Did you study abroad in London or Australia? Are you active in the theater? Do you follow Major League Soccer? You could be part of a growing political revolution—a movement to wrest power away from moneyed interests and wrest it back toward the people. If you wear scarves in the summertime, want to make a difference, and know any Democrats over 45, join Dudes Who Say “Cheers” for Bernie Sanders today, meaning Friday. Today is Friday, and the world is full of brand new recognizable types. Won’t you wearily categorize fresh experience with me?
First, the good news: Airing the Democratic debate on two networks last night doubled its ratings. The bad news is that this suggests a substantial number of viewers are people who left the TV on. After the Democratic National Committee accidentally leaked the date and time of last night’s debate, between eight and ten million Americans tuned in. That’s 1.4% of Americans who are eligible to vote.
But the other 98.6% can go stick a thermometer in themselves, because they didn’t get to see this. Neither did I, but I watched it on the internet after:
That’s your boy Bernie Sanders sounding like a stirring orator instead of George Costanza’s dad. Also, people are apparently all worked up about Hillary’s yellow jacket/blouse. If you watch the video, you’ll see that it looks pretty cool from far away and maybe a little weird close up. But Jesus, medioids, don’t worry about what Hillary Clinton is wearing. It’s yellow? Oh no—Sanders has dressed like he’s stuck at the airport for every single one of these. I am told.
Meanwhile, in fancy, Barack Obama has resigned the presidency after his wife landed her dream job in Seattle. “For years, Michelle has placed her ambitions and aspirations on the back burner so I could pursue my own,” he told The Onion, “and now it’s my turn to put her first.” This is a weird kind of joke, but I really like it, in part because if would be a selfless and good thing for Obama to do. Of course it would also be absurd. But I like that this joke turns on someone doing something absurdly good, when jokes work more easily from from the absurdly bad.
Joke how you want, though; you’re never going to top real life. Alert consumptive Ben al-Fowlkes sent me this story about James Woods’s $10 million defamation lawsuit against “Abe List,” a so-far unidentified Twitter user who called him a “cocaine addict” last year. The suit turns on a single tweet. Here’s the exchange as reported in the Times:
Woods: USATODAY app features Bruce Jenner’s latest dress selection but makes zero mention of Planned Parenthood baby parts market
Abe List: cocaine addict James Woods still sniffing and spouting
Boom! Ten million dollars in damage to Woods’s career, in one stroke. Add that to the cost of Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story and I think we’ve just about totaled it. At first the most interesting part of this story seemed to be that Abe List has remained pseudonymous even as he mounts his defense. His identity “in real life,” as the kids say, has yet to be revealed. But it turns out the most interesting part of this case is the distinction Woods’s side draws between “cocaine addict,” which they contend is a claim of fact, and the many insults Woods himself has delivered on Twitter:
They have…pointed to a long list of tweets they noted were sent by Mr. Woods and were inflammatory, including those calling the Rev. Al Sharpton “a disgusting pig directly responsible for the murder of two good policemen,” or using allusions to homosexuality as insults. They also say Mr. Woods has called people “clown” and “scum” and told someone to “put down your crack pipe” on Twitter.
Colorful metaphors, every one. On the internet, they come fast and furious.