Your challenge is to write the first few paragraphs of a tabloid news story "explaining" how all of this ties together. Feel free to invent experts to quote or even attribute fake quotes to real people. If you don't want to delve into tabloid journalism, take whatever approach you prefer -- crackpot blog post, flash fiction, a story from a staid, traditional newspaper running something they can't believe is true, or whatever tickles your fancy -- while still giving a single explanation for all of these events.Now, I don't know about any of the rest of you, but I was really expecting to see some great, gonzo, totally over the top hilarity, right up there with some of the unsolicited papers submitted to the NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics program. But instead Miko let me down, and left me with the feeling that I was reading a completely serious NY Times op-ed piece, perhaps by Paul Krugman, excepting for a few moment when he seemed to channeling for George Will.
Kersley similarly found that "it reads as an editorial, not a news item. Not that there's anything wrong with that."
No, of course not. Nothing wrong with that at all. As we all know, the hypothetical firewall between editorial and news writing was erased by Walter Cronkite in 1967, and 43 years later, most people have still yet to notice the difference.
Henry, on the other hand, was feeling more generous. He said, "The challenge was to write the first few paragraphs of a tabloid news story and I think you did a great job with it. Your entry was more of a cross between a news story and an editorial, but I see that so often from all forms of media that it seems to have become the journalistic norm. I particularly liked the authoritative tone you used when dismissing such trivial notions as scientific observation, evidence, and logic. I can't imagine how this entry wouldn't have been a contender even if half a dozen others had entered. Well done."
I, on the other hand, can imagine such a thing. I can imagine lots of things, even without the peyote. And just don't even get me started on absinthe...
At which point I lost my ability to keep going with a straight face. Yeah, good job, Miko. This would have been a contender even with competition. My two suggestions are that when you're writing this sort of piece, you either amp up the hysteria from time to time by gratuitously putting certain words in ALL-CAPITAL LETTERS, to achieve the effect of a spittle-spewing LUNATIC! (More exclamation points ALWAYS HELP!) Or else cut back on your use of "scare quotes," because they break up the rhythm. A seemingly calm and rational person arguing for an utterly insane point is usually the more effective way to do satire.
Anyway, my $.02. Good job. Congrats on the win, even if it was by default.