What those guys over at Occupy Malheur really need

Just about ten days into his takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, now-prisoner Jon Ritzheimer went viral (not for the first time) with a classic unboxing you’ve probably already seen:

But neither side in the standoff — neither those who requested snacks nor those who sent dildos — identified what #yallqaeda really and truly needs. If only they’d read the New York Times:

Continue reading What those guys over at Occupy Malheur really need

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Sorry, Cass Sunstein, it’s already been done

Early last year, renowned legal scholar Cass Sunstein published an essay titled How Star Wars Explains Constitutional Law. I came across it through The Washington Post, but the piece was originally posted to a website called The New Rambler, which seems more appropriate — given that Cass managed to hold forth on the topic for over 4,500 words. This post will not carry on for nearly as long.

Continue reading Sorry, Cass Sunstein, it’s already been done

Memo to Salon: it really should not be this hard*

The New York Times isn’t the only news outlet that can’t write an accurate headline these days.

Morningly blog posts dedicated to recapping last night’s late night rank among my least favorite practices in passionate pursuit of page views. Ostensibly reputable websites should report on things that actually happen in the real world, not simply parrot what a few comedians had to say about it the night before.

Listen, I understand the motivation: pageviews. But is it really too much to ask that the pointless headlines generated in this way at least try and be accurate?

Continue reading Memo to Salon: it really should not be this hard*

Correcting the record: Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is not actually in the middle of nowhere

It appears that the nearly month-long standoff at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge may soon reach its inevitable denouement, which means that if I want to say anything about the situation, I’d better do so quickly. This introductory paragraph obviously isn’t helping.

There’s a common misconception out there that Burns — the town closest to the NWR — is in the middle of nowhere. See, e.g.:

Continue reading Correcting the record: Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is not actually in the middle of nowhere

Who exactly did Stephen Colbert just accuse of being Michael Medved?

Late night TV hosts sometimes understandably like to make sure their viewers are still awake. John Oliver, for instance, delights in mislabeling his maps just to keep you on your toes:

Continue reading Who exactly did Stephen Colbert just accuse of being Michael Medved?

Methinks the Cruz campaign doth protest Palin’s Trump endorsement too much

Sarah Palin endorsed Donald Trump for the Republican nomination today, but before that cataclysm came to pass, Jezebel managed to work in this doozy of a headline: Ted Cruz Is Deeply Afraid That Trump Might Land Coveted Sarah Palin Endorsement. As are we all, because we live in a world where said headline exists.

The article quoted the Cruz campaign’s communications director Rick Tyler, who told CNN: “I think it would be a blow to Sarah Palin, because Sarah Palin has been a champion of the conservative cause and if she was going to endorse Donald Trump, sadly she would be endorsing someone who’s held progressive views all their life on the sanctity of life, on marriage, on partial-birth abortion, he supported [the] TARP bailout — it goes on and on and on.”

Continue reading Methinks the Cruz campaign doth protest Palin’s Trump endorsement too much

Astronaut Scott Kelly is a liar, and pathetic, and alone in life, and mean. And mean. And mean.

He may have lost a character and gained a show, and I may have taken a seven-month break, but one thing hasn’t changed: I still watch Stephen Colbert on the nightly. And that means you can continue to count on regular commentary for some time to come.

Friday night, Stephen’s guest was Scott Kelly — and Colbert lobbed him a softcomet: “This is hardly your first mission to the International Space Station. You were on the ’99 mission that fixed the Hubble telescope, a second mission in 2007 that added new equipment to the station, and on your third mission, in 2010, you spent 159 days in space. How long are you up this time?”

Continue reading Astronaut Scott Kelly is a liar, and pathetic, and alone in life, and mean. And mean. And mean.

In case Dad Joke Han Solo needs more material, “I’m not going anywhere”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens parody twitter accounts have seemingly spread faster than lightspeed. While the quality of these accounts can feel more uneven than a cage match between Oola and a Rancor (looking at you, Tough Love Leia), one in particular comes near and dear to my heart: Dad Joke Han Solo.

For regular readers (if such a thing still exists after my recent hiatus), the attraction may be obvious. For everyone else, I would urge you to compare the conclusion of this nearly three year-old post (“if you ever run into an Israeli soldier with [a Darth Vader-inspired mask] obstructing his visage, let him know: “I find your lack of face disturbing”) with one of Han’s most popular missives:

Continue reading In case Dad Joke Han Solo needs more material, “I’m not going anywhere”

How the Marshawn Lynch got his wound: a heretofore untold Just So Story

Thanks to Rudyard Kipling, we know how the leopard got his spots, how the camel got his humps, how the tiger got his stripes, how the whale got his throat, and so on.* Among his beloved Just So Stories is one titled The Crab That Played with the Sea, which tells of how the crab was transformed from a large animal into a tiny one.**

Continue reading How the Marshawn Lynch got his wound: a heretofore untold Just So Story