Sunday, January 30, 2011

Demonstrations heat up

DALLAS (AP) -- The chew-toy protests escalated early Sunday, as furry demonstrators refused to obey an emergency curfew and clashed briefly with Pug Life Ministries enforcer Wendell the Pug. Shortly after midnight, demonstrators set fire to one of Wendell's tennis balls, a provocative act sure to inflame tensions between canines and their once-subservient toys. 

"Burn, ball, burn!" the demonstrators chanted, reveling in the tennis ball's demise and their small victory over Ayatollah Mugsy, the pug whose iron-pawed rule they have railed against. 

International observers said the chew toys' increasingly violent rhetoric and actions could backfire. 

"Once Wendell gets a whiff of that burned rubber, watch out," said Doug Jordan, an expert in geopolitical affairs with, a global intelligence firm. "The chew toys may have won the battle, but I suspect they'll lose the war -- badly. The pugs are probably just napping now."

Still, others pointed out that the chew toys, riding a wave of international uprisings, had gained more traction than at any point since the failed Bullshevik revolution of 2007

"The moment appears ripe for the toys to finally win some measure of autonomy," said Fay Dugan of the Chew Toy Anti-Defamation League, a Washington-based advocacy organization. "Mugsy doesn't really play with them that much anymore, aside from his panda concubine. He's more of a rawhide kind of pug now. He may be willing to make some concessions."

But concessions have never been the ayatollah's style. The fiery pug is known for his unyielding demeanor and his harsh crackdowns against those he deems a threat to his rule. Among his most notable acts have been the 2010 abduction of actor Gene Hackman in a dispute with Lowe's home improvement stores and an ongoing clash with the International Atomic Energy Agency, which says the ayatollah is holding three of its inspectors hostage in his kitchen freezer. 

In an ominous sign, the chew toys reported shortly after 1 a.m. that they could no longer organize their efforts via Twitter or Facebook after the ayatollah ordered that his compound's Wi-Fi password be changed. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chew toys protest Mugsy's rule

DALLAS (AP) -- Emboldened by the recent uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, chew toys in suburban Dallas took to the patio Saturday to protest the rule of Ayatollah Mugsy. 

Dozens of stuffed animals and other creatures, many bearing the tell-tale scars of life under the ayatollah, waved signs and chanted slogans against the autocratic canine ruler. Protesters called on the international community and the U.S. State Department to support them in their bid to overthrow the pug, who they say has ruled with an iron paw for nearly a decade. 

"Ayatollah Mugsy has cotton on his paws," said one stuffed zebra, who declined to give his name for fear of retribution. 

Political analysts said that although the chew toys sought to draw parallels with the uprising in Egypt, their cause might be less likely to generate widespread public support.

"The Egyptian people are oppressed by Hosni Mubarak, who has staged a series of sham elections over the last 30 years to rubber-stamp his dictatorial rule. He has raided his country's economy to become a multi-billionaire while the Egyptian people live on an average wage of $1,800 a year. He has denied the Egyptian people their basic human rights and freedoms," said Fred Gullerson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University. "This pug, on the other hand -- Ayatollah Mugsy -- is just flat-out adorable. Whereas Mubarak is extremely unpopular, Mugsy's policies enjoy widespread support among the canine street. Plus, I think the prevailing sentiment is that chew toys are meant to be chewed upon."

But don't tell that to Bennie the Beaver, who kicked along a sign that read "No more innocent cotton spilled" as he marched against the ayatollah's regime on Saturday. "I can't carry the sign, because that damn pug ate my paws," Bennie said. He then tried in vain to make an obscene gesture toward the ayatollah's compound.

Officials with Ayatollah Mugsy's Pug Life Ministries declined to comment, but some observers said he appeared visibly shaken as he watched the demonstration from the safety of his fortified lair. 

At the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pleaded for restraint. But the ayatollah is known for responding harshly to challenges to his rule. His younger brother Wendell has become the ministry's de facto enforcer and is reputed to have dismembered more than 1,000 chew toys in a single day, all without skipping his customary naptimes. 

"His lust for cotton is the stuff of legend," said SMU's Gullerson. "Or should I say, 'stuffing.'"

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Where the Twain shall delete

The literary world has been abuzz with news that a publisher plans to censor Mark Twain's classic Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn books, replacing the N-word with the non-synonym "slave" to avoid offending readers. Many school districts have shied away from the books because of the language, and NewSouth Books hopes the change will help it sell more copies.

Let's just make that a lollipop in Huck's mouth. 
As any good ayatollah would tell you, censorship is the next best thing to a book-burning, so I am whole-heartedly on board with this endeavor. But I believe the planned changes do not go far enough. So I submit these additional alterations for the publisher's consideration.

  1. Surely any reasonable person would agree that no word, no matter how vile, could be as offensive as the institution of slavery itself. So the decision to call Jim a slave is problematic. It would be best to simply turn his character into a cheerful neighbor. 
  2. No student should be exposed to the evils of Huck's alcoholic father; after all, teenagers are too young to drink. So Pap Finn should instead simply have an affinity for apple juice. God willing, the publisher could even seek a corporate tie-in with Motts to fill its coffers. 
  3. It could be said that Twain's original language reflected the times he lived in and contributed to an authentic portrayal of the era. But today's teens should not be burdened with uncomfortable history. Instead, we should update the story to make it more relatable. Instead of going to Tom's house, Huck could send him a text message. "OMG, did u c wat becky wuz wearin 2nite?!"