Three Degrees of Separation From Reality

« June 2005 »

It may not actually be evident to the reader, but there are a number of factors I consider when deciding what to cover in this space - a hierarchy of stupidity, if you will, where attention is paid out proportionate to the offense. Case in point:

When Smart People Say Stupid Things - Light coverage.

I love scientists as much as the next guy, presuming the next guy doesn't live in Kansas. But Michael Osterholm, public health professor at the U of M, desperately needs to work on his analogies. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"Make no mistake about it: Of all the infectious diseases influenza is the lion king. I don't know what else to say except, 'We're screwed.'" - Now, I hated that fucking movie too, but I don't think it's going to kill us all. Even the sequel only resulted in the deaths of a few thousand people. On the other hand, I'd love to see James Earl Jones walk to the top of a cliff and start blowing snot-rockets off it to the cheers of the assembled animal throngs below.

When Stupid People Lie Through Their Filthy Fucking Teeth - Heavy, rage-filled coverage.

I know I touched on this a bit yesterday, but man, is that Bill Frist one rancid, strychnine-laced turd or what? I understand he was in a bit of an awkward situation, having been caught in a moment of politically expedient wrongheadedness, but at least own up to it a little, douchebag.

As you may recall, during the Schiavo Embarassment, Frist took the Senate floor to declare that Schaivo wasn't that bad off, and with therapy, could probably go on to a productive career as a speechwriter for Michele Bachmann. OK, not precisely that. But here's what he did say.

"She certainly seems to respond to visual stimuli." - Note "certainly" and "visual", two vitally important words. The latter because the autopsy showed that Schiavo couldn't see a goddamn thing, and the former because "certainly" means you're CERTAIN. Yet, when confronted by proof of his own dipshittitude, Frist decided to rewrite history. ACTUAL LIE TIME!

"I never, never, on the floor of the Senate, made a diagnosis, nor would I ever do that." - Except you did. You put on the mantle of a doctor and proclaimed to millions of people who would hear or read your words, your thoughts on the medical status of a patient. You knew your past profession would give your words extra weight, and you knew, no matter how much you want to weasel out of it, that people would hear it as an expert diagnosis. That's a fucking disgrace. But would Frist stop at just "fucking disgrace"? No, he would not.

"I never said, 'she responded'. All we were arguing for on the floor of the Senate was to get an accurate diagnosis before you withdraw the feeding tube from a live person." - You said "certainly seems to respond", Mr. Majority Leader. The "seems" is a weasel, but semantic calculus shows that the "certainly" cancels it out. As for what the right was demanding and the crap they were pulling, it was only three fucking months ago. We all remember what you were doing back then, and "ensuring an accurate diagnosis" wasn't even close. A reprehensible performance, Senator, but not QUTE as pathetic as...

When Stupid People Go Completely Bugfuck - Moderate, mock-heavy coverage.

Nancy Grace. Former prosecutor turned cable-news whore. Also found herself in a bit of an awkward position, having spent the last several months not earning her paycheck by repeatedly proclaiming MIchael Jackson's inevitable conviction. She did not take the verdict well.

"When you have so many little boys coming in and saying, `this happened to me,' you got a $20 million settlement to make one kid go away, a $2 million settlement to make another kid go away, you got a grown man sleeping with little boys. Hello!!" - Ah, the Sarcastic Hello Gambit, made famous, I believe, by Perry Mason. And then, when a juror she was interviewing declined to give his personal opinion on Michael Jackson's paedophilic proclivities, it got ugly.

"I mean, isn't that the point of the justice system, to do what you believe in, what you think is right, for Pete's sake?" - Um, no. The point of the justice system is to establish what you can PROVE is right. Which is probably why Grace left the courtroom for the cable news arena, where nobody has to prove anything. But Grace saved her most bugfuck vitriol for Jackson family lawyer Debra Opri, who told Grace to stop her attempts to re-try the case.

"You know what? You're right. So I guess I don't need to hear from the defense, either, and that would be you!" And that was the last anyone heard from Opri. On the TV show, at least. I'm not suggesting that Grace had her lawyerly rival whacked or something. Still, it's got to suck to be that wrong. So wrong, Tommy Tallarico is suing her for gimmick infringement. Way to go, Grace.