Great America

The Arc of History induces nausea.

One day in 1982, when we were a reporter, we got into a curious conversation with the local school superintendent. We were 23; he must have been in his early 40s. We mention the ages because of what he said, a line we haven’t been able to shake for decades:

“The Sixties were an aberration.”

What he meant was that the social liberalism of the era was an exception in American history, and that now, at the dawn of Reagan, the country was reverting to norm. We protested, without success — problem was, at the time the Sixties and Seventies were all we knew.

Which makes us an aberration.

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Don’t Look

It was this or Clockwork Orange.

We’re hearing that tonight’s debate might reach Super Bowl/MASH/alien invasion territory, tempting your attention even if you’d prefer to ignore it. How can you not watch a showdown between a Charlatan Buffoon and Triangulating Technocrat — okay, fine, Giant Douche and Turd Sandwich — moderated by an amiable guy who’s been instructed to be even less intrusive than Jimmy Fallon?

But if you are tempted, heed our warning:

Don’t look at it! Shut your eyes! Don’t look at it, no matter what happens!

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Living in Terror

Well, he tried.

A friend of ours erupted in a fusillade of angry, frightened tweets Tuesday night. While everyone else we follow was tweeting the usual — sports and politics — our friend was writing things like this:

“I’m so fucked up about all these brothers getting murdered right now, I don’t even know what to do with myself.”


“Seriously, at what point can I reasonably say the police are constant threat to my life? If not now, when? How many more men have to die?”


“What the fuck am I supposed to tell my son?”

Our friend lives in DC, works as a government contractor. Most days he’s griping about the bosses, or public transit, or school lunches, like any other middle-class American. But unlike most middle-class Americans, our friend is Black.

And he’s living in terror. Because he’s just one traffic stop away from being the next hashtag.

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Future Revelations

This song was not intended as a patriotic chant.

  • Fossil fuels cause global warming
  • Access to firearms increases likelihood of injury or death
  • The refrigerator light goes off when you shut the door

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Other Expressions Tested in the Clinton Focus Group

You can call me Algorithm.

  • Shopping Bag of Disgracefuls
  • Cat Carrier of Disreputables
  • Fanny Pack of Dreadfuls

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They’re Coming! They’re Coming!

Resistance is Futile.

Matthew Bennell: [dials his phone] I’ll get the police.

Telephone Operator: [voice] Police.

Matthew Bennell: Officer, I’d like to report four bodies in my backyard.

Telephone Operator: Wait right there Mr. Bennell.

Matthew Bennell: How do you know my name?

Jack Bellicec: [Jack’s eyes widen with fear] Hang up, Matthew.

Matthew Bennell: [into the phone] I didn’t tell you my name.

Jack Bellicec: Hang up!

Matthew Bennell: [hangs up the phone] I didn’t tell them my name!

Nancy Bellicec: That’s because they’re all part of it. They’re all pods, all of them!

Trump’s Millennial Outreach Backfires With Jokes and Memes [Hollywood Reporter]

Gene Wilder, 1933-2016

Gene Wilder, ‘Willy Wonka’ Star and Comedic Icon, Dies at 83 [Variety]