Digital Chum - Virtual fish guts and other nonsense

The Daily Show

This is “Refreshing?”

Many of Trump’s supporters were saying things like “We like him because he says what he means!” and then, after Trump would say something asinine (often) and get criticized for it, they would defend him with statements like “Oh, well that’s not what he meant.” They also said it was refreshing to have someone running for president who wasn’t afraid to speak his mind… no matter whether he was spouting conspiracy theories, blatant (and repeated) lies, or any number of racist, misogynist, xenophobic, homophobic, and what-should-have-been-horrific-to-decent-people things.

And now, as Trevor Noah points out in this clip from The Daily Show on December 14th, 2016, Trump is still speaking his mind, but this time, he’s pretty explicitly saying that he was full of shit and was just playing his audience… and his supporters eat it up. He’s also admitting (in the bit about Paul Ryan), that he’s a thin-skinned, vindictive, spoiled brat who will throw a hissy fit when he doesn’t get his way (or if someone doesn’t fawn over him).

Flawless use of Willy Wonka footage

Jon Stewart, to the surprise of nobody, did a bit about the government shutdown issue, placing blame squarely where it’s deserved.

Making 100% valid points along the way (including a great capper at the end), Stewart shows a clip from the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with a message to House Republicans from a small business owner.

The message is appropriate, but if you carry the reference too far, it would probably be better if the Republicans suffered the fate of Augustus Gloop, something that happened near the beginning of the chocolate factory tour, ensuring Augustus would not be causing trouble when matters of golden eggs and technology were in play.

Stewart backs it up with perfect driving and football analogies, though, so it’s all good.


Satire is a beautiful thing

Amazingly enough, there are still people who claim to understand the science behind global warming, yet make the mistake of thinking localized cold temperatures, such as the recent snowstorms in the Eastern United States, are somehow a refutation of global warming. It’s almost as if they don’t understand the meaning of the key word “global.”

Jon Stewart captures it (and mocks it) perfectly in this Daily Show clip.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Unusually Large Snowstorm

That bit makes fun of the “local versus global” aspect of global warming denialism and it is amusing, but at its heart is a serious issue… the denialist combination of ignorance and arrogance fueled by political and/or religious ideology. It’s a combination that inspires deniers to manufacture evidence, take evidence out of context, twist and distort evidence, and cherry pick evidence in their attempts to bolster their cause.

What makes it worse is that the denialist propaganda seems to be having its intended effect. Despite overwhelming evidence showing that our planet is warming faster than what natural cycles would indicate and that the warming is strongly affected by human activity, fewer and fewer people accept the science. What makes the denialist position so successful? Is it because their “evidence” is valid? …because their position is somehow warranted? Or is it, perhaps, that climate science is complicated… and therefore boring to a lot of people? Could it be that it takes too much effort to research the basics in order to gain a modicum of understanding of the science? …that real science is hard?

Here’s a hint. It’s not because denialist “evidence” is valid (and yes, the scare quotes are warranted).

Certainly, it’s far, far easier to look out the window at an above-average snowfall and conclude that no warming is occurring… and if that nicely-boxed conclusion is spruced up by your strongly-held ideology or by a level of (perhaps understandable) apathy that makes you susceptible to the loud voices of denialism, then it’s fairly easy to consider the matter closed and ignore any further evidence to the contrary.

That’s the scary result of politics trying to invalidate science… or religion trying to invalidate science. People get bad information and then they get the idea that there’s a controversy (where none should exist), or they start to think that scientists are full of crap, or that a biologist is the same as an astrophysicist (ie… a scientist is a scientist is a scientist), or that politicians have some sort of special “in” when it comes to the truth. People start to think that the scientific process is broken, or that a single mistake invalidates years (or even decades) of research, or that a scientist in a bitchy mood indicates that scientists are corrupt, or that scientists should be automatons who never get cranky when quote-mined by some junk-science-peddling politician.

The denialists’ position against global warming science is political, pure and simple. It can be summarized by the idea that, because the fix would be a hassle (or expensive), they want nothing to do with it. On that foundation is built their structure of misinformation… with twists, distortions, and lies… that only continues to stand because they yell loudly, they yell repeatedly, and they yell authoritatively. They do it with a self-righteous arrogance, implying that anyone who disagrees is not only wrong, but unpatriotic and stupid… perhaps socialist, too. They set up towering straw men to burn to the ground with their trite arguments, paying no mind to whether the argument is scientifically valid.

Despite all the denialists’ blustering, the thing they lack is truth. Perhaps truth isn’t important to them as long as they get their way, but truth is the intended destination of science.

The scientific process is self-correcting. Mistakes are sometimes made, but through the process, those mistakes are found and corrected. Science moves on, leaving behind an understanding of our world that is just a little bit better than before. That’s what science does. It moves. It progresses. It refuses to settle. It refuses to stop.

…and all the denialist blustering in the world won’t keep it from moving ahead.

Jon Stewart on Healthcare… LOL!

Despite Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show on Comedy Central being an actual… well… comedy show, he tends to deliver more relevant and accurate commentary than many of the standard news analysts. He does it in the following clip about the healthcare town hall meetings and surrounding issues. I could comment more, but he pretty much covers it.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Healther Skelter
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Healthcare Protests
(thanks to The Invisible Pink Unicorn for the link)