News in Brief: 09/21/00

University of Wisconsin Admits to Doctoring One Photo Wisconsin university inserts black student among whites in photo

“We did it in this one instance, and it really was an error in judgment,” University publications director Al LaFollette said Tuesday. “We judged that this Moorish fellow would never read that brochure, but we were wrong.”

The university’s undergraduate admissions director, Rob LaFollette, said his office spent the summer looking for pictures that would show the school’s diversity – but had no luck. “Frankly, we’ve got a bunch cheese-heads out here – what were we supposed to do? About the only time we see blacks up here is when we watch Flip Wilson re-runs.”

Since “those Negroes enjoy sports so much,” the staff finally settled on a 1993 photo of white Badger fans at a football game. LaFollette said his office then altered the photo to add an image of senior Diablo Shazam taken in 1994.

The university won’t discipline those involved because they admitted their mistake and apologized to Shazam, said Patrick LaFollette, a university spokesman. In addition, large quantities of Howard University yearbooks with the word “Wisconsin” substituted for the word “Howard” are being tossed out.

Shazam said he hopes the incident will encourage the university to insert his photo into all sorts of contexts that will “help him score with babes. Look,” said Shazam, “can’t they show me scoring the winning touchdown in the Big Ten championship, or superimpose my head on Mike Tyson’s body?”

Critics accuse the University of doctoring far more than this one photograph. The Reverend Al Sharpton complained recently, “I saw them on TV at the NCAA basketball tournament last year. Do you think that they really had all those white boys playing hoops, or did they just ‘diversify’ them into the footage?”

In addition, some around the campus are beginning to suspect that University President Quincy Adams Wagstaff is not actually dating Helena Bonham-Carter, as was implied by this year’s freshmen orientation film. And a few are even whispering that, contrary to the evidence of the photos in the school student union, not every one of the 1999 Nobel Prize winners was on the U. of W. faculty.

Campaign to Fight Injun’ Drug Abuse Announced

WASHINGTON – The Clinton administration unveiled a $2 million advertising campaign yesterday to fight drug abuse among American Indians, which is to be named “Our $2 Million Advertising Campaign to Fight Drug Abuse Among American Indians.”

Native Americans are reported to have the highest rates of drug use in the country, and the crime and other social problems that go with them. The campaign will promote the gambling industry as an arena for entrepreneurial initiative that does not contribute to social problems.

”I’m dismayed at how poorly we’ve responded to this problem,” said the chief federal drug control adviser, Barry McCaffrey, “and that’s no Sitting Bull.” He was speaking to a conference of tribal leaders and substance abuse experts gathered at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. After his speech, to the dramatic backdrop of the giant, laser-arrow-shooting glass Indian at the casino, he had his personal assistant run a tomahawk gauntlet amid an ominous swirl of dry-ice fog.

A federal study released last week found that 19.6 percent of teenage American Indians used illicit drugs, the third highest rate of any group in the nation, after Phish’s road crew and the White House staff.

Fewer Indians drink per capita (if any readers have a recipe for these, please send it in) than do members of other ethnic groups. However, Native Americans of ages 15 to 24 are “17 times higher than the national average,” McCaffrey said, “which is not all that low to begin with. Bunch of dope-addled pansies kids are these days!”

McCaffrey displayed anti-drug print and radio ads that his office is backing, along with a slide show of last year’s DEA kegger. The ads will run in 79 casinos, the latest issue of Squaws Illustrated, and on a network of Indian radio stations.

The radio ads feature an Indian father, telling listeners to ”pass down the traditions and communicate to our youth that drugs are not part of our Native cultures. Well, of course we would have a little tobacco now and then in the old peace pipe. Sure, maybe a button of peyote on special occasions. And boy, datura was a blast on Friday nights in the sweat lodge. Man, I used to get ripped on that stuff. I remember that time the spirit of a water hole manifested itself in the form of Jerry Garcia riding on a Gila monster. Man, was that freaky! Oh, yeah, anyway, um, drugs aren’t part of our culture. OK?”

McCaffrey said that his office has given 14 grants to alcohol and drug treatment or prevention programs for American Indians, and that it plans to give another 10 next week. These grants are generally in the form of beads, blankets, horses, rifles, fire water and used Firestone Tires. (All items may be returned except the blankets, which McCaffrey was emphatic about not accepting back.)

September 22, 2000

Gene Callahan is a regular contributor to, and Stu Morgenstern is contributing editor at The Frumious Bandersnatch.

2000, Stu Morgenstern and Gene Callahan