Welcome to Man, What the Hell?, a new series delving into the stories that made us go, “Man, what the hell?”
I can’t believe I have to say this, but no, you are not a German Jew living in 1938 Berlin.
Not you of course, dear reader. But you, Karl Manke, the Michigan barber who claimed this week that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s ongoing stay-at-home order is pretty much the same thing as being shipped off to a Nazi death camp.
“These older people in Germany were told in reels and movies and types of propaganda coming out at the time, that they could get into these cattle cars, and would be taken to these new homes,” Manke told MLive during a protest in Lansing on Wednesday. “They willingly got into those cattle cars. I will not be placed into a cattle car.”
And you, Alaska State Rep. Ben Carpenter, who recently complained that being asked to wear a sticker in the capital building to indicate that he’d passed a coronavirus health screening was basically like forcing him to wear a “Jude” star, as the Nazis did to Polish Jews in 1939.
“How about an arm band that won’t fall off like a sticker will?” Carpenter reportedly wrote in a message to the entire Alaskan House of Representatives. “If my sticker falls off, do I get a new one or do I get public shaming too? Are the stickers available as a yellow Star of David?” (He later apologized “for any offense that created.”)
And you, anonymous Illinois woman, who justified her “Arbeit Macht Frei” sign (literally “work will make you free,” the slogan forged in iron on the gates into Auschwitz) during a recent protest against Gov. JB Pritzker—who happens to be Jewish—by insisting that she had Jewish friends.
Admittedly, this one is a little confusing: Is she the Nazi? Is she calling him the Nazi? Why is there no space between “Frei,” and “JB”? Lotta questions, lotta questions…
I’d like to offer a corollary to Godwin’s infamous law. Let’s call it Schwartz’s Theorem:
The longer a white person is mildly inconvenienced by any type of public health crisis or natural disaster, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.
Please feel free to use this at your next cocktail party, backyard BBQ, hootenanny, or soirée.
JK, we’re never leaving our homes again.
And speaking of Schwartz’s Theorem
Here you go: a whiny, inconvenienced white person bringing up Nazis. What’d I tell ya?
It’s genuinely incredible that we live in an age where I have to stop and think about whether this is better or worse than the other time the president praised Nazis. And while some have questioned whether or not Trump even knew that Ford was a vicious anti-Semite who helped inspire Hitler’s National Socialist party, I firmly believe that when it comes to deeply bigoted historical figures, the president knows exactly what he’s talking about.
Far be it for me to actually get excited about the intra-party machinations of the Democratic National Committee, but after reading this interview with newly elected DNC member and climate change activist R.L. Miller I can’t help but feel like maaaaaaybe? I dunno… some optimism is in order?
In addition to working to push the party to actually do something about extinction-level climate change, Miller also advocates for a strong “Fuck off, Tom Perez” position—the sort of thing I can absolutely get behind.
From the interview:
So I assume your goal at the DNC is to make a lot of noise about climate change in particular?
RLM: I really hope to be able to tell Tom Perez, to his face, to fuck off. I shouldn’t say that, should I? Oh, sure, I’ll say that.
We should all be so lucky to have the opportunity to live our dreams.
Take thy form from off my door
Legally I think this means the humble loon is our new national bird. Congratulations to the state of Minnesota which is, once again, ahead of the curve.
Probably should have seen this one coming
Pilar Abel, a 61-year-old psychic and tarot card reader from Girona, Spain, has been ordered to pay the full cost for exhuming Salvador Dali’s long-dead corpse after failing in her bid to use DNA evidence to prove the surrealist master was her father. The exact cost of her grave-digging escapade has not been published, but whatever the final amount ends up being, I hope she pays it with melting bicycles draped over the eighth hump of an impossibly tall camel.
PETA and the woof
Depending on who you ask, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is either a dumb, boring game for babies, or an exercise in capitalist excess. What’s clear, though, is that whichever one it may be—and no matter much joy it might bring to the quarantined masses—whatever animal rights exasperaters PETA are doing here is excessively, impressively stupid.
Good work, everyone. Nice hustle.
All About The Ben’s-Jammin’
What, um, exactly is Ben threatening here?
Today is World Goth Day. Go ahead and get nice and spooky this weekend. Who’s gonna stop you?
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 Universal Pictures — don’t be stupid, be a smartie)