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The Middletown Zone

In the distant future a man witnesses two thieves attempting to steal a car. He approaches them and they spot him, at first fearing that they've been caught. They quickly breathe a sigh of relief, however, when they notice a curious mark on his forehead. It is the mark placed there as punishment for his crime of coldness - not opening his emotions to his fellow citizens. He's an "invisible". A convicted criminal, his sentence of invisibility means that nobody is allowed to acknowledge him, speak to him, or pay him any attention whatsoever. He is shunned by everyone.

The criminals continue their efforts, and once they succeed in stealing the car, they drive after the man in a laughter-filled vehicular attack. He flees, but the thieves strike him with the car and leave him for dead. The man is able to drag himself home and get to his video telephone. He is in pain and he calls for medical help. The nurse who answers his call says she'll gladly send help once she ge…
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The lights faded in the applause crescendo. I waited with my daughter in the darkness for our cue to leave the stage, fighting the urge to carry her off on my shoulders. I figured that would take too long for the "real" dancers who were already positioned for the next performance. So I held her hand and ushered her off quickly to stage right as we'd rehearsed. Hand shakes and hive-fives followed behind the curtains but my heart ached. It ached again as each of the black tee-shirt clad fathers fist bumped me after the recital and said "We did it! See you next year!" Today was a sublime combination of felicity and melancholy.
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The Real Disease is Ignorance

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Radio host Judi Franco has spent the better part of two decades on the air in New Jersey and, as best as I can find, has an education in theatre arts. This makes her extremely qualified to be a local media celebrity or even an actress. Unfortunately it makes her extremely unqualified to comment on the pathology of substance abuse.

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