Fans of satirical news will find nothing to be disappointed with in this hilarious collection of stories and images from The Onion news source. Originally published in 1999, the editors define political issues as only The Onion can. Presenting the best fake news stories from the twentieth century, read headlines like “Death-by-Corset Rates Stabilize at One-in-Six” and “Congress Reduces Work Week to 135 Hours”. Always relevant, always thought-provoking, this book makes a great gift to open again and again.
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This came out of nowhere, eventually taking a place as one of the most fun Wii experiences of the year. It’s not going to win any awards, given the lack of memorable characters and the fact that, well, fishing might not be everyone’s idea of an exciting gaming experience. Still, not even The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, to date the most fun a Wii owner could have with a fishing pole, managed to replicate the thrill of a catch quite like Fishing Master does. The general idea is this: You travel from place to place all over Japan, entering fishing tournaments, honing your skills, and trying to catch the rarest fish out there. The thing is, it’s not just exciting when you catch one of these rare treasures, though the payoff of seeing the beautiful thing for the first time is addictive. Even so, it’s almost as exciting just to catch a tin can, which happens quite frequently because, well, they don’t move around quite so much as the fish. Those trapped inside for the winter might appreciate the zen that a good fishing experience brings as well, so go ahead, let your quest for the rarest fish—and, if you’re into it, the largest boot—begin.
There are actually two Stax Records stories. The first is of the mid-‘60s, when they defined soul music before tragedy and a sudden collapse. The second is of their rise up from those ashes to become a player in the post-Black Power funk era, and of a second, crippling financial controversy. This Samuel L. Jackson-narrated doc, although a little sketchy on some of the details, delivers both stories with vibrant interviews, including label co-founder Jim Stewart and Otis Redding’s wife Zelda. But feel free to skip the history lesson and enjoy the steady stream of rare concert and TV footage starring Redding, Sam and Dave, Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, and many soulful more.
It seems David E. Kelley brought out a magnifying glass on a sunny day and held it close and steady over the iconic American town of his quirky imagination, Rome, Wisconsin until all the nation’s cultural politics, circa 1992, caught fire. Its cast of somewhat nutty characters feel the heat and respond in believably human ways. There are no heroes, here, but there’s always a point. If you’re not laughing at each episode, your brain must be fried.
Our life is not a movie, but maybe it has cinematic elements that piece together splintered images. If there’s love, it’s “a spot against the sky’s colossal gloom”. Like the National, Okkervil River impart to the listener the sense that they are privy to a vital revelation, though the immediate meaning of the words may remain a mystery. If Will Sheff’s characters are more fully-formed than Matt Berninger’s, they are also more cracked, tougher to get through to. On The Stage Names, the band have once again shown themselves to be expert at creating this undeniably sad and powerful indie rock. It’s one of the year’s essential albums.