Author

Ludwig Schnee

Ludwig Schnee has 40 articles published.

Ludwig Schnee is the illegitimate grandson of Adalbert 'Adi' Schnee, the World War II submariner who won the Knights Cross with Oak Leaves for his gallantry as a U-Boat commander. Born in June of 1976, Schnee has lived in Fort Collins since the early 1990s and is the quintessential Focopolitan.

Poetry of Wrong Richard Wright Recited at Boulder Slam Event

in Arts and Entertainment by

Every February, America celebrates African-American History Month.  This year is no exception.  In order to honor the contributions of black people to American culture, science, industry and technology, we devote the shortest month of the year to black people… hey, at least it’s a month, and not just a week… or even a day, so…

Anyway, last Tuesday night, in celebration of African-American History Month, also known as February, the Bishkek Teahouse and Lounge on Boulder’s Broadway district added to its fine tea selection, a bucketful of Kool-Aid punch and hosted the first ever African-American Literary Weekend.  There were recitals and readings of famous African American authors, discussions, writing symposia and to top it off, a poetry slam.  One of the entrants, Laqueesha Jackson got a little carried away with poetry from Richard Wright, whom she thought was the early 20th Century African-American author and poet.  That Richard Wright lived from 1908 to 1960 and was African American.  Thing is, there was ANOTHER Richard Wright.  This other (1943-2014) was British, and is best known for his role in the band Pink Floyd, writing such songs as Wearing the Inside Out, Remember a Day and others.  While both wrote in the English language, each having a poetic command of the language, and each deserves his place in the canon of great English-language artists, they are not the same and should not be confused with each other.

That, Ms. Jackson learned the hard way when Ludwig Schnee pointed it out after she finished.  “I totally didn’t realize I was reading something written by some dude from England!  It was so real and shit.”  Reading the lyrics from the Pink Floyd song “Wearing the Inside Out,” Ms. Jackson recited in slam-style, “From morning to night, I stayed out of sight!  Didn’t recognize, I’d become… No more than alive, I barely survived.  In a word, over-run.”  Laqueesha later explained, “I thought that was a reference to [American] Richard Wright’s experience at being excluded on account of him having grown up in segregation in Mississippi and shit.  Turns out, it’s just some sort of rambling from a white English guy.” She paused, ” At least the crowd liked it.”

To any poetry buffs out there, we would recommend “Between the World and Me” next time around.

Shutdown Inspires DPS Teachers’ Strike

in Local Flavor/Politics by

Kyla Sandoval has been a teacher at DPS for 2 years.  A graduate of the University of Northern Colorado’s Education program, she has slaved away for a pittance at a crime-ridden, run-down high school (which shall remain anonymous).  As coach of the debate team, Ms. Sandoval has inspired her pupils to go beyond the “Fuck you!… No, fuck you!” exchanges typical of DPS debate clubs.  But for all her efforts, Ms. Sandoval has yet to be paid enough to cover rent and expenses without public assistance.  “Damn dude, it really sucks to be on SNAPs and have to do the whole LulaRoe routine when you already have a full time job!”  Kyla went on to explain how she has a veritable Pikes Peak in student loan debt.

Kyla’s story is one of many for teachers at DPS.  Is it any wonder that the teacher’s union is considering a strike?  Ms. Sandoval explained what was behind the putative strike, “I’ll be honest: I was truly inspired by the government shutdown, and I think teachers at Denver Public Schools (DPS) should follow the fine example that our president is giving us.  THAT’S why we like to use ‘Red for Ed;’ our president is of the party that has red as its color and he’s shutting everything down.  It’s like we’re the same or something… we just want to make enough bread to make a living and shit.”

Focopolitan Tribune reporter Buck Hummingbird interviewed the president of the PTA of said high school.  La’Tonya Jackson had this to say, “If this ‘Red for Ed’ thing happens, the education my kids gonna git is gonna have to be better than the education they git from watching daytime TV!” Ms. Jackson paused, “But it’s probably all gonna wind up just like our president: don’t do shit and nuthin’ git done!”

Although Denver’s “Red for Ed” movement has yet to initiate its strike, the claims have been heard loud and clear. Whether anybody will do jack shit about it, is another story…

Entrepreneur Proposes Cherry Picker for Control Tower for Local Airport

in Business and Economics/Local Flavor by

With the recent addition of an American Airlines flight connecting the po-dunk city of Cheyenne, Wyoming to its major hub in Dallas, Texas, and thereon to anywhere around the world, Focopolitans and Lovelanders have a good reason for being butt-hurt.  How could a second-rate community like Cheyenne get a flight to someplace worth going to, while Northern Colorado Regional Airport (NCRAP) gets only occasional flights to Vegas, Phoenix or the obscure Illinois town of Rockford?

Enter new arrival Armando Torres.  A recent immigrant from Sinaloa, Mexico, Armando has massive experience in the fields of logistics and airstrip management.  “I have worked for more than 20 years managing private airfields.  Whether it’s a jungle in Colombia or a desert in Northern Mexico, when it comes to managing air traffic, cargo and airstrips, I’m an expert!  I used to manage a whole fleet of single-engined, propeller-driven cargo planes until the police came and took my previous employers to jail.”  He went on, “You guys here at NCRAP have a lot to work with: I mean, you guys actually have hangars and a PAVED RUNWAY!  That’s way more advanced than anything I’ve ever dealt with, and I moved stuff- I mean, a few dozen Cesnas a day for years, hombre!”

While NCRAP serves the Fort Collins-Loveland area and has in the past hosted flights by carriers such as Allegiant Air, it currently has no commercial flights to anywhere.  The reason given by the airlines is that the airport does not have a control tower.  But for Señor Torres, that is no impediment.  “No worries, esse!  Tell those cabrones at the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] that I’ll jack up a cherry-picker as high as it goes, and that’s enough.  I’ll pay for it in cash- greenbacks.  You think I ever worked with a control tower back in Colombia?  In other words, as we say, ‘La garantia soy yo.’  The warranty is me.  We can get a flight started to Culiacan [Mexico] in no time flat!”  When we asked Sr. Torres about safety, he didn’t miss a beat, “No problem.  I’ll just tether myself with a sky hook.”

With such a spectacular resume, officials are loath to let Señor Torres get away. “This could solve all of the issues that we’re having in getting flights from the airport, no matter the destination,” proclaimed an anonymous airport official. “Plus, he’s willing to take on maintenance of the cherry-picker too!  It’s a grand deal.  The only concern I have is safety.  Mr. Torres admits to only a few mishaps, but his record-keeping is… let us say, a little South of the border.  Even so, nobody’s perfect, right?”

Mr. Torres and NCRAP have submitted plans to the Federal Aviation Administration.  Final approval is pending and a ruling expected this January.

Old Town Peace Monument Not Effective at Making Peace, but Popular with Area Dogs

in Arts and Entertainment/Local Flavor by

This is the holiday season.  This is the season of kin group get-togethers, presents, fruitcakes (of the literal as well as of the figurative kinds) and calls for function in the family and peace on earth.  While the former depends greatly on individuals, and sometimes can be achieved for short periods of time, the latter is a little harder.  Notwithstanding, the Fort Collins city council has done its bit: years ago, our elected officials erected a fatuous wooden dick-shaeped thingy in Old Town that has written on it in four different languages “May peace prevail on the Earth.”

If you haven’t noticed the pole, your dog probably has if you’ve ever taken it to Old Town.  The pole serves as a message board for all male canines who frequent the square, and serves as a communal p-mail site.  Fluffy, a Goldendoodle commented to Focopolitan Tribune reporter Ludwig Schnee, “That stick there is really cool to pee on.  I swear, there’s scent from at least 40 other dogs on there every time I use it.”   It should be clear to all Focopolitans that that is all the pole is good for.

The object’s permanence in Old Town, and the fact that nobody but this newspaper openly mocks it, is a testament to something about Fort Collins: we LOVE to signal our virtue, from yard signs to bumper stickers, that’s a favorite pastime of ours.  When it comes to actually doing something though, we happily stop at symbolism.  At that, only Boulder can beat us.  21-year old CSU student Stephanie Jarr stated, “I didn’t even know this was here for years, but now that I do, I agree with it totally!  I think I’m gonna take a selfie by it and post it on Instagram.”

A cursory look at the state of affairs in the world is clear evidence that this thing isn’t working.  Apparently, it takes more than the erection of a phallic object to elicit world peace, however laudable such quixotic yearnings may be, but in the meantime, it is incumbent on us here in Foco to show ourselves just how virtuous we are…

Chase Bank Robbery: What is Known, What We Don’t Know and (Most Importantly) What We Think

in Business and Economics/Local Flavor by

Last Wednesday around 2:15 PM, Fort Collins Police Services responded to a reported robbery at the Chase Bank on 1275 East Magnolia St.  What ensued was a police search that must have made the lousy schlub of a bank robber feel like DB Cooper himself!  The search, which involved dozens of uniformed officers, police detectives and even an observation drone gave our dear friends in blue something to do for a few hours between two prolonged periods of taking calls, writing tickets, paperwork and otherwise dull cop shit.  It might be worth mentioning in passing that their presence as well as their flashing blue lights did little to discourage lookie-Lous.

In any event, we reached out to an FCPS officer involved in the case who requested not to be named.  He told Focopolitan Tribune reporter Ludwig Schnee, “Ooooh yeeeeaaaaaahhh!!!  A break from busting bums out by the homeless shelter!  Woohoo!  What, and we even got the cobwebs off our tactical gear?  And we’re using a drone?  This is what I signed up to be a cop for!  Whooopeeee!”

While the police is officially mum about the case, as it’s ongoing, we were able to speak to a detective who also requested anonymity.  “We absolutely canvassed the strip mall, which contains a variety of retail outlets in addition to the bank.”  The detective went on to elaborate what he discovered at these various businesses: “Q-Doba has LOTS of burritos.  Dairy Queen sells ice cream, Game Stop is apparently a geek hangout.  Papa Murphy’s sells pizza and the UPS store has lots of mailing packages.”  Your police force is sure astute in its observations.

Apparently, the suspect was masked, but it has still not been conclusively disclosed whether he was armed or not.  Nobody was injured in the incident.  Given the schlubby way that the crime was committed, it would be no surprise to us at the Focopolitan Tribune if the bank robber was planning a shopping trip to Wal-Mart, just two parking lots and a street away from the scene of the crime.  It’s our opinion the he bought the balaclava there, anyway.  Given this guy’s MO, it is our opinion that he’s a top candidate for a “people of War-Mart” meme that you see social media when you’re supposed to be working.  We therefor would like to conclude that given that he’s not exactly Ocean’s Eleven material, this dude’s probably gonna get caught.

All suspects are innocent until they are proven guilty in a court of law.

Holiday Involves Reunion of Live People Around Dead Bird

in Arts and Entertainment/Business and Economics/Health and Fitness/Local Flavor by

This Thursday, November 22nd, we at the Focopolitan Tribune noticed an utterly bizarre cult-like ritual.  A multi-generational agglomeration of an area kin-group assembled between four walls, exchanged greetings and pleasantries and roasted a dead bird.  After roasting said bird, the human kin-group held hands.  Soon after, an elder spoke utterances to a sky-daddy, requesting divine benediction upon the dead avian.  The elder subsequently cut into the bird, probably of the species meleagris gallopavo.  After the ritual incision of the bird’s fleshy breast, the kin group started literally to devour the beast together with sour-tasting, but edible small fruits.

What followed was a welter of feasting, with people gorging themselves on avian meat, the small sour fruits, heavy sauce and mashed potatoes.  After picking the bird literally to the bone much like vultures on a wildebeest carcass on a vintage Wild Discovery episode, the kin group devoured a reduction of a sugary orange-colored gourd baked over a thin layer of buttered flour.  After the bizarre communal feasting, some members of the kin-group swore non-binding weight-loss oaths.

Concluding the parade of oddity, the assembled went on to refer to the following day as “Black Friday” and began discussing plans that reeked nefariously of a corporate capitalist takeover OF THE ENTIRE COUNTRY!!

North Korea Returns USS Pueblo to Pueblo

in Local Flavor/Politics by

In a spontaneous gesture of conciliation, the government of North Korea surprised the residents of Pueblo, Colorado by returning the spy ship the USS Pueblo to its namesake. The North Korean Navy captured the American spy ship when she was on a routine signal intelligence patrol in the Sea of Japan during the first weeks of 1968. She has since been in North Korean hands…until yesterday, that is.

It is evident that residents of the southern Colorado town were not expecting this gift. Pueblo resident Roy Echevarria granted an interview commenting, “Okay, so last night we all went to sleep, and next morning, BOOM here we have an old-ass navy ship with a bright, pink bow wrapped around it, messing up the view of our riverwalk! How in the hell did this get here? We’ve heard of North Koreans going out and kidnapping people and shit, but this? I guess the drunks at the alehouse will have something to talk about now. As for me, I can’t wait to get rid of this rust bucket.” This is certainly going to be the prime issue of Pueblo’s first every mayor-elect, with some residents even suggesting that the ship should be a place for the election run-off as a polling station.

In the Pueblo, a sticky note and a can of North-Korean style fermented cabbage labeled, Kim’s Kimchi, was found. The sticky note read,”Dear United States, here’s your ship back. We’re done playing with it but we’ll keep the vacuum tubes–fine technology you capitalist, imperialist exploiters of the masses come up with. Please enjoy some of our private-label kimchi. We’ll see if it sells well at Trader Joe’s–it’s probiotic.”

In other news pertaining to the US Navy, the 47,000-ton battleship USS Iowa will leave the port of Los Angeles for its permanent new home in Des Moines where she will undergo gender retrofitting, after which she will be referred with the pronoun xe.

Editor’s Op. Ed: Ballot Explanation Conference Bores Voters Stiff

in Politics by

In an effort to make sense of the umpteen ballot measures, state-wide, county and local Amendments and propositions, Focopolitan Tribune reporter Ludwig Schnee managed nothing but to mash his brain, much like eating at certain restaurants did his intestines.  We at the Trib did our honest best to make heads and tails of this confusing shit, so we read each of them, subordinating clauses, fine print and all.  But seriously, this stuff just bored the shit out of your reporter.

So we took a trip to a local drinking establishment (as if alcohol ever clarified anything!), where a state representative and other local elected officials would be handy to explain this crap.  Unfortunately for our readers, said town hall meeting turned out to be as inspiring as a circle-jerk for guys who can’t get a boner- and no Cialis around.

While other publications make recommendations and endorsements of people and measures, we cannot in good conscience recommend anything unless we first understand it.  Do the drafters of these ballot measures write only to confuse us?  Where is this obfuscatory English used?  Democracy is just dandy when we talk about it, but when it comes to the nitty-gritty of actually practicing it as fully cognizant and involved citizens, it’s nothing but tedium.

We would venture to comment that you’re better entertained watching extended Latin Mass on pay-per-view live from the Vatican than trying to make sense out of these ballots that were written by lawyers for lawyers!

Conference on Double Standards Fails to Reach Agreement

in Local Flavor/Politics by

In a dazzling display of weapons-grade stupidity, imbeciles and ideologues from both Left-wing and Right-wing persuasions got together to hash out where exactly double standards ought and ought not to be applied. Meeting at a capacity-filled Moby Arena this weekend, these dimwits filled the parking lot with short yellow school busses. In little over an hour, the retards confounded your intrepid reporters, who would rather have gotten endoscopies than have covered this pageant of willful stupidity and obfuscation where cognitive dissonance magically ruled the day.

Opening the moronathon, mediator Roger Duff implicitly clarified members’ abject ignorance as being voluntary, and not the result of genetic misfortune, “Whether we’re of the right or the left, we can all agree on one thing: we don’t speak for ourselves- we let our ideology speak for us. We may even be individually intelligent, but we forfeit our right to think and instead allow our political obligations and our ideals to take over our better senses.”

Speaking for the left, a recent transplant from the suburbs of Boston, was Kennedy Michael. In a distinct non-rhotic (that’s when you don’t pronounce the ending, and occasional medial ‘r’ in wuhds) mid-Atlantic English, Mr. Michael began, “As true leftists, we repudiate the 1%, but we love Jared Polis and think it’s okay for Bernie Sanders to buy a multi-acre estate in Vermont. After all, he bought it with his own hard-earned money, right? We also believe that the rich should pay more taxes than anyone, but it’s just fine for Jared Polis to incorporate his multi-million dollar businesses in the Caymans, or the Isle of Man or wherever, as it saves him money, and we won’t call him a tax-dodger. But it’s not okay for Donald Trump or Mitt Romney to do so, because they’re 1%-ers!” Applause roared from the left-end of the arena as he continued. “We also believe that science is real, and we ought to teach that in our schools so that our children can have a brighter future… except when it comes to gender, which is a social construct, because we don’t necessarily believe in DNA. We’ll go ahead and teach our kids that there are 114 different genders and counting! How do I know this? Well, that’s what my colleagues at the Gender Sciences Department of Harvard say, and that’s good enough for me.” Moving on to the subject of the #MeToo movement, Kennedy Michael proceeded, “Brett Kavanaugh and Donald Trump are incorrigible sexual predators, and we need to believe it when women accuse a man of sexual impropriety. But when it comes to Bill Clinton? Uh… I don’t think Paula Jones is telling the truth. Besides that, all the stories of Clinton cheating and stuff, that’s just his personal life, right?”

Speaking for the right, Warren “Spud” Douglas was no less non-sensical. “We believe in hard science when it comes to gender. All this baloney about gender being a social construct is unscientific, but the earth is only 6000 years old, and scientific proof of that can be found in the Bible!” Thunderous roars of applause erupted from the right-side of the arena as Spud continued, “As representatives of true American Conservatism, we must practice small government, charge low taxes and have a balanced budget. Therefore, we want to expand the military to be an even more global force than it is already, and we want the government to get their dirty, tyrannical hands off of our Medicare, ‘cause we need it. Where should the money come from? The mint, duh!” He paused. “I think there’s one in Denver. In any case, America’s probably got a FICO score of almost 700, so no problem there.” Commenting on the #MeToo movement, Spud added, “Allegations against Brett Kavanaugh are just that: allegations. As for Donald Trump’s cheating on his wife with a porn star while she (Trump’s wife, not necessarily the porn star) was pregnant? Well, that’s just his personal life, and we have no business in that, nor does the press. But Bill Clinton is an immoral adulterer and a serial sexual harasser- just ask Paula Jones.”

The conference ended with a convivial cocktail hour, and with both sides agreeing on how wonderful and useful double standards are, but no clear agreement was reached on where and how to draw them.

Interview with the County Coroner (Yes, We Actually Interviewed the Coroner!!)

in Local Flavor/Politics by

Greetings, loyal Focopolitan Tribune readers!  This is our first of hopefully a series of interviews with candidates for political office.  We thought we’d start with a doctor whose office we hope you will not visit anytime soon; a doctor whose job is not to cure you, but to determine how you died: our coroner, Dr. James Wilkerson.  Yeah, coroners are elected.  We were curious as to why, so we asked.  We were also curious about a bunch of other things.  Check this out…

Ludwig Schnee: Dr. Wilkerson, you’re the coroner.  Why is the coroner elected?

Dr. Wilkerson: Well the coroner actually originated in feudal England, and they were the crowner, and the crowner determined when somebody died, when a landowner died, how much they owed the king: the crown.

LS: So they owed money after they died?

Dr. W: It’s an estate tax, depending on how they died.  For instance if you committed suicide, you forfeited your estate.  It didn’t matter if you had ten wives and a hundred kids, it all goes to the king.  So they became powerful officials for the amount of money and property and stuff they moved.  Obviously they could be biased to one group or another, so I think they became elected to be fair- to let everybody have a chance of getting the crowner they wanted.  The other reason to elect people is to get the people we want and the ideas… and actions we want people to take.

LS: By the way, how’s the campaign going?

Dr. W: The campaign is good this time, the last time I ran…[the office of coroner] was the only Republican primary in Larimer County.  There were a couple other [offices] had Democrats running against them.  But this was the only Republican primary last year.  So, since it was the only race, everybody wanted to talk to me.  Everybody wanted to do debates, and stuff.  So I was constantly…  My whole evenings and sometimes my weekends were used up with that.  This time, because nobody’s running against me, I still go to some events, people still want to hear from me, but it’s not as stressful.

LS: So nobody’s running against you?

Dr. W: Nobody’s running against me.

LS: Do you expect to win?

Dr. W: I hope so.

LS: Like by what margin?

Dr. W: I suppose there could be people writing in.  I don’t know if they still allow write-ins on the ballots or not.

LS: I was gonna ask you ‘tell me about your opponents in this election.’

Dr. W: So, I don’t have any opponents.  The first opponent I had, she had a bookstore and she was a bodybuilder, and that was the one I had in the first time. And then for a brief time period, I had somebody running against me but she dropped out, and she was a yoga instructor, I think.

LS: So, a bodybuilder and a yoga instructor!  Are there any formal qualifications for to be a coroner?

Dr. W: To be a coroner: you have to be 18, a resident of your county and a non-felon.  Those are the requirements to be coroner.

LS: Wow!  That sounds like a little bit of a low bar, but could you tell us your qualifications?

Dr. W: Sure.  I’m a forensic pathologist.  So I went to medical school and then did six years of post-graduate training and I’m board-certified in forensic pathology, anatomic pathology and clinical pathology.  I trained in the military.  I did autopsies all over the world.

LS: So you’re a vet?

Dr. W: I am a vet.

LS: Since when is a doctorate of veterinary medicine a requirement for your position?

Dr. W: No, I’m a veteran.

LS: Oh, okay.

Dr. W: Not a doctor of veterinary medicine.

LS: Oh.

Dr. W: An MD.

LS: Not a DVM, got it.

Dr. W: And I’ve done about 7500 autopsies.  To give you a perspective, the Budweiser Events Center holds 7200.  So I’ve done a lot of work.  I’ve been in leadership positions in the hospitals, when I used to work in the hospitals, so I’ve learned from that; and this is a fairly small office, and it doesn’t have a whole lot of leadership challenges.  So, that’s my qualifications.

LS: Sounds quite like a lot of qualifications, sir.  Finish the following sentence: Republicans make better coroners than Democrats because…

Dr. W: Well, Republicans tend to be more conservative and not spend as much money on things that they don’t really need.  We try not to spend money… so… I think that might be the one thing… I don’t think that it’s really much of a partisan office.  ‘Cause I take care of Democrats, Republicans, whoever dies.

LS: You take care of the dead.

Dr. W: It doesn’t really matter what their political standing is.  And I try to treat all families with respect and treat ’em all the same.  You know, even though doing the autopsies and presenting things in court, and finding the cause and manner of death is the basic thing you do, the most challenging thing is notifying the families, and then keeping up with the families [of the deceased] and telling them what we found and asking them additional questions, so we try to do that with just one individual.  We try to notify in person, and that one individual will go to the autopsy, find out what happened, tell the family, ask any more questions and then work out a report and follow it through to the end.  And so taking care of the living is probably the most important part of the job and the most challenging.

LS: I can imagine that.  Tell us about the medicine you practice.  Do you have problems dealing with Medicare and Medicaid?

Dr. W: No.  Actually, when I first started out in the army, I did hospital pathology and forensic pathology.  In the army, obviously we didn’t have it [Medicare and Medicaid].  But I was in private practice for nine years and since I was the leadership guy, I had to deal with all of that; the insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid, and it’s no fun.  It wastes a lot of time.  At one time, I had 17 employees in a lab and four of them were there to deal with insurance.  And Medicare the first time you bill ’em, automatically they say ‘no.’  So you always have to bill them again, at least one more time.  And that’s just the way they work.  We don’t take insurance.  The counties pay for autopsies on a fee-for-service basis.

LS: Are there many therapeutic misadventures in your line of work?

Dr. W: Well, probably not, because they’re already dead.

LS: Oh…

Dr. W: We don’t have to stop the bleeding, nor do we have to worry about infection, nor do we have to worry about getting everything back together exactly how it started out.

LS: Were you in my position, what would you ask you?

Dr. W: You could ask me some of the things that we see that are not funny, but that could be amusing.

LS: So, tell us one thing or another…

Dr. W: One of the favorites is “Here, hold my beer and watch this…”  Whether it be a driving feat, or jumping off of a cliff into the lake feat or things like that.  Now they don’t end up funny, obviously because they come to us, but that’s kind of one of the things we see. “Hold my beer and watch this…” is a standard pre-death motion.

LS: Thank you Dr. Wilkerson for taking the time to talk to us.

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