Coverage of man who threw cake at the Mona Lisa fails to answer basic question: What kind of cake?

Journalism really disappoints me.

Example: A man disguised as a woman in a wheelchair threw cake at Leonardo da Vinci’s famed Mona Lisa painting at the Louvre Museum in Paris.

The cake chucker apparently wanted to protest climate change.

Bulletproof — and apparently cake-proof — glass protected what is likely the world’s most famous painting.

French police took the assailant into custody for psychiatric evaluation.

Most of the news websites covered the details above well enough.

But correspondents worldwide failed us in the basic question that plagues most readers: What kind of cake was it?

The pictures showed a white splatter.

I’m ruling out pancake.

Layer cake or sheet cake?

If it was a sheet cake, did they put frosting a pudding between layers?

It could have been a sheet cake or made in a cake pan.

Vanilla or chocolate?

Or did the cake hurler throw a chocolate cake with vanilla frosting?

On the matter of frosting, are we looking at a cream cheese mixture or a sugar coating?

Coconut flakes?

I hope Amnesty International gets involved.

The suspect stands accused of both attacking a priceless art treasure and wasting cake.

The French take their pastries seriously.

I mean I think so.

I’m an American. I don’t know much about France.

I hear they’re famous for cheese, pastry, and being invaded by Germany.

Let’s hope it wasn’t a German chocolate cake.

That could raise international tensions and cause more supply chain interruptions.

I hope they find the suspect’s manifesto.

Everybody interested in social change has a manifesto.

I imagine his to be written in comic sans font (ironically, of course) and published to a Reddit subtheme.

If you don’t know what the previous paragraph meant, that’s OK. I don’t either.

I just throw language like that into my columns in hopes of catching the occasional reader under 45, if such a creature exists.

Somewhere in the manifesto, I hope, the climate change avenger links the crimes of the Mona Lisa to the problem of man-made global warming.

I am no expert in climate volatility, but it seems to me that the Mona Lisa is innocent. Da Vinci painted it in the early 1500s.

He certainly didn’t do it with the window air conditioner blowing while under tungsten lightbulbs.

Older readers remember tungsten lightbulbs. They cost about 50 cents for a box of four and burned bright enough you could see to read by them.

Today’s lightbulbs cost $10 for one and give off just enough light to convince you you’re going blind.

We’ve largely done away with tungsten lightbulbs because they used most of their energy creating heat than light.

Newer lightbulbs use most of their energy giving off light, even though it sure doesn’t seem very bright.

Then again, I’m middle-aged. It’s possible I am going blind.

Anyway, I would have understood if the cake guy had thrown a tungsten lightbulb — those vile, disgusting things — at the Mona Lisa in protest.

Cake crime is not new to the French.

History inaccurately attributes the sentence “Let them eat cake” to Queen Marie-Antionette.

The Queen lived a lavish lifestyle while France’s poor struggled.

Historians say the young, virile Marie-Antionette sympathized and cared for the poor, but some people didn’t like her and spread lies.

The “eat cake” lie went, for lack of better terminology, went viral, eventually leading to the Marie-Antoinette’s execution by guillotine.

Our modern-day cake-thrower won’t face such harsh penalties if he’s convicted of a crime.

Besides, I’m no expert in French law, but I believe he already has an excellent defense.

After all, everybody knows you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.

Former journalist and future teacher Daniel P. Finney writes columns for the Marion County Express.


Daniel P. Finney writes columns for ParagraphStacker.com, a free, reader-supported website. Please consider donating to help me cover personal expenses as I continue writing while I pursue my master’s degree and teacher certification.
Post: 1217 24th St., Apt. 36, Des Moines, 50311.
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Virtual graduation party: I stand with more ‘yeas’ than ‘boos’ after a stressful year fighting back

Here is where I stand.
I graduated from Drake University and earned my master’s degree.
(Yea!)
This was the most demanding course of study I’ve ever undertaken.
A quarter-century between stints as a student made me rusty.
I remember when I handed in my last paper to my professor, she emailed me and said I was good to go.
I wrote back: “You mean it? I’m going to graduate?”
I earned high marks, but that last semester — student teaching and preparing for licensure — is a lot.
I struggled at midterm. I didn’t think I was going to make it.
My professor and my supervising teacher assured me I would.
I did, but I could hardly believe it.
Sometimes I login to my student records on the Drake website just to see the degrees earned and double-check the Master of Arts in teaching is still there.
It is.
(Yea!)
I’ve had a few interviews. I’ve applied for jobs across the metro.
I don’t have a full-time job for fall yet.
But my teachers tell me this is normal. Veteran teachers I know say when their careers started, they didn’t have a job until school started.
This plays hell on my anxiety.
(Boo!)
Yet I endure.
I am going to be doing some more work for the Marion County Gazette, a weekly newspaper that approached me earlier this year about writing a column.
I’m going to be putting in 20 hours a week remotely covering public meetings and other tasks.
I never thought I would practice journalism again, but never say never.
There’s something pure about watching a public meeting, writing down the decisions the elected officials make, and reporting it to readers.
No spin.
No hype.
Just the facts.
The other half of my summer plans are somewhat tenuous. I’m supposed to teach summer school.
But my license is tied up.
(Boo!)
The Iowa Legislature finally passed the bill that waives expensive tests after completing an accredited teacher prep program.
Now I must grit it out until Gov. Kim Reynolds signs the bill.
She has 30 days.
Insiders tell me she’ll sign it. It passed both houses unanimously.
That kind of bipartisanship is rarer than a jackalope sighting on a snipe hunt.
(Sorry, that’s an old country kid joke.)
I’m supposed to start work at school on June 6. If the governor signs it before that, I’m golden.
If not, I’m out of luck.
I’m eligible for a temporary license, which allows me to teach for one year without taking those tests.
I applied for that license, but the school district that hired me must fill out a form for me to teach under the temporary license.
Their policy is only to do that for a full-time position.
(Boo!)
So, I’m waiting.
And as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers sang, “The waiting is the hardest part.”
The yeas out way the boos and that feels good.
I graduated.
I’ve got at least some work with the potential for more.
I won’t relax until I’ve signed a contract to teach for a full year with some district here in the metro.
So, that’s the situation.
First, thank you to all of you for your cards, letters, notes, and, of course, your donations.
All of you made it possible for me to remake my life in middle age.
I want to describe how deeply that generosity has touched me — how it has changed me as a person and my outlook on human beings and myself.
I don’t have the command of the language to do that.
Thank you just isn’t enough.
But thank you.
I hope this is the last time I come to you to ask for support.
I’m in a delicate position between finishing school and starting work.
I need to cover expenses for June. I won’t see any paychecks until the middle of June. And if the teaching job falls through over the licensing kerfuffle, well, that’s a parade of horrible I decline to contemplate until I must.
So, my friends, I ask you again for a little support.
If I can just get over this hump, I’ll be on my way.
Every contribution helps. If you hadn’t gotten around to sending that graduation card, now’s the time to celebrate.
I thank all of you again for your support.
Thank you for renewing my spirit and keeping me afloat. You were my life preserver.
I’m very close to shore now. Another tug would be very helpful.
With love and hope,
Daniel P. Finney

Daniel P. Finney
1217 24th St.
Apt 36
Des Moines, Iowa 50311
PayPal: PayPal.me/paragraphstacker
Venmo @newsmanone
Zelle @newsmanone


Daniel P. Finney writes columns for ParagraphStacker.com, a free, reader-supported website. Please consider donating to help me cover personal expenses as I continue writing while I pursue my master’s degree and teacher certification.
Post: 1217 24th St., Apt. 36, Des Moines, 50311.
Zelle: newsmanone@gmail.com.
Venmo@newsmanone.
PayPalpaypal.me/paragraphstacker.

Vincent Van Gogh plays Elvis’ Graceland

Podcast: Russia's McDonald's knock-off; Tennessee Williams' secret origin; Hidden 'Lebowski' references in 'The Old Man;' all that and SPAM recipes Talking Paragraphs

Paul opens the show with sizzle. Dan reviews "Bonzo on the Road to Asguard." Guests: Emma Thompson, Hunter S. Thompson, John "Tommy Gun" Thompson, and the hot physics major who invited Dan and Paul to a party freshman year at Drake. All that and live music from Cold Slither. — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/talkingparagraphs/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/talkingparagraphs/support
  1. Podcast: Russia's McDonald's knock-off; Tennessee Williams' secret origin; Hidden 'Lebowski' references in 'The Old Man;' all that and SPAM recipes
  2. 47.2 is the unhappiest age
  3. Detoxing from Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trials; Online shopping for retro gear; In praise of Oklahoma softball; Revenge of the Mullet
  4. New format: Paul opens the show from Memphis; Dan goes to 'Bob's Burgers;' Paul buys a smoothie; 'Maverick' makes a lot of money
  5. Vincent Van Gogh plays Graceland and other bizarre adventures from the life of Paul

Daniel P. Finney writes columns for ParagraphStacker.com, a free, reader-supported website. Please consider donating to help me cover personal expenses as I continue writing while I pursue my master’s degree and teacher certification.
Post: 1217 24th St., Apt. 36, Des Moines, 50311.
Zelle: newsmanone@gmail.com.
Venmo@newsmanone.
PayPalpaypal.me/paragraphstacker.