Category Archives: Tacky Souvenirs

Rock’em Sock’em Robots — Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney Edition

POLITICAL SLUGFEST: Forget about the ballot box. We can now settle the 2012 presidential election like men!

No one leaves the political ring without a black eye, right?

Toymaker and political rabblerouser Emil Vicale, founder of Herobuilders, just released a 2012 Presidential Election version of Rock’em Sock’em Robots — that classic 1960s mechanical boxing game that will make your thumbs more sore than any video game joystick.

Vicale is selling just the Mitt Romney and Barack Obama robot heads (with surgery instructions for decapitating the old heads and reattaching the new ones) for $39.95 — or the entire assembled set for $99.

BUT WAIT, doesn’t Mattel own the rights to Rock’em Sock’em Robots?  Absolutely.

Vicale maintains that anyone has the right to buy an existing product, customize it and then sell it on the secondary market. For example, you could buy a brand new Camaro, trick out the suspension, add funky hubcaps and paint the whole thing hot pink and resell it as a Hot Pink Camaro.

Herobuilders had an ugly battle with the PEZ Company a few years back over the same issue when they put their original Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani heads on top of regular PEZ dispensers. PEZ lawyers (candy does NOT come out of their necks) aggressively went after Vicale and he created his own dispenser device called  “Head Candy.”

The PEZ rivals, which actually are loaded with Sprees or Mentos, come with muscular male or buxom female body attachments (superhero and corporate themes).

But back to the boxing “Romneybots” and “Obamabots.”

A new way to teach kids about the reality of politics? The Herobuilders kit to modify your existing Rock’em Sock’em Robots retails for $39.95.

In an exclusive interview with The Hill (modest confession: I was first to break the Obamabot story), Vicale reveals that he is NOT parodying the Washington pundits’ universal characterization of Romney as a robot. He had been planning a McCain-Obama Rock’em Sock’em set in 2008, but his idea came too late in the election season to market it.

The Hill story also shares some fascinating behind-the-scenes debates over toy design:

“Both the Romneybot and Obamabot heads are portrayed in their natural skin tones and not the corresponding Republican red and Democratic blue. Vicale said the prototype heads looked too creepy in primary colors, making Romney seem like the Devil and Obama an alien from the movie ‘Avatar.’”

FATHER-DAUGHTER BONDING: Nothing promotes family togetherness like old-fashioned political mudslinging (or fisticuffs). Toymaker Emil Vicale enjoys his Obama and Romney robots with his 8-year-old girl.

If you’re a fan of political novelty toys and souvenirs, then Vicale is no stranger. He’s also the brainchild behind the Mitt Romney Etch a Sketch doll, the Newt Gingrich action figure (everyone wants one!) and a Barbie-like incarnation of U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH).

Not too early to start your Christmas shopping!

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Filed under Election 2012, Guys Who Play With Dolls, Political Satire, Politically Incorrect Products, politics, Tacky Souvenirs, The Hill, White Collar Boxing

Schlock Flashback: Celebrities with webbed feet

When a non-famous plebian waterfowl just won't do

Culture Schlock – By Darren Garnick
“If Shakespeare had webbed feet… Celebrities in the tub”
Originally Published:
The Telegraph, June 12, 2003
**
Some jobs will never get listed in the want ads. Take Craig Wolfe’s gig for example. It’s a safe bet that he can claim to be the only CEO in the world to worry about what shade of lipstick to put on a “transvestite duck” or where he can find teeny-weeny shower caps for a slam-dunking duck named Moochie.

Wolfe is the president of Celebriducks, a California-based novelty company that hopes to become the bathtub version of the Beanie Baby. Squeaking ducks based on the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” and Houston Rockets fashion daredevil Moochie Norris (“the first rubber duck with hair”) are but part of his flock of waterfowl with human faces.

“I’m grateful for both the Beanie Babies and the Bobbleheads,” says Wolfe in a phone interview. “They set the table for us. Now there’s a context for collectible ducks to fit.”

The current slate of celebrity rubber (actually nontoxic vinyl) duckies spans history (Queen Elizabeth), art (Mona Lisa), film (Charlie Chaplin, The Three Stooges), literature (William Shakespeare), music (Ozzy Osbourne, KISS, Beethoven) and sports (Babe Ruth, Kobe Bryant). Celebriducks retail for $11.99 a piece at Celebriducks.com and novelty and gift stores nationwide.

Getting the rights to do a duck can be tricky. While professional baseball, basketball and hockey have signed off on athlete ducks, the National Football League is still negotiating terms. The Graceland folks refused to license an Elvis duck, citing a reluctance to approve any Presley caricatures. Before adding Groucho Marx to the flock, Wolfe had to track down all of Marx’s grandchildren for approval. And there’s no rhyme or reason for who says yes and who says no. Comedian Lucille Ball’s daughter nixed an “I Love Lucy” duck, but serious crooner Frank Sinatra’s estate is considering a deal.

Last January, Celebriducks went from “an underground word-of-mouth phenomenon” selling about 10,000 ducks a year to the Big One Million. All the credit for going Platinum goes to Philadelphia 76er badboy Allen Iverson. A 76ers executive stumbled across Wolfe’s ducks in a newspaper article and thought it would be a great promotion to give away Iverson ducks to fans. The team had experienced huge success with a previous Iverson Bobblehead Night and an “Alien” Iverson beanbag Martian giveaway.

“Allen Iverson really changed the company overnight,” Wolfe recalls. “Before him we were never even thinking about sports. Talk about fate!”

The Iverson project also helped distinguish Celebriducks for its attention to detail. Putting cornrows, earrings and a tattoo on a duck “really brought us to another level,” Wolfe says. The ducks are not the first hybrid of cute toy and sports memorabilia. Beanbag teddy bears called “Bamm Beanos” were recently a fad. However, the face of the Roger Clemens bear looked exactly like the Mark McGwire bear. Celebriducks breaks new ground by attempting to represent an athlete’s distinct facial characteristics – such as Mariners star Ichiro Suzuki’s goatee.

Customized ducks are now popular minor league and major league promotions. The Columbus Clippers, the Yankees’ AAA affiliate, commissioned a Derek Jeter duck. The Chicago Cubs gave away a special Sammy Sosa duck with floating bat (to be fair, all Celebriducks bats float). The Rockets created a buzz by offering an itsy bitsy showercap with their Moochie Norris duck.

“At first, we couldn’t find any manufacturers in Asia who’d make a showercap that small,” Wolfe says.

Chicago businessman Benjamin Goldman, who specializes in the unique combination of sports memorabilia and Jewish educational software, hired Wolfe to create his first Biblical duck. The Moses duck, complete with Ten Commandments tablets, is ready to part the waters in a tub near you.

“Celebriducks are going to be the next big fad in America,” Goldman predicts, adding that most of his Moses ducks are finding their Promised Bathrooms across the Bible Belt.

Wolfe says he can produce most custom orders (1,000 ducks minimum) for between $4,000 and $5,000, a price that includes the design and packaging. That cost threshold puts his ducks within reach for a small business to do a promotion or a nonprofit group to do a fundraiser.

Locally, that opens up numerous duck possibilities. The Nashua Pride could do a Butch Hobson duck. The organizers of the Nashua Sesquicentennial celebration could commission Don Davidson and Bernie Streeter ducks in a “Great Gateway City Leaders of the 20th and 21st Centuries” series. And, just to spice things up a bit, the annual Boys Club Lucky Duck Race on the Nashua River could toss Mae West, Ozzy Osbourne and Nomar Garciaparra at the end of the pack.

While Ozzy and Nomar continue to navigate soapy waters, there’s one popular duckling who might never get hatched. Wolfe says he gets many requests for a Jesus Celebriduck, but that he’s “struggling” with the idea of a duck who can walk on water.

“We’re not in this to offend anyone,” the Celebriduck CEO says. “We’re here to honor people.”

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What would the Mona Lisa look like with glasses and bangs?

To benefit the Nashua (NH) Soup Kitchen, the curators of Tacky Tourist Photos will be offering Mona Lisa photo-ops at the Floating Art Gallery.

To benefit the Nashua (NH) Soup Kitchen & Shelter, the curators of Tacky Tourist Photos will be offering Mona Lisa photo-ops at the Floating Art Gallery.

NASHUA, NH — If you can’t afford to SEE the Mona Lisa, then just BE the Mona Lisa instead.

To raise money for the Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter, the curators of TackyTouristPhotos.com will stage a daring and ambitious piece of performance art called “Be the Mona Lisa” at the Floating Art Gallery on Sunday, Dec. 6.

Visitors will substitute their heads for the famous smiling lady immortalized by Leonardo da Vinci. Yes, this is the same Mona Lisa who survived a brutal coffee mug attack at the Louvre. Why wait in those long lines in Paris, when you can zip up Route 3 North and scoot over to the Courtyard Marriott?

The excitement lasts from 6-9 p.m. and includes live music and a cash bar.

Tacky Tourist Photos will join more than a dozen artists, painters, photographers and sculptors at the charity benefit, at which a portion of sales will help one of the following causes: The Healthy NH Foundation; Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Greater Manchester; the Nashua Humane Society; St. Jude Children’s Hospital; Children’s International; Nashua Area Artist’s Association; Nashua Soup Kitchen; New England Aquarium; Animal Rescue League of NH; and the ASPCA.

Equally significant will be the culinary experience of enjoying complimentary Tacky Appetizers, which are rumored to involve delicately sliced Hostess and Little Debbie treats.

For more information, visit the Floating Gallery.

And doesn’t fellow TTP curator Pete also look FAN-tastic as Mona Lisa?

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Capture That Auschwitz Moment

 

Japanese tourists take turns playfully posing by the barbed wire fence at the Auschwitz-Birkenau deathcamp in Poland.

Japanese tourists take turns playfully posing by the barbed wire electric fence at the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau deathcamp, the Nazi graveyard for 1.5 million Holocaust victims.

“Capture That Auschwitz Moment:
Tacky tourism becomes part of the concentration camp landscape

By Darren Garnick
Originally published Oct. 26, 1998
The Jerusalem Report

**
OSWIECIM, POLAND — The tourist from Japan is on his stomach, straddling the main train tracks that bisect Birkenau. Meticulously resting his camera on the railroad ties, it first appears as if he wants a low angle shot of the camp. But he wants more. Clicking the camera’s self-timer button, he scrambles a few meters forward and sits on the tracks. He now has a better photo: himself crouching in front of the SS “Gate of Death.”

Off to the side, two other visitors take turns posing by the barbed wire fence. At nearby Auschwitz, an American stands stoically for his wife’s camera in front of canisters of Zyklon B, the same ones the Nazis used to gas people to death. The great concentration camp photo-op is too tempting to pass up.

Containing the ashes of 1.5 million victims — 90 percent of them Jews — Auschwitz-Birkenau has the sad distinction of being the world’s largest cemetery, a cemetery that doubles as an international tourist destination. On a scorching late-summer afternoon, the parking lot is filled with tour buses. One reads: “Regular Tours: Salt Mine — Wieliczka/ Auschwitz-Birkenau EVERY DAY.”

One of the throngs is Jeff Lavie, a Los Angeles public school teacher who says he is here to find out more about the deaths of relatives of his maternal grandparents in the camp and to satisfy a “curiosity to understand where my relatives stood.” But, he says, it is frustrating trying to find somewhere to pray among the streams of tourists. “This is a grieving place, but there is no place set aside to pray,” Lavie says, adding that he would like to see a centralized spot more conducive to leaving flowers and candles.

Lavie says most of his fellow visitors were respectful, but also harried by their guides. “Most people were rushed through here. Auschwitz was just ‘Stop B’ on a lot of places to get to that day.”

James E. Young, chair of Judaic Studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, has visited Auschwitz-Birkenau more than 30 times for his research on Holocaust memorials. He says he has witnessed numerous tourists who see the trip as a “vicarious thrill.”

The Great Auschwitz Photo-Op

The Great Auschwitz Photo-Op

“It is a very slippery line. At what point does a pilgrimage turn into entertainment? I don’t know where the line is drawn, but I know it when I see it,” Young says. “I know when people are playing Frisbee with their shirts off that something is wrong. It doesn’t happen often, but it happens.”

Young says he believes that most inappropriate behavior is not motivated by disrespect. In the case of overzealous photography, he suspects most people just want proof that “we were there. There’s such a thing as unintentional descrecration,” he says. “Even survivors my unintentionally violate the sacredness of the camps.”

Sometimes, tourist behavior can enhance the memorial. Rocks with Stars of David and “Yisrael” written on them left at the edge of the Birkenau tracks by Jewish youth groups may be regarded as more poignant that the official monuments.

As custodian of the camps, the Polish government is often in a no-win situation. If it promotes the camps too much, it will be accused of exploitation. If it stays too low-key, it could be accused of ignoring the Holocaust. According to Young, the most positive change was when the post-Communist government stopped renting out the camps as sets for movies and TV programs.

In 1989, the American producers of “Triumph of the Spirit” (a movie about a Greek-Jewish boxer forced to fight fellow inmates for Nazi entertainment) left papier-mache gas chambers propped up at Birkenau directly over the dynamited ruins left by the Germans. Says Young: “The last thing I’d want is to see a Holocaust denier show up and see a fake gas chamber.”

But fears of commercializing the Holocaust will always loom at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where the differences between the terms “gift shop” and “book store” are subtle. The shops, located right in front of the main entrance, so far have avoided items like T-shirts and key chains; postcards of the “Arbeir macht frei” (“Work makes you free”) gate and the Auschwitz fence at sunset are the closest things to souvenirs now available.

A mini-mall — complete with a visitor’s center, bank, post office and restaurant — is scheduled for completion next February. This is a scaled-down version of a planned larger center, including a supermarket and fast food restaurants. And in an attempt to minimize offense, the mall, which will be located across the street, will be a neutral color and contain no large advertisements.

While the controversy and tension over the crosses placed outside Auschwitz-Birkenau recently by Catholic extremists assume a higher international profile, it may be the identity struggle between tourist destination and Holocaust memorial that will never be resolved.

“When the graves of your family become the historical curiosities of others, the conflict begins,” says Young. “Here’s the choice: Either we put the sites off-limits to everyone but historians… or we end up with kiosks selling mementos. There is no way to win this.”
**

HONEY, GRAB A PICTURE OF ME WITH THE ZYKLON B!  (An American tourist wants Nazi poison gas in his vacation scrapbook)

HONEY, GRAB A PICTURE OF ME WITH THE ZYKLON B!                                                               (An American tourist wants Nazi poison gas in his vacation scrapbook)

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The Original Butt Sketch: Every tush is beautiful in its own way

The Original Butt Sketch elevates sidewalk artist to lucrative trade show gigs

The Original Butt Sketch elevates sidewalk artists to lucrative trade show gigs

CULTURE SCHLOCK — By Darren Garnick
“Every tush is beautiful — in it’s own way.”

Originally published: March 17, 2000
The Telegraph/Encore Magazine

**
While the scientists on the Human Genome Project aim to discover every DNA sequence in the human body, Texas artist Krandel Lee Newton isn’t concerned about probing underneath the surface. Focusing on exteriors and posteriors, he is driven by one core belief: You never forget your first Butt Sketch.

Newton is a mercenary artist, a charcoal-for-hire sent to fight boredom on treacherous trade show turf. A few weeks ago in New Orleans, I met him at a not-so-boring gathering of TV programming executives. But I just as easily could have discovered the Butt Sketch if I were a florist, a dentist or a mortgage banker.

I begin by walking over to a masking tape line on the plush carpet cushioning my feet. My back to the easel, I spread my feet about three feet apart and put my hands on my hips — my imagined “tough guy” stance.

Krandel scampers in front of me like an art critic looking for a good angle. His hands, too, are on his hips. “Is this the way you want to pose?” he asks, making direct eye contact. His voice softens. “I like what you’re doing. I really do. I just want to tweak things a bit.”

The artist gently nudges my head to my left, pats my shoulder and says, “See you in two-and-a-half minutes.”

I don’t feel self-conscious while my butt is being sketched. Maybe that’s because my pants are kept on. Maybe it’s also because Krandel has a non-threatening, wisecracking style that instantly puts me at ease. For a brief moment, I believe I can quit my job and pose for Dockers ads.

In the end, my Butt Sketch really does look like me and the appeal is twofold. First, there’s accuracy. Nobody thinks about his or her rear end being as definitive as a thumbprint. Yet, Krandel proves that it is, capturing an individual’s personality through tushie language. Second, Krandel’s quality doesn’t suffer despite the self-imposed time limit.

Sharianne Brill, of New York City, watched me get my butt sketched. Satisfied with the results, she tells Krandel: “Wow, that’s good. I hope you do my body justice!”

Three minutes later, Brill is happy. “Oh man, I look hot! My butt says I mean business,” she says. “People always teased me about my booty for years, but if you got it baby, flaunt it!”

Krandel, 41, was an engineer for Westinghouse before becoming a full-time butt sketcher 13 years ago. Trade show paychecks are far more lucrative, multiplying his old salary “more than five times” and bringing in enough business to hire a support team of seven artists. Inspiration came from his days as a sidewalk artist, when bystanders would marvel at his drawings of parades – from the rear.

“There is no horrible looking butt. Every butt is a good butt in my eyes,” Krandel says. “That’s my company line and I’m sticking to it.”

The artist admits he has “been accused of having a flattering hand” in his drawings. Perhaps he should sell women’s bathing suits on the side. Krandel is the consummate salesman, enticing both men (40 percent of drawings) and women to play along with the gag. The co-ed clientele and his avoidance of offensive innuendos have shielded him from inevitable cries of sexism.

“The first time I saw him I was so nervous,” recalls Leslie McClure, a publicist from California. “Nobody likes their own butts, especially women.” Since sketch one, she has been immortalized five more times and even hired Krandel to sketch guests at her 50th birthday party.

For the record, all of McClure’s Butt Sketches are framed and matted. Four hang in her office and two are displayed at home. Krandel, who obviously loves repeat business, insists he doesn’t get tired of drawing the same butt twice.

“We like to call them ‘Butt Upgrades,’” he says.
**
Darren Garnick’s “Culture Schlock” appears every Friday in The Telegraph’s Encore magazine.

**

ALSO SEE: Booty Call: Butt Sketch artists shake up corporate trade shows

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Saddam Yard Sale: Hussein secretary stole more than paper clips

The Once-in-a-Lifetime Saddam Yard Sale

The Once-in-a-Lifetime Saddam Yard Sale

CULTURE SCHLOCK – By Darren Garnick
The Telegraph
October 11, 2007

**
Saddam Hussein is now having a yard sale.

Yes, he’s thankfully dead so he can’t profit from any of the memorabilia from his tyrannical glory days.

And technically, the latest batch of Saddam stuff to hit the market is up for auction. But at the end of the day, there will be plenty of unsold trinkets that will be begging for a best offer.

Get a load of these prices:

— $150,000 – Saddam’s favorite diamond-encrusted Rolex watch that he wore to banquets, Arab summits and other social events.

— $12,000 – Fancy sliver cigarette box allegedly given to a teenage Saddam by his stepfather as a reward for killing his first human being.

— $12,000 – Saddam’s favorite pair of Christian Dior sunglasses, which shielded his eyes from the glare of the Iran-Iraq desert battlegrounds in the 1980s.

— $5,000 – Designer Cartier pen used by Saddam to sign the execution orders for 66 condemned members of his Ba’ath Party.

— $4,000 – Christian Dior necktie taken straight from Saddam’s tie rack (several available).

A bunch of miscellaneous items bound for the “Everything for $5” table include a Thai paperweight given to Saddam by an ambassador, a piece of granite from the original London Bridge, and a ceramic leopard that used to decorate the dictator’s “private recreation room.”

The sale is being conducted on-line by Haitham Rashid Wihaib, Saddam’s chief of protocol (essentially a glorified personal secretary) from 1980 to 1993. Wihaib, who defected to England a decade before Saddam’s capture in the spider hole, does not explain how he got his hands on his former boss’s personal stuff.

As he was fleeing Iraq, did he stick all those Christian Dior accessories under his shirt? How did he cram that ceramic wildcat into a suitcase – or was it an airline carry-on?

The auctioneer’s Web site bio claims his father was an “Iraqi general who was killed in a car accident orchestrated by Saddam.” If that was the case, why would the Iraqi dictator ever want to hire a traitor’s kid as a trusted aide?

Whatever the true origins of this Saddam memorabilia are, there are indications that the items are genuine. Queen Margrethe II of Denmark demanded that Wihaib return a royal Danish medal from Saddam’s collection to her country. The Knight’s Cross of the Order of Dannebrog is awarded for special service to Denmark, and is customarily returned upon the death of the recipient.

Wihaib, who has reportedly agreed to give the medal back, promises to donate 20 percent of his profits to needy Iraqi children, new hospital buildings and various other Iraqi war victim charities.

The other 80 percent goes to a charity named Haitham Rashid Wihaib.

If you’re upset about Wihaib getting rich off genocidal souvenirs, you may take modest comfort in the fact that his marketing timing stinks.

Quite frankly, Saddam Hussein is so 2006.

The buzz has migrated east to his nefarious archrival, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

I wonder if he’s been keeping an eye on his personal secretary lately.

**
Darren Garnick’s “Culture Schlock” column runs every Thursday in
Encore. Feedback is welcomed at cultureschlock (at) gmail.com.

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Filed under Asinine Mideast Analogies, Darren's Archive Vault, Middle East, Overpriced Souvenirs, Politically Incorrect Products, Tacky Souvenirs

Hurricane Katrina aftermath includes urban myths, tacky souvenirs

Hard to imagine, but you can buy a Hurricane Katrina souvenir program at newsstands.

Hard to imagine, but you can buy a Hurricane Katrina souvenir program at newsstands.

CULTURE SCHLOCK – By Darren Garnick
The Telegraph
October 6, 2005

**
In case you were under the delusion that our tacky culture couldn’t possibly get any tackier, check out your local supermarket newsstand this week. Shelved next to the latest dieting magazines and word search puzzles, you’ll find copies of “Remembering Katrina,” the official Hurricane Katrina souvenir program.

The glossy 64-page “pictorial record,” suitable for coffee table display for those of us whose coffee tables are not under water, is stuffed with color photos of victims clamoring for food and helplessly staring at their destroyed homes. The $6 souvenir program also includes a scorecard of the “most intense” U.S. hurricanes since 1851, with an apologetic disclaimer that Katrina’s ranking could not be determined at press time.

“However, residents who experienced the fury of this powerful hurricane know that no big storm can be taken lightly,” the magazine condescendingly adds.

“Remembering Katrina” includes no bylines, masthead or information on how to contact the publisher, MMI Publications. The reason for their low-key demeanor is obvious. The editors couldn’t possibly purchase enough dental insurance to cover the amount of facial punches they deserve.

A Google search on MMI Publications only turns up a French-language Web site mentioning “Celebrity Style Hairstyle Specials Presents… Desperate Housewives and Other Prime-Time Vixens.” At least they had the class not to critique the hairstyles of hurricane victims.

It turns out that the legitimate media — the magazines and newspapers that do take credit for their work – doesn’t score much higher on the integrity scale when it comes to natural disaster coverage. An investigation by the Times-Picayune of New Orleans determined that reports of widespread assaults, rapes and murders – especially at the Superdome refugee center — were wildly exaggerated rumors “treated as fact by evacuees, the media and some of New Orleans’ top officials.”

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin had declared on Oprah that Superdome refugees were trapped for days “watching dead bodies, watching hooligans killing people, raping people.” According to the Baltimore Sun, other phony reports included an infant’s corpse being found in a trash can, sharks swimming through the flooded city and hundreds of dead bodies piling up in the convention center basement.

The latest official casualty numbers are 885 dead, with less than 10 believed to be the victims of homicide.

Times-Picayune editor Jim Amoss inexplicably pulled out the race card in an interview with the Sun, claiming that if “the dome and convention center had harbored large numbers of middle-class white people, it would not have been a fertile ground for this kind of rumor-mongering.”

Big disconnect for me there. Are blacks more afraid of sharks than whites? Did any journalists, black or white, track down a marine biologist to verify the likelihood of sharks surviving in extremely polluted river water?

So, the news media does a collective confession that serious journalism mistakes were made, but what about the veracity of the investigation of these rumors? Here’s a peek at next week’s headline: “REPORTS OF MEDIA EXAGGERATION WERE GROSSLY EXAGGERATED.”

Meanwhile, much closer to home, a Massachusetts woman told the Metrowest Daily News that the brutal stabbing she witnessed at the Superdome was no exaggeration. Adrienne Long, of Holliston, was stranded in New Orleans after bringing her son to Tulane University. She said she saw two men fighting over a bottle of Jack Daniels. One man repeatedly beat and stabbed theother with a wooden stick.

“I saw the guy with all the holes in him and his head,” she said, adding that “nobody helped him because nobody wanted to get involved.”

Just a guess, but I assume Ms. Long won’t be rushing out to the supermarket to buy a souvenir program.

**
Darren Garnick’s “Culture Schlock” column runs every Thursday in Encore. Reader comments are welcomed via email at cultureschlock (at) gmail.com.

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