Shit that Pissed me Off – 4/7
Look – as someone who has done a lot of improvisational theater in my life, I have a lot of respect for improvisation.
But Donald Trump feels like an improvisational President. Syrian President Assad uses chemical weapons on his own people and Trump’s first response is “we should do something.”
So everyone responds by saying “yeah – OK – can you be a little more specific?”
And Trump responds by saying “BOOM! Just bombed a military base! How do you like that something?”
And everyone is like “?????”
Never mind that Trump pretended to be a dove on the campaign trail and managed to convince far too many people Hillary Clinton would have us in a war with Syria before she finished her inauguration speech. Never mind that this bombing run did nothing to prevent the next chemical weapons attack on civilians.
In the end, it is military theater. It makes Trump look tough without actually risking anything. Nobody really cares about what is going on in Syria anyway. I mean, we care in the sense that it sounds awful but we don’t care in the sense that it affects our lives in any tangible way.
Kind of like the way that military strike affected the actions of Assad.
I’m breaking my own rule but I had to post about this one because the headline of the article reads “Trump Donates His First Quarter Salary: Liberals SPEECHLESS When They Find out Where!”
I mean we aren’t speechless. We’re SPEECHLESS!
As a liberal who is rarely speechless (or SPEECHLESS), I took the headline as something of a challenge.
Turns out Trump, who has been consistent in pointing out how rich he is, is donating his Presidential salary to various charities.
Which doesn’t leave me speechless. Because, and you all have to know how much it pains me to say this, I think it is pretty cool. I’m super appreciative that a rich white dude is donating money to charity. I’m sure that he didn’t do that before he was elected President.
Anyway, he is donating to charity each quarter of his Presidency and this quarter, he gave the money to the National Park System. Checkmate, liberals!
And yeah, liberals love the National Park System. Here’s the thing – so do a lot of conservatives. It’s one of those weird areas where liberals and conservatives agree. I know there aren’t a lot of them any more so it is kind of weird.
But pointing at liberals and saying “ha! Trump did something you like!” is really only effective if he is doing something conservatives don’t like.
So I’m not speechless. Nor am I SPEECHLESS.
Now here’s my genuine question – and there is probably an answer I don’t feel like looking up – since Trump is donating his salary for being President, does that mean he is scaling back on charitable donations he is making off of all of his business income?
The ad, fearing Kendall Jenner solving all of the world’s problems with an ice-cold Pepsi, has been pulled because it was stupid.
You have to watch it, though, just to understand how completely tone-deaf it was. In the climactic moment, Jenner joins a protest march after being encouraged to do so by a cellist (yes really) who is also, conveniently, Asian. She then picks up an ice-cold Pepsi and walks right up to a police officer who looks very serious but isn’t wearing riot gear so he probably doesn’t feel to threatened by the smiling, laughing, and dancing crowd. As a muslim photographer kneels to get the perfect shot, Jenner hands her Pepsi to the police officer (which is super generous because who knows how she will ever be able to get another one). He drinks it and smiles and the crowd cheers.
Years of social discontent are solved by Pepsi.
And one of the Kardashians.
In the end, nobody is happy with this commercial. Conservatives hate it because social justice makes them all angsty because why doesn’t anyone care about their feelings. Liberals hate it because it completely fails to accurately represent the causes it is carefully neither supporting or condemning and further implies that if Dr. Martin Luther King Jr had just given those southern whites a Pepsi, he could have ended segregation with a lot less animosity.
Thing is, there were a whole lot of points where people sat in a conference room, looked at this commercial and thought: “oh yeah – that shit’s gonna sell some Pepsi!”
It seems to come as a genuine surprise to them that the commercial missed the mark. Was there no-one in the room saying “we all can see this is awful – right?”
Also – and this may be the biggest sin of all – I’ve listened to the commercial several times now and in spite of the fact it prominently features a cellist, the commercial doesn’t feature any cello music!
How many cello players are going to be drinking Pepsi now, huh? They just killed themselves in that demographic.
I’ll admit, when I saw the headline, I assumed that this had to be bullshit. It had to be a liberally biased source carefully misinterpreting what someone said.
Nope. Iowa Representative Shannon Lundgren was asked if a pregnant woman would have to carry a dead child to term if her life was not in danger and she really said this:
This bill wasn’t written for the intent to protect or govern on the side of the woman. It was written to save babies’ lives, giving the choice and being the voice of those babies…that don’t have one. I understand what you’re saying—this fetus, this baby, is not alive. I would concur that in that instance, if your daughter’s life is not in danger, that yes, she would have to carry that baby
Now, I watched the video and when pressed about her response, she backpedaled and later claimed she misspoke.
I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt here and accept she misspoke when she said a mother should be forced to carry a dead child to term. In watching the video, I think it is possible she even was acknowledging that the bill as written needed to be fixed.
She doesn’t get a pass, though, for the fact that she admitted what we all should know about the pro-life movement.
Simply put, they only care about the babies.
She said as much. She said the bill wasn’t written with the lives and/or health of the mothers in mind. Fuck them. They got pregnant and now the only responsibility of lawmakers is to protect the fetus.
So even if we allow the kindest of possible interpretations of her statements about women carrying dead fetuses to term if their health isn’t at risk (news flash – of course their health is at risk), she still doesn’t give a fuck about the mother.
What he said was foolish as it is a prime example of correlation not proving causation but the response to his comments is what really annoyed me.
I made the mistake of reading this Daily Wire piece that responded to the comments by essentially saying “yeah – don’t those Marvel people realize we hate reading books that forward a liberal agenda of giving a shit about minorities and women?”
So look – I grew up with Peter Parker as Spider-Man. He’s a white dude. In the comics (some of them) he’s now black. I still like Peter Parker. But there are years of comics with Peter Parker as Spider-man for me to enjoy. And if the writing for the new kid is good*, who the hell cares?
Thor is a white dude in the movies. In the comics he’s a woman.
Iron Man is a white dude in the movies. In the comics, he’s a black woman.
In the movies Captain America isn’t part of Hydra. I guess he isn’t part of Hydra in the comics any more. I don’t know – I don’t have a lot of time to read comics as much as I enjoy them any time I actually do find the time.
The exec who offered up speculation on what was causing sagging sales without proof has backed off what he said. But you know the conservative white fanboys who are tired of comics about people who don’t look like them will fail to recognize the irony of their complaints.
It is possible that a female Thor is hurting sales. It seems likely that is because readers are used to Thor being a dude and most of us don’t like change.
It’s also possible sales are sagging because comics are expensive and with the quality of Marvel movies out there, people feel like they can enjoy their comic book characters for less.
I don’t honestly know. And neither does anyone else.
*I genuinely don’t know if the writing is good. If it isn’t, I’d point to that as the culprit, you know?
If you don’t know what Equal Pay Day is, it is the day women finally start making the same amount as men in the same jobs. Basically, until April 4th, women make nothing.
It’s all really a thought experiment because of course women have been getting paid for the first three months of the year. They just haven’t been making as much as men in the same jobs.
What is frustrating about this completely factual thing we know is happening is the constant drumbeat from “skeptics” who ask why employers don’t hire more women if they get to pay them less.
Instead of saying “that sucks – how can we fix it” they say “well it can’t really be happening because of this completely idiotic logical leap.”
And by “logical,” I mean “not at all logical.”
We are still paying women less and engaging in denial of that fact doesn’t make it easier to fix the problem.
It means we are just arguing about something that has already been established rather than working together to do something about it.
I feel like climatologists know something about this problem…
Oh hey – I wrote a new story this week! I wrote it on a deadline and while experiencing extreme sleep deprivation. Still, I’m happy with it. If you want to read some bittersweet fiction instead of mostly bitter reality, give it a try!