Archive - Dec 11, 2015


One Third Less Shit Than Usual

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Memo to 43% of America and Texas open-carry assholes: YOU ARE DUMB.

Something good is happening today. But this is You Are Dumb Dot Net, and much like the Shawshank Redemption, you don't get to see the good thing until you crawl through a mile-long pipe of shit. But hey, at least at the end of this week's SPASTIC TOPIC MONKEY FRIDAY you'll get a little light pop culture positivity. Now let's get started. That shit's not going to be crawled through by itself.

Fifty seven percent is not a comforting number. That, according to a poll by NBC and the Wall Street Journal, is the percentage of Americans that oppose Trump's blanket ban on Muslims. Twenty five percent support it, which is troubling enough, but that means 18% are undecided on the issue. Yes, nearly one in five Americans are unsure of exactly how bigoted they are. This is within a couple of percent of Ted Cruz' numbers in the latest national poll, and I find it hard to believe that's a coincidence.

If you find these numbers shocking, you haven't been paying attention. America's nasty streak has been in full effect for a while. Long before everyone, or at least 57% of everyone, decided Trump's Muslim ban was totally unacceptable, supposed moderates like Jeb Bush were telling us how easy it would be to screen refugees and only let in the Christian ones, and got in a lot less trouble than Trump's in right now. And Trump's not in that much trouble. More than he's been in before, but less than you'd think, and not enough to touch his poll numbers.

Of course, one reason Trump's poll numbers are untouchable is that he embodies one of the core values of modern Republicanism - the automatic rejection of any criticism. This is also known as the How Dare You Tell Me My Awful Idea Is Awful, You Fucking Hippie Principle, most recently aimed at Dick Cheney.

The current apotheosi of this attitude are a Texas gun rights group, "Open Carry Tarrant County", who still plan to hold a "mock mass shooting", complete with cardboard guns, cardboard victims, and fake blood, as close to the University of Texas campus as the university will allow. Which, currently, is as far away from the university as the university can legally manage.

It is an awful, awful idea. It's awful even if, like protest spokesman Matthew Short, you're dumb enough to believe that the biggest problem with mass shootings are the gun-free zones on college campuses that are keeping the level-headed college students of the University of Texas from taking down potential shooters in a hail of bullets. It's awful from a public relations perspective, from an optics perspective, and from a more general not being douchewaffles prespective. Which is why it's going forward as planned, because the only thing worse than being the most awful people in the world is admitting that other people might be right when they're telling you how awful you are. Also known as The Trump Doctrine.

And finally, today is the last day of the Bring Back MST3K Kickstarter campaign. Now, longtime readers of this space know that while I am a nerd, I am mostly a skeptical one. And those of you who read OLDNERD know that I'm especially skeptical about revivals of long-dormant properties. I'm still wary as fuck about The Force Awakens. I'm perfectly happy with new things replacing the old things. Give me Pacific Rim over Godzilla any day.

But I'm gonna enjoy at least nine new episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Maybe 12 new ones if the last day hits the $5.5 million target. Because it seems to me, from everything they've said and everything they've done, that they want to make something new, informed by the spirit of the original. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm not wrong very often. So if you were on the fence about donating to the Kickstarter, my advice would be to go for it. If nothing else, they've clearly got enough of their shit together that it won't be one of those Kickstarter vaporware deals that takes years longer than planned, or disappears entirely. Plus, Patton Oswalt as the son of TV's Frank? Who doesn't want to see that?