June 15, 2015

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The Week’s Sauciest, Glossiest, and Mossiest Headlines

When they said, “€œNever forget,”€ they weren”€™t kidding!

Seventy years after World War II ended, the world is facing a dearth of Holocaust survivors. This, naturally, threatens the existence of a highly profitable industry that is cynically referred to as “€œShoah business.”€

A group of crafty survivors/entrepreneurs has hatched an ingenious idea to ensure that Holocaust survivors never die: It plans to create a series of Holocaust holograms whereby self-proclaimed camp survivors live forever through recorded interviews designed to answer every possible question tossed at them in perpetuity by eager young supplicants who”€™ve been beaten over the skull since infancy with the idea that only six million people died in World War II.

Based on the assumption that non-Jewish human beings will never tire of hearing about the Holocaust, investors recently spent $1 million filming octogenarian Pinchas Gutter “€œanswering 1,800 questions about his Holocaust experience, surrounded by thousands of lights and cameras.”€ The assumption is that although Gutter survived the Holocaust, he ultimately won”€™t survive life, but his three-dimensional likeness will continue talking about the Holocaust long after he draws his last breath.

“€œThis is mind-blowing,”€ gushed Holocaust survivor Aaron Elster about the new technology that enables digital guilt-mongering from here to eternity. Elster’s associates plan to film ten more survivors at a presumed cost of $500,000 per interview, which would, as luck would have it, bring the project’s total production costs to a clean and unassailable $6 million.

“€œWhen they said, “€˜Never forget,”€™ they weren”€™t kidding!”€

With over 7.5 billion pageviews in May alone, the website Reddit“€”which bills itself as “€œthe front page of the Internet”€”€”is one of the most heavily trafficked sites on the planet. It has largely prospered due to its laissez-faire approach to free speech that allows thousands of “€œsubreddits”€”€”i.e., groups dedicated to highly specific topics of questionable taste”€”to flourish almost unhindered. The fact that Reddit doesn”€™t immediately squash its tiny minority of so-called “€œracist”€ subreddits has led our dear warm impoverished friends at the Southern Poverty Law Center to allege that the site hosts the “€œmost violently racist internet content“€ on Earth.

Reddit’s libertarian approach to content abruptly ended last Wednesday when it banned the following five subreddits:

“€¢ fatpeoplehate
“€¢ hamplanethatred
“€¢ shitniggerssay
“€¢ transfags
“€¢ neofag

Of these five groups, only “€œfatpeoplehate”€”€”which was dedicated, as the name clearly implies, to hating fat people”€”had more than 5,000 subscribers. In fact, it had a robust 151,000 subscribers at the time the cord was yanked.

Reddit’s owners released a statement claiming that the bans were issued not for ideological reasons but because the groups in question allegedly permitted users to openly harass others:

We want to be open about our involvement: We will ban subreddits that allow their communities to use the subreddit as a platform to harass individuals when moderators don”€™t take action. We”€™re banning behavior, not ideas.

Note that the offending “€œbehavior”€ strictly involves alleged harassment of blacks, gays, trannies, and the obese (the latter of whom are sometimes mocked as “€œhamplanets”€). In the thread following the announcement, one user criticized the move for its vagueness:

This is the problem. Using the guise of ‘harrassment’, [sic] admins can ban and wipe selective subreddits and leave others. There are no clear guidelines for what ‘harrassment’ [sic] is. This is why this type of censorship is a problem, because it doesn’t stop here.

Since Reddit received a $50 million cash infusion last year from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and is thus officially now entrenched in the “€œmainstream,”€ one would be foolish to expect the bans to stop there. Progressive bloggers hailed the move as a sign that Reddit was “€œgrowing up”€ and “€œcleaning up”€ and shining a light on ideological vermin who must not be tolerated in any manner”€”all, but of course, in the name of “€œtolerance.”€

Johann Rupert is the CEO of Richemont, whose business holdings include Cartier, Montblanc, and Piaget. His net estimated worth is around $7.5 billion.

At a recent speech during the Financial Times Business of Luxury Summit in Monaco, Rupert warned that robotics will ultimately lead to mass unemployment and the permanent extinction of the middle class:

We are destroying the middle classes at this stage and it will affect us. It’s unfair. So that’s what keeps me awake at night….How is society going to cope with structural unemployment and the envy, hatred and the social warfare? Because the people with money will not wish to show it….We cannot have 0.1% of 0.1% taking all the spoils. And folks, those are our clients. But it’s unfair and it is not sustainable. So I don’t know what new social pact we’ll have, but we’d better find one.


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