An outbreak of cyberfear sanity in New Jersey? That state's legislature is considering bills to decriminalize sexting, or reduce penalties to education courses.
The sponsors say teenagers often engage in the practice -- sometimes known by the play on words "sexting" -- out of a psychological vulnerability, not a criminal mindset, and the law should reflect that.
Pause to enjoy the Gothy surrealism that conjures up. Then dive more deeply into the story with local media, meditating on the dada engine that disguises itself as the state of Florida.
Next, you can, if you choose, move on to the true crime explanation, later on in the CNN article. It's also horrific, but in a different way.
Police and wildlife officials said two men, whom they described as vagrants, took the shark on the Metromover after failing to sell it at several fish markets...
"Two guys pulled up on a bicycle; they were both riding and were dragging the shark," Gil told CNN... "They had it on a rope with a stick tied to its tail. They were dragging the shark all over Miami, and they were telling me they were trying to sell it for 10 bucks."
The men were turned away because they did not have a permit to sell the shark, said Martha Longueira, who handles purchasing for the Casablanca market.
Apparently the beast was still alive, when abandoned.
More people are inquiring about the lower-cost options, said Joshua Slocum, director of the Funeral Consumers Alliance, a nonprofit watchdog group. “Home funerals aren’t for everybody, but if there’s not enough money to pay the mortgage, there certainly isn’t enough money to pay for a funeral..."
Perhaps the recession will power up the preexisting home funeral movement. Compare this with how the economic crisis is driving on the local food movement.
Some of the designs are getting creative. For example, this dual-function unit, which is just awesome:
Mr. Lakin, a woodworker, makes coffins specifically for home funerals. Ranging in price from $480 to $1,200, they double as bookcases, entertainment centers and coffee tables until they need to be used.
That article also offers this charming comparison, after speaking of "death midwives":
Advocates say the number of home funerals, where everything from caring for the dead to the visiting hours to the building of the coffin is done at home, has soared in the last five years, putting the funerals “where home births were 30 years ago,” according to Chuck Lakin, a home funeral proponent and coffin builder in Waterville, Me.
The economic crisis in America looked like it was going Gothic in fall 2008, according to Henry Paulson. "Gothic" as in "peasants with torches," and "fear of the mob."
Apparently then-Treasury secretary Paulson spoke to members of Congress during
hasty conference calls last year. The calls included discussion of law and order and whether it would be possible to feed the American people, and for how long, according to Mr Kanjorski [Paul Kanjorski, a Pennsylvania Democrat].
A law and order breakdown and a food crisis. Which would have exacerbated each other.
Listen, too, to the X-Files-style fear of panic, with the government withholding information in order to keep us from revolt:
Hank Paulson said it was important at the time not to reveal the extent of officials' concerns, for fear it would "terrify the American people and lead to an even bigger problem".
Hence the secrecy, and also therefore TARP. Fear of a Gothic political explosion is emerging as the narrative behind political economy.
It's the flip side of crisis as Frankenstein monster. Instead of mad (economic) scientists unleashing (economic) horrors, it's misunderstood, but wise (economic) scientists who must act to quell the ignorant peasants.
"It's a pretty dramatic increase," said Lt. David Smith, a coroner's
investigator. "The families just tell us flat-out they don't have the
money to do a funeral."
It's a cash flow problem, as well as a body flow one. At least it's good for local business:
The demands on the county crematorium have been so high that earlier this year, officials there stopped accepting bodies from the coroner. The coroner's office since has contracted with two private crematories for $135,000 to handle the overflow.
First it's severed feet terrorizing the Pacific coast, now it's giant squid. Giant flying squid attacks! As the Guardian puts it, "Swarms of carnivorous giant flying squid terrorise southern Californian coast."
Let's just say that again, and savor it: swarms. Of carnivorous. Giant. Flying squid.
There is much pulpy, Gothic monster goodness to be found in this story.
Jumbo flying squid have invaded the shallow waters off San Diego, California, spooking scuba divers and beachgoers after washing up dead on the beaches.
("Spooking" sounds about right)
carnivorous cephalopods, which weigh up to 45kg (100lb), came up from
the depths last week, with swarms of them roughing up unsuspecting
divers. Some reported tentacles enveloping their masks and yanking at
their cameras and gear.
What kind of squid is this, precisely, o Guardian?
The so-called Humboldt squid, named after the current in the eastern Pacific, have been known to attack humans and are nicknamed "red devils" for their rust-red colouring and mean streak. Divers wanting to observe the creatures often bait the water, use a metal viewing cage or wear chainmail to avoid being lashed by the creature's tentacles.
a powerful, outsize squid that features eight snakelike arms lined with suckers full of nasty little teeth, a razor-sharp beak that can rapidly rip flesh into bite-size chunks, and an unrelenting hunger... It has a rep as the outlaw biker of the marine world: intelligent and opportunistic, a stone-cold cannibal willing to attack divers with a seemingly deliberate hostility.
Did we mention that they are cannibals, feeding on each other? And that their ferocity can drive away other, lesser predators?
Here's one story, taking place further south. Note that one name for the Humboldt Squid is Red Devil, or Red Demon:
This fisherman was pulling up a large calamar, but there was a large demon feeding on it. You see, they are fierce and they even eat each other when caught. When the fisherman reached into the water to pull it in, the Diablo Rojo grabbed him and pulled him into the water. Somehow the man grabbed onto his boat. He tried to get back in, but the Red Demon attacked him and began eating him alive. The man held on for a long time during the struggle before he was finally ripped off and dragged into the deep. He was devoured alive by the Red Demon.