Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Apologies for the delay since our last post: our computers were confiscated by Homeland Security. Yepoka’s parents have kindly agreed to type in entries from the Catholic Worker in Dakar, dictated to them by phone. Herewith:

Winkie’s supporters are probably aware of recent reports of a dog mauling a number of antique teddy bears at a museum in the U.K.—including a bear that had once belonged to Elvis Presley. We are particularly saddened that, according to a complaint filed this morning by Winkie’s lawyer, prison guards have repeatedly taunted our own bear with this news.

The trial concluded today with testimony from “John the Apostle,” who reportedly wore a brown burlap caftan and stared fixedly into the distance as he spoke:

“And there appeared another wonder in heaven. And behold a great red Winkie, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth….”

He went on to describe the defeat of said seven-headed Winkie by an army of angels—to which the courtroom burst into cheers. Since a certain inmate here at County (yes, we are all in jail again, we haven't yet been told why) wishes to use this phone and is threatening Ben with a knife fashioned from a mattress spring, we must sign off without reporting on the dozens of other such witnesses who were called by the district attorney. Free Win—

Ouch! Stop! OK, I'm hanging up! (dial tone)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Today we each received a bill from the university for $947,568, to cover damages incurred by Homeland Security's search of our dorm rooms. That's a total of $6.6 million for the seven of us. Obviously we cannot pay and therefore will be denied admission this fall. All of our parents are upset—except Yepoka's, who run the Catholic Worker in Dakar.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

From a report in the Exurban Republican-Empire:
Acting on a tip from patriotic students at State University, Collegeville, Homeland Security forces descended on the dorm rooms of members of the so-called Free Winkie Committee to search for weapons and explosive devices. Photos of the courthouse where Winkie is being tried were discovered, and the seven students were held for two weeks on charges of aspiring to blow up the building. Yesterday a grand jury failed to bring an indictment. However, authorities also found one contraband Ritilin capsule and the remains of a marijuana cigarette in a room shared by two of the students, who thus remain in custody on drug charges. (Evidence was also discovered that the two students, both female, are “lesbian lovers,” according to sources close to the investigation.)

The students being held are Bao and Emily; they are not lovers (though they did flirt once in an S & M chatroom, by accident). The Ritalin capsule probably belongs to Bao’s 12-year-old brother, who must have dropped it while visiting her. (He was there at their mother’s request, to try to persuade Bao to stop her efforts on behalf of Winkie.) Emily admits to smoking pot on occasion, but in this case the roach was found underneath her carpet—a carpet that, according to college records, had been installed in 1971. (At right, the dorm after it had been searched by Homeland Security.)

Meanwhile, the parade of dubious witnesses against Winkie has continued. For example, according to the Imperial Suburban Sun, Witness C (name withheld), who wore “a black wool coat, black wool breaches, buckled boots, and a tall black hat,” testified:
Mr. Winkie was the person who seduced and compelled me into the snares of witchcraft … He promised me fine clothes for doing it. He brought poppets to me, and thorns to stick in those poppets, for the afflicting of other people; and he exhorted me, with the rest of the crew, to bewitch all of America, but be sure to do it gradually, if we would prevail in what we did.

We note only that it is unlikely that a teddy bear would counsel sticking thorns in a fellow poppet.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

From a report published today:

Winkie Prosecutor Tests Brilliant New Legal Strategy

In a bold move that may affect terrorism trials across the nation, the prosecutor in the Winkie case plans to call skilled actors in place of those witnesses who cannot testify. With crimes that took place some years ago, for example, all of the witnesses against the defendant may in fact be dead. But that won’t stop this dynamo prosecutor, who has vowed to put freak of nature Winkie behind bars—and win himself a place in legal history.

Says one trial insider: “Carefully coached performers can present testimony far more persuasively than most real witnesses, who can easily be tripped up by clever defense attorneys. And proper elocution will make it easier for the press to take accurate notes and fully inform the public on the trial.”

Names of the actors—as well as the roles they will play—are being withheld for reasons of national security. Many of the charges, too, are classified, though sources report that another important aspect of the prosecution strategy is to charge Winkie with misdeeds committed, in some cases, as many as 2,500 years ago. Legal theorists call it a “temporal scattershot” approach. “If the jury finds these charges believable, great,” says an expert in the U.S. Attorney General’s office, which is watching the case closely. “If not, these carefully calibrated falsehoods will only make the government’s other charges seem that much more believable by comparison. It's a win-win.”

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

In response to the editorial in today's university newspaper: We aren't trying to downplay the charges against Winkie by not yet posting them here. Rather, the 9,758 counts have taken some time for us to summarize. Also in response to today's editorial: No, we do not believe the defendant would prefer to be tried in Kazakhstan. Winkie's altogether American trial begins tomorrow; the crimes with which s/he is charged include:

- Terrorism
- Treason
- Conspiring to overthrow the United States government
- Providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization
- Possession of components from which a destructive device such as a bomb can be readily assembled
- One hundred twenty-four counts of attempted murder
- Impersonating a woman
- Fraud
- Resisting arrest
- Corrupting the youth of Athens
- Holding the false doctrine that the sun is the center of the world and the earth moves
- Blasphemy
- Witchcraft
- Teaching evolution in the schools
- Ritual satanic abuse
- The creation of immoral works of art
- Obscenity
- Acts of gross indecency with certain young men of London

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Free Winkie Committee urges everyone to sign the following petition:

We, the undersigned, make the following demands regarding Winkie, reputedly a terrorist and traitor, in fact an innocent stuffed animal:

* That Winkie receive a fair trial, and that all charges for crimes committed before 1924 be dropped, since this was before the bear was made.

* That those citizens who have screamed their wish to kill the bear themselves (with “bare hands” or other means such as hammers and chainsaws), be excluded from the jury.

* That the judge practice objectivity, perhaps by listening to the wind in very tall trees.

* That Winkie be served berries in jail.

* That the press refrain from such phrases as “bear of evil,” “terror mutant,” and “jug-eared Satan.” (Though “the he-she suspect” is at least accurate, as Winkie is transgendered.)

* That the Vice President cease calling for Winkie to be burned at the stake and tossed into a body of water to see if s/he floats, at least until the trial has begun.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

We carried our 15-foot burlap likeness of Winkie down to the courthouse before 5 a.m.—hours before the charges against the defendant were to be read out—but hundreds of protestors were already there chanting, “Smite the Satan Bear!” As we began tilting the likeness upright, the crowd fell eerily silent, and for that moment we were proud of our lovingly sewn soft sculpture (even though it was quite a bit smaller than originally planned). But then someone in the crowd shrieked a command, and like a school of piranha they swarmed over the cloth bear, trampling it and tearing it to shreds—using broken bottles, plastic forks, knitting needles, nail clippers, even their dentures (removed from the mouth and operated like scissors).

The police stood by unconcerned. Fortunately for us, the crowd’s fury at Winkie was such that they scarcely noticed his human supporters, and we escaped to the sidelines unharmed. We watched as they trampled the remnants some more and sang, “Kill! Kill! Kill!” to the tune of “Amazing Grace.”

We’re disheartened. Besides indicating Winkie’s continued poor standing in the public mind, this also means we will all have to take an incomplete in Fabric Crafts Intensive.