Sunday, August 24, 2008


Good evening Mr. & Mrs. Catholic, and all you other Christians at sea. The dark prince of shock rock Alice Cooper has been quoted as saying, “Trashing your hotel room is easy. But being a Christian, that's a tough call. That's rebellion.” This week on the Newsreel we’re going to attempt both. Now off to press.

DATELINE: TEXAS - We begin with a story of geeks gone wild in which a thirteen year boy stole his father’s credit card, went on a $30,000 shopping spree with some friends, and ended up in a hotel room with two hookers… whom he had hired to play Halo with. Choosing the most ridiculous aspect of this story is tough, but we here at the Newsreel have to go with the excuse given by the two prostitutes who claimed they would never stoop so low as to accompany children to a hotel room, but were assured that the boys were actually midgets traveling with the carnival so everything was hunky-dory. The (ahem) ladies only became suspicious when their customers broke out an X-Box rather than take advantage of the services on offer. Gentle readers, we here at the Newsreel desperately wanted to call BS on this story, but alas, it appears to be factual to some extent. And catechetically it’s a veritable goldmine. Where do we start digging? Do we discuss the paragraphs on the duties of children? (2214-2220) The duties of parents? (2221-2231) How about prostitution? (2355) Let’s just go with paragraph 1746 which begins with “Imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance…” Lucky for everyone involved here wouldn’t you say?

DATELINE: MASSACHUSETTS - Speaking of bad children, perhaps you remember the legend of Lizzie Borden, the young lady who allegedly took an axe and whacked her father and stepmother to death on August 4, 1892. If not, the first part of this feature does a nice job recapping the events. The second part of the story is what holds our interest this week, however, as the old Borden home is currently open for business as The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast. And doing quite well it seems as the waiting list for those who want to stay in the same room in which Abby Durfee Borden met her bloody fate is over a year long. As odd as it seems, murder sites often prove to be popular tourist attractions with even the most obscure ones bringing in the dough. Before it was converted to use as a condominium, Room 132A of the Winfield Apartments in Scottsdale, Arizona was voted the city’s best unknown tourist attraction. Its claim to fame: Bob Crane of Hogan’s Heroes was found bludgeoned to death with his own camera tripod there. There are obviously numerous reasons why such places are popular, but Pope John Paul II gives us a good starting point for considering the philosophical side of the issue. Writing as Cardinal Wojtyla at the time, he speculates that “Good is something ordinary and natural because it conforms to the nature of the human being and the world; evil on the other hand, is always baffling because it conflicts with this nature. Perhaps this also explains why in literature and moral instruction more attention is paid to evil than to good.”

DATELINE: COSTA RICA - And finally, here’s a monkey invading someone’s hotel room and stealing their toothpaste. I hope room service changed the sheets before the guests turned in. There’s nothing involving horrible children or religion in this video that we know of; we just wanted to see a monkey run loose in a hotel. Everybody loves monkeys.

And with that, it’s time to check out until next time. As is our custom here at the Newsreel, we sign off with the words of the great Les Nessman, “Good evening, and may the good news be yours.”

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