Archive - May 20, 2010

Social Experiments and Diseases

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Memo to Mark Souder: DEAR LORD, ARE YOU DUMB.

But first, a bit of business. Fourteen months ago, I wrote the following. "As I am a Web 1.0 proto-Luddite and crankypants who loves his segues more than life itself, you will not be subscribing to @youaredumb anytime soon."

Fourteen months isn't anytime soon.

What changed? The iPad 3G, to be brutally honest. I've been using a Twitter account for Forkbastard for a year, and it's only been the past three weeks where I've really -used- it. Because I now have a device in my life that lets me. And then I found that, to this day, nobody had snapped up "youaredumb" as a Twitter account. And now I have. But in a daring social experiment, I will not be the final arbiter of whether it's necessary. You will.

What will you get in a YAD Twitter feed? One-liners and jokes that will fit entirely within the scope covered by the column, possibly previews promoting the column, and probably the occasional media recommendation. If you want that to happen, go to http://twitter/youaredumb and follow it between now and Monday. I've used mathematics to create an arbitrary threshold based on the number of @Forkbastard followers and the relative amount of traffic the two sites get. Pass the threshold, it goes forward. Fail to pass the threshold, and some of you might have to bother to click "unfollow".

Now why did I feel I could waste a solid third of my usual column space on my bizarre Twitter experiment? Simple. Mark Souder's stupid is so awesome and hilarious that I plan to spend at least one and two thirds days on it. And the best part? It's the best kind of dumb. The kind of dumb you can laugh and laugh at, and then laugh some more, and not feel like the world's slowly dying while you chuckle.

We are coming up on the one-year anniversary of my all-time favorite political sex scandal - Mark Sanford and his SECRET ARGENTINIAN MISTRESS. We all remember how much I enjoyed that. And if we don't, search the site for "Argentinian" and find out. Now, Mark Souder's affair with his part-time staff member (if you'll pardon the expression) doesn't have quite the frisson of awesome that Sanford's case had, but that's only because Souder got busted in the usual manner. Nothing will ever beat sitting in front of the TV, wondering what Mark Sanford would confess to after vanishing for days and lying about it, and the subsequent S.A.M. revelation.

But when it comes to the post-game? The dug-up details, the apologies, and the excuses? It's Souder all the way. Especially the bit where the Indiana congressman sets a new high bar for right-wing hypocrisy by, I shit you not, appearing in abstinence-promotion videos with the aide, Tracy Jackson.

There are two ways you can make that mistake, depending on the order of events. He may have decided to pick the staffer you're banging to be the host of your Congressional video updates, which cover a wide variety of social-conservative, family values topics. Which is not only poor judgment, it's blatant favoritism. Who knows what kind of viral video breakout star we could have had if Souder, who by the way is yet another fucking balding jowly white dude, had picked his web-video counterpart based on pure merit? All that potential, lost to the ages.

Or, maybe it was the other way around. Souder was trying to decide who to have an affair with, and one day, while discussing how much pain fetuses feel, Souder felt his loins stirring for the first time since Sarah Palin accepted the VP nomination. That's the point where his brain might have intervened. Told Souder to back off, that when the affair was inevitably discovered, the abstinence education video would be the funniest thing on the Internet since Dramatic Chipmunk got hit in the balls by Keyboard Cat. But did he listen? No he did not.

I'll be delving into the videos in greater detail tomorrow, as well as his various post-disclosure communications and resignation letter, but I'd be remiss if I didn't point out one shocking detail. They're in ALL CAPS. Every last one of them. Every word. It's like he had one of his non-fuckable staffers doing his Internet stuff for him since his days on Prodigy in the late 80s, and said staffer told him to go to hell, forcing Souder to actually type up his own shit. With hilarious results.