Friday links! Hilarious failure of others edition

It’s January in Montana, my rocket-powered supertruck has been rendered irrelevant by several layers of plowed snow, it’s somehow raining, but I have a smile on my face. You know why? The mistakes of others. It’s like Jesus said: whenever you’re feeling down, you can always cheer yourself by laughing at how somebody else screwed up. And man, was this a good week for schadenfreude.* If the entire year keeps up at this rate, we’ll spend so much time laughing ruefully that we start pulling up our shirts and pointing at our abdominal muscles every time someone takes a picture. Also, civilization will collapse. You take the good with the bad, I suppose. This week’s link roundup is chockablock with clusterfucks, and it pleases me. I have embraced my spiteful nature. Won’t you come over to the dark side with me?

First, the best thing that has happened maybe ever: two Republican Representatives, Pete Sessions of Texas and Mike Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, missed Wednesday’s House swearing-in ceremony and therefore did not take the oath of office. The two congressmen were elsewhere in the Capitol, pleasingly attending “an event billed as ‘Mike Fitzpatrick’s swearing in celebration.'” My personal favorite part of the article, though, is the sentence “According to sources, the situation came about when the Speaker’s office discovered a photo of Sessions holding his hand up while watching a television showing his fellow colleagues taking the oath on the floor.” My fellow Americans, Representative Sessions has sworn an oath to a television set. Speaker John “The” Boehner administered the oath to Fitzgerald and Sessions on Thursday, but no one really knew what to do from there. Both men cast votes when they were technically not members of the House of Representatives, and Sessions presided over a Rules Committee meeting. Boehner submitted a request to House Democrats to affirm the validity of their votes by unanimous consent, presumably with a Post-It note asking them please not to be dicks.

Meanwhile, in other pesky rules about the government, UFC lightweight Jacob Volkmann was visited by the Secret Service after he told reporters that “someone needs to knock some sense into” Barack Obama. The Minnesota native and former college wrestler, who is not a racist at all, said that Obama’s health care reforms had made it more difficult for him to make money as a chiropractor. Volkmann didn’t really mean it when he said he wanted to fight the President, of course, and explained to the Secret Service that he was only speaking as a health care provider. It’s too bad he wasn’t speaking about the controversial health care reforms as a UFC fighter, because in that capacity he certainly understands split decisions.* Also, if we ever need to quickly explain the Midwest to aliens, we should show them this story about a volunteer high school wrestling coach who publicly threatened the President because he hurt his chiropractic business.

If we need to explain journalism, we should not show aliens this extremely frustrating “news” story from the Huffington Post. Regular readers of Combat! know that I love a good riot, so it was with great excitement that I read the headline “Key Club Riot: Deputies Clash With Concert-Goers Outside Sunset Strip’s Key Club.” It was also with some trepidation, since it was good to know that the Key Club Riot took place at the Key Club. The quality journalism continues with the second paragraph of two, which reads:

It all started around 10:30 p.m. Thursday on Sunset Blvd. between San Vicente Blvd. and Doheny Dr. during a punk show at the club. It was not immediately known what the two sides were fighting about.

That’s it, then: somebody was driving past the Key Club and they saw a big fight. It all started when citizen journalism became intermixed with reputable news.

The only real way to know what you’re getting is to only consume news that’s made up. That’s why I read The Onion, and also because of stuff like this. There’s so much to love about this article, including the incredible Photoshop of Kanye decorating cookies, but I love the dry voice best of all:

The internationally renowned rap star described his many displays of outlandish behavior over the years—running up on stage and interrupting Taylor Swift during the MTV Music Awards, replacing his bottom teeth with diamonds, and posing as Jesus in a crown of thorns on the cover of Rolling Stone—as attempts at self-realization that “totally paid off.”

Here’s a tip for you Kombat! Kids out there: if you need to convey to someone how absurdly doomed to failure a given endeavor is, describe a scenario in which it actually succeeds. Parents, you can use it, too.

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  1. I love how the Onion article on Kanye says that he bought a farm in Springville, IA. I’m glad that the Onion staff in Chicago know their way around the shit-towns of IA!

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