So last week Delta and Bank of America withdrew financial support from the Public Theater because their production of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare drew inspiration from politics of the day. As the article I linked to states, this interpretation isn’t new.
In fact, the Guthrie did an Obama themed version of the play five years ago. Outrage generated: zero.
What pisses me off here is the fact all these pissed off people apparently haven’t actually read the play. Or if they read it, they didn’t understand it.
And I get that. Shakepearean language can be challenging.
So here’s the thing: Julius Caesar is not a play about how awesome it is to assassinate political leaders. The assassins in the play all end up dead!
The motivations of one of them, Brutus, are noble. The motivations of the rest are less clear and certainly more selfish. Caesar himself is complicated – neither wholly good or wholly bad.
To pitch a fit because the subject of the assassination is kind of like Donald Trump is missing the point.
But further, what the hell has happened to our country that our President is off limits completely? We can make jokes about him but heaven forfend we depict him as the subject of an assassination attempt. We can only do that with fictional Presidents?
If the concern is that we’ll give people ideas, I’m sorry to say that they already have those ideas.
The events of this week already prove that.
Basically, this should be a non issue. The left shouldn’t care because fuck Trump and his party if they can’t take a joke (which this isn’t even) and the right shouldn’t care because they should fucking read the play.
Forgetting for a moment that facts are things that are true, Wisconsin State Representative Jesse Kremer stated that a biology professor could not counter a student’s claim that the earth is 6000 years old because that is a fact.
I know that some embarrassing percentage of Americans actually believe there is evidence to support the notion that the Earth is younger than written history. In this case, “embarrassing” means “more than none.”
Further, I know those people vote. And I know some of those people run for office. I even know some of them get elected. I just have a real problem with the idea their beliefs are so mainstream as to allow them to suffer no ill consequences from saying them out loud. This guy isn’t going to have any trouble being re-elected.
There is going to be a huge contingency of people saying he’s brave for speaking truth as power.
Except – and I can’t stress this enough – it isn’t truth. It’s bullshit.
You can believe the formation of the Earth was a long miracle without dismissing all of the evidence that exists. There is not a single scientific fact that supports it was a short one.
Meanwhile in Texas, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has announced they will be holding a women only showing of Wonder Woman on opening weekend. This idea was so popular, they had to add an extra showing almost immediately.
Now, you might wonder why it would be a problem to hold a women’s only showing of the first mainstream super hero film featuring a woman as the protagonist. Especially when the movie is going to be showing on several thousand screens across the country and there are, currently, two showings that will not allow dudes.
The problem, several guys tell us, is discrimination! In fact, they say, a man who has publicly announced he is purchasing a ticket to this showing is basically fighting the same fight as Rosa Parks.
For those of you who don’t know who Rosa Parks is, let me assure you that you know only slightly less than these pigs.
So let’s consider a few ways in which this is not segregation.
First, of course, this is a private entity and they can do whatever the fuck they want. More importantly, though, this is not a “separate but equal” situation where the “separate” showing is notably inferior. Guys can go to any other showing of Wonder Woman and see the same film. They are not being told that if a woman wants to watch the movie, they will have to give up their seat. They are not being sent to screening rooms with inferior projectors or seats.
They will get the exact same experience. Except, I guess, there won’t be hundreds of women in the theater.
Another way in which this is not segregation is men are not a marginalized class of citizen. Men have all the power. If you wanted to understand what it feels like to be marginalized, you entitled fuck face, you would need to consider a situation in which there were two showings of Wonder Woman that men were permitted to attend. Further, you would need to assume that women could buy tickets to every other showing but even if those showings did not sell out, men would not be allowed in the theater. Further, you would need to assume that if a woman wanted your seat in one of the two men’s only showings, she could have it and you wouldn’t get your money back.
That is being marginalized. You just don’t get to go to two fucking screenings of a movie.
Also, your men’s right’s hero is not anything like Rosa Parks because he’s not a tired black woman who just wanted to be able to sit down after a long day of work. He’s not running the risk of being put in jail and/or beaten for violating the law. At most, he’s going to be ejected from the theater and not given a refund. Unless he gets petulant. At which point, he could possibly be forcibly ejected. To compare this privileged buffoon to Rosa Parks is to identify yourself as an unthinking jackass more concerned with your own imagined needs than you are with other people’s very real rights.
I mean, I’m not panicking yet. It is possible the more “moderate” Senate will pass a more “moderate” bill and when this whole thing gets to reconciliation, national health care won’t be as fucked as it will should the House bill become actual law.
Sitting in this seat with a pre-existing condition, I’m worried. I think forcing insurance companies to do away with the pre-existing condition clause was one of the most important parts of the Affordable Care Act.
The legislation looks like it will reduce taxes for wealthy Americans (how fortunate they must feel), increase premiums for people in their 50’s and 60’s, and replace reduced cost health care with tax credits.
I like tax credits. I mean sort of. When you get a tax credit for your health insurance, though, it isn’t the same as paying that much less for your insurance. It means you end up paying a little bit less in taxes. But not the same amount.
So in the end, this bill does what a lot of other conservative bills have done – it reduces the tax burden on rich people and replaces is with a greater expense burden on everyone else.
Rich people with diabetes will still be able to afford their insulin. Middle class people with diabetes will be able to afford their insulin but might have to work an extra job when it is time to send their kids to college. Poor people with diabetes will complain about how they can’t afford their insulin and then be criticized for owning a television.
I mean seriously, why can’t they just sit in their shitty apartment and spend all their spare time thinking about why it’s their fault they are poor?
For four days, US Army Veteran Larry Jefferson was the official Santa Claus at the Mall of America. He was also black. The result was a whole lot of black kids got to sit on the lap of a Santa who looked like them. Sounds awful.
It sure was to these racists who believe that white characters should stay white no matter how mythological those figures might be.
The racists spouting their hatred for the concept of a Santa that wasn’t pasty white got so out of hand, the Star Tribune had to shut down comments on the article.
Now I will admit that the legends that gave rise to Santa Claus would certainly suggest a white Santa Claus is more accurate than – say – a white Jesus. However, it would seem to me that if we can embrace the idea of Billy Bob Thornton as (a drunk) Santa Claus, the idea of a black Santa shouldn’t result in anyone – what’s the phrase I’m looking for – giving a shit.
So in the giving spirit of the season, let’s give ourselves some time to reflect that a black Santa Claus is a good thing. And remember that every time someone uses the term alt-right, what they really mean is “racist doucebag.”
Milo Yiannopoulos, whose name is a pain to spell and is so much of a creepy fuck that I’m not even going to try, was invited to speak at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He’s well known as an outspoken racist and anti-GLBTQ crusader. As you might expect, a lot of students were upset he was coming.
Free speech is a tricky thing. I mean, does the guy have a right to say what he says?
Unfortunately, yes. Should he be given a paid platform to say these things?
I don’t think he should. I think he should be swept out the door with the other insects we don’t want to kill but also don’t want in our homes. But I understand that Universities have a responsibility to expose students to all perspectives.
Now I will argue that if they want to expose kids to thinking from the right, people like Condoleeza Rice might represent a better option than Milo Yo-yoasaurus. I don’t agree with her on a lot of things but she’s not a racist.
In any case, Milo Yog-Sothoth was given the platform to speak and he was a racist and homophobic fuck, which shouldn’t have surprised anyone. However, he went so far as to show a picture of a trans student and use her dead name.
That, my friends, is bordering on a violent act. The trans community already faces challenges that are unparalleled. What Yorkshire Puddingpolos did to this student is unconscionable.
Fortunately, Yip-yip dogapus doesn’t have a conscience. So he’ll keep saying this shit. And people will keep paying him to say it. In the name of “fairness.”
In an act that isn’t being labelled terrorism because the perpetrator was white and nobody ended up being killed, a dude walked into a pizzeria in Washington D.C. to “investigate” a bullshit conspiracy theory that the restaurant was a front for a child prostitution ring run by the Clintons.
That’s fucked up. Even more fucked up, the son of incoming National Security Advisor Lt. General Michel Flynn tweeted his support for the conspiracy theory (but just barely avoided tweeting support for the gunman). Essentially he said, “until you prove the theory is false, we will keep talking about it.”
The problem with conspiracy theories is you can’t prove them false. The people who believe them will constantly find new reasons to support the idea it is a conspiracy and all your proof to the contrary is just more evidence of a cover up.
In the meantime, it is doing real and demonstrable harm to actual human beings and to an actual business. If Donald Trump gave two shits about anyone but himself, he would use Twitter to debunk this kind of nonsense rather than using it to whine about how Saturday Night Live is making fun of him.
Carl and Angel Larson, who are “good Christians,” are concerned their wedding video business might be sullied should they be forced by anti-discrimination laws to video a same sex couple getting married.
So concerned are they that their religious right to discriminate might be infringed, they are suing the state of Minnesota to ensure they don’t find themselves in that situation. The lawsuit, in effect, says that anti-discrimination laws are unconstitutional.
Look, given that our President-elected by Russia is likely to appoint justices friendly to this kind of religious freedom bullshit, it is probably best for same-sex couples to stay away from businesses like this one because the resulting lawsuit might have extremely dubious consequences. But what do you do when the businesses pre-emptively go to court?
And I’m left to wonder, is this what Jesus meant when he said “turn the other cheek?” I mean, these people aren’t being asked to shoot pornography. They are being asked shoot video featuring a couple of guys (or girls) who love each other getting married while surrounded by their friends and family. Kinky.
Oh wait – they aren’t being asked to do that. Yet. They just don’t want anyone to ask them because if they say no, they are going to look like assholes.
Sore losers like the North Carolina Assembly are quite possibly worse than sore winners (Donald Trump). In this case, the NC Assembly is so upset the people of their state elected a Democrat to the Governor’s mansion, they called an emergency special session to limit his powers.
Of course, they claim they were going to do that anyway. They just feel they need to do it faster because of who the people elected.
The legislation was passed to limit appointments made by the Governor and to also create road blocks between plaintiffs and the State Supreme Court are so blatantly partisan, the lawmakers passing them should be embarrassed. Elections have consequences. Parties lose.
The Democrats are already well aware of this fact.
When a party loses, the worst thing they can do is this kind of scorched earth legislation. Their own constituents should be telling them to stop being assholes and accept that a Democratic governor should be able to do the same fucking stuff a Republican governor was able to do.
I try to convince myself that the Republican party wants what is best for people and they just disagree with me on ideology. When they engage in this kind of sore loser bullshit, however, it is hard for me to think of their party as anything but a party unwilling to share power with anyone.
President Elect Trump
Well yeah, I kind of had to lead with this, didn’t I?
For the last several weeks, I’d been hopeful that come election day, I wouldn’t have to write about Donald Trump any longer. Maybe one more column about how much of a sore loser he was, as we all expected. Instead, he is going to be our President for at least four years.
As a comedian, I should be happy. Hillary isn’t nearly as easy a target as Donald Trump and the parade of people he is going to include in his cabinet. They will say and do things worthy of ridicule on a nearly daily and certainly weekly basis.
I’m a little bit worried, though, that while I’m making jokes about Trump and his cabinet, they will be working on ways to take rights away from same-sex couples in the name of “religious freedom.” I’m a lot worried that they will be creating a country in which Hispanics and muslims are treated with mistrust and hostility simply because of their race and/or faith. I’m a lot worried that my transgender friends will face a supreme court openly hostile to their identity.
But let me tell you what has me super worried – that people who are upset with this outcome will throw up their hands and say they can do nothing because the DNC screwed them out of the candidate they wanted. They will blame others for the fact this happened.
We are all to blame. When almost 50% of eligible voters stay home rather than vote for anyone, we are to blame. When we allow people to say “they are both terrible” when one of those two people is President because he spouted a racist and xenophobic agenda, we are to blame. When we whine because our perfect candidate isn’t on the ballot instead of recognizing that 75% of what we want is far better than 10% (if that) of what we want, we are to blame.
When we angrily shake our fists at a system in which we refuse to take part because all we ever do is vote once every four years, we are to blame.
Donald Trump won because people who have never been excited about voting got off their asses and turned up. I don’t care why they turned up. The fact is they turned up.
If you read my blog, you probably voted. Odds are you didn’t vote for Trump. Some of your might have voted Stein or Johnson but you didn’t vote Trump. You are as upset as I am right now, I would imagine.
So once you stop being angry, you have to ask yourself, what am I going to do now?
I’m probably just including this story because given how many words I have devoted to my distaste for Donald Trump, I want it to be known that at least one dude dislikes him more than me.
But seriously, asshole, vandalism isn’t the answer. It makes people who support Trump look more reasonable than those of us who know he’s a bigoted, misogynistic, narcissist, who would probably be the worst President in the history of our country. Which is saying a lot since Buchanan set the bar pretty low, not even George W. Bush was able to limbo under it.
I’ve read people likening it to the destruction of statues of Lenin or Hussein but the thing is: Trump hasn’t been elected yet. And hopefully he’s not going to be. Does it make sense that we should destroy a statue of John McCain simply because we don’t like his stance on using the Senate to blockade the Supreme Court?
Or destroy a statue of George W. Bush because he was a terrible President?
I don’t think there is justification for this kind of behavior. If you think it would be wrong for someone to destroy something that says Hillary Clinton (or Gary Johnson or Jill Stein), it is just as wrong to destroy something that says Donald Trump.
If you’ve got a problem with Trump, how about you work your ass off to make sure he doesn’t get elected? Read More…