bad jokes

A ‘Double Hufftendre’

An entry from the Huffington Post most-read sidebar, 11 September 2014, reflecting the consumption priorities of the news site's readers.It really is too easy to pick on Huffington Post; the most-read lists on pretty much any given news site can be depressing, amusing, harrowing, or whatever. And for that we generally can’t blame the site per se, but, rather, its readers. In HuffPo’s case, though, that glammed up sidebar is a neverending wellspring of, “Wait, what?”

To the other, we at This Is generally adore double-entendre, bad puns, and the sorts of inside jokes that make us wonder about our own psyches. Psyche. Psyches. I don’t know; depends on which one of me is in on any given day.

We also have a weakness for hilarious names, as cruel and inappropriate as that might be, but it is a burden bestowed by a grandfather who once told the story of the Rev. Perry Winkle. And real life provides so much better comic relief than Asswipe Johnson.

True, it is in that vein of juvenilia that the sidebar headline stands out so much: “These Slits Were Too High For Comfort On This Week’s Worst Dressed List”. Then again, one would hope it’s the anemic play on “slits” being “too high” that ranked the article among the most read; what a sad testament if that many people are actually out hunting for celebrity fashion gossip or the chance to revel in what may or may not be some idiotic excuse for slut-shaming.

Really, I prefer the exploitative joke of an obscure colloquialism for a vagina to the idea that people really do care that much about who someone else thinks is the worst-dressed celebrity in a given week. The fact that there is anything remotely approaching a weekly worst-dressed list is a suggestion that the species will, indeed, amuse itself to death.

Something About Misogyny

Sauerbraten: Two players, a zombie ogre and a robot warpig, battle it out in a map borrowed from some other game.

A funny story . . . er . . . right, sort of. Okay, not really.

Once upon a time, several years ago, a friend and I stopped by his tech-sector office late at night to grab a couple boozeless drinks from the staff fridge. And while the idea of people working late is hardly unusual in these United States, there were several people hunched over in their cubicles, clacking away at their keyboards, and they were apparently pushing for deadline. Such is the software sector.

There was a proper butch lesbian of larger bodily proportions and less contrived personal fashion—i.e., disqualified from the “hot” list—working out of the corner cubicle. Indeed, she is only important in the context of the rest of the anecdote.

There was nothing unusual about that night, but my friend commented on a story I had recently heard from a woman; he was the other player.

So it goes, for reasons that were never clear to me, a female friend had stopped by his office for something. Sure, that’s sort of a clue that something is up with the story, but there is nothing else on the other end to suggest why. Whatever, this was over a decade ago; I could easily have smoked away those memory cells.

Apparently the sight of a lithe blonde woman of chesticle endowment brought the office to a halt.

“They don’t see women very often,” my friend joked, and if you remember the alpha geek jokes from the time, well, that’s right on target. I did point out the lesbian in the corner cubicle, but got the, “Dude?” shrug in return: Nobody thinks of her as a “woman”. Dude.

And let that say what it will.

Dude? Dude.

It is naturally the first memory to mind as the “GamerGate” story penetrates my sphere of indifference toward the perpeutal juvenilia known as gamer culture.

And when I see a bunch of gamers panicking? Well, that just recalls the old alpha geek jokes.

For those unfamiliar, GamerGate is a pretty minor scandal. For those with a stake in its issues—in this case over half the American population, i.e., women, as well as software industry workers and executives—it is actually a sad repetition of roadworn attitudes reminding just how badly Americans have trashed the Shining City on the Hill.

Still, though, it is very nearly amusing to see the gamers panic.

Brief summaries should suffice to bring people up to speed. Stephen Totilo of Kotaku explains:

The current drama goes back, however directly or indirectly, to an ex-boyfriend and a series of blog posts attacking his ex-girlfriend’s character, then it goes to scrutiny and harassment, takes a turn to involve a possible game journalism sex scandal (refuted), maneuvers into vitriol against feminist game critic Anita Sarkeesian (horribly nasty stuff), takes another turn to be about journalism ethics (addressed), spills into some essays and round-ups about how fraught the marketing-driven “gamer” identity is and how it might be dying or dead (rounded up here on Kotaku in an article that says there are many a cool gamer, too!) and then in some way flows into a thing called GamerGate which was actually first used as a Twitter tag a day before any end-of-gamer articles were written.

Over at TechCrunch, Tadgh Kelly tries his hand at telling the story:

#gamergate began a few weeks ago when an ex-boyfriend of Zoe Quinn posted an enormous, pompous and self-important diatribe online accusing her of sleeping her way around the games industry. He posted screengrabs of chats they had, presented his side of the story as the noble and maligned man being led astray by this faerie creature who turned out to be full of lies and so on.

His revenge-porn/character-assassinating rant went all around the gaming world at the speed of rumor and was followed by hacks and “doxxing” activities that purported to show that gamers had been right to be suspicious about Quinn. In its wake a torrent of abuse and more abuse started to build a head of steam. Allegations of conspiracy, of women using sex to manipulate the industry and all the rest of it gained outsized publicity largely due to a video shared by actor Adam Baldwin. And then, somewhere around the same time, Anita Sarkeesian published her latest Tropes vs Women video and the waves of rage and accusations of agenda-pushing in the media began all over again.

And that’s the thing about stereotypes and legends, techies and the Dudehood. There’s nothing new, here. (more…)

Stupid

Pinterest, via Facebook.

Something, something, something, Dark Side.

I would be disappointed in my friends, but this is Facebook, and that’s not allowed. We’re only allowed to “Like”.

Then again, it’s a great reminder. That is, perhaps I need new friends, but they’re just Facebook friends. So, you know. Whatever.

Still, though, Tommy Shaw keeps coming to mind. I wonder why?

Then again, I suppose it’s better than the twenty jokes from Tickld. No, really, why would anyone torture their “friends” with this excrement?

A Quote: Palin on … er … ah … Something

NRA Stand and Fight rally with Sarah Palin. The National Rifle Association annual convention at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, April 2014. The exhibit hall contained over nine acres of guns and gun products and the convention was attended by over 60,000 people. (Mark Peterson/Redux)

“We believe, wait, I thought fast food joints, don’t you guys think that they’re like of the devil or something? Liberals, you want to send those evil employees who would dare work at a fast food joint that you just don’t believe in, I thought you, I dunno, wanted to send them to purgatory or something. So they all go vegan. And wages and picket lines. I dunno, they’re not often discussed in purgatory are they? I dunno, why are you even worried about fast food wages?

“Well, we believe, an America where minimum wage jobs, they’re not lifetime gigs, they’re stepping stones to sustainable wages. It teaches work ethic.”

Sarah Palin

Over at msnbc, Steve Benen humbly offers this “transcript, as best as I could put this word salad together”.

And it is an admirable effort. Still, though, a note to Mr. Benen: Can we all please agree that “word salad” is officially “ptomaine”?

____________________

Benen, Steve. “Palin discovers that humor is hard”. msnbc. 11 August 2014.

Your … ¿Tweet? … of the Day?

In truth, I haven’t any criteria for a Tweet of the Day, but, still:

Question: Do you really want to know what that means?

Still, though, Pfeiffer’s response is well pointed; given the nature and potentials of this (ahem!) “scandal”, it does not seem anything the White House would want to touch with a ten-foot pole, proverbial or otherwise.