Readers, I am more than a little disturbed at myself. You see, I have an affinity (<-hi Caine!) for some very dark humor, by which I mean the kind I feel terrible about for finding funny, because it is either rooted in harmful stereotypes, or taboo subjects, or punching down instead of up, that sort of thing. And yet! I still find myself laughing nonetheless.
This laughter, mind you, is inevitably followed by overwhelming feelings of shame, embarrassment and self-admonishment. That is NOT funny, Iris! I will exhort internally. Get a hold of yourself, woman! You should NOT be laughing at this!
Alas, as anyone who has ever commanded themselves to STOP THAT LAUGHING RIGHT NOW! can attest, this exercise is utterly, fatally doomed.
Now in my defense, I do not knowingly promote such grotesque values—ever—either in my writing or in my daily life. When it comes to my, shall we say, less-than-social-justicey proclivities, I indulge only privately or with a small number of my friends (all of whom are just as terrible as me, obviously). This might take the form of snickering at whispered jokes at the bar, or engaging with certain books, blogs, TV shows or movies. For instance, one of my favorite films of all time is Bad Santa. Every single year when the dreaded December holidays loom, I watch it. Despite (because of?) the raging sexism, ableism, ageism, fat-shaming, gratuitous sex and violence, etc. etc., this movie never fails to “lift my spirits” by validating my foul mood, my appalling attitude toward all the impending family obligations and my general disdain for humanity.
All of this means that I am terrible enough of course. And I own that shit! I make no excuse for it; I am just telling you how it is at Casa de Iris. But as terrible as I am, even I am alarmed that in the last few weeks, this uncontrollable inclination to burst out in inappropriate laughter has drifted from the realm of ordinary entertainment into the realm of…subject lines of emails in my inbox.
Specifically, subject lines that begin “News Alert:” or “Special Report:” or “Trending Now:” and suchlike.
To be sure, I do not find anything the least bit amusing about email alerts that read “The health-care bill that passed the House would leave 23 million more Americans uninsured by 2026, CBO concludes,” or “British police raise death toll in Manchester concert blast to 22, with children among the victims.” But I would be hard pressed to explain why those leave me horrified, while I completely lose my shit and cackle like a drunk chicken over others.
So perhaps you might consider this post a Public Service Announcement, to assist you in determining whether you should be having anything to do with me or my blog ever again. Here is a selection of “News Alerts” I received via email, just this month, and just from one single source (The Washington Post), followed by my unconscionable reactions thereto. If by the end you find we are still simpatico, well…stick around, because I’ll probably get worse.
- Trump to visit Israel, Vatican and Saudi Arabia in effort to unite three of the world’s leading religious faiths in fight against terror.
Yes! Surely if one man can unite the Western world in a lasting peace, it’s…Donald Trump!
- The Daily 202: Why the markets shrugged off Trump’s threat to break up the big banks.
SPOILER ALERT! “Why? Because investors don’t take Trump seriously. They know he’s surrounded by Wall Street guys, and they see this as just the latest campaign promise he plans to break. In short, the money men are not afraid of him anymore.”
- Trump’s nominee for Army secretary withdraws amid increasing Senate opposition based on his past comments on Islam, gender issues.
Bye Felicia! Hahaha.
- Michael Flynn was warned weeks in advance about the risks of talking with Russia’s ambassador. The call he made cost him his job.
I said buh-bye Felicia!
- Ex-acting attorney general testifies she warned White House that Flynn created a ‘compromise situation’ and could be ‘blackmailed’.
Yet no one in the White House even cared! Not one person!
- Recess week is off to a bad start for one congressman: He walked out of a TV interview and into an angry town hall meeting.
- FBI Director James Comey fired, White House says following his misstatement of Clinton email evidence.
“Clinton email evidence”? OMG you guys are killing me!
- Analysis: The Justice Department’s case for firing James Comey, annotated.
SPOILER ALERT! “It’s basically a summary anyone could have written in an afternoon.” LOLOL!
- After Trump fired Comey, White House staff scrambled to explain the bombshell news.
Of course they were scrambling! Nobody has the first fucking clue what the president is doing–including the president!
- Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenas documents from Michael Flynn in Russia probe after Flynn declines to cooperate.
Wait what’s that noise? It’s every paper shredder up and down the Potomac buzzing away!
- Before Comey’s firing, Trump’s animus toward the FBI director boiled over into fury, according to more than 30 officials’ accounts.
The Manchild-in-Chief has been stomping around the White House throwing little mantrums in front of at least 30 people! Quick! Somebody change his diaper and put him to bed!
- The Daily 202: Why is Paul Ryan really defending Trump firing Comey?
SPOILER ALERT! It’s because Paul Ryan is Satan! IT’S TRUE! Dick Cheney once said, “I worship the ground Paul Ryan walks on,” thereby proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Speaker of the House is actually Satan! Who else could Dick Cheney—Dick Cheney!—worship?! Bwahahahaha!
- Trump says FBI Director Comey told him three times he wasn’t under investigation, once in a phone call initiated by the president.
He said it three times, then suddenly, it became reality! Just like Beetlejuice!
- Trump said he was thinking of Russia controversy when he decided to fire Comey, contradicting White House’s initial account.
Ow! Ow! I just snorted soda out of my nose!
- Trump threatens to cancel White House briefings because it is ‘not possible’ for his spokespeople to speak with ‘perfect accuracy’.
Trump himself can’t even remember what the fuck he shat forth on Twitter sitting on his toilet this morning! His own spokespeople? HAHA YEAH GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!
- The Daily 202: Trump’s warning to Comey deepens doubts about his respect for the rule of law.
Holy shit there’s still doubt?!
- At Mar-a-Lago, a potential encounter with the president has helped charities – and Trump – make more money.
- Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian diplomats in their Oval Office meeting last week.
Oww! My sides hurt! I can’t take it any more!
- Trump tweets seem to admit he revealed classified information to Russia, contradicting White House staff statements.
- Trump pressured Comey to drop investigation into Flynn, former FBI director’s private notes say.
For the love of Vishnu I AM BEGGING YOU!
- Putin says Russia is ready to hand over records of Trump’s talks with Lavrov to U.S. lawmakers if White House approves.
I can’t even breathe! Send help!
- Trump’s inexperience contributed to Comey interactions that now cloud his presidency.
“Inexperience?!” Have you no mercy?
- The House majority leader told colleagues last year: ‘I think Putin pays’ Trump. Paul Ryan told them not to leak the remarks.
Oh noez! Somebody disobeyed Satan!
- As Trump lurches through a series of crises, exhausted White House aides polish résumés and face a new reality.
Yep, reality is all new to them!
- Asked whether he urged Comey to back off Flynn investigation, Trump tells news conference: “No. No. Next question.” (“He also dismissed suggestions of criminal charges or impeachment: ‘I think it’s totally ridiculous. Everybody thinks so.'”)
- A White House official close to President Trump is now a person of interest in Russia probe, people familiar with the case say.
OMG who could it be??? I’m dyin’!
- Trump to deliver forceful address summoning Muslim world to confront ‘crisis of Islamist extremism’.
Ooooh he’s so manly and…forceful!
- Trump separately asked two top intelligence officials to publicly deny that there was any collusion with Russia, officials say.
D00d! The first rule of holes IS NOT “keep digging!” Wait, shhhhh! Don’t anyone tell him!
- Jared Kushner now a focus in Russia investigation.
OMG it’s Jared! I knew it was Jared!
- Russian ambassador told Moscow that Kushner wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin.
Ooooh Jared! You’re killing me!
- Senate Intelligence Committee requests all Trump campaign documents dating to 2015.
WHAT? I CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER ALL THOSE PAPER SHREDDERS!
Whew! I am exhausted! I swear I haven’t laughed so hard or so often as I have this month in a loooong time.
And there are still five glorious days left in May.