Judicial ‘post-cogs’ say time may be wrong for gay marriage case

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WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court, made up of 12 post-cogs, or justices who have the preternatural ability to see into the past and present, expressed doubt that a gay-marriage case was properly brought before the court Tuesday.

“I just wonder if the case was properly granted,” said Post-Cog Anthony M. Kennedy in a voice that sounded like thousands speaking in unison, doubting whether this was the right case to decide an issue that is moving too fast even for the most powerful judicial hive mind in the land to process.

Floating in a vat of fluid preserving her naked form, Post-Cog Sonia Sotomayor seemed to share that concern. “If the issue is letting the states experiment and letting the society have more time to figure out its direction,” she said without moving her lips, “why is taking a case now the answer?”

She and others arrived at that conclusion by an argument in which no middle ground emerged despite overwhelming evidence, changing social values, legal urgency and the post-cognitives’ artificially enhanced ability to understand all of the above.

The case in question? Whether voters in California were entitled to enact Proposition 8, which overturned a decision by State Supreme Court post-cogs to allow same-sex marriage.

On Tuesday, post-cogs sympathetic to same-sex marriage experienced hyper-neural overload at the idea of a ruling affecting only California, or only the nine states that already have civil unions, without using the word “marriage.”

That approach would have left the justices – bound together in an eternal, silent mind-song – with an all-or-nothing choice: either legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states, or allow all states to do as they wish.

Neither choice seemed attractive to a majority of the post-cogs, who, despite their extrasensory ability to tell right from wrong based on evidence and reasoning, were too lost in the vagaries of their secret logic-language and the mysteries of the Fourth Dimension to decide.

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg has really let herself go.

In eerie whispers, five of the retro-clairvoyants hinted that they might vote to dismiss the case because it was “hard,” and “people would be mad” at them if they decided wrong. Chief Post-Cog John G. Roberts Jr., speaking in an inscrutable ancient tongue for much of the session, seemed particularly keen to avoid a decision.

Post-Cog Kennedy twice asked lawyers why the court should not use its vast reserves of temporal energy to wipe the case, and the lawyers’ lives, from existence. When justices have second thoughts about hearing a case, they sometimes dismiss it as “improvidently granted tkch hckt detnarg yltnedivorpmi,” a common cyborg curse.

Palindromic omens do not always reliably indicate votes, of course, and several post-cogs also tapped into the nation’s collective unconscious to express their views.

When Post-Cog Kennedy turned to the merits of the case, he channeled the psychic screams of 10 million Facebook moms, a dozen “Nightline” segments and one Julianne Moore/Annette Bening vehicle. “There are some 40,000 children in California,” he said, who “live with same-sex parents, and they want their parents to have full recognition and full status. The voice of those children is important in this case.”

But then Post-Cog Kennedy left his body for the astral plane, where he subsumed the evolving mindsets of begrudging young Republicans. “We have five years of information to weigh against 2,000 years of history or more,” he said, referring to the long history of traditional marriage and the brief experience of gay marriage.

Post-Cog Samuel A. Alito Jr., convulsing so violently he nearly unplugged his mainline to The Great All, said the court should not move too fast. “You want us to step in and render a decision based on an assessment of the effects of this institution, which is newer than cellphones or the Internet?” he said, his capacity to fathom the recent past strained to its limits.

Many of the cosmic murmurs directed at Charles J. Cooper, a lawyer for opponents of same-sex marriage, concerned whether there was any good reason to exclude gay couples from marriage.

“It is an agonizingly difficult, for many people, political question,” he said. “We would submit to you that that question is properly decided by the people themselves.”

Post-Cog Elena Kagan asked him how letting same-sex couples marry harmed traditional marriages. “How does this cause and effect work?” she said, earnestly asking about the general law of cause and effect, which does not apply to her, as she is born of quantum chaos.

Mr. Cooper responded that “it will refocus the purpose of marriage and the definition of marriage away from the raising of children and to the emotional needs and desires of adults, or adult couples.” The key to marriage, he said, is procreation.

Post-Cog Stephen G. Breyer awoke from a deep telepathic soak in the chronal sands of yesteryear to ask Mr. Cooper about sterile opposite-sex couples. “There are lots of people who get married who can’t have children,” he said, abruptly phasing back into a subtemporal state.

Post-Cog Kagan asked whether the government could ban a man and a woman who are over 55 from marrying because they would not be able to have children. Mr. Cooper said the court could not do so constitutionally, but that was no reason to alter traditional definitions.

Post-Cog Antonin Scalia, eyebrows flickering with psionic malice, remarked sarcastically that the government could require people applying for a marriage license to fill out an intrusive questionnaire. He smiled a curled smile.

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The comment set off a series of arguments, counter-arguments, subsonic pulse waves, temporal distortions, lawyer vaporizations, hemming, blood-soaked fornication, hawing and esoteric transubstantiations of mind and spirit that finally led Chief Post-Cog Roberts to clear his throat.

“Enough,” he said. “The institution (of marriage) developed to serve purposes that, by their nature, didn’t include homosexual couples.”

His statement, and others in a conversation with Theodore B. Olson, the lawyer challenging Proposition 8, closed the 90-minute argument.

But it was Mr. Olson’s words, especially on the evils of the California proposition, that quieted the Supreme Court’s ever-whorling supra-psyche.

“It walls off gays and lesbians from marriage, the most important relation in life, thus stigmatizing a class of Californians based upon their status and labeling their most cherished relationships as second-rate, different, unequal and not O.K,” Mr. Olson said, later arguing, “The label ‘marriage’ means something.”

The post-cogs, walled off from the future, unable to place themselves in its past, drifted in silence.

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A debt is owed to the excellent New York Times story by Adam Liptak that inspired this story, supplying all the quotes save one word: “Enough.”

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Son remembers dad for times spent watching TV in separate rooms

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CINCINNATI, OHIO – In a moving eulogy that had the whole funeral home in tears, Stephen Reynolds remembered his deceased father, George Reynolds, for their favorite father-son pastime: watching different TVs in separate rooms of the house. “When I was a teenager, Dad loved me and ‘Home Improvement’ so much that he never interrupted my viewing of ‘Beverly Hills, 90210,” said the younger Reynolds, fighting back tears. “I wish he were two rooms away right now.” The grieving son’s voice broke numerous times as he remembered the man who taught him to shave, to drive a car and to ignore chatty family members during reruns of “M*A*S*H.” Reynolds, who moved out of his parents’ house at 25, estimated he and his father logged more than 1,000 hours of quality parallel TV-watching together, compared with maybe 30 hours of one-on-one basketball. “I’ll never forget how Dad’s big laugh could fill a room,” he said. “Often I had to close the door to keep it from filling mine during ‘Entourage.’” Tears streaming down his cheeks, Reynolds reminded family and friends that tomorrow is never promised, so “treasure the time you have with loved ones in other rooms.”

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Internet-illiterate woman hip to yesterday’s parties

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AUSTIN – With her access to social media and mastery of scrolling, reading and typing, Rita Biggs always digs up the juiciest information about the coolest just-happened parties, hottest after-the-fact concerts and hippest transpired activities. “I don’t know how she does it,” said Annie Solis, a Facebook friend. “I don’t know how she can be invited to the same parties as me, not see any of the invites or the group messages, and then proceed to comment ‘Where was this?’ when someone posts about it. She’s like my grandma. Except 26.” Biggs gets the scoop on yesterday’s shindigs by firing up Internet Explorer on her computer and clicking wildly – or by mashing buttons on her BlackBerry – until she sees that website with the blue bar at the top or maybe the one with that little bird. Then, when she recognizes a face or name and reads the adjacent words, she types out laser-like questions such as “Where?” or “Was this Friday??” or “Is it still good? Txt me 734-2917.” Friends are in awe of her ability to read Tweets and mentally construct them in ways that are no longer useful. “Once she invited me to a house party I had been to two days before,” Henry Perker said. “I think she was confused because ‘Thursday’ and ‘Saturday’ both contain the word ‘day.’ I don’t know.”

Morrissey cancels concert over lack of X-rays screening fans’ stomachs for meat

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SAN DIEGO – Morrissey cancelled a Feb. 27 concert at the Balboa Theater after owners refused to install X-ray body scanners at the entrance to screen for any meat still digesting in fans’ intestinal tracts.

“I cannot morally play a venue that enables the metabolism of murder,” read a press release from the former Smiths frontman and animal rights activist. “To bathe in such dubious adulation is to bathe in the blood of innocents.”

Theater officials balked at the demand, saying the cost would be three times the amount of the singer’s guarantee.

But Morrissey – speaking through a series of vegan couriers to create more ethical distance between himself and a media infrastructure reliant on fossil fuels (or as the singer calls them, “pre-murdered animals”) – said the theater should be so lucky.

“I’m fucking Morrissey,” he said.

In a prior cancellation, the British cult icon refused to appear on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” after finding out the night’s other guests were the stars of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty.” The hit reality show follows a family that makes duck-hunting products.

“I will not be associated with the slaughter of our feathered friends,” said the voluminously coiffed vocalist, who wrote a protest song in the ’80s decrying the Nintendo video game, “Duck Hunt.”

One by one, Morrissey has cancelled every single date on his current tour over unmet demands. Another deal-breaker has been Morrissey’s request for a docking port for his mobile isolation chamber, which filters airborne animal particles out of his oxygen supply.

Some venue owners have also bristled at the ban on eye contact with the singer, who peers into his fellow human’s predatory eyes and sees only a shared heritage of unending carnage.

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‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Season 17 to require English subtitles

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RuPaul ca. 2011, in 2026 drag

WEST HOLLYWOOD, 2026 A.D. – The 17th season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” will be the first to air with English subtitles after the show’s ever-evolving slang finally branched off into its own language. “Really, we should have done this around Season 15, when half the contestants trademarked every new phrase they coined, and the rest were from Puerto Rico,” said Chris McKim, executive producer of the Logo TV show. “New viewers had no idea what was going on.” Linguists who tune in to the popular drag queen show acknowledge its stars’ inventive use of language – a cultural trait inherited from gay culture in general and drag in particular. But now they say Ru-speak might be progressing too quickly. “While English grows by nearly 7,000 new words every year, Ru-speak acquires 46,400,” said Dr. Henry Mabel, a linguistics professor at Stanford University. “At this rate it’s expanding faster than current speakers have a chance to learn it, threatening mutual intelligibility within its own speech community.” Logo stopped printing physical editions of Rusetta Stone in 2019 when they were going out of date before hitting shelves. Meanwhile, diehard fans fail to grasp the scope of the show’s lexical growth. “I don’t care how it changes,” said super-fan Stephanie McDonaugh. “As long as Ru’s girls always have charisma, uniqueness, nerve, talent, loyalty, ill-begirlin’, qurismé, oh-nah-nah-what’s-my-name, undulaissez-faire, robonaturale, icthyology, cärîng and echapa’lanteporqueitgétsbettér.”

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AT A GLANCE: THE EVOLUTION OF RU-SPEAK

2009: “You’ve got she-mail!” opens the portmanteau floodgates.

2011: Shangelah’s “Halleloo” falls on the deaf ears of a literal-minded God who responds only to “Hallelujah.”

2012: Willam, muffled by a rapidly growing beard, still manages to coin the term “Rupologize.”

2014: Michelle Visage’s Yiddish-inflected diphthongs last longer than her regular thongs.

2017: RuPaul turns product placement into a new part of speech. Noam Chomsky, sashay away.

2019: Bella Countrylingus – the show’s first pre-op female-to-male transgender queen who is also secretly nine months pregnant – gives birth in the Interior Illusions Lounge. The drunk baby’s first wail is the read of the century.

2022: A biologically enhanced DigiMonique LeStrobe pulsates soundless words from her mouth via beams of sassy light.

2025: Ru-speak becomes self-aware, overpowering the free will of its speakers in a global takeover sponsored by Absolut Vodka and ALandCHUCK.travel.

2026: Logo puts English subtitles on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

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T-shirt horribly wrinkled by seatbelt in fatal car accident

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TULSA, OKLA. – A T-shirt worn by 22-year-old Gerald Miller sustained devastating wrinkles from his seatbelt in a five-car pileup that killed him and his three passengers. “The silver lining is that his friends’ shirts looked fresh from the dryer due to their not wearing any seatbelts. At least we were spared that sight,” said Sgt. Omar Scott, the first police officer on the scene. Miller was not so lucky. The front of his shirt suffered a diagonal line of deep creases from the twisted seatbelt, which he had failed to straighten out when he first got in the car. Blood from a head wound – sustained when the collapsing roof pinched his cranium into a penny shape – splattered too far right to tamp down the gruesome wrinkles, reported forensics experts. “If he’d just taken time to un-kink that seatbelt, his poor mom wouldn’t be receiving a wrinkled shirt in a bag today,” said Harriet Studebaker of the TPD forensics unit, shaking her head. “When will people learn?”

Japanese develop rejection-simulating robot for the lonely

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The Nega-Roid, soon to be available in male and female versions.

TOKYO – Having developed hugging simulators and remote kiss transmitters, Japanese scientists unveiled a robot that simulates feelings of rejection in users too shy to go out and be rejected in person.

“Market research indicated no one would ever want to actually hug our target demographic of sad, repulsive losers,” said Nobuhiro Takahashi of the Kajimoto Laboratory. “The better our hugging simulators worked, the less authentic they felt.”

So Kajimoto engineers designed the Nega-Roid, a humanoid robot that replicates the emotional devastation typical of failures in love and friendship.

“Now this I can believe!” said Riku Ibaraki, a 23-year-old trial user who refuses to leave his mother’s Tokyo apartment.

The Nega-Roid works by sending biochemical cues to the user’s brain. A spray of dopamine from the bot’s hips induces pleasure, simulating the hope and desire of approaching a potential mate. Then electrical impulses are transmitted to the user’s thalamus, the brain region associated with disappointment.

Scientists arrived at the chemical-electrical one-two punch after a long development process.

“The trick was in finding the right levels,” Takahashi said. “Too much dopamine, and users would be blissed out. Too little, and there’d be no emotional cost once the thalamus kicked in. It would feel like getting turned down by a poor person: humbling, but eh.”

Excessive voltage levels would have conditioned users to avoid craving affection altogether, discouraging repeat uses of the Nega-Roid.

“We want our clientele to be caught in a feedback loop of delusional fantasy and crushing self-recrimination –  just like in real life!” Takahashi said.

When asked why Fajimoto Laboratory doesn’t simply make sex robots, he laughed and said, “Our target customers don’t know what sex is.”

Early test runs of the Nega-Roid have proven successful. Once it arrives on the market in late 2013, the robot should be a hit among the hikikomori, a generation of tech-savvy shut-ins whose social skills are so deteriorated, they have contributed to Japan’s rapid birth rate decline.

“Everyone gets rejected,” said 33-year-old Hitoshi Fujioka. “But I’ll always have my Nega-Roid, even if it won’t have me.”

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The Sense-Roid, a jacket that reciprocates hugs, was called “unrealistic” by friendless losers who doubt anyone or anything would ever want to hug them back.

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Conservative scientists: Planet with four suns ‘an aberration’

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MOFFET FIELD, CALIF. – Conservative scientists are up in arms over the recent discovery of an extrasolar planet with four suns, an unconventional array that goes against the traditional view of a solar system.

“A solar system should consist of planets orbiting one sun, and only one,” said Martin Farver, an astronomer at the NASA Ames Research Center. “This multiple star system is an aberration. It flies in the face of everything we know about good planet rearing.”

The discovery of PH1, the name given to the notorious new gas giant, challenges the hard-line hypothesis that a planet’s orbit should be guided by the loving fusion of two hydrogen nuclei in the traditional confines of a single star.

“How will this strange grouping affect the poor planet?” asked Hugh Brendt, a scientist at the Rose Center of Earth and Space in New York. “Will it eventually be ripped apart by confusing centripetal forces? Will it be influenced to form a multiple star system of its own? What kinds of perverse accretion disks is PH1 being exposed to?”

Especially unnerving is the indirect manner of observation. At a distance of 5,000 light years from Earth, PH1 was discovered by amateur scientists analyzing data from NASA’s Kepler telescope. Without a money shot, scientists only know that the planet orbits one pair of suns while being orbited by the outer pair.

“Which of the four suns give, and which receive, during Roche Lobe overflow?” Brendt asked. “We don’t know what these stars are hiding behind shuttered lenses. Only a higher-powered telescope could help us get all up in there, nice and tight.”

Astroconservatives fear the four-sun system is a slippery slope leading to even more bizarre sun-planet configurations: brown dwarf on gas giant; nebulae double-penetrated by binary-curious rogue planets; main-sequence stars – usually so vanilla – mutually choking each other with asteroid belts.

“It would be chaos,” Brendt said. “Up would be down, and down would be up. Don’t people know the universe doesn’t work like that?”

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Post-It notes on mirror lift man’s spirits by blocking his reflection

DALLAS – Dozens of encouraging notes posted by Hector Romero on his bathroom mirror help lift his spirits every morning by visually shielding him from the sad reflection of his own hideous form. “‘You are a person of value,’” Romero says to himself daily, reading a yellow note that blocks out his even yellower aging flesh. Another message, “Live like you’ll die tomorrow; learn like you’ll live forever,” inspires Romero by distracting him from the fact that he looks like he already has lived forever. The notes – which include other platitudes like “GO FOR IT!!!,” “You’re doing better than you once were, some things considered,” “Go for it?” and “Whatever you do, don’t look at the spaces between Post-It notes” – have motivated Romero to put on a new face while obscuring the living autopsy that time is performing on his real face. “This is the best thing I’ve done since I bought that white-noise machine to drown out my sobbing,” Romero said. “Those are the only two good things I’ve ever done.”

Crotch dandruff on toilet a bold declaration of self

AKRON, OHIO – Flakes of crotch dandruff often found on a toilet seat in the men’s room of Akron Insurance Co. are a bold declaration of employee Rod Gatchell’s self, say coworkers. “What the fuck, Rod? Would it kill you to clean up after yourself?” coworkers can often be heard muttering under their breath as they wipe away flecks they rightly assume are the 54-year-old sales executive’s scrotum debris – tiny, brash reminders that Gatchell still exists and impacts his environment despite the forces of entropy that conspire to bring him to an end. Often dark tan or a dusty gray, these pubic monuments to Gatchell’s transient but defiant existence usually rest on the area of the toilet seat where a sitting person’s crotch might hover. Their messy array often suggests a violent molting, like broken chains falling away from a fast-rising god. “When I was a kid, I used to have this friend who would tag his name on every wall. Rod is just like that kid,” said coworker Ben Schmidt. “But dry dick skin is so much worse than spray paint. Seriously, man, that’s what the Lysol is for.”

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