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It has come to Unreal's attention that Alex Jones, the radio host and filmmaker who predicted the events of 9/11 two months before they happened (and, because no one paid him heed, has since made a career of saying "I told you so"), recently uncovered some sinister doings at Macy's.
The venerable department store is in league with the group of secret international conspiracies that make up the New World Order!
Why else, Jones reasons, would Macy's sell T-shirts that identify their wearers as members of the Council of Nine and the Rosicrucian Brotherhood or as Illuminati Knights?
Not, Unreal hastens to add, that there is anything wrong with that. After all, we live in a nation built upon Masonic imagery. But since we are delving into conspiracies and everything, isn't it a little weird that Macy's would declare its allegiances to secret societies so blatantly? Even ones that are alleged to run the world?
The Illuminati, for instance, are said to have achieved international mind control through far more subtle means: They insert the word "fnord" into newspapers, books and other widely disseminated publications. One would think this would be an obvious strategy. One would be wrong. Instead, the reader's eye skips over "fnord," but the brain registers it and, over time, the mind's resistance to the Illuminati begins to crumble.
(Unreal doesn't recall including "fnord" in our copy, so either it happens during the production process or our mind is really well controlled.)
If an organization has that much subtle power, why would they resort to T-shirts?
Vern Isenberg, master of the St. Louis Lodge of the Rosicrucian Order, was unaware of the T-shirts when Unreal called him for comment. "I'm not particularly upset about it," he said. "'Rosicrucian' is a generic term, and it's their legal right to use it. The word catches attention. And it does kind of spread public awareness that the Rosicrucians are still active. But AMORC, which stands for the Ancient Mystic Order of Rosae Crucis, is copyrighted and patented."
Nonetheless when Unreal attempted to phone Macy's and find out why, precisely, they had decided to stock New World Order T-shirts in the first place, we were informed that the public-relations woman responsible for St. Louis could not take our call.
She had been seriously injured in a skating accident and would be out of the office for the next several weeks.
We tried calling her substitute. Once we asked her, point-blank, why Macy's was supporting the New World Order via its Young Men's department, she cut off all further communication with us.
Normally Unreal is kind of pissed when a source blows us off, but in this case, we fully understand. (DO YOU HEAR US, MACY'S?) And, in the meantime, we are trying to watch our back without twisting our neck.
Soaps Get in Your Eyes
Not long after the presidential election, Unreal was feeling a little at sea. We were still devotedly devouring every scrap of news, but compared to all the drama of the past year, everything seemed a bit...lacking.
Maybe, we thought, it was time to embrace the good, reliable, old-fashioned soap opera, the kind with evil twins and people coming back from the dead. So we headed over to the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton where The Young and the Restless was holding auditions to find one female St. Louisan between 18 and 35 to play a featured role in an upcoming episode.
"What would that role be?" we breathlessly asked casting director Camille St. Cyr.
"We're looking for someone special," she told us, "someone with good personality and a lot of energy. Then we'll tailor the role to the person we find."
Unreal briefly speculated about all the possible one-day roles for a soap opera. If we were going to be on The Young and the Restless for one day, we'd want it to be memorable.
"Will that character get to die?"
"I don't know," St. Cyr replied coyly. "You'll have to ask the writers." Of course they were back in LA.
The hundred or so hopefuls at the audition were a mix of seasoned actresses and seasoned fans.
"I've been watching for twenty years," said Consuelo Manning, 32. "It's a staple in my family. Even when I'm working, I always come back. John's a spirit now and Nick's in Paris and Jill is looking for her mom. I'd love to meet Victor. He looks like he smells good. And Brad. He was a cool boy. He kept his shirt on hardly ever."
Bryton McClure, who plays troubled teenager Devon Hamilton, came to St. Louis to read with the lucky actresses who made it through the first round of auditions. For the benefit of KMOV news, he gamely read a page of dialogue with Lindy Howland, who had been randomly selected from the audience.
Unreal tried to pay attention to the scene. It seemed like Howland was supposed to be seducing McClure. But to us she sounded more like a bitchy high-school cheerleader.
"She's never acted in her life," Howland's friend whispered.
Howland had no illusions. "God, I did horrible!" she laughed as soon as the cameras went off.