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‘Star Wars’ Turns 40

When George Lucas’ Star Wars premiered in 1977, the movie quickly became a phenomenon. On its 40th anniversary, The Onion looks back on the franchise’s defining moments:

Mom Finds Disturbing Reading Material In Teenage Son’s Bedroom

OMAHA, NE—Saying she felt disgusted and saddened by the shocking discovery, local woman Beth Loomis told reporters Thursday that she was deeply disturbed after finding recruitment reading material from the Baylor University football team in her teenage son’s bedroom.

Most Notable Google Ventures

Ten years ago this week, Google Street View launched, offering panoramic views of locations all over the world. As the tech giant continues to debut new projects, The Onion highlights some of Google’s most ambitious ventures to date:

Rural Working-Class Archbishops Come Out In Droves To Welcome Trump To Vatican

VATICAN CITY—Arriving in their dusty pickup trucks from as far away as the dioceses of Oria and Locri-Gerace to express their support for a leader who they say embodies their interests and defends their way of life, droves of rural working-class archbishops reportedly poured into St. Peter’s Square today to greet U.S. president Donald Trump during his visit to the Vatican.

Rookie First Baseman Nervous To Chat With Baserunners

ATLANTA—Noting how important it is to make a good first impression, Pittsburgh Pirates rookie first baseman Josh Bell told reporters before Tuesday’s game against the Atlanta Braves that he’s still nervous about chatting with opposing baserunners.
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Report: At This Point, Most Americans Feel More Comfortable In Dying Economy

WASHINGTON—A report released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center found that after more than four years of financial hardship, a majority of Americans now feel more at ease living in a failing economy than they would in a thriving one.

The report concluded that the constant threat of a second recession, record joblessness, ever-rising health care costs, and a soaring national debt, while devastating, have come to be the only things citizens know they can truly count on in these bleak and unstable times.

"To be honest, without the specter of defaulting on my mortgage looming over my head, something would just feel off," said Louisville, KY resident Dale Bowman, one of thousands polled for the study. "Call me a creature of habit, but I'm just accustomed to waking up knowing our unemployment rate is over 9 percent, there's nothing I can do about it, and it'll be a very long time before we can ever hope to pull out of this."

A majority of survey respondents preferred to coast comfortably along through a failed financial system.

"Even if I did somehow make enough money to keep my head above water, I haven't the slightest clue what I'd do with it anymore," Bowman added.

According to the survey, 63 percent of Americans said they had come to rely upon the familiar sense of dread that came from knowing the country was quickly losing its place as an economic superpower, while 71 percent described finding a kind of tranquility in the steady, predictable cuts to local, state, and federal funding.

In addition, 80 percent reported they had been tightening their belts for so long, the thought of loosening them again after all this time just felt unnatural.

"You get used to sending 50 resumés into the void each day and having them all go unanswered," said Mary-Lee Jones, 46, of Cleveland, who later called the enduring unlikelihood of ever finding employment "her rock." "The emotional trauma of not knowing if or when I'll work again has just become a regular part of my life. Honestly, not living on the knife's edge of poverty might make me a little anxious."

The report also found that many take comfort in the dependable stream of ominous fiscal predictions in the media, particularly in seeing, on a regular basis, the weary face of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on the cover of major newspapers, accompanied by giant bold letters announcing the dollar's latest slide.

"Even if the economy did start to make a miraculous recovery, all that would happen is I'd get my hopes up and then, boom, it would collapse again like it always does," Phoenix-area carpet salesman Mike Nicolette said. "At least now I'm fully aware that the shitty hand I've been dealt isn't going to change for a while. It's something I can count on, you know?"

"My children have never seen America in good financial times," Nicolette added. "An upswing now would probably just confuse them, frankly."

Faced not only with temporary hardship but also the possibility of a fundamentally broken economic system, Stan McGrath of Houston told reporters he was beginning to think long-term.

"A lifetime of barely getting by would be something stable, at least," said McGrath, a 38-year-old Wal-Mart cashier. "If nothing else, I wouldn't have to keep myself up at night worrying about whether the American dream had totally abandoned me."

"That'd be such a relief," he added.

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