twenty-first century

The Avoidance of Stupidity (McConnell Mix)

#SomethingTerrific | #WhatTheyVotedFor

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY; left), walks with President-elect Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol for a meeting, 10 November 2016, in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

This ought to be a striking note from Axios:

Senate Republicans are working to finish their draft health care bill, but have no plans to publicly release it, according to two senior Senate GOP aides.

“We aren’t stupid,” said one of the aides.

Then again, this is the twenty-first century, and these are Congressional Republicans.

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The Panacea

Detail of 'Bug Martini' by Adam Huber, 28 December 2015.In truth, my advice is to not actually try to figure out just what it is you’re looking at. Better to just blame Adam, which in turn really ought to be a t-shirt slogan of its own.

No, really; imagine the possibilities. Blame Adam. There is not a bug in your martini that couldn’t be justified on a shirt alongside the obvious slogan.

Bad memory? Blame Adam. Fretting over Nazi bikini girls? Blame Adam. Gendertyping in the twenty-first century got you down? Or maybe Great-Grandpa’s ball gag? Blame Adam, though admittedly I didn’t for that latter, instead somehow finding that it had nothing at all to do with Adam. Oh, wait. Forgot to carry the two. No, wait again. Wrong joke. It was attraction that has nothing to with Adam. What? Oh, right. Gravity. Never mind. Adam has nothing to do with gravity.

Hmph. That’s still wrong.

Right. Blame Adam.

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Image note: Detail of Bug Martini by Adam Huber, 28 December 2015.

One of Those Bad Ideas (Minnesota Seven Mix)

Huang reflects on a mission barely accomplished. (Darker Than Black, ep. 14)

And then there is Minnesota, specifically the Seventh Congressional District―a rural swath in the west of the state currently represented in Congress by Rep. Collin Peterson (DFL)―and its GOP. Or, as Ed Mazza explains:

The head of the Republican party in Minnesota is apologizing after one of the GOP’s district branches tweeted about a “negro problem.”

MN #DFL now propose a "special session" to deal with their self-created "#Negroproblem". (Minnesota 7th Congressional District GOP, via Twitter, 22 November 2015)The tweet, sent out by the state’s 7th Congressional District GOP on Sunday, was a response to the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party’s call to make joblessness and poverty in the black community part of a proposed legislative special session, the Star Tribune reported.

“MN #DFL now propose a ‘special session’ to deal with their self-created ‘#negroproblem,'” the tweet said.

Now, come on. Really? Look, you might be a Republican but at what point does this sound like a good idea? Alright, alright, alright. That’s not fair, is it? Try it this way: At what point did this fail to seem like a bad idea?

This is the question the Republican Party in Minnesota’s Seventh Congressional District must answer: Why are you in politics?

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Mazza, Ed. “Minnesota GOP Apologizes For ‘Negro Problem’ Tweet”. The Huffington Post. 24 November 2015.

The Thrilling Stupidity of Yesteryear

You know, nostalgia is as nostalgia does―Puti Toots

Russian submarines and spy ships are aggressively operating near the vital undersea cables that carry almost all global Internet communications, raising concerns among some American military and intelligence officials that the Russians might be planning to attack those lines in times of tension or conflict.

(Sanger and Schmitt)

―but this is a bit ridiculous. I mean, really, a lede like that in the twenty-first century?

That it is even possible to write a lede like that is something of a testament to humanity, though hardly one to be proud of.

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Sanger, David E. and Eric Schmitt. “Russian Ships Near Data Cables Are Too Close for U.S. Comfort”. The New York Times. 25 October 2015.

An Indictment in Texas

Ken Paxton speaks after he was sworn in as the Texas attorney general, Monday 5 January 2015, in Austin, Texas.  (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

It really is a strange tale, one notable not so much for public corruption or the fact of it being a Texas Republican, but rather for its bizarre dimensions, the twenty-first century imagining a dystopic marriage of convenience ‘twixt Mack Sennet and Rube Goldberg.

Or something like that. Sam Levine brings the update for Huffington Post:

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) has been indicted by a grand jury, multiple outlets reported on Saturday.

The indictments were handed down on Tuesday and will be unsealed Monday. Paxton faces three felony charges: two counts of first-degree securities fraud and a third-degree charge of failing to register with the state securities board ....

So, yeah. That’s going on.

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Image note: Ken Paxton speaks after he was sworn in as the Texas attorney general, Monday 5 January 2015, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Levine, Sam. “Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Indicted”. The Huffington Post. 1 August 2015.

Your Morning Metal (Future Tense)

Detail of cover art for 'Into the Mirror Black' by Sanctuary (Epic Records, 1990)

The caricatures of the past have a way of haunting reality in the present. This is, of course, a familiar point we have considered before, and even in a metallic context. But, really, take a moment to appreciate that the song is over a quarter-century old. Yeah, really.

What do you see on the news when you watch TV? War in the name of God, or a playground killing spree. Politicians promise you the world, and a preacher cries; all he ever wanted was your money, and a bitch on the side. What went wrong? Did society twist him?” What do you see in the center of the public eye? Rock stars on smack, and a serial killer fries. Radicals blame suicide and murder on our form of art; brainwash the youth, you know they claim we all play a part. What a shame that they can’t think for themselves. Past tense to future tense, let history unfold. So ends a decade, now, what will the nineties hold? You know we’re verging on the edge of an age; then another century will turn the page. What do you think they will say when they look back on this? Were the eighties just a time of spoiled innocence? We leave our legacy like dust in the sands of time. Let us hope the seeds we plant can carry the weight of our crimes. Past tense to future tense, let history unfold. And when we’re old and gray, these stories will be told. You know we’re verging on the edge of an age; then another century will turn the page. We sail on an ocean, a sea of doubt. Skeptics make no sense, can’t work things out. I’ll choose optimism, scream its name; look to the future, a burning flame. Past tense to future tense, let history unfold. So ends a decade, now, what will the nineties hold? You know we’re verging on the edge of an age; then another century will turn the page. Turn the page.

Sanctuary, “Future Tense” (1989)

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Important Clickbait (NextGen Mixhate)

Detail of cartoon by Mr. Fish, 30 November 2014, via Clowncrack.

And then there are the obvious questions.

(Detail of cartoon by Mr. Fish, 30 November 2014, via Clowncrack.)