Monday, October 9, 2017

SUGGESTED READING ~ OCT 9, 2017


Buzzfeed's Joe Bernstein has just gifted future historians -- not to mention those litigators who will eventually be tasked with investigating the conspiracy and treason that took place in service of the New Fascist International coup (keep watching this space) -- with one of the most important pieces of investigative journalism yet to be published on the subject. Titled "Alt-White: How the Breitbart Machine Laundered Racist Hate", the report is based on a treasure trove of primary documents and correspondences, and it fully exposes at least one of the many tentacles currently being wielded to great and terrible effect by this, the latest evolutionary strain of Movement Conservatism. 

It's a long piece, but it reads fast, with Bernstein delivering a substantial amount of information and making a significant number of connections with commendable economy and journalistic reserve. Despite much of the material on display being worthy of an outraged response, Bernstein wisely lets the material do the talking. For instance, in the following, particularly galling series of communications that illustrate how a motley crew of despicable fringe-dwelling bottom-feeders suddenly found themselves (and their shitty ideas) circulating at the highest levels of American power:
Early in the morning of August 17, 2016, as news began to break that Steve Bannon would leave Breitbart to run the Trump campaign, Milo Yiannopoulos emailed the man who had turned him into a star. 
“Congrats chief,” he wrote. 
“u mean ‘condolences,’” Bannon wrote back. 
“I admire your sense of duty (seriously).” 
“u get it.” 
In the month after the convention, Yiannopoulos and Bannon continued to work closely. Bannon and Marlow encouraged a barrage of stories about Yiannopoulos’s late July ban from Twitter. Bannon and Yiannopoulos worked to distance themselves from Charles Johnson’s plans to sue Twitter. (“Charles is PR poison,” Yiannopoulos wrote. “Charles is well intentioned--but he is wack,” Bannon responded.) And the two went back and forth over how hard to hit Paul Ryan in an August story defending the alt-right. (“Only the headline mocks him correct,” Bannon wrote. “We never actually say he is a cuck in the body of the piece?”) 
But once Bannon left Breitbart, his email correspondence with Yiannopoulos dried up, with a few exceptions. On August 25, after Hillary Clinton’s alt-right speech, Yiannopoulos emailed Bannon, “I’ve never laughed so hard.” 
“Dude: we r inside her fucking head,” Bannon wrote back. 
And on September 15, Sebastian Gorka, then an adviser to the Trump campaign, sent Yiannopoulos, Bannon, and Michael Flynn Jr., the son of Trump’s future national security adviser, a meme “as found on Twitter.” Watermarked by a conservative satire site called the Patriot Retort, the image was titled “The Deplorables,” and had superimposed various TrumpWorld faces on top of the all-star action movie heroes of the 2010 Sylvester Stallone vehicle The Expendables. 
“I presume you Gents approved of this,” Gorka wrote. 
“THIS IS BRILLIANT. CC’ing LTG Flynn,” Flynn, Jr. wrote back, referring to his father. 
“LOL!” Bannon responded. 
“Yes. I’m jealous!!” Gorka replied.
So... how could this happen? How did America get to the point where it could be hijacked by a cackling cabal of spite-fueled, hate-filled, race-obsessed pseudo-intellectual mediocrities and frauds? Most likely, it happened the exact same way that pretty much everything happens in the USA: via the strategic outlay of significant amounts of money.  

Which brings us -- and Bernstein's piece, which you must read and recommend to others -- to one ROBERT MERCER, the man who has been doing for the Far Right what the Far Right claims George Soros has been doing for progressive causes for years now. Once you're done reading the Buzzfeed piece, here is an overview of Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebeckah (a duo that give off a distinct Chinatown vibe, if you ask me). As usual, keep watching this space for further updates re: the New Fascist International.

***

Did you notice something strange about your reaction to last week's record-breaking mass murder in Las Vegas? Like, a certain dull ache somewhere deep inside, not unlike the bittersweet ennui that overtakes one after a particularly powerful orgasm, only to recede like the memory of a vaguely familiar perfume on a light Autumn breeze? Are you wondering what this could possibly have to do with Rick and Morty? Well, here's Mondo2000's Pariah McCree to tie it all together for you in an essay she christened with the ungainly moniker Old and Busted: Learned Helplessness. New Hotness: Nihilism as Survival Trait. She begins:
Last night I finally had the opportunity to spend some quality time with a partner I don’t get to see very often, because our lives reside in vastly different orbits these days. This quality time consisted of sitting on their couch sipping bourbon, shooting the shit, and occasionally glancing over at the television showing a queue full of episodes of Rick and Morty. I’m not particularly interested in television but I can certainly appreciate the antics of a sarcastic, hedonistic, substance using and abusing mad scientist. At some point last night, said partner’s phone began making noises as if it were about to explode, or possibly perish of a combination stroke and heart attack. Knowing them as long as I have and being a product of my time, I immediately extracted my smartphone and began scanning social media. Did the Oompa-Loompa in Chief finally start World War III? 
“Bah. Another mass shooting, this one at the hotel I stayed at this summer. Whatever.” 
I dropped both phone and drink, committing one of the few sins I actually care about (alcohol abuse). “What?” 
“Another mass shooting, this one at a festival in Las Vegas. Initial reports are forty fatalities and at least two hundred injured. Data is still being compiled.” They sipped their drink and tossed their own phone onto the coffee table as Rick prattled on about the racial epithets of alien species. 
“No,” I said. “You just blew it off. This isn’t like you. How much did you have?” 
“Just the one,” they said. “It’s just another fucking mass shooting. They’ll happen more and more often as people get more and more crazy. After your ninth or tenth you stop rising to take the bait and flow with it.” 
I don’t mind saying that I spent the rest of the evening drinking quietly and staring at my long-time friend, co-conspirator, and lover. This is a person who sends flowers when someone’s cat dies, and wept upon discovering that a hamster’s disappearance was due to the creature hiding in its cage to expire quietly. And they’re not even breaking a sweat upon discovering that several hundred people (at last count, more than 500 injuries and almost 60 deaths) were on the wrong end of a jackass with a room full of guns and a week’s worth of ammunition in downtown Las Vegas? Some days I’m not sure how human they are, but last night took the taco. I stayed as far away from the coat closet as I could, lest a cyborg facehugger spring from the shadows and shove its ovipositor down my throat. 
In the shower this morning, where I always do my best thinking (don’t you?) I rolled the events of the previous night around in my head. By my take, there have been about 115 mass shootings since the year 2000. While the numbers bounce around a little bit they’re steadily creeping upward. Add to that the sheer insanity of the past year and… this is our new normal. The pattern of how the aftermath of the Las Vegas massacre is going to unfold is probably going to be just like all the others.
 McCree goes on to elucidate her thoughts in a paradoxically distressing yet lighthearted manner (as befitting her cartoon reference point of choice, I suppose, even though I remain more of an Adventure Time fan, myself). Anyway, you're already half-way through the damn thing, so why not just finish reading it?
***

And, finally for today, I bring you the increasingly relevant Norm MacDonald interviewing the increasingly distressing Jim Carrey on his increasingly essential podcast/Youtube show. Cringe-inducing as fuck, and yet also a great showcase for two almost inexplicably twisted comic brains, this video is the greatest fucking thing you're likely to see this week. Two incredibly funny guys just riffing off the top of their heads, caring not whether all the jokes land in the way they intended, and occasionally finding gold where you would expect to find poop. We here at the DDD have always been big Jim Carrey fans, and the same still holds true for the "No Fucks Left To Give" version who has lately been on public display.

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