Sunday, July 30, 2017


For as long as it's been around, yer old pal Jerky has been a devoted fan of The Baffler, a sporadically published, digest-sized clearing house for some of the highest quality cultural, political, and business analysis to ever grace the magazine racks. I love everything about it; the aesthetic, the politics, the fact that it doesn't have a fixed publishing schedule, so they only produce an issue when they have enough good material to fill one. Through thick and thin, in my life and theirs, the folks behind The Baffler have never let me down. And that's why I'm always happy when one of their contributors knocks one out of the park, like Sam Kriss does with his most recent 'Horrordome' offering, "Shrinking the President". True to The Baffler's contrarian form, Kriss offers us his mass analysis of those who would publicly analyze Trump. After the obligatory call to "stop stigmatizing the mentally ill you guys", Kriss gets down to business... and boy, does he get dirty with it, as one particularly pungent passage illustrates:
Baby Trump never learned when to shit and when not to, and it’s far too late for him now. Watch, in particular, the way he talks about the size of the crowds whenever he talks. They’ll say it wasn’t very big. But it is, it’s enormous, it’s huge. He isn’t talking about his dick; he’s talking about his turds: with the grinning pride of a child who’s just deposited one on the Persian rug—look what I made—and the woundedness of a child who’s learned far too late that other people aren’t as proud as he is. Trump talks through his anus and people come out, millions of them, chanting and cheering in fecal happiness, as proud of him as he is of them. Trump is the king of the turd-people. He is a pre-Oedipal god.
Come for the first rate academic analysis... and stay for the "Baby Trump Shits Himself" jokes! In any case, it's a short read that makes many worthy, salient points. The prurient joy you'll get from the insulting take-downs is simply the icing on an otherwise substantial cake. Enjoy!


If the American political blogosphere ever institutes a Hall of Fame, Talking Points Memo author Josh Marshall is guaranteed to be an inaugural, first round inductee.  And I sincerely hope that my saying so means Josh won't be too pissed that I've stolen his info-graphic charting the cruel and petty details surrounding Trump's firing of his White House Chief of Staff, RNC P.R. B.S.

I also hope that urging you to surf on over to TPM so you can read more of Josh's forensic breakdown of this cruel and petty firing -- and suggesting that you bookmark his excellent blog for future reference -- will help to further assuage his righteous indignation at my blatant sticky-fingerism.
If you're still looking for a reason as to why you're perfectly justified in summarily dismissing anyone -- be they post-truth alt-right shitlord, or alt-left Moonbat useful idiot -- who reflexively shrieks "THERE'S NO EVIDENCE!" whenever the subject of Putin and other Russian gangsters being at least partly responsible for the Trump Presidency comes up... look no further than this incredible, constantly updated, interactive dossier put together by The Washington Post. Entitled "Here's What We Know So Far About Team Trump's Ties to Russian Interests", it's a knock-out bit of old-school journalism; the kind of thing that makes you long for the days when going into the newspaper business was seen as not just a viable career option, but a noble calling.

See all those faces? If you hover your cursor over one of them, that individual or organization's connections light up, and you can explore them all, one by one, or en masse, in excruciating detail. There are so many poorly covered, potentially explosive stories included in this dossier -- so many connections just waiting to be identified and absorbed by the American electorate -- that it almost feels like the journalistic version of a ticking time bomb. Trust me, if you start rooting around in there, you'll see what I mean pretty quickly. So my sincere congratulations to Bonnie Berkowitz, Denise Lu and Julie Vitkovskaya on their indispensable work. Ya done good!


This recent Buzzfeed article -- which is sure to elicit snotty condescension and knowing snorts of derision from the usual know-it-all suspects, despite the fact that it is both entertaining and informative -- begins thusly:
To use the internet in 2017, you need to have some level of familiarity with the tropes and signposts of the type of trolling that comes from the alt-right movement and various flavors. But most normal humans, rightfully, run the fuck away as soon as they see a Pepe. This guide is for you (presumably, a normal human). 
Some of these terms are not totally specific to the alt-right, but come from the soupy mix of 4chan, Reddit, men’s rights activists, Gamergaters, pickup artists, and white supremacist and Nazi sites that eventually gave birth to the alt-right. Imagine all these things as different bubbles in a Venn diagram with the alt-right in the middle. 
This guide aims to help explain some of those weird images and words you may have seen popping up in comments sections or on social media.
The first entry is already somewhat infamous, and pretty well known:
(((Echo))) Parentheses
When used around someone's name, a means of indicating that they are Jewish. The "echoes" are a reference to some old gobbledygook about Jews "echoing through history," but the parentheses are a handy tool on Twitter for anti-Semites to signal to one another when someone they dislike is Jewish. Once the tactic was exposed, some Jews and non-Jews started adding them to their own Twitter usernames as a way to subvert the practice and make it less powerful.
The rest of the glossary is fairly comprehensive, and includes a few entries that were new to me -- such as the entry on the Bogandoff Brothers -- which I found somewhat surprising. Of course, that's just because I had yet to be "Bogpilled". Anyway, if figuring out what shit like that means is at all important to you, then you might want to clip and save this glossary. Otherwise, your mileage may vary. 

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