Well, hello there! You’re just in time! Have a seat, boys and girls. Allow me to tell you a little story about what has gone on in our world over the last nine months, just in case you haven’t been paying attention.
Once upon a time, in a place called America, there was a thing called an “election.” Two men, George W. Bush and John Kerry, were trying to become president. They both believed they were the right man for the job, so they tried making their opponent look bad. One was called a liar, a deceiver and a Vietnam draft dodger. The other was called a confused, flip-flopping Botox lover.
Do you know which man should have been elected?
Well, neither did the Americans, to be honest with you. Many of them didn’t like either man, but voted for who they thought was less annoying or less evil. (Bush won the election, by the way.)
Anyway, about two months later, there was a thing called a tsunami. Do you know what a tsunami is, boys and girls? Basically, an earthquake, landslide or volcanic explosion happens under the sea, causing water to crash onto the land. It destroys people’s homes and sometimes hurts them. One of those happened in Indonesia and affected people in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and even as far away as parts of Africa.
Were a lot of people hurt by the tsunami?
Well, the news said a lot of people were affected. They said at least 128,000 people died from the tsunami. I’m not so sure how many people were hurt by it. That’s really sad.
Well, the tsunami victims weren’t the only people that passed away in the past year.
Really? Who else?
Other than a lot of actors, Ray Charles and Johnnie Cochran, Pope John Paul II died.
Who was the pope guy?
He was the leader of the Catholic Church. He did a lot of things to help the poor, fought against communism and capitalism and strongly believed things like euthanasia, abortion and the death penalty were wrong.
Was he a good guy?
He was. He did a lot of good things. After he died, cardinals that represent different parts of the world came together and elected a new pope. They elected a man from Germany who decided he wants to be called “Benedict XVI.”
How come he gets to choose his name? I didn’t get to choose mine! Why didn’t he keep the name he already had? Did he hate his name?
Umm…ask your mother.
Well, that’s all I really had to say. So, which story do you think was the biggest one? And when you tell me which story was the biggest, please tell me your name, your year in school and your major. OK?
I’m Kristin Rogers, a journalism senior.
Yay! A journalism person! I automatically love you! Anyway, go on with your comment, please.
As far as historical significance, definitely the death of John Paul II and the papal changing of the guard – not simply because it’s the freshest news, but because of the tremendous impact it has. The worldwide Catholic community obviously had a lot vested in it, but at the same time the Pope has a ton of global political clout as far as diplomacy goes.
That’s very true. I don’t think anyone deserves more respect than the man who stood against the three major –isms – Communism, Capitalism and Bushism – while still loving technology, skiing and break-dancers.
He liked break-dancers?
He entertained a lot of music styles, from traditional pipe organ music to rap. He was an interesting guy, to say the least. Anyone else?
I’m Jason Faulkner, an agriscience junior. I think the Pope dying is the biggest news story. I can’t see where it would be anything else.
While on one hand I agree the Pope’s death is big news, I also believe it’s a matter of perspective to say nothing else is more important. I mean, take Johnnie Cochran’s death, for instance. First of all, any of the people he kept from doing jail time that didn’t show up to his funeral should be ashamed and jailed just for insensitivity. Second, part of me will laugh if some celebrity that ends up in trouble in the next few months walks up to his grave, in a drunken state, of course, and knocks on Cochran’s gravestone to wake him up for court. Next comment.
My name is Katie Zimmer, and I’m a music performance grad student. I think the tsunami in Asia is most important because it had, and will have, such a huge effect on so many people.
That’s very true. I only hope the world realizes how much we need to work together and stop fighting over stupid stuff. Anyway, any more comments?
I’m communication junior Erica May. The most important story, I think, is everything going on with the tsunami and how it affected certain parts of the world. People need to realize there is more outside America.
Amen to that! People are so wrapped up in the latest load of crap with Hollywood they forget many of the things that are decided in this country (*cough, cough* Bush’s reelection) have a huge impact on the rest of the world, and vice versa. I really feel bad for those involved, or who had relatives trapped in, the tsunami. A friend of my family packed his things and went to India to help them get back on their feet. If you guys want to know anything about the site he started, feel free to ask.
OK, now that I’m done with my public announcement of the day, I’ll take two more comments.
Sorry, but I have homework and errands to run today. Any more comments?
I’m Ali Jafri. I’m a junior majoring in IDS, public policy. I think Bush lying about WMDs and getting reelected is still the biggest story of the year.
Yeah, I think that’s kind of messed up, too, personally. I wanted the other guy to win, even though they said he was a flip-flopper. The way I see things, at least he wasn’t Bush. So that meant he had to be a good guy. Anyway, last person.
I’m Lauren Fox and I’m a professional writing sophomore. I think it was the entire voting process and how it shocked everyone. Proposal two passed, and Bush is in office for another four years – shocking and appalling. Those two ballot components changed so many people’s lives. It’s kind of crazy to think punching a hole in a card has that big an effect on people, but it does.
Without a doubt. A lot of people were trying very hard to convince voters not to vote for Proposal two, but it still went through. I thought that was weird, though – people in Michigan wanted the proposal, but not the man that suggested the idea for the Constitution. I found that hilarious!
Wait, you guys don’t remember what Proposal Two was, do you?
Well, Proposal Two basically says only a man and a woman can get married in Michigan. Two men or two women can’t get married here. If either type of couple gets married somewhere else and moves to Michigan, their marriage won’t be recognized by the government. A lot of people wanted to avoid what are called “gay unions” becoming legal in their state. I personally don’t know what to think about it, but the decision wasn’t left to me either. I have the benefit of being from another state and not having to worry about Michigan politics.
Why do people hate gay marriage so much?
Well…umm…see…the thing about that is…umm…well, see kids some politicians think it’s a good idea to spread their morals..
Long story.
Tell us! Tell us! Tell us!
Wow, look at the time. Thanks for listening, boys and girls. Unfortunately, I need to go. Be good and come back next year!

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