Tag Archives: movies

Holt withdraws Hilary Mantel’s book “The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher” after anonymous hackers threaten “significant grumbling”

24 Dec

LONDON–in a controversial decision, publisher Henry Holt and Co. has withdraw Hilary Mantel’s award-winning short-story collection, “The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher,” after several online threats to “really be quite cross about this” and launch one or more “truly devastating snubs” of people seen reading the book.

“While we all support freedom of speech,” said a Holt spokesman, “the reality of the situation requires us to withdraw this book immediately, to protect our staff and our readers from possible unpleasantness.”

The source of the threats was not known. Investigators said they had virtually no clues to go on, aside from an email chain that included a weather forecast for extended drizzle and a discussion of the English cricket team. “It could have come from anywhere,” an investigator concluded.

Hackers had already broken into the publisher’s server and published hundreds of embarrassing documents. Among the most significant releases were embarrassing emails describing several nominees for the Man Booker prize as “a little dull at times,” and also a spreadsheet showing that some of the company’s roster of poets were paid dozens or even hundreds of pounds per book.


President Obama normalizes relations with Cuba Gooding, Jr.

17 Dec

WASHINGTON—ending a feud that has dragged on for years between the two men, President Obama today announced that he was re-establishing relations with the actor Cuba Gooding, Jr., effective immediately.

“The policy of isolation has failed,” said Obama in a speech here today. “We can do more by engaging with Cuba than by attempting to undermine him.”

Effective immediately, Americans will be able to visit Cuba without a visa, including “all areas of his house—the back yard, the pool—everything,” said a State Department spokesman. Also, he may engage in “normal commercial interactions,” such as buying Girl Scout cookies or renting a movie on iTunes.

The president’s action immediately drew both strong support and stinging criticism from politicians on both sides of the aisle. “This is nothing but a craven surrender,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R—FL), a staunch opponent of the regime. “Cuba is responsible for some of the greatest atrocities of the last hundred years, including ‘Snow Dogs’ and ‘Daddy Day Care,’ and we should reject appeasement in all its forms.”

The president changed his mind, according to aides, over the weekend, when he watched the iconic clip of Gooding, Jr., yelling “Show me the money” in the film ‘Jerry Maguire.’ “That guy is hilarious, and we need to patch this up,” Obama is reported to have said.

No longer a grave threat to the United States, as long as you don’t try to watch ‘Lightning Jack’

Obama nomination of Ashton Kutcher as Secretary of Defense raises eyebrows

5 Dec

WASHINGTON–in a surprise move, President Obama today nominated Ashton Kutcher to replace outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, a decision that caught observers by surprise.

“We all knew this was likely to be a caretaker pick,” said expert David Fosters. “But I’m still scratching my head as to why Obama went with a TV star, instead of someone with relevant foreign policy experience, like Ashton Carter.”

In his announcement of Kutcher, Obama noted that “if Ashton could turn around Two and a Half Men after Charlie Sheen left, I’m confident he can fix up Afghanistan and Iraq.” Obama also noted Kutcher’s outsized Twitter presence as justification for the pick.

Kutcher was unavailable for comment. His publicist said that Kutcher was spending quiet time with Mila Kunis and their new baby and asked the media to respect their privacy, immediately before distributing several dozen glossy photos of the family for publication.
“How hard can it be?” Kutcher was reported to have said after accepting the nomination.

Shirley Temple dies at 85; sadly media fails to fully exploit tragedy

11 Feb

WOODSIDE, California—Shirley Temple, the famous child actress, died at home yesterday at age 85.

“It’s sad when anyone dies,” said Access Hollywood host Billy Bush. “But it’s especially sad when there’s nothing tawdry we can rub in the faces of our viewers, you know?” He sighed. “It’s just so upsetting.”

Upmarket media was equally upset. “There’s really no flimsy metaphor about society as a whole that we can use as an excuse to relate scurrilous gossip here,” said Sia Michel, arts editor of the New York Times. “There isn’t really any scurrilous gossip, period.”

Although Temple had been on a temporary 64-year hiatus from the film industry, she had started a comeback in the last few years, most recently appearing on the Red Skelton Hour in 1963, where she received generally positive reviews. “We had hoped for her to come back on the show soon, but then we found out Red passed away in 1997,” said her longtime agent.

Koch brothers fund anti-ACA advertising campaign; unleash army of orcs

15 Jan

MORDOR—operating from their mountain fortress here, the billionaire Koch brothers today announced a commitment of $20 million to target vulnerable Democrats who have supported health-care reform. They also announced that they were sending their secret orc army to conquer all of Middle Earth, with a particular focus on the swing states.

“We believe that Senators and Representatives who have supported the White House’s disastrous health-care reform should rightly be concerned about their electoral prospects in November,” read a press release. “Also, about seeing their families cut down by kobolds as their villages are burned to the ground.”

The money will be funnelled through an unnamed organization that has been described as “One PAC to Rule them All.” It will continue to advocate for free-market economic policies, a reign of one thousand years of evil overseen by the all-seeing Burning Eye of Baradur, and state-level changes to reduce the influence of public-sector unions.

A spokesman for the Koch brothers declined to comment, but instead grew to many times his size and crushed several reporters with an oversized flaming mace.

Argo wins Best-Picture Oscar, proving Iranian hostage crisis actually a good-news story

25 Feb

HOLLYWOOD, Ca.–Argo, the story of how six Americans escaped from Iran during the 1979 hostage crisis, won the Oscar for Best Picture last night, proving that the United States sure got the better of that one.

“This just goes to show that America always comes out on top,” said director Ben Affleck. When asked about the other sixty-nine hostages, who were held captive for 444 days, Affleck said, “Who?”

Other historical events that turn out not really to be so bad, when looked at in the right light, and ideally scored by John Williams, include the Holocaust (actually a heartwarming tale of personal redemption) and life in a Mumbai slum (which is escaped relatively easily).

Envious filmmakers are hoping for more hostage-taking incidents going forward. “The Algerian gas field was promising,” said Harvey Weinstein, “but more Americans next time, okay?”

Apocalypse nears as Bradley Cooper nominated for an Oscar

11 Jan

LOS ANGELES–senior Christian leaders from around the world issued a joint statement agreeing that the end days are upon us, with Bradley Cooper’s nomination for an Oscar–for acting–widely seen as the fifth of seven signs of the Apocalypse.

“We still haven’t seen the rivers running with blood,” said the Chairman of the Episcopal Council, Rev. William Hunsley. “But Cooper being up for an acting prize–we’ve got to be getting close, you know?”

Cooper received the nomination for his role in Silver Linings Playbook, a critically-acclaimed film in which he plays a man who has just received eight months of inpatient psychiatric care after watching Valentine’s Day, All About Steve, and The Hangover Part II.

2012 was a bumper year for signs of the Apocalypse. Noted Archbishop Joseph Ngolomo of the Nigerian Apostolic Church, “in addition to wars, famines, and earthquakes, we’ve also seen Jim DeMint join a ‘think’ tank.” Ngolomo also noted that one of the signs noted in the Book of Revelations is “persecutions and tortures to the elect,” which most people assume refers to the movie Battleship.

Pope Benedict XVI also released a statement, in which he warned the faithful to beware of false prophets. “I’m looking at you, One Direction,” the statement read.

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