Dingus of the Week: Brett Favre
Sold his soul to the Devil, still couldn't help the Vikings win the Super Bowl smdh
Welcome to the weekly dingus! This is the Friday newsletter where we make fun of something in the news, share some links, and always a drink. It’s the Friday newsletter you’ve come to rely on to help you keep your tenuous grip on sanity.
The weekly dingus must really be catching on because this week, people all over the nation were practically jumping at the chance to be crowned America’s most foolhardy and ridiculous. To (mis)quote the economist John Kenneth Galbraith, this week we observed man engage in that timeless exercise in moral philosophy — that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.
But I want to turn away from the world of politics, to the world of sports. Namely, Brett Favre. Brett Favre in a move taken from some inbred French Renaissance king stole state welfare money to build a stadium. He literally took money out of the state fund that was allocated to feed poor people and built a $5 million volleyball stadium.
Mississippi Today reported on Tuesday, “The newly released texts, filed Monday by an attorney representing Nancy New’s nonprofit, show that Bryant, Favre, New, Davis and others worked together to channel at least $5 million of the state’s welfare funds to build a new volleyball stadium at University of Southern Mississippi, where Favre’s daughter played the sport. Favre received most of the credit for raising funds to construct the facility.”
The result of this scheme is the biggest public fraud case in Mississippi history. New pled guilty to 13 felony counts related to the case and is awaiting trial.
Favre has previously denied involvement with the project and Favre’s attorney has said that Favre has been honorable through this whole ordeal. But the text messages reported on by Mississippi Today show otherwise. This isn’t the only time Favre has been accused of sending a bad text message. Former gameday host for the Jets, Jennifer Stager, accused Favre of sending her inappropriate messages. The NFL investigated the claims in 2010. They did not find that Favre had violated any of their policies, but did fine him $50,000 for not cooperating with the investigation.
At least when the rich of yore stole money, they built grand cathedrals that were beautiful monuments to opulent wealth. This facility is just steel beams and vinyl siding. The volleyball center looks like some tattooed pastor is going to run a church out of there while wearing very expensive sneakers only to step down after being accused of sexual harassment. Favre’s failure really brings down his win-loss record, down to the depths of hell. Favre’s actions prove that even if you’ve sold your soul to the Devil and ransomed it for a volleyball stadium, that’s still not enough for you to lead the Vikings to the Super Bowl.
The median income in Mississippi is $25,261. Some estimates put Favre’s worth at over $100 million. Favre stole $5 million in welfare funds for a stadium and his biggest concern was that he was going to get caught.
The hero culture surrounding white sports stars creates a world where these men use the world as their playground, leaving so many moral hit and runs behind them. David Roth, wrote a wonderful article about this in April, noting, “The American Dream has always, at its heart, been about not just being able to do whatever you want to do, but about being able to get away with it. It’s a lot more fun to imagine the liberation of living that way than it is to live in the wreckage that sort of behavior reliably leaves behind.”
Note: God that article is so ridiculously good. David Roth is an incredible writer and I’m furious about it. But also happy second birthday to Defector! You’ve given us so much good writing, reporting, and podcasting. I say this with all the love in my heart: I hate you all, you brilliant geniuses.
This week, the owner of Exile Brewery went to the Des Moines City Council gave an impassioned speech for justice. By which I mean, she wanted to put more homeless people in drunk tanks and deny drug users free meals. I suppose in some ways it takes a lot of guts for the owner of a brewery, which, in part, made money off of appropriating the image of someone else to promote their beer (and getting sued for it), to go before the City Council and demand that the city clean up the freeloaders. But Iowa is full of everyday heroes like that.
Being houseless is not a moral failing. What is a moral failing is othering people who lack resources and need help more than they need condemnation. But I’m forgetting the immortal words of Jesus in John 123:22, which were, “Fuck those guys, tho.”
Also, if you are mad that the live-action Little Mermaid is Black, I’ve been reading your rants, but I think they sounded better in the original German.
In Good News:
The owner of Patagonia is giving away his company to fight climate change.
In Iowa (again, what is it with this woman and her geographical fixations?), a woman was forced to pay a $150,000 fine for the crime of killing her alleged rapist. But her former teacher set up a Go Fund Me and it’s raised over $400,000. Go donate if you can. I know we cannot donate our way out of systemic inequality, but we can make one person’s life just a little easier.
One of the best books I’ve read this year is out. You can buy it.
This McSweeney’s article by Iowa author Rachel Mans McKenny brought me so much joy.
My cat brought me a gift of a dead rabbit, and I freaked out, and my daughter live-texted my freak-out to my (MANY) siblings. Let this be a lesson: Don’t give children phones.
And Dolly, my sweet wolf, turns two today!
The Onion is mocking Iowa’s governor.
Remember, French fries exist and you can just eat them.
What I Am Reading:
Read this interview with Andy Campbell about the proud boys. Then, go buy his book.
Everything is making a comeback — Bennifer, Britney Spears, ’90s fashion, and ’80s freak-outs about Satan. NBC reporter Brandy Zadrozny wrote about the return of the Satanic panic.
I loved this thoughtful essay about “choice feminism” by Moira Donegan. Which, in turn, reminded me of this essay “No Offense” by Jia Tolentino, which I think about often. It’s about identity and politics and online outrage and so much more. If I were teaching a class on feminism, I’d teach these both back to back.
In this newsletter, I wrote about the sentencing of Pieper Lewis.
Thank you to everyone who donated to the Go Fund Me. You are all the best, most large-hearted readers.
What I Am Drinking:
Well, well, this week I decided to try and concoct my own fun fall drink. I mixed hard apple cider with Benedictine and some cinnamon bitters. It’s great. I highly recommend it.
Also, a lovely, lovely person sent me this story about Aperitifs. The one here is creme de cassis mixed into wine.
Okay. It is time. I need your drink suggestions. I will try anything. I need new ideas. Tell me what you are drinking.
This song is the one my kids are playing on repeat. I kind of love it.