Now those perfidious Russians are using the ultimate weapon against the US: they’re laughing at us! From Caitlin Johnstone at medium.com:
The BBC has published an article titled “How Putin’s Russia turned humour into a weapon” about the Kremlin’s latest addition to its horrifying deadly hybrid warfare arsenal: comedy.
The article is authored by Olga Robinson, whom the BBC, unhindered by any trace of self-awareness, has titled “Senior Journalist (Disinformation)”. Robinson demonstrates the qualifications and acumen which earned her that title by warning the BBC’s audience that the Kremlin has been using humor to dismiss and ridicule accusations that have been leveled against it by western governments, a “form of trolling” that she reports is designed to “deliberately lower the level of discussion”.
Did you hear the one about Trump? Everyone has…repeatedly. From Michael Tracey at spectator.us:
Going after Trump is the least subversive act in comedy
Lambasting Trump and pining for Mueller is a defining feature of most of Stephen Colbert’s monologues
For those desperately awaiting the Trump presidency’s spectacular collapse, Robert Mueller has acquired an almost mythic status – forever looming in the background with astonishing ‘bombshells’ that could drop at any moment. Mueller himself never speaks, except through terse court filings, which lends his aura a mystical quality. His newfound fans have been known to light votive candles in his honor, wear apparel sporting his heroic visage, and spend day after day speculating on the internet about the time, date, and profundity of his next miraculous intervention.
Hopes for Mueller as a savior-figure are perhaps expressed most fervently in the realm of TV comedy, where the unifying theme is universal contempt of Trump. Hating the president is one thing: that’s natural, and perhaps even healthy. But the hate exhibited by contemporary late night comedians is so predictable and banal that it feels like a dreary commercial monoculture, with nothing interesting or surprising ever said. Firing off zesty jokes about Trump’s personal vulgarities is, today, the farthest thing from subversive humor, and generally evokes not laughter but a keen awareness that the joke-tellers are all operating from the same wearisome premise. So in search of a comic foil, the TV hosts have latched eagerly onto Mueller, the former FBI director and George W. Bush appointee.
For more than two decades, NATO has worked to build a partnership with Russia, developing dialogue and practical cooperation in areas of common interest. Cooperation has been suspended since 2014 in response to Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine but political and military channels of communication remain open. Concerns about Russia’s continued destabilising pattern of military activities and aggressive rhetoric go well beyond Ukraine.
None of this – of course – is NATO’s fault: on the contrary NATO is concerned that
Russia’s military activities, particularly along NATO’s borders, have increased and its behaviour continues to make the Euro-Atlantic security environment less stable and predictable, in particular its practice of calling snap exercises, deploying near NATO borders, conducting large-scale training and exercises and violating Allied airspace.
Undoubtedly someone will sue Payless Shoes for their prank, but it sure is funny. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
Payless tricked a group of fashionistas into buying their low-cost shoes for Madison Avenue prices.
The company opened a fake store at a former Armani location in Santa Monica, California under the bogus label “Palessi,” and invited discriminating high-end shoppers to a fake launch party. VIP shoppers paid as much as $645 for shoes which normally sell between $19.00 and $39.99 at Payless, according to NBC San Diego.
Payless posted a video of what happened on Facebook, with some unwitting influencers commenting on the “high-quality material” of the “elegant, sophisticated” bargain shoes. –NBC San Diego
Customers bought $3,000 in merchandise over a few hours before Payless admitted to the prank, gave people their money back, and let them keep the shoes. “Shut up! Are you serious?” exclaimed one shopper.
The retailer “wanted to push the social experiment genre to new extremes, while simultaneously using it to make a cultural statement,” said Doug Cameron, DCX Growth Accelerator’s chief creative officer.
“Payless customers share a pragmatist point of view, and we thought it would be provocative to use this ideology to challenge today’s image-conscious fashion influencer culture.” –AdWeek
Payless CMO Sarah Couch said that the campaign was designed to illustrate that their brand can keep up with the big boys (and girls) at a time when retailers are feeling more competitive heat than ever.
“The campaign plays off of the enormous discrepancy and aims to remind consumers we are still a relevant place to shop for affordable fashion,” said Couch.
No word on whether the heels on those Payless shoes will suddenly fall off in the middle of a 10-block urban hike through Manhattan vs. the $600 option, but for their prices, one can afford a few backup pairs.
The Clintons can only fill a small part of a large arena in Toronto, although tickets by showtime were going for less than $10. Maureen Dowd notes that Michelle Obama is packing them. She didn’t not that President Trump is too. From Dowd at nytimes.com:
TORONTO — The snow is falling lightly.
My thoughts are racing darkly.
I’m feeling something foreign, something I’ve never felt before. It takes me a moment to identify it.
I’m feeling sorry for the Clintons.
In the 27 years I’ve covered Bill and Hillary, I’ve experienced a range of emotions. They’ve dazzled me and they’ve disgusted me.
But now they’re mystifying me.
I’m looking around Scotiabank Arena, the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it’s a depressing sight. It’s two-for-the-price-of-one in half the arena. The hockey rink is half curtained off, but even with that, organizers are scrambling at the last minute to cordon off more sections behind thick black curtains, they say due to a lack of sales. I paid $177 weeks in advance. (I passed on the pricey meet-and-greet option.) On the day of the event, some unsold tickets are slashed to single digits.
A little satire is good for the soul. From Caitlin Johnstone at medium.com:
A transcript of exchanges between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin has been leaked to National News Conglomerate by an anonymous source within the Kremlin. We here at NNC have confirmed the authenticity of this document using the same rigorous verification process we’ve been using to authenticate the evidence for all our other reporting on Russia’s involvement in the 2016 US elections over the last two years. These verification methods include hunches, gut intuitions, and an introspective assessment of the way our feelings feel. The following exchanges revealed in this transcript provide the clearest evidence yet that the President of the United States has been in collusion with the Russian government for years.
This introduction has been authored by the editorial board of the National News Conglomerate. Obey.
Trump: I have done as you commanded, my dominant and all-powerful lord. I have conspired with your hackers to steal the election, and now I’m going to be president! I want to thank you for not releasing that video footage of those Russian prostitutes I hired to urinate on a bed the Obamas once slept in. If that had come out it would have offended and alienated a lot of people, which is something I never normally do.
Putin: Yes that is an old KGB tactic called kompromat, a word which only extremely intelligent people know about. Keep this line of communication open. As long as you do as I command, your pee pee tape will remain secret.
Trump: One thing I’m curious about though my lord, if you don’t mind my asking. If you already had an army of hackers targeting Democratic Party emails, why did you need my help? Couldn’t you just have hacked the emails and published them on your own? Why did you need me to interact with them at all?
Putin: Moral support, mainly. We don’t need to get into specifics.
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