nojo

The Samizdat Sit-In

America’s Superhero.

There’s a certain frustration that sets in after every mass shooting. We’re all too familiar by now with the dance that follows: Thoughts & Prayers, consoling words from the President, recitations of the history of gun violence in America, condemnation of the NRA for perverting the Second Amendment like extremists pervert Islam.

And then, always, nothing.

Really: If shooting up a grade school or a church doesn’t lead to reform, why should anything else?

The Senate filibuster to force an inevitably losing vote on a couple of weak measures was a fine gesture — truly — but destined to be forgotten, filed away even as it happened with Ted Cruz’s earlier Green Eggs and Ham marathon. The moment had passed, and we were back to our general dread of a Clinton-Trump race.

And then John Lewis stepped up.

Or, rather, sat down.

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The 2012 San Diego Fireworks Implosion as Metaphor for a Trump-Gingrich Ticket

Look, we know we’re tempting Fate here, that Donald Trump’s election may be the spark that launches our planet into Your Favorite Cinematic Dystopian Hellscape, that the only acceptable attitudes among Responsible Adults are scorn and dismay…

But: We can’t help it. The merest rumor that Trump might choose Newt Gingrich for veep fills us with the kind of joy that’s only attainable by driving a convertible at full speed off a scenic cliff, and freezing the frame before the part that ruins the moment.

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We Interrupt This Slaughter for a Gun-Safety Video

We can’t think of a damn thing to say about the same damn thing happening again, so let’s watch Sam Bee say something instead.

Spies Like Us

Collect ’em all!

When we signed up as a Gawker commenter ten years ago, we needed a persona — a screen name and avatar. Our own name is terribly dull and terribly common, so we chose an in-joke nickname we had been using among friends. And for the avatar, we cropped a low-rez webcam photo showing us wearing old-school 3D glasses while leaning over a battery hamster. The combination pleased us.

Gawker was already on its third blogger by the time we discovered it — Elizabeth Spiers and Choire Sicha were gone, leaving Jessica Coen to toil in their wake — but what attracted us to it was the feeling of yet another attempt at reviving Spy, the satirical magazine we had called Mad for grownups. Like Spy, Gawker covered the Manhattan media scene with a jaundiced eye and healthy wit. And like Spy, Gawker would stray outside those bounds if something sufficiently amusing merited the attention.

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Chronicle of Our Republic’s Death Foretold

We still miss it so.

When Spy magazine first published its fateful description of Donald Trump as a “short-fingered vulgarian” thirty years ago — thirty years ago! — Trump reacted in the most Trumpian way possible: He said he knew people who knew things, and Spy would fold within a year.

Leading Spy to respond in the most Spy way possible: A monthly sidebar quoting Trump’s prediction and counting down the days, headlined “Chronicle of Our Death Foretold”.

The year ran out, nothing happened, and Spy ran a final sidebar predicting Trump’s death. And that was that.

Only it wasn’t.

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Party Unity Morass

Nice Kitty would like a bath, wouldn’t Nice Kitty?

We were actually hoping for a Bernie-Trump debate. First, it would have been fun: A Geezerpalooza for the ages. Second, it would have settled months-long chatter: Could Bernie actually stand up to The Other Great Orange Satan like we all think he could?

Serious People thought the very idea was a sham, of course. What would Trump have to lose debating the Democrat Loser? And what would Bernie have to gain, except for more opprobrium from the Demrat Establishment for disrupting Hillary’s coronation?

Actually, Trump would have had a lot to lose: Humiliation, the worst thing that could happen to a bully. A Bernie “debate win” would have shown that not only was it possible, but how to do it. Hillary could take notes from the audience.

Conversely, a Bernie Loss would have settled the otherwise unanswerable question whether the polls reflected his strength when actually tossed into the campaign fire. We’d all like to think that, but Shit Happens in the moment. Y’all will recall the Big Freakout when Obama slept through his first debate with Romney.

But it appears not to be, unless Trump delegate (and actual billionaire) Peter Thiel would care to divert $10 million from his Righteous Gawker Crusade to meet his candidate’s demands for funding the event.

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We Were Promised Punch & Pie

No Fleetwood Mac for you!

Well, that didn’t take long.

A couple of weeks ago, champagne corks were popping as we were duly instructed to celebrate shamelessly over Trump’s effective nomination. Republicans in disarray! Congressional rats deserting the ship! Better confirm that moderate Justice now, cuz Hillary’s gonna appoint Raul Castro soon as she gets back from the Inaugural!

And then the post-nomination national polls started coming out. Whoops!

We still consider national polls next to worthless, but they do have a value in getting folks to shut the fuck up.

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