The Week That Perished

The Week’s Most Inharmonic, Histrionic, and Cacophonic Headlines

JEWISH SOAP OPERA
Arguably, somewhere in the world there might exist a worse human being than Sacha Baron Cohen…but it’s doubtful. This is a guy who’s made millions of dollars by pushing his free-speech rights to the limit and beyond, indulging in racial humor and profiting from the surreptitious recording of duped bystanders, only to reveal himself—when speaking of anyone but himself—as a vocal supporter of anti-speech laws and online censorship.

Cohen believes that while he has the right to profit from racially offensive humor, no one else does, and he’s said as much in talks before pro-censorship orgs like the ADL. More recently, Baron’s been on a bender against Facebook for continuing to allow “Holocaust denial” material to be posted on the site, a policy that was reversed last week by Facebook CEO and Bond villain Mark Zuckerberg (in part because of Cohen’s tireless hectoring, according to the ADL).

So it was extraordinarily satisfying to see Cohen’s new “Borat” film become embroiled in a Holocaust imbroglio of its own a mere week from its release date. Cohen is being sued by the estate of Judith Dim Evans, a Holocaust survivor who was interviewed for Cohen’s film before passing on to the big selection ramp in the sky. Evans’ family claims the survivor was cruelly duped by Cohen, who failed to inform his mark that the interview was “a comedy intended to mock the Holocaust and Jewish culture.” This has put Cohen in the unique and (unlike his films) hilarious position of claiming that a Holocaust survivor lied!

Cohen’s spokesperson told Deadline that Evans “was clued in on the gag after it was shot and there is footage of it” (funny enough, not the first time photographic evidence has called a survivor’s claim into question). The spokesperson even listed a whole bunch of favors the production did for Evans and her family, as thanks for their assistance with the film.

And since every good joke needs a punchline, here it is: On her website, which Cohen claims he set up as thanks for Evans’ help, Evans states that during the war she bathed with soap “manufactured from the marrow of Jews,” a long-discredited myth that even the most prominent Holocaust historians agree is patently false.

Talk about a mess! In trying to “fight deniers,” Cohen has exposed a survivor as definitely untruthful about her wartime experiences and possibly untruthful about her claims of being misled by the filmmaker. Nothing in his new movie could possibly be funnier than that.

VOTE NO ON RACIST ROBOTS!
Nov. 3 in California should be referred to as Kevorkian Day, judging by the number of potentially suicidal ballot choices the people of that scare-quotes “great” state will face. Those choices include whether or not to eliminate gig economy jobs (no more Uber, Lyft, Postmates, Instacart, Grubhub, etc.), give 17-year-olds the vote (because movie producers love the idea of turning polling stations into pickup joints), give parolees the right to vote, bring back affirmative action (a.k.a. the Chinese Exclusion Act), and eliminate cash bail.

Yes, no more cash bail…the policy that’s worked so scare-quotes “well” in New York City, where a revolving-door no-bail criminal justice system has helped ensure that the guy who mugs you on your way to work will be able to hit you again during your lunch break (and again on your way home).

The list of special interest groups that support Proposition 25’s plan to eliminate bail for poor oppressed violent criminals is filled with exactly the names you’d expect: the California Democrat Party, the League of Women Voters, the L.A. Times, the California Teachers Association, Jewish Family Services, MALDEF, NARAL, SEIU, and the Harvey Milk Club.

“If you’re going to be a theocratic, terrorist bully, fine…but do you have to be such a dick about it?”

No surprises there. The surprise can be found on the list of organizations that oppose the initiative. Along with the orgs one would expect—police protective leagues, crime victims advocates, and the state GOP—there’s a wild card: the NAACP.

Yes, the NAACP opposes eliminating bail for thugs, purse snatchers, muggers, and gangbangers.

Has this esteemed organization finally come to its senses? Have the ministers and speechifiers who run the NAACP realized that flooding the streets with criminals is as bad for the black community as it is for everyone else?

What do you think? Of course not. No, the NAACP’s reason for opposing the initiative is so very, very “black America”: They skeered o’ racist robots.

See, in place of bail, arrestees will be held or released based on a “risk assessment model” that will be used to determine whether the accused is a risk to the community. And NAACP leaders have gotten it in their heads that this means computers will be making the decisions. California NAACP honcho Alice Huffman explained the reasoning in a “No on 25” campaign spot: “Prop. 25 replaces bail with computer algorithms. Academic studies show that these algorithms are biased. Some call them black boxes.”

Last week, The Sacramento Bee’s editors did their darnedest to convince the NAACP that no, it won’t be robots but humans who’ll make the risk assessments: “Judicial officers remain the final authority in making pretrial release or detention decisions…. That means that while judges may rely on algorithm-assisted risk assessment models and recommendations, they have the power to override those recommendations.”

Bless their hearts for trying, but no dice. The NAACP isn’t that easily tricked by whitey. Racist robots are real, like Jussie Smollett’s attackers and Bubba Wallace’s spooky string. You gotta get up pretty early in the morning to fool the people who invented the traffic light and twerking.

WACKY HINDU GOD CURES SELF, KILLS DEVOTEE
Bussa Krishna of Telangana, India, had gone his entire life being let down by his gods: the elephants, the cows, the dung heaps, the burned brides…none of it had brought the expected sense of salvation and comfort. But being an Indian means never giving up (it also means “toilets are optional”), so the tenacious Telugu went out and found himself a new deity—Donald Trump.

Initially, Krishna, who had become known in his native village as “Trump,” devoted his “puja room” (the sacred room in a Hindu home where the IKEA do-it-yourself gods are stored) to his idol, plastering the walls with photos of the president. But when that proved insufficient, Krishna constructed a six-foot statue of Trump, which he prayed to daily, while also using it for traditional Hindu rituals (he even bathed the statue in milk…which is rather innocuous compared to what he might have used had he believed the Steele dossier).

Krishna told the local press that his revelation that Trump is a god came not from the president’s politics, but from his association with the World Wrestling Federation. Because of course it did. You were expecting something logical in this story?

When Krishna learned that Trump had been stricken with COVID, he spent his every waking moment praying by the statue’s side. And fasting. Krishna stopped eating and sleeping for days on end as he obsessively prayed beside his holy idol. Surely the force of the sheer willpower exhibited by this humble Hindu, starving himself and depriving himself of sleep, would cure the ailing president.

Whether or not it contributed to Trump’s recovery is a matter of debate. What is not is that it killed Krishna. He passed away last week from cardiac arrest.

Although according to his family, the actual cause of death was “tension for Donald Trump.” Because of course it was.

While Trump has not commented on his No. 1 Hindu fan’s sacrifice, news of Krishna’s passing greatly distressed Sean Hannity, who reportedly told a Beltway journalist, “That coulda been me.”

GET ON THE COLUM(BUS)
Last week marked the first Columbus Day since George Floyd set sail for the afterlife, and keen observers wondered how BLM would approach a day of protest that wasn’t all about them (BLM hates stuff that isn’t all about them). Fortunately, indigenous anti-Columbus protesters were more than willing to share the day with their black “allies,” because surely these two “oppressed” groups are united in the same struggle.

As in, the struggle to topple statues. And boy, did this year’s Columbus Day (a.k.a. “Indigenous Peoples’ Day”) see some top-notch toppling. In Portland, Teddy Roosevelt fell to big sticks and Abe Lincoln was emancipated from his podium, while in California, another Junipero Serra monument was transubstantiated into gravel. And as this beautiful “black and indigenous coalition” was lauded by the press in cities nationwide, a special statue dedication ceremony was conducted in Wyoming to help solidify the black/indigenous “bond.” At F.E. Warren Air Force Base, a three-ton monument to the Buffalo Soldiers (the post–Civil War black frontier troops) was rededicated and given a special “place of prominence” on the base, because new statues need to rise to make up for all the old ones falling.

Popular legend has it that the black cavalrymen earned their nickname because the Indians they met on the battlefield so revered the bravery of these noble colored warriors, they named them in honor of the mighty and sacred buffalo. So indeed, the Buffalo Soldiers are proof positive of the enduring and unshakable black/indigenous brotherhood.

Except, not really. According to historian, author, and Buffalo Soldiers expert Frank Schubert, the Indians found the black soldiers laughable and bestowed the moniker because the soldiers’ brown skin and nappy hair reminded them of a buffalo’s brown fur and curly mane. Schubert, who authored the definitive histories of the Buffalo Soldiers, states that the original “Buffalo” units despised the name and never used it themselves. And they returned the Indians’ scorn with scorn, referring to the natives as “red niggers,” “naked savages,” and “voodoo niggers.” The black soldiers even held parties where they dressed in “redface” (one contemporaneous account from 1894 speaks of a Buffalo Soldier named Private Robinson who paraded about his base dressed as “an idiotic Indian squaw”).

Looks like that newly rededicated Buffalo Soldiers memorial will have to go.

Just when you think you finally get a statue that passes the purity test, nappy-headed reality just has to piss on your Columbus Day parade.

THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE & JIHAD
Remember that time the French thought it would be the greatest idea in the world to declare war on Germany over a nation they were in no position to actually defend, as they relied on their partners the British to stand their ground and not flee in terror should things go south?

Historically, the French have been defined by their bad ideas and lack of foresight, and President Emmanuel Macron is carrying on that noble tradition with his latest brilliant scheme to battle France’s pesky Muslim terrorism problem. Apparently, according to le président imbécile, Muslims just don’t feel like family when they’re in France. And while the Italians solved that problem by giving all of their immigrants Olive Garden coupons, Macron has gone a different route. Children of Muslim immigrants will now learn Arabic not at home, but in French schools, so that they can better assimilate by learning their ancestral tongue from French teachers instead of fellow Muslims who might radicalize them.

That’s a plan only a Frenchman could concoct.

Macron stressed that it’s important for the nation’s young Muslim immigrants to “learn the language” from the state instead of “from groups that offer them the worst and manipulate them.”

Left out of the president’s proclamation was any explanation of how these children will not continue to learn Arabic from others in their community, even as they’re learning it in school. But putting aside that small conundrum, l’éléphant terrible in the room is the fact that the annals of Muslim kaboomery are littered with accounts of “assimilated” terrorists. Indeed, when media hacks want to blame a particular Muslim terrorist’s actions on something other than his religion or his hostility to Western values, they flip the script and claim that in fact the Muzzie was perfectly fine in his old ways until the West corrupted him with its filthy secularism and idolatry. This was the official line on Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, LAX shooter Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, and Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan. The American dream had “let them down,” and their “disappointment” and “disillusionment” with empty Western materialism had led them to embrace a more “meaningful” identity.

Macron’s empty promise—one aped by immigration proponents throughout the West—is that assimilation is a “cure” for Muslim radicalism. In fact, assimilation is just as risky as ghettoization. The only non-risky solution is to stop importing Muslims.

Ce n’est pas la mer à boire. It’s just common sense…and therefore beyond the grasp of the average Frenchy.

NOT COOL, TERRORISTS…NOT COOL
If you’re going to be a theocratic, terrorist bully, fine…but do you have to be such a dick about it? The Taliban are fundamentalist Islam’s douchebags. They’re that guy in college who cock-blocks you at parties and flirts with the girl you had your eyes on. They’re the dude who consistently scores with women by acting like a rude, boorish, chauvinistic a-hole. They’re the people who make the “nice guys” realize they finish last.

A few days ago the Taliban officially “endorsed” Donald Trump for president. According to Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, “We believe that Trump is going to win the upcoming election because he has proved himself a politician who accomplished all the major promises he had made to American people, although he might have missed some small things, but did accomplish the bigger promises, so it is possible that the U.S. people who experienced deceptions in the past will once again trust Trump for his decisive actions.”

Credit where it’s due, he writes better than anyone at Vox.

The Taliban also voiced approval of Trump’s “America First” slogan:

It is the slogan of Trump from the start that they are not cops for the world and don’t want a single flag and anthem for the globe, but their priority is America. When there is no interference by U.S. in other countries, we believe they are facing fewer threats compared to their aggressive position. Trump has a concrete policy in this regard and it is better for America. Trump might be ridiculous for the rest of the world, but he is sane and wise man for the Taliban.

Obviously, the Taliban support Trump’s decision to remove all U.S. troops from Afghanistan. But the Taliban also know that their “endorsement” can only hurt Trump in November. Hence the point about them being dicks. When President Clinton tried to make nice with these tools, they responded by upping their persecution of women and beardless men while allowing al-Qaeda to train in Afghanistan for anti-U.S. terror attacks. In 2001, when George W. Bush sent them money to help combat the opium trade, they responded by blowing up the Bamiyan Buddhas and assisting al-Qaeda in the lead-up to 9/11. And in 2009, when lily-livered Obama tentatively agreed to allow Pakistan’s Swat Valley to become an autonomous, Sharia-based haven in exchange for promises of peace, the Taliban thanked blundering Barack by escalating the violence a hundredfold.

And now they “thank” Trump for the troop withdrawals by giving him bad press three weeks before the election, as they smugly celebrate American non-interventionism even though they were only in a position to take power in the first place because America intervened and kicked the Soviets out.

There’s no dealing with jerks like that, so Trump is right to wash his hands of the whole thing. Still, it kinda sucks that they’re going to win.

Sometimes the asshole gets the girl. And sometimes he gets South-Central Asia.



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