It's Saturday night in Nowhere and we're all ready to have a good time, except for 1 Mr. Gregory Salamendez who is about to take the stand in his fight towards the Nowhere Supreme Court come Monday morning. Salamendez states that his fight started only a few years ago, when he began to notice a lack of hatred towards him and his way of still partying, even due to his age. He states that it's discriminatory and you should be able to party at any age.
Greg even states that he now encounters hate speech towards him at work, with co-workers leaving such cruel notes on his desk such as:
"Why don't you start a family?" and "You wanna rock and roll all night and throw up every day? That's responsible."
Mr. Salamendez has not been reachable for a response as of yet, but he's sounded pretty confident in the interviews we've seen of him, stating that he really truly believes that his rights to party are being squashed as he enters middle age and that he should not only not have to be a certain age to party but that he should have the right to party anytime and anywhere. On several different occasions, police have arrested Mr. Salamendez for disrupting the peace and partying at places that are normally not reserved for partying, such as a local gas station, a childs birthday party and even his Mothers Wake. In one report, Mr. Salamendez stated:
"My mother was a big advocating for partying; this is a travesty towards her memory. ROCK & ROLL, MAMA! ROCK & ROLL!"
But he isn't just somewhat careless and irresponsible, no, he ties into an entire group of men trying to recapture their youth by partying. These men want to still be 21 and have no responsibilities at all, the majority still live at home with mom and only 3 are in relationships, one of which is married. Or, Facebook married, but he claims it's the same. These are grown men who wear baseball caps backwards, say "bro" and use the term "man-cave". This has become an epidemic, to the point where parents are growing concerned that partying isn't just dangerous for the partier, but also to their children. One concerned mother had this to say:
"It's just not fair, we work so hard to keep our children safe and these people just want to party on their playgrounds and spout obscene language."
And another mother said that she had a horrifying experience of her own when she realized her own son was being influenced by his middle aged fathers partying habits:
"Chris just stood up in the classroom, and shouted at the top of his lungs, 'It's paaaarty tiiiime!' when really it was just math class. Nobody wants to do math, I get that, but that shouldn't make you want to party."
In fact, partying has become such a concern that there is now a group dedicated to teaching parents the warning signs of partying, such as "Is your child missing homework? He may be partying" and "Sometimes it doesn't just stop at birthday parties. Sometimes it stops at death." They even warn parents that if they find deflated balloons or mix tapes, that their child might be partying and to get help right away.
Reformed partiers have even stated that there is a right time and a wrong to party, and that it's the people who're choosing to party at the wrong time that are making other party goers look bad. Listen, I won't lie to you, I partied back in my day, but I realized that at a certain point, chinese take out and bad ghost hunting shows as a quiet evening in were way better and socially acceptable than screaming yourself stupid all night and eventually waking up next to somebody you don't even recognize.
Some people just never mature. Some people just party.
Daryl Hoffner, 27
Professional Salsa Dancer, Writer & Annoyed Citizen
We don't discuss it often, but drugs are still a thing even here in Nowhere. Recently, a 20 something year old model who transplanted here from LA has started speaking publicly about being addicted to a dangerous new street drug, one known for altering womens looks and building them into societies idea of perfection. It's called...Photoshop.
Sally Dowel was only 14 when she took her first hit of the drug.
"I remember, I was in school...some of the less popular girls were in the bathroom and were talking about why they couldn't be prettier so they'd be asked to the winter formal. Then one of them, her dad was a photographer and he'd just gotten his hands on this new thing called Photoshop. We swore we'd only use it once...some of us were able to control it but...one hit was enough. Before I knew it, I was clicking and deleting and resizing everything about me and I haven't stopped since."
It's certainly worked in her favor. She's been on every magazine cover in the business, she's a very successful runway model, and she's even got a new book coming out; a tell all about the lectures she's been giving to young girls about this dangerous life altering drug, and how they can make sure they don't too fall under its allure.
This isn't the first time that Photoshop has been used in the business however. One model several years ago died after excessive use of the program. Police found her airbrushed to death in her apartment. Nowhere Police Chief Richard Myrick says, "She might have been dead, but she looked damn good."
So, afraid YOUR teenage daughter is using this drug? Want to know what you can do about it? Sally says the best education is to talk to your kids and tell them why fixing their red eye is not a good idea. How cropping is a gateway drug to other photo altering. And the worst part? Photoshop isn't even the only drug on the street. It has a number of competitors.
Sally says, "Some of the poorer girls who can't afford it go for the alternatives, which are just as dangerous if not more so; Gimp, Pixelmater, you name it. There's hundreds of these things. Recently we've been seeing an uptick in Instagram, which, while not the same kind of drug, is definitely a gateway to hardcore photo editing."
So talk to your kids, and let them know they're beautiful as they are. That filters, dog ears and all the other tools are not worth turning themselves inside out for. The more young girls see other, natural looking women online, the more they'll recognize that it's okay to look like a normal human being. And, if you find out that your daughter, or son, is being influenced and using Photoshop or any of the other alternatives, you should get them into rehab immediately.
It's grown into such a problem, that grown women who're getting married, are demanding they be retouched in their wedding photos. Something that should be pure and beautiful is now tainted by this horrible drug addiction. Let's save our kids, and kill the pictures.
Soliel Bovier, 24,
Writer of the Hot Mess fashion column for Nowhere Online News and owner of at least 4 and a half cats
The last thing Miss Gabby Burko thought she'd encounter last week was a new memo from the company she worked at that was now requiring female employees to sexually harass the male employees, but let's take a step back and start at the beginning.
Gabby Burko isn't the first woman to experience sexual harassment in the workplace. Most, if not all, woman will or do or have experienced sexual harassment at one time or another, either at work or just walking down the street. One woman, Kathy Turner, in prison for attempted murder, even told us, "I was right in the middle of stabbing him in the neck with a knitting needle and he still tried to hit on me. Like, even while being murdered he couldn't keep it in his pants. Ridiculous."
But now, the tables have turned. Female CEOS have decided that they'll make sure men know what it feels like to be harassed so that maybe they themselves won't participate in such behavior. The memo Miss Burko was given gives such ideas as, "Compliment his appearance in an uncomfortable way" or "Tell him how you'd like to do things to him, whether he wants them or not". While some women think this is a ridiculous thing to do, stating that men are already sexually harassed and that this sort of reverse treatment merely hurts the feminist movement, the CEOS are still going ahead with their plan. We spoke with Janet Tillman, the head of a local feminist movement, to get her take on the situation:
"I think it's ridiculous. You know, you constantly read articles that're like 'I sent e-mails as a woman for a week and it made me realize how bad they have it!' and for one, it's like okay, why didn't you just, ya know, believe us? But secondly, the entire concept of feminism is that both men and women are hurt by these things. Men are harassed just as often, men are raped, men are victims of spousal abuse. We don't want those things to happen to either group, not just women, and that's where most people lose it I think. They think that feminism is only for women. It's not. Doing this sort of puts us back into toxic traditional gender roles instead of moving us forward."
And she's right. I spent the day watching women harass men at Miss Burkos place of work, and the behavior I saw only made things worse. Not only did some men not react well to it, from either going home early to getting actually violent towards their new 'oppressors', but the women in the end felt just as bad for having carried through with said memo.
"In the end," Tillman told me, "It just sort of makes everyone look like a piece of shit."
So what's the solution? Some suggest even more sensitivity training, while others claim people are far too sensitive to begin with and that sensitivity is the cause of this whole problem to begin with. Some go so far as to suggest separation of the sexes while they're at work, but that doesn't really work. We need to learn to work together, not be so scared that we stay apart, Society isn't going to continue if we don't stop hurting one another.
Then again, on my way out, one man stated, "If women just took things as compliments instead of getting offended, we wouldn't even have this problem!"
I punched him directly in the face. Hey. If he didn't want that sort of attention, he shouldn't have been asking for it.
May Roach, 34, Journalist
Writer of the column, "Please Kill Me Already" over at "Healthy Living Magazine"
I had the lucky opportunity to check out the hottest new restaurant in Nowhere recently. It opened only 3 months ago, but since then it's quickly become the talk of the food industry. Even getting a reservation is almost impossible, but thankfully, because I work in the industry and they wanted the word of mouth, I was able to slink my way in. So, what is this magical place? This wonderful world of culinary curiosities?
I'm talking, of course, about The Dump.
It's exactly what its name implies. It's literally a dumpster that just so happens to be behind the very successful restaurant "Le Food", which serves up cuisine from every culture (hence the appropriate name). During my meal, I met with The Dumps proprietor Natasha Fish, and was able to get the scoop on how The Dump came to be. Natasha informed me that:
"It was just sort of a joke at first. I mean, a friend of mine and I were talking about all the food that goes to waste at the end of the day for a restaurant, and how they just toss it all out back instead of even donating it to a homeless shelter. I mean there's some who do, but, yeah. So, I had this idea that once it's garbage, it's not legally anybodies property which puts it up for grabs, so I decided to buy the dumpster behind the restaurant, and then buy the entire back alley as well, and opened The Dump. It started as a joke, but now it's a reality, and what doesn't get finished does get sent to a homeless shelter, so I know I'm doing better than most restaurants."
Fish informed me that she'd never expected herself to wind up in the food industry. She says that while she enjoyed cooking with her grandmother when she was little, and she cooks at home but she never even considered the idea of running a restaurant, much less a wildly successful one.
"I think, to a lot of people who come to The Dump, it's still a joke to them. Either they've never been and think it's such a funny concept that they then decide to go, or they've been because they thought it was a funny concept and now realize how ridiculous it is that something like my establishment can outcook and outperform big name restaurants. I'm the underdog, still, despite being on top. It's a weird situation."
And she explained to me how their food situation works.
"Well, we take what they throw out at night, and then just reuse it. Sometimes we have to recook something, or arrange it differently, but it's still fine food and it's still edible and it's still delicious. We're no different than any other restaurant, except that we operate out of a dumpster and our food is secondhand. We do operate a little differently, I admit, because we don't have really any static menu. Basically, we collect the food and then whatever we have for the next day, I make dishes out of that, and that's what people can order."
For my meal at The Dump, I ordered the Chicken Breast lightly doused in Gravy, along with mixed vegetables and some leftover Garlic Bread. Now, you might be put off by the idea of eating food someone else threw out, or that came from an actual trashcan, but think about it this way; it's no different than eating food from another country. Some people eat insects. Some people eat animals we don't eat here in the USA. So, with that in mind, it's absolutely fine to eat, and, with the starvation problem the world faces, Fish is right. We cannot be throwing food away. We simply cannot be willing to even consider that an option.
I cannot recommend The Dump highly enough. Fish is a wonderful hostess and cook, and the few friends she's brought into help were more than kind enough. The food is surprisingly fresh and delightful, the decor is amazingly upbeat considering you're eating out of a garbage can in a back alley, and overall the experience is delightful. Even Fish herself has stated, "People believe in the 5 second rule, so what's stopping us from believing in a 24 hour rule?" and I couldn't agree more.
So go ahead, eat some trash.
Peter Cushing, 47
Writer of the "Eating While Sad" column & lamp enthusiast
Even in Nowhere, we have an animal activist group.
They call themselves NAAC (Nowhere Against Animal Cruelty) and their slogan is "Birds of a feather litigate together". So far they have sued the city of Nowhere a total number of 74 times regarding various animal rights.
The most famous, of course, was Cows For Consent back in 2014, when they decided that animals should not be touched in a manner such as milking without consenting to it, unaware if the animal finds it appropriate or not. The case was of course thrown out because nobody can understand cows. There was, of course, Dr. Parnis who tried to make the Cow Translator, but failed, per usual. Though, some say he later succeeded and now is in a romantic relationship with a cow, giving lectures on Cows Rights at various farms across the city.
That aside, their latest blunder comes with the absence left by their CEO who, just mere weeks ago, was forced to step down after rumors began to swirl that he was really a meat eater, trying to lead the company astray. Because of this, the company felt it would be in their best interests if they put a CEO on who actually knew the animal side of things. Thus, Henry The Chicken was sworn in as their new acting CEO. Henry has since been plastered on posters, had a plush made of him and even starred in a few paid spots on late night Access Cable while he wears a tiny gray suit, though, nobody can understand what in the hell he's saying, probably because he's a goddamned chicken. But, that hasn't stopped them from trying to make this work.
"We're just going to do things Henrys way from now on," spokesperson Linda Pellini told us, "So often the animals never get to speak for themselves, and that's what we're finally doing is allowing Henry to do so. He's soft spoken, chooses his words carefully, intelligent and, if I may say so, one hell of a Salsa dancer."
Henry has already signed a few measures into effect, trying to have them passed by the City Council of Nowhere, and while it's hard to take the whole thing seriously ("I'm not even sure if these signatures are forged by someone or not, because they could be his, they're literal chicken scratch!" one council man was overheard saying), installing Henry as the CEO has brought to light some real questions: While having an ally is great, should allies be the ones fighting for change, or should that really come down to the people they're fighting for? It's a shame people will only ever listen to the allies (we take heterosexual peoples beliefs on homosexuality, even if its positive, way more seriously than we do actual homosexuals telling us how they should be treated and how being gay has effected their lives and experiences, for one example), but if we're unwilling to listen, if we're that short sighted, then perhaps we need the allies. Men respect the idea of another man being a womans boyfriend, even if it's a lie, than they respect a woman simply saying she's just not interested in him. So okay, Henry's a chicken, yes. But that doesn't mean he has no legal rights or feelings or emotions. He's a living thing, like all of us. I'm nowhere near the same level as the people in NAAC, but for god sakes, even I recognize that we're too cruel to a species that isn't us, simply because they too haven't developed baseball caps, automatic weapons and an unstable government.
So why did the chicken cross the road?
Because crossing the road is making progress.
Brett Thorn, 41
Writer for Nowhere Online Nws & Lycanthrope Enthusiast
I've always been one to say that beauty is only skin deep, but this is ridiculous. While the fashion industry has always been a transparent thing, pretending to be "empowering" when most of the time it's simply selling a product, not caring who's on the selling or purchasing end, this has gone far beyond what I ever thought possible. I just got back last week from the latest fashion show held every year here in Nowhere, and let me tell you the latest trend...
...being thin. Not just thin, no, bone thin. Literally being a skeleton. That's right. Now, if you've got any skin, you're not in style, you're not hip and you're certainly not fashionable. Young women used to give themselves hot waxings to remove unwanted hair, or hair in general, so they would be smooth and what a male dominated society deems 'attractive'. Now young women are giving themselves hot waxings to remove some of their skin. The new term for the process is "Epiderminova" (IE; "nuking" the skin off of parts of your body). We've already accepting tanning beds as a normal thing in this society, so why is it so impossible to think this wouldn't become the new normal?
Teenage girls in particular are extremely insecure and easy to lie to, ask any teen magazine writer, so while this is of course targeting young girls, it's mostly still targeting the fashion industry. First you couldn't be hot unless you were skinny enough, now you can't be hot unless you're literally bones.
But, the fashion show aside, it was actually the after party that was the real disturbance. I didn't see a single model there who still had skin or organs. Just skeletons in lingerie and well designed gowns and immaculately conceived and executed pieces of high end fashion from Nowheres latest, most notable designers. It was highly disturbing and comical all at once, to say the least. The funny thing is, when you strip away all the beauty, all the pretense, and are left talking face to...well, not exactly face but skull with a skeleton runway model, you suddenly realize how exactly alike everyone really is. These people aren't special. We've lauded them as being special because they're so "beautiful", a concept we, as a visual species, created in the first place, and then put significance on top of.
Guess what. That hot new trendsetter, the one with the firm, round C cup and the chic, bohemian look and the smoky eye and the full, soft pastel lips? She's just a skeleton. We're all just skeletons. We're all beautiful. I think that's the thing that took me most by surprise. By attempting to force women to be as skinny and perfect as possible, the fashion industry inadvertently sent the opposite message; that everyone is hot when it comes down to the bare bones. Look how absolutely exactly the same we all are. You look good because someone did your makeup for 4 hours, you stick to a regimented brutal dieting fad and you're wearing the latest high end fashions, but fashion, just like beauty itself, is something we've put the significance on. We made it what it is. It's just cloth. They're just clothes.
And we're just bones.
Soliel Bovier, 24,
Writer of the Hot Mess fashion column for Nowhere Online News and owner of at least 4 and a half cats
A sex scandal has left the city of Nowhere, US in shambles this past week, when high ranking City Councilman Kenneth Wrangleman, who was elected 3 years ago after running on hardcore anti-homosexual policies, was found being intimate in a public restroom with a rainbow.
Wrangleman, who's stated publicly in the past his hatred of the queer community, has since come out himself, admitting to his coupling with the rainbow. He ran during the 2014 election solely on unfounded fear and prejudice and managed to eek out a win after his opponent was found having to have used her home phone to make phone calls, not even to other politicians, just to her family. Wrangleman held a press conference yesterday, where he discussed his current situation:
"Listen, I...I know what my supporters are thinking. They're thinking 'well hey, I voted for this guy who hated the same things I do despite them not actually effecting my day to day life, what gives?!' and I hear you, but what goes on between a grown man and a rainbow is of no public interest. Did I run on anti-gay policies despite being gay? Yes. Did I lie to get elected? Of course. But I'm a politician. It's what we do. To expect anything better or different, that's your own fault."
Just scant months earlier, Wrangleman was speaking happily to the press about the push of support for his current bill trying to be passed that bans all rainbows from coming into Nowhere, US, stating "they promote the gay lifestyle" and are a "gateway sexuality". Now, however, this bill seems to be losing steam and support, as other politicians, even openly homophobic ones who once endorsed Wrangleman, are fleeing from his side, not for the sake of being good people, but just because they think it makes them look better if they aren't standing right beside the guy.
We talked to local noted gay activist here in Nowhere who's running for city board next year, Mikayla Nikols, to get her viewpoint on the story.
"If he thinks suddenly being open about his sexuality after how he's treated us publicly is going to get him welcomed with open arms into the community, he's not thinking too straight, and I mean that with no pun intended. Just because he ended up being gay himself doesn't undo all his behavior. It's one thing if you're self loathing about your homosexuality before coming to terms with it, but to be self loathing on a public platform, on the scale that politicians do, where they actually influence the people listening to them to also hate us, that's unforgivable. I cannot condone that simply because he now suddenly, only when he's caught, decides to admit he too loves fucking rainbows."
Mikayla Nikols has made quite a splash here in Nowhere over the last 5 years or so. She not only launched the cities first, and still major, downtown queer youth support group, but she is now, as we said, running next year to be elected to the city board herself, so she knows her people have a real voice in this community.
"I am so goddamned tired of being reduced to another keypoint on someones fucking political agenda. I'm not a fuckin' economic plan or something, I'm a human fucking being. I'm tired of being just something else they can talk about as a 'political standpoint'," she told us, "Honestly, I would like to hear the rainbows side of this. That's the real story."
Things aren't looking too good for Wrangleman right now, and don't expect them to get any better anytime soon either. Since this incident, it's also come out that he not only steals utensils from restaurants and parks in handicapped spaces, but his wife isn't even really a person. It's just a coatrack he dresses us for when he needs to make public appearances. How nobody caught that one sooner is beyond us.
We reached out to Wrangleman, and his coatrack wife, for comment, but he wouldn't talk to us and she couldn't respond. Probably because she's a coatrack.
Joseph Lorne, 41
Stay at home dad and our Political Advisor
News from the capitol of Nowhere, US today leads us to believe that a new Polite Society bill is coming down the pipes. From our sources, we've been told that it's likely not just a singular bill, but that this is merely a portion stuck into a larger Polite Society bill that will be signed into law later this year. The only thing our source could gleam from this information was The Smiles Tax. The tax, which some say will only effect women, is aiming at increasing smiling at eachother overall, especially in public. Supposedly, bosses can now make their female employees smile or lower their wages if they do not comply, but we'll see when the bill actually comes out in full.
However, this raises some serious questions about the happiness about our citizens. Are we so miserable in Nowhere, US that we now have to be taxed to smile? Apparently, if you smile, you will get a break on your taxes, and if you do not smile, your taxes will go up ever so slightly. They've already passed the Personable People Act back in 2011, so to think that this would be so far fetched is ridiculous. This is exactly the kind of thing they would do. According to this infographic from the City Halls own "journalistic" group, people like smiles.
The Polite Society bills have not been favorable with the citizens of Nowhere, US and yet they continue to be written and effectively passed. About 4 months ago, they passed a smaller amendment to an earlier Polite Society bill which they called "Section 14, Article 37; Mandatory Eye Contact" in which they state:
"If you are being served, either in a restaurant or a store, you are to be given proper eye contact and give it back. It indicates that you are interested and devoted to this conversation, passing as it may be."
Obviously this didn't sit well with those who have trouble doing such a thing, like those on the Autistic scale, but it passed anyway because as one of our top law makers said last year:
"Who needs the handicapped? Ramps, parking spots, inhalers and all kinds of special needs equipment. They just make us spend more money, and then the public gets mad at us for spending so much when they should get mad at the handicapped for making us do so!"
His own son is handicapped, ironically enough, but it didn't make much of a difference, because nobody really cares about those in need. That's what we at this newspaper company have been trying to tell you forever. This new, proposed Polite Society bill is set to be released to the public for comment, and not voting because why give us choice or say in the matter, in a few months time.
May Roach, 34, Journalist
Writer of the column "Please Kill Me Already" over at "Healthy Living Magazine"