You Are Dumb, which is not a blog, posts new columns every weekday, except for a couple of days each month when it doesn't. It is also a Twitter feed, @youaredumb, with content in a similar vein but much shorter. My spinoff food site, Forkbastard, can be found easily enough by the clever.
E-memo to firstname.lastname@example.org: U R DUM
I will say this about corrupt politicians. For all the harm they do to society - peddling their influence, whoring out their vote, auctioning off the well-being of the American citizen like it was a used DVD on eBay... they almost manage to make up for it by the sheer entertainment value when they get caught.
Randy Cunningham's crocodile tears. William Jefferson's freezer. Over three decades later, can we even measure the subsequent joy we, as a people, have gotten out of Richard Nixon's taxonomic error? Because after all, he WAS a crook. And the instant he said he wasn't, he created a cultural touchstone that endures long after whatever they got from that hotel room became useless.
And to these hallowed ranks we must enshrine Bob Ney's Blackberry. You know Bob Ney. Either for his tireless work as one of Ohio's representatives in Congress, or by his more common sobriquet, "Representative #1". The man's named in so many affadavits he's got half a dozen Word templates named after him.
Bob Ney is, allegedly, more crooked than an eight-dimensional small intestine. Bob Ney is, allegedly, caught up in the whole Jack Abramoff / David Safavian influence peddling mess. His chief of staff has pled guilty to accepting favors, and is providing plenty of fascinating information - information that has been reported in the media, in part by reporter Paul Krawzak.
So you're a Congressman. Your back's against the wall. It's all starting to crumble around you. What do you do? What can you do? Send an embarassing, abusive e-mail to the reporter! And do it on your Blackberry, so that its compositional shortcomings can make you look like even more of a psycho! ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"Let me tell you paul-last week you did not call us for comment 'you were under deadline,' Print the same story-change it to reprint the same story-people in new philly – d’s and r’s call it 'elk’s politics.'" - There are not, as I'm sure you understand, enough [sic]'s in the world for a message like this.
One could say, were one so inclined, that when it comes to press relations, Bob Ney is all thumbs. One would have to be in pretty desperate straits to make a joke like that, though. The kind of desperation only achieved through a complete inability to figure out what the fuck Ney was talking about when he thumbed in "elk's politics".
I'm serious. Google doesn't know what it is. Wikipedia doesn't know what it is. Yahoo doesn't know what it is. As far as I'm concerned, that covers the practical extent of human knowledge. So either Bob Ney is bugfuck crazy, or he made one hell of a typo.
Whelk's politics? Elf's politics? I mean, technically, it'd be "elven politics", but we already know Ney's not a stickler for grammar. Milk politics? Ohio's got a fair amount of dairyland in it. Maybe. Who knows? Ney's certainly not telling. He's too busy yelling at reporters. Oh, did I mention there was more? Because there's more.
"Go for it – harass my wife and daughter a little bit more big man – maybe I will take out an add talking about your ethics."
Which, by the way, would be the bestest thing ever. A sitting congressman taking out a full page "add" complaining about journalistic ethics. The newspaper would get the money, everyone would laugh at the ad, and we'd all win. Except Ney. Who, by the way, made sure the message sank in by sending a SECOND Black-Mail later in the day:
"Please-please-print this paul-you don’t care about ohio-i am sick of your crap. You are a d c person who couldn’t find ohio unless we gave you a map. You don’t give two shoots about our people."
Here we see an example of Bob Ney's moral code. He'll type "crap", but not "shit". I guess that's like how he'll go on golf trips to Scotland with Jack Abramoff, but leaves the actual bribery and favors to his chief of staff. It's good to know, in these troubled times, that a man like Bob Ney has such strict linguistic standards.
I'm beginning to think that not only should we make sure every politician has a government-issue Blackberry, but that they be required, by law, to do all their communicating through it. Rig up a Stephen Hawking voice box thing for public speaking engagements, but EVERYTHING goes through the thumbs. It's not like we'll get any less information out of our elected officials, and after six years of Dubya, we're used to mangled syntax and simplistic word choices.
And any politician who doesn't believe in evolution won't be allowed to use their thumbs.