An Oral History of the Double Dare Obstacle Course 

Friday, November 25th, 2016

Following a day dedicated to stuffing oneself to the point of nausea, why not get sick all over again reading about the Double Dare obstacle course of yore?

Decency Is Not a “Shot” 

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

During that bizarre presidential tradition known as the “turkey pardon”, President Obama said the following

“Thanksgiving is also a reminder of the source of our national strength, that out of many we are one, and we’re not bound by any one race or religion but rather by an adherence to a common creed that all of us are created equal. And while accepting our differences and building a diverse society has never been easy, it has never been more important. We are people that look out for one another and get each other’s backs. We keep moving forward defined by values and ideals that have been a light to all humanity.”

That’s a wonderful and worthwhile statement. Let’s see how the press covered it:

  • Obama appears to take shot at Trump during turkey pardon

Oh, look, it’s everything that’s wrong with politics and journalism in one short headline!

Strangers in a Strange Land 

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

Meilun and Meihuan are twin pandas who were born at the Atlanta zoo in 2013. Recently, however, they were returned to China. Sadly for these furry females, they don’t speak Chinese, nor do they enjoy real Chinese food. In short, the transition has apparently been rough.

Previously in panda-related nonsense: Giant Pandas Are Poorly Designed

Prejudice as a Practical Weapon 

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

In 1947, the US Department of War created a film entitled “Don’t Be a Sucker”. Seventy years later, the film’s anti-hatred message is as relevant as ever.

You have a right to be what you are and say what you think because here we have personal freedom. We have liberty. And these are not just fancy words. This is a practical and priceless way of living.

But we must work at it. We must guard everyone’s liberties, or we can lose our own. If we allow any minority to lose its freedom by persecution, or by prejudice, we are threatening our own freedom.

Here in America, it’s not a question of whether we tolerate minorities. America is minorities.

Helluva Start to His 2020 Campaign 

Monday, November 21st, 2016

Kanye West found a way to piss off his fans more than voting for Donald Trump: not voting, but stating that if he had bothered to vote, he would have voted for Trump.

Sign Me Up for That Job 

Friday, November 18th, 2016

The Washington Post has a rather frightening interview with fake-news creator Paul Horner, who wrote many pieces that went viral among Trump supporters. The credulity Horner found and exploited for personal gain is worrisome, and undoubtedly had some impact on the electorate. Worse, the anti-intellectualism Trump and others have so cravenly used to get elected seems certain to increase the problem.

Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski even re-posted one fake story about a protestor receiving $3,500 to protest at a Trump rally.

Why? I mean — why would you even write that?

Just ’cause his supporters were under the belief that people were getting paid to protest at their rallies, and that’s just insane. I’ve gone to Trump protests — trust me, no one needs to get paid to protest Trump. I just wanted to make fun of that insane belief, but it took off. They actually believed it.

I’ve been thinking about this particular ridiculousness since Trump’s sniveling post-election tweet whined that “professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting”. If I can get paid to protest Donald Trump, you just tell me where to sign. Right now I’m just giving it away from free like a chump.

And Facebook Lives on to Memorialize Us All 

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Could it really be true? Could this all be some horrible nightmare?

What an incredible relief it would be to learn that we’re all dead.

Where We Go From Here

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

One week ago, I awoke to a nightmare: Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States of America. That this time-machine-that-only-goes-50-years-backwards of a man could be elected to our nation’s highest office is deeply, profoundly upsetting. How could this insufferable individual have been elected president? How could so many millions of people ignore his breathtaking ignorance, his smug and undeserved self-confidence, his disdain for women, minorities, and anyone who is “other” than he is? How could the ideals our country was founded upon, particularly the belief that all are created equal, be so grossly ignored by half the electorate? In short, how could someone so uniquely undeserving have won?

I’ve yet to hit upon any satisfying answers to these questions, and I don’t believe there are any easy ones. There’s no single factor we can point to as an explanation for Trump’s victory. It’s important that we work to understand how this horrible thing happened, so that we might prevent its recurrence. However, seeking a place to lay blame is of little use.

Back to last Wednesday. After the election was called in Trump’s favor, I posted a distress flag on this site, and I damn well meant it. Without hyperbole America, and by extension the world, are now in incredible danger. Donald Trump is a man without a moral compass, without any guiding principle beyond looking out for himself. He’ll be the oldest first-term president in our history when he takes office, and he’s never been subjected to a serious medical evaluation. We require that of pilots, but not of presidents, and that’s something that simply must be corrected. Trump’s own father suffered from Alzheimer’s, and the president-elect’s erratic behavior suggests an addled brain. That such a person will now be in charge of America’s nuclear arsenal ought to terrify you. It terrifies me.

Through my vote, as well as my writing, offline actions, and donations, I worked to prevent this awful outcome. Nevertheless, we must now come to grips with the reality of a Trump-led America. There’s precious little that’s funny about that. I certainly don’t feel entertaining right now. I also don’t want to be the twenty-first century equivalent of the orchestra on the Titanic, writing a humor site while my country capsizes. At best, dark humor will be all I have to offer for some time.

Still, short of the aforementioned nuclear war, it’s likely I’ll make it through Trump’s presidency in one piece. After all, I’m a gainfully employed white male in America. There are tens of millions of other people in this country, however, who will have it much worse. The people who were already downtrodden, and who will now be discriminated against openly, have more to fear than I do. Things are going to get worse for women, and immigrants, and Muslims, and countless other groups. It’s frightening to realize that we’re living through what will undoubtedly be looked back upon as a very dark time in history.

More than ever before, it seems imperative that I do what I can for other people. Since the election results came in, I’ve felt an urgent need to help. Donating to worthy causes seems unquestionably good, so each day since the election, I’ve chosen a new charity to support. These are small gestures, but at least they feel like something. Furthermore, each time I give to others, I find the despair subsides just a tiny bit.

Despite what has happened, and what I fear will happen, I am not powerless. You are not powerless. Whether you volunteer your time, give blood, or donate money, you can help make the world a better place.

The very first donation I made following Trump’s victory was to one of my favorite organizations, the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU is dedicated to defending and preserving the rights and liberties enshrined in the Constitution, and guaranteed to every person in America. Their work has always been important, but the need for it will surely be greater in the next four years. After donating, I received a message which included the following:

Thanks for adding your name to fight for civil rights and liberties for everyone in this country. The ACLU can’t succeed in the work we do without you.

We hear you. And we’re here for you. Now take the next step to bring more people into this fight.

I’ll be in touch soon about more ways to get involved and stand up for civil rights and liberties. Let’s work together to keep all of us safe and free.

“Let’s work together to keep all of us safe and free.” That sounds pretty good to me. How about you?

···–––···

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

Election Watch 2016: Election Day Edition

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

If you weren’t fortunate enough to vote early, today is the day to take action in America.

Things To Remember When You Vote Today

  • If you need any help voting, get all the relevant information via http://www.canivote.org.

  • The following states allow same-day registration for regular voting, so that even if you haven’t yet registered, you can still vote: Colorado, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

  • Your vote is crucial, and you should feel confident in exercising it as you see fit. If you believe you’re witnessing or experiencing voter intimidation, you should call the the national, nonpartisan Election Protection coalition at 866-687-8683.

  • If you’re already in line when the polls close, you get to vote. That’s the law, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

  • As Linda Sarsour sagely noted, if voting didn’t matter, no one would be trying to stop you from doing it. One party, the Republicans, sought to disenfranchise voters. One candidate, Donald Trump, hopes for victory by suppressing voter turnout. Remember that in the voting booth. Remember it in the future, as well.

  • We will get through this.