Dingus of the Week: The Rainbow Conniption
The lovers, the dinguses, and me
The problem with the internet is that we are made too aware of the inanity of our fellow human beings. And I don’t think that when our cave people ancestors were climbing out of the primordial mud they fully developed the right tools to face this modern problem. Like, instinctually, I’d know how to defend myself against a raging mastodon (Run! Stab it!), but what do I do when I see people who don’t understand Pink Floyd or rainbows on Facebook? (Run!? Stab it?! Blog it???) I have not evolved the coping mechanisms for this.
To whit, this week, Pink Floyd celebrated the 50th anniversary of The Dark Side of the Moon and put a logo with the number 50 and a rainbow in the center of the 0 on their Facebook page.
People got angry because the band had gone “woke” and was promoting the LGBTQ agenda. Which, first of all. If my reporting is correct, the LGBTQ agenda right now is just brunch. So, hardly anything to get worried about unless you hate pancakes and Bloody Marys. In contrast, the heterosexual agenda seems to be putting fake barn wood on your walls that say “Cabin Life” and making jokes about how men can’t find the ketchup in the grocery store. lol weaponized incompetence is so so silly in a man.
They were asking, “Where is the straight pride flag?” And sirs, come on. It’s right here.
Noah and his family get off the boat. The rainbow fills the sky. And Charlie Kirk immediately pops up to accuse the woke agenda of going too far. And everyone is just like, sir, we have been on a boat for 40 days and 40 nights with hungry lions, leave us alone.
Second of all, that’s not what the rainbow means on the Pink Floyd cover. I was homeschooled and even I know that. Even I, at the age of 14 tried to listen to “Dark Side of the Moon” while watching the Wizard of Oz, but it didn’t make sense, because I forgot that one key ingredient: psychedelics. But welcome my commentators, welcome to the machine. What did you post online? It’s okay, it’s what we told you to post online.
As Jonathan wrote in the Discord, this discourse has “exceeded satirical exit velocity.”
We also need to talk about what complete dinguses people sound like when they say something is “woke.” The word began as a term that was used by the Black community, first coined by Harlem author William Melvin Kenny in 1962. And popularized by the songwriting and activism of Erykah Badu and Georgia Anne Muldrow. But since the Black Lives Matter protests, the word has become a cudgel, a metonym for all that is other – all that is Black or queer. It’s been co opted in bad faith and is now the “Ceci n'est pas un racism ou de homophobia” of our modern era.
I want to file a lawsuit that demands that everyone who uses that word gets a swirly. Like a full dunk your head in the toilet and flush swirly. Do you have to hear elder relatives rant about how “woke liberals have gone too far”? You may be entitled to financial compensation in the form of giving him a swirly.
I mean there is a war in Ukraine and people are still dying of a rampant virus, and you want to have a rainbow conniption? My brothers in Christ, our Lord is gonna break that promise and flood us again and just to do a hard restart if you aren’t careful.
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Some Good Things:
Gretchen Whitmer is starting the year right with plans for free pre-K and stricter gun laws. And Ann Arbor is trying to go carbon neutral. It pains me to say it, but Michigan might be the best in the Midwest. Yes, that is a direct challenge to Minnesota.
In Minnesota’s defense, they are protecting the boundary waters.
The senate held a hearing all about the Ticketmaster fiasco. This means Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Mike Lee got to ruin our music for us. Shout out to all the staffers who worked those quotes into the notes and then explained them. You are the unsung heroes.
SHOW US THEIR FEET!
A woman in Connecticut named her breakfast café Woke. She had no idea the word had political connotations. She just thought it was a good name for a café and she could turn the “o” into a coffee bean or an egg. "I'm a Mexican," Quiroga told the CT Insider. "I don't know anything about what 'woke' means to some people." And of course, people were very normal about it. Just kidding. They’ve been nightmares. But the good news is, Quiroga’s business is doing well. Also this woman is the only one allowed to use the word “woke” and I guess everyone who wants to go there for brunch.
What I Am Reading:
My bookshelf is an embarrassment of riches. Quite literally the other day, I looked at the books on my table and realized I did it. I have the life I’ve always wanted. I get to read for a living. I have advanced reader copies of David Grann’s The Wager, Kerry Howley’s Bottoms Up and the Devil Laughs, and Kelly McMaster’s The Leaving Season. And they are all so compelling and wonderful. God. I will say this about Kerry’s book. We all have the same words as she does and yet, what Kerry does with those words is a wonder. Saying we all have the same number of English words as Kerry is like saying we all have the same amount of time as Beyonce. Technically correct, but also deeply incorrect. If you’ve read this newsletter for a bit, you know I truly think she’s one of the best writers working right now. Please pre-order her book. Even if the deep state doesn’t sound like your book topic, I guarantee you, once you crack open this book, you will not want to put it down.
Fortunately, David Grann is also here to show me that other writers are upsettingly talented too. The Wager, like all of Grann’s books, is so perfectly told, every detail lining up to make it a page-turning masterpiece of crime, and high seas hijinks.
And Kelly McMaster’s lyrical look at the beauty and heartbreak of leaving is so perfectly tuned. Like a harp or a lovely piano. I just got it yesterday and I’m only one essay in and I’m already able to declare this book one of the best I will read all year.
The power of yarn!
Virginia Sole Smith on the new obesity guidelines for kids. In short, they suck!
The forgotten history of Chinese railroad workers.
Max Read wrote an email suggesting edits to Pamela Paul. (Please only read this if that sentence remotely makes sense to you. If it’s confusing, just move on. Don’t fill your head with Pamela Paul.) But, I will recommend this profile of Paul by Molly White, which I think really gets to the heart of the problem of some (okay, A LOT of) punditry.
Stop being fun at work!
I was on Anne Helen Petersen’s podcast “Work Appropriate” where I suggested light thievery and live readings of weird emails as corporate coping skills.
Also, ICYMI, I went deep on the move to privatize public money and what gets lost when that happens.
What I Am Drinking:
This week, I snuck off to Madison, Wisconsin for a day to work on book edits in a hotel where no dogs will be nudging my elbows looking for snacks. And to go see a “Lake Street Dive” concert at the Slyvee with my friend Ellie, who I met last year, while I was in St. Paul following Tina Smith around. Ellie and I met at a hotel bar when we were both desperately trying not to fight a man who was talking loudly about “King Lear” but calling it “Hamlet.” What a rube.
So, I broke my dry January and had some wine and a delicious plate of Calamarata at Bar Corallini. Then, we listened to Rachael Price sing the hell out of every song. She has some pipes. Madison, you are a charming city.
Doesn't seem fair that everyone died in the Flood except Noah, his family, and Charlie Kirk.
Yes ... hahaha ... yes! My dumb Discord joke is the headline! Also, I am so insanely jealous of your David Grann advance copy. Once April arrives, I'll be camping out by the mailbox every day waiting for my pre-order to arrive.