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In a landmark case, Pitt sophomore Natalie Ramsel was convicted of provoking a fellow student Brick Masteson to rape her—a felony in most states. The incident had occurred at a party last spring when Ramsel cruelly wore a miniskirt and smiled at the unsuspecting 230-pound Masteson, which compelled the poor fellow to liquor her up and drag the gagged criminal to the basement, where the terrified victim had no choice but to rape and further threaten Ramsel.
“It was horrible,” Masteson stammered out through tears during his testimony. “The way she stole glances at me, the way she said hi to me—all that horror comes back to me in nightmares, how she was writhing in my steel grasp, how she made me humiliate her and just leave her on the basement floor like a rag. I still shudder to think of her brutality.”
Masteson’s family embraced him when the judge pronounced Ramsel guilty. The verdict was in large part due to neuroscientist Simon Petlevski, who testified on Masteson’s side as expert witness.
Brandishing colorful brain scans, Petlevski said that men are biologically hardwired to ravish the girls who are clearly asking for it.
“Afterwards, the amygdala literally forces men to send dehumanizing text messages and photos of what they did against their will,” he said, adding that men should be pitied, not blamed, for such biological weakness. “It makes sense to punish only those who could make a choice. Would you blame a dog for salivating at the sight of meat?” he asked the jury.
The case caught national attention. While the court was still in session, hundreds of male protesters gathered outside to fight against systematic discrimination against men. They carried placards that read “We Are Brick Masteson” and “HE has no self-control; SHE does” and chanted, “I mean, just look, just look at what she’s wearing!”
“There is a flagrant victim-blaming problem in this country,” said protester Mark Vivlelo. “In the minds of Americans, there’s no longer a difference between a man and a rapist. We are the scapegoats. We’re even blamed for 90 percent of all rapes–that’s the kind of disproportion I’m talking about.”
At press time, Masteson was drafting a petition to the White House asking to review the cases of convicted rapists to determine that the so-called victim “was downright begging for it when she put that dress on.”
Founded this September, Kenyan charity Building the Road to Success will help thousands of American high school students build their resumes for applying for college scholarships and financial aid, said the charity’s website. Its founder Joseph Mbantu cited compassion and altruism as his chief motivations.
“My heart and prayers go out to the high school students of America,” he said, noting that the income gap between those with and without a college degree is at a record high while the exorbitant costs of attending college without scholarship or financial aid keeps the lower class poor and upward social mobility rare. “Students from low-income families often have no time or opportunity for nice-sounding extracurricular activities that make resumes glow, so that’s what we’re for.”
BRS works by pretending to be what scholarship committees often look for—a volunteer organization helping people in countries vaguely regarded as poor and struggling. In reality the charity simply lets high school students put its name in the “volunteer work” section of the resume to beef it up and increase their chances of paying a sensible price for higher education. If somebody contacts BRS to fact-check an applicant’s resume, the staff will enthusiastically attest that the applicant did indeed build schools, power plants, highways, and freed entire towns of hunger and disease.
“The committees think students are helping us poor bastards, but in truth we are helping them poor bastards,” Mbantu explained. “It pains my soul to watch people not get what they need because of a system designed to work against them.”
Last week Eakton High School counselor Kasper Somlet told the notorious bully Andrew Riff that he is already perfect and should never let others’ opinions tell him whom he should be or what he should do. Riff, who has always genuinely relished that helpless anguished look of those weaker than him, said he had sought Somlet’s help last week because his peers made him question his sadistic lifestyle.
“Harassing and intimidating has been my second nature for as long as I can remember and I had a ball at it,” Riff said, “but recently people have been giving me disapproving looks and even saying I should be less of a bully and stuff. It really got to me, you know. I was conflicted. I worried that I was wrong. Gosh, I even felt a little ashamed of myself.”
The moment Somlet saw him in his office, he recognized that Riff was grappling with a big dilemma.
“He told me about his doubts and struggles,” Somlet said. “And then I leaned real close and looked him in the eye and said, ‘Listen, Drew, you gotta love yourself the way you are, no matter what any human or societal standard may say.’ I told him, ‘Pal, there will always be haters to criticize anything you do, but it’s your life and so only your opinion should matter, it’s as good as a thousand others. Don’t you ever let anybody tell you you’re wrong.’”
Riff said that the anxiety caused by his existential dilemma had disappeared even before the session ended and that he, inspired by Somlet’s advice, has returned with a vengeance to his old life of inflicting pain and misery.
“Mr. Somlet taught me how not to let the pathetic voice of others’ opinions drown out my own inner voice,” Riff said, “and it’s a lesson I’ll remember for the rest of my life. I hope I’ll never change.”
|Dulpit’s last status update before hospitalization|
Oakland resident Laila Dulpit was forcibly hospitalized Wednesday with a severe case of Facebook vaguelexia, also known as vaguebooktitis, after posting “Not that all she ever needed wasn’t sometimes mine or his either, too” on her Facebook. Doctors say that brain damage is so profound that she will likely remain forever incapable of posting anything anybody other than her can understand.
Dulpit’s friends said her irritatingly vague status updates such as “good to know you’re listening” and “so stressed out…will I ever do it?” started littering their news feeds about four months ago.
“At first they were both vague and emotionally charged,” said Dulpit’s best friend Zyper Vomleken, “so we figured she’s just another goddamn drama queen fishing for pity, even though when we asked her what was the matter she told us to stop being so nosy.”
But then even the emotional undertones disappeared and Dulpit’s statuses became only vague, borderline deranged. She told her 700+ followers that “sometimes you don’t even wanna know what something is,” “not sure if we are right or he isn’t where—but maybe?” and “life is a hair only if you know where the tractors live.”
“I still remember the last three posts she had written before the one that made us call the paramedics on her out of concern for the mental well-being of her Facebook friends,” said Dulpit’s boyfriend Chrys Tumbleblumble. “I can even see them in my mind’s eye: ‘just add three pieces and it’s complete,’ ‘no matter what runs there won’t be any,’ and ‘it’s so hard when things are things but people are like places and you’re often.’”
Dulpit’s doctors said they would have to keep her sedated and restrained until her craving for a Facebook-supporting device subsides.