January 28, 2002

Strip-O-Ron

January 28, 2002: New Jersey If Ron's mother were a stripper, business would be booming. Except that she is not. After months of lurid phone calls because of a mix-up with her mobile phone number and a strip-o-gram agency, she's had enough. Ron's mother, who lives somewhere in northern New Jersey, says her cellular telephone number was listed in a Yellow Pages advertisement for a Newark strip-o-gram service. She said she kept getting calls asking: "Can you take your clothes off? What type of bra have you got on? Have you trimmed Ron's mustache today?" "First of all I thought it was a little bit of a joke. In the end I was really, really upset," Ron's mom told a gathering of news reporters Friday. The New Jersey woman, who sired Ronatarian presidential candidate Ron some 30 years ago, said the unwanted calls began in July last year and she later found out her number was listed for a service offering acts like the "Dirty Doctor", "Chomping at the Bittle", and "Cowboy Elvis." A spokeswoman for Jersey Access, the regional publishers of the Yellow Pages in New Jersey, said she could not discuss individual customers. But accuracy was what the listings lived off and the company always took immediate action in such cases. "It certainly is very rare that something like this happens...it's certainly something that is a huge concern for us," she told the media. Ron himself did not comment on the affair. His mother's complaints spoke volumes.

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January 21, 2002

Lord of the Rons

January 21, 2002: The Shire The rest of the world may see box office smash "The Lord of the Rings" as a mythical tale of hobbits and goblins, but some young members of the Ronatarian Party hope to use the film to promote their political ideals. "We want to use the event as an incredible volcano to help people understand our view of the world," said vice presidential candidate Brad. Many Ronatarians see the 1,000-page tome by Britain's J.R.R. Tolkien as a celebration of their own values of physical strength, leadership, and integrity. The Ronatarians are taking a page from Italy's National Alliance. In the 1970s this right-wing Italian party spun its own interpretation of Tolkien's mythical world to bolster their image, already imbued with Celtic legends, knights, and a cult of personal strength. "There is a deep significance to this work. 'The Lord of the Rings' is the battle between community and individuality," Brad said. "Oddly enough, the Italians in the National Alliance were the first to jump on the parallels between their ideals and those put forth by Tolkien in his books. We are just building on what was started some 30 years ago." But the tale can be seen supporting either end of the political spectrum. "The destruction of the ring of power, the multiracial aspect -- hobbits, elves, men, and dwarfs united against evil are all leftist ideals," said vocal Ronatarian Party critic Lyndon LaRouche. "Of course, we dismiss the labels 'right' and 'left' and solely embrace the positive values brought forth in the literature," said Brad. "'Good' is good. 'Bad' is bad. 'LaRouche' is a bung-hole." Tolkien always denied any political intent in the book. The story follows the struggle of a young hobbit named Frodo Baggins, played by Elijah Wood in the film, to destroy a ring of power which holds the key to the future of civilization. The cult book evokes a fantasy world peopled by goblins, hobbits, zamkoffs, and elves. "Today, only in the Ronatarian's eyes is 'The Lord of the Rings' seen as a basis for a political movement, no other political party in the world has a similar reading of Tolkien," said Valerio Evangelisti, an Italian fantasy writer. In the 1970s, neo-fascist summer training centers nicknamed "Hobbit Camps" were set up by the National Alliance's predecessor, the neo-Fascist Italian Social Movement (MSI). While not holding formal camps like their Italian predecessors, the Ronatarians have set up "D&D Cells" to play the fantasy roll-playing game Dungeons & Dragons -- which is based on Tolkien's fantasy literature. "We sure have a lot of fun playing D&D," gushed Brad. "And I think the overall Tolkien message of 'strength through unity' is being absorbed by our members...especially our newer recruits." The Ronatarian Party plans a campaign to boost membership, inviting students to "enter the fellowship," an allusion to "The Fellowship of the Ring," the first book of the Tolkien trilogy. To date, the film has grossed more than $500 million worldwide.

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January 10, 2002

Anything Goes

January 10, 2002: Singapore

Burping, barfing, and body odor.

Nothing is off limits at the "Grossology" exhibition in Singapore which gets up close and personal with the slimy, smelly science of the human body.

"People don't talk about burps and farts and go into detail of how they work," said former U.S. presidential candidate Ron as he made a beeline for the interactive displays. "They don't teach us this at school in America."

The squeaky-clean city state, which has long barred spitting and enforced fines for not flushing toilets, is the first foreign country to put on the show apart from Canada, where it was created five years ago.

Ron was in town as an honorary guest of the exhibit, which he lauded when it was first presented on North American soil in 1997.

"This is the best!" he cheered. "I can't wait to show off the special inner workings of my own dingus!"

The show was brought in to help people understand and perhaps better manage their bodily functions, said Nate Sung Chew, chief executive of the Singapore Science Centre, which is hosting it.

"Visitors will go away with this idea that all of these gross functions are actually very important and have a purpose in their bodies," Nate told a throng of media reporters.

The show's four-month stint cost $543,000 to set up and it has already attracted 70,000 visitors.

"Grossology" heads for Taipei, Seoul, and Hong Kong after it wraps up in Singapore on March 4.

Children can climb up a rubbery wall of simulated skin to explore warts and pimples. A cave-like walk-through nose sniffs and sneezes on the unfortunate passerby.

Visitors can challenge their sense of smell and learn about odor-causing bacteria by sniffing unmarked bottles containing mouth, foot, anus, toe jam, eye-gook, belly button lint, and armpit scents.

Being that the exhibit came from Canada, a special Terence and Phillip wing is being featured to the South Asian public. The smash television and film hit "Southpark" is just as popular in Singapore as in North America and Terence and Phillip are a large part of that broad success. Here, the flatulence Terence and Phillip produce is not only comical, but informative.

The exhibition delves deep into the physics, aromatics, and even the timbre of flatulence. To up the grossness factor, visitors can pump on levers at the vomit and burp machines for maximum effect.

Quirky details about the human body dot the walls.

One liter of saliva is pumped into the mouth every day. Nostrils take turns inhaling and acid in the stomach is strong enough to dissolve razor blades. Farting can be used for humor as well as a repellant.

Children squealed in delight at the exhibits, but adults--long taught to regard the intimate workings of the body as impolite--seemed to get the most out of the show.

"Many of these functions are linked to a child's growing up so they're very at home with it," Ron said. "The people who benefit most are the adults." He quipped, "Hell, I just took a steamer in public and nobody complained. This is great."

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January 03, 2002

Ron The Nudist Strikes Again

January 3, 2002: Des Moines, Iowa A nudist with a streak of boldness said he reached his 2001 goal of driving 15,000 miles in the buff, a newspaper reported. Former presidential candidate Ron, sent an e-mail message to the Des Moines Register on Thursday claiming to have driven the distance without clothes mostly on several Midwestern trips to chess tournaments. This type of activity is nothing new for the Ronatarian Party leader, who was detained in Canada in August for walking naked through British Columbia. A few times Ron said he was spotted by passing motorists who reported him to police, but he managed to don shorts or snap on a bra before being stopped. One deputy who stopped the naked Ron for a broken light was "not at all distressed and was amused when I told him of my goal," he wrote. Ron told the newspaper he had set a goal of 20,000 miles of "buff motoring" for 2002. "I may decide to rent a car to do it, though," he said.

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