"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

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wWednesday, March 20, 2002

ROAR: When I was still on active duty at Spintech (before "emeritus" was attached to my title) I used to love editing Paul Hein columns. They generally didn't need a whole lot of work - though I had to drum the one-space-between-sentences rule into his head - but I got to see them first and I had fun interacting with Paul - whose favorite refrain was "I'm 110 years old!"

Well this week he has a doozy of a column on a fallen lion of Afghanistan named Marjan, whose death was mourned by hundreds and who "had come to symbolize Afghanistan by his quiet dignity, and with the fall of the Taliban, he became an internationally known embodiment of his country." Money flooded into the country to create a statue commemorating the great Marjan.

The punchline: Marjan was a actual lion, in an Afghan zoo, that died of kidney and liver failure. Hein questions the story's placement in his local paper and concludes that, had he been a foreign correspondent "when informed of Marjan’s demise, I think I would have been galvanized into unconcern. ... When told I was to write an article about the event, with accompanying photo, I would have seriously considered resigning."

posted by Jeremy at 11:21 AM