Eenie Meenie chili beanie, the spirits are about to speak!

Last Week(s) in Weird

Sequence break

It’s a true fact: this week’s column was meant to begin with my snotty Memorial Day entry, which you’ll find below. Then I was going to segue into Mr. Trump’s Wild Ride and go from there. It really just ate away at me, though, that I had the weirdest authentic Trump moment of all time and I was going to bury it halfway down the article. And with that image! That amazing, iconic, unedited, un-DC-Funk-Parade-foam-fingered image. So we’re doing things a little bit out of order, because, my friends, on this roller coaster that is life, the weird is in the driver’s seat, and all the rest of us are being pulled along remorselessly, with our hands and feet firmly secured inside the carriage at all times.

So what we see above is — and I swear I’m not making any of this up — president Trump, king Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia, and president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt in a darkened room surrounded by fascinated onlookers, placing their hands on, um, a magical glowing devil orb as part of a ritual to end all terrorism forever.

No, that’s true.

As the lights dimmed, the three leaders officially "activated" the new center by placing their hands on an illuminated globe as a four-minute introduction video displayed on large screens behind them, according to local media.

At the center of the facility, massive screens monitor and display real-time online extremist activity while over 200 data analysts work on individual desktops nearby, the Saudi Gazette reported.

Saudi Arabia and the United States are, of course, by far the world’s biggest state sponsors of extremist ideology, so it’s perhaps just a bit hypocritical of them to launch a hilariously creepy "Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology." It is, on the other hand, undeniably hilarious, so we here at Bumbling Bees fully support this.

Happy endless war day

Ah, Memorial Day. That joyous occasion on which ordinary Americans celebrate having barbecues, Super Americans celebrate berating their fellow man for paying insufficient homage to the war machine and its trail of dead corpses, and Super Libertarians celebrate acting smugly superior to everybody else. We here at Bumbling Bees would like to take this opportunity to remind everybody that we are always fully in favor of having barbecues and enjoying spending time with family and friends, and that anybody whose politics are designed to interfere with that is probably just not worth bothering with.

But if you’re just dying to celebrate American foreign policy, hey, crack open a cold one with Bashar al-Assad!

The American President has no policies. There are policies drawn by the American institutions which control the American regime which are the intelligence agencies, the Pentagon, the big arms and oil companies, and financial institutions, in addition to some other lobbies which influence American decision-making. The American President merely implements these policies, and the evidence is that when Trump tried to move on a different track, during and after his election campaign, he couldn’t. He came under a ferocious attack. As we have seen in the past few week, he changed his rhetoric completely and subjected himself to the terms of the deep American state, or the deep American regime. That’s why it is unrealistic and a complete waste of time to make an assessment of the American President’s foreign policy, for he might say something; but he ultimately does what these institutions dictate to him. This is not new. This has been ongoing American policy for decades.

Your humble narrator has it on good authority that what Dr. Assad meant to say was "#MAGA," but something went wrong in the translation process.

Foreign relations

President Trump just embarked on a whirlwind tour of Asia Minor and Europe, in which he engaged in many hilariously Trump-y antics, such as America First-ing his way to the front of the crowd of NATO nation leaders:

He was also mooned over to quite frankly hilarious degree by Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović:

Of course, the major takeaway from the entire trip, if you listen to the media — and you know you do — is that first lady Melania Trump appeared a bit testy with her husband at one of their many, many stops:

Speaking as a man who has never once — not ever — had a spat with his wife, I can confirm that this is indeed important news.

The president was captured on video as he reached for Melania’s hand after they disembarked from Air Force One.

But Melania — wearing sunglasses and a sharp white pencil skirt and blazer — coolly swatted it away just before her husband greeted dignitaries.

Perhaps she was returning the favor after an incident in February, when Trump didn’t want to hold her hand on the tarmac of the Palm Beach International Airport during a visit to Mar-a-Lago.

Journalism!

Priorities

So never mind that the president’s wife clearly hates him and is trying to overthrow him because #resist45 and all those other stupid things your professor really wants you to believe. Let’s focus on the president’s real major failure on the recent foreign adventure.

Nancy Pelosi is obviously feeling the heat from Maxine Waters lately, and is really stepping up her incoherent, rambling nitwit game. Thrown the very softest of softballs by the press corps — "do you think president Trump’s foreign trip was a success," which obviously is an easy setup for the answer "no," or perhaps some long-form "no" loaded with buzzwords — the former babbler of the house instead chose to spend an entire minute applying disclaimers about how she totally wouldn’t answer that question if she were out of the country, which made no sense at all, and then followed up with the complaint that the president didn’t do his tour of countries in alphabetical order.

I thought it was unusual for the President of the United States to go to Saudi Arabia first. Saudi Arabia!

It wasn’t even alphabetical. I mean, Saudi Arabia.

Obamacare Nan then followed up by being unable to recall who the last five presidents of the United States were. In all, a stunning performance by one of the wisest of our wise overlords!

Penis envy

We begin our adventure with the abstract of the hot new peer-reviewed journal article The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct.

Anatomical penises may exist, but as pre-operative transgendered women also have anatomical penises, the penis vis-à-vis maleness is an incoherent construct. We argue that the conceptual penis is better understood not as an anatomical organ but as a social construct isomorphic to performative toxic masculinity. Through detailed poststructuralist discursive criticism and the example of climate change, this paper will challenge the prevailing and damaging social trope that penises are best understood as the male sexual organ and reassign it a more fitting role as a type of masculine performance.

I know what you’re thinking: aww yeah. This article clearly delivers! The fact that a paper got accepted for publication with that abstract is all the evidence anybody should need that the review process — at least in the field of sociology — is entirely broken and useless. And of course you’d be right. Here’s the money shot:

Toxic hypermasculinity derives its significance directly from the conceptual penis and applies itself to supporting neocapitalist materialism, which is a fundamental driver of climate change, especially in the rampant use of carbon-emitting fossil fuel technologies and careless domination of virgin natural environments. We need not delve deeply into criticisms of dialectic objectivism, or their relationships with masculine tropes like the conceptual penis to make effective criticism of (exclusionary) dialectic objectivism. All perspectives matter.

I would like everybody to take a deep breath, focus, and attempt to envision a world in which papers like this can be accepted as "science" and in which "science" survives with any intact meaning whatsoever. The best part is that, when your goofy lefty friends tell you how much they "effing love science," they’re mainly thinking of rubbish like this. And that’s terrible.

It also speaks volumes that the primary driver of climate change is the penis, which does not exist. There’s a lesson in there for all of us.

Of course, I’m being unfair to the paper’s authors, if not to the journal in question nor to the field, since the paper was a hoax to begin with.

The paper was ridiculous by intention, essentially arguing that penises shouldn’t be thought of as male genital organs but as damaging social constructions. We made no attempt to find out what "post-structuralist discursive gender theory" actually means. We assumed that if we were merely clear in our moral implications that maleness is intrinsically bad and that the penis is somehow at the root of it, we could get the paper published in a respectable journal.

This already damning characterization of our hoax understates our paper’s lack of fitness for academic publication by orders of magnitude. We didn’t try to make the paper coherent; instead, we stuffed it full of jargon (like "discursive" and "isomorphism"), nonsense (like arguing that hypermasculine men are both inside and outside of certain discourses at the same time), red-flag phrases (like "pre-post-patriarchal society"), lewd references to slang terms for the penis, insulting phrasing regarding men (including referring to some men who choose not to have children as being "unable to coerce a mate"), and allusions to rape (we stated that "manspreading," a complaint levied against men for sitting with their legs spread wide, is "akin to raping the empty space around him"). After completing the paper, we read it carefully to ensure it didn’t say anything meaningful, and as neither one of us could determine what it is actually about, we deemed it a success.

I love everything about this paper. You have no idea how much willpower it’s taking for me not to quote the entire thing in one giant block and call it a day. The paper’s only seven pages long; you really ought to read it.

And finally: racism!

Oh my.

Two white women have been forced to close their pop-up burrito shop after they were accused of cultural appropriation…

‘This week in white nonsense, two white women — Kali Wilgus and Liz ‘LC’ Connely — decided it would be cute to open a food truck after a fateful excursion to Mexico,’ the piece [in the Portland Mercury] opened…

‘These two white women went to Mexico, ate tacos, and then decided they would just take what the locals clearly didn’t want to give them.

‘If that wasn’t [sic] bad enough, they decided to pack up all their stolen intellectual property and repackage it.’

So never mind the awesome, if entirely unwitting, condemnation of the entire phony edifice of "intellectual property." The key takeaway here is that, seriously, this is what modern progressives think. Honestly, "moderate" libertarians who believe in reaching out to the extreme left: they really do think rubbish like this. We’re not making this up. The Mail has a bunch of other choice quotations to back that up:

‘Stealing is in their nature so I’m not surprised. They’re not creative so they had to get the idea from someone,’ Tee McNeill wrote on Facebook.

‘Kooks Burritos is now closed. Good riddance!’ Jonas Lord said.

‘Awww, so you nice ladies stole hard-working and low-income Mexican women’s tortilla recipes and are now turning a profit. That’s not white basic privilege [sic] at all. #disgusting,’ Alicia Dominguez commented.

‘Now that you all boldly and pretty f***ing [sic] unapologetically stole the basis of these women’s livelihoods, you can make their exact same product so other white ppl (sic) [sic original] don’t have to be inconvenienced of [sic] dealing with a pesky brown middle woman [sic] getting in their [sic] way. Great job,’ Shauna MacKinnon added.

So, I mean, sure, these women are clearly all idiots, but the point remains: they do think these stupid things. As any fule kno, Portland is more than eleven hundred miles from Puerto Nuevo — I really really don’t think any number of burrito shops in Portland will be stealing the livelihoods of anybody in Puerto Nuevo. And that’s even in Bizarro World, where "stealing one’s livelihood" is a thing. And in which the burrito is actually Mexican food.

It’s tough to keep up with the identity politics ranking system used by these nitwits. I mean, Kooks Burritos was run by women! That should be good, right? Also, they sold breakfast burritos, which are one of the traditional foods of mincing leftists. So I guess nowadays we only support small businesses run by women if they don’t make any friggin’ profit, which is clearly part of the penis conspiracy to change the climate.

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