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How bizarre!
by Thanos Kalamidas
2010-05-30 10:35:20
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bizarre01_05Pink Hitler

An advert for a clothing shop that features Adolf Hitler dressed in pink has provoked outraged reactions in Italy. The posters were put up in the city of Palermo in Sicily, with the caption: "Change your style. Don't follow your leader". The swastika on Hitler's armband has been replaced by a heart.

But the local association of wartime resistance fighters said the adverts were offensive to those who had fought fascism.  World War II resistance fighters wrote to the mayor demanding their immediate withdrawal. A spokesman said that the posters violated democratic principles. The advertising agency behind the posters told Italian media the aim was to ridicule Hitler, not minimise his crimes.


Yearbook article focuses on students smoking pot

High school publications have long triggered controversy, court fights and even warring state laws over teen limits in Missouri and Kansas. The issue flickers again in an article in the new Shawnee Mission West High School yearbook. “Mary Jane Doe” tells how friends bond by smoking marijuana every day. “John Marley” says that the K2 synthetic pot substitute — legal at the time the book went to press but illegal in Kansas now — “hits you a lot cleaner and faster.”

bizarre02_04An anonymous source says of such products: “Your mindset is so much better. You’re happier and not down on things.” The article does not suggest any downside to puffing away. School officials said they had received one or two complaints about the two-page spread, which showcases a murky picture of a teen lighting up. Journalism teacher Amy Morgan, adviser to the 45-student staff, said the article in an issues section of the 392-page yearbook did not run as intended.

“That particular story got published in not publishable shape,” she said. “I read an early draft and suggested revisions (like more objectivity) that just never happened.” In the crush to finish the product, a student just forgot, she said. But Morgan noted that Kansas law made it difficult for her to quash a student story. That 1992 law came in response to a landmark 1988 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a Missouri case that sharply reduced tolerance for student expression. The high court ruled that a principal at a suburban St. Louis high school acted properly in pulling stories on teen pregnancy planned for the school newspaper because of “legitimate pedagogical concerns.” Lawyers argue over just what that means. School officials in the case argued that frank talk about sex and birth control, though not graphic, was not appropriate in a paper distributed to 14-year-old freshmen.


We're good people, we just made a mistake

bizarre03_400_03Southern Oregon University students Blake Adkins and Kevin Novotny were bored and roaming the dorm hallways looking for a ping-pong table one night last month when they made what they both describe as the worst decision of their lives. On the white walls of two dorm hallways — including one with a gender-neutral floor that houses several gay students — they wrote what police called anti-gay graffiti. "We already had markers in our hands and we started to draw stuff on the walls, and it escalated," Adkins said. In an interview earlier this week, Adkins, 19, and Novotny, 20, admitted to the crime and apologized for it. "Kevin and I would like to say that we're deeply and sincerely sorry to all that were affected," Adkins said.

"Absolutely," said Novotny, who sat beside Adkins in an empty SOU math classroom. "We're good people, we just made a mistake," Adkins added. "It was a reckless act. It wasn't supposed to be a hate crime or anything like that. It was a poor choice of words." Adkins and Novotny said they plan to apologize in person Friday to residents of the dorms hit by the graffiti and to also write each resident a letter of apology. In the coming days, they plan to begin volunteering at the university's Queer Resource Centre. "We are voluntarily doing things in a positive manner to show that we are good citizens and we do care and love everyone," Adkins said.

They said they didn't know Diamond Hall had a gender-neutral floor when they scrawled graffiti there, and that they didn't intend to intimidate anyone. "By no means are we homophobic," Adkins said. "Unfortunately we managed to hit some halls that had special floors and that were an unintentional and unknowing mistake." Adkins and Novotny were arrested on April 30 and charged with second-degree criminal mischief. An intimidation charge against Adkins was dropped. They pleaded guilty on May 19 to the violation and received a $400 fine, they said. They could have received up to a $720 fine, Adkins said. They were still waiting to hear whether they will face discipline from the university.


Teen Arrested After Allegedly Releasing Bag of Crickets into School Building

Police have arrested a teen they say broke into a high school after hours and released a bag of crickets. Officers responded to a wooded area near Thomas Stone High School in Waldorf, Md. around 11:00 p.m. Monday night to investigate a suspicious person report. When they arrived they found 18 year old Jinhan Kim attempting to leave the area in a car.

While questioning the subject, officer learned Kim had broken into Thomas Stone High School to commit what they call a 'senior prank.' Officer say Kim entered through a window he unlocked earlier in the day. Once inside, Kim released a bag full of crickets, about 150 total, in the building. Investigators learned Kim ordered the crickets on-line. Kim was charged with burglary and possession of burglary tools after officers found a screwdriver in his pocket. Two other people were with the suspect but the extent of their involvement is under investigation.

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