What Stupid Thing Is Trending Now? (9/03/2017)

What dumb things are people talking about now? Oh boy...

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Thank God. Utah has won back our inalienable right to watch full frontal nudity and get completely hammered at the same. The original law not only violated our freedom of speech, (nothing say self expression like gawking at wieners while pounding down a Southern Comfort) but was oddly specific. The ban was only on serving booze during movies that featured naughty bits and boinkin'. I wonder how that law was originally debated. Was there pushback? Did lawmakers argue for degrees of leniency, like allowing a glimpse of nipple while sipping Merlot? Five seconds of areola granted per ounce of vodka? The vague silhouette of a testicle paired with Jack Daniels, but only if you repent afterwards? We'll never know, and it doesn't matter now. Utah is free. Free to slip into blessed inebriation while watching Deadpool wave his cheese-grater dangly bits around.

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It's happening. The robot soap opera that Futurama promised us is coming in the form of the most popular sci fi franchise known to man. BB-8 is getting an evil twin, BB-9E.

I love the design of BB-8's sinister counterpart. I imagine they drafted up a variety of designs, trying on evil mustaches, evil goatees, a British accent, and finally settled on "spherical Darth Vader."

The only possible script for this would begin with BB-8 approaching a hospital bed, where R2-D2 lies, inert. "My love," BB-8 beeps. "I beg you, awaken from your year long coma so we can wed."

"Not so fast!" cries BB-9E, in posh British beeps. "R2-D2 is my fiance! I have it in writing here! As well as the deed to the old mill!"

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BB-8 beep-gasps. "But you... you're dead!"

"Dead? Hah! That fall didn't kill me! But it did give me... AMNESIA!"

The camera zooms dramatically in on BB-9E's face, then BB-8's face, and as the music swells with maudlin drama R2-D2 revives to wail, "NEITHER OF YOU ARE THE FATHER!

The Last Jedi is going to kick ass.

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Rejoice, fellow weakling nerds: we might one day get a gold medal for being good at video games. Finally, generations of skipping out on extracurriculars and fresh air to play Starcraft are paying off, take that, mom! But before we get too excited, the president of the International Olympics Committee (whom I think is named Mr. Olympics) said he would draw the line at violent video games. That would disqualify Starcraft, Overwatch, DOTA, League of Legends, Street Fighter, and approximately all other video games. We'd be left with the Sims and Farmville, which is to eSports as dressage is to real sports (come at me, horse people).

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I think we can all agree on one thing: if Candy Crush ever makes it to the Olympics, pray the Greek Gods come down to earth and give us a good smitin' or turn us all into trees to put us out of our misery.

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I feel bad for Pepe's creator, Matt Furie. I doubt when he drew a cartoon of a frog peeing with his pants all the way down that he'd have known it would somehow get co-opted by racists. He really should have listened to Nostradamus, who divined, "A frog shall pee. His naked buttocks free of confinement. Nazi basement dwellers will worship him as their idol."

Now Furie is avenging his dead frog (whom he killed off in an act of mercy) by going after an alt-right author who stole the character for his book, The Adventures of Pepe and Pede. The author, Eric Hauser, once an assistant principal, tried his hand at writing anti-Islam propaganda for tots. He lost his job.

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The titular "Pede" (centipede) is a cute little nickname ardent Trump supporters gave themselves, because the imagery of thousands of skittering legs and venomous chelicerae is about as flattering as they can get. It's especially fitting for this book, which takes a page out of Nazi propaganda and uses cute pictures to teach children to hate Muslims. The villain, "Alkah," is a bearded alligator made out of mud, with an army of mud-minions who wear burqas. Apparently the mud theme is intentional: "mudslime" is a derogatory term for "Muslim," because racists are parked at preschool levels of insults. And this book is targeted towards preschoolers, with colorful illustrations and "cute" characters. The heroes of the book kill "Alkah" with "truth blossoms," but seriously come on, remember the first rule of writing: show don't tell your thinly veiled racist agenda.

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Furie won a settlement and not only demanded an end to the production of the book, but forced the Eric Hauser to pay all profits to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim-American civil rights group. So wannabe Nazis take note: the next time you try to brainwash children by penning a cutesy screed about ethnic cleansing, try not to violate intellectual property laws.

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Don't you hate it when meteorologists just say it will flood, but instead there's rivers of fire ants? Haha, anyhoo, fire ants are definitely going to inherit the earth after they violently overthrow humanity, enslaving us and eating our faces. What chance do we have against a species that responds to catastrophic flooding by forming giant rafts and collectively going, "Weeeeeeeee!" We're completely boned. Even entomologists, who are a bunch of sick, ant-loving freaks, paint a pretty alarming picture. Alex Wild, an entomologist at UT Austin, said ants are completely down with flooding, and in fact, "It's how they get around." Sounds like these ants have thought a bit too much about how to effectively mobilize.

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Oh, but it gets better, and by better I mean more venomous. Linda Bui encountered fire ants during hurricane Katrina and marveled at the bites people endured after wading in floodwater. "I was like, 'Those are literally fire ant stings on top of fire ant stings,'" which is not something you want an ant professional to say. This inspired her to study the venom of ants in flood situations, and found that flooding causes ants to produce 165% more venom, making their bites even worse. And they will bite, seeing as flooding also makes them more aggressive.

Maybe we've misunderstood Noah's Ark all along. Maybe Old Testament God truly was trying to shape the world for his chosen people: the fire ants. God is a giant omniscient fire ant.

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Look, we've all accidentally cut ourselves with knives. Whether you're trying to dice an extra slippery onion, practicing cool knife flips, or attaching knives to a fidget spinner and letting 'er rip, the appropriate response is to find a bandaid and learn from your mistake. An inappropriate response is to weave a false narrative wherein a "Scary Black Man" (TM) immediately approaches you as you exit your car, demands to know if your haircut is "Nazi," and stabs you.

Here's the thing: if you report this to the police (as did our stupidly coiffed protagonist, Joshua Witt) they won't always go out, arrest the first black person they find, say "case closed" and throw a pizza party. Once in a while they do actual police work, including things like checking surveillance footage. This can be a real pickle if the footage never shows a Scary Black Man (TM) fleeing at the time you allege, but instead shows you buying a knife just minutes prior to the alleged crime.

Joshua Witt didn't think about this eventuality, and admitted to police that he made the whole thing up, which in legal jargon is "filing a false report" and is a "crime." Now not only is he facing a fine and jail time, but also everyone knowing that while his haircut just looks crappy and racist, he is demonstrably crappy and racist.

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