“37″ played a significant role in politics this week, first when the House of Representatives voted on the Affordable Care Act for the 37th time.
According to Speaker Boehner, the new vote was held out of respect for House members who hadn’t yet been elected when Congress voted against it for the 36th time.
Also this week, the secret international coalitionof psychiatrists assigned with the task of making Michele Bachmann fit for life in this dimension made their 37th attempt at a cure by fitting her with Google Glasses.
Based on her conduct the rest of the week, it appears they had the wrong prescription.
This week, non-invitee Sarah Palin publicly accused the invited attendees of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner of being “assclowns” — thereby reminding America that she is an assclown.
This prompted Netflix to take advantage of the assclown by pretending she was in a movie called Iron Sky:
“In 1945, the Nazis secretly retreated to the moon. When a new space shuttle mission threatens to expose them, they put the finishing touches on a plot to invade Earth. The director’s cut of this sci-fi comedy is a Netflix exclusive.”
Quick Programming Note:
Find out how you can be part of Lester & Charlie’s new book project!
Click here: Please Stand By
Now, This Week’s Poll!
It was heartening to see so many in the media rush to point out that, in the immediate aftermath of the horrific explosions at the Boston Marathon last Monday, so many people — runners, cops, spectators — rushed toward the chaos to help the injured, despite knowing that anything could happen next.
We’re gripping tightly to the thought that so many people didn’t hesitate to help, given what so many right-wing lunatics were rushing to do instead. It took only minutes for the first conservative conspiracy theories to start pinballing around the Internet. Too many conservatives are twisted enough to take any tragedy — from Boston to Newtown to Aurora — and turn it into an opportunity to prance.
Was there a Facebook page set up to memorialize the victims two days before the explosions went off? Is Obama behind this? Family Guy? Unbelievably, the first question Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick received at the news conference after the attack was “Was this another false flag staged attack to take our civil liberties?” (Note the clever use of the word “another” in that question, presupposing that there have been others.) The governor was quick to respond with a terse “No.” We agree with Rex Huppke, writing in the Chicago Tribune, who gave the governor credit for restraint for not answering, “No, you idiot.” We can think of a few other impolite words Patrick could have said.
And it wasn’t just the conspiracies that were turning our stomachs. A FOX News guest, Erik Rush, helpfully tweeted — before the FBI even had any suspects — that Muslims were “evil” and we should “kill them all.” A Wall Street Journalist tore Obama apart for daring to make a statement instead of parroting John Boehner’s “moment of silence.” (Though we’ll admit it’s helpful whenever Boehner decides to shut up.)
Patrick Dollard, a contributor to Breitbart News, wasted no time tweeting his claim that “GEORGE BUSH KEPT US SAFE FOR 8 YEARS.” Who is he blaming that whole “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the US” memo fiasco on? Jimmy Carter?
We suppose, given what happened after Newtown and what happened after Aurora (and countless other tragedies), that we really shouldn’t be surprised. And social media and the 24-hour news cycle are just making things worse.
Or was it always like this, and we just weren’t paying attention? Let’s take a quick trip into the recent and not-so-recent past and try to figure out: What conservative conspiracies have we missed over the years? What do YOU think?
“My mom used to say that Greek Easter was later because then you get stuff cheaper.” ~Amy Sedaris
Happy Easter, everyone!
And Don’t Forget, Please!
A Lester & Charlie Programming Note
Everyone over a certain age can tell a story about television test patterns: The insomniac’s best friend, the promise of programming worth watching, the proof that you were slowly being dragged into the digital age.
And everyone under a certain age has no idea what those above a certain age are talking about. Which is because no one has ever written a coffee table book about them that fits in a Kindle!
But we’ve got that covered. Enter “Please Stand By: Lester and Charlie’s 50 Favorite Test Patterns.”
And we’re holding a fundraiser to help offset a few of the costs.
We’d like to thank the folks who have jumped in and donated a few dollars to the cause, and remind the rest of you that there’s still time. Even a dollar helps!
Quick Programming Note:
Find out how you can be part of Lester & Charlie’s new book project!
Click here: Please Stand By
Now, This Week’s Poll!
We’ve been wondering: Is there anyone out there that the GOP doesn’t hate?
Don’t get us wrong. You don’t have to have a conservative black-and-white view of the world to get a thrill out of cheering heroes and hissing villains. We all enjoy a character we can love to despise! But, with a whopping 36% of Republicansnow saying that it’s the people in their own party who are the bad guys, it’s getting awfully hard for conservatives to know who to hiss at.
So they’re getting desperate, even looking back in history. Why else would they be trotting out hippies — yes, hippies! — as the latest examples of evil incarnate? That’s what they’re doing in Bobby Jindal’s Louisiana, where a voucher school is now using an 8th grade “history” book titled “America: Land I Love” to teach kids that “hippies” are really dirty, ragged Satanists! (Check out the link; we’re not exaggerating.)
Just when it started to look like the GOP had run out of contemporary suspects to demonize (union workers, welfare queens, people who don’t like their kids getting shot), along comes Linda Harvey, founder of the Ohio-based Christian Organization Mission:America, to remind us: Everything can be blamed on the gays!
Last Tuesday, Harvey denounced the venerable Girls Scouts of America for promoting lesbianism by featuring homosexuals in their materials, using “radical feminists” as role models, and just overall man-hating! “Unless you have an attitude of suspicion toward males in general,” Harvey accused the GSA of teaching girls, “unless you bring home a paycheck and unless you have a worldview based on self-indulgence with never a notion of sacrifice, you as a woman are really diminished in worth.” Listen up, girls. Linda Harvey wants you to know your place.
Though the GSA angle may be new, Harvey has been obsessed with homosexuality for some time. She previously called gay rights advocates “fascists” and “masters of demonic manipulation,” called the Obama administration’s efforts to promote equal rights a “humanitarian disgrace” and even called the It Gets Better video series — the series that reaches out to young gay kids to tell them that life probably won’t suck forever — wrong, evil and dark. She’s so obsessed with homosexuality that the Southern Poverty Law Center went as far as to designate Mission:America as an active hate group a year ago. But Harvey’s not likely to let it go. We gotta wonder what happened to her as a kid to make her hate homosexuals this much. Did she once have a crush on Rock Hudson?
Well, we decided to have a little fun at Linda Harvey’s expense. Since she’s bound to see a radical gay conspiracy behind almost anything, we’re wondering what will make her explode next. What do YOU think? Tell us!
“I remember growing up with television, from the time it was just a test pattern, with maybe a little bit of programming once in a while.”
~Francis Ford Coppola
We don’t see many these days, but there was a time when television test patterns were inescapable. Like television itself, they telegraphed a promise – a promise that tomorrow would be another day, that you could stay up all night and not be completely alone, that sooner or later something truly worth watching would show up on your screen.
Whether or not these promises were met is up for debate. But what’s undeniable is that test patterns played a significant role in the history of television, technology, culture and mass psychology.
It’s time for those nocturnal test patterns to get their day in the sun. And that’s why Lester & Charlie are writing a book about them!
And we need your help.
A small donation will help us afford to track down ownership of the test patters we’ve curated and procure reproduction rights. A couple tweets, a re-post of this column and even your recollections will be incredibly valuable.
Here’s a starting point to visit if you want to get involved!
This week, intrepid Republican voting auditors scored an “I told you so!” after catching Minnesota resident and suspected Obama supporter Margaret Schneider in a voting fraud scheme.
The face of fraud
86-year-old Schneider, who suffers from both Parkinson’s and dementia, admits that she probably did send in an absentee ballot several weeks prior to casting a vote in person during the 2012 primary! She faces up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
(Quick Programming Note: To find out how you can be part of Lester & Charlie’s new book project, click here: Please Stand By)
America has a tradition of some pretty wacky roadside attractions. Like the Sod Museum in Nebraska, the Twine Ball Museum in Minnesota and Washington D.C.’s very own House Science Committee.
Few of these oddities can hold a candle to Kentucky’s famous Creation Museum. The Creation Museum, if you’re some kind of Neanderthal unfamiliar with it, is the go-to place for any young-Earth scientist in the mood to, say, weep at tear-jerking videos of the Scopes Monkey Trial. Or ogle dioramas showing humans and dinosaurs peacefully co-existing. Or hobnob with like-minded museum employees, all of whom have signed a “statement of faith” agreeing that “no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record.”
Founder Ken Ham’s Creation Museum has been called “the Creationist Disneyland.” The UK’s Guardian called it “one of the weirdest museums in the world.” (That’s an impressive distinction, seeing as it’s not only competing with said Twine Ball Museum but also with that museum in Japan that’s dedicated solely to instant ramen noodles.)
Sounds to us like the Creation Museum is the perfect mecca for both Bible thumpers and potheads! That’s why we were shocked to learn that this major, multimillion-dollar facility has suddenly found itself taking a crash course in survival of the fittest.
In other words, attendance at the Creation Museum was down 10% in 2012, continuing a four-year downward spiral and setting a new low. Making matters worse, dwindling revenue is jeopardizing completion of Ham’s next big project, a theme park centered around a full-size replica of Noah’s Ark!
Why is the museum’s attendance tanking? Are the zealots getting all the creationism jabberwocky they need from Michele Bachmann, Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal for free?
We’re betting that there are still plenty of certifiable lunatics willing to shell out $30 for a stroll through the Dinosaur Den, ride a camel through the Garden of Eden and sneak into the planetarium to make sure that Earth is still in the center.
So let’s put our heads together and come up with a few ideas that might get them some welcome attention. If we’re lucky, there’ll be enough cash left over to finish building Ham’s Ark Encounter! And we can all say we did our part building a better, weirder America.
Tell us: What do YOU think are some awesome ideas to sell more tickets to Kentucky’s Creation Museum?
The Higgs-boson may be on its way to proving that the universe is inherently unstable, but it seems to us that nothing could be as unstable as the clown car leading the Republican party.
Just this week, an email from the Grand Poobah of the Tea Party Patriots went out with the subject line, “Wipe the Smirk Off Karl Rove’s Face!” And it included a picture of the esteemed GOP strategist photoshopped to look like the Nazi officer Heinrich Himmler.
The Tea Party’s beef with Rove – what this non sequitur of a photoshop job is trying to telegraph to believers – is that Rove’s recent attempts to raise support for establishment, rather than insane, candidates is nothing short of pure evil.
Understandably, after the lousy return on investment from his American Crossroads Super-PAC in the 2012 elections, Rove is eager to rally support for slightly more electable conservative candidates, ones who spend at least a few hours a day in this century and might even be able to read, write and cross-multiply. Gone are the far-right witches like Christine O’Donnell or creepy rape-obsessed goblins like Todd Akin.
“But wait!” says the Tea Party. “Sane candidates are not going to be on our butterfly ballots!” So to foil Rove’s Sisyphean attempt at finding someone both marginally sane and Republican, they’ve set up a new PAC to “help Tea Party candidates challenge entrenched, big-government Republicans for the nomination.”
And — best of all — veteran conservative activist Richard Viguerie hasoffered a whopping $10,000 prize to any grassroots conservative who can “submit a plan or ideas to take over the Republican Party, win the November 2016 elections, and govern America by 2017.”
Wow. Uh… $10,000!?! That won’t buy many magic beans for the deserving individual who single-handedly saves America’s two-party system.
We’re fascinated with the image of all those Tea Party wizards who’ll be scratching their pointy heads, sharpening their erasable ink pens and devising a plan to simultaneously save America and put $10,000 in their piggy banks.
But, it’s not their brilliant or perhaps not-so-brilliant ideas that interest us. It’s what they’ll do with that cash. $10,000 could be a huge windfall to whatever poor, white, rural, government-teat-sucking conservative comes up with the best idea to save the GOP.
So we’re wondering: What do YOU think? How will the savior of the GOP spend all that prize money?