University students keeping the world safe from comedy

Students at Columbia University pulled the plug on SNL comedian Nimesh Patel in the middle of his set after organizers deemed his jokes racist and homophobic.  The comedian reportedly joked about a gay, black man he knew saying that being gay cannot be a choice because “no one looks in the mirror and thinks, ‘this black thing is too easy, let me just add another thing to it.’”

Terrified students hid under tables and some ran for the exits as Patel unloaded a firestorm of “offensive” and “inappropriate” jokes into the audience.

Said one Bard College audience member who was emotionally injured in the incident but refused treatment at the scene, “Obviously the world is not a safe space but just accepting that it’s not and continuing to perpetuate the unsafenes of it…is saying that it can’t be changed.  When older generations say you need to stop being so sensitive, it’s like undermining what our generation is trying to do in accepting others and making it safer.”

Older generations may recall the unsafe seventies and eighties when comedy related activity claimed untold victims and kept most people in their homes, afraid to come out at night.  

NYPD Special Victims Detective Dominic Rizzo, who was present at the scene, remarked on those dark times:  “We’ve come a long way since the days when guys like Carrot Top used to roam the streets and back alley comedy clubs, preying on the innocent.”

Rizzo went on to recount the worst call of his life.  “I remember a comedy room of 200-250 people slain by Gallagher back in 1982.  Dear God, it was the most horrifying scene I’ve ever witnessed. So senseless, everyone covered in pumpkin and watermelon guts, laughing hysterically.  You’re never the same after something like that. It haunts me to this day.”

“I suppose these kids are onto something,” said Rizzo.  “Thank God dangerous dudes like George Carlin and Richard Pryor aren’t around anymore.  I mean, these were serious guys – seriously funny guys. They were killers. They’d put you in a body bag.”  

The students hope to one day rid the comedy club stages of comedians altogether, making the shows safe for them to do what comes natural…staring at their smartphones.

Scientists: Human ancestors and a guy named Dennis “mate with anything vaguely human”

In the past ten years, a successful attempt to sequence the genome of Neanderthals revealed that most modern humans carry 2-4% Neanderthal DNA, indicating our human ancestors bred with their ancient cousins.

Further scientific research into a finger bone discovered in Siberia uncovered a whole new group of archaic humans we now refer to as Denisovans.  Once again, DNA comparisons with humans revealed that the two species on occasion made the beast with two backs.

Additional investigation of human DNA found remnants of other hominim species completely unknown to scientists.

These findings have led scientists to conclude that our human ancestors had no misgivings about mating with anything that looked vaguely human.   

Then along came Dennis, a “modern human” who seems to carry many genetic features derived from our ancient past.

“I came to the attention of scientists when I sent off a 23 and Me sample.  It came back showing that roughly 18% of my DNA could be traced back to Neanderthals, Denisovans, and a vast array of other unknown ancient hominims.  This knowledge really began to answer a lot of questions for me.”

Police records reveal a man who’s been arrested on multiple occasions for trying to hump museum statues and department store mannequins.

Out at the bars, he often tries to attract prospective females with a strange ritual of chest thumping, growling and throwing dirt around.  Additionally, he’s been known to lay the remains of a half eaten steak at the feet of a female he’s particularly fond of.

Hypnotic regression therapy is helping Dennis confront some of his primitive impulses.   

“I carry within me the knowledge of what it’s like to copulate with a Denisovan.  They lived around 500,000 years ago. Let me tell you, sex with a Denisovan is a pretty wild experience.  Far from sharing a tender and loving moment, it’s savage and brutal, quite terrifying really. Some of the females have been known to kill the male after the act.”

These deep memories of a time long ago have left Dennis psychologically scarred but hopeful for the future.

“I’m currently in psychotherapy which seems to be helping.  I’m also in a pretty committed relationship with a female that carries an unusually high amount of Neanderthal DNA.  I think she gets me.”

White people celebrate news Sinead O’Connor no longer wants to spend time with them

White people around the world are rejoicing at news Sinead O’Connor has decided she no longer wants “to spend time with white people again…Not for one moment, for any reason.”  

“Hooray, our long global nightmare is over!” shouted one ecstatic white person who wishes to remain nameless.  “No more calling and dropping by at all hours with her endless list of grievances and her sanctimonious crap.”

All over the streets of Whiteland there was non-stop joy and celebration as the news dropped on Tuesday.

“Oh happy day!  Everything is wonderful and new again,” cried a caucasian woman enjoying her lunch break next to a hot dog stand.  “This disgusting, dried up wiener tastes like the food of the gods.”

White people were spotted dancing, quite stiffly and awkwardly, on sidewalks, cars and rooftops.  Others gleefully sang out of tune and played air guitar.

A small group of culture appropriating white people attempted to express their sudden euphoria through rap and beat boxing, but were quickly shut down and rounded up by authorities without incident.

Elsewhere, horrified at the prospect of a Sinead O’Connor pop-in, muslims and people of color locked their doors, took the phone off the hook, and suddenly had “this thing they had to go to.”

Anxious university students demand maestro cease conducting orchestra with a baton

Students at a prestigious northeastern university are demanding the school’s orchestra conductor cease and desist from using either his hands or his baton when conducting the university orchestra.

“The abrupt hand movements and the brandishing of a baton are triggering extreme anxiety in some of the student audience members,” says Arnold Lane, a spokesperson for the group demanding the maestro lay down his baton.  “We’re requesting the maestro consider alternative, less fear producing methods of conducting, such as raising and lowering his eyebrows.”

“Well the baton’s got to go, for sure,” says one cisgender female student who wished to remain anonymous.  “I mean it’s like he’s up there waving a big penis around, isn’t it?”

“I’m terrified he’s going to turn around and beat me with it,” added her male friend.

The student’s demands come on the heels of the group’s successful effort to have applause banned and replaced with “jazz hands,” considered a more sensitive approach to showing appreciation.

Orchestra members are naturally skeptical of eyebrow conducting.  “The maestro’s eyebrows are actually quite bushy and menacing,” commented one member.  “I actually think a gentle bending or wagging of the index fingers might be the least triggering method.”

Students are planning demonstrations and performance interruptions until their demands are satisfied.

Sen. Mitch McConnell attempts to conceal lying with lack of lip movement

Ever mindful of the old expression, “You know when he’s lying because his lips are moving,” Mitch McConnell in recent years has taken to speaking without even the slightest disturbance of the area surrounding his mouth.  What remains unclear, though, is whether the Senator believes that by not contorting his lips in any discernible fashion, he can fool those around him into believing the voluminous flow of excrement issuing forth from his motionless sound hole.

Apparently he does because the frequency with which the untruths carelessly fly past his unmoving lips is accelerating like the expansion of the universe.  The latest whopper is his assertion that not approving Supreme Court Justices in an election year is “following a long standing tradition” in the Senate dating back to the 1880’s.  In the 1880’s McConnell was a junior staffer with the Kentucky Senate delegation, so he should know better than anyone that the tradition then was to approve election year nominations.  It is the case that one time since 1888 a nominee was not approved. One time does not a tradition make.

When John Dickerson challenged the Senator’s bullshit on Face the Nation, McConnell became quite defensive and shut down the questioning saying, “You’re not listening to me, John.  The history is just as I told you.” Dickerson seemed slightly taken aback, not only by McConnell’s admonition, but also by the appearance that the words did not seem to emanate from the Senator’s mouth.     

Aides close to the Senate Majority leader say he has been working closely with ventriloquists to perfect the art of speaking without appearing to say anything at all.  The training was undertaken in earnest back when he took over as Majority Leader during the Obama administration. At the time, he attributed an economic uptick with “the expectation of a new Republican Congress.”  The backlash over the absurdity of his comment caused him to explore ways to obscure the frequent untruth telling he was embarking upon. Realizing that every time his lips moved the lies seemed to gush forth like a dam breaking, he determined to take drastic action.      

Additional steps taken to mask the appearance of lying include lip reduction surgery. Many have opted to have fat cells injected into their lips to give them a fuller, fat tire appearance.  McConnell is thought to be the first subject to have their lips deflated to the point of riding on the rims.  The procedure was everything he’d hoped for and resulted in his present turtle like appearance.

Currently, the Senator is working on perfecting the art of “throwing his voice”.  Once this final piece of the puzzle is in place, he will have achieved complete plausible deniability. Imagine the power to lie at will and not have the untruths trace back to the source, but instead be able to stick them to others like hurling darts at a dart board.  It is said when McConnell first conceived the idea, he became almost perceptibly animated and let out a barely audible croak of delight.

Doesn’t get any better than Ezra

Thanks, Ezra Klein, for explaining the news to me and helping me to understand better. In his Vox piece, “The rise of YouTube’s reactionary right,” Ezra Klein points out that folks like myself who enjoy watching certain intellectual figures engage in discourse on YouTube are vulnerable stooges played and manipulated by the political far right.  

Despite having voted for Obama twice and against Trump once (sorry I can’t bring myself to admit I cast my vote for Hillary Clinton), despite supporting gay marriage long before the Democratic party came around, despite supporting women’s rights, despite supporting universal healthcare (the list could go on), I’ve recently learned that I’ve been engaging in a dangerous dance with the reactionary right.

I admit I’ve watched Jordan Peterson’s lectures and debates on YouTube.  I’ve viewed Dave Rubin’s interview show, even though I hear it’s financed by the Koch Brothers (gasp).  I very much enjoy Sam Harris’ podcast despite not being an atheist. Occasionally, I even let Ezra Klein and his crew explain the news to me, because it’s so darn hard to know what to think with so many competing voices out there.  So, needless to say, I was pretty shocked to discover that having all these alternative influencers on my dance card pretty much puts me in league with the reactionary right.

Is it just me or does anyone else get the feeling that Klein and his ilk want to shun so many of us from the democratic left that we never control congress again, that we continue to lose the White House even though we never should, and that the Supreme Court ends up with a 7-2 super conservative majority?  Is it just me? If I didn’t know any better, I might think Klein and company are disinfo agents working for Roger Stone or the Mercers.   

These days I keep flashing back to 1991.  How old are you, Ezra Klein? I was in my fifth year of college back in ’91, a mere three semesters shy of graduation.  Seems like it’s déjà vu all over again, only without the stench of stale beer and dank kind bud. We seem to have progressed little since Rodney King.  Every day there are news stories and videos depicting police brutality. Guess we better get out and demonstrate. That’ll show ‘em. How far have we come since Thomas/Hill?  Well, now we have Kavanaugh/Blasey Ford and mostly the same Republicans at this very moment confirming Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. But wait, don’t lose hope, we are out in the streets expressing our displeasure quite vociferously!

Pardon me for feeling like nothing has changed in almost thirty years.  I still hear Ice Cube booming in my head, “We’re gonna tear this mother fucker up.”  Ice Cube’s an artist and that’s a great song. However, in practical terms, that song and all the left’s protestations have changed little about society in the intervening years.  While the left has been expressing its outrage, the right has been taking over state legislatures and redrawing congressional maps. While the left’s been securing academic positions and writing nonsense books that almost no one will ever read, the right’s been think tanking and grooming candidates for future federal judgeships and Supreme Court positions.  The result: Republicans are able to control congress despite routinely receiving fewer votes than Democrats. Republicans can win presidential elections without winning the popular vote. Republicans can say “fuck you, Dems” and not even give Merrick Garland a hearing before ramming through their own Jock-O-Rama.

We’ve got a bigger problem now.  

What’s that, Ezra?  It’s the alternative influencers.  In his piece, Klein tracks down a broad enough definition of reactionary thinking to toss the whole intellectual dark web club into that mix.  Then he uses a recent report by Data & Society’s Rebecca Lewis to show how naïve, politically mainstream individuals perusing YouTube get ensnared in a web of far right hate.

According to the report, one minute you’re watching Jordan Peterson debate Sam Harris in front of a packed auditorium in London, the next you’re trapped in a maze of Nazi hate with Richard Spencer sucking all the equality and compassion out of you while at the same time shooting you full of misogyny and racism.  Not sure how Klein escaped appearing on one of the study’s node maps as he is only two steps away from Spencer himself. Beware, watching Klein on YouTube could quickly hurl you down a chute into a giant vat of white supremacy in the mere blink of an eye.

The AIN Network Paths map has to be seen to be believed.  It looks like a vast Chutes and Ladders game of alleged right wing conspiracy.  By the way, Joe Rogan’s in there too. If an Alex Jones, or anyone on the right for that matter, depicted the left in a similar manner, they would be mocked mercilessly as a crackpot conspiracy theorist.  I wonder if Rebecca Lewis constructed an enormous mock up on the wall of her office before revealing it to the world. Better yet, maybe the network paths map covered the entirety of the walls and ceilings of Data & Society a la Stranger Things.  

So, of course, for Lewis the answer to prevent the systematic indoctrination of individuals who are easy prey for this sort of thing is to censor YouTube channels.  To his credit, I guess, Ezra Klein calls this solution controversial and doesn’t address it, but he doesn’t condemn it either. He accepts that the algorithm is a recipe for radicalization, always pushing even the most moderate viewer towards extremism.  

 

I’m sure Ezra Klein and his Vox crew reverse engineered the algorithm and successfully isolated the portion where the evil Dr. Hate redirects otherwise well-meaning knowledge seekers into the dark dungeon of racial and ethnic intolerance.  I mean, he wouldn’t just accept the word of someone who spends an inordinate amount of time on the internet, calls themselves a digital critic, and makes discoveries that magically fall in line with their ideological framework. Ezra would never do that.

Here’s an idea for Klein and his cohorts, if they’re so worried about these alternative influencers on YouTube, maybe they should get on there and do some alt-alternative influencing rather than advocating deplatforming and demonetizing which are just nicer sounding words for censoring political speech.  

 

Okay, Ezra, now I’m going to go next door and explain intersectionality to my neighbor Merv (his friends call him Dogbreath) in hopes that it might convince him to vote for the Dems this November.  Wish me luck.

Senator Ted Cruz on what to do if you’re in your home and find yourself murdered by police

In a television interview Sunday, Senator Ted Cruz offered the public some wise advice on how to react when you find yourself murdered in your home by police.  Speaking about the recent fatal shooting of a black man in Dallas, the Senator astutely pointed out, “obviously the individual was at home in his apartment and found himself murdered”. 

The murderer turned out to be the victim’s cop neighbor who had wandered into the wrong apartment.  However, Senator Cruz cautioned against focusing too narrowly on the murderer when it comes to placing blame and even offered some tips for how to avoid finding oneself murdered.   

“First off, one should avoid blaming the cop that just murdered you.  I don’t think it helps anything to jump to any conclusions,” the Senator stressed.  “Everybody wants to blame the murderer.  We all need to just stop, take a moment, examine the situation and see if there is any way we can pin this on the victim.”

“Secondly,” Cruz continued, “if you believe there is a likelihood that you might find yourself murdered in your apartment, you may want to go ahead and leave for a little while.  Try going bowling, or do what I do, go to the bingo hall.  But remember, knock on your door when you return.  It is very important that you do not startle the cop who may not realize it is in the wrong apartment.  Of course, there is no guarantee the cop won’t shoot you for knocking on the door.  So beware, it is just as frightened as you, only it has a gun and permission to use it regardless of the situation.”

“This leads in to my final point, what to do if you discover a lost cop inside your home and it won’t leave.  Avoid trying to shoo it away.  Do not make any large sudden movements and avoid eye contact.  This is a sure way to find yourself murdered in your home.  It’s often best just to leave the door open and wait for the lost cop to wander off.  Usually, in the morning around feeding time, they will strike out in search of coffee and pastry.”