Welcome to Man, What the Hell?, a new series delving into the stories that made us go, “Man, what the hell?”
You might have noticed that there wasn’t a “Man, What The Hell? last week. Sorry about that. I had other things on my mind.
Then again, you might not have realized we’d skipped a week at all. That’s understandable, too. Time has pretty much lost all meaning these days as we slide from one crisis to another, fracturing our finite attention span across an endless-seeming cavalcade of horrors and injustices.
What I’m saying is that it’s pretty bad out there. It’s probably going to get worse.
In just a matter of weeks we’ve plunged headfirst through a literal plague (Remember that? Don’t worry, it’ll be back!) and nationwide racial justice revolutions, only to emerge in the midst of a full-blown fascist power play. The president had barricaded himself inside the White House, arguably the most secure building in the history of our planet even before Trump decided it needed an extra layer of fencing and a goon squad of prison riot bruisers. Cops are beating the shit out of people in the streets, while those in power lick the gristle left from some poor protester’s caved-in skull off the police force’s boots. A sky scraper-sized asteroid is headed toward Earth.
If 2018 truly was the “bad times” where the fuck does that leave us now? Until the other day, I’d have said we’re stuck somewhere between perma-terror, and numb acquiescence. Now I’m not so sure. For better or worse we’re barreling toward uncharted territory full of monsters who are desperate to protect every inch of the racist, unjust scaffolding that gives them a sense of unearned superiority. For some it’s a matter of greed. For others, sheer dumb hate. For plenty, it’s just cowardice. How hard they’ll fight to keep their grubby paws on the levers of power and control—and how hard the rest of us will fight to pry them off—is the only question left.
There are a few brief glimmers of hope; in Minneapolis, the flashpoint for this latest citizen insurrection, a serious conversation has emerged about how to excise the infamously racist local police department from daily life; in Washington, D.C., Rahul Dubey opened his doors to more than 70 protesters fleeing flash bang grenades and tear gas, ordered pizza for his impromptu guests, and told the police to fuck right off; in cities across the country people are showing up, and listening.
Look, I’m not (that) stupid. I know there are new and previously unimaginable horrors in store for us. That’s just what our lives have become. The president is a Nazi who gets off on the thought of intense state violence against any and all dissenters. Still, we’ve gotta go somewhere. We should probably fight like hell to make it somewhere good.
Anyway, onto the rest…
…Bari Weiss, perhaps the single worse opinion-haver on the New York Times’ incredibly deep bench of terrible opinion-havers, was dragged to the depths of hell by her colleagues this week after she managed to somehow laud her paper’s decision to publish fascism porn while directly insulting her co-workers in the process.
Given the Times’ de facto omerta against intra-paper fights between staff, coupled with the slow roll out of excuse after excuse for how badly they bungled the decision to publish Sen. Tom Cotton’s ode to martial law in the first place, it seems like Bari’s hellacious book parties might not be quite so well attended next time.
He feels stupid and contagious
I’m starting to wonder if former Nirvana bassist and certifiably Tall Guy Krist Novoselic might have suffered some serious brain injury after he clocked himself in the noggin with a flying Gibson nearly 30 years ago.
In a (since locked down) Facebook post, Novoselic lauded President Donald Trump’s recent fascist feint, saying he “knocked it out of the park with this speech,” and called his tone “strong and direct.”
After people rightfully pointed out that this is hardly the sort of thing you’d expect from the guy who covered the low end on songs like “Rape Me” and “Territorial Pissings,” Novoselic clarified that “as an avowed independent, I don’t endorse a major party or candidate.”
“It feels insane to have to say this, but I don’t support fascism, and I don’t support an authoritarian state,” he continued. “I believe in a civilized society and that we all have to work toward that.”
Because if there’s one lasting legacy from the Seattle grunge explosion, it’s an abiding faith in civilized society.
See ya later, ally gator
If Philadelphia Flyers weirdo Gritty was the antifa mascot of 2018, then I respectfully submit that the humble alligator be named the standard bearer for our current revolutionary era.
I mean, Christ, look at these chompi bois go.
Interesting that the crocodile community has yet to join their reptile brothers in the cause. Hmmmmmm?
There was a point in the not-too-distant past when Corey Lewandowski, President Donald Trump’s violent former campaign manager and admitted liar, was considered a serious contender to join the United States Senate.
Now, I’m pleased to report, Corey has found his true calling: Being a guy who says “poopies” for money.
Nice work if you can get it.
Take a hike
The prospect of getting impossibly drunk and wandering around in nature for a few months gets more and more appealing by the day. Throw in few thousand bucks, and suddenly I’ve got an answer to my pal Samantha’s question: “What will it take for me to leave?”
The Virginia-based Devil’s Backbone brewing company is offering $20,000 to some lucky schmo—maybe you!—to become what they’ve dubbed their “chief hiking officer.” The job entails hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains and, well, drinking a bunch of beer. Based on their (extremely annoying) promotional video for the position, it seems like there’s some tweeting involved, which I imagine would be stuff like “Drank another beer in nature.” and “Drnak mo reebeers” and “issata bear???”
As Thoreau famously wrote: “I went to the woods because I wished to get shitfaced deliberately.”
30–50 Feral Hogs
Vroom vroom, “elite of the elite” police coming through!
Perhaps instead of spending millions of dollars on unnecessary military equipment, more police departments should invest in a sturdy set of training wheels, instead?
Your weekend soundtrack
Stay safe out there folks!
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 New Line Cinema — Do you read Sutter Cane?)