Last Monday, WIRED published an article titled Why Parks and Recreation’s Final Season Was Its Best Ever. Whether or not you agree with the piece’s premise, one thing is clear: published the day before NBC actually aired the Parks & Rec finale, the article was clearly premature. Just consider the following excerpt [SPOILERS AHEAD]:
A friend recently directed me to a Tumblrblog titled “Ron Swanson Says…”, and subtitled “The eternal wisdom of Ron Swanson”. The site hasn’t been updated for a while, but I still feel the need to comment on one of its more-recent posts. You can see the entirety of the post in question immediately following this colon:
In a recent episode of Parks and Recreation, evil millionaire Dennis Feinstein (Jason Mantzoukas) taunts a group of protestors before relating the following instruction to his minions:
(I’ll take Ron Swanson’s line:) What hounds?
In the week before the Super Bowl, I reminded Americans that victory for the Patriots meant victory for Vladimir Putin — or as I cast him (pun intended), the once and future Lord of the Rings.
Well, that was wrong, but thanks to fellow 12th Man Andy Dwyer, I’ve been set straight. Putin’s no Sauron — he’s, well:
I recently stumbled across an Op-Ed written by two YLS professors that appeared in the New York Times nearly a month ago. The piece was titled, “Obama, the Least Lame President?“, a headline that immediately made me wonder: who was our most lame President?
One obvious contender, recently put forward by Parks & Recreation, is number nine, William Henry Harrison:
Aubrey Plaza, who you may better recognize as April Ludgate, appeared on last Thursday’s The Daily Show to discuss her new movie, Life After Beth. In the interview, Plaza briefly summarized the plot of the movie:
I will explain the movie . . . The movie starts off and I’m dead, I’ve been bitten by a snake, and then I unexpectedly come back and chaos ensues.
Pretty straightforward plot. But here’s the part where snakebitten Aubrey is a total badass — she showed up to promote the movie wearing a dress that suspiciously resembles an oversized snakeskin <compare>:
[Warning: mild spoilers ahead for people who are mildly behind, like myself. (I haven’t sen the most recent episode.)]
In the second most-recent episode of Parks and Recreation, Ben Wyatt bemoans the state of his and Leslie’s finances.
We just spent our entire savings account on a trip to Paris. What were we thinking? We spent too much money on macaroons!
Wrong, Ben, you spent too much money on macarons — with one O.
Here’s the Wikipedia page for macaroons — two Os:
I’ve known for a while now that Donna Meagle is somewhat familiar with the Pacific Ocean — after all, she told us back in Season 5 that she owns a condo in Seattle (because she likes “the rain and the fish markets”). But I had no idea the Pawnee Parks and Recreation Department employee knows it well enough to predict its future.
This past Monday, the International Court of Justice ruled that Japan must end it “scientific” whaling program:
Or, if you prefer a more measured take:
WordPress tracks certain visitor statistics. It doesn’t break down information visitor-by-visitor, but it does tell you, in the aggregate, how they made it to your blog, what pages they looked at, where in the world they come from, and what they clicked on while they were around.
This morning, I noticed something curious: someone had pointed to Paper Treiger from Buzzfeed. That alone was somewhat unusual. But the mystery deepened when I saw the specific url:
Oh no. My — obvious — first thought was that I’d said something offensive. I know I’m not so good at filtering. And now, I was about to make it onto a list of annoying things people say to Muslims all the time because they just don’t get it. Whoops. I imagined last week’s 21 Things That Happen When You Don’t Eat Meat, except I’d be coming at it from the other side.
I expected the worst. I had to click.
And I had my Avital Chizhik-in-the-NYTimes moment. The list’s full title turned out to be 12 Signs That You Are Probably A Muslim Living In America #MuslimProblems. More importantly, nearly every single item on the list was immediately familiar to this Orthodox Jew. Replace Eid with Succot, Muslim with Jew, Arabic with Hebrew, and Buzzfeed could have a whole ‘nother listicle on its hands. As if we need another one.
The only item I couldn’t really relate to:
Unless you’re a Western cattle rancher or ardent conservationist, you probably haven’t been following the fight over delisting the wolf. I’m one of those two things, so I’ve been receiving emails about the issue on an almost daily basis, and will happily catch you up with some good news and some bad news.
The good news: after being driven to extinction across the continental United States, wolves were reintroduced to the Rocky Mountains during the 1990s under the protection of the Endangered Species Act. They increased in number and helped restore some of semblance of a balanced ecosystem in Yellowstone National Park and across the Mountain West.
The bad news: Before the keystone predators could recolonize their historic range — the level of recovery mandated by the Act — two senators from Idaho and Montana (Tester and Simpson) managed to delist the wolf and return wolf management to the states.
Without even closely examining the issue from a scientific perspective — for instance, by noting the critical role played by wolves in maintaining healthy ecosystems — you can tell this was a horrible idea for three reasons:
One, Tester and Simpson only managed to get their proposal through Congress by attaching a rider to the 2011 federal budget. This method puts it in good company with other exemplars of good governance like this year’s Monsanto Protection Act, which conveniently granted the biotechnology giant a six-month period of immunity just before a farmer in Oregon announced he had discovered genetically-modified wheat illegally growing on his farm.
Two, you may recall from earlier in this post what happened last time wolves were not listed as an endangered species: we killed every. last. one. living in the United States, threw ecosystems out of whack, and had to undertake an expensive and still only partially-successful reintroduction program. I’m sure that if we remove that federal protection everything will go back to being perfectly fine.
Three, delisting devolved the responsibility of creating wolf management plans to the states. Here’s, for instance, what Montana came up with [click to embiggen if you have trouble reading it]:
Continue reading One questionable policy straight out of Parks & Rec