cathedral to consumerism.”

“Shopping at Carrefour is an even richer cultural heritage,” company spokeswoman, Bea Fuentes, said in response to critics . “People will appreciate being able to see an old Spanish monument and buy bulk toilet paper and Nutella®.”

The government was careful to exempt all properties belonging to the Spanish Crown from the austerity measures, but scandal briefly touched the Royal Family when it was revealed that Carrefour had approached Letizia, Princess of Asturias, seeking her presence at the ribbon cutting ceremony opening Carrefour’s new Reina Sofia® Superstore in Madrid.

In response, a spokesman for the Royal Family made no comment. 

In a parallel development, Carrefour is now negotiating to obtain commercial rights to the Great Mosque of Cordoba. “At first, we didn’t understand the significance of the Cordoba site,” Fuentes admitted. “I mean, is it a church? Is it a mosque? Who's the target demographic? Going forward, we’ll have to simplify the marketing message.”

The austerity plan hit a speed bump when both the government and Carrefour claimed ownership of the art collection in the Prado. “The site’s a mess,” Fuentes insists. “We need to sell all that old artwork to pay for repairs.”

Austerity may turn out to be expensive if Carrefour sues the government for breach of contract. “We bought the Prado with everything in it,” Fuentes said. “Once we get rid of those dreary paintings, we’ll do a little redecorating and that place will have more charm than Paris Disneyland.”

The Prado is a mess

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Occupy MalMart Black Friday!

Americans pride themselves on planning ahead. That’s why our big stores start celebrating Christmas in October.

Shopping, of course, is one of our inalienable rights, guaranteed by the constitution along with the right to pack more horsepower, firepower, and body mass per capita than any other nation on earth.

The consumer spending that drives our economy traditionally kicks into high gear on a day known as “Black Friday.”

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the symbolic day that store balance sheets turn from red ink to black ink. Black Friday is the day that stores turn profitable so, naturally, they want to stay open as long as possible.

To maximize black ink, stores open early on Black Friday. and each year they open earlier. 8AM gave way to 7AM which eventually gave way to 3AM.

Consumers craving deals and hoping to stretch their dollars in a poor economy queue in the cold for hours before the doors open. Long before Occupy Wall Street, the other 99% camped on sidewalks and peed in parking lots for Black Friday.

Black Friday can be quite competitive. One year, people got trampled as throngs pushed through the doors in a frenzied search for bargains.  Another year, tragically, a store employee was killed by a stampede.

Given the opportunity to get drunk on black ink, it was only a matter of time before the big stores figured out that they could open even earlier by opening the night before. In the past, “the night before” corresponded to Thanksgiving dinner, our most sacred public holiday besides Halloween.

But, as our founding fathers so foundingly declared: Nothing is more sacred than commerce.

Are you looking for an excuse to abandon those dull, stuffed relatives? Need some aerobic shopping after the big meal? Run out of pumpkin pie or just worried that someone else is going to get the last big screen TV deal?

Give thanks, America. The mega-stores are now open right after Thanksgiving dinner.

So when you sit down to your rushed Thanksgiving feast this year, be sure to give thanks to those store employees who are giving up their Thanksgiving and risking their lives to protect our freedom to shop 24/7.

And if you really want to get a jump on the deals, why not have your Thanksgiving feast right at the MalMart McRonalds?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Proposal to Reduce Toxic Academy Awards Emissions

I know better than to compete with Eddie Murphy, but now that he has stepped aside and before Billy Crystal dry cleans his tuxedo, I offer my services to host the 2012 Academy Awards.

I checked my schedule. I can squeeze it in and, frankly, they need my help.

At 84 year’s old, the navel-gazing gala has gotten stale and predictable. Does anyone really want to watch another room full of glitzy people with big shiny teeth pretending to congratulate each other?

It’s time to shake things up.

For starters, we need to move the Oscars out of Hollywood. It’s a great place, but other towns are more deserving.

Imagine what the Oscars could do for Flint, Michigan. The infusion of cash from Oscar related activities could probably solve the Greek debt crisis. Or, what if we held the event in a secret location and made attendees hunt for it?

Better yet, what if we make the event 100% virtual?

Liberal movie stars and toothy glitterati will be thrilled by the first ever Emissions Neutral Academy Awards. No plane flights. No gas-guzzling limos. No klieg lights visible from space.  The parched aquifers of Southern California will be spared from thousands of showering hotel guests and hot tub parties.

What if everyone stays home and we webcast the entire event over the Wii channel? I've already chosen my avatar!

By bit torrenting all films directly to your smart phone, we can revolutionize voting. Instead of a secret cabal of industry insiders, everyone will have a say. Besides, nobody understands who the “Academy” is or why its minions never award trophies to Muppet movies.  

To liven things up, we’ll offer exciting new awards like “Worst Sequel,” “Dullest Foreign Film,” and “Biggest Dud.” We’ll launch an entire category dedicated to films that rely on excessive special effects instead of actual story telling.

All the silly song and dance numbers will be moved to YouTube.  The tedious envelopes and nominations and tearful “thank the academy” speeches will be replaced with live blogs and Twitter hash tags like #insecure-narcissist and #I-don’t-really-own-this-jewelry.

The after-event parties that none of us are ever invited to will be replaced by a more inclusive world-wide discount on pizza delivery.

So, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the ball’s in your court. I’ve cleared my calendar. Have your people call mine.