Friday links! Naked villainy edition


One of the most depressing features of the modern world is the difficulty in identifying villains. Awful scumbags are out there, obviously, but they tend to be “controversial” rather than openly evil. Deteriorating certainty in both morals and reportage has made any given villain debatable. Where once we might say with confidence that Glenn Beck was a fat liar who cried to get attention, now we can only disagree with him. Personally, I miss the old certainty. It may have cost us a few witches, but to definitively call other people villains is a satisfying atavism, like eating chicken with your hands. Today is Friday, and we still have a few unequivocal villains left. Won’t you point the finger with me?

I say unto you: no matter what you did today, and regardless of what awful secrets lurk in your past, you are not as bad as the people who sell fake tuberculosis drugs. In his op-ed at the New York Times, Roger Bate cheerily informs us that not only is phony TB medicine rampant in Africa, but it’s also making existing strains of the disease resistant to real drugs. So in addition to selling fake medicine to the dying, people are also making tuberculosis stronger. Feel the self-righteous anger. Let it control you.

Now turn it on this blue-eyed idiot. Steve King has declared that nothing can stop him from campaigning for the retiring Tom Harkin’s Senate seat in Iowa, although he also hasn’t decided to run yet. He is soliciting donations, however, because Karl Rove’s Conservative Victory Project called him unelectable. “Nobody can bully me out of running for the U.S. Senate,” he wrote in an email to supporters, “not even Karl Rove and his hefty war chest.” Seriously, though, he hasn’t decided if he’s running. Are you confused yet? Shut up and give Steve King money. He needs it to explain why the president “doesn’t believe in life and families.”

It’s a fact: powerful people are working to undermine the fundamental values of human experience, and most of them are black. No longer allowed to spread misinformation and paranoia on Fox News, Glenn Beck soldiers on with his website The Blaze, where intrepid reporter Liz Klimas wonders whether Beyoncé flashed an Illuminati symbol during the Super Bowl halftime show. Seriously: she made a triangle with her hands, and a triangle can have only one meaning. The beauty of this article is how transparently Klimas knows she is propagating bullshit. “Some are saying this dance move is a symbol of the Illuminati,” she writes. “Others say it is a symbol used for her husband Jay-Z Carter’s [sic] record label, Roc-A-Fella Records.” Yeah, it’s the second one. Some say, though—some say.

I was absolutely certain this video was fake when The Cure sent it to me earlier in the week:


Then I found this website that said it was real and…okay, I accept. Also the Fresno Bee says it happened, and if we can’t trust the Fresno Bee, all is lost. No word yet on whether that guy actually was Jesus Christ, or whether Kai has been allowed to keep traveling the country enforcing his version of justice with a hatchet.

It’s a hard life for a tramp. Just ask Pete Seeger circa 1962:


Don’t worry—most of the skeptical twentysomethings in the crowd shots are dead now. Also, “Way Out There” is better known as the theme to Raising Arizona. Also also, yodeling really is easy if you commit to it, and your downstairs neighbor can go fuck himself.

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