Group seeks to make ‘air guitar’ less white and less male

A group of men in Toledo, Ohio is doing their part to make one of their favorite activities a little more inclusive.  The group was inspired to take action after reading stories in the Washington Post and the New York Times about Apollo 11 era NASA’s almost entirely white, male culture.   

“For pretty darn near going on forty years, me and my buddies have been getting together, drinking a few beers, listening to records, and when the mood strikes us, playing a little air guitar,” says Dennis Johnston.  “Well, after reading a few newspaper articles, penned by some very insightful journalists, it began to occur to me that maybe I’d been wielding my air guitar as a tool of oppression.”  

Unable to shake off the wise words of those east coast journalists, Johnston describes an evening  when he tried tuning out of the key of privilege, and into the key of inclusivity.  

“One night I’m just sitting there watching my buddy, Darryl, lose himself in a Free Bird guitar solo.  Now, Darryl’s no slouch on air guitar, and I must have watched him play Free Bird a hundred times, but I got to thinking, I wonder how a female would interpret this solo?  Would she make the same red, sweaty facial expressions? Would she deploy the same clumsy gyrations and body contortions? Would she flick her tongue around in the same disgusting manner as Darryl?  Almost certainly not, I thought. Might she instead soar gracefully to the music, ride the bird’s wings, and paint a different picture with her air guitar?”

After that experience, Johnston set about trying to attract more women and non-whites to join their group of invisible axe wielders.  They set up a Facebook page and held open auditions, but their invitations seemed to attract only more older white dudes.   

“Sadly, it turns out women and people of color aren’t very interested in air guitar,” says Johnston.  “I had thought my implicit bias was discouraging others not like me from participating in our group. However, now I’ve got it on pretty good authority that some folks think air guitar looks kind of ridiculous.  Oh well, we’re still free as a bird, and this bird you cannot change.”

Air Force to treat Storm Area 51 visitors to dazzling air show

If you’re one of the 1.3 million to RSVP the Storm Area 51 Facebook event planned for this September, the Air Force would like you to know they have some special surprises in store.  A first of its kind air show awaits all visitors who “access the area,” according to an Air Force spokesperson.

“The Air Force has planned a truly interactive experience for anyone trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces,” says Laura McAndrews, spokesperson for the United States Air Force.  “A dazzling array of military hardware will engulf the visitor with sound and fury, and members of our own armed forces will be on hand to make sure your visit to Area 51 is truly memorable.”

“Come, experience the thrill of being strafed by one of our supersonic fighter jets, or take a wild ride in a military transport vehicle.  Bring the whole family as you experience the ‘shock and awe’ of an Air Force fireworks display igniting the desert sky into a hellish mosaic of flickering light and flames.

“You’ll enjoy deluxe accommodations as we put you up in the same hotel where we keep our extra-terrestrial guests,” McAndrews continued.  “And no stay at Area 51 would be complete without a visit to our relaxing spa. Here you can enjoy an ‘out of this world’ massage, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself poked, prodded or anally probed.”

Reservations for the September 20th event are still available on Facebook.  Attendees will meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center where shuttle buses will provide transportation to the site.

AOC policy adviser to put billionaires on public assistance

Apparently America’s billionaire problem is out of control.  It seems like you can’t even walk down the street anymore without tripping over some shady billionaire announcing a new business venture, buying a professional sports team, or giving millions to charitable foundations.  AOC policy adviser Dan Riffle would like to change that. Going by the Twitter title “Every Billionaire is a policy Failure,” Dan has a plan to rid America of its billionaires within our lifetime. In fact, the plan would so thoroughly inoculate the United States from the scourge of billionaires, that most former sufferers would fall helplessly into the massive social safety net created by their absence.

In an interview with Vox, Dan the Policy Man kicks around a federal tax rate that would most effectively relieve a billionaire sufferer of all that needless cash.  His boss, AOC, has floated the idea of a 70 percent top rate. Dan has tweeted that he could talk her up to 90. In the Vox interview, he describes trying to come up with a catchy Twitter name that would succinctly distill his policy position.  He started with, “Tax income over $5 million at 99 percent.” That didn’t roll off the tongue well enough for him. Not because the idea was in any way objectionable, it just wasn’t succinct enough for him. That’s when he came up with the epically memeable “Every Billionaire is a policy Failure.”  You may have caught the EBIAPF Challenge on YouTube, or seen someone wearing the t-shirt. 

Granted, a billion dollars is a lot of money, but Riffle isn’t just talking about taxing the shit out of galactic riches.  When asked to define extreme wealth, he replies, “I don’t know where exactly we can draw the line… But at some point there has to be an upper bound, right?  If you have $5 million, you can live off the interest of that and be a one percenter. There’s nothing in this world that anybody wants or needs to do that you can’t do with, let’s say, $10-$15 million.”  

Riffle has already stated what he’d do to five million, he’d have Uncle Sam take 99 percent.  That leaves the taxpayer with $50,000. Not a bad take home, right? Except that Uncle Sam also withholds for Social Security and Medicare with state and local deducting additional percentage points.  Does it not occur to the policy adviser to U.S Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that, if you take 99% of someone’s income, any additional percent of withholding will leave the taxpayer broke or owing additional taxes for which they have no income remaining?  Even if federal withholding is only 90% – the number he’s going to talk AOC into – that still wipes out the taxpayer’s income for the year, no matter how large that income may be. I guess you have to be a policy adviser in Washington to understand how the math works on that one, because if you’re just seated at your kitchen table, the numbers don’t add up.   

Not content to just tax income, Riffle goes on to suggest forcing owners to divest from their companies, creating “democratic control over society’s resources.”  The idea is to relieve a Bill Gates or a Jeff Bezos of their company’s stock once its value exceeds $10 million. “There’s other ways that you can force the divestiture of an owner of a company once we hit a certain threshold,” Riffle explains.  “Having more democratic control over society’s resources would be helpful, and having more democratic control over a company’s resources would be beneficial for that company as well.” So, in other words, you’ve done really well for yourself here, Jeff, but we’re going to take democratic control of that $100 billion in Amazon stock you own, and we’re going to democratically take over the company you built and control it from here forward.  This sounds a lot like the kind of democracy they used to practice in the German Democratic Republic (the former East Germany), or they currently practice in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). 

If the interviewer can be excused for not pushing back on what seem to be rather extreme policy proposals, it’s because the proposals themselves would almost certainly achieve its stated goal of complete eradication of all American billionaires and multimillionaires within a very short span of time.  They would almost certainly flee for billionaire friendly countries like China, Germany, Russia, Great Britain, India, France, and Canada to name a few nations that seem to be most severely plagued by burdensome billionaires. Once gone we would need to seal our borders against their return, only then could we truly enjoy our riches to rags utopia.

Blue Bell Licker sentenced to 30 days of licking public toilets

After pleading guilty to a single count of food tampering, The Blue Bell Ice Cream Licker was sentenced to 30 days of cleaning public toilets with her tongue.  Upon hearing the sentence, The Licker was reported to have violently vomited all over defense counsel’s table. 

Judge Hamilton Gray rebuked the defendant and delivered a strong warning to any other would be lickers:  “Some may find the punishment harsh, but I have no choice other than to make an example of you. Let it be known that violating the public’s trust by licking, spitting, breathing, poking, or any other manner of contaminating edible supermarket items will not be tolerated and will be dealt with swiftly and severely.  You can begin your sentence right away by cleaning up this mess you made. Go on, start licking.” 

Human rights organizations immediately criticized the sentence, citing it as cruel and unusual punishment.  Prosecutors, however, praised the Judge’s decision, claiming that the current licking epidemic has the potential to spur a complete breakdown of societal standards of trust and decency.  Victims groups expressed mixed feelings, pointing out that the defendant will simply go from contaminating grocery items to contaminating public restrooms.  

As they left the courtroom, reporters overheard The Licker berating her defense team.  “This is barbaric! You said I’d probably only get 20 years!” The Licker shouted.

Blue Bell Licker Caught!

Americans can scoop their ice cream without fear tonight after news that the Blue Bell Licker has been apprehended.  Not since Son of Sam paralyzed New York City in the 1970s has a nation been so gripped with terror. 

The Licker, as authorities have come to refer to the individual, was apprehended outside a Lufkin, Texas motel where the suspect had been hiding out for the past few days.  Authorities are not releasing the identity of the individual at this time.

The arrest marks the end of a crime-spree that began at a Wal-Mart in Lufkin when The Licker was filmed removing a carton of Blue Bell Tin Roof ice cream from a freezer and licking its contents before placing it back on the shelf.  A shocked America watched with horror and disbelief as the suspect and her accomplice brazenly laughed off the incident. 

Panic seized the nation as Licker sightings were reported from as far away as Bangor, Maine and Spokane, Washington.  Separate witness accounts even had the Licker performing her despicable germ spreading violence in multiple locations at once, only adding to the fear and confusion.

The manhunt began to focus in on the tiny roadside motel in Lufkin when authorities received a tip regarding an individual acting suspicious near the frozen foods section of a nearby convenience store.  Detectives followed the suspect back to the motel where they began a stakeout.  

“One thing we know about this suspect, they can only go a certain amount of time before they must go out and lick again.  We are dealing with a sick individual who will not stop until their lust for frozen dairy is satisfied,” said Detective Patty Starling, an officer with the investigation team. 

Their hunch paid off when less than 24 hours later, the suspect was on the move again.  Police cornered the suspect in the parking lot and an arrest was made without incident. 

As authorities escorted the suspect into police headquarters, a defiant Licker responded to reporter’s questions only by smiling and wagging her tongue.

New York Times reporter fact-checks milkshakes

In an extraordinary feat of journalism, New York Times reporter, Mike Baker, fact-checked the origins of each and every milkshake thrown at an anti-fascist rally held in Portland over the weekend.  Thought to be the first of its kind reporting, the scrappy journalist verified the ingredients and provenance of the numerous creamy milkshakes flying around Saturday’s event. 

The revelation that may end up winning the ground-breaking reporter a Pulitzer, though, is the news that all of the milkshakes hurled at a journalist covering the event were vegan in origin.  “I thought it was important that we get that information out there as soon as possible,” says Baker. “I didn’t know if the attacked journalist was vegan or not, but I thought it would be important to let him know that the milkshakes that drenched him did not contain animal products.  I felt perhaps that might take some of the sting out of the pummeling he took.”

What makes Baker’s work even more extraordinary is that he’s changing the way we talk about ‘milkshaking’.  “Early on, my editor and I made a decision not to use ‘milkshake’ as a verb. I am fully aware of the tradition and the higher standard we have to uphold here at The New York Times.  That is why instead of using ‘milkshake’ as a verb, which is still relatively new and untested, we decided to go with ‘slimed’. ‘Slimed’ has a bit more history and seemed a more appropriate choice for the pages of The Times,” says Baker.          

Mike’s editor maintains the pair don’t deserve any special credit for their work.  “It’s just good old-fashioned reporting,” says Mike’s editor. “It’s making phone calls, running down leads, and developing sources.  I mean, at the end of the day, we fact-checked the shit out of those milkshakes.”

New York Times runs Antifa PR piece

In case anyone has been operating under the misconception that a journalist was violently assaulted by Antifa protesters in Portland on Saturday, the New York Times’ Mike Baker is here to set the record straight.  Or, rather, he’s here to fill your head with enough extraneous nonsense to give those in denial about left-wing extremism and violence any number of paths to continue believing there is no problem here. His piece in Monday’s edition, “In Portland, a Punch and a Milkshake Rumor Feed a Fresh Round of Police Criticism,” reads like a release from Antifa’s public relations department.  In it he essentially asserts that the journalist assaulted basically had it coming, that the incident is only of interest to conservative politicians and media outlets, that the Portland Police are in cahoots with right-wing groups, and left-wing protesters were really only interested in having a milkshake dance party.

What are we to make of protesters who show up for a demonstration clad in makeshift riot gear?  That these are individuals who were just sitting at home one Saturday and decided to head downtown to protest the fascists.  They’re not an organized group itching for a fight or anything. Everybody has black helmets and body armor hanging in their closet.  Give credit to the NYT for running the photo of the anti-fascist fascists, but their caption reads “Multiple groups demonstrated in downtown Portland, Ore., on Saturday.”  Not only does the NYT not identify these demonstrators as Antifa, but not once does Baker mention the group’s name in the entire piece. The only time they are identified is in a quote of Andy Ngo’s attorney. 

Baker does concede that Ngo was struck by a black-clad activist, going beyond what a lot of mainstream outlets reported.  Many MSM reports preferred to let it seem like the journalist was just heavily milkshaked. Amazing that the word “milkshake” is now a verb and accepted by many on the mainstream left as a perfectly acceptable thing to do to someone.  Baker, however, avoids using “milkshake” as a verb in his article and instead writes that Ngo was “slimed” with “vegan coconut milkshakes”. Very considerate of him to point out that the milkshakes were vegan, in case Ngo happens to be vegan himself.  It takes a little bit of the sting out of being milkshaked when you know that the projectile doesn’t contain any animal products. Although, one wonders how Baker knew that the specific milkshakes that struck Ngo were vegan coconut. Did the New York Times thoroughly fact check all those milkshakes?

Baker does seem pretty confident, however, in claiming that the milkshakes did not contain quick drying concrete.  He describes as “questionable” the Portland Police warning that the milkshakes contained cement, and that this claim fueled “conservative alarm” and “dramatically fueled the furor”.  Nothing to see here folks, Baker seems to be reassuring NYT readers. This is just a bunch of conservatives getting their panties all in a bunch.  

Baker goes on to question Ngo’s work as a journalist, dropping hints that he and the publications he works for produce racist content.  Also, he spends a couple paragraphs making the case that the Portland Police have a history of colluding with right-wing extremists. At this point, if I’m a leftist frequent reader of the New York Times even the slightest bit concerned about groups and elements at the extreme of my political ideology, I’m beginning to drift back into my comfort zone.  I’m thinking, okay, this is all a manufactured crisis and Ngo is just getting what’s coming to him. After all, as Baker writes, “He (Ngo) has a history of battling with anti-fascist groups” and “has built a prominent presence in part by going into situations where there may be conflict and then publicizing the results.”  

Okay, so he’s not really a journalist, he’s a right wing provocateur.  Well, that explains it. Because that’s what they said about Jamal Kashoggi, right?  He had a history of battling with the Saudi Royal family. And that’s what they say about correspondents in conflict zones.  They’re just publicity hounds, right?

After trashing a journalist and totally discrediting the police, Mr. Baker would like Times readers to know that anti-fascist activists are just a bunch of fun-loving, peaceful party people who want to drink milkshakes and dance.  While reserving a healthy amount of skepticism for the police account of the incident, Baker seems to accept on faith information gathered from the Rose City Antifa affiliated group, PopMob.  According to one member of the group, they were simply “having an entertaining counterprotest building off Pride month.”  And those milkshakes: “they were vegan milkshakes made not of cement, but of coconut ice cream, cashew milk and some sprinkles.”  A credulous Baker barely even addresses the glaring reality that milkshakes are currently the preferred method of humiliating conservatives and right-wingers. They were clearly dispensed with the intent of hurling them at their opponents, including Mr. Ngo who was targeted with a barrage of them.

It is one thing to write a piece that avoids leaping to conclusions and reporting unverified facts.  It is quite another to omit facts, engage in irrelevant personal and professional attacks, and deliberately mislead.  Is Baker really so beholden to ideology and obligated to protect the left and readers of the NYT that it extends all the way to doing public relations for a group of violent thugs?  Perhaps, or maybe he just wants to stay on Antifa’s good side. Hmm, wonder why?