I would like to buy a vowel
Like him or hate him, it surely must be agreed that Donald Trump is the most entertaining president of our times. The man has a definite flair for showmanship, and knows just how to run his mouth to drive some people into paroxysms of rage and others into paroxysms of laughter. As often as not, the president’s vehicle for his crazy-man moon ranting is his official Twitter account, which, in contravention to several hundred years of policy, he uses to broadcast to the world exactly what he may be thinking.
And sometimes he uses it to invent new words, such as the marvelous "covfefe" — as in "negative press covfefe" — that sent the internet ablaze. Most users assumed it was a typo (though a rather spectacular one), but the president himself insisted otherwise.
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.
(Last Week in Weird is slightly late this week due to ongoing turmoil here at Bumbling Bees world headquarters and discount undergarments shop. All apologies, and we hope to have things sorted out soon!)
We’ve spent some months here at Bumbling Bees laughing at the sheer stupidity of the rhetoric from the anti-Trump partisans, and sometimes I get a bit uneasy about that. I get worried that you fine people will conclude that I’m some type of Trump supporter, which is not at all the case; I’d spend far more time criticizing the president himself in these pages if only I could see a reason. Everyone in the mainstream press blows him up for absolutely every tiny fault, whether real or imagined — as a result, it seems to your humble narrator as though it would be far more fun to make fun of the media hacks instead.
And this is exactly the sort of thing I’m talking about.
You have the obligation to remain silent
Ah, America. Land of the free! Home of the Barves! Where the only thing more cherished than apple pie, baseball, and motherhood is the absolute, rock-solid, George Washington-approved, First Amendment-guaranteed right to free speech. I’m sure you know it by heart:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Of course, as any fule kno, the Constitution is a "living document." What necromantic rites were involved in this black sorcery your humble narrator shudders to think, but apparently the Constitution, quite unlike every other piece of paper in the history of the world, has the power to update itself whenever the disembodied flying devil head of Uncle Sam wills it to be. And, in an astonishing turn of events, He communicates His grand design to us through the federal judiciary. Last week, the holy judiciary handed down the magical new text of the First Amendment, which has apparently been updated with a rider adding "… unless minor bureaucrats don’t like it."
The God That Failed
Ever noticed what a complete fraud democracy is? Let’s go right on ahead and notwithstand that even on its own terms, it’s rubbish; rather, I’d prefer to focus on the utterly phony way "democracy" is leveraged as a scare tactic; it seems as though, whatever happens, it’s a "threat to democracy" or it will "undermine democracy" or perhaps it will even be "the end of democracy." By my count, all the democracy everywhere should have ended about eleven times over since election day, yet it apparently struggles onward, facing new existential threats every day.
The latest threat to democracy, of course, is the dreaded Fake News. As any fule kno, but as only the kind of fule who works for a government school will breathlessly explain to you, the entire reason for the evil Donald Hitler’s victory over St. Hillary of Clinton is that the internet was so infested with fake news that everybody forgot how great Hillary is. I am compelled to agree with this thesis, since your humble narrator seems to have forgotten that quite thoroughly.
It’s been only a few short weeks since the eight-year horror that was the Obama administration gave way to the new and exciting horror of the Trump administration, but I bet you’d already forgotten about Joe Biden. No, admit it, you forgot. Well, uncle Joe’s been a busy man, starting a new career for himself at the University of Pennsylvania, where he’s been named the "Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor," a gigantic mouthful of syntax stew with no clear meaning. What does it mean to be a professor of "presidential practice?" Does the University of Pennsylvania have a "Being the President" major? Was Benjamin Franklin ever president? These questions, and many more, are in need of answer.
Don’t ask the university, though; they’re as clueless as we are.
With thunderous applause
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the past few months, it’s that you just can’t trust them Russkies. I turned my back on them for one minute, and bam! They stole all of my elections. If you’re anything like me — and you know you are — you’re sick and tired of having your precious, hard-earned elections stolen by the Reds, but what can you do about it? Nothing, that’s what! Oh, if only someone from the government were here to help!
Citing increasingly sophisticated cyber bad actors and an election infrastructure that’s "vital to our national interests," Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is designating U.S. election systems critical infrastructure, a move that provides more federal help for state and local governments to keep their election systems safe from tampering.
Ain’t no rest for the wicked
Bumbling Bees loves you. You know that. And Bumbling Bees is good to you. Other web sites are phoning it in this time of year — wasting your time with boring retrospectives and "Best of 2016" lists, as though said lists don’t begin and end with the utter annihilation of Hillary Clinton. Well, you’ll have none of that here. We’ll be soldiering boldly onward into 2017, because the weird don’t rest, so neither do we.
And neither does Slate, which has just published the absolute worst opinion piece of the year. I know what you’re thinking: mighty bold claim for January second. Still and all, I am confident this piece will survive 363 days of challenges. It’s a piece about a big problem with self-driving cars. Now, let’s play a little game. Take a minute or so and think about what this piece could possibly be saying. What could be this big problem with self-driving cars? What mind-bogglingly stupid thing do you suppose Slate has chosen to ring in the new year? Think of the dumbest thing you can possibly imagine, and then check and see how close you were.
You’ve probably heard by now, but the next president of the United States will be Hillary Rodham Clinton. We know this because a stalwart bastion of journalistic integrity said so — specifically Newsweek, which made the decision to go ahead and print its special commemorative "Madam President" issues well in advance of the election. Newsweek defended itself by pointing out that this is a common practice; production times being what they are, generally both commemorative issues do get printed, and only the correct one sees distribution. CNN even provided intellectual cover by referencing the true correct fact that MLB produced both Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians World Series championship memorabilia, but only sold the Cubs version (the Indians gear will be offloaded in the third world as discount apparel — no, that’s true). There’s just one problem with the story.
As CNN explains to its slower readers, "this is the media version of World Series keepsakes that were on sale in Cleveland and Chicago last week. Street vendors printed "Cubs win" and "Indians win" T-shirts, then trashed the Indians shirts after the Cubs won Game 7."
There is just one very notable difference: in the case of the World Series, there were two sets of shirts created. However, in the case of the infamous Newsweek special edition, the publishing company Topix, decided to print just one.
Guess which. [Emphasis original]
Do the Bartman
Somehow — and I don’t profess to know how — the Chicago Cubs won the World Series last week. The game itself was utterly absurd, packed with virtually every insane occurrence that can occur in the game of baseball — but isn’t it always? That’s part of the wonder of baseball. Against all odds, it still manages to be full of surprises, even long after we should have seen everything there is to see. For my part, I’ve never seen a wild pitch score two runs before. I’ve also never seen a bunt call as bizarre as the one Joe Maddon put on in the ninth inning, a call so bad it makes one wonder if the game really is rigged for maximum drama. Unlike elections, however, baseball would be too difficult to gimmick, what with the unknown ball position and all.
One might ask, not unreasonably, why I’m writing about baseball on a site about libertarianism. I might respond, also not unreasonably, that this is a lesson in property rights; specifically, it’s my blog and I’ll write what I please.