Daily WTF: Trolling Other Political Candidates’ Events

This past week, I had the opportunity to hear Hillary Clinton speak. I was very excited about the event and had been looking forward to something like it for months. I’d continuously visited Hillary’s web site, looking for semi-local events to attend, so when it turned out she was going to be speaking not 15 minutes from where I work, obviously I had to go.

Imagine my irritation to have a group of Bernie Bros station themselves right behind me. They were everything the media has demonized Sanders’ supporters into: loud, rude, crude, male, mostly white. They spoke loudly during the early speakers’ times, almost drowning out the local activist who wanted to talk about how strong women like Hillary and her mother, who had died from breast cancer several years previously, had helped shape her as a person. They shoved their phones in your face, proudly displaying memes about Hillary fighting for us from jail. When the crowd chanted, “Who do we want? Hillary!” they inserted a loud, “Anyone but!” When the kids on the stage sang, danced, and waved their glittery posters, they joked, “Those kids can’t even vote. They’re completely irrelevant. Get off the stage!” Continue reading

Daily WTF: Petty Vandalism of Tokens of Political Affiliation

This past Friday was not the best day for me. I felt tired and stretched thin all day, and I was eagerly looking forward to going home, being alone, and reading a truly ridiculous amount of bicycle sports manga. Then I got to my car and found someone had turned my car magnet in support of Hillary Clinton upside down. Okay then.

It was a small, petty act of vandalism that didn’t really cause any harm, but it still irritated me (The intended result, I know.). It was irritating to think that someone had put their hands on my property, and it was irritating to think that someone felt they had the right to judge my political views. It made a stressful, anxiety-inducing day just a tiny bit worse. Good job, asshole. Continue reading

Daily WTF: Refusing to Vote Because the Candidates Aren’t Your Clones

Several weeks ago, I canvassed for Hillary Clinton, an event I can only remember with anxiety. It wasn’t bad, no one yelled at me, and most people were very supportive (Most people also pledged to vote for Hillary, BTW.); talking with strangers just makes me feel anxious. However, one woman did say something that bothered me: she didn’t know if she was going to vote because no candidate aligned 100% with her. So, since she couldn’t support everything any of the candidates did, said, or stood for, she was probably going to stay home.

I couldn’t help but think that this woman was misunderstanding how to be supportive. Most of us cannot say that we support our significant other, children, family, friends, and coworkers 100%. There is always something they say, do, or stand for that we either can’t understand or oppose. However, who they are is important enough to us that we decide to support them anyway. What they stand for is close enough to our values that we can fudge the rest. It’s pretty much the basis of every long-lasting relationship. Continue reading

Daily WTF: Subtly Sexist Gentlemen’s Clubs for Kids

An antiquated idea of how we should grow up is that we should all aspire to be “gentlemen” and “ladies,” even from a very young age. “Gentlemen” open doors for women and take care of them, and “ladies” guard the appearance of their virtue through a series of complicated social rules like crossing your ankles, keeping your knees together, wearing a dress, not showing too much skin, and never really getting dirty or exerting yourself. Despite the fact that it’s 2016, these definitions persist, remaining largely unchanged for the past sixty years. And, instead of letting them die, our society insists on bringing them back.

Take Raymond Nelson of Memminger Elementary in South Carolina. This past year, he decided to create a “Gentleman’s Club” whose motto is “Look good, feel good, do good.” The point of this club is to provide boys with a good male role model, to learn politeness, improve how they treat women, and encourage them to dress well, all of which sounds mostly fine. It’s a bit problematic to encourage boys to join “gentlemen’s clubs” (which, as we all know, is just a pseudonym for a strip club), but, hey, kids need role models.

The problem starts when you bring it to Kentucky and the club’s motto morphs from self-improvement to “SWAG – She Wants a Gentleman.” Then it gets decidedly creepier. Continue reading

Daily WTF: Legislatures Waiting Too Long to Submit Budgets

This week, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin vetoed several lines on Kentucky’s next two-year budget. This budget was the product of weeks of research, negotiation, and drafts and was truly a bipartisan effort with both Democrats and Republicans compromising to create a coherent, sound budget. Unfortunately, Governor Bevin disagreed and vetoed items like allowing Kentucky seniors to go to community college for free (pending certain actions and only for limited credit hours), allowing people living at 200% of the poverty level to qualify for government-assisted healthcare, and changing the way Kentucky does IDs so Kentuckians can actually legally travel on planes. However, as disappointed as I am with Bevin’s vetoes, I’m even more disappointed with my legislature. Thanks to their in-fighting and bickering and waiting until the very last day of the legislature to pass a budget, they cannot override Bevin’s vetoes. Regardless of the harm his vetoes could do or how unpopular they might be, they get to be law since our legislature waited so long to pass a budget. We are stuck with what we have until next year. Continue reading

Daily WTF: Kevin from the New Ghostbusters Movie

Y’all, I’m worried about the new Ghostbusters movie.

Yesterday was Administrative Professionals Day, a day when we should take the time to express appreciation for the administrative professionals in our lives. In the spirit of that, Sony Pictures Entertainment released this trailer focusing on Kevin (played by Chris Hemsworth), the Ghostbusters’ AP. It’s a pretty funny trailer, showing Kevin as “this big dumb puppy dog/Kevin doll with the insides scooped out.” He’s utterly inept at his job but is very attractive, tries hard, and wants to be a Ghostbuster. Sounds cute, right?

However, as I watched/re-watched the trailer, I started getting worried. Kevin appears to have several scenes in the movie, including helping the group put together a logo, rallying the group together to be Ghostbusters, and driving in on his motorcycle to save the day. The director, Paul Feig, says he was so delighted with Hemsworth’s portrayal that he expanded the role. Leslie Jones, who plays one of the Ghostbusters, says when she watched the movie, she just wanted more Kevin. And on IMDB, Hemsworth gets top billing – even though he’s not supposed to be one of the main characters. Leslie Jones, who’s an actual Ghostbuster, doesn’t even make it above the “See full cast” cut. Continue reading

Daily WTF: Mike Pape’s Racist Congressional Ad

As you may know, it’s election season and candidates are fighting tooth and nail not just for the Presidency but also for open Congressional seats. One such blowhard is Mike Pape, who’s running for Kentucky’s 1st Congressional District. Pape describes himself as “a constitutional conservative who will stand up for you against the establishment and special interests.” He is also “strongly pro-life, and he is a tireless advocate for the Second Amendment and your gun rights.” So, basically, a Tea Bagger.

Finally, Mike Pape is super against illegal immigrants, as this horrifying ad shows. If you’d rather not click on that 31 seconds of bullshit, here’s what happens: three men sporting false black mustaches and bad Mexican accents are trying to cut through a US border fence. They’re wearing shirts that say, “Stop Trump,” “Stop Ted Cruz,” and “Stop Pape.” The third explains to the other two who Mike Pape is and how he’ll support Trump in building up the border wall as well as repealing Obamacare. They all agree that they should stop Pape too and scamper through the wall, assumedly to murder the three. What else would a few lone men carrying nothing but a bag apiece and with no other wish to enter the US than to stop three lame pseudo-politicians be about to do? Continue reading

Daily WTF: #BoycottTarget

This past week, Target, the retailer that sells everything from food to work out clothes, issued a statement re-affirming their belief in gender, sexual, and orientation equality. According to their statement, “Inclusivity is a core belief at Target. It’s something we celebrate. We stand for equality and equity, and strive to make our guests and team members feel accepted, respected and welcomed in our stores and workplaces every day… we welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.” Good for you, Target.

However, not everyone believes in inclusivity and respect, including the conservative Christian group the American Family Association (AFA). Almost immediately, the AFA demanded a boycott of Target and issued a petition that almost 400,000 people (or .1% of the US population) have signed agreeing with them. According to them, “Target’s policy is exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims… Clearly, Target’s new policy poses a danger to wives and daughters.” Continue reading

Daily WTF: The US’ Wholesale Support of Israel

The US’ biggest ally in the Middle East is Israel, and the US returns the favor by almost indiscriminately supporting Israel. By 2018, the US will have given Israel over $30 billion in unconditional military aid and over $121 billion in aid since 1949. We remain silent on the Israeli government trying children as adults for crimes they didn’t commit. We remain silent about Israeli-government sanctioned extra-judicial killings. We remain silent about them raiding Palestinian homes and kicking out Palestinian families. We remain silent about their closure of Gaza. In fact, we praise them for their resilience, promise to support them against Palestinian terrorists, and continue to give them funds. We won’t even discuss sanctions against them. Continue reading

Daily WTF: That Hillary Clinton Can’t Like Anything without Being Accused of Deception

For the past 30 years, people have been talking about Hillary Clinton’s “likability” factor. Some think she’s too calculating, willing to change her hair, dress, and speech just to garner more support. Others think she’s stilted and unapproachable, unable to loosen up and be vulnerable. Some think she’s a shameless panderer, willing to say or do anything to get minority votes – only to abandon them at the crucial moment. Still others think she’s “shrill,” screeching when she should be talking. It’s part of why the press didn’t like her in the ‘90s, why she lost to Barack Obama in 2008, and why some people won’t vote for her today.

We can talk about why this is – how she and Bill have been victims of a right-wing smear campaign for decades, the sexism inherent in our society, and her own awkward personality – but the fact of the matter is that many people just don’t like her. It happens, and despite her best efforts, there’s really nothing she can do about it. Continue reading