I was working on a more ambitious post, but I don’t have the requisite coherence at the moment, so here are some conversation starters instead. First up, I keep laughing and thinking, “This is the best New York Times Pitchbot tweet ever!” And then Doug tops the previous entry with a gem like this:
We wanted to understand why Critical Race Theory was being taught in Middle Earth schools. So we talked to three Orcs at a Panera Bread in Mordor.
— New York Times Pitchbot (@DougJBalloon) September 6, 2022
Context: conservative morons are freaking out because there are people of color in “Rings of Power,” a Prime video series based on JRR Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings.” Same with “House of Dragons,” a “Game of Thrones” prequel spinoff. Apparently there are lots of stupid people who can suspend disbelief for fantasy worlds that include hobbits and elves and dragons and nazgûls, but the magic spell breaks if someone who doesn’t have white skin appears onscreen.
Some dumbass who criticized the “Rings of Power” casting said that since Tolkien infused his work with Northern European mythology, the people should be white, and casting people who aren’t white is like white people appropriating African or Asian mythology and casting white people in the films. (And we all know that never happens!) Someone on Twitter said the person making this argument probably has a painting of Jesus that looks like Bradley Cooper. Sounds about right.
In other news, Peter Thiel has got to be on any short list of the creepiest fucks on the planet:
Peter Thiel is backing a "femtech"/wellness firm that is against birth control pills and women "working out like men," and is harvesting period-related data: https://t.co/HMdKBeoi6D
— Tim Marchman (@timmarchman) September 6, 2022
Every billionaire is a policy failure, but they are also potential case studies in how unaccountable people with vast piles of cash can twist society to reflect their own bizarre worldview. The corrupt SCOTUS shows how that works. Also the MAGA judge in Florida with her dumb “special master” ruling. We’ll be feeling the effects of a corrupt judiciary for the rest of our lives. I hope the radicals will experience Cat 5 blowback, but in the meantime, real people will suffer and die, and our ability to deliver justice is further compromised.
The linked Vice article says Thiel “reportedly expressed an interest in having young people’s blood transfused into his own body as a potential fountain of youth.” He is also trying to infuse the body politic with younger reactionary elites in Trump’s faux-populist mode, including Blake Masters and JD Vance.
It’s not going well according to Politico (no linky for the stinky, but you can copy-paste the text below into Google to find it). As one GOP strategist quoted in the article put it, “they’re getting killed among women:”
In Arizona, for example, men and women had very similar preferences in the last two Senate races in 2018 and 2020, according to exit polling by TV networks and the Fox News/Associated Press exit poll. But in Fox’s latest 2022 survey, GOP nominee Blake Masters led by 8 percentage points among men but was trailing overall because he was getting crushed among women by 22 points.
The article notes that GOP candidates like Masters, Laxalt and Vance are creating ads featuring their wives to “soften” the candidates’ image as hard-right radicals who don’t believe women deserve recognition as fully equal human beings. You can see how Thiel might have overlooked that minor detail.
BTW, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is showcasing his wife and female lieutenant governor these days, and I assume it’s for the same reason. I don’t think hiding behind skirts will help any of them. The question is will the non-reactionary electorate show up in November. We’ll see.