joe_sestak_2009WASHINGTON – Former Pennsylvania Congressman and Presidential hopeful Joe Sestak surged in national Democratic Primary polls to 21st place following the departure of Governors Jay Inslee and John Hickenlooper and Representative Seth Moulton from the race.

Since his late entry into the Presidential contest in June, Sestak has hovered around 0% in the polls, 24th place among all candidates. However, after three bow outs from the Democratic primaries in the last 48 hours, Sestak’s stock has skyrocketed, propelling him three positions upwards in a number of national polls.

“We think he’s got a really good chance,” said Maribel Swiheart, Sestak’s Campaign Chairwoman and aunt. “I’m so proud of my little Jo Jo.”

Sestak’s base of support has swelled with handfuls of Inslee, Hickenlooper, and Moulton supporters flocking to join his campaign.

Hal Freeman, an Iowa voter who previously planned on voting for Gov. Inslee, explained his decision to throw his support behind former Rep. Sestak: “I’m bummed that Inslee dropped out of the race. He put confronting the climate crisis at the fore of his platform, and climate change is absolutely the most pressing issue we face. So when I went looking for a new candidate, I still wanted someone who understood that we need to immensely reduce humanity’s environmental impact. And no one in the field has had less impact than Joe Sestak.”

Sestak, a former three-star Navy admiral, won over ex-Moulton voters by sharing Rep. Moulton’s appeal as a white guy who served in the military.

Joe Sestak also managed to court both of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s supporters. Sestak is performing strongly in the key demos of “voter supporting candidate with no chance of winning” and “voter who likes monosyllabic names that start with the letter J”.

For Jim Jeff, former John Hickenlooper Fan Club “Jeneral”, judging which campaign to jump to was no joke. “After John (Hickenlooper) left the race, it came down to Joe (Biden), John (Delaney), and Joe (Sestak). I couldn’t vote for John (Delaney) because I had already been burned once by a John (Hickenlooper). Joe (Biden) and Joe (Sestak) are level when it comes to first names. But as a proponent for access to reproductive healthcare and family planning, I don’t approve of Joe’s (Biden’s) record in support of the Hyde Amendment preventing federal funds from being used to perform abortions. Plus he’s kind of creepy around women. So that just left Joe (Sestak).”

Sestak’s campaign relishes the bump to his polling position as he aims to meet the elevated qualification threshold for the third Democratic primary debate. Candidates must be at at least 2% in the polls and receive donations from 130,000 unique donors in order to be included on the debate stage in September.

At press time, Rep. Sestak was too busy making a donation to his own campaign to be reached for comment.

She’s radiating.
She’s the sun.
She’s Ms. Behaving,
Acting in some kinda way that I’ve been craving.

Pulled into her orbit,
A poor kid
With a soul sordid.
Drawn. Swerved
To the verve
That makes me feel a little less morbid.

Her attention is lavish.
Gotta have it.
Question is: Am I able to afford it?
Discern it, learn it.
Wanna fly but have to earn it.
Distance:
In-security and the plane’s already boarded.

She’s facing away, but I’m nevertheless courted.
It’s a divine profile that she sported.
A perpendicular angel.
Ancient Egyptian hope, new fangled.
My resident despair has been thwarted.

Theia, titan of light,
When you tighten the light,
My being brightens up when you turn towards it.

It’s a dream.
I’m finally seen.
Pinch me. Ow!
‘Cause goodness, the goodness is mean.

Buckled knees.
Locked irides.
Aisle to pupil isle in your ocular sea.
Depths of color.
Plum leagues under.
Marooned with you on this ephemeral beach.
Aloha “Hi” and “Bye.” It could end with a blink.
Paradise is the end of Hawaii
Where and when our eyes finally meet.

My zeal fleet is fitted with the real heat.
A sea salt and sand stare, Girl, you step up. No retreat.
A sole grit. Armada sails, fires. You sold quit.
My gaze is blazing and you aren’t afraid to hold it.

Entranced, spell cast. Sorceress with the old ‘gic.
Emphasis on every word.
Syllables bolded.
Mesmerized by incant. Can relate.
When I listen to you narrate, it’s exactly how I told it.

Your soothe song makes me feel like I belong.
Makes me feel like I’ve made it. Elated. It’s show biz.
But now you’re flashing on me,
And I’m fashioning a panic, mic-in-hand, center stage, and I’m gold lit.

My thoughts are clumsily stumbling, tumbling.
Vocabulary empties. I’m crumbling.
Itinerary is jumbling.
You’re a whole trip.
Fumbling for a grasp on the gab.
Buy the green light with the gas.
No purchase. Spinning out fast.
Alas,
My mind’s an ankle, and you rolled it.

Cerebrum racked for the exact attraction interaction.
Perfect line for pleasing.
Want you beaming.
Reply subject to screening.
I focus-tested and polled it.

Fiending for your satisfaction.
Time stops, waiting for the reaction.
Almost crying “Uncle!” White knuckles as the second hand struggles.
Queen on the river saves me when I was just about to fold it.

I’m unshackled by a cackle fit that fits.
Salvation is born.
New star for the new morn.
And the conception is immaculate.

Your lovely face, strong, cracked smile cracks my carapace.
Sloughs off any pretense;
Erases, wakens antecedents;
Tames the paper tiger defense that’s been fiercely making me tense.
A wholehearted accedence which dissolves all the sealants.
You seize me by the skeleton and eviscerate my free sense.

I fretted and sweated who to be around you.
Notion shredded. You let me know I didn’t have to.
I believed that you deserved more than me.
The world for she.
Another gear. Another tier. Another octave.
You made me realize me was the most that I could give.

Your Adonis is the truth, what’s honest, the rawness.
You breach the regulation. I abet, an immodest accomplice.
Fondness for your liberation invitation. Un-abbreviating.
The sin of being genuine.
You’ve got me misbehaving,
Acting in exactly the way that I have been craving.

rudolph 2
’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring…because every living thing was dead, their beating hearts stilled by the cataclysmic environmental violences of man-made climate change. The UN’s latest climate report cautioned that we have a mere 12 years left to hold global temperature rise to 1.5C, the point beyond which even a half degree Celsius of warming would induce calamitous ecological disruptions: ocean acidification; coastal flooding; more frequent and more severe environmental disasters; habitat degradation; food supply shortage; mass displacement and mass migration; mass extinction; no more Christmas. With so much riding on the line – with the survival of one of our most mirthful federal holidays at stake, changes must be made to mitigate our impact on the planet. As Andy Williams annually croons through the speakers of our CO2-hissing apocalypse wagons, Christmas is “the most wonderful time of the year.” Christmas is the beacon of light at the end of the calendar tunnel, ushering us past failed resolutions, listless summer doldrums, and the incessant hardships of quotidian life ever-tumescing upon our weary consciences to a sanguine sanctuary of songs whose lyrics we already know and whose singers are so bygone, their unethical personal bugaboos need not be reconciled with the modern moral litmus. Christmas is the promise that keeps us going, the hope which stokes our hearths. We are nothing without Christmas, and in order to preserve, not only mankind, but the most monumental among our cultural traditions, I present to you a “nice list” of suggestions for how to celebrate Christmas in a more sustainable way:

  1. Ditch the Milk and Cookies (and any other Christmas dairy products): Cows emit large amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas which traps heat 30% more efficiently than carbon dioxide. Does that mean Santa should go unrewarded for all of his hard work delivering presents on Christmas Eve? Of course not! You can maintain Santa’s portly physique with non-methane-intensive alternatives like water and crackers. Nothing says “I appreciate all that Santa does AND a clean atmosphere!” quite like a tall glass of tap and a sleeve of saltines.
  2. Rudolph the CFL-Nosed Reindeer: Christmas lights are essential Christmas decorations, but they can also be a prime waster of electricity. A 2008 DOE study found that Christmas light usage consumed more power on an annual basis than entire developing nations. With over 60% of the US power grid still reliant on unclean fossil fuels, this kind of energy consumption is irresponsible. Consider replacing old incandescent light bulbs with more efficient LEDs and CFLs which use 75-80% less energy. The most prominent of Christmas lights – Rudolph’s legendary shining red nose – hasn’t been replaced since his birth in 1939. A new bulb for Rudy’s beak could reduce wattage – and harmful emissions – while sacrificing none of the brilliant fog-cutting lumens.
  3. Merry Prism-as: Or you can replace Christmas lights altogether. With prisms! Christmas lights burn through the night, when most of us are inside, sleeping, not even awake enough to appreciate them. Why not showcase multi-chromatic visual effects during the day when all of us are actually out and about? Instead of trimming your home with lights, dangle prisms from the eaves this holiday season. You still get those classic spectral hues but powered by the natural light of the sun instead of dirty fossil fuels. There’s no greener way to tell the neighborhood that you’re in the holiday spirit than triangular chunks of glass cascading off the gutters. Have a Pink Floyd Christmas and harness the bright side of the sun!
  4. Christmas Classic Reenactment: Another Yuletide squanderer of electricity is the television. We spend hours in front of the TV each December rewatching all of our favorite Christmas classics, and all the while, more and more fossil fuels are burned to generate that electricity. Rather than wielding unclean energy, harbor human power and stage reenactments of your favorite Christmas movies. Heap on the clay, don your best Burl Ives drawl, and act out your preferred Rankin/Bass Christmas special for the local community. Or paint yourself black and white, smack yourself in the lip, and dig around in your pants for Zuzu’s petals in front of the neighborhood kids. You’ll get to intimately know your favorite Christmas characters better than ever and escape to a fictional reality free from impending climatic doom.
  5. A Wrap on Wrap: Gift-wrapping paper is a byproduct of felled trees which can no longer serve as critical carbon sinks. Trees pull harmful pollutants like CO2 out of the air, and we can use all the help we can get when it comes to reducing greenhouse gases. So say “No” to gift wrap and deforestation. Maintain the element of gift-unveiling surprise by blindfolding everyone in your family. One at a time, bring out a present and undo the blindfold of whomever is the recipient. Once they’ve derived enjoyment from seeing their thoughtful, personal present or cold, impersonal gift card, reapply the blindfold and bring out the next gift. Repeat.
  6. Christmas in the Woods: Deforestation also takes place in the farming of Christmas trees. This year, be nice to mother Earth and celebrate Christmas in the woods! Christmas morning, stumble out in your blindfolds with your unwrapped presents in tow to the nearest natural fir grove. Fumble around in the snow with outstretched arms until you feel bark, and voila! There’s your Christmas tree. The outdoors provides ample room to rock around the tree, and what better reminder of the environment we seek to protect than the forest itself. Sure, fake plastic trees are reusable, but they’ll have to be thrown away eventually. Plastic waste doesn’t degrade quickly and leaches toxins into the environment. The only negatives you have to worry about with an outdoor Christmas are frostbite and on rare occasions bear maulings.
  7. Don’t Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly. Sparingly adorn the halls with sprigs of holly.
  8. Frosty Facelift: BP. Scott Pruitt. Frosty the Snowman. The poster boys of climate pollution. Frosty, a smoking, coal-eyed, plastic-schnozzed abomination, thumbs his button nose at the nature from whence his snowy fibers came. He, as a snowman, should be the most concerned about global warming, and yet he dances around with his filthy mug – jolly, happy even to pollute the environment. Frosty needs a facelift. A greener Frosty would have a more renewable energy source like solar panels for eyes; the plastic button nose could be swapped for the carrot nose common on other snowmen; and the pipe can be traded in for a lip full of dip, so Frosty can get his nicotine kick smokeless.
  9. Flip the Scrooge Narrative: Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is the backwards story of a successful resource conservationist led astray by three supernatural beings to become a raving profligate lunatic. Ebenezer Scrooge’s economical instincts should be extolled, not discouraged. After our excesses have produced such an injurious existential threat as climate change, it is imperative that a tale honoring the virtues of austerity have a place in the literary Christmas anthology .
  10. Naughty Nuclear: Don’t punish naughty children with lumps of coal. That’s like trying to reform a murderer by handing them a loaded gun. Your little imps probably got themselves onto the naughty list by forgetting to turn the lights off after they left the room, or by not throwing their plastic bottle in the proper receptacle, or by being responsible for the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989. Instead, remind them to act more sustainably by gifting those bad apples a low-emission energy source like nuclear fuel rods. When your misbehaving child opens up a tube full of fissionable material Christmas morn, they’ll see the errors of their ways and take a good hard look at their environmental impact. Plus, exposure to the searing radiation of uranium-238 will serve as a pretty strong deterrent from them ever doing anything wrong ever again.
  11. Chim-Nay: Air pollution from chimneys should be pretty evident, but Santa still needs a way to enter your home while you sleep. Just leave the front door unlocked Christmas Eve. If you’re worried about being burglarized, take solace that although robbers may ransack your home, they’ll never be responsible for submerging the city of Miami.
  12. Christmas Card Stagnation: There are carbon emissions involved with getting your post to relatives on the other coast, and holiday cards are a waste of paper. Solution: Don’t do anything all year. If you haven’t accomplished anything, gone anywhere, or moved your life forward in any meaningful way, there’s nothing to update your family about. And if you really want to know what they look like one year older, just draw gray hair, wrinkles, and a few extra lbs. on everyone in last year’s card.
  13. Gift Local: The shipping of packages inherent with online shopping is also a huge detriment in terms of carbon emissions. It may be convenient, but those FedEx and UPS trucks spew loads of harmful CO2 as they rush your express-delivery package to the front door. Gift locally. Only give people things that you already have nearby, lying around the house. But what if all the things in your home are gifts from those very same people? Then give them something from your neighbor’s house. I bet cousin Devin doesn’t have any of the DVDs from old Miss Martha’s home video collection. No doubt your mother-in-law would get along swell with the Gonzalezes’ golden retriever. ‘Tis the season for recycling!
  14. Sleighpool: Air and road travel are big contributors to climate change as people trek round the country in fossil fuel-powered vehicles to visit their families. This Christmas, sleighpool with Santa. He’s visiting everyone’s home the night of Christmas Eve anyway. Might as well jump in his big reusable sack and get out once you’ve reached your destination. There may be no in-flight entertainment, but do you know what is entertaining? Having an Earth to live on. Also, with no return flight, you won’t have to worry about traveling sustainably to meet with family next Christmas. You’ll already be where you need to be!
  15. Kiss Kissing under the Mistletoe Goodbye: The wasteful use of plant life notwithstanding, mistletoe smooching is a slippery slope to overpopulation and unbridled resource consumption. As we all know, kissing leads to touching and touching to sex. Sex leads to procreation, and procreation leads to population increase and the exhaustion of Earth’s natural resources. During such a dire time, when the constraining of our collective ecological footprint is so vital, the less humans on the earth to exacerbate climate change the better. Instead, when you meet someone under the mistletoe, tell them something that’s sure to make them as un-aroused as possible. Something like, “People call me ‘Microbead’, because I’m small, abrasive, and a hazard to marine life.” And if your mistletoe companion is still eyeing you with the ravenous eyes of a stranded polar bear, a forceful sterility kick to the reproductive organs should lower the temperature.
  16. Scientific Nativity: The aggressive inaction surrounding climate change can be at least partially attributed to the denial of rigorously-tested scientific consensus. The dismissal of man-made climate change as conspiracy signals a need for the reinforcement of evidentiary rationale over blind faith. Substitute nativity scenes depicting the birth of an immaculately conceived child to a virgin mother with dioramas of Mary and Joseph, or Mary and God, or Mary and some other man fornicating, conceiving a child by the standard biological process, and then giving birth to a regular run-of-the-mill baby incapable of miraculous feats. Depict scenes of dying lepers receiving no salvation as the now-grown mortal Jesus steps atop the Sea of Galilee and quickly sinks upon a reef of bleached coral. People need to believe in real, provable fact-based science like global temperature rise, polar ice recession, and the endangerment of Santa’s North Pole toy factory and elven labor force.

In this new and hopefully regular feature, I will, using a combination of observation, inference, and irresponsibly haphazard conjecture, attempt to surmise the plots of upcoming films based on scene-by-scene deconstructions of their trailers. In this first installment, I take on the 2018 feature film “A Star Is Born”.

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We open on a nationalist rally for some sort of strongman ruler. Zealots fervently wave a diverse assortment of flags, a melange of patriotic salutes to an indecisive despot. What does this despot want his flag to look like? This despot cannot decide.

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This despot is Bradley Cooper. He serenades his throng of rabid supporters with a revolutionary anthem: “Maybe it’s time to let the old ways die.” A changing of the guard has occurred. The previous regime has been ousted at the hands of Cooper’s insurgency.  The film’s title begins to become apparent. A Star Is Born. On the American flag, each star represents a state. This is the beginning of a new state.

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Dear Leader Cooper stumbles around. A big hat sits low on his head, concealing bloodshot eyes. He is drunk. Drunk on what? Drunk on power.

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In this shot, Cooper unscrews a bottle of liquor, an on-the-nose physical representation of his authoritative intoxication.

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Honorable Chairman Cooper points to the heavens. He thinks himself God.

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The symptoms of Cooper’s power-inebriation and subsequent power-hangover continue to manifest. Here Cooper covers his ears to block out loud sounds. He eschews a shirt to air out his sweat-drenched skin. And still delirious, he insists on godhood.

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Fuhrer Cooper’s friend Dave Chappelle tries to tell Cooper how concerned he is about his friend’s turn into a megalomaniacal dictator, but a power-sloshed Cooper is not listening as he has already blacked out.

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Our Supreme Leader saunters up to a meeting of his cabinet, the notorious Circle of 8, to discuss the blackmailing of dissidents and general quashing of opposition.

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Generalissimo Cooper visits the red-hued darkroom at the headquarters of his secret police to get compromising photos of his political opponents developed.

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A woman, Lady Gaga, is on the chopping block, her head literally rolls to the side as she foreshadows her own execution. Cooper contemplates saving Gaga, asking if she “writes songs or anything?” Perhaps she can be of use to him. Gaga, demonstrating her rebellious streak, does not directly answer his question: “I don’t sing my own songs.” Cryptic. Cooper further grills Gaga with hard-hitting questions like “Why?” and “Why don’t you feel comfortable?” The harsh interrogation induces Gaga to have flashbacks to life before she was detained.

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Flashback: Gaga looks into the mirror to make sure the secret police aren’t behind her, about to murder her.

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Flashback: Gaga writes her last will and testament by the light of phone in a cramped recess, hiding from the secret police who will likely murder her.

Gaga finally breaks under the pressure and spills the beans. Gaga confesses to Cooper that she has a good singing voice. She also drops the bombshell that she is an ugly person who no one likes to look at.

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The twist that Lady Gaga is a hideous crone is upstaged by an even bigger twist that Daddy Cooper digs her odious homeliness: “I think you’re beautiful.” Gaga’s surprise is registered by the raise of her revolting eyebrows on her monstrous mug. Gaga knows from watching state TV that Dictator Cooper is indecisive as hell, and the fact that he is so cocksure in his attraction to her physical abomination is astounding. This scene also demonstrates the degree to which Cooper’s absolute authority has deluded him, to falling for such a grotesque goblin as Lady Gaga.

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In this scene, Tyrant Cooper sports a burnt crimson complexion symptomatic of advanced Stage-4 Asian glow. It contrasts with the ghastly wraithlike pallor of his new personal muse/songstress Lady Gaga. Cooper rolls down the window of his car to tell Gaga he just wants to look at her again. She is an object to him, a sort of lovely, unsightly trophy. He is a king, and his subjects are mere objects for his own pleasure and entertainment.

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Lady Gaga twirls like a helicopter, desperately trying to create enough lift to whisk herself out of her hellish subordination.

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Keeping her eyes on the skies, Gaga attempts escape by way of some sort of improvised zipline, but the beastly regent Cooper thwarts her, wresting her out of the air like a Giant Trevally snatching a low-flying seabird.

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As the honeymoon period wears off, Cooper’s approval ratings begin to sour. He holds another rally to reinvigorate his base. He commands Gaga, “Here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to sing that song that I love.” She has no choice in the matter. But Gaga resists. “No, I can’t do that.” She doesn’t want to do it.

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She really doesn’t want to do it.

But Cooper insists, trying to forcefully drag her out on stage with him. He finally lets her go, and she sees that despite Cooper’s corrupted heart, he has a weird soft spot for her.

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As the light adorning her changes from blue-green to red, Gaga makes the choice to become the monster – to give in to what Bradito Cooperlini wants in order to destroy his autocracy from the inside.

A montage ensues of Gaga’s seduction of the authoritarian Cooper intercut with scenes of her rebellion.

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Gaga romances Cooper. The bottle in her hand mirrors the one Cooper held earlier in the trailer. In the process of deceiving Cooper, is she becoming just as drunk on power as he is?

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Gaga writes a coded message on sensitive intelligence she’s gathered while undercover as Cooper’s First Lady.

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Gaga, masked, accompanies Cooper on a Colectivo-style motorcycle raid to beat and terrorize protesters. Complicity.

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Gaga enjoying the ill-gotten but decadent comforts of the monarchy.

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Gaga’s life of luxury contrasts sharply with the barren wasteland into which the rest of the country has devolved under Cooper’s despotic rule.

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Gaga cries. Despite her superficial physical beautification, signified by the flower tucked behind her ear, Gaga weeps for the internal monster she has created.

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A former revolutionary leader and mentor to Cooper, Sam Elliott, tries to warn him that he has gone astray and to be wary of those around him.

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Gaga gives her all to Cooper, using her body to further entrance him.

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Gaga is unable to look herself in the mirror anymore. At the beginning of the film, in spite of her repulsive appearance, Lady Gaga is able to look her reflection dead in the dead eyes. But now, she can’t stand the sight of the true menace she’s become. She smashes glass. She squats and screams at the floor of a public restroom.

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The Coop appears to learn of Gaga’s betrayal. Will she be able to convince him otherwise?

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Yes. Gaga turns Cooper on his former hero. He lashes out at Elliott for suggesting that he has lost his way and that Gaga is to blame.

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Bradley Cooper likes to swim, I guess.

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A deceased Cooper is carried off by body guards following an assassination attempt by Resistance forces using intelligence delivered to them by Gaga.

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Gaga, ushered away by another body guard, is visibly perturbed by Cooper’s death. In her quest to beguile the despot, she has developed real feelings for him.

The Tsar has been deposed. But at what cost? The love of Gaga’s life? Her own conscience and identity? The suffering of her people?

One revolution begets another.

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A final dictatorial salute. Long live Bradley!

broccoli express

HIGH CHAIR, CA – Traveling from the Fork Street terminal for Mouth Station, the Broccoli Express derailed early Wednesday afternoon, leaving twenty-six people dead and dozens more injured.

The eight-floret passenger train careened wildly off the tracks at approximately lunch time, plummeting several feet to the Kitchen Floor underpass.

Twenty-six passengers were killed on impact. Seventy-seven more sustained injuries, ranging from life-threatening to boo-boos, and were escorted to the medicine cabinet for treatment.

Eye witnesses say the Broccoli Express collided with a “soft, cheeky” obstruction shortly before arriving at Mouth Station, then “jumped the tines,” and hurtled towards the tile below.

At the time of the crash, the train was moving at .15 miles per hour, according to transportation authorities. Nook Metro Spokeswoman Deirdre Moreno told reporters that the catastrophic wreck would take “seconds” to clean up. “We are devoting all available resources to help deal with this emergency. Every finger. Every bit of napkin. All hand is on deck.”

The derailment is currently under investigation. Operator error has not been ruled out.

The Broccoli Express’ black box event recorder was recovered by first responders as they searched through the pile-up for survivors. Audio from the recorder documents the train engineer’s final correspondence before the stalk uncoupled from the tines and the train overturned: “Here comes the Broccoli Express! Choo! Choo!”

Constructed nine minutes ago, the Broccoli Express was making its inaugural run. In a press release at the time of its approval, the new steamed-engine locomotive promised more consistent performance and more “regular departures.”

Despite this setback, railway officials were adamant that they would see this high-fiber rail project to ingestion.

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