Americans continue to agonize over government “giveaways,” but as News of the Weird has noted several times, somehow federal farm subsidies continue unabated — even though much of the money no longer goes to “family farms” but to rich urban industrialists who hardly know a plow from a sow.
In the latest accounting from Environmental Working Group records, the weekly New York Press revealed such “agrarian” handout-seekers as Manhattan billionaires Leonard Lauder and David Rockefeller — and Rockefeller’s son Mark.
In fact, for 10 years now, the federal government has handed Mark $54,500 a year not to grow anything on his 5,000 acres in Idaho.
According to the Press, Mark never intended to, in that he only bought the land because it was adjacent to the upscale, socialite-hangout South Fork fly-fishing lodge he runs next door.
In 2007 News of the Weird highlighted the clothes cults of impoverished Congo.
In the country that has lost an estimated 4 million people in the civil wars of the last decade and where many must get by on about 30 cents a day, ‘gangs’ of designer-clothes-wearing men” have fashion smackdowns in the streets of Kinshasa to prove that Versace and Gucci styles look better on them than on others.
These “sapeurs” (from the French slang for clothes) continue to strut their genuine Gaultier and Dolce & Gabbana, according to a March Washington Post dispatch.
One sapeur, “Luzolo,” who lives in a one-room shack with no bed, no water and no electricity (but a closetful of designer outfits) describes the feeling as “like a spirit that comes in me.”
When he wears “the labels,” he said, “I feel there is no one above me.”
(Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa Fla. 33679 or go to www.newsoftheweird.com.)