We all know that it’s “cool” to work hard and play by the rules. That’s what our heroes do, from Captain America to Hillary Clinton. But what if hard work and rulesmanship were not, in fact, what we admire about those two fictional characters? What if winning were actually the coolest thing a person can do? Obviously I’m being facetious, since our society remains deeply committed to ethical behavior. But perhaps someday, in the distant future, cheating might become not accepted, per se, but so widespread that it no longer provokes outrage. Today is Friday, and cynicism benefits the crooked. Won’t you pretend it’s a big deal to catch ’em with me?
The more things change, the more they stay the same: a favorite among people whose concept of history is terrifyingly limited. As one such person, I can’t help but notice that a lot of old-timey things have been happening lately. We’re holding the Olympics in a country led by a charismatic strongman with a vexed human rights record. Rich people are more comparatively rich than they have been since the Gilded Age. And from Venezuela to Ukraine to Thailand, people are rioting in the streets re: democracy. Today is Friday, and the lamest aspects of the past are all set to kick in again. Won’t you stay the same with me?
There must have been some point when the internet was a reliable source. The first time someone was lied to over the internet—probably in 1979, when Al Gore had to enter each new email address manually—it was like getting lied to in a letter. Then there was a long time when finding a lie on the internet was approximately as scandalous as finding a lie in the newspaper. Your aunt still lives in this time. The rest of us now encounter falsehood on the internet as a feature of the medium. Today is Friday, and nothing you read on this screen is necessarily true. Won’t you make the classic blunder with me?
God, I love it when Mitt Romney does things. Yesterday the presumptive Republican nominee went to London the way your aunt goes to a new Olive Garden: critically. While most of his remarks about the 2012 Olympics have been positive, he told Brian Williams that reports of logistical problems before the games were “disconcerting.” I hope you’re happy, Mitt Romney, because your wife’s horse is screwed now. Today is Friday, and rich people around the world will take a half day but get no less money. It’s a fantastic time to be wealthy, even if you are an asshole, and today’s link roundup is bedazzled with cash and anuses. Won’t you get it but not get it with me?
Michelle Obama has those arms, but Ann Romney is kind of an Olympian. She owns a dressage horse, Rafalca, who will compete in the 2012 Summer Games in London alongside trainer Jan Ebeling. Over at the New Yorker, Amy Davidson asks whether that means we have to cheer for Ann Romney at the Olympics. We definitely have to cheer Rafalca, because what—am I to root for some Russian horse instead? But the question of whether that equals cheering for Ann Romney is less clear. Eberling is the one who actually rides Rafalca, putting Romney at another degree of remove from even being the person who sits on top of the actual competitor. It’s a tricky way to be an Olympian, as Mitt Romney has acknowledged. “She’s the athlete,” he told Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation. “But in this case, it’s not her personally.” Oh.