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Softball on the National Mall

12 Jun

Greetings to all.  Yes, we have returned from a brief hiatus to inform you of the people that we think are dicks in this world.  In the coming weeks we will continue to point out the most abhorrent people out there (famous and lesser known);  while at the same time, pushing to further explore the depths of meaning in the word “dick”.  We will not be doing the traditional “Dick of the Week” or “Dick Hall of Fame”.  Those titles can be rather restricting, so we are just going to inform you of a dick and give you as much information as we can at that time.  Now, let me draw your attention to a new phenomena which has drawn our ire lately.

Can you spot the American pastime?

For those who are unaware, the national mall is listed as having 15 softball fields on its premises.  15?  Really?  Where do they happen to partake in this activity?  On the grass in the middle of the mall.  Oh, that seems a little odd but let’s go further to explore this topic.  For the record, we are not against beer league softball.  If anyone needs THAT much of an excuse to sit around and drink with a bunch of people, more power to you.  Softball is the sport for you.  But the problem lies more with the type of people and location.  From experience, this environment is ripe for exerting dickish qualities.  The first example is the mutual circle jerk of past accomplishments.  Many of these participants are quick to point out that they were the MAN when they were in high school.  They were great athletes at every sport, and that makes them the best slow-pitch softball player around.  Phrases such as: Dude I was such a good baseball player back in the day or I was really good at baseball but decided to focus on other things.   Yeah, no. We totally believe you.  This completely explains why you are on a co-ed softball team and not playing on a major league baseball team right now.  And I am sure that you were the man on your Division 3C state championship team back in Delaware.  Next there is that element of taking the game just too damn seriously.

Even Kramer says that's a dick move

These are the guys you played flag football with back in college who took the time to draw up a play book and would actually call out plays instead of pointing at someone and saying “Run over there.”  Seriously, you have to accept that your athletic dream just didn’t happen, and the slow-pitch softball league is just not the place to let out your pent-up frustration.

But no, some players take the time to cut the sleeves off their 10 dollar team shirt with a terrible pun on it (Seriously why?).  You can also tell exactly who plays in these leagues because they are the ones who walk on the metro with their old bat bags from high school.  We get it, you play in a softball league, we don’t care.  And there is absolutely no chance of us engaging you to talk about it.  Though these are the guys you have to watch out for on the field because once they get those guts moving, Newton’s laws of motion allow them to put a bit of power into those fluttering pitches.  And those metal bats—wait, metal bats?  You guys use metal bats on the mall?  What is this, Tee Ball?  The mall is a tenth of a mile wide.  You need a metal bat to help you get that little bit of extra power to hit a larger ball thrown to you underhand?  Clearly that girl you’ve been hitting on is going to have to rethink your gallant sports stories from high school.  This is one of the few times that I will say safety is a slight issue.  The National Mall is a very high traffic area, and if you foul off a pitch (doesn’t seem that unlikely) you take the head off of anyone because honestly, it’s not a setting that one should be expecting to be struck by a ball.  By no means am I advocating for the safety tourists, in fact, I find the masses of color coordinated shirts to be rather terrifying.  And it should be legal to put your shoulder into the couple standing on both sides of the escalator when you’re trying to catch your train.  But I digress…

Playing these leagues on the mall really tears up the grass and ruins it for the rest other people because of cleats and those bases shoved into the ground.   Are we that worried that the integrity of this game will be tarnished if you home plate moves around? Because it’s not like the fees for the mall are covering the costs to regrow the grass.

The receding hairline of our nation

And at the end of the day, this is just an excuse to go out and drink away the dregs of the day, and it doubles as a shallow attempt to meet women.  Which I would not have a problem with if it wasn’t in such a public area.  A bunch of sweaty overweight congressional workers is not what our country wants to see.  Just go to the bars, please.  It’s just cutting out the middle man at this point, and we can stop the fake competitiveness.  This is just a poor attempt at socialization and half the time the teams are barely able to field full lineups.  Overall, things will be a lot better if they either stop playing these leagues on the mall or find somewhere else to play them.  And, if you’re going to drive around the mall screaming to your team that you JUST need to find parking, chances are we have labeled you a dick.

Dick of the Week, Feb. 21-27: NOT Moammar Gaddafi

27 Feb

Well here we are once again, another week and another dick to choose.  I have thought about this one long and hard, and I cannot declare another tyrannical executive to be the Dick of the Week.  I can’t do it.  Granted this man has been oppressing his people and is preparing to fight them in an increasingly bloody exchange.  This man has criticized the UN and even torn up a copy of the charter before the Security Council.  Any man is willing to order military action against his own people is an absolutely deplorable individual not worthy of our satire. The saddest story was when a plane full of soldiers crashed because they REFUSED to bomb their own people.   I don’t know anything more telling than that.  You military has refused an order because they are even beginning to question your leadership.

The dumbest statement of all has been that Gaddafi mentioned that he would become a martyr after this conflict was over.  I realize he has been a fixture of the past revolutions and as leader he has a certain image within the nation.  But really, it’s not for you to say whether you will become a martyr.  In fact, it’s really just insulting to the memories of people that ARE martyrs.  You don’t get to say that people will remember you; not really your call.  And I’m not really sure you’re going to be an admirable fixture for the people you’re bombing.  They probably won’t all say, “well at least he fought for a cause.”  Clearly this man is insane and the events that have transpired aren’t something I really want to comment on any further.  SO let’s try this again, Take 2.

Dick of the Week, Feb. 21-27: Zachary Adam Chesser

This is going to a different situation because this was an incident that happened long ago, but I am very excited about the precedent set by the result.  Zachary Adam Chesser was the man who encouraged violent retaliation against South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone after they depicted the prophet Mohammed in a bear suit.  It was a joke, as stupid as it may have been, it was a satire of the fact that it is wrong in their religion to create a picture of the Prophet.  They didn’t actually show him, no one should take too much offense to it.  They are not the first ones to push this envelope and they probably won’t be the last.  What I liked was the fact that this man got 35 years in prison for such a threat.  I think civilized discourse is an important thing to have in our society, and one of our most redeeming qualities is that we can (for the most part) respectfully disagree with each other (at least normal people can).  If you found the South Park joke offensive, you are free to call the creators idiots or uninformed or just respectfully say that you found it offensive.  But what you cannot do is threaten violence against them.  Don’t watch the show or just don’t pay attention to it.  If it becomes ok to say that, then it’s ok to say it back, and that’s a very slippery slope.  So, I am very happy that the price is so high when you try to threaten someone for using their free speech.

Now, to the ones who came close.

Sent from My Congressional BlackBerry

(Former) Congressman Christopher Lee (R-NY): Hey, I thought he was already a runner-up, you can make the list more than once?  Yes, sure why not? If you keep being a dick, you are always in the running.  See, his prompt resignation not too long ago was understandable but seemed a little over the top.  Did he have a little something to explain to his wife?  Yes, he did.  But as we reported, he was not necessarily taking part in an activity that is uncommon in the world.  What we DIDN’T know was that he wasn’t only looking for women.  Apparently he was a classy guy looking for passable transsexual to spoil.  My first reaction is that I never ever ever want to find out how one spoils a transsexual, and, suddenly, we know why he was so quick to leave.  Womanizing is one thing, seeking sexual encounters with “people in transition” is something entirely different.  I would have liked to see him stay in Congress just to see the questions that people would ask him on the floor.  CSPAN would have gotten a lot more interesting, I’m just saying.  Having to explain marital infidelity, tough.  Having to explain marital infidelity involving women who were men, uhhh good luck with that.  

Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs: This guy is standing trial for polygamy, marrying underage people, you know the usual crimes involved with these whacky religious cults.  Then, he ousted 45 members in his church because they were a threat to his leadership, which he was still active in from jail.  My first reaction is to say way to snitch on your friends and take more people away from their families…wait, you thought that 45 of your high-ranking members were a threat to your leadership.  How big is your church?  10,000.  Wow, 10,000 polygamists.  That’s a little creepy that there are so many of these people out there.  I’m going to keep this one on the list because this guy helped reveal that there are more than 2 other people like him, and that just freaks me out.

Dick of the Week, Feb. 14-20: Nir Rosen

22 Feb

A lot of weeks, I enjoy writing Honorable Mentions.  In fact, there was even one week where it was so difficult to decide who should hold the Dick of the Week title that I went ahead and let the two leading candidates share it.  Sometimes it’s very hard to decide who the biggest dick is.

This was not one of those weeks.

In fact, Nir Rosen is the Dick of the Week by such a wide margin that I’m not even going to entertain secondary dicks right now.  Head and shoulders above the competition, Rosen stood up this week and announced to the world, “You may not have heard of me, but I am the biggest asshole alive!”

This picture is his Twitter background. I shit you not. I shit. You not.

We at Dick of the Week were both saddened and angered to hear about the tragic attack on CBS reporter Lara Logan this week.  For those who haven’t heard, Lara Logan was brutally attacked and sexually assaulted while covering the Egyptian protests last week.  The news reached the states and was met with an inspiring upwelling of support for Logan and condemnation of her assailants.  Thank God she was rescued by a group of Egyptian women and soldiers, or the story might have ended even more tragically.  But as we all recoiled in horror at what had happened, Rosen stood up for rape apologists everywhere and shouted the equivalent of “yeah, but she was asking for it.”

Rosen isn’t well know, but he does have a reputation as a staunchly anti-war leftist commentator and serves as a fellow at the NYU Center for Law and Security.  When Rosen heard about the Lara Logan assault, his first reaction was to go on Twitter and let everyone know what an attention seeking bitch he felt Logan was.

I’d love to talk about what Rosen said, but I think it might be more effective to…well, to just go ahead and tell you exactly what Rosen said.

“Lara Logan had to outdo Anderson. Where was her buddy McCrystal.”

“Yes yes its wrong what happened to her. Of course. I don’t support that. But, it would have been funny if it happened to Anderson too.”

“Jesus Christ, at a moment when she is going to become a martyr and glorified we should at least remember her role as a major war monger”

“Look, she was probably groped like thousands of other women, which is still wrong, but if it was worse than [sic] I’m sorry.”

Wow.

Actually, I’m at a loss for what to say beyond that.

I guess…I guess let’s just start at the top.  Not one, but TWO tweets implying that Lara Logan wanted to be sexually assaulted so that she could beat Anderson Cooper in (drumroll please) the ratings battle.  Which, if you think about it makes sense.  I mean all a woman has to do is have her body completely violated and she gets a slight bump in ratings?  Sounds like a fair deal to me!  Who WOULDN’T make that trade?

And really, what’s worse about the Anderson Cooper comments?  The fact that Rosen is comparing the minor assault that Cooper suffered while covering the protests to Logan’s sexual assault or the fact that Rosen is implying that if Anderson Cooper were sexually assaulted in a similar manner, it would be “funny”?  We joke about a lot of things here, but rape isn’t one of them…and I have no desire to see Anderson Cooper raped (for a variety of reasons).

Why is it always the pretty ones.

I really wish that was the end of Rosen’s crimes.  Amazingly though, Rosen was only getting warmed up.  It’s his apologies that really set the standard.  Rosen made several attempts at an “apology” that range from whining and petulant to flippant and dismissive.  It becomes very clear very quickly that Rosen feels absolutely no remorse whatsoever for his inappropriate, insulting tweets.  Why don’t we take a few moments to look at Rosen’s various explanations/apologies:

“Ah fuck it, I apologize for being insensitive, its always wrong, that’s obvious, but I’m rolling my eyes at all the attention she will get.” [posted on Twitter. Rosen’s first attempt at an apology. Really tugs on the old heartstrings, doesn’t it?]

“No matter what I say, I look like a jerk.” [said on the Anderson Cooper show. A whiny attempt to paint himself as the victim.  Also…maybe just a little awkward since Rosen wished rape on Cooper.]

“When you’re in war zones you develop a black humor and make jokes about your death, other people’s deaths, other terrible things, writers and photographers do it, as of course do Bosnians, Iraqis, Somalis and others as a coping mechanism. But taken out of context this can be deeply hurtful, especially when made by a man.” [said in an interview with Media Bistro.  Hate to say it, Mr. Rosen, but you weren’t tweeting from a war zone.  And while black humor might be appropriate between two close friends, Twitter is…not between two close friends.]

“How 480 characters unraveled my career.” [title of an essay written by Rosen to, in the words of New York Magazine, “paint a picture of himself as a progressive martyr.”]

“I have been frustrated by the ideological opportunists who have used this ordeal for their personal gain.” [from the aforementioned essay. Yeah, you’re quite the victim, Nir.]

“I felt she was a terrible journalist who supported wars that I had covered….I point it out now only to explain my thinking.” [from the same essay.  And oooooooh, yep. That’s a step in the wrong direction.]

“Had I been a right-wing writer I doubt this would have happened to me.” [maybe the most ridiculous statement of all.  Not only is it petulant, does he really think that Republicans don’t suffer backlash for inappropriate comments?]

There’s a whole lot to work with there, but I can’t improve on perfection.  No, Terry Glavin of the National Post says it best:

“The evidence he submits in his own defence: Exhibit A. At least you can’t accuse me of saying bad things about Julian Assange. Exhibit B. I’m probably not as stupid as Anne Coulter. Exhibit C: I was only joking, “and an entire mob turns on me.”

Objection: Actually, the mob turned on Lara Logan. You weren’t even there.”

Sharp rebukes don’t get much better than that.  It’s amazing that Rosen managed to get even MORE offensive while trying to apologize for his INITIAL offensive comments.

But why?  Why is Rosen like this?  I’d have to say that the evidence points to him being little more than a colossal attention whore.  Aside from the myriad interviews he has given since his comments went public, from the essay he wrote to give as many excuses as possible, to the insincere public statements he released, Rosen AMAZINGLY turned back to TWITTER to gain more attention.  On the 16th, shortly after the controversy began, Rosen SWORE OFF TWITTER!

“but there is no point following me, i am done tweeting. too ashamed of how i have hurt others and the false impression i gave of who i am”

Immediately after that, he made a follow-up statement.  This was an apology to Lara Logan, and, to his credit, this one at least sounded sincere:

“I feel I should make one last statement. I offer my deepest apologies to Ms. Logan, her friends and her family. I never meant to hurt anyone”

He then…continued to tweet for the next few days.  And Rosen wonders why nobody seems to believe that he actually feels bad for this.  When a guy can’t even be sincere about something as simple as whether or not he’s going to continue tweeting…I’d have to say it’s probably not much of a surprise that no one thinks his apologies are sincere either.

The real happy ending here is the fact that the Rosen, at the very least, had the good sense to tender his resignation from NYU.  News articles announced the NYU “accepted” Rosen’s resignation, but, really, come on.  What were they going to do, fight to keep the man who made jokes about the rape of a female reporter?  What a great headline that would be.

No, Rosen “ruined his own career.”  When Rosen said those words, it was in an attempt to paint himself as a victim.  When I say those words, it is as a solemn thank you that there is some justice in the world, after all.

Well done, avenging angel of Twitter.

Dick of the Week, Feb 7-Feb 13: (Former) Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak

15 Feb

While I feel this weeks winner doesn’t need much explaining, I feel we would be forfeiting our duties if we didn’t talk about this man a LITTLE bit.  While, this may make us all sound like redundant talking heads who missed the boat in trying to comment on this all-encompassing story; I feel like I can give you some reasons that weren’t in the headlines that can further explain why this man is a complete dick.  Now, I may not be stretching the truth to make the claim that a man who has stayed in power for 30 years through numerous failed elections and countless corruption claims.  It is blatantly clear when your country rates a 3.1 on a scale to 10 for trust and transparency in government.  Perhaps claims of voter fraud and tampering are not that far off when you live in a country with that kind of rating.

But the guy finally started to do the right thing by saying that he would no longer stand for election in September which would in effect end his 30 year rule.  Apparently that didn’t sit well with the people of Egypt.  They denounced this as a trick and took to the streets to see that the leader would be ousted immediately.  If you needed further confirmation about how much of a dick this guy was, just look to the fact that people were no longer willing to wait until September to kick this guy out of office.  To give you some context, this would be like having your friend crashing on your couch telling you he’s going to move out at the end of the month, and your first reaction is to carry his free-loading ass out of the apartment.  Clearly there was some pent up emotion.

This clash of supporters and protestors inevitably turned bloody given the passion and change that people wanted to see from their government.  While we as Americans stood in awe of these people’s sacrifice for their government, it is also important note that we don’t have to suffer through the same ruler for 30 years (we just get stuck with representatives that just won’t go away).

He just. Won't. Stop.

So, many watched with anticipation as to what was about to occur.  Would this man decide to relinquish power that he had held for 30 years?  Would he use his military on his own people?  Would he graciously bow out?  No, that would be too easy.  Defiance is a much nicer song to sing.  Listen, we get it.  You’ve been in power for a long time and its not something you want to give up. But seriously, most of your ALLIES were saying that you should step down.  Are you just a stubborn child who won’t accept when your time is up?  Seriously, these people were willing to die to stand in defiance of you, what makes you think this will make things any better for you in the long run?  Oh.  There you go.  Finally, you resign to give your people the opportunity to pursue elections for themselves.  They are moving so quickly that they were clearly starved for this opportunity.   And while I understand that a new government may not be the most friendly toward the USA; if they act like dicks, we will have no problem calling them on it.  But it was more important to get the biggest dick out of the way before passing judgment on dicks to be named later.  Thirty years in power and you got taken down by Mark Zuckerberg. We might want to cool it with these correlations.

Random out of order dick things that confuse me:

(Former) Congressman Christopher Lee (R-NY): Hey we have a theme going!  Well this one is almost too easy and less fun given the fact that this guy was a relatively low level representative.  Was it his insisting that he didn’t have a wife?  Was it that emails of him bragging about his fitness?  How about the fact that this even came out in the first place.  Seriously, this is DC life, they pretty much have things to ENCOURAGE THIS.  How about TigerText that deletes text messages after they are READ.  Listen I don’t condone this or anything but it clearly wasn’t that difficult for this woman to figure this out.  I’m honestly surprised the contact address wasn’t christopher.lee@mail.house.gov.  For every Chris Lee there is an Eliot Spitzer.  To be fair this would have been much less embarrassing in England.

NBA All-Star Uniforms:

Please tell me those things go UNDER the uniforms

Now I realize that All-Star games are hollow exhibition games that fail to draw most fan attention.  Even baseball’s attempt to put home field advantage on the line for the World Series hasn’t been the greatest.  The NHL had marginal success drafting the All-Star teams, and these two leagues do compete for success amongst viewers.  As much as fans will gripe, baseball and football will always be the largest sports and these niche sports will be competing for 3/4 in the rank.  But these uniforms are a poor attempt to spice up a dull exhibition game.  From what I can tell, these uniforms are there to whore out NBA players by replacing the normally baggy uniforms with the exact opposite.  The biggest travesty is that they will discriminate against some of their fans that may not be able to purchase these uniforms.

I'm sorry, we don't have a sausage skin in your size

Dick of the Week, Jan. 10-16: Eric Fuller

18 Jan

Regular readers will no doubt remember my last two posts and understand that the Arizona shooting tragedy was an event that affected me deeply.  Those who attempted to capitalize politically off of the tragedy should be ashamed of themselves, from Paul Krugman to Jonathan Alter to Sarah Palin for using the term “blood libel” to those who attacked Sarah Palin for using the term “blood libel.”  All dicks, every one of them.  And while Alter and Krugman were probably the most egregious violators of Wheaton’s Law, there were a few others who managed to separate themselves from the pack.  Eric Fuller is one such person.

Mr. Fuller not only demonstrated his dickishness, he did it a week later, allowing us to stretch this tragedy out even further and giving Godawful cable news networks even more material to run with.  You see, Eric Fuller was a survivor of the original shooting which left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords hospitalized and six others dead.  Fuller was hit by one of Jared Loughner’s bullets that day, but was thankfully able to drive himself to the hospital to receive treatment.  How did Mr. Fuller choose to celebrate his release from the hospital?  Perhaps he went off to celebrate life and reflect on how lucky he was?

Perhaps he went where we go to celebrate life.

None of the above, I’m afraid.  Instead, this past Saturday, Mr. Fuller elected to go to an event hosted by Tea Party spokesman Trent Humphries and Republican State Rep. Terri Proud.  There, Mr. Fuller did what we expect anyone who just went through a near death experience would do: he began to heckle and boo the speakers, causing a general disruption.  Naturally when you’ve just lived through a public massacre perpetrated by an unbalanced-looking gentleman with a gun, the first thing you want to do is disrupt a public forum while appearing to be unbalanced.

Amazingly, that appeared to be Mr. Fuller’s thought, as his next move was the more insidious one.  After the speakers had made some comments that he disagreed with, Mr. Fuller stood up, took a picture of Mr. Humphries with his camera, and announced, “you’re dead.”

Kind of seems like not much more needs to be said on that score.  Having just had his life threatened by a gun-toting maniac, Mr. Fuller decided to make death threats against those he, apparently, disagreed with politically.  Not the smartest of moves, but we’ll give him credit for having balls of steel.  Not surprisingly, Mr. Fuller was escorted from the premises by deputies immediately and “involuntarily” checked into a mental institution for psychiatric evaluation.
Naturally, Fuller drew praise from some left-wing sources, such as Eric Boehlert, of Media Matters.  Boehlert mockingly states that unjust smearing of Fuller would begin immediately.  Of course, this must have been before a little bit of evidence showed up that Fuller might just be as crazy as he seems.  The Tucson Citizen turned up a host of radical and inappropriate comments from Fuller.  Let’s look at a few of them:

“It looks like Palin, Beck, Sharron Angle and the rest got their first target,” Fuller said. (Democracy Now interview)

Mr. Fuller spoke dismissively of Republicans during the interview. “They appeal to simple-minded rednecks,” he said. (New York Times interview, via RedState)

In the interview, he repeatedly denounced the “Tea Party crime syndicate[.] ” (New York Times interview, via RedState)

The Tea Party, maybe.

Does it seem hypocritical for anyone to defend Fuller after the barrage of hatred and blame placing that followed the Arizona shootings?  And even after all the calls for unity and peace, are we surprised that someone would do something like this?  Speaking personally, I can’t say I am.

Is there a silver lining?  Perhaps.  Mr. Fuller saved a little face by apologizing a few days later, saying that he deeply regrets the incident and really wishes that he could take it all back.  Well of course.  Fuller demonstrated that he isn’t very self-aware, but it would take a Palin-esque lack of self-awareness to not realize that he seriously fucked up.  Still, we do give him a minutia of credit for apologizing.  However grudging it may have been, it’s still a major step up on a lot of other Dicks of the Week.  But for turning massive public goodwill on its head just for the sake of threatening a minor Tea Party operative, Eric Fuller is, hands down, your Dick of the Week.

Honorable Mentions:

Anyone Who Gives A Shit About The Zodiac Changes: Yes, I know our friend Shenanigans already did a Hall of Fame post on a similar topic, but honestly.  It’s pretty crucial to note that it’s not as though the Earth shifted positions last night.  This “change” has been true for hundreds (if not thousands) of years, it’s just that someone now decided to point it out on (GOD FORBID) the internet.  Oh, and anyone who didn’t notice the part about how none of this matters unless you were born after 2009 is also a fucking moron.  Of course, none of this matters anyway because if you believe in astrology you are already a colossal fucktard and we do not want you reading our blog. Seriously. Click the X, assholes.

Rex Ryan: GOOOOOOOO TOOOOOOOOO HELLLLLLLLL. And that’s all I have to say about that. At least until you die of heart failure and I can dance on your grave, you gigantic fat fuck.

 

Dick Hall of Fame, Entry #12: Poor Attempts To Change Astrology

17 Jan

Well hello there.  Welcome to another dick hall of fame entry that I’m sure you are ready to ask so many questions about.  Astrology?  Really?  Any sort of attempt to study planets, the sun and the stars?  Doesn’t sound like something you would pay any attention to.  Very true  We don’t usually follow such ridiculous forms of study.  Hell we don’t usually follow NASA unless they screw up.  But this week, we got some news that really broke us.  We have had enough veiled attempts to make federal agencies relevant, and this was much worse.  We have already pointed out that some federal agencies will publish news to seem like they have accomplished something.  And, any attempts to make astrology relevant were really going to put us over the top.   So, lets lead in with the story from the week.

For those who did not see, the Earth’ alignment has apparently shifted in such a way that everyone’s sign has changed.  Or has it?  Apparently not, but it has.  A new sign called Ophiuchus has been created making a thirteenth sign.  I, for one, do not really care but the people who bother to get their zodiac sign printed on their body do.

I'm sorry, what were we talking about?

So, for some people this is a really big deal, but for others…eh we really don’t care that much.  What we DO care about is the line, “zodiac changes don’t count if you were born before 2009.”  So, why are we changing this?  I thought we were changing this because we had to.  If the planet shifts (supposedly) the planet shifts.  Are we going to print all horoscopes with an asterisk?  At the end of the day, people are not really that curious about their horoscope.  If it has to change, it has to change.  We accept this because we honestly don’t care/know that much about it.  If I check my horoscope, it is because I am stuck in the train or at the doctor’s office with nothing to occupy my time but a newspaper.  The unfortunate thing is that you have managed to rile up the small portion of the world that actually cares about this to the point that this HAD to be in the news.  Astrology, please keep yourself relegated to the hidden part of the lifestyle section.  To say that this is irrelevant is actually a waste of OUR time let alone the space in a newspaper (stay tuned for our opinions on how relevant those are).  Horoscopes are basically as bad as a palm reader who puts up a sign that says “walk-ins welcome” (Who has to make an appointment to see a palm reader?).  You are a novelty like a fortune cookie (You will find great success in bed); fun facts that most of us will sample if it is convenient.  But hey this isn’t the first time something celestial has changed on us.

One of these things is not like the other, one of these things is not like the other

Oh yeah, scientists decided that Pluto is no longer a planet.  Well that’s messed up.  There were many factors going into the decision, one of which was they discovered another object roughly the same size and diameter as Pluto.  At a glance I can see several problems with this classification.  One, it is based on diameter.  I could see if the planet was, in fact, revolving around another planet.  That’s a good reason to change the classification.  And two, you just made millions of high school textbooks irrelevant based on a TECHNICALITY.  Listen, if you find something new to honestly make the change or have discovered a new planet..that’s fine.  We won’t question your judgment.  But if you’re just going to change the requirement for how BIG something has to be..well you’ve strayed into our territory.

Most kids don’t have current history textbooks let ALONE science ones.  We have enough problems getting over talking points in GOVERNMENT texts.  We have enough problems in most states just taking the time to interpret the damn Declaration of Independence, we don’t need scientists poking their noses in to make another pointless debate.  So, let me say congratulations for forcing countless school districts to find new textbooks that don’t include Pluto as a planet.  Some of our best scientists reached for the stars when our county made it to the moon; clearly, now we are just comfortable trying to change what other people have already done.

As fake as the female orgasm

To sum this up, please don’t change something about the stars for pointless reasons.  Many of us look to the stars for inspiration, and we don’t need people to tell us that things have changed because they say so.  We don’t care.  And the people who do care would probably prefer the time spent on this be directed towards something more important…let’s say getting people to Mars.  Do that and then we will talk about adding a new zodiac sign.  Any overzealous attempt at self-importance just serves to show us how dickish some scientists really can be.

Midweek Dicks: Jonathan Alter

13 Jan

Alright, I’m not going to lie to you. I’m not comfortable making Jonathan Alter our Dick of the Week this week for two reasons.  First, I just did a Dick Hall of Fame post on Pundits as a whole, and since Mr. Alter falls squarely into that category, it would be unnecessarily redundant.  Second, Alter’s Newsweek article following the Arizona shooting tragedy was so unbelievably out of line that I’m almost hesitant to call him a dick.  The flippancy of “dick” almost cheapens the fact that Alter demonstrated himself to be, really, just an awful fucking human being.

But, then again, if I merely ignore him, many of our readers many never know what a complete fucking dickbag Jonathan Alter is, and that would be a greater tragedy.

Alter, preparing to eat this old woman (citation needed).

Compared to Jonathan Alter, Paul Krugman looks like Walter Cronkite.  In fact, I would rather read every Paul Krugman article than read one more Jonathan Alter article.  The many of you who read my previous article dealing with Krugman, will understand how much spite it would take for me to say that.  Let’s examine some of what Mr. Alter said:

“Conservatives like to argue that these are isolated incidents carried out by lunatics and therefore carry no big lessons (unless the perpetrator is Muslim, in which case it’s terrorism); liberals view them as opportunities to address various social ills. Obama is in the latter category and should act accordingly. “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” Rahm Emanuel famously said in 2008. The same goes for a shooting spree that gravely wounds a beloved congresswoman.”

If just reading those words doesn’t make your skin crawl, allow me to spell out their meaning a little more clearly.  Republicans, according to Mr. Alter, are fools for believing that this incident was carried out by one insane individual (which it was).  Furthermore, they are racist for believing that Islamic terrorist strikes are a symptom of a larger terror threat (which they are).  To Mr. Alter, the tragic shooting of Rep. Giffords and, lest we forget, the death of six others (including a nine-year-old girl) is little more than an opportunity to advance a political agenda.  Alter references the gun control laws that were passed in the wake of the Martin Luther King, Jr. shooting, and laments the fact that similar opportunistic legislation won’t be passed.

But you think I’m exaggerating, no doubt.  “Yeah, that paragraph sounds bad, but it’s not like Alter is seriously advocating blatantly politicizing the tragedy for political gain.”  And I would like to agree with you, I really would.  But Alter chooses to close his article with this:

“Sad to say, if Giffords had died, she would have been mourned and soon the conversation would have moved on. But Giffords lives, thank God, which offers other possibilities. We won’t know for weeks or months whether she can function in public. If she can, she will prove a powerful referee of the boundaries of public discourse[.]”

Now THAT should make your skin crawl.  Jesus Christ!  James Taranto puts it best in the Wall Street Journal when he says “‘Thank God’ she lived, he says, because he has the rest of her life planned out for her. This is such an obscenity that Newsweek should be delivered in a plain brown wrapper.”  Alter’s desire to parade the victim of this tragedy to promote an political agenda is as shameful an act of yellow journalism as we have ever seen.  And when I say “yellow journalism,” I don’t mean the yellow journalism you learned about in history class.  I mean Alter is a coward.  If Newsweek had any decency, they would fire him.

On right, Newsweek.  The people that published this shameful excuse for an article.  Let’s not pretend even for a moment that Alter acted alone.  Alter’s editors are equally if not more responsible for his terrible rhetoric, as they had the power to stop or moderate him at any point in the editorial process.  Yet they allowed his article to stand.  Perhaps they did edit some things out–wouldn’t that be scary?

Newsweek's editorial process.

Taranto links to a Fox News video in which even Rahm Emanuel was horrified that Alter invoked his words in the article: “First of all, what I said was: Never allow a good crisis to go to waste when it’s an opportunity to do things that you had never considered or that you didn’t think were possible. That’s not intended for this moment, [nor] does it apply to this moment.”  When even Rahm “I Send Dead Fish To My Political Detractors” Emanuel calls you out, you’ve got to be one serious dick.

Fuck Jonathan Alter.  Fuck him for trying to politicize this national tragedy.  Fuck him for not even having the courtesy to hide behind pretext, as even Paul Krugman did.  Fuck him for thinking that his words were in ANY WAY appropriate.  He has faced backlash, as he should.  Hopefully Newsweek will face similar repercussions.  But those who criticize the right for making baseless claims that incite violence should take care to consider the fact that Alter’s article should make any man with common sense want to punch a wall.

Dick Hall of Fame, Entry #11: Pundits

11 Jan

Listen, we know. It’s a broad category.  But we really couldn’t decide on just one.

Usually we try to steer away from Dick Hall of Fame inductees that reflect things that are happening right now–that’s Dick of the Week territory.  But we’ve got to say, pundits as a whole are LONG overdue for some sort of lifetime achievement award.  And the horrible, tragic events of this weekend have served as a sad reminder about the state of television “journalism” in this country and our need as Americans to find someone to blame for even the most senseless of acts.  Let us be clear, and serious, for a moment: we would like to express our most heartfelt condolences to the families of Judge John Roll, Gabe Zimmerman, pastor Dorwin Stoddard, Dorthy Murray, Phyllis Scheck, and nine-year-old Christina Greene, as well as to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the others wounded in the attack.  We express our condolences, because the dicks in the media, those pundits whom we have come to “trust” so much, have neglected to do so in favor of searching for a way to blame individuals, ideologies, political movements, and, in some cases, each other.

We’re going to start at the top here.  We’re not going to mince words: Paul Krugman is an idiot.  An idiot, idiot, idiot.  Paul Krugman makes our blog look like Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting.  Paul Krugman grasps at straws so hard he’s going to break his hand.  Paul Krugman’s momma so fat, when she goes on a diet the US economy crashes.  Okay, maybe we leave his momma out of it, but keep in mind she did give birth to one of the biggest wastes of oxygen on this planet.  On Sunday, Krugman had the guts to release this article, essentially blaming the republican party as a whole for the shooting.  That’s really not an exaggeration, either.  We’ll share with you a couple of excerpts from the article.  And we’ll translate:

“It’s true that the shooter in Arizona appears to have been mentally troubled. But that doesn’t mean that his act can or should be treated as an isolated event, having nothing to do with the national climate.” [“Okay, so the shooter was insane. But if you think about it, didn’t the republicans MAKE him insane?”]

“As Clarence Dupnik, the sheriff responsible for dealing with the Arizona shootings, put it, it’s “the vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business.” The vast majority of those who listen to that toxic rhetoric stop short of actual violence, but some, inevitably, cross that line.” [“Everyone in America watches TV. And SOME people in America commit acts of violence. Therefore, TV causes violence. Also, I never let my kids play Grand Theft Auto.”]

“Where’s that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let’s not make a false pretense of balance: it’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the right.” [“I have never watched Keith Olbermann.”]

“Listen to Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann, and you’ll hear a lot of caustic remarks and mockery aimed at Republicans. But you won’t hear jokes about shooting government officials or beheading a journalist at The Washington Post. Listen to Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly, and you will.” [“Caustic remarks and mockery are essential to our political process. Are you implying that Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly are allowed to make jokes too? I WILL BEHEAD YOU, SIR.”  We might also note here that Olbermann once said that Democrats’ solution to Hillary Clinton was ‘somebody who can take her into a room and only he comes out,’ but Krugman conveniently forgets these things.]

“So will the Arizona massacre make our discourse less toxic? It’s really up to G.O.P. leaders.” [“When will Sarah Palin stop shooting people?”]

Paul Krugman has every right to his opinion, but in this case his opinion makes him an unbelievable dick. The entire article is one long diatribe searching to find a way to blame the GOP for an atrocity committed by one insane man.  It’s not unreasonable to search for answers in the wake of a tragedy, but it is pretty unreasonable to write an article filled with the same sort of vitriolic, blame-gaming, hate-filled language that he supposedly condemns the GOP for.  But here’s the good news: we guess if someone goes nuts and shoots a journalist now, we can totally blame Paul Krugman for it.  Nice going, dick.  This article essentially sums up everything that is wrong with American journalism.

You're an asshole, Krugman. We really can't put it any more delicately than that.

Of course, Paul Krugman isn’t the only one.  We’re going to take a minute to take Sarah Palin to task.  Is she responsible for the shootings?  Of course not.  Is she still an idiot?  Yes. Yes she is.

One thing that the media chose to jump on immediately after the shootings was the “target map” that Palin put up on her website not long before the attack took place.  The map was a graphic showing the districts that the GOP had carried in 2008 which now hosted Congressmen who voted for the health care overhaul.  Palin listed them as GOP targets and aimed to have them voted out of Congress.  However…the symbol that Palin’s people chose to place over the districts in question happened to be crosshairs.  Since Rep. Giffords happened to be one of the Congresswomen targeted by Palin’s campaign, this gave a much more sinister meaning to the map than it was intended to have.

Like there was any way this was ever going to be in good taste.

You can see the map above.  Obviously Sarah Palin was hardly advocating the assassination of the Representatives in question.  But seriously, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING.  Doesn’t the Tea Party use enough threatening rhetoric already?  Did she not expect people to jump on this regardless of whether or not someone had taken a shot at a Congresswoman?  This is just poor form all around.  As much as we think the media are dicks for jumping on the bandwagon to blame Sarah Palin for this horrible tragedy, Palin herself is equally at fault for providing them with this unbelievably stupid ammunition.  So Sarah, you are also a dick.

Of course, we’d be remiss is we  didn’t further address that hypocrite of all hypocrites, Keith Olbermann.  Olbermann devoted Monday’s “special comment” to calling out right wing commentators for their supposed “hate speech” and instigation of violence.  He even went so far as to demanded apologies from Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly.  Yes, Keith Olbermann suggested that Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly should apologize for someone else committing murder.  And his main argument was the target imagery on Palin’s map.  Honestly, that was basically it.  As Krugman and Olbermann point out, you never see imagery like that or hear threatening messages from left wing politicians or commentators.

Except, you know, that time President Obama talked about bringing a gun to a political knife fight.

Or that time Chris Matthews said someone should jam a CO2 pellet in Rush Limbaugh’s head and kill him.

Just a couple of examples that various bloggers have pulled from the woodwork this week.  Certainly though, this vitriol is coming only from the right.

But let’s give these left-wing commentators their due: Jared Loughner, the shooter, may have been insane, but he was pretty obviously an Tea Party member.  That has to count for something, right?  Wait, wait.  You mean Jared Loughner wasn’t a Tea Partier?  You mean he wasn’t even a republican?  You mean his own former classmate described him as a “left-wing pot head“?  Oh yeah.  Those who knew Mr. Loughner described him as a “left-wing political radical,” which sounds an awful lot like, we don’t know, not someone likely to be influenced by Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, or any other supposedly hate-filled right-wing commentator.  In fact it sounds like someone a lot more likely to be influenced by…we don’t know…

But we would never hold him responsible, because we're not fucking idiots.

So yeah, sorry Keith, but you’re a huge dick, too.

This is already getting lengthy, but there is one more important point to touch on that makes pretty much everyone involved a dick.  Does everyone remember the Fort Hood shooting?  Feel free to brush up here: 13 killed, 30 wounded on a military base by an Islamic man yelling “Allahu Akbar” while he shot.  The guy had some issues, yeah.  But the media repeatedly urged us to avoid jumping to conclusions about Nidal Malik Hasan, the shooter, and his motives.  We were urged to exercise caution by just about everyone.  The Washington Examiner was kind enough to compile a number of these quotes for us here.  Let’s take a look, shall we?

“I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts.” -President Obama

“We have to make sure that we do not jump to any conclusions whatsoever.” -CNN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell

“The important thing is for everyone not to jump to conclusions.” –Gen. Wesley Clark, on CNN

“Now, President Obama has asked people to be very cautious here and to not jump to conclusions. By saying that you believe this is an act of terror, are you jumping to a conclusion?” -CNN’s John Roberts to Rep. Pete Hoekstra, when Hoekstra suggested the shooting was an act of terrorism

That last one is particularly interesting to us, especially since some liberal commentators have already taken to calling Loughner a “domestic terrorist.”  We’re hesitant to attack this article too much, because it says a lot of smart things about not indicting commentators for rhetoric that you don’t like.  We like seeing that.  But this particular blogger also leaps headfirst into calling Loughner a terrorist and accusing the Tea Party and those with similar ideologies of (essentially) being racist for assuming that all terrorists are middle eastern.  He makes a big deal of complaining that people like Loughner are labelled as “mentally unstable” rather than “terrorists.”

Okay. Look. Maybe that’s because the “mentally unstable” part is the important part here?  In our language today, terrorism implies a wider threat, not one crazy guy.  And while a lot of terrorists may be idiots, most of them are not actually insane.  Calm down, Peter Beinart.  It’s just a word.  And as your own fellow left-wing commentators have said, it’s important that we avoid jumping to any conclusions here.

There you have it.  A tragic indictment of commentators as a whole.  Some will say this is heavily skewed towards the right.  We say…sorry.  It’s important to remember that Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and others are, usually, just as bad, just as biased, and just as factually inaccurate.  It’s too bad for the left-wingers reading this that people like Olbermann, Krugman, and the left-wing blogosphere all managed to drop the ball at the exact same time this week.  We again reiterate our condolences to all affected by this tragedy, and also reiterate how everyone in the media associated with covering, commentating on, analyzing, or otherwise discussing this event is a complete and utter dick.

Dick of the Week, Dec. 27 – Jan. 2: The United States Navy

5 Jan

Yes, the entire United States Navy.  Most of you have no doubt heard by now about the scandal that has been rocking the news for the past week or so about Owen Honors, the (until yesterday) captain of the USS Enterprise.  Now, frankly, the very fact that Capt. Honors was captain of a ship called the USS Enterprise makes us want to squeal like fanboys and debate whether or not he was more badass than Captain Kirk; however, we note with some disappointment that the USS Enterprise is merely an aircraft carrier and that, when we say the entire US Navy are dicks, Capt. Honors is most definitely included in that.

For those who do not follow the news as closely as we do (read: at all), some videos from Capt. Honors past were recently uncovered in which he makes a variety of lewd and homophobic comments, pretends to masturbate, and creates a variety of arguably inappropriate situations with humorous intent.  The videos were made when Honors was second in command aboard the Enterprise, and with his recent promotion to captain, the videos were seized upon by the media and created a public controversy.  Never mind that, according to absolutely everyone involved, the videos were simply supposed to be “humorous skits” to boost morale during long deployments, the media set about making Capt. Honors appear to be the homophobic devil himself.

This is the face of intolerance? Really?

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Dick Hall of Fame, Entry #8: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration

16 Dec

Or the FDA for short.  Yes, we are trying to keep you updated fairly frequently because we feel some of you might be interested in what we have to say.  So, it is my pleasure to bring you our next edition of the dick hall of fame which includes an entire federal agency (Oddly enough).  I would have thought we would have come up with this sooner, but what the hell. Let’s start.  The FDA is part of the Department of Health which has the task of monitoring all substances that can be taken in through the mouth or other orifices (your butthole).  It’s job is to protect us from products that are unsafe and, by their summation, harmful to the public at large.  This was the organization that first helped create warnings on cigarettes (A FRENCH WORD) which have been around for decades.  But every once in a while they miss the boat, as it were.  They overstep their boundaries as a regulatory agency to focus on insignificant things that have no bearing on the public at all.  And recent developments have made it imperative that they must be labeled as dick hall of famers.  Let’s start with Four Loko.

The colors man, the colors

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