Not plane, nor bird, nor even frog

Last Week in Weird

Batten down the hatches — there’s a whole new year of weird a’comin’!

Look! Up in the sky!

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s certainly not the U.S. government’s multi-billion-dollar, super-duper secret "Zuma" satellite. Because that’s at the bottom of the Indian Ocean.

Following its launch from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Sunday night, the satellite, codenamed Zuma, failed to remain in orbit, the official said.

Northrop Grumman, the defense contractor that manufactured the payload — reportedly a billion-dollar spy satellite — told ABC News its mission is classified and declined to comment on the loss of the satellite.

Whenever I need to know what something’s really all about, I, like most people, turn first and foremost to that great clearinghouse of human knowledge: My sources there inform me that "Zuma" is an Arabic name that roughly means "peace." The idea of the United States government launching a secret satellite for the purpose of pacifying the Arab world sounds at once terrifying and utterly dull and predictable. Maybe we’ll be lucky and the true purpose of the satellite was to help frogs with the difficult task of matching colored balls.

Ah, who am I kidding? I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that Northrop Grumman’s classified mission was "find a way to get another billion dollars to build a second sattelite." In order to pull that off, though, they’d need to have somebody else to blame this on. Now who could we possibly find… ?

SpaceX suggested that it was not at fault, telling ABC News its rocket, named Falcon 9, "did everything correctly"

"The data reviewed so far indicates that no design, operational, or other changes are needed," SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell said in a statement.

Ah. SpaceX. Aces. If ever you need promising technology to go horribly and catastrophically wrong, hand it to billionaire beggar Elon Musk.

So, to recap: the United States government just spent billions of dollars of taxpayer money building a secret satellite that certainly isn’t up to anything good. The satellite was then given to Elon Musk, along with yet more of our money, and he promptly and efficiently chunked it into the ocean, at which point "it is presumed to be a total loss."

I cannot tell a lie: I think this is the first thing Musk has ever done with my money that I approve of.

This is getting out of hand

The march of the perverts is proceeding at a truly baffling pace. It seems like it was just three or four years ago when the crossdresser community rose up and demanded that we all play pretend with them. And now, things have gotten, well…

20 year old Noorul Mahjabeen Hassan, who prefers to be known as Fractal Tetris Huracan… started her relationship with Tetris back in September 2016, and now spends up to twelve hours a day playing it on websites, her phone, and her Gameboy.

Naturally, it is an intimate relationship.

Come on, Noorul. This is my first column in ages. I’m not ready for this.

‘I love him so much and get an immense sense of satisfaction with him. I have a strong connection with him and have invested so much in him.’

Fractal shows her devotion to Tetris with a Tetris necklace, Tetris-shaped lamps dotted around her room, Tetris T-shirts, Tetris magnets, and rare Tetris hard drive editions that friends have bought for her, which she now sleeps with.

Fractal plans to get married to Tetris once she graduates, with a commitment ceremony with friends in attendance.

‘I want to say I’m married to Tetris and have a legitimate ceremony,’ says Fractal. ‘I want everybody to be there.

‘I feel like that would be an official thing which would set it in stone and say "I love you and want to prove it to you" by making it permanent and calling myself Mrs Tetris.’

Your humble narrator is chagrined, but nonetheless feels compelled to point out that "rare Tetris hard drive editions" is some insane kind of word slaw rather than an actual description of a thing that exists. It is an indication of the madness of modern times that that is what jumps out at me as strange here.

Have I yet mentioned that I’m not making this up? Sometimes I need to remind myself.

Fractal identifies as an objectum sexual, meaning she’s attracted to physical objects rather than human beings. She’s not alone in this identity – others have formed relationships with train stations and chandeliers.

Before falling in love with Tetris Fractal was in a relationship with a calculator called Pierre, and says that growing up she never had crushes on humans, only on robots or objects.

‘I had feelings for monorails, iPods, treadmills but then from fifth grade (age 10) onwards that was the first time I had real feelings towards a Garmin GPS,’ Fractal says…

She’s primarily attracted to objects she perceives as male, and wants to make it clear that objectum sexuality is not a fetish.

‘A fetish is sexual whereas objectum sexual is more romantic,’ she explains.

Thanks loads for clearing up the distinction between a sexual fetish and a fetishum sexual.

In 1974, Marshall Applewhite started the "Heaven’s Gate" UFO cult. This was the cult that, quite famously, reached its apogee in 1997 when comet Hale-Bopp passed by and the cultists concluded that the aliens following it in their spacecraft would evolve them into higher life forms if only they committed ritual suicide. It is supremely unfair that comet Hale-Bopp won’t be back until 4385 to get me off this crazy ride.

Green shoots

I have dear friends who are still trying to convince me that cryptocurrency is anything other than Tulipmania for the internet age, but I really don’t see it. The price is clearly driven entirely by speculation; People are buying cryptocurrencies because the price "always goes up," and nobody’s noticed yet that, while the technology may be neat, there isn’t really anybody trying to use them for anything. The clearest signal yet, of course, is things like this:

Utilizing blockchain technology, the KODAKOne platform will create an encrypted, digital ledger of rights ownership for photographers to register both new and archive work that they can then license within the platform. With KODAKCoin, participating photographers are invited to take part in a new economy for photography, receive payment for licensing their work immediately upon sale, and for both professional and amateur photographers, sell their work confidently on a secure blockchain platform.

You read that right, reading fans: Kodakcoin. You remember Kodak. Kodak was the big camera company that was utterly crushed by the rise of digital photography, and has spent the last twenty years desperately attempting to return to relevance. Now, since Bitcoin is the hot new thing, Kodak’s decided that Johnny-come-lately-ing the crypto space is where it’s at. And, oh dear, Kodak is not nearly alone in this endeavor:

While cryptocurrency probably does have a role to play in the future — not least because governments absolutely love it because it’s supremely trackable and centrally-controllable, contra you weirdos who somehow think it’s a libertarian wonderland — how can there possibly be any doubt that there’s a substantial bit of the ol’ mania in the air? I’m just looking forward to the no-doubt upcoming announcement of Searscoin.

And now: Satan!

No, seriously: take me away, Hale-Bopp.

[I]n the candlelit basement of a house just above the Silver Lake Reservoir, Alexandra James walked over to an altar where her husband, Zachary, waited near a bleached human skull, teeth locked in eternal rictus. From the altar, she lifted a sword and drew points across his chest while a circle of onlookers watched solemnly (well, a few giggled too). An organist played eerie minor key chords and Alexandra turned to face the group…

It was a great night for a heterodox generation of new self-described Satanists who are upending old "Rosemary’s Baby" and "Helter Skelter" stereotypes in service of radical politics, feminist aesthetics and community unity in the divisive time of Trump.

No, but, seriously seriously: this is an entirely on-the-level piece in the L.A. Times — purportedly once an actual newspaper — puffing Satan worship. I guess the cheery admission that left-wing politics and feminism are works of the devil is a nice change of pace, though.

And somehow, against all odds, it manages to get even dumber:

If satanic rituals of old were centered on smashing Christian orthodoxy and middle American propriety — or, more basely, taking drugs and getting laid — this form of Satanism explicitly uses a huge range of ideas to give shape to the inchoate rage felt by so many — especially women and other marginalized groups.

So basically the "new Satanism" is about taking drugs and feeling sorry for yourself on Twitter. Super.

"If you don’t give people some sense of magic and community, you get the Proud Boys," Alexandra said, referring to the fraternal neo-fascist group created by Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes. Zachary agreed: "People like the Proud Boys have their own social clubs, and that’s black magic."

This is the best part of the whole article. Note that Alexandra explicitly states that the Proud Boys are the result of lack of magic, and then Zachary "agrees" with her by describing what the Proud Boys do as "magic." Nice babbling, yahoos!

Of course, the genuine best part of the best part is that the outrageously libellous claim that the Proud Boys are a "neo-fascist group" is not something the Devil Dogs said — that was pure Times editorializing. Here’s how McInnes introduced the group:

Though the exact details are kept secret, the meetings usually consist of drinking, fighting, and reading aloud from Pat Buchanan’s Death of the West. There were about fifty men at this gathering and no women because women are not allowed. The basic tenet of the group is that they are "Western chauvinists who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world." Like Archie Bunker, they long for the days when "girls were girls and men were men."

And here’s how Benito Mussolini, famous inventor of sauce mousseline and also fascism, introduced his idea:

The foundation of Fascism is the conception of the State, its character, its duty, and its aim. Fascism conceives of the State as an absolute, in comparison with which all individuals or groups are relative, only to be conceived of in their relation to the State. The conception of the Liberal State is not that of a directing force, guiding the play and development, both material and spiritual, of a collective body, but merely a force limited to the function of recording results: on the other hand, the Fascist State is itself conscious and has itself a will and a personality…

The Fascist State organizes the nation, but leaves a sufficient margin of liberty to the individual; the latter is deprived of all useless and possibly harmful freedom, but retains what is essential; the deciding power in this question cannot be the individual, but the State alone.

Ah. So basically it’s a good thing "neo-fascist" is an empty term of art! Otherwise the L.A. Times could be looking at the lawsuit end of McInnes’ lawsuit gun.

Of course, were I Gavin McInnes — and you know I am — I would consider it a badge of honor that the collapsed husk of the L.A. Times has actually seen fit to compare me unfavorably with Satan. That’s a sure sign that one is doing something right!

Last Week in Global Warming

Oh, the weather outside is INFIDEL!

The area near Ain Sefra, Algeria — in the Sahara Desert — got sixteen inches of snow Sunday night. Therefore, we need more taxes. Who’s with me??

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