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Man, What the Hell?

Man, What The Hell? Friends and Foes Edition

Plus: Spuds, Sims, and strippers.

I know I usually launch into these “Man, What The Hell?” blogs with some sort of broad overview of the world as we know it, and why it often sucks. Not this week, though. This week, I want to share a conversation I overheard at the playground the other day, as I was trying my best to simultaneously push one of my kids on the swing set, and also DM some friends a video of someone kick-flipping their skateboard directly into their dick I’d found on Instagram. Look it up, it’s great, I promise.

In any case, there I am, shoving the swing with one hand, texting with the other, when I hear a group of kids—probably 10? 11-years-old?—arguing about Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, and specifically the underwater Gungan City on the planet Naboo. What was the argument actually over? Doesn’t matter. Who won? I don’t care. What’s important is that in the space of maybe 17-seconds total, their conversation had completely shifted and I was lucky enough to hear the following exchange:

KID 1: They took F•R•I•E•N•D•S off Netflix.

KID 2: What’s “Friends”?

KID 3: It’s a retro TV show, I think?

KID 1: It’s something your mom would watch.

Boom. Scene. Fin.

Folks, I was fucking wrecked. This was both the highlight of my week, and a reminder of the inexorable march of time that will leave me crumbled into a pile of dust to be blown away by a gentle breeze. In that moment I faced mortality itself. What a rush. Meanwhile, I have no doubt in my mind that those absolutely vicious kids are gonna inherit the Earth some day, and honestly? They’re gonna be great.


Spud-tering to a halt

Last week a few of you asked me to weigh in on Taco Bell’s recent decision to nix potato from their menu. Here’s what I think: it fucking sucks. Like it wasn’t hard enough already to convince people to indulge my terrible taste in fast-food before TB yanked one of the few things that was even moderately health-adjacent? C’mon. Put the tubers back in the tortilla tubes, and let us have just a sliver of happiness in these dark days, huh? Christ almighty, there are literally mountains of potatoes just sitting around, waiting to be put to good use, and Taco Bell has the audacity to say “Nah, no thanks”? Fuck that. Don’t you dare tell me to run for the border, and then not have one of the world’s most useful starches waiting for me when I get there.

Dick, Tracey

This dangerous free thinker evidently fucked around, and, as they say, “found out” while trying to do whatever it is he does in the midst of the ongoing Portland protests.

Unfortunately, by simply reciting the phrase “Black Lives Matter” in public, Michael is now officially a comrade in ANTIFA local chapter 97201, whether he likes it or not.

Your membership card is in the mail. See you in the gulags!

🎶 Take me out to the CGI crowd 🎶

Baseball’s back, baby!! And it’s…weird as hell.

Personally, I’m just glad to see the Sims and the digital crowd from that Star Wars pod race scene finding work these days.

Miller’s crossing

If there’s anything worse and more anguishing than losing a loved one to COVID-19, it’s got to be losing a loved one to COVID-19, and then getting into a tit for tat with your nephew Stephen Fucking Miller, and the entire White House over whether or not that’s what actually happened.

Incidentally, my heart goes out to David Glosser, whose mother Ruth died earlier this month of the coronavirus, and who is now stuck in an unfathomably stupid argument with his sister’s fascist son as to what actually killed Stephen’s elderly bubbie.

It goes like this: On July 4, David announced the passing of his mother, whose death certificate officially lists COVID-19 as the cause of death. Given that David’s nephew Stephen is one of the top advisors in an administration largely responsible for America’s catastrophic pandemic response, Glosser was understandably pissed at his kin, telling Mother Jones that “I’m angry and outraged at [Miller] directly and the administration he has devoted his energy to supporting.”

The White House, in response to a request for comment from MJ, then tried to deny that Glosser’s mother had died from coronavirus, saying instead that “[Miller’s] grandmother did not pass away from COVID. She was diagnosed with COVID in March and passed away in July so that timeline does not add up at all. His grandmother died peacefully in her sleep from old age.”

When shown that her literal cause of death was listed as COVID-19, the White House then doubled down on their denial, telling MJ “this is categorically false.”

I wonder if Stephen is in the will?

No sex in the champagne vroom

Auto-erotic patrons of Houston, TX’s Vivid Gentleman’s Club—the state’s first drive-through strip club—have been asked to keep their dancing requests down to two songs, max, so as not to cause a traffic jam. I don’t really have a point to make here, beyond wishing the absolute best of luck to the enterprising dancer who figures out how to make “MacArthur Park” and “In A Gadda Da Vida” sexy.

Jew hate to see it

Personally, if I were running an uphill, but surprisingly robust, campaign to unseat a deeply popular, groundbreaking congresswoman who has, herself, been targeted as part of ongoing, malicious, right-wing effort to smear her as an anti-Semite, I would probably not send a mass email to my supporters assuring them that I wouldn’t be beholden to “the Jewish community.”

That, however, is exactly what Minnesota Fifth District Democratic congressional candidate Antone Melton-Meaux did in a recent email blast, apparently designed to address reports that a large portion of his campaign donations were from out of state funders animated in no small part by dislike for Rep. Ilhan Omar—and in particular, her relationship with her Jewish constituents, and policy stance toward Israel.

Per Melton-Meaux’s email:

Q: Will the money you’ve received from the Jewish community influence your policy decisions?

A: No. I have been clear from the beginning of this campaign that I disagree with a number of Benjamin Netenyahu’s actions, including the unilateral annexation of Palestenian territory. I have also made it clear that I support more humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, and that I believe the U.S. must work towards strategic reforms of Israeli policy that will ease the pressure of the occupation on Palestinians. More importantly, I’ve always been clear that my policy decisions will always be based on what’s in the best interests of the people in our district. 

Understanding that loudly declaring he will not be influenced by “money… received from the Jewish community” while trying to unseat one of the first two Muslim women elected to congress is not a great look, Melton-Meaux quickly apologized for the email, telling JNS:

We’ve gotten asked that question a lot—about the influence of getting support from the Jewish community and how that influences policy, and I wanted to answer that question. But the way I answered that question by conflating the Jewish community and issues of policy on Israel was a mistake. I should not have done that, and I apologize for that.


The hunt for red Achtung-er

Shout out to my childhood pal Ben who helped convict what will likely be the last living Nazi to stand trial for being, well, a goddamned Nazi. And piss on Bruno Dey, who was found guilty on Thursday of 5,230 counts of accessory to murder. Fuck him.


Listen to this and try not to have a good weekend. Just try!

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!

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(pic via Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions, Warner Bros. Televisionclap clap clap clap)