Breaking: Onion Emergency Headline System

CHICAGO—WARNING WARNING ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT, sources confirmed Thursday that this is a test of The Onion’s Emergency Headline System. Please excuse this interruption from your previously scheduled headlines while The Onion reviews its emergency content protocol. Doom doom doom doom doom doom doom doom doom doom doom doom doom doom doom doom doom doom doom doom doom doom doom. This is only a test. Doom doom doom. This is not a real article. Doom doom doom. The Onion’s Emergency Headline System is conducting a test. Doom doom doom. The Onion doom doom doom broadcasters in your area doom doom doom in voluntary cooperation doom doom doom with federal, state, and local authorities have doom doom doom developed this system doom doom doom to keep you informed doom doom doom in the event doom doom doom of a headline emergency. Doom doom doom. Several reports indicated that if you have received this article, the test was a success, no further action is required, and you may return to your regularly scheduled content

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Calling for Apocalypse

Brendan O’Neill writes at Spiked on The luxury of apocalypticism. Excerpts in italics with my bolds and images.

The elites want us to panic about Covid-19 – we must absolutely refuse to do so.

People’s refusal to panic has been a great source of frustration for the establishment in recent years. ‘The planet is burning’, they lie, in relation to climate change, and yet we do not weep or wail or even pay very much attention. ‘I want you to panic’, instructs the newest mouthpiece of green apocalypticism, Greta Thunberg, and yet most of us refuse to do so. A No Deal Brexit would unleash economic mayhem, racist pogroms and even a pandemic of super-gonorrhoea, they squealed, incessantly, like millenarian preachers balking at the imminent arrival of the lightning bolt of final judgement, and yet we didn’t flinch. We went to work. We went home. We still supported Brexit.

Our skittish elites have been so baffled, infuriated in fact, by our calm response to their hysterical warnings that they have invented pathologies to explain our unacceptable behaviour. The therapeutic language of ‘denialism’ is used to explain the masses’ refusal to fret over climate change. Environmentalists write articles on ‘the psychology of climate-change denial’, on ‘the self-deception and mass denial’ coursing through this society that refuses to flatter or engage with the hysteria of the eco-elites. Likewise, the refusal of voters to succumb to the dire, hollow warnings of the ferociously anti-Brexit wing of the establishment was interpreted by self-styled experts as a psychological disorder. ‘[This is] people taking action for essentially psychological reasons, irrespective of the economic cost’, said one professor.

How curious. In the past it was hysteria that was seen as a malady of the mind. Now it is the reluctance to kowtow to hysteria, the preference for calm discussion over panic and dread, that is treated as a malady. Today, it is those who prefer reason over rashness, whether on climate change or Brexit, who are judged to be disordered. According to the new elites, their apocalypticism is normal, while our calm democratic commitment to a political project, such as Brexit, or our desire to treat pollution as a practical problem rather than as a swirling, cloudy hint of nature’s coming fury with man’s hubris and destructiveness, is mad, deranged, in need of treatment. Their End Times nervousness is good; our faith in moral reason is bad.

This strange, fascinating tension between the apocalypticism of the intellectual and cultural elites and the scepticism of ordinary people is coming into play in the Covid-19 crisis. Of course, Covid-19 is very different to both No Deal Brexit and climate change. It is a serious medical and social crisis. In contrast, the idea that leaving the EU without a deal would be the greatest crisis to befall Britain since the Luftwaffe dropped its deadly cargo on us was nothing more than political propaganda invented from pure cloth. And the notion that climate change is an End Times event, rather than a practical problem that can be solved with tech, especially the rollout of nuclear power, is little more than the prejudice of Malthusian elites who view the very project of modernity as an intemperate expression of speciesist supremacy by mankind.

Covid-19, on the other hand, is a real and pressing crisis. It poses a profound challenge to humankind. It requires seriousness and action to limit the number of deaths and to mitigate the economic and social costs of both the disease itself and of our strategies for dealing with it. But what ties Covid-19 to the other fashionable apocalypses of our nervous elites, including the green apocalypse and the Brexit apocalypse, is the interpretation of it through the language and ideology of the elites’ pre-existing dread, their pre-existing cultural skittishness and moral disarray. Predictably, and depressingly, Covid-19 has been folded into their narrative of horror, into their permanent state of cultural distress, and this is making the task of facing it down even harder.

The media are at the forefront of stirring up apocalyptic dread over Covid-19. In Europe, there is also a performative apocalypticism in some of the more extreme clampdowns on everyday life and social engagement by the political authorities, in particular in Italy, Spain and France. Many governments seem to be driven less by a reasoned, evidence-fuelled strategy of limiting both the spread of the disease and the disorganisation of economic life, than by an urge to be seen to be taking action. They seem motivated more by an instinct to perform the role of worriers about apocalypse, for the benefit of the dread-ridden cultural elites, rather than by the responsibility to behave as true moral leaders who might galvanise the public in a collective mission against illness and a concerted effort to protect economic life.

A key problem with this performative apocalypticism is that it fails to think through the consequences of its actions. So obsessed are today’s fashionable doom-predictors with offsetting what they see as the horrendous consequences of human behaviour – whether it’s our polluting activities or our wrong-headed voting habits – that they fail to factor in the consequences of their own agenda of fear. Greens rarely think about the devastating consequences of their anti-growth agenda on under-developed parts of the world. The Remainer elite seemed utterly impervious to warnings that their irrational contempt for the Leave vote threatened the standing of democracy itself. And likewise, the performative warriors against Covid-19 seem far too cavalier about the longer-term economic, social and political consequences of what they are doing.

First, there is the potential health consequences. Is suppression of the disease really better than mitigation? The suppression of disease preferred by China, in very authoritarian terms, or by Italy and France, in less authoritarian terms, may look successful in the short term, but the possibility of the disease’s return, in an even more virulent form, is very real. Likewise, entire economies of everyday life have been devastated already by the severity of government action in Europe. Hundreds of thousands of people in Italy and Ireland have lost their jobs already, in the night-time, hotel and entertainment sectors in particular. That is a social and health cost, too: job loss can lead to the loss of one’s home, the breakdown of one’s marriage, and to a palpable and destructive feeling of social expediency. As to keeping elderly people indoors for months on end, as is now being proposed in the UK, it is perfectly legitimate to ask whether this poses an even greater threat to our older citizens’ sense of personal and social wellbeing than their taking their chances with a disease that is not a death sentence for older people (though it impacts on them harder than it does on the young).

The point is, there is such a thing as doing too little and also such a thing as doing too much.

Doing too little against Covid-19 would be perverse and nihilistic. Society ought to devote a huge amount of resources, even if they must be commandeered from the private sector, to the protection of human life. But doing too much, or acting under the pressure to act rather than under the aim of coherently fighting disease and protecting people’s livelihoods, is potentially destructive, too. People need jobs, security, meaning, connection. They need a sense of worth, a sense of social solidarity, a sense of belonging. To threaten those things as part of a performative ‘war’ against what ought to be treated as a health challenge rather than as an End Times event would be self-defeating and utterly antithetical to the broader aim of protecting our societies from this novel new threat. To decimate the stuff of human life in the name of saving human life is a questionable moral approach.

That the practical challenge posed by this new sickness has been collapsed into the elites’ pre-existing culture of misanthropic dread is clear from some of the commentary on Covid-19. The language of ‘war’ gives Covid-19 a sentience it of course does not deserve, accentuating the idea that this is not just an illness but a fin-de-siècle menace. This illness is being interpreted as a warning. It has been speedily refashioned as a metaphor for our weakness in the face of nature. It ‘has come to tell us that we are not the kings of the world’, says one headline. This malady is blowback for ‘our foolishness, our rapacity’, says Fintan O’Toole. We must now ‘learn the humility of survivors’, he says, cynically using this crisis to seek to diminish the presumed specialness of humankind. ‘Coronavirus is an indictment of our way of life’, says a headline in the Washington Post, echoing the way that natural phenomena are constantly weaponised by apocalyptic greens to serve as judgements against the temerity of the modernising human race.

Here, we cut to the heart of the apocalyptic mindset of the modern elites. Their dread over natural calamities or novel new illnesses is not driven by the actual facts about these things, far less by the desire to overcome them through the deployment of human expertise and scientific discovery. Rather, it speaks to their pre-existing moral disorientation, their deep loss of faith in the human project itself. It is their downbeat cultural convictions that draws them to apocalypticism as surely as a light draws in moths. In her essay on the AIDS panic of the late 1980s, when that sexually transmitted disease was likewise imagined as a portent of civiliational doom, Susan Sontag talked about the West’s widespread ‘sense of cultural distress or failure’ that leads it to search incessantly for an ‘apocalyptic scenario’ and for ‘fantasies of doom’. There is a ‘striking readiness of so many to envisage the most far-reaching of catastrophes’, she wrote.

It wasn’t so much ‘Apocalypse Now’, said Sontag, as ‘Apocalypse From Now On’.

How perspicacious that was. From AIDS to climate change, from swine flu to Covid-19, it has been one apocalyptic scenario after another. The irony is that the elites who readily envisage catastrophe think they are showing how seriously they take genuine social and medical challenges, such as Covid-19. In truth, they demonstrate the opposite. They confirm that they have absolved themselves of the reason and focus required for confronting threats to our society. It isn’t their apocalypticism that captures the human urge to solve genuine problems – it is our anti-apocalypticism, our calmness, our insistence that resources and attention be devoted to genuine challenges without disrupting people’s lives or the economic health of our societies.

‘I want you to panic’, they say. But we don’t. And we shouldn’t.

Apocalypticism is a luxury of the new elites for whom crises are often little more than opportunities for the expression of their decadent disdain for modern society. To the rest of us, apocalypticism is a profound problem. It threatens to spread fear in our communities, it causes us to lose our jobs, it mitigates against economic growth, and it harms democracy itself. Resisting the apocalypticism of the comfortable doom-mongers who rule over us is unquestionably the first step to challenging Covid-19 and preserving society for the decades after this illness has wreaked its disgraceful impact.

See also:  I Want You Not to Panic

How to Fight and Win Against Covid19

 

Greta Preaches Hellfire and Brimstone at Bristol

Her talking points:

  • This is an emergency.
  • People are already suffering and dying from it.
  • It will get worse.
  • Politicians, the media and those in power are ignoring the emergency
  • Elected officials make words and promises but do nothing.
  • I will not be silenced while the world is on fire, will you?
  • We must be the adults in the room since world leaders behave like children.
  • Thanks to climate activists Bristol Airport will not be expanded.
  • Activism works, so I’m telling you to act.
  • We will not back down from people in power who betray and fail us.
  • We are the change that is coming whether you like it or not.

Comment:

How does she know those things?  Well, she really, really believes it in her heart, so followers apparently need no evidence beyond her certainty.  It is looking and sounding more and more like the Weathermen in 1969.  Some bad stuff came out of that, starting with words and gatherings similar to these.

Footnote from Madebyjimbob:

Jordan Peterson’s Anguish Deserves Our Empathy

Prof. Jordan Peterson in March 2018. Craig Robertson /Postmedia/File

Rex Murphy writes at National Post Rex Murphy: Jordan Peterson’s personal torment Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

I cannot think of any politician, thinker or novelist who has sent so much comfort and aspiration to so many people

It is very difficult to believe that there is anyone, except the young, who has not experienced serious illness or been witness to the suffering of a loved one. It is, alas, part of the human condition. Those who have endured such moments do not need to hear what they are like or how profoundly unsettling and painful they are.

We suffer most when those who are closest to us suffer. That is our pain, but it is also our glory that we often feel more deeply about those who we hold closest to our hearts than we feel for ourselves. No one escapes such moments. And when they do occur, people outside the close circle of the man or woman caught in pain or in peril of death register an instinctive sympathy for those so entoiled.

These are, I grant, sombre thoughts, but they occur naturally following a viewing of Mikhaila Peterson’s video about her father, Jordan Peterson’s, afflictions during the past year. Mikhaila Peterson brought dignity and poise to what was clearly an effort of great weight. I think it also worth remarking that it was good of her to be so open and direct about his circumstances, as the many who have found some strength and direction from her father’s words were anxiously waiting for some news.

It was an abrupt moment when Jordan Peterson’s world tour was halted and very many were left wondering and worrying about him. One of the singular features of Peterson’s fame was how many people felt a genuine concern for his personal welfare.

I cannot claim to be a friend of Peterson’s, except in the sense that I would wish to be so. I have met him only once, for an interview, which he gave while in some fragility and which I willingly would have foregone, and assured him so. This is not to note any generosity on my part, which is trivial in the context of his condition, but to highlight that he did the interview because he had committed to it. His doing so was a signal of his character. This is a man who’s willing to put aside his own considerations to oblige a commitment.

But the signal I received was that of a man who, while in personal turmoil, and who then was facing the possible death of his wife, in concurrence with his own fatigue following the explosion of his fame, would honour a minor engagement that could easily be deferred, because he thought he should. Unlike him, I would not have had the strength to carry it through.

But to go beyond that one small moment, I write this now as a gesture of good will towards the person I called a “good man” at the end of that exchange. He’s having a very hard time. It may be a small thing, but I think it’s only fair that someone who has helped so many others through their hard times should be offered a little acknowledgement and appreciation during his own. I seriously hope it’s not presumptuous on my part.

I cannot think of any politician, thinker or novelist who has sent so much comfort and aspiration to so many people. Peterson is not a missionary. He preaches no creed. But out of his deep reflections, his clinical experience, his dedicated exploration of why so many people are “offside,” “removed” or “isolated” in modern society, he has found some elements of a message that revives their hope and reinvigorates their sense of dignity.

I have met many people who have been spoken to by Jordan Peterson’s words. When I interviewed him, it was surely his wife and his family’s torment that were at the front of his mind. But he also carried another burden: the memories of all those he had met, however briefly, who transferred some of their pain to him. It is a true sorrow that the expense of energy he gave to his message has taxed him so, and that the tribulations of his family life combined with his fatigue came at such a cost to himself.

I am sure that in passing on regards and best wishes to Peterson that I am but a single voice speaking the words of thousands. I note that some very shallow and mean people are finding joy in Peterson’s struggle. May that joy fill their cup, as it is the vinegar of cheap minds and cheaper souls. Enjoy yourselves. Put it on your resumés that in the absence of any other purpose in life, you like to mock the pain of a better person and insult his family in a woeful moment.

Footnote:

I was appreciative of Jordan Peterson’ incisive interviews and articles, and his book Maps of Meaning inspired me a year ago to write a series of posts highlighting insights from his journey.  I excerpted text that spoke to me and added images of contempory examples in parallel to his discussions of classical myths. The first post provides an overview as well as the first theme.  Titles are links to the posts.

Cosmic Dichotomy: Peterson’s Pearls (1)

Cosmic Arena: Peterson’s Pearls (2)

Cosmic Heroes: Peterson’s Pearls (3)

Cosmic Evil: Peterson’s Pearls (4)

Cosmic Rebirth: Peterson’s Pearls (5)

2020 Dems: Hatred Destroys from Within

Wise advice for 2020 Dems.  If only they can stop hating and mend their ways.

Jonathan F. Keiler elaborates at the American Thinker After Three Years of Hate, the Dems Have Lost It Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Writing in the Atlantic (“This is No Way to Beat Trump”) Thomas Nichols, a self-described former Republican and #NeverTrumper, castigates Democrats for their failure to take down President Trump, in light of the disorganized Iowa Caucus and the party’s unimpressive stable of candidates. In the piece, Nichols pretends to dispense hard-headed political advice. In fact, the article reveals why he and the Democrats he wants to help are floundering.

Their perception of the world is so distorted by manic dislike of President Trump that they have ceased to act as a responsible political party which can offer a reasonable alternative.

The very premise of Nichols’ case, and by extension that of the Democrat party and all its putative candidates, is that beating Trump must be their principal goal, eclipsing all other concerns. Nichols thinks the Democrats are not attempting to do this — which is preposterous. But more interestingly having come to this false conclusion, he has no prescription for exactly how to beat Trump, only that it must be done.

Of course, beating Trump has been the monomania of the Democrats (and #NeverTrumpers) for over three years. It’s the first and last thing out of all the candidates’ mouths when they speak, and one of the few things they agree upon.

The Washington Post recently ran a typical article highlighting the malady entitled “’Tempted to despair’: Trump’s resilience causes Democrats to sound the alarm.” Huh? Are we talking about a presidential campaign or a soap opera? It’s quite as if Trump were ill, the Dems suffering heirs hoping he’ll just die — which is probably not far from the truth.

Manias in general are not good things. Occasionally a smart or extremely lucky maniac reaches his objective. Much more often mania sidetracks its victim by severely narrowing his focus, depriving him of necessary context and a broader and more realistic picture of reality.

That’s what’s happened to the Democrats. The Iowa caucus disaster is one symptom. The failed impeachment of Trump another. The stable of unstable Democrat candidates yet another.

And it’s pretty easy to see in the modern Democrat party the same dynamic taking hold, albeit before they have actually achieved total political control. Trump in almost every respect is the Dems’ Emmanuel Goldstein, a subject of such mindless animus and vituperation that the party can’t see the forest for the trees. It’s been three years of hate, and way more than two minutes a day.

Modern therapeutic psychology would suggest an intervention, and in the United States such a role has often been played by the press. Historically, when a party or politician went off the deep end, there was a vibrant press to point it out, mock it, and return things to semblance of rationality. That has not been the case in America for a generation or two now, with the mainstream media having lost most all semblance of objectivity to become the Democrats’ great enabler. And indeed, the mandarins of the modern media are, if anything, even more Trump-afflicted than the party that they supposedly cover.

Very much like a schizophrenic, neither the Dems nor the media can recognize the pervasive objective truth about American today — things are going pretty well.

The economy is doing great, unemployment is low, and the markets are confident. We are ending a China trade war with some gains. Borders are more secure. Unemployment is at historic lows. With the exception of small military commitments to Afghanistan and Syria, we are at peace. We are energy self-sufficient, and even climate-change doomsayers must now admit things are not so bad.

The Democrats have a lot of problems. But their biggest one is their grip on reality. As long as that’s the case, whoever they pick in 2020 is not likely to be any more successful than Emmanuel Goldstein.

On Canadian Watermelons by Conrad Black

Writing in the National Post Conrad Black asks the question: What did Canadians do to deserve this government? Excerpts below with my bolds and images.

Canada is a great country crossing the desert of self-chosen and misguided leadership. There is no vision except platitudes and quixotry

Following the decisive defeat of the international left in the Cold War, the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the collapse of international communism and the defection of China to the virtues of a market economy (though still with a heavy command ingredient), the international left, evicted from power and even intellectual respectability, fetched up in the camp of the conservationists, those who cared most demonstratively for the environment. They shouldered aside the long-standing opponents of untreated effluent and advocates for natural habitats, and assaulted capitalism from a new quarter, waving the green flag of ecological radicalism rather than the red banner of Marx. Capitalism was not to be overthrown in favour of socialism, but rather the more incontestable goal of saving the planet. The left, for once, deserves high marks for improvisation.


In its way, it has been the most pure Leninism: the founder of the Soviet Union said “If you can’t get in the door, use the window.” This is what Marxist Naomi Klein was celebrating with her book “This Changes Everything,” claiming environmentalism would derail capitalism. And the affected militancy of generally respected figures of institutional finance, Mark Carney and Jim Leach and others, in turning themselves into a pressure group for green-friendly investment through the vacuous concept of sustainable finance (though Carney has reservations), are proving the truth of Lenin’s prediction that “The capitalists are so stupid they will sell us the rope we hang them with.” A green test of investment grade will be as complete a fiasco as was the spurious attempt to invest in companies according to the imputable quality of their corporate governance.

Fad follows fad; the only yardstick for measuring the quality of investments is capital appreciation, and those that don’t rise in value will not be sustainable.

Greta Thunberg, the tiresome Swedish teenage scold, has been sailing around the world reproaching the planet’s adult population for failing our progeny by mismanaging the planet environmentally. This is a demonstration of weakness by the environmentalists, not strength. Successive claims of imminent doom by the climate alarmists have consistently failed to materialize. Our oil and gas industries are not being strangled by the irresistible veracity of the climate change movement; the entire world except Western Europe and Canada are carrying on without any obvious sign of believing their carbon emissions are threatening human civilization.

In September, former U.S. vice-president Al Gore repeated that we have 12 years to prevent irreparable climatic damage to life; he said much the same thing a decade ago, and a decade before that. At least he got a Nobel Prize and became a centimillionaire for being so repetitive. Every informed person in the world has realized for over 50 years that we had to be careful to reduce environmental pollution and protect endangered areas and species. The sudden injection of far-left militancy drove the argument to anti-capitalist hysteria and hijacked a vehicle formerly filled with virtuous ecologically minded people. And useful idiots are telling resistant groups like the benighted province of Alberta to enjoy their martyrdom and adjust to impoverishment.

The chief meteorologist of Japan disembarked from the climatist movement several months ago, saying it was unclear what was happening to the climate, if anything unusual. The whole policy of dismantling and discouraging most of the energy industry except the hopelessly inadequate and horrendously costly solar and wind power boondoggles has been officially rejected as based on unproved suppositions by all major governments except the principal Western European countries and Canada. Since the science is divided and the proportions of the whole climate question are impossible to judge, Canada should devote itself to neutral and exacting research to seek, urgently, to ascertain what is happening, instead of singing our hearts out in the chorus of doom, like catechism students, as we strangle our greatest potential source of export revenue and greatest manufacturing cost advantage, our oil and gas industry.

Countries that are not defined by an exclusive culture, like Poland, Italy, Russia, Sweden, Japan and many others are, and cannot claim a unique secular-evangelical mission and mythos, as the United States claims as the redeemer, exemplar, champion and guardian of democratic government and the free market, must define a community of interest, amplify and equitably distribute prosperity, treat its different component regions and cultural groups fairly, and endow themselves with a distinct purpose. What is needed is a vision, without which, as is recorded in Proverbs and is engraved at the entrance to the Canadian House of Commons, “the people perish.”

The current federal government defines its first priority to be fighting climate change, which is nonsense, making a shambles of matters of gender, and inciting egregious myths and practices in native issues.

We are embracing a false national objective to oppress Alberta and Saskatchewan while encouraging charlatans and misfits to claim that there are more than two sexes and that the right of everyone to work out their own sexuality in perfect freedom is a matter for state coercion, and while inciting the inference that those of European ancestry invaded, occupied and oppressed this country in a manner morally indistinguishable from what Hitler and Stalin did to Poland in 1939. There is no vision except platitudes and quixotry. We are driving Alberta to the consideration of extreme remedies and are stuck with the authors of this visionless miasma for four more years. Canada is a great country crossing the desert of self-chosen and misguided leadership. In a democracy, a people gets the government it deserves; we must solemnly consider what we did to deserve this.

 

Who’s the Real Joker: Joaquin or Greta?

Sputnik has the story Russian Pranksters Posing as Greta Thunberg and Her Dad Clown Around With Joker’s Joaquin Phoenix.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Greta Thunberg is the protagonist of ‘Stars Save the Earth’, a series of phone call pranks by Russian radio hosts Vladimir ‘Vovan’ Kuznetsov and Alexei ‘Lexus’ Stolyarov. This time, they attempted to prove to Joaquin Phoenix who is the real Joker out there.

Vovan and Lexus, a Russian duo notorious for their pranks of politicians and celebrities, have punked Joaquin Phoenix – posing as Greta Thunberg and her father.

Vovan said that Greta’s role was played by a woman they are familiar with, but won’t reveal her name. In an audio of the call published on Wednesday, Lexus can be heard impersonating Svante Thunberg.

Seconds into the call, Joaquin Phoenix brought in his longtime partner and fiancé Rooney Mara.

“I’m a big fan of your work and your last movie,” the fake Greta says.

Lexus chimes in: “Greta has no rights [sic] to go to the movie, but we broke the rules and watched it”, to chuckles from Joaquin and Rooney.

An unsuspecting Joaquin goes on to recall how they heard a speech by Greta: “[We] were moved by what you said and just your commitment to this work.”

‘Greta’ then unveils her special offer to the actor: an awareness-raising campaign called Stars Save the Earth.

Both Joaquin and his fiancé say they’d be happy to help. As Rooney expands on how important animal rights protection is to them, Greta interjects by asking if she could get a “small part” in a prospective Joker sequel.

Joaquin breaks into laughter, before admitting that they haven’t written one yet and no decision has been made on a sequel, and that he would like to have Rooney play there too. He promises though to “keep [Greta] in mind” if another Joker movie comes up.

‘Greta’ then suggests she could star as the violent supervillain Harley Queen because she bears some similarities to the character: “Sometimes I want to take a basketball [sic] bat and smash all the politicians that think they are very smart.”

Joaquin and Rooney both laugh as he promises to talk to the writer and the director about it.

Lexus/Svante recounts a fictitious story about how he met with Jared Leto, who played the Joker in the 2016 film Suicide Squad, and how Leto went out of his way trying to prove that he was a better Joker than Phoenix and was eventually rushed to hospital by ambulance.

The Hollywood couple appears confused, and Joaquin says he feels sorry for the ‘Thunbergs’.

‘Greta’ then begs Joaquin (“just a few more seconds please”) to laugh as the Joker. He says he has devoted a lot of time working into it and cannot just do it on the spot, but eventually concedes.

‘Svante’, who is also an actor in real life, also does the Joker laughter (it isn’t even close though).

‘Greta’ calls her ‘father’ a bad actor and they start an argument. “I don’t have to do it again”, Lexus shouts. “The neighbours will call the police again.”

Greta appears in DC comics

It culminates in shots being fired, and after a few seconds’ pause Joaquin realises: “Oh my God we were being punked. We are totally getting punked. It’s brilliant. What you guys did was brilliant.”

Vovan and Lexus, who have recently tricked a US governor into thinking that Russia is about to annex Alaska, seem to have embraced Greta Thunberg’s planet-saving legacy.

Earlier this month, they published an audio of their conversation with Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, who promised the Swedish activist to do everything to save Chunga-Changa (a fictitious island from a popular Soviet cartoon).

Footnote:  l’ve been thinking that the climate scare will be past its peak when comedians ernestly poke fun at CO2 obsession.  I didn’t see this one coming.

In Praise of Jim Lehrer and Real News

Jim Lehrer was a trustworhty source of news and information for decades hosting the PBS News Hour along with Robin MacNeil.  The Dallas Morning News editorial explains why he was so valuable and what is so sorely missed in today’s news media.  Jim Lehrer’s old school journalism is exactly how we should still be doing it today Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

When he signed off from his long and excellent broadcasting career, Jim Lehrer was still the same sort of journalist that he started as. He was, as he put it, a newspaperman.

The term is dated now, but Lehrer described in a common term then something important about the kind of journalism he did. It was a journalism that was sober and serious, more attached to reason than emotion, and in relentless pursuit of the facts.

His journalism was rooted in the way he did his job early in his career on the city desk of the Dallas Times-Herald and the Dallas Morning News, before he sat in front of a camera at KERA and launched himself in broadcast.

The camera’s lights never changed the man or the way he did his work, and the nation was better for it.

In his years alongside Robin MacNeil and alone, Lehrer, who died today at 85, presented the news fairly, fully and with genuine balance, standing as an example of how the work should be done of both presenting and consuming information about our world.

And it stands in such stark contrast to the nonstop nonsense of bias, noise and garbage that presents itself as television news today. That is entertainment created to hold eyeballs and sell ads. And that wasn’t Jim Lehrer’s journalism.

Lehrer was of the old school. In public broadcasting he perhaps did have the same pressures that commercial television might have applied. But given his personal character and his strong sense of the ethics of journalism, we doubt any commercial calling would have fit him at all.

Every journalist practicing the craft today should listen to his words about how to do the job and do it well. Because that is exactly what he did.

Here is what he said.

People often ask me if there are guidelines in our practice of what I like to call MacNeil Lehrer journalism. Well, yes, there are, and here they are.

Do nothing I cannot defend.
Cover, write and present every story with the care I would want if the story were about me.
Assume there is at least one other side or version to every story.
Assume the viewer is as smart and caring and as good a person as I am.
Assume the same about all people on whom I report.
Assume personal lives are a private matter until a legitimate turn in the story absolutely mandates otherwise.
Carefully separate opinion and analysis from straight news stories and clearly label everything.
Do not use anonymous sources or blind quotes except on rare and monumental occasions. No one should ever be allowed to attack another anonymously.
And, finally, I am not in the entertainment business.

Rest in peace, Jim Lehrer. You were a great newspaperman.

Footnote: 

After Lehrer and MacNeil left, the PBS News Hour lost its edge, went soft and biased.  When global warming/climate change arose as an issue, the new team proved unable to steer in the cross currents.  I wrote a few times to suggest names of experts who would provide a balance to the alarmists they typically interviewed.  But environmentalists in their audience (and staff?) did not want any contrary information, and the show followed the party line rather than offending or educating.  In the old days, Lehrer and MacNeil were my go to channel for political event reporting, but that also later collapsed into panels of progressives and never-Trumpers.  It’s now little different from the other news entertainment outlets, sadly.

Extinction Rebellion Psychosis Patient Zero

From the Telegraph Climate activist who climbed Big Ben has ‘Extinction Rebellion psychosis’, judge says. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Aclimate change activist who scaled Big Ben in a green leotard and a blonde Boris Johnson wig has ‘Extinction Rebellion psychosis’ a judge has said.

Tree surgeon Benjamin Atkinson, 43, spent three hours on the scaffolding at Queen Elizabeth Tower last October.

Atkinson climbed the tower and unfurled a rainbow flag from the scaffolding carrying the XR logo which read: ‘No pride on a dead planet’.

He appeared barefoot at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday where he denied a single trespass charge.

His solicitor Jenny Winter indicated he intends to argue necessity in his defence and will call witnesses to give evidence on his suffering from “climate change anxiety”.

Chief Magistrate, Lady Emma Arbuthnot: “No, no, no, this is about climbing a tower, necessity is saving life or preventing immediate injury, necessity is a very narrow defence.

“The court may not allow you to rely on it,” she added.

Lady Arbuthnot described his climate change anxiety as “Extinction Rebellion psychosis”.

Crowds had gathered at Westminster during the three hour stunt at 3:30pm on 18 October last year.

While on the scaffolding he told Sky News by phone: ‘I don’t think Boris is doing his job properly – he needs to get past Brexit and start thinking about the sixth mass extinction event that’s happening as we speak.’

Atkinson, of Rydal, Cumbria, denies trespassing on a designated protected site under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 and will return for trial on 14 April.

The maximum sentence for the offence is six months jail and or a fine not exceeding £5,000.

Footnote:

I was initially reluctant to label this sufferer as “patient zero” since there is an obvious epidemic of people showing related symptoms, especially on Fridays for some reason.  Finally I concluded that the label fits because for the first time a judicial authority has correctly diagnosed the condition as a form of insanity. However, the contagion continues: