It’s my distinct pleasure, and also unfortunate responsibility, to report that even though we are finally finished with the Democratic National Convention (please hold your applause), we stand at the cusp of what is sure to be the exponentially more deranged Republican National Convention in just a few scant days (that’s why).
I don’t know about you, but save for that weird moment when Billy Porter and Stephen Stills (the one who’s not Crosby or Nash) gyrated around in front of a green screen, the entire DNC felt like kind of a dud. The celebrity guests were deeply uninteresting; the attempts at levity were awkward and, uh, bad; even actual-exciting-person AOC’s painfully brief appearance — ex post facto brouhaha notwithstanding — was a boilerplate Cliffs Notes to the rich and exciting world of progressive politics. The whole thing just seemed like everyone, from Biden himself to the many, many, many (but for some, not nearly enough) conservative guests, wished they could be doing something — anything! — else.
Part of the problem is that Democrats still fundamentally take the entire concept of a political convention seriously. This is their chance to make a STATEMENT. To showcase DEMOCRACY. To act DIGNIFIED and SERIOUS.
Republicans, and especially Donald Trump, truly could not give two shits. If Trump knows anything at all beyond “racism” and how to file for bankruptcy, it’s that people sitting down to watch TV don’t actually care about politics, they care about entertainment. They want a show. They crave spectacle. The RNC — even robbed of an arena filled with adoring MAGA gremlins — understands instinctively that it’s in its best interest to capture eyes, rather than change hearts and minds. That’s why the convention will feature a laundry list of conservative headline-grabbers who have nothing to offer beyond splashy name recognition and, in the case of Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the threat of physical violence.
Who knows what will actually happen at the RNC this year? I’m sure it will be racist and dishonest and fundamentally deranged. It will scare the shit out of me. It will be a cavalcade of the worst this country has to offer. But does anyone think it will it be boring? I guess we’ll see.
For proof positive that politics is for the most part an exercise in class solidarity, look no further than the alleged reason for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s surprise endorsement of sentient haircut Joe Kennedy in his contentious, nakedly ambitious race to unseat progressive Sen. Ed Markey. According to a Pelosi aide, the speaker was spurred to action because Markey had committed the unforgivable sin of…leveling extremely mild criticism “on Joe, his family, his supporters and the Kennedy family policy legacy.” Quelle horreur!!!
In a delicious bit of schadenfreude, though, Pelosi’s “gotta stick up for those Kennedy kids who clearly are at a political disadvantage in Massachussets” gambit seems to have backfired. According to the Markey campaign, the senator outraised Kennedy by 3-1 after Pelosi got involved in their race.
It remains to be seen whether Kennedy’s extremely punk rock acoustic sit-down with the Dropkick Murphys this weekend will be enough to turn the tide in his favor.
The (fucker-)upper chamber
Politicians — especially those in the vaulted halls of the United States Senate — are weird, alien creatures whose recognizably human traits have been lobbied out of them. That said, this is about as close to a genuine human moment as I’ve seen from a member of that lofty deliberative body in a long, long time.
Time to Facebook the music
The most destructive digital force on Earth has apparently decided that now is a good time to worry about the possibility that Donald Trump could exploit its services to make a mockery of the American political system.
According to the New York Times, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his top lieutenants have begun holding regular meetings to figure out what the hell are we gonna do if the president takes a look at the election night returns and decides “nah.” Among the options they’ve reportedly discussed:
A “kill switch” to shut off political advertising after Election Day since the ads, which Facebook does not police for truthfulness, could be used to spread misinformation.
Because what better time to put an end to bogus political ads than after people cast their votes, right?
BART fart art
This is just a real weird tweet from a public transit system. I have nothing more to add.
Falwell that ends well
Now that he’s been ignominiously booted from his ultra-conservative Liberty University, let’s take a trip down Jerry Falwell Jr’s truly bizarre Instagram timeline, and revisit the heady days of December 2018. Falwell was riding high on the hog — he had the ear of the president, an entire educational institution at his disposal, and, apparently, the ability to dick-thrust several hundred pounds of virtuous Christian women into the air.
Why would Jerry do, uh, this? Because, as his original Instagram post explains, he just wanted to be like Dwayne the Rock Johnson.
Please, watch this and count the number of times you said “fuck no” out loud.
More than 4 times? Congratulations, you’re an extremely normal person, unlike this woman who is clearly part bee.
What better way to spend your weekend than…
Did anything make you say “Man, what the hell?” this week? Perhaps out loud to a roommate, loved one, or disinterested household pet/plant? Misery loves company, so share your personal what the hells in the comments below!
(pic via Scott Free Productions, Red Wagon Entertainment – Are you not entertained?)