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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The Greatest

Flying Spaghetti Monster knows this moment was coming, and the Grey Lady and all other media outlets had the obit ready to go within seconds, but fuck if it still didn’t hurt.


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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Donald Trump’s Guide to Women

All in the taint.

Our guest columnist is “John Miller”, who totally isn’t Donald Trump, really, why would you even think that, speaking on the phone to People reporter Sue Carswell in 1991.

Short Fingers are the Ultimate Aphrodisiac

I think that he’s got a whole open field really. A lot of the people that you write about, and you people do a great job, by the way, but a lot of the people that you write about really are — I mean, they call. They just call. Actresses, people that you write about just call to see if they can go out with him and things.

I’ll Have What Mick’s Having

What she was having a very big thing with Mick Jagger. And then what happened, she was going with Eric Clapton, and Eric Clapton introduced her to Mick Jagger, and then Mick Jagger started calling her, and she ended up going with Mick Jagger. And then she dropped Mick Jagger for Donald, and that’s where it is right now.

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Revenge of the Boomers

Why won't you stay dead?

Eight years ago — eight years ago! — we made a Bold Proclamation about a generational shift in American politics:

This fall, we’re taking over the country. The torch has been passed to a new generation, and this time it’s personal. It’s the Barry & Sarah Show, hosted by Jon Stewart, fortysomethings all. Joe and John will have walk-on parts, but they’re both irrelevant to the story. It’s our world now, and you kids will just have to deal with it.

And eight years later, we’re faced with a choice between Hillary Clinton (b.1947) and Donald Trump (b.1946).

What the hell happened?

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