Saturday, September 07, 2019

The Erickson Report, Page 2: Two Weeks of Stupid: Clowns and Outrages [the Clowns]

The Erickson Report, Page 2: Two Weeks of Stupid: Clowns and Outrages [the Clowns]

Okay, we turn now to a popular feature, Two Weeks of Stupid: Clowns and Outrages. We start, as usual, with the Clowns and oh do we have a carful this time.

Our first Clown is conservative radio host and poster boy for privilege Ben Shapiro, who said on his show a couple of weeks ago that people who have to work two jobs are actually just, well, stupid:
If you had to work more than one job to have a roof over your head or food on the table, you probably shouldn’t have taken the job that’s not paying you enough. That’d be a you problem.
Put another way, if you have to take a second - or a third, or a fourth, or whatever - job in order to provide for your family, it's your own damn fault because you should have refused to take any job at all until one that paid enough came along.

He got scorched on Twitter, provoking him to shift into damage control mode, claiming - I shouldn't even have to tell you this - claiming he was taken out of context, the context being, it seems, that the government should take no steps at all toward establishing a living wage because The Market (pbui) "knows more than you do."

Ben Shapiro
How that affects his blaming struggling people for their problems goes unexplained. Which is pretty typical for a Clown.


Next up, and we're sort of taking these chronologically, is the Hasbro company, which has come out with a variation on the board game Monopoly, this one called "Monopoly Socialism." You immediately can get a flavor of the game by noting the tagline is "Winning is for capitalists."

Historian Nick Kapur described the game in a lengthy Twitter thread, including noting the lame jokes about vegetarianism - how that got to be about socialism is beyond me - and the "We Are All Winners" school as well as pointing out the mockery aimed at environmentalism and, get this, voting.

the game
The whole idea seems to be that no one in the game gets anywhere, the "community fund" that finances projects which individual players can't afford is designed to be constantly going broke, and from time to time any wealth that the community has actually accumulated is simply destroyed.

I could have done without Kapur's suggesting the target audience is "hate-filled baby boomers who grew up during the cold war and are triggered by anything done by anyone under 40," but the fact remains that the whole thing is so thoroughly lame it is hard to imagine just who it is for and it is clearly the product of the minds of Clowns.


We move on to the fact that last week, in response to a report that bedbugs had been found in the New York Times newsroom, a George Washington University professor named named David Karpf tweeted that "The bedbugs are a metaphor. The bedbugs are Bret Stephens," Stephens being a right-wing Times op-Ed columnist.

Bret Stephens
His tweet got, Karpf later said, nine likes and zero retweets and was not sent to Stephens.

Now personally, I think the joke is not funny and in fact a bit creepy but Stephens, who somehow heard about it, went out of his little mind. He wrote to Karpf complaining about his tweet and essentially daring Karpf to come to his house and say it to his face - a letter which he copied to the the university provost, that is, Karpf's boss. Oh, not to threaten his job of course, not to get him in trouble at work, oh no perish the thought, rather it was merely that he thought the provost should be aware of his underling's behavior. He then wrote a whole column about about attacks on Jews in World War II referencing insect comparisons and saying "the rhetoric of infestation is back."

To top is off, he then took advantage of his place as a contributor on MSNBC to get face time to bloviate about his side of his by-then-viral tiff with Karpf, who of course was afforded no such opportunity.

And if all that doesn't add up to Clown status (with the Times and MSNBC as enablers), then how about this:

James Inhofe
Despite cc'ing Karpf's boss, when it came to the case of Tucks Carlson saying Iraqis are "semi-literate primitive monkeys," Stephens defended him, saying threatening someone's career is an assault on free speech - in addition to which, insect and "infestation" references are not new to him, as he once compared Palestinians to a giant mosquito.


Okay, an old favorite Clown is Sen. James Inhofe. He has introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to limit the authority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to regulate lake levels and flood control related to a dam on Grand Lake in northeastern Oklahoma.

Folks upstream of the damn, including local Native American tribes and officials in the high-poverty town of Miami, say that maintaining high water levels on the lake has contributed to repeated floods as water backs up from the dam. Two dozen floods in less than 30 years, in fact, with 150 homes torn down and more abandoned as a result. This spring’s floods forced the Eastern Shawnee tribe to evacuate, its ceremonial grounds covered in three feet of water.

LeBron James
Inhofe wants higher water levels at Grand Lake on the grounds that it "makes the lake a better place for recreation and commerce." We're all sure here that the facts that he has a vacation home there and a company in his wife’s name holds $1 million in property around the lake has nothing to do with his enthusiasm for deregulation.

Inhofe's middle name, no joke, is Mountain. Which seems entirely appropriate for a Clown who has rocks in his head.


And the Clowns keep on coming. LeBron James has reportedly filed for a trademark for the phrase "Taco Tuesday," apparently based on his popular series of social media posts on the theme.

According to the application, James wants to trademark the phrase for "advertising and marketing services" through "indirect methods" that include social media and blogging.

So be careful: If you ever want to have tacos on a Tuesday, you may have to pay a fee to LeBron James, professional Clown.

the shirt
As a footnote to that, of course the phrase "Taco Tuesday" has been around a long time, long before LeBron James became a fabulously rich man who wants to be a fabulously richer one. You're not supposed to be able to trademark a common phrase or expression, but in a world where money speaks louder than law and the patent office is hopelessly overburdened, that principle did not keep Paris Hilton from trademarking "That's hot!" or Rachel Zoe from getting a trademark on the word "bananas" referring to something crazy, even though that's an expression that dates back to at least 1935.


Then there are the Clowns of the administration of the Highland Hills Middle School in Highland Hills, Indiana, where a 13-year-old girl got in trouble over a t-shirt.

What was wrong with it? Well, it had a slogan that read "Why be racist, sexist, homophobic, or transphobic when you can just be quiet?" which the principal declared inappropriate and disrespectful, along with claiming the words “Sex” and “Homo” were too eye-catching. As you can see in the picture, yeah, they really do just pop out at you, don't they.

The school's dress code bans shirts that are "suggestive, obscene or promote alcohol or drug products or use" or are sheer. It seems that "oppose bigotry" needs to be added to that list - unless doing so is already considered obscene by the Clowns at Highland Hills Middle School.

Dan Rehill

Finally for this time, we have the Rev. Dan Reehil, a Clown pastor at the St. Edward School, a Roman Catholic grammar school in Nashville, Tennessee. He just sent an email to parents of students telling them that the Harry Potter books have been removed from the school library because they "risk conjuring evil spirits." Seriously.

Quoting the email:
These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception. The curses and spells used in the books are actual curses and spells; which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits into the presence of the person reading the text.
Personally, I think that's just Riddikulus.

Clowns to the right of me, Clowns to the left of me, Clowns in front of me, volleyed and thundered....

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