gone to extreme extremes

We are living in a world in which extremes are becoming commonplace. Television, starving for the substance provided by the striking writers, tries to entice us with a range of extreme papcrap — extreme sports, extreme makeovers, even a new drama called “Extreme.”
This week’s Harper’s Weekly shares some extreme newsbits, the links to which can be found in this version. The following are excerpts:

Visiting the Middle East, President George W. Bush urged Gulf state leaders to join him in confronting Iran, “before it’s too late.” Bush, guarded by ten thousand policemen in Jerusalem, told Condoleezza Rice that the United States should have bombed Auschwitz, and was flown by helicopter to Bethlehem so that he could pass through a tiny Door of Humility and pray at the traditionally venerated birthplace of Jesus Christ.

For the first time since the 1800s the average Briton was earning more than the average American, even though the pound was at an all-time low against the euro.

Pat Robertson predicted that China will convert to Christianity. “God’s going to give us China,” he said. “China will be the largest Christian nation on earth.” The Chinese government expelled more than five hundred people from the Communist Party for violating the country’s one-child policy,

The Australian government refused to provide compensation to Aborigines (who until 1967 were governed under flora and fauna laws) who were stolen from their parents as children.

A victim of Hurricane Katrina was suing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for $3,000,000,000,000,000 after the
Corps admitted that it had done a poor job designing the broken New Orleans levees.

The Museum of Bogota in Colombia opened an exhibit dedicated to laziness, and scientists in Houston discovered a vaccine that makes cocaine no fun.

It was revealed that a single trader seeking bragging rights caused oil to reach a record high of $100 a barrel.

it was revealed that Blackwater dropped riot-control gas on U.S. soldiers in Iraq in 2005. “This,” said Army Captain Kincy Clark, “was decidedly uncool.”

Forty-seven U.S. senators were fighting for the return of guns to national parks and wildlife refuges.

Finally, and maybe the most relevant of all:

Scientists from the American Astronomical Society attended their annual meeting and agreed that the universe is bizarre and violent. “This is the glory of the universe,” said the association’s president. “What is odd and what is normal is changing.”

It certainly does seem so, doesn’t it?