By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
To The Bird's great amusement, it found itself at a crowded hippie hangout in Tempe called 3 Roots Coffee the other day, watching one of the funniest comedies this proud pecker's seen in years.
Loose Change, an extremely independent film from three New York twentysomethings, wasn't meant to be a comedy; it tells the story of what, heh, really happened on 9/11. According to filmmakers Dylan Avery, Korey Rowe and Jason Bermas, this fiendish plot to take over the world involved a series of fake terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, that would dupe the American people into believing that Muslims hate us.
And this plot was hatched by none other than (drum roll, please) President George W. Bush and his minions.
Yeah, you read that right. Muslims really don't hate us at all. And Dubya's smart enough to have planned 9/11.
The filmmakers' scenario is far too complex for The Bird to fully explore in this space, but a broad overview goes something like this: On the morning of September 11, a bunch of unsuspecting Americans get onto planes bound for the West Coast. But rather than reach their destination, the planes are landed somewhere else. The passengers are either killed or taken to a deserted island. And then those evil Republicans take a pair of military planes that have been painted to look just like commercial airliners and fly them into the World Trade Center towers.
Then, while everybody is freaking out, thinking, "Oh my God! We've been hit!" the government quietly sets off a bunch of bombs in the Trade Center's basements, thereby demolishing the buildings. Mission accomplished -- now America can invade Iraq!
Meanwhile, about Flight 93 that supposedly crashed in Pennsylvania? Didn't happen. According to the filmmakers, the government quietly de-boarded the passengers in Cleveland. The Shanksville scene was entirely faked.
The Pentagon, too, never got hit. That was just another government conspiracy. No way, these filmmakers claimed, was the hole in the Pentagon big enough to have been made by a commercial jet; it had to have been a bomb.
The looniness of these theories was topped only by the filmmakers' suggestion that the cell phone calls from the hijacked planes were faked. See, apparently the government has this technology where it can easily replicate someone's voice. All that Bush's nefarious peels had to do was a little research and they could easily fake a bunch of relatives into thinking they'd heard their loved ones' final goodbyes.
Now, if you think this all sounds way too stupid even for Hollywood, you'd be right. But it's not too stupid for our intrepid filmmakers, a trio of kids who genuinely believe this stuff. The Bird's not kidding: They call this little comedy a "documentary."
Of course, when one of the few skeptical people in attendance at 3 Roots pressed the kids about their claims, they rapidly spewed a bunch of nonsense before resorting to the age-old chestnut, "Hey, we're just asking questions. We're not saying it happened this way. We're asking questions."
And that leads The Bird to ask a question, too. Namely: How is it possible that someone stupid enough to fall for this shit is teaching at Scottsdale Community College?
Like the young documentarians, The Bird's got evidence to spare. The film was introduced by a woman named Carrie Jones, who the college's Web site confirms is a faculty member in SCC's motion picture/television department.
And Jones isn't exactly bashful about her views. "I had two weeks of depression after seeing this film," she told the crowd at 3 Roots. "And I've never been depressed in my life."
Not because the film was so bad, mind you. But because Carrie Jones believes it!
"I can say with 100 percent confidence," she continued, "that this was an inside job by our government."
Like we said before: How is someone this fucking stupid entrusted with the impressionable minds of Scottsdale youth? Now, don't blame this pissy parakeet for raising the issue. It's just asking questions.
Changing the Chenal
Say you're a lawyer, and you've gotten busted for doing the things that lawyers aren't supposed to do. The Arizona Supreme Court, not surprisingly, takes away your law license.
You can't practice law. So whaddaya do? If you were The Bird, you'd probably have to find another way to feather your nest. But if you're Carmen Chenal, life is a bit easier. All you have to do is work your connections and get a cushy job with the state.
Here's what happened: After receiving -- and investigating -- seven different complaints about Chenal, the Arizona Bar filed formal disciplinary charges against her. In August, the Supreme Court's disciplinary commission found that she'd screwed up: She'd bounced checks to the court itself, failed to file appeals for one unfortunate client, and even attempted to file some stuff in Illinois, despite not being licensed to do legal work there. Chenal also presented claims barred by the statute of limitations, and, according to the court's disposition summary, filed a lawsuit against someone but never bothered to make any allegations against them. Whoops!
So the Supreme Court told Chenal to pay $2,500 in restitution and cover the costs of the $1,018 investigation. It also suspended her license for 120 days and put her on probation for two years.