Shortcuts & Delusions: May The Fourth Be With Them
In journalism, there is the adage that “dog bites man” is not news, but “man bites dog” is. One way to judge an event’s newsworthiness is if it does not happen very often. I know we’re only ~100 days into the Trump presidency, but it’s been almost two years since he announced his candidacy; he has misstated so many facts and uttered so many outright lies in the past 23 months that the only reason they are still reported on is because (second to Justin Timberlake) he’s the most powerful/famous person in the world.
Does anyone expect Trump to get historical facts and their context right? Him babbling about Andrew Jackson and the Civil War is just typical Trump; the man can barely string words together to form cogent sentences! Why is it news that he botched something middle schoolers know by rote? This is not news, and a panel of historians debunking Trump’s claims is not newsworthy.
Real news would be “Trump Makes Factually Accurate Statement.”
It’s been almost a year since a hero saved the human race by killing Harambe. The damn dirty ape, whose name means “working together for freedom,” was initiating the Primate Uprising of 2016 that would threaten human hegemony by dragging a child around inside the would-be gorilla tyrant’s enclosure.
Harambe was a practitioner of the dark side of the Force, but due to the universe’s constant bend towards equilibrium, he will live on in future special editions of Return of the Jedi, alongside Aaron Hernandez.
Looking to put at least some bad PR behind them, United Airlines announced they reached an “amicable” settlement with David Dao, libertarians’ second-favorite Kentucky doctor. After the deal for an undisclosed amount was struck, Dr. Dao and his lawyers released the following statement:
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!! GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! GRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!
A few things I find odd about the payoff:
1. The media went to great lengths to dig up dirt on Dr. Dao, most of which turned out to be false or irrelevant to the issue; he’s received both praise as a hero for standing up to United and airport security, and scorn for not giving up his seat and peacefully deplaning and delaying the flight for the passengers who weren’t bumped; everything about the event has been made public by either the media or the passengers who filmed his removal, but the dollar amount can’t be disclosed? I understand United doesn’t want price tag for buying silence to be known so it is exploited by copycats, but it seems incredibly ironic that the settlement amount is a closely guarded secret while nothing else about the man and the event enjoys any privacy.
2. Why does United have to pay off Dr. Dao? No pilots or air waitresses were dragging and bashing Dr. Dao. United’s culpability in his injuries is indirect; airport security is directly responsible for Dr. Dao’s pain and suffering. Shouldn’t the airport employing the security guards have to cut Dr. Dao a check?
An airline pilot wrote an opinion piece for CNN speculating on the cause of death of the giant rabbit that was the latest victim of the violent, cybernetic, beating/killing machine known as United. I was surprised how common it is to transport animals in both the cargo hold and the passenger section of aircraft, including “small horses.”
Initially, foul play was not thought to be involved in the case of the deceased giant rabbit, but further investigation has revealed that the buyer of the giant rabbit had taken out a $4,000,000 life insurance policy on the large rodent only two days prior to the flight from London Heathrow to Chicago’s O’Hare International. Check back here for continuing updates on this developing story.
THIS JUST IN: It’s just come to this author’s attention that a giant dead bunny was discovered at Chicago O’Hare Airport! Rabbit…HARE! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! These hack jokes write themselves.
Speaking of science, has Bill Nye’s new show been peer-reviewed?
OK, sorry for the clip show/highlight reel today, so let’s try to bring this trainwreck of a column full circle.
The Tarkin Doctrine reads, in part:
This bold vision of the future requires not only the service of those of immaculate reputation and consummate skill in the just exercise of power, but also the service of a vast military dedicated to upholding the laws necessary to ensure galactic harmony. It may appear to some that the enactment of universal laws and the widespread deployment of a heavily armed military are steps toward galactic domination, but these actions are taken merely to protect us from those who would invade, enslave, exploit, or foment political dissent, and to punish accordingly any who engage in such acts. Look on our new military not as trespassers or interlopers, but as gatekeepers, here to shore up the Emperor’s vision of a pacified and prosperous galaxy.
Grand Moff Tarkin and Emperor Palpatine realized the Death Star would be most effectively used by spreading fear of the Empire’s military might to maintain peace and order throughout the galaxy.
Trump seems to be following this concept with regards to Syria, Islamic terrorists and North Korea. A few days ago, a friend and I were talking about how Trump ordering the MOAB to be dropped on an ISIS base serves as a display of military might that they can not hope to equal, and that if they had any sense, they’d surrender. The Japanese surrendered when nuclear bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the Japanese military in World War 2 and ISIS and other Islamic terrorists share many characteristics (beheading their enemies, kamikaze pilots/suicide bombers, attempting to spread cultural hegemony, fighting and dying in service to a deity, fetishization of death). Would ISIS give up if a nuclear blast lit them up? Unless they recruit some desert farmer with mystical powers who holds a grudge against America for killing his adopted parents, I bet they would.
I normally end this column with, “And that’s the way it is, as far as you know.” But since today is Star Wars Day, I shall conclude it with:
Top image: Dave Van Englehoven
Bottom image: Some Nerd