With a genial rictus over his plasticine jaw, Ted Cruz marches his party into oblivion

October 1, 2013 - Comments Off on With a genial rictus over his plasticine jaw, Ted Cruz marches his party into oblivion

holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation, typically in relation to politics or religion.

I first heard of Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz in an article dredged up from the far-right cesspool RedState. At the time, early 2012, said article was encouraging its non-copos mentis readership to pull for the then little-known Rethuglican to beat his only slightly less-humantistically appalling opponent, David Dewhurst, from winning their primary for Texas’ vacant senate seat. Cruz fought his opponent into a runoff, and then won.

Fast-forward eighteen months later: Senator Cruz fake-filibusters for 21 hours about how Obamacare is evil and the Republic is doomed and grotesquely misinterprets Green Eggs and Ham into an anti-health insurance parable and oh my god Ted Cruz is a cancerous asshat who I’d add to this aborted series if I weren’t so lazy.

There is a little-known rule that says the Speaker of the House of Representatives need not be an elected congressman. I don’t believe it’s ever actually been put into practice, but, technically, the House leader needn’t be a House member. Technically, this is still so. Realistically, Speaker Cruz is now running shit. Between his public grandstanding and behind the scenes cajoling, this freshman senator, this McCarthy-redux, this unbearably pompous, inconceivably obtuse, remarkably radical rotting husk of flesh and few bones is, in effect, running the People’s House.

Government shutdown? Him. More than anyone else, even amongst his demented peers, him.

This is what conservatism has been dumbed down to? The word ‘conservative’ brings to mind patience and prudence, a thoughtful “Let’s think things through here for a sec” check on the progressive drive for immediate improvement. To be conservative is to cautiously adapt to the times, not refuse to acknowledge them; to sensibly facilitate change, not stymie it. When Cruz and Co. couch their rhetoric in the abstractions of “entitlements” and “big government” they are railing against specific, beneficial programs that have been part of this country’s terra firma for decades. If you want to destroy or fundamentally alter Social Security (Cruz: it’s a “Ponzi scheme”) and Medicare (Cruz: voucherize it, like clipping coupons for groceries) etc. then you are not, under any fair definition of the word, conservative – you are a radical, seeking to upend longstanding societal norms in the name of an uncompromising ideology. You are also a mean-spirited asshole.

And for what is this Pied Piper of Pablum leading his lemmings over the edge, for what “conservative” goal is he working toward? To force the entire federal government to bow to the wishes of a select few dolts and dunderers, to sabotage a law that, whatever its growing pains, was campaigned on by a presidential candidate, passed by a majority of the House and a supermajority of the Senate, upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court, and then relitigated in a second presidential election. How many times and ways must a law be ratified before it becomes, you know, a fucking law? How many times and ways must the Grand Obstructionist Party be repudiated by the majority of voters before it concedes to the wishes not of Democrats, but of the democratic system of government? How many people must die or go bankrupt due to lack of health insurance before GOP plutocrats deign to give a shit? How many dickslaps can Ted Cruz take before his face falls the rest of the way off?

And the thing is, even on the batshit side it’s accepted that this unnecessary shutdown that Senator Stupid has megaminded is ultimately a loser for his party. There are many liberal-minded people like myself who are fine with it; They wanna shoot themselves, let them, so the thinking goes.

While this sort of thinking is temptingly cathartic, it’s just plain wrong. The whole idea of long-term political consequences being the sole arbiter of which policy one should pursue is a coldly abstract stance that belies the immediate personal, humane consequences that are wrought by the Ted Cruz’s of the world lighting their own fuses on fire. A group of kamikazes don’t just blow themselves up in a vacuum; they make sure they’re right in the thick of things. Hundreds of thousands of people are, as of last night, unsure when their next paychecks will be arriving. This is reality. This is what the real-world consequences are when one recalcitrant party follows the lead of one nasty demagogue as he joyfully parades them off a cliff.

So yeah, the longer this goes on, the more damaging it will be for the GOP. But morally-conscious people should take the high road here, and hope the shutdown ends sooner rather than later. The Republican party is out of ideas, out of voters, and out of time. They are on a voluntary death march, and while I’m all for accelerating their doom, we shouldn’t do so at the expense of peoples’ livelihoods. We’re not uncaring. We’re not assholes.

We’re not Ted Cruz.


From deep within my archives

June 16, 2013 - Comments Off on From deep within my archives

comes this epic poem I’d thought lost. Dated 2005 C.E., it chronicles the adventures of a unique boy who had an appetite, not merely for food, but for… adventure. And yes, this serves as a wonderful excuse to repurpose my old stuff instead of having to sit down and write something new. Cheers to recycling.

American Glutton; or, A Case Study in Gastronomic Overindulgence, With Special Attention Paid to the Effects of Large-Scale Crustacean Consumption Amongst Overweight Teenagers


One day, while eating at the mall,

My friend Eric had the gall

To say that in his stomach could fit

No less than a thousand shrimp.


“You’re mad,” I said

You’re out of your head.

If you ate all that, you’d go all limp.

No one can eat a thousand shrimp!”


I warned him then, I told him don’t,

But Eric got up and grabbed his coat.

Determined not to seem a wimp

He went home to eat a thousand shrimp.


Cooked and peeled, he attended to that;

Chilled and fresh, on the table they sat.

Cocktail sauce, lemon – he did not skimp!

Only the best for his thousand shrimp.


Some time later he rang my phone

Sickly requesting that I come to his home.

What had he done, that foolish imp?

Had he tried to eat a thousand shrimp?


In through the doorway, on to the kitchen

He lay on the floor, moanin’ and bitchin.’

And, indeed, he’d blown up like a blimp

But he’d really eaten a thousand shrimp.

It’s not a bad thing when bad people die

April 8, 2013 - Comments Off on It’s not a bad thing when bad people die


“A world without nuclear weapons would be less stable and more dangerous for all of us.”

– idiot above flashing the peace sign

Here is that gaseous dilettante, Piers Morgan, puffing about how Americans would never treat the death of a president with the piles of “outrageous hateful abuse” that too few Brits are helping to heave unto the grave of Margaret Thatcher (too few only because it’s only some, and not all, of them.) He uses this to compliment America; I take it as an accurate insult.

I don’t know how this country fares in comparison to others when it comes to accurately evaluating the legacy of the recently deceased. I suspect the retroactive hagiographical epitaphs we lavish upon our famous deceased aren’t a unique phenomenon; America is a stupid place, a very stupid place, but it is not the only stupid place.

Still, though, from perusing the Times of London and the Guardian it appears they’ve given some voice to the factual fuckups of Dame Thatcher’s legacy. We don’t do that at all here; our whitewashing is complete, rather than partial, once you’re dead, anyway. Oh, we’re more than happy to criticize influential figures while they’re actually around to respond and feed the news cycle, but we don’t take a breath after certain people have breathed their last before we sing of their angelic spirit whilst ignoring their very obvious demons. Those critics who aren’t cowed into silence are simply backhanded into irrelevance.

I once wrote about the prospective death of a certain Supremely odious figure, in which I mentioned the difference between advocating for someone’s murder and recognizing the potential positive impact of their final exit. Unlike Tony Fats, Margaret Thatcher’s death can result in no direct good; she was, at the time of her death, a walking (wheeling?) corpse, a delirious mummy. Nonetheless, the world is a better place, if only through addition by subtraction, without this apathetic, racist, homophobic, xenophobic witch.

She was a woman who crowed of her ascendance in a sexist establishment and then never appointed a single woman to her cabinet. She was the daughter of a butcher who rose to the highest office of the land and then waged an aggressive war against the working class. She was the embodiment of Randian selfishness, a cruel and stupid political savant who made her American partner in political coitus look good by comparison. And how fitting, then, that she shared his drooling fate.

Ding dong, the bitch is dead, and good fucking riddance. Somewhere, in a galaxy far, far below, the shrill cries of a British harpy answer the whispy “well”‘s of an American cowboy, and the fallen angel beholds his newest trophy.

Latest definition of irony

September 25, 2012 - Comments Off on Latest definition of irony

Our first definition (I say ‘our’ because I see the big time bloggers use it to make their tech teams feel involved, but this shit is all me) (as if you couldn’t tell) was Newt Gingrich apologizing for the typos in his hastily written Tweets with a hastily written Tweet in which he misspelled ‘typo.’

A year later, we had sociopathic Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, with his characteristic bad timing, rip the Oakland Athletics’ Dallas Braden as a nobody, only to see him catapulted into the headlines after throwing a perfect game two days later. (To be fair to A-Rod, he was almost right – Braden has barely been heard from since.)

And now we have this from Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, whose obscenely anti-union policies forced him into the indignity of facing what was only the third attempted gubernatorial recall election in U.S. history, (he survived, due in large part to sympathy votes cast by Wisconsinites who were not unreasonably convinced by their Google image search results that the man has Down’s syndrome,) (seriously, take a look) taking to Twitter to denounce the hideous game-ending call by the replacement officials in last night’s Packers-Seahawks game:

…which was caused by, of course, a multibillion-dollar monopoly refusing to compensate its employees properly, thus resulting in a unionized strike.

Oh, look: a tough-talking conservative who’s ready to cave whenever his personal interests clash with his principals.

How. Novel.

Fuck 9/11

September 11, 2012 - Comments Off on Fuck 9/11

– fuck the erosion of morality it inspired, serving as the justification for the wanton murder and calculated torture of oftentimes dubiously detained suspects

– fuck GW, who, at the behest of an incompetent neocon cabal, used the bones of the victims to beat the drums of war

– fuck Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and all the other standard-bearers of what should be the ‘grown-up’ party for acceding to fund Bush and Dick’s Excellent Adventure

– fuck Rudy Giuliani, that ghoulish toad, who pursed his lips, puffed out his chest, and rode the day’s proverbial coattails away from what would have deservedly been an ignominious exit from public life

– fuck fundamentalist Islam, which promises to reward the deliberate slaughter of civilians

– fuck the equivocating apologists, who insist that it doesn’t promise that at all

– fuck the morally and intellectually bankrupt thugs who bought into it, and handed over their strings to a psychopathic puppeteer

– fuck that cowardly man who pulled their strings from a distance, coaxing them into murderous servitude by purporting to ventriloquise the divine

– fuck the bigoted Christianists, who hypocritically rail against all of the above, all the while in screaming denial of their own faith’s ignorance and nastiness

– fuck the meatheaded nationalism it gave rise to, nothing more than the equation of patriotism with bellicose, “U-S-A, U-S-A!” jingoism

– fuck the Freedom Tower, that comical monstrosity, for so obviously symbolizing the most base and ignoble elements of Americana: its disdain for nuance, its dismissal of context, and its insistence on saying “Fuck all, this shit is going right here.

Fuck everything about this stupid fucking day. It deserves not solemnity, nor piousness, nor reverence – it deserves anger. In so many ways – lives lost, attitudes changed, policies implemented, leaders elected – it was both the single most fucked up day, and day that fucked the most things up (creating a climate of pervasive fear, causing an erosion of civil liberties, and contributing to an economic tailspin at home; leading to needless bloodshed and the self-cultivated spread of anti-American sentiment abroad,) in modern American history.

And if I hear Rudy or Sean Hannity use the term “pre-9/11 mindset” one more time, I will bludgeon Clint Eastwood to death with a hammer, flay his carcass with a sickle, and drape it over that empty chair of his.

(And yes, format inspired by this.)

Mitt Romney is a real fucking prick

July 12, 2012 - Comments Off on Mitt Romney is a real fucking prick

Forget all the shape-shifting, flip-flopping and robot-like insults/accurate descriptors. They’re true, but not nearly direct enough: this guy is a fucking prick. He’s not, as the most generous assesments afford him, a closet moderate technocrat just playing down his competence level to appeal to the braying rubes of the Republican base: he’s a genuine fucking prick.

I’m putting this up now as a placeholding reminder to do a more detailed follow-up, but I also just had to call him what he is after what might be the most shameless, disgusting, bile-inducing thing he’s done yet. Today, Mitt Romney got black people to boo him so he could look more like an authentic racist. That might be the worst thing I’ve ever heard when it comes to politics, and that’s really saying something, because it’s fucking politics.

I may need to resurrect the People Who Should Die feature.

I’m back, and The Newsroom is fucking terrible

June 26, 2012 - Comments Off on I’m back, and The Newsroom is fucking terrible

Nothing like a televised debacle of the sort that aired on HBO last night to annoy me out of the blogging indolence I’ve been mired in lately. Aaron Sorkin’s latest is the most odious ode to self-indulgence and wankery since, well, the last Aaron Sorkin odious ode to self-indulgence and wankery.

So. Jeff Daniels is a milquetoast news anchor who has a Network-style entertaining meltdown while speaking at Northwestern University. He goes on vacation, and comes back to find that his staff has largely deserted him, because his brilliance is matched by his dickishness, and his boss has hired an old flame as his new executive producer, and she has Big Ideas about how they should aspire to do the kind of “nightly newscast that informs debate worthy of a great nation” and oh my fucking god it’s SO Aaron Sorkin, the worst of Aaron Sorkin, it’s SUCH an ungainly mash-up of gauche pitter patter dialogue and grandiose fulminating, and it’s even got a full 90 second opening credits sequence with the actors dramatically turning their heads as their names pop up, accompanied by treacly music and intercut with black and white photos of Cronkite and Murrow so as to hit the nerve for Greatest Generation nostalgia that Sorkin has such a boner for, and drunk Sam Waterston even unnecessarily pops in and out, wearing a completely ridiculous bow tie, spouting more platitudinous nostalgia, and *deep breath* it’s all just such, such CRAP.

As the staff (somewhat entertainingly, actually) precognitively unspools both the true extent of the damage and the revelations of conspiratorial buffoonery to come in the first few minutes of the Deepwater Horizon spill, we keep cutting back to Jeff Daniels’ office, where Emily Mortimer (the aforementioned new executive producer) makes a syrupy paean about reclaiming the fourth estate, only to have Daniels rebuke her with a nasty one-liner. So she delivers another soliloquy, saying pretty much the exact same thing again, and he smacks her down again. So she tries again. This happens FIFTY FUCKING TIMES, and it is classic Bad Sorkin: bury the lede (the worst man-made environmental disaster in American history is being investigated right outside this office) in favor of focusing on speechifying ex-lovers, mixing the paternalistic complaints of the girl (and it’s always the girl character who’s paternalistic – girls are over-emotional, you know) with the snarky dismissiveness of the guy (and it’s always the guy character who’s snarky and dismissive – guys are cynical meatheads, you know) (Sorkin’s treatment of gender roles was never all that nuanced, even in the context of the similarly simplistic, David E. Kelley stuff of the late 90s – and Jesus, this show just reeks of 90s sensibilities – nowadays, it’s positively prehistoric) (Kelley, as well, is still peddling this shit, most recently with the revolting Harry’s Law) (these are a lot of parentheticals, huh?) and tossing it around until you’ve got word salad for two (assholes.)

But wait! The fifty-first time is the charm, because this time, even though she’s doing nothing but repeating herself again, this time the treacly piano music comes in under the speech, and Daniels just. Finally. Gets it. And then he puts on his big boy pants, and yells at reps from Haliburton and the Mineral Management Services about shit he couldn’t possibly know about, shit that took the shitty real reporters of the real world weeks to figure out, and so would’ve taken even the good real reporters of the real world days to figure out, but Jeff Daniels has the benefit of Sorkin and his team distilling two years worth of research and revelation into an impossibly informed, succinct, sixty minute broadcast to be delivered five minutes after the rig explodes, a broadcast which, to top it all off, he does off the top of his head. No prompter. No, I didn’t exaggerate that last part for effect. No, The Newsroom is not a postmodern satire of Nietzsche where the Ubermensch is realized as a souped-up Keith Olbermann. (I should totally write that show.) It’s just awful. Just really, really awful.

What really sucks is all the wasted potential. You’ve got a writer who’s shown himself capable of some truly inspiring work, a talented cast, the justly lauded creativity-cultivating atmosphere of HBO, and, as important an ingredient as any, a topic ripe for exploration. Today’s news climate does suck. It’s not just faux-nostalgia for an era of greater principles that never really existed, the kind of “things used to be purer” crap you hear whenever a famous athlete is caught roiding himself up (as if Gaylord Perry never threw spitballs and Ty Cobb wasn’t a violent racist) or when we hear all about how the latest election season is “the nastiest in history” (as if the Jefferson campaign never ran ads calling John Adams a hermaphrodite (didn’t make that one up, either.)

Yes, there was stuff like the Joseph Pulitzer/William Randolph Hearst dick measuring contest that helped set off the Spanish-American War, and the press has always had its share of character assassins and misinformation peddlers, but as recently as only a few decades ago there was also authentic courage to be found within. Murrow’s two-night editorial evisceration of McCarthy isn’t merely the stuff of legend – it was real, and it was insanely risky on both the part of Murrow and CBS executive Bill Paley to do something like A Report on Senator Joseph McCarthy, not to mention other, lesser known programs like Harvest of Shame, a heartbreaking look at the grueling life of the American migrant worker. Arthur Sulzberger told Richard Nixon to go fuck himself when he tried to bully the New York Times into ceasing publication of the Pentagon Papers; when Nixon got a court-ordered injunction against their publication, Ben Bradlee at the Washington Post joined in solidarity with the Times in support of freedom of the press, and the Post began publishing their own articles on the Papers.

These were risky actions taken by powerful people who took genuine pride in their work, who saw themselves as businessmen, sure, but also as informers. As hard as it is to believe, they gave a shit about putting out a quality product, and not *just* the almighty dollar. They were interested in the truth, and took personal umbrage at being misled or manipulated. To put it in The Newsroom’s nice-sounding, if overly simplified parlance: “In the old days, we did the news well. You know why? We just decided to.”

So I would love to see a show that went on the attack against the near-total corruption, laziness, anti-intelligence and cowardice of our current world of news, the “bias toward balance” that leads to stuff like Anderson Cooper being excoriated for describing a lie as a lie, a world where lies are just “disagreements,” bigoted speech is merely “un-PC,” and one lone nut with a PhD from the Come-For-Me-Sweet-Jesus-Yes-All-Over-My-Chest-Just-Like-That Divinity School who says climate change isn’t real is enough to call the science “unsettled.” These malignancies endemic to our news model should be pointed out, and attacked, and ridiculed, and the alternative hypothesized and illustrated. But what nobody needs, what is a total waste of time and talent, what is just *masturbation* is a douchey Captain Hindsight snarking at his professional lessers and bickering with his shrill ex-girlfriend. Nobody needs it, but that’s what we’ve got in The Newsroom.

So congrats, Mr. Sorkin. You Greedo’d the fuck out of one of the easiest targets out there. Please don’t ever do a takedown of Big Tobacco; it’ll probably make me a chain smoker.

Hey, that was fun! I should totally do this blogging thing more often!

Gotta catch em, Paul!

May 9, 2012 - Comments Off on Gotta catch em, Paul!

The guy who sang the theme song to the Pokemon anime remakes it into a Ron Paul anthem about catching electoral delegates. Yes, this is real, and 100% irony-free.

The Tea Party claims another scalp

May 9, 2012 - Comments Off on The Tea Party claims another scalp

Indiana’s Dick Lugar (there’s a name), 36-year US Senate vet, absolutely unloads on the Republican party after being destroyed by a Tea Partier in a primary:

…(my opponent’s) embrace of an unrelenting partisan mindset is irreconcilable with my philosophy of governance and my experience of what brings results for Hoosiers in the Senate. In effect, what he has promised in this campaign is reflexive votes for a rejectionist orthodoxy and rigid opposition to the actions and proposals of the other party. His answer to the inevitable roadblocks he will encounter in Congress is merely to campaign for more Republicans who embrace the same partisan outlook. He has pledged his support to groups whose prime mission is to cleanse the Republican party of those who stray from orthodoxy as they see it.

This is not conducive to problem solving and governance. And he will find that unless he modifies his approach, he will achieve little as a legislator. Worse, he will help delay solutions that are totally beyond the capacity of partisan majorities to achieve.

…And partisan groups, including outside groups that spent millions against me in this race, are determined to see that this continues. They have worked to make it as difficult as possible for a legislator of either party to hold independent views or engage in constructive compromise. If that attitude prevails in American politics, our government will remain mired in the dysfunction we have witnessed during the last several years.

…Republicans cannot admit to any nuance in policy on climate change. Republican members are now expected to take pledges against any tax increases. For two consecutive Presidential nomination cycles, GOP candidates competed with one another to express the most strident anti-immigration view, even at the risk of alienating a huge voting bloc. Similarly, most Democrats are constrained when talking about such issues as entitlement cuts, tort reform, and trade agreements. Our political system is losing its ability to even explore alternatives. If fealty to these pledges continues to expand, legislators may pledge their way into irrelevance. Voters will be electing a slate of inflexible positions rather than a leader.

Lugar was a solid legislator, someone who’d rather build bridges than burn them, as the current incarnation of the GOP seems hell bent on doing whenever and wherever possible. He wasn’t a blustering demagogue, content to use his position only for self-aggrandizing speechifying; he was a lawmaker who actually tried to (and often did) make laws. And to his credit, when the mob of yahoos that vote in these Republican primaries came braying for his head on a pike, he didn’t kowtow or apologize for a second:

Ultimately, the re-election of an incumbent to Congress usually comes down to whether voters agree with the positions the incumbent has taken. I knew that I had cast recent votes that would be unpopular with some Republicans and that would be targeted by outside groups.

These included my votes for the TARP program, for government support of the auto industry, for the START Treaty, and for the confirmations of Justices Sotomayor and Kagan. I also advanced several propositions that were considered heretical by some, including the thought that Congressional earmarks saved no money and turned spending power over to unelected bureaucrats and that the country should explore options for immigration reform.

It was apparent that these positions would be attacked in a Republican primary. But I believe that they were the right votes for the country, and I stand by them without regrets, as I have throughout the campaign.

This is the type of shockingly honest talk that only comes from a politician when they know the game is up, that there’s nothing left to lose. But compare Lugar’s words and refusal to kiss the Tea Party’s ring to another veteran senator, John McCain, who, when primaried two years ago (also by a teabagging tool) shamelessly caved in the face of such pressure. He became as obstinate, reactionary, xenophobic, homophobic, racist and reality-challenged as one needs to be to appease the churlish rabble that dominates these primaries in conservative states. It worked; McCain kept his senate seat.

Lugar kept his integrity.

This is me trying to be tactful

April 30, 2012 - Comments Off on This is me trying to be tactful

I rarely waste your time with tidbits from my personal life, but every once in a while something genuinely entertaining does occur within my bubble of self-absorption, and I think this is one of those times. So, presented uncut, my disgruntled email to a professor over a group lesson plan project:

(I know, I know – the “everyone’s dumb but me” theme is a familiar one. But in this case, it’s actually true.)

Professor –

I’m not sure if there’s a way to say this without it coming off as whining/throwing other students under the bus, but as I’m sitting here trying to assemble my group’s lesson plan for tomorrow into something that’s actually presentable, I feel it has to be said: I’m pretty much alone on this project. I’m dealing with group members whose contributions are, at various turns:

– incoherently formatted (eg. white text on a white background.) (I’m not joking. I don’t even know how he typed it.)

– grammatically incorrect on every conceivable level (when Cliff is an English major!)

– intellectually bankrupt/offensive (apparently feminism has single-handedly destroyed the stability of the American family; who knew?)

So it’s left for me to try to expand generic points, correct the wrong ones, interpret the vaguely incoherent ones, line edit (literally – just about every line I’m working with has something glaringly wrong with it) and pretty much use broken parts to make something that works. I realize this is rant-ish and harshly worded, but I’m genuinely annoyed about it, and I think it should be known when the inner-workings of a group are this dysfunctional. These aren’t small problems I can correct with a tweak/suggestion or two – they’re foundational requisites that just plain aren’t there. Pluralization isn’t a fancy add-on, and visible text isn’t an extra luxury.

Candidly, every part of this lesson that didn’t originate with me is deficient in some way, and I’m not a good enough miracle worker to pull the whole thing off; nor should I have to be. So at a certain point I just included their work verbatim in the lesson plan (this will be glaringly obvious) and left their individual PowerPoints as is. If my grade suffers then so be it, I suppose, though I hope it doesn’t. I just feel I’ve done more than my fair share of work on this.

I’m hesitant to even send this email, and I’m sorry it’s long-winded and rambling, but I’m just frustrated beyond belief. I mean, I’m ridiculously far from perfect, but I’m a lot better than all this.

Think that’s hard on my fellow students? I left out the part where one blatantly plagiarized misogynistic material from some random student’s paper he found on the Internet. Compared to what I could’ve said, I’m the angel of fucking mercy.

Finally, it bears repeating:

White text.

On a white background.

You just can’t make this shit up.