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The Sage Quarterly Review

A Sage Birthday Celebration - What a Year!

Happy 1st Birthday to the Sage!

(SNN) - On February 21, 2013, editor and co-founder, Brian K. Hahn, posted this on The Sage’s Facebook page: “It's Alive! It's Alive! The Sage is... ALIVE!” Brian couldn’t have been more excited had Facebook allowed him to post the Sage’s birth announcement in bold neon green, font size 24. All the many months of hard work from idea conception to development to publication had paid off. We were now official and ready to roll!

Over this last year, we have been privileged to provide our readers with entertaining and thought provoking stories. Our expanding Sage team of writers is filling our pages with twisted wit and strong, insightful opinion. We now have over 750 articles, a delightful mix of satire, parody, opinion, editorial comment, and our columnists’ humorous commentary. Our Sages write on a variety of topics, so there is always something for everyone to enjoy or with which to take issue.

Wisdom Through the Sages

Our pages are full of wit, wackiness, and whimsy, but there is also some pretty thought provoking opinion between the laughs. I’m serious. And so is our newest opinion writer, Maye Ralston. Maye shares her opinions with intelligent examination of an issue on both the micro and macro levels, sometimes inviting readers into the discussion by challenging us to think about and share our own opinions. Maye has expertly covered topics of justice, ethics, stress, and body image. In her latest article, Women Have Low Value Everywhere, Maye questions if devaluation of women is worse in other countries than it is in the U.S. Given the recent news stories of violence against women in America, she thinks not.

Facebook Irritations

Like Maye, many of our Sage writers have shared their opinions on topics that have hit nerves. Seasoned writers, D. Scott Shultz and Sharon Reichert have plenty to say about Facebook, the controversial darling of social media platforms. Scott, who recently tried jumping off the Facebook platform, tells us with a bit of byte that Facebook’s Neato Special Attribute is its embedded ubiquity. Be forewarned: deactivate and be denied entrance to all your other social media accounts!  If this isn’t annoying enough, Sharon warns us that Facebook changes aim at improving user experience by deliberately pushing a portion of hard-earned likes and shares right into the netherworld, unless page owners pay to play, of course. So, scrounge up all your loonies, toonies, and other coins or lose face.

Loonies Are Politicians Too

Would you spend those hard-earned loonies and toonies for some ‘screech’? Attention, Readers-Who-Are-Not Canucks: answer correctly without googling and you win a free link to Linda Schaab’s How to Speak Canadian! Linda will entertain you with select choices from the Canadian language lexicon. Aren’t you glad it’s not just you who wonders why it’s Leafs and not Leaves?

Whether politicians speak Canadian or American English (or any other language for that matter) they continue to entertain; but they also infuriate when they choose to focus on power and bravado rather than doing what’s right for the people who elected them. Sage contributors, William Munsey and Steven James, have a thing or two to say about misplaced power in a misguided society. In his incisive piece, Target’s Acquired: F-Bombs Away, Will shares his keen interest in Alberta's political scene by showcasing what self-serving politicians were busying themselves with after the terrible flooding in Alberta in June, 2013. Note: The F-words being tossed about didn’t stand for Focus on the Future. Speaking of focus, Steven gives us an insightful comparison between societal issues in the U.S. and Canada. The media tells us that things are going from bad to worse in America. Us Yanks know that. In his article Giving Thanks that we’re not American? Think Again., Steven reminds his fellow citizens that all is not well in “The Socialist Republic of Canuckistan” either.

Tattoos and Artistic Freedom

From societal issues to home concerns, writer Teresa Hahn poses a question that many parents have probably pondered as their children move into their teen years. In her down-to-earth opinion piece, Finding a Tattoo Inked on Your Daughter, Teresa asks what would we do if we discovered our offspring sporting a tattoo. Would we react with anger? Respect our daughter’s (or son’s) decision? Demand that it be removed? Take a minute to read Teresa’s well-researched history of this popular art form. It might help inform your response.

What if the tattoo that your daughter proudly wears depicts a figure or word or scene that you find objectionable? Frustrated at your opposition, your daughter yells, “It’s artistic freedom!” But what is artistic freedom and when does it cross over an ethical line? Contributor Ian McKerracher takes on this debate in his thoughtful article, Social Media and the Artist’s Freedom of Expression. You will find that Ian skillfully presents a good argument on decency vs. free artistic expression.

An Eye to the Sky and a Big Thank You!

While Ian ponders ethical issues surrounding artistic expression, Sage partner and developer, Mike Kuefler, thinks about the dangers surrounding the Earth. In his article, 2014: The Year of Close Calls, Mike predicts our new year will bring more news of what’s flying around out there in space. Do you really want to know or do you feel that ignorance is still bliss?

While Mike keeps his eye on the sky, he also watches what is happening in the world of business. As a business owner, Mike shares his concerns on Google's change in its AdWords policies for phone numbers and gives business owners advice on how to deal with the change in his article, No More Phone Calls in Google AdWords. 

The Sage owes Mike and his talented team of developers at Industrial Net Media a big THANK YOU for bringing The Sage News Network to life. Without Mike's support, The Sage would still be in the conceptual phase of development. Our editors, writers and partners are very appreciative!

The Funny Sages: Is it Comedy, Satire, or a Bunch of BS?  Yes!

I wonder how many of our readers have headed over to after reading a convincing piece from one of our Sage satirists? I think where readers get thrown off the most is when one of our writers goes off on a very recent news story that everyone is furiously googling for more information. A Snopes check is an honor for a good satirist!

Here at the Sage, we are fortunate to have many talented writers who not only capture the recent news and wrap it in the spirit of satire, but who also come up with funny, imaginative works that can be described as whimsical, off-the-wall, weird, and just plain wacky.

Around the World in One Short Year

Editor Brian K. Hahn’s article on a big find in Alberta’s Bow Valley after last year’s flood was our first satirical article to go viral; and boy, did it ever! People came from all corners of the world to read the news about the rotting sasquatch carcass! At this writing, the story has over 171,000 hits and counting. Going beyond Canadian borders, Brian keeps a close eye on what’s happening around the globe and is quick to hammer out stories with a satirical edge when an event pushes his witty wordsmithing ability into overdrive. Brian has taken us from Down Under to Out Beyond. What happened on Mars? The Island Nation of Nauru?  Just who is “The Defiant One” in Saudi Arabia? Follow the links and find out!

From the Kitchen Cupboard to Outer Space

When you’re finished exploring with Brian, discover the World According to Chris McKerracher, Chris, a Sage partner, co-editor, and prolific humourist, has an endless supply of ideas coming from his inventive imagination. Chris has a knack for finding the funny in everyday things. He can spot a box of Lucky Charms and a handful of fortune cookies in his kitchen and give readers incentive to read cereal boxes and get Chinese take-out. But Chris also has an eye on the greater world to see where he can offer a bit of comical commentary. He has a few Words of Advice for Rob Ford, a startling announcement about an alien species, and a surprising revelation about Star Trek fans.

From Star Trek to falling stars, we take a look at the whimsical imagination of Sage contributor, David Jaffe. What does a meteorite have in common with a distracted driver? David answers this odd question in his entertaining article, Distracted Half-ton Meteorite that Crashed into Earth was Texting, Tweeting. So, that’s why we’re hearing more about meteorites these days! There ought to be law…

Searching for the Whimsical, the Musical and More

You can find more whimsical fun by reading writer Paul Minton’s creative works. If you live in England or Wales and are harboring a werewolf, you need to know that there are New Laws for Werewolf Owners and they are not kind to the faint of heart. A bit of advice: Invest in a large, durable pooper-scooper. Check out the Search Box on the Sage site for more of Paul’s wit and whimsy.

The Sage Search Box is handy for finding works by all of our creative writers, but if you want to take a shortcut and find out what’s currently popular on the site, check out the sidebar under Popular News. As of this writing, you will find two featured articles by novelist and Sage contributor, R.S. Gompertz. Start with the latest gossip on 60s artists Ringo Starr and Yoko Ono. You’ll be shocked! Ron produces entertaining articles on a variety of topics, but if you’re a music lover Ron is one of the Sage writers you’ll want to be sure to follow.

Birds, Robbers, Drones, and Vibes

Popularity and music makes me think of an old song that hit the Billboard 100 chart way back in 1963, Surfin’ Bird, by The Trashmen.  “A well-a bird, bird, bird; bird is the word…”.

Look up Sage writers, Suzanne Lucas and Ian Hunt, who bring fun with words about birds.

In her recent story, Canada Goose Bullies American Eagle, our witty Suzanne confirms what we all know about geese: they are mean bullies. Americans; read and weep tears of laughter.

Ian, one of the Sage’s newest writers, tells us about a bird of a different feather in his entertaining piece, Prairie Chickens Cause Surveillance Concerns in Ft. Mac. Albertans, check your windows for bird poop, especially if you live in or near Ft. McMurray. You are being watched. The NSA has nothing on this foul prairie chicken. Ask Ian! And be sure to look for more of his news flashes in the Sage.

Speaking of birds, novelist and Sage writer, Melodie Campbell, introduces us to a another kind of bird--a jailbird with a clerical collar. In her story, Bank Robbers I Have known... . Melodie shares stupid criminal tricks of characters that could have come straight out of her imagination; but these dudes were all too real. Look for more fun from Melodie in her column, Bad Girl.

Sage contributor Christee Gabour Atwood writes about a bird with no feathers, but a lot of potential. She reports that the recently announced Amazon delivery drone is already getting a makeover. People are wary of these creepy, little motorized buzzards, so they need a redesign to take them from freaky to fun. Will it work?

Drones are all the buzz these days, but writer Maria Yates reports on a different kind of buzz from the Canadian company, We-Vibe. If you’re curious and adventurous, click the link. CAUTION: If you are getting a vibe of a sensitive nature, click at your own risk.

Political Gossip and Bargain Basement Terrorism

Speaking of risk, many of our Sage humourists have had a great time poking fun at the absurdity that often invades the political arena of the world’s varied governmental entities. Politicians in high places do crazy things. Look at Rob Ford.  Contributor Thomas Sullivan got the lowdown on some gossip from Germany. It’s all on the down low, though; but interceptors can go here to read all about it.

The absurdity of politics is nothing new, but it may be more than we bargain for. Whatever happened to the security alerts that put us all into a tizzy during the reign of Bush the Younger? Turning one wickedly funny phrase after another, recently arrived Sage writer, John “Cork” Cocoran Jr., brings us up to date on terrorism in his latest piece, Terrorism Update: Bargains! Sochi News! Airline Food! Read Cork’s work and then revisit your fears about terrorism. Feel better?

Pucks, Eskimos, and the PGA

Cork’s piece made me laugh, but I am still not stepping foot into Sochi. Of course, the Olympics brings sport at its finest. And writers, John Rachel, Clint Tobaisson, and Rob Distaffen do a fine job of making sport from sports. John brings terrorism in the sport’s arena closer to home, North America, where he reports on the popular sport of ice hockey in his explosively clever piece, Exploding Hockey Pucks Intercepted at Canadian Border.

Clint turns to the CFL and leaks the news that the Edmonton Eskimos will be replaced by a high school team. They were even kicked out of their own locker room.  The shame of it all!

From the field to the green, in his article, PGA: Go Whack Your Balls Elsewhere, Rob Distaffen questions whether it’s a good idea to hold the 2013 PGA Championship in Rochester, NY. It seems that local residents like Violet Wilting and Gil Cumberbun are not pleased.

Trimming the Fat: Regurgitate, Revigorate, Read and Retch

Sporting events aren’t complete without food to sustain the fans and who isn’t a fan of food?  But consuming too much of this fan favorite can bring guilt and guilt can make us do very strange things. With comical creativity, writers Rebekkah Webb and Jan Marshall weigh in on conquering cravings. It’s your choice. You can train a cow to regurgitate or take a train to revigorate, sans fat. Or is that trans fat?

If dieting and giving up fats, trans or otherwise, just isn’t enough, writer and comedian, Ed Toolis, has published a list of Most Fraudulent Book Titles of 2013 that might just help you laugh it off. But don’t believe everything you read, even if it comes from The Sage!

Even if you go buy the books, fake or fact, conquering food cravings can be tough!  One thing you can do is get out and enjoy some runs. In fact, if you happen to live in California, award winning writer and Sage contributor, Joanne Hagen, might advise you to make a run down to the southern part of the state. According to Joanne, there is a unique restaurant there that proudly serves cuisine in bowls; that is, toilet bowls. No poo! Read the article and flush away your appetite.

A Picture is Worth a Catchy Caption

After reading Joanne’s entertaining account of cuisine in a latrine, you may want to wipe that image away and look at The Sage in a different light. In his Man vs. World series, columnist John Hartnett brings his humor to us using old-time images and clever captioning. Enjoy a sample of John’s offbeat comedic genius by taking a look Fifty Shades of an Old Grey Mare, one of the greats in his vast pictorial collection.

Guest Writer

The Sage welcomes guest writers and we are pleased to have a clever, lighthearted submission from book author, Tim Hurley, a funny, witty friend of Sage writer Jan Marshall. In fact, Tim’s piece has everything to do with Jan and coffee and eggs and fantasy. Tim’s fun, flirty piece can be found here. Enjoy!

One Year Down and Ready for Two

I am happy to say that I’ve been with this great Sage team since launch. As copy editor, I have the privilege of exploring each and every piece our talented writers crank out!  My own stories are in my column, Around the Edges with Dixie, and also scattered throughout our pages. I can’t wait to read more from our writers and write more for our readers!

Now a word from our Editor

Thank you, Readers!

All of us at The Sage would like to thank all of our readers, for supporting us during our maiden voyage. On February 4th, we will be officially one year into publication. With our first 'news' item "Federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans in Hot Water" by Chris McKerracher, The Sage had put itself out there with wide eyes and great expectations. From that story came a plethora of more works from over thirty writers who hail from all over North America, drawing readers from all over the world, with the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and India leading the way.  The Sage Team has grown right along with our readership and we couldn’t be more thrilled! As we enter our second year of publication, you’ll not only see new stories, but also new ventures, and a surprise or two along the way. I have no doubt that as we venture into our second year you will be introduced to new writers, and enjoy your favourites. Please be encouraged to contact us, join us, and chime in. If you want to get in on the fun, think about joining our team!  Fill out an application to Become a Sage here. We would love to hear from you! In the meantime, please keep reading, share our stories and opinion with your friends and family.

See you in the funny papers!

Brian K. Hahn - Editor

Photo: Some rights reserved by Vironevaeh flickr photosteam, The Sage nor this article endorsed, originally image can be viewed here.

DISCLAIMER: The above article is OPINION.The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the authors of The Sage Opinion and forum participants on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the The Sage News Network or the official policies of the The Sage News.
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