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December 16th, 2017

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The Continuing Crisis

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published Jan. 4, 2016

The Continuing Crisis

U.S. and European entrepreneurs offer extreme "games" in which liability-waiving "players" volunteer for hours of kidnapping, pain and death threats, but the cult-like, under-the-radar "McKamey Manor" in Southern California (said to have a waiting list of 27,000) is notable for the starkness of its threats of brutality -- and the absence of any "safe word" with which a suddenly reluctant player can beg off. (Only Russ McKamey himself decides if a player has had enough.) The "product" is "100 percent fear," he said. "We're good at it," he told London's The Guardian in an October dispatch from San Diego (whose reporter overheard one of McKamey's thugs promise, "I'm going to tear that girl (player) apart" and "No one is leaving with eyebrows today"). [The Guardian, 10-30-2015]

In October, the student newspaper of Toronto's Ryerson University reported a mighty scandal that upset the student body: The school's executive offices' restrooms routinely supply two-ply toilet paper while most other campus buildings offer only one-ply. Following up on the hard-hitting Ryerson Eyeopener's expose, The Canadian Press noted that the universities of Guelph, Ottawa and Toronto comfort all toilet-users' bottoms the same. Ryerson officials defensively noted that older plumbing in many of their buildings cannot handle two-ply paper. [Inside Higher Education, 11-2-2015]

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