CSotD: Believe You Me

Jen Sorensen explains where we’re at.

I think.

It’s hard to know what’s going on, because we tend to rely on what people discuss on social media, and, first of all, we don’t know the proportion of the actual population they represent.

That is, it’s fair to assume that nearly everyone is on social media of some sort, though we keep hearing that whatever platforms we are on is not where the cool kids are anymore, such that Instagram Calvin pisses on Facebook.

But, wherever they’re doing it, some people are posting links to intelligent political analysis and sharing important news updates, while others are spreading phony pictures of badly injured children in hospital beds or bogus warnings about non-existent health hazards.


I saw one of those stupid “They won’t let the kids say the Pledge in school anymore” memes the other day, and was able to answer it not only by pointing out that the Pledge is required in nearly every state and legally “encouraged” in the others, but by adding Owen Dunne’s YDK strip from 2015, which not only refutes it but comments on how badly the people who spread this nonsense want to believe it.

The armchair psychologist says they need something external to blame for whatever is missing or whatever they failed to achieve.

I suppose. And I suppose if you’re lonely enough, posting a picture of a child with a disability or the flag, and daring other people to have the courage to share it makes sense.


It really doesn’t matter why people continue to fall for obvious “like farming,” proudly admitting that, yes, they know what that is! It’s a spoon! or that they can, indeed, think of a movie title that begins with the letter “T.”

You might click here to learn more about like farming, but they won’t. They aren’t curious enough, and, besides, if you comment suggesting they wise up, your profile will be compromised and they’ll never see it because they’ll have wandered on to something else.

And as long as they’re just clogging up the Intertubes with schmaltzy nonsense, foolish quizzes and the like, it really doesn’t matter, though it’s doubly annoying when they announce that they’ve been hacked.

It’s like someone scattering roofing nails in their driveway and then complaining about getting a flat tire.

But there’s more to this, and it’s serious:

They’re also never going to click on and read this link from Rolling Stone, which explains how the Russian troll farms use innocent looking memes to gather up the sheep for slaughter.

It’s frightening stuff, more frightening than “The Brainwashing of My Dad” and other discussions of Fox News and talk radio because it’s more insidious, more hidden, less overtly a matter of political propaganda.

Though I’ve got to admit that, when Tucker Carlson proudly declares that he’s rooting for Russia to invade and destroy Ukraine, I wonder why anyone thinks they need to undermine us in secret.


I wish I could believe Chris Britt, and, in a sane world, Trump would indeed have painted himself into a corner with his lies and corruption.

But not in this one.


Similarly, Stuart Carlson is right that Sondland’s testimony was — to borrow his metaphor — a blockbuster.

But I’m seeing people whom I would expect to welcome those revelations attacking Sondland for who he used to be instead of welcoming his change of heart, no matter how pragmatic it might be.

Perhaps they’re just the usual crowd of what one of my conservative professors referred to as “dime store Robespierres,” but it makes me think some of their opinions may be being generated in St. Petersburg, because they just don’t make sense here.

Still, what makes sense here is the notion that, “if we keep repeating ‘No Quid Pro Quo,’ it’ll just go away,” because, so far, that seems to be working out pretty well.

Ann Telnaes may be right that Mick Mulvaney has been reduced to spraying Stink Be Gone on a rotting horsehead (plucked, one assumes, from Zelenskyy’s bedclothes), and that rot just got a whole lot rottener with the discovery not of “her emails” but of theirs.


Still, a country that can sell Duck Dynasty and Honey Boo Boo as entertainment for bipeds can sell Stink Be Gone by the case, no matter what it smells like, simply by repeatedly saying how much everyone loves its odor.


Besides, as Walt Handelsman points out, what the hell difference is it going to make in the end anyway?

The fix is in and the Republicans are proud to own it.

One thing I’ve seen on social media that I don’t think is coming out of the Russian troll factories is people saying that, instead of spending millions on nominations they won’t secure, billionaires Tom Steyer and Mike Bloomberg should buy Fox News and turn it into a news service instead of a propaganda factory.

Well, that won’t happen, but it’s a lovely thought.

Meanwhile, I think it’s a damn shame that Moscow Mitch is holding up bills that would reform and protect our electoral system, and I’d love to hear his justification for it.

But I do believe — dear lord, I have to — that our system, for all its flaws, has at least the capacity to ring up one more pretty accurate vote count.

It damn well better.

Because the producers of this show are banking on a hit, whether the snobs like it or not.



One thought on “CSotD: Believe You Me

  1. They had only a few hours to shoot that scene, in the St. James Theatre in NY, where HELLO DOLLY was on hiatus in preparation for the transition for the Pearl Bailey version. The DOLLY producers were there to watch the load-in and one of the rehearsals and left thinking it was the screwiest thing they’d ever seen. But David Merrick made a point of tracking down Mel Brooks and asking if he’d be interested in expanding the SPRINGTIME segment into a full length show.

    What might have been…..

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