Shallow Thawts

February 6, 2017

Fifty Shades of Orange #AlternativeFacts

Ringling Brothers may have shut down, but that does not mean the circus is no more. Believe me. OK, we can agree to disagree on that. But, as Helen Keller sang in her one man show on Broadway in 1776… while you’re entitled to your own opinions, you’re not entitled to your own facts. (#AlternativeFacts) Until now, no-one has taken the time to address how “alternative facts” fit in to our reality. Mostly because they didn’t exist… until now. And, in this circus, that means the ring of fire the lion jumps through isn’t really on fire. It’s a meme of a ring that’s been photoshopped to look like it was on fire, posted to social media and retweeted a million times but never actually vetted to see if it was even a ring in the first place.

Let’s examine all the attempts at using alternative facts thus far, shall we? Our first use of the phrase can be be credited to Kellyanne Conway during and appearance on Meet the Press in an attempt to explain away lies about the size of the crowd that showed up to see Michelle Obama give Donald the stink eye. You know, the inauguration. The moment they resorted to this notion of “alternative facts” for something as trivial as that, you had to know we were going to be in for a bumpy ride.  It’s only been two weeks, but it already feels like two years.

What was truly entertaining was watching President Trump’s spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway choke on her own newly coined phrase. Did you catch it?  It was the look of someone having their mortal soul ripped out of their body.  (Alternative fact: one’s soul enters and exits the body orally.)

Election 2016 GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

It was the same look of someone right before they go from being a rational person to a holocaust denier.   And no, there’s no debate, it happened.  Which reminds me, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day Trump actually neglected to mention Jewish people in his statement.  When he was called out for it his press secretary, Sean Spicer, got pissed and said people were just nitpicking.  Apparently, to the Trump administration, the attempted genocide of an entire group of people, in what Nazi’s called the “Final Solution” and which led to the death of 6 million Jews, is just trivial.   Ahhh tomato tomahto.

It turned out this was just the beginning of the usage of “alternative facts.” Remember when Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto canceled a trip to meet with Trump in Washington? That happened after Trump tweeted that if Mexico wasn’t willing to pay for the wall Peña Nieto shouldn’t even bother coming to Washington.  So Peña Nieto called to say fine, we won’t. Trump responded by saying He and Peña Nieto “agreed” to cancel the meeting.  No, Donald you were being an ass, Peña Nieto called you on it and now you’re trying to cover.  Ehhh, Potato potahto.

Our next alternative fact involves Trump’s so called Muslim ban.  Trump himself said that it’s not a Muslim ban and that “…it’s working out very nicely, you see it at the airports, you see it all over.”  Now it’s true that his executive order doesn’t specifically say “Muslims” are banned, but Trump himself has actually referred to it as a ban and that included calling it a ban within two seconds of saying that it wasn’t a ban.  Trump has also said he’d give Christians from those banned countries priority over Muslims which, according to our pesky laws, you’re not supposed to do.  So yeah, it’s basically a Muslim ban.  As for how it’s working out and what we’re seeing at the airports, federal judges are blocking it and protests are springing up at airports around the world.  So yeah, seems to be working out “nicely.”  Aunt, ant, same difference.

And now we have the issue of the Bowling green massacre.  A terrorist attack Kellyanne Conway claimed happened in 2011 and led to a six month ban on Iraqi refugees. She also said most people probably don’t know about it because it never got covered.  Now Conway is right about one thing, the Bowling Green Massacre never received coverage and most people don’t know about it.   That’s because it never happened.  What did happen is two Iraqi immigrants were arrested in Bowling Green, Kentucky, for suspicion of ties to an insurgent group.  This led to the Obama administration imposing stricter background checks, but never an actual ban.  Later Conway said she simply mis-spoke, then criticized the media and called her critics “haters” for pointing out her error.  Cue the world’s smallest violin playing its saddest song…  Didn’t she freak out over a reporter’s error for tweeting that the bust of Martin Luther King Jr. had been removed from the Oval Office? An error he quickly corrected? She was livid at his mistake, even asking “Why was it said in the first place.” Yes, Kellyanne, tell us, why are errors made on national television in the first place?  Erbs, Herbs, who care’s about the “H?”

During the campaign Trump pulled off upset after upset by saying whatever he wanted, regardless of the facts, and while his supporters ate it up the media treated it like a side show.  Trump promised that if he won he would be the most presidential President ever. And yet, if you check out his Twitter, he’s still pretty much a clown… Every time a new controversy came up during the campaign the media treated it like a joke with the punchline being Trump eventually LOSING.  Turns out, the joke was on us.  Ringling Brothers is gone and the side show has now taken over the big top, with everyone from the snake lady (Conway) to the man with no spine, who can contort his way through any opening (Paul Ryan), now taking center stage.  And that orange clown with the silly hair?  He’s now our ringleader.

 

Update:  On a personally joyous note, it has come to light that CNN, that “fake” news network, turned down the opportunity to have Kellyanne Conway appear on Sunday night, due to “serious questions about her credibility.”  We can only wait and see if this becomes their standard practice, but I believe it’s a good first step in the fight against fake news and alternative facts.

 

June 14, 2016

Save your prayers.  (In response to yet another mass shooting)

I hate to break it to you, they aren’t working.  If your solution to gun violence is to pray it away, then just as with homosexuality, it’s not working.  So that means one of two things…

1)  You aren’t praying hard enough and this is all your fault.  And if that’s the case you should jump off a bridge and let everyone else get some better prayers in and put an end to this horrific violence.  Or…

2)  Realize that this idea that you can pray it away is bullshit and we should actually take an active role in doing something about extreme gun violence in this country by passing some laws that, at the very least, make it more difficult for people to get ahold of a weapons, like the AK-47, designed solely for killing people.

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