1. I usually don't like posting to our old pal David Cole Stein's Taki's Mag pieces, preferring to link to his personal site, instead. But his latest piece on the current Trolls and True Believers crisis plaguing pop conservatism is just too good not to draw your attention to. It begins:
I’ll just come right out and say it—in my column two weeks ago, in which I interviewed three well-known Trump diehards—I straight-out lied to my readers. But I am coming clean. One of my interview subjects, Margaret MacLennan, had recently left her position as director of Milo Yiannopoulos’ “privilege grant” (the scholarship program for “white men who wish to pursue their post-secondary education on equal footing with their female, queer and ethnic minority classmates”). In my column, I stated that I had no idea why Milo and Margaret ended their partnership. In fact, I knew exactly why, and I’d known the truth for a good three months, but I had to pretend that I didn’t, in order to keep a confidence.
The actual story behind the breakup is not only interesting but rather instructive at this moment in time, so I’m glad it broke on its own the week my column posted, as the process of sitting on it for so long was starting to give me a mightily sore ass. And what a great segue to Milo. You see, it turns out there are a few improprieties regarding the money the self-proclaimed “dangerous faggot” raised for the “grant” program. As in, somewhere in the neighborhood of $350,000 seems to have vanished. ...
Well, damn, if you can’t trust a contemptuous, publicity-seeking, sociopathic narcissist who indulges in every opportunity to publicly proclaim his love of “black dick,” who can you trust?Damn, Dave! That's saucier than the tablecloth at the local Buffalo Wings emporium after yours truly is finished one of my marathon suicide-by-hot-wings sessions! And the way you bring it all back around to how Trump has been strumming his constituency like a well-tuned harp from the get-go? Well, that's just the chunky deluge of blue cheese dressing that drenches my labored analogy to gluttonous completion. Kudos, old pal... Kudos.
2. What do you get when you stick some of the conspiracy world's biggest celebrities and their die-hard fans on a cruise ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean for a week? Some fascinating insight into our strange times. And one near fistfight. Author Bronwen Dickey's article for Popular Mechanics (yes, I know, they're amongst the shilliest shills in all of shilldom) begins thusly:
It was a bit after seven, and I should have been downstairs on Plaza Deck, dressed in formal attire and enjoying dinner with the conspiracy theorists. There were about a hundred of them, and they were nearing the end of their week—the last week in January—aboard the Ruby Princess. Many of them were older people, and each of them had paid $3,000 (not including airfare and beverages on board) to participate in the first-ever Conspira-Sea Cruise, a weeklong celebration of "alternative science" hosted by a tour company called Divine Travels. For the past five days, they had debated UFOs, GMOs, government mind-control programs, vaccines, chemtrails, crop circles, and the Illuminati's plan for world domination, all while soaking up the mystical energies of three Mexican tourist towns known mainly for wet T-shirt contests and Señor Frog's.
But I was not on Plaza Deck. I was locked in my stateroom on Baja Deck, picking at a room-service cheeseburger. Earlier that afternoon, a pair of Conspira-Sea presenters had chased me—chased me—from a conference room. This wasn't our first confrontation, and now I feared they were tracking me around the ship, waiting to spring out from blind corners and empty doorways.
Understand that I don't consider myself the paranoid type. Although when I had come across the Conspira-Sea Cruise on a science blog a few months earlier, I'd known I wanted to go, but not because I fear dark forces are out to get me. I used to love The X-Files, and the prospect of discussing Roswell and JFK over piña coladas sounded like fun. So did getting to know some devoted conspiracy wonks. Wondering whether the world is actually as it seems is a uniquely American sport, and there's plenty of evidence that's worth wondering about—this is the country of Watergate and the Tuskegee experiments and the NSA tapping your phone.
But the Ruby Princess was no place for casual wonderers. The Ruby Princess was for people who scraped together three grand to be reassured that their fears and suspicions and theories aren't the lonely fever dreams of basement-dwelling outcasts, that those fears and suspicions are valid, and that others share them. It would be like a weeklong, in-person internet chat room.
At this point, those of you who've been reading my humble typings over the past decade and a half might be wondering "But Jerky! Old pal! Don't you fancy yourself a bit of a conspiracy theorist?" As a matter of fact, old pal, I kind of do. Lately, however, I've been so disgusted by the dis-and-misinformation-spewing antics of Alex "False Flaggot" Jones and his patently dishonest, obviously contemptible, dangerously idiotic ilk, that I have found myself backing away from the label that I once wore with pride. To this day, I still consider myself more of a Carl Oglesby type conspiracy guy, and less of a David Icke (or Duke) conspiracy type guy. To my reckoning, the InfoWarriors and Rensers and Red Icers, who believe nothing except the polar opposite of whatever the dreaded "lamestream news" reports, are among the woolliest sheeple of them all.
3. And along comes Tim Heidecker, of Tim and Eric infamy, to take the alt.right's most cutting insult - "CUCK", a neologism which just so happens to be the single creation about which they are most (and most vocally) proud - and flip it around, judo-style, exposing the utter bankruptcy of that movement's much heralded "sense of humor". There is only one legitimately funny alt.right comedy outlet, and we'll be discussing them more in the next installment of the DDD's Suggested Reading List. In the meantime... ENJOY!