August 15, 2021
The Week’s Most Neurotic, Quixotic, and Antipsychotic Headlines
Watching Andrew Cuomo go down (and not in the way he enjoys) is kinda like watching the fall of Al Capone (an observation made by Twitter commenter Mike Carroll). In a perfect world, Capone would’ve been prosecuted for his murders. But a win’s a win, and if it took tax evasion to put him away, so be it.
Andrew Cuomo killed so many old people even the Grim Reaper was like, “Dude, slow down.” And it would’ve been great if that had been the reason for his downfall.
But the Godfather of the Molestello Crime Family has been dethroned not for having settled all family business for thousands of grandmas and grandpas, but for having been “hands-on” with his female staffers.
Worse still, the AG report that finally toppled him revealed a pattern of retaliatory behavior against women who tried to air their grievances whenever Mr. “Cozy Nostra” would capo a feel. It’s yet another case of “the cover-up being worse than the crime,” something that’s become so clichéd one wonders why supposedly canny politicos continue to fall into that trap.
It’s almost like these guys purposely follow the examples set by the worst in their field.
Which brings us from New York to California.
If you were making a movie about a corrupt political machine boss, Andrew Cuomo would be too obvious in the part. Critics would be like, “Cuomo’s casting was too on-the-nose. He played into every ugly stereotype. The role called for a more nuanced performance.”
And that’s Gavin Newsom, California’s far-left governor who is facing an increasingly likely recall in September. In terms of personal style, Newsom’s the anti-Cuomo.
There’s a line from Goodfellas,
If you’re part of a crew, nobody ever tells you they’re going to kill you. There aren’t any arguments or curses like in the movies. Your murderers come with smiles, they come as your friends.
Cuomo is an “arguments and curses” guy. Newsom is all smiles, your best pal. Cuomo dispatched the Greatest Generation with a scowl. Newsom kills California daily with a twinkle in his eye. He gives the “nuanced performance” Cuomo can’t.
Well, he used to. Turns out Newsom’s smiling “commissar of joy” act was just that. Faced with polls showing a 50/50 split on a recall that was supposed to be a cakewalk, Newsom has finally let his guard down to show the Cuomo lurking inside. In a bizarre interview with reporters last week, Newsom went nuts, grimacing, squirming, at one point yelling “damn” nine times in a row (in a tribute to Esther Rolle), and pounding his fist on his desk a whopping fifty-nine times.
Weird that it’s exactly as Cuomo is on the way out that Newsom—a big supporter of transgender rights—has decided to “transition” into Cuomo.
Maybe he’s just not that bright. Makes you think the state might have a chance if it only had a GOP machine that even nominally functioned.
Back in the Cold War days, the notion of “cultural exchange” was a big deal. In the early 1970s, the cultural exchange between China and the U.S. came to be known as Ping-Pong Diplomacy, named for a friendly exchange of Ping-Pong players between the two nations (although coincidentally, Ping Pong was also the name of the top Chinese diplomat at the time). Ping-Pong Diplomacy did much to ease the tensions that arose during President Nixon’s trip to the Great Wall, when a horde of hungry Chinese pursued Checkers with knives and forks (“The kids, like all kids, love the dog,” the president said, reprimanding the mob, “and I just want to say this, right now, that you filthy heathens are not gonna eat him”).
These days, America/Chinese Ping-Pong Diplomacy is perhaps a little uneven in terms of “mutually beneficial.” We send China technology, education, tech companies, national secrets, deeds to U.S. soil, and billions of dollars in business for slave-labor-produced consumer goods, and China sends back spies, poison dog food, and diseases that kill millions and cripple economies.
It’s rather like playing Ping-Pong if for every volley you make with a regular ball, your opponent lobs back a dog turd.
According to a report last week on UnHerd, the West is receiving yet another “gift” from China: a new internet model, engineered to censor speech, politically skew search results, and maintain lists of wrongthinkers. Of course, Big Tech does much of that already, but according to the site, “the fast-developing ‘Beijing’ internet, which is paternalistic and tightly controlled by the government,” may soon become the default model worldwide.
In his recent book ‘The Great Firewall of China,’ James Griffiths argues the Chinese model is starting to spread. Most visibly in Africa, where various governments are happy to buy up cheap, decent Chinese technology and in some cases the surveillance or AI technology that can help them stay in charge. Although as some analysts have argued, it’s not always Beijing pushing the Beijing model—Western companies are also happy to assist snooping autocrats with cheque books.
UnHerd cites a YouGov poll of British internet users, and apparently the Chinese model of censorship and snooping is preferred by 78% of the respondents.
Wasn’t England once a great nation? It’s hard to remember. It’s harder still to imagine that any of today’s Brits are descended from the people who once beat China into submission just because they wanted more tea (“I say, I’m feeling a bit parched. Wot say we send some gunboats to Dinghai and teach them Chinks a thing or two about fair trade?”).
UnHerd concludes that it’s highly likely the West will continue to “drift” into “its very own authoritarian internet.”
“Not up to Beijing’s Olympian standards, perhaps, but one where censorship in the name of harmony trumps all and where surveillance is built in to the rules and the tech.”
Ping-Pong Diplomacy, alright. But this time, China’s holding everyone’s balls.
In Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, Jean Valjean turns his life around after an act of kindness from a Catholic bishop, a selfless, noble soul who sees an opportunity to assist in a troubled man’s redemption by giving him a second chance.
What many people don’t know is that Hugo created his selfless priest as a satire on what the Catholic Church had become. He purposely created a character so pure of heart that he hoped it would spark criticism of what he saw as the selfishness of the clergy in his day.
Turns out the joke’s on Hugo. It’s Valjean who’s the satire. The misunderstood, desperate criminal who only stole a loaf of bread to feed his family (AOC Brand Artisanal Bread made with infected yeast), and who responded to the bishop’s act of kindness (a gift of silver candlesticks) by turning his life around and becoming an exemplary, altruistic citizen.
Valjean is an inadvertent satire on what the average “Frenchman” is today: the kind of guy who would take the bishop’s candlesticks and sodomize him with them just for laughs.
In July 2020 a “Frenchman” (actually a Rwandan refugee named Emmanuel Abayisenga) torched the Nantes Cathedral, because you can take the Rwandan out of the genocide but you can’t take the genocide out of the Rwandan.
Reluctantly, the French government arrested him (it’s not yet legal for Third World refugees to torch churches, but give it a few years…). And to show that there were no hard feelings, they allowed Hutu ValTutsi to roam free on his own recognizance until the trial.
After all, if you can’t trust a hate-filled arsonist to behave, well…who can you trust?
Wasn’t France once a great nation? It’s hard to remember.
Enter 60-year-old Father Olivier Maire of Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre, south of Nantes. The kindly priest decided to take Rwanda Sykes into his home, as an act of charity. In Abayisenga, Maire saw not an anti-Catholic church-burning lunatic, but a man worthy of redemption…a man who, if given that all-important second chance, might one day invent a new kind of traffic light or at the very least perhaps eventually stop worshipping the toilet as a pagan god and learn to use it properly.
“Come into my home, my son,” Maire beckoned, “and I’ll show you the meaning of Catholic charity.”
And Abayisenga proceeded to bludgeon the priest’s head to a fine puree, stating, “And I’ll show you the meaning of Rwandan gratitude.”
Following the priest’s murder, Abayisenga was held in an actual cell for the first time. When asked when they plan to release him again as he awaits trial, the Nantes judicial authorities stood up and began marching in unison while singing,
One more dawn,
One more day,
One day more!
FROM COMMIES TO HOMIES
Congratulations! You’ve defected from a tyrannical communist dictatorship, finding a new life in America, land of the free! And there’s nothing that could ever make you nostalgic for the hellhole from which you fled.
DaQwanda: “Hold my Courvoisier.”
In the 1984 Robin Williams vehicle Moscow on the Hudson, the actor portrays Vladimir, a Russian saxophonist who defects to the U.S. during a tour of New York City. Speaking little English (a blessing for audiences, as the limits of the role prevented Williams from engaging in his trademark riffs), Vladimir slowly learns to adapt to life in the Big Apple. But then two black criminals rob and beat him in a random street assault, and Vlad begins to question whether his defection was the right choice.
Now, that was a fictional story. But it’s interesting how almost forty years ago, a story line like that was totally believable, something American audiences would react to with a knowing nod.
Some movie tropes are tropes for a reason. Like accuracy.
Yeonmi Park is a 27-year-old author and lecturer who defected from North Korea and settled in the U.S. in 2014. Her years in her native land were a nightmare of labor camps, human trafficking, and sexual slavery.
How fortunate she is to be in the U.S. now! And Chicago, no less.
Well, maybe she’s not as fortunate as she thought. Turns out Park defected from the land of juche to the land of gin and juche.
Last week, while appearing on Joe Rogan’s podcast, Park recounted an incident in which she was strolling along Chicago’s famed “Magnificent Mile” when three black girls attacked and robbed her. When Park tried to grab the punk who took her wallet, “a group of white bystanders who witnessed the robbery started calling her a racist.”
“Just because she’s black doesn’t mean she’s a thief!” they yelled.
When Park informed the crowd that she’d personally seen the woman steal her wallet, the progressive anti-racist whites most likely responded by making their eyes look slanty and saying, “Chinawoman no see so good.”
The bystanders refused to call the police, and the three thugettes got away.
One of the robbers, Lecretia Harris, was apprehended after using one of the stolen credit cards to pay for a cab. As of this moment, neither the press nor the police can agree on whether “Lecreature” is a man or a woman, and based on the photo, that’s no great surprise.
In the classic Columbo episode “Any Old Port in a Storm,” the villain, on his way to jail, sighs and admits, “I guess freedom is purely relative.”
True enough. As the left and Big Tech continue to restrict political speech in the U.S., and as Covid regulations encroach on the most personal of freedoms, perhaps it’s the North Koreans who can look at Americans and gloat, “Well, at least we don’t have roaming bands of Lecreatures on every street.”
SNUB YOUR ENTHUSIASM
Last week, Barack Obama had planned to hold a lavish 60th birthday celebration with 500 of his closest celebrity friends. But when media reports questioned the wisdom of such a bash in the face of the “Delta variant” surge, the former president was forced to excise a bunch of people from the guest list. One snubbed invitee was nebbish extraordinaire Larry David. As David is currently in production on season 11 of Curb Your Enthusiasm, it turns out that the legendarily self-referential and thin-skinned neurotic has referenced this slight in an upcoming show.
Below is an exclusive clipping from the script of the season’s first episode.
Larry: Hey Leon, we gotta catch that private jet to Barack’s party in an hour. Don’t be late.
Leon: Man, why you think I’d be late?
Larry: You people are always late.
Leon: Fug dat, Lar. No way I’m gonna be late for this. This party’s my ticket, man. I’m gonna be tappin’ dat Oprah booty.
Larry: Oprah? Why’d you wanna tap Oprah?
Leon: Man, that’s billion-dollar booty. You get up in dat ass, you set for life.
(Jeff enters in a panic)
Jeff: Terrible news! You’ve been cut!
Jeff: Cut! From the guest list! Obama had to trim some people because of Delta. You’re out!
Larry: I’m out?
Jeff: Out! Out!
Larry: Well, who’s in?
Jeff: Oprah, John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, Springsteen, Hanks, Colbert, Beyoncé, Don Cheadle, Bradley Cooper, Jay-Z, and George Clooney.
Larry: Not a Jew among ’em!
Jeff: Well, The New York Times did say that Obama only wanted “sophisticated” guests.
Larry: So because I’m a loudmouth Jew, I’m out?
Jeff: Yer out!
Larry: I’ve been blackballed!
Leon: Man, you been Barack-blocked.
Jeff: You’ve been Jewtisoned.
Larry: I’ve been given the Hebe-ho! The Hymie-hat!
Jeff: You’ve been eighty-sixmillioned!
Jeff: How much money have you given to the DNC this year?
Larry: More than the average American makes in a lifetime.
Jeff: It’s an outrage!
Leon: Man, Larry, we gotta go to that party. Ain’t no way I’m missin’ my chance at dat billion-dollar Oprah tail all ’cuz you an annoying bald-ass Jew-face bastard.
Larry: You mean we should crash it?
Leon: Hell yeah I mean we should crash it! We don’t got the Delta. You got the Delta?
Larry: I don’t got the Delta. You got the Delta?
Jeff: I don’t got the Delta.
Leon: So we sneak in through a window.
Jeff: Well, they canceled the private plane they were sending, but I rounded up another. If you don’t mind sharing it.
Larry: I’ll share, I’ll share! Who else will be on board?
Jeff: Just a bunch of enlightened progressive Texas Democrats fleeing their state to avoid a racist vote.
Larry: It doesn’t get more sophisticated than that! What harm could come from a 74-year-old, his obese friend, and a black guy who never takes care of his health sharing a lengthy flight with progressive Texas Democrats?
Jeff: Let’s get to the airport!
(Time jump to Larry on a ventilator as they zip up Leon and Jeff in body bags)
(Cut to black, cue theme music)