It’s several days late, but screw it: it’s time for THE SILLIEST TAKE OF (LAST) WEEK, because it’s Friday night, and I know how to party. Many of these Silly Takes relate to the aftermath of the Charlottesville rally, because the Writers of Takes like nothing more than turning a horrible tragedy into grist for the #content mills.
First, some tweets.
It’s Time For Some Game Theory
Eric Garland, A Tweet, Twitter, 8/13/2017
Eric Garland is a person who does… something? He describes himself as a “futurist,” which Merriam-Webster defines as “one who studies and predicts the future especially on the basis of current trends,” but which I would define as “somebody who is especially skilled at convincing rich people to give them money in exchange for vague insights.” See also: haruspex, soothsayer, oracle.
Garland’s only claim to fame comes from a tweetstorm from late last year that started, memorably, with “Guys. It’s time for same game theory,” and went through 120+ rambling tweets about nothing in particular before finally arriving at a Grand Unified Theory of why the 2016 election was connected to 9/11 and Edward Snowden. It didn’t make a whole helluva lot of sense, but in the short-term aftermath of the election, confused people who couldn’t believe Trump had been elected clung to Garland’s inane gibberish as though it contained some secret mysteries. Now, Garland has a lot of Twitter followers, and continues to do his thing every week, to the consternation of every qualified political analyst in the world.
On August 13th, the day after the Charlottesville rally that culminated in the murder of one protester, Eric Garland tweeted the following:
Apparently, although “when the swastikas and murder is out” is not the time for pointing out that racism and neo-Nazism are not unique to the South, it is the time for crapping all over the South in obnoxious tweetstorms. Never mind all the notable examples of neo-Nazism, racism, and sympathy for the Confederacy that are found in the rest of the country, even, yes, in New Hampshire, what’s important is to once again reassert the supremacy of New England.
Shut Up, Joe
Joe Walsh, A Tweet, Twitter, 8/18/2017
Joe Walsh was a Congressman from Illinois for about five minutes, and is now a nationally syndicated radio host, at least according to his Twitter bio. He’s also fond of saying very silly and horrible things on Twitter, like when he responded to the 2016 Dallas police shootings by saying “Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming after you.” So, you know. He’s a real swell dude.
On August 18th, Mr. Walsh decided to respond to the “should we remove Confederate statues” controversy in the Silliest Possible Way:
If your eyes started bleeding, just lie down, put your hands over your ears to block out the screaming, and wait to die.
I’ll Take “Pointless False Equivalences” For $300, Please, Alex
Michelle Malkin, “Where Is the Corporate Disavowal of Black Lives Matter?”, National Review, 8/16/2017
Michelle Malkin is a conservative writer who is probably mostly famous for her 2004 book In Defense of Internment: The Case for Racial Profiling in World War II and the War on Terror, which, to be fair, I haven’t read. I try not to have strong opinions about books I haven’t read, because you shouldn’t ever judge a book solely based on what other people said about it. That said, the book is called “In Defense of Internment,” and explicitly makes the case that internment of Japanese-Americans in the Second World War was anything other than a tragic miscarriage of justice that forever stains the legacy of the United States, so, you know. Draw your own conclusions.
Anyway, you may recall that after President Trump’s, uh, tepid response to the events in Charlottesville, most of the members of several of his advisory committees resigned in protest. For Michelle Malkin, this was a sign only of the moral cowardice of these executives, and yet more proof of how Big Business is completely in the pockets of the Left:
“These silly-string-spined CEOs have sided with social-justice agitators, Beltway media enablers, and Democratic resistance knuckleheads who believe Trump was wrong to condemn violence and hatred on all sides of the political spectrum.”
Yes, they sided with social-justice agitators and Democratic resistance knuckleheads like, you know, the staff of The Economist.
Here’s the thesis paragraphs, though:
“Merck CEO Kenneth C. Frazier claimed he stepped down from the Trump business panel because he felt ‘a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.’ But Frazier, who served on President Obama’s Export Council, felt no equivalent responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism when the White House invited leaders from the violence-inciting Black Lives Matter movement for a forum on policing in July 2016.
The invitation was a grievous affront to law-enforcement officers and their families across the country outraged at the deadly ambushes committed against cops in Dallas and Baton Rouge that summer, along with several other forgotten cop-killings fueled by BLM-linked hate and vengeance.”
This recurring trope, common in Facebook discourse, that Black Lives Matter is a violent extremist group that warrants the same treatment as modern Nazism, is pure, unadulterated, nonsense. You don’t have to agree with BLM tactics to nevertheless understand that they are not the same as neo-Nazis. A full analysis of why BLM aren’t just left-wing Nazis is a little beyond the scope of this post, but how’s this for a try:
On the one hand, you have a group of people who are mad that armed agents of the state summarily execute black people at a disproportionate rate, and are rarely-if-ever held accountable for their actions. On the other hand, you have a group of people who are mad that Jews exist.
Listen: I’m not saying that it’s inherently a Silly Take to critique some particular thing that Black Lives Matter might do. My allegiance ought to be pretty clear, but I get that no group or institution on Planet Earth is immune to critique — to borrow from two different traditions, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” and “your fave is problematic.” But whatever critiques could be made of Black Lives Matter as an institution, they aren’t “just as bad” as neo-Nazis.
The Silliest Take of the Week: 8/13/2017-8/19/2017:
Jennifer Wright, “Grown Women, Please Don’t Dress Like Toddlers,” Racked, 8/17/2017
Did you know that you can buy Lisa Frank-themed adult pajamas now? You can! You can also buy Polly Pocket -themed clothing, also sized for adults. Does this information make you angry? If not, you don’t have what it takes to be a Writer of Takes, and must immediately leave the Internet. Hand in your badge and Twitter handle at the door.
The thesis of this article is something like this: life is scary for women now, and we need women to stand up for themselves and their rights. (I’m with you so far!) The man in charge of this country frequently acts like a tantrumy toddler. (Okay, sure!) This means, of course, that it’s inappropriate and childish and terrible for grown women to buy pink pajamas or wear silly T-shirts:
“‘All You Need to Resist Adulthood Are These Rainbow Lisa Frank Pajamas’ exclaimed an article on the website for Time magazine (a magazine for adults). Accompanying the article was a picture of a woman who appeared to be in her 20s wearing a tunic featuring a baby tiger against a rainbow background.
I miss the days when little girls wanted to rush toward the phase of adulthood where pantsuits were appropriate work attire.”
“Hillary Clinton wore a pantsuit, so how DARE you purchase novelty pajamas in this, our hour of need.”
“To seem younger than the men in power today, and less threatening, you’d have to, well, be wearing a tunic with a rainbow unicorn on it. If those men seem about 11, women have to seem about five or six.
It may seem appealing to snuggle into rainbow-colored unicorn- and mermaid-festooned outfits that show that you’re just a little girl at heart who never yells at anyone. Not like those bitchy adult women in their pantsuits.
Here’s what we forget: Being an adult is a good thing.”
I’m not sure anybody who buys Lisa Frank pajamas is really trying to make a Statement about how she’s not very threatening to Donald Trump or whatever. I think she might just like pink tigers? I think maybe she’s buying pajamas that make her smile and this has no impact whatsoever on her politics or self-image because they are literally pajamas and she just wears them to sleep in? i’m pretty sure adult women can wear Lisa Frank pajamas without compromising their value to the #resistance, jennifer
“You may like bright and vibrant colors. That is perfectly fine. But you are not a little girl. You are an adult woman, and there is pride in being an adult women. Adult women fly across the Atlantic like Amelia Earhart and break new scientific ground like Marie Curie and get us to the moon like Katherine Johnson. Adult women get stuff done.
Please don’t latch on to the fantasy world of mermaids and unicorns and whatever other bits of girlish nostalgia is being marketed to you. None of those things are real. Now, more than ever, we need to be present in the real world that’s unfolding. The world needs adult women, desperately.
Because there are more important things to be resisting than adulthood.”
Remember, there’s nothing more feminist than critiquing the clothing choices of your fellow woman, and suggesting that the clothes she wears diminish her ability to be a valuable human being.
That’s it for the Silliest Take of the Week this week! Be sure to send in any Silly Takes you find from the week of 8/20-8/26 (to firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll try to get the post up in a slightly more timely fashion next time. Have a great day, and stay safe — it’s a jungle out there, lately.