Facebook is in deep trouble with American conservatives because of its alleged censoring of right-wing leaning stories in its Trending feed, as much as a web site used by 1.6 billion people, most of whom are not Americans, and an owner worth between 3 and 5 Donald Trumps put together can be in deep trouble.
Which is to say, not much. Even though Mark Zuckerberg is going to meet with leading conservatives, purportedly to do a little booty-smooching, what are they going to do to him if they don't get their way? Wear ties with frowny face emojis stamped all over them? Unfriend him? Even if he goes away pouting because conservatives refuse to “Like” him, he can probably get himself back in a cheery mood by buying a couple new islands.
And nobody I know gets their news from Facebook. They get their cat videos and pictures of other people's food from Facebook. The web site is go-to for both of those.
But Zuckerman did not get to be a quadzillionaire by not giving people what they want, and there likely are conservatives on Facebook, who can probably be described as “people who need help from their grandchildren every time they want to use Facebook,” and he knows there's no sense alienating any of his billion and a half plus customers, so there's no doubt Facebook's Trending feed has already been tweaked so that it is a bubbling stream of conservative thought.
So I logged into my Facebook page at this moment (7:51 Pacific time, May 20th, 2016) and right now am going to let both of my readers know whether the Trending news stories are perceptively more conservative.
Right away you can tell they are trying. The first one comes from Washington, DC itself, where a LGBT rights bill was defeated by conservatives, because they think LGBTers aren't “human” and therefore don't deserve “rights.” Liberals, who want to start another giant government bureaucracy to give rights away like they are food stamps or pictures of missing children, are booing the vote and shouting “Shame!”
It's accompanied by a C-Span video of this actually happening, so this is “news,” although not particularly interesting or unpredictable news. It's not the kind of news that conservative really like to watch, which would be footage of Hillary Clinton wearing a hijab and actually leading the attack in Benghazi. So Zuckerman may be trying here, but I think he's missed the mark.
The second item is #NationalSendANude Day, which was yesterday. Many people failed to observe this holiday in the proper spirit, me included, not because I am against putting myself nude on the Internet, or anywhere, but because I lack the Photoshop skills to paste a black rectangle, a la Kardashian, over my genitals in the pic, which I would want to do because I don't want my full Monty to be retweeted to underage people for legal reasons. This principle is part of my lifelong and intermittently successful campaign to avoid jail time.
Certainly conservatives don't want to go to jail, and many of them don't, despite being indicted at far higher rates than the population as a whole.* So I would say Zuckerman hit the mark with putting #NationalSendANude Day in Trending.
The third item Trending is that the web site PornHub.com (I'm not linking to PornHub here, because I'm fairly confident both of my readers already have it bookmarked) is launching a fitness program called BangFit, which claims you can sex your way to physical fitness. I suspect satire here. Most exercise experts say getting in shape requires at least thirty minutes of cardio at least three times a week, and most couples have sex for three minutes at a time three times a month, after which the male goes out and brags to his friends about how good he is at it and the female goes out and complains to her friends at excruciating length about how bad he is at it, especially compared to other men she has had sex with that she has had the good sense not to tell him about. Complaining is not cardio. PornHub is branching out from posting free porn to posting free humor, which means they're competing with me and they have millions more dollars to try and be funnier with. Screw them.
But I digress. Satire is never a conservative thing. Conservatives lack the satirical gene. Conservatives try to joke about Harry Reid and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, without realizing that most of us don't even know who these people are. It's absolutely vital that your audience know who the hell you are making fun of. If a conservative comic gets tired of telling ethnic or gay jokes and tries to slip in a Debbie Wasserman Schultz joke, only the other conservatives in the audience will laugh. Other people will just think “Who is that? I think I've heard of her. Does she breed Shar-peis or something?”
So Zuckerman is pulling a fast one here. Just when he pretends to be kowtowing to the high priests of right-wing thought, he's posting stuff that he thinks they won't understand.
I'm letting him know here, conservatives don't like to be made fun of.
Trust me on that.
*Weren't aware of this "fact?" That's because I just made it up to suit my argument. I learned how from following the current election campaign. Praise the Donald!
Science poobah Neil deGrasse Tyson has said he is open to the idea that our entire universe is a simulation, which means that all human wrangling, not to mention every star and bit of stardust out there, is only as real as the video games you can download for your cell phone.
A lot of people are uncomfortable with this idea, but it is the job of science to seek after truth, and tell it to us even if it makes us uncomfortable. We civilians cannot direct the path of scientific inquiry. I personally would like scientists to discover that drinking beer makes you immortal, but all the scientists I have implored to research the brew=live forever theory have ignored my suggestions, even though I always volunteer to participate in any field trials they may come up with.
The idea that that all our thoughts, dreams, desires, loved ones, homes and gift cards are merely programs on some uber-computer outside of our universe can be unnerving (or liberating if you, as I strive to, consider apathy to be a virtue) but it explains one thing for sure—why God is such a dick.
Because God is playing this video game, and if He is like the average video game player in this simulated existence, He is an awkward teenage boy, bulging with insecurities and unfulfilled sexual desires. He is playing Earth while being nagged to do His homework by His mom and being lightly bullied on uber-Facebook by his frenemies.
The simulation theory explains why He doesn’t listen to our prayers, because teenage boys don’t listen to anyone but other teenage boys. It also explains why He has a predilection for appearing to virgins, because more sexually experienced females make Him nervous.
Shaking us with earthquakes and blowing our homes into matchsticks doesn’t matter to Him, because He knows we’re not real. If He’s playing online with other teenage boy-Gods, they type comments to each other as conflagration after conflagration wipes out goodly portions of humanity. When Hiroshima went up, the conversation probably went something like this:
Did you see that mushroom cloud, bitches?
That was soooo badass, dude.
That’s why America is my chosen nation, bro. They really know how to kick tail.
If the universe as a simulation theory is correct, we’ve been going all wrong in our approach to God throughout the entire history of religion. Addressing Him as the Almighty and All-Powerful just strikes Him as sarcasm—He knows it's not true. He knows He's not getting His learner’s permit unless He gets at least a C in algebra, and He's raging at all the girls in the high school class above Him that pretend He doesn’t exist.
It would be better to pray to Him with advice that will help Him get through those troubled teenage years, advice like “It gets better, God” and “If you’ve been watching porn, oh Lord, don’t forget to erase your browser history.”
And forget praying for world peace. Chances are, it’s just not written into the program.
Well, there you have it. This election cycle is officially the most loathsome ever, as the Koch Brothers, petroleum magnates who want to frack the Grand Tetons down to the size of a really scary roller coaster, and are willing to spend a billion bucks or so to buy high office for any politician that will let them, are keeping their hands in their pockets for 2016, and have even muttered that Hillary Clinton might be an acceptable President.
It is highly doubtful that Hillary will really let the Koch boys do what they want, which is to find the most unspoiled wilderness in America and crisscross it with leaky pipelines, so the resignation of the brothers to her election is merely disgust expressed by them at the merchandise available.
It started out so promisingly for them, too—the Republican field was amply filled with candidates who were eager to sell themselves for Koch bucks—Jeb “Don’t Call Me Bush” Bush, Marco "I Should Have Run Next Time, When People Wouldn't Realize I was Such a Lightweight” Rubio, Scott “The Time to Quit is Now” Walker and Chris “I Should Have Run Last Time, Before People Realized I Was Such a Dick” Christie.
Now even Ted “Lucifer Incarnate” Cruz and his prematurely anointed running mate Carly “If You Need Somebody That Can Seem Even More Insincere and Robotic Than Hillary I’m Your Girl” Fiorina, and John “Nobody Actually Votes for Me" Kasich are gone.
All those guys, and many more, were eager to fill their campaign chests with Koch bucks and more than willing to spend them arguing that America’s biggest problems are Planned Parenthood and the fact that some billionaires pay so much in taxes they can only afford one private island.
We all know what happened to them. The man who would be America’s first orange President blew them all out of the running by promising to rid us of Mexican rapists by building the biggest wall since China’s (which, by the way, is also raping us) along the border, and solving all of our international problems by waterboarding anybody that screws with him.
You may think The Donald is a breath of fresh air, but so was Hurricane Sandy. The Koch brothers are not going to put a billion behind the ski-mogul-haired mogul.
And for sure the Kochs are not going to be feeling the Bern anytime in this plane of existence.
So it looks like we’re going to get Clinton II, unopposed at least by America’s biggest buyers of candidates, and it will probably be okay. It would take a real meteorological event of feces for it to turn out worse than Bush II. It’s just not going to be as much fun having Hillary as President as it is having a cool black guy as President and, let’s face it, Obama is cool. Even if you hate him you have to admit that. If you're not willing to do even that, it really is because you’re a racist, so quit swearing you're not one.
Hillary will be our first Grandmother President, if she doesn’t get indicted, but she’s not the kind of grandmother everybody wants to have, the kind that bakes cookies all day and lets you stay up as late as you want when you spend the night at her house. She’s the kind of grandmother that looks over your report card critically and won’t let you play video games until you’ve done your homework.
So it’s not going to be as much fun, for you, me, or the Koch brothers. But it will probably work.
I want this to be the last thing I write about the 2016 elections but it probably won't be--the GOP convention promises to be an exercise in public idiocy that will reverberate through the ages, and I probably won't be able to suffer through it silently.
But I would rather.
There's a button up there for that.
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