Let it be noted that I was unsure whether to categorize this blog post under “Politics” or “Philosophy.” It has to do with both. I am not sure how long this post will be – I am not doing any extra research for it, rather I am merely putting to virtual paper things I have noticed over the past couple years regarding two diametrically opposed philosophies: Evangelical Christianity and popular atheism. But as these two philosophies have, of late, reached startlingly similar conclusions regarding international politics, and as that confluence of opinion is what I am writing about today, I suppose I will place this post under “Politics.”

There, it’s settled.

First, a little biographical info about yours truly: I was born and raised a Southern Baptist. I have many friends and family members who are quite active in the church, and I love and respect them greatly. I also have many – though admittedly not quite as many – friends and family members who are atheists. Many of them would call me a stupid tree-hugging hippie for saying so, but I also love and respect them greatly.

So again, I am not here to argue the merits of one philosophy over the other. And I hope nobody takes issue with my labeling these two things as “philosophies.” If anyone does, let me explain what I mean by “philosophy”: I mean it as a mode of thought, one that influences one’s actions and day-to-day life, for good or for ill. And I want to stress that I don’t mean any of this as an insult to anyone, I am merely relating my own observations. I might see you (whoever you are) a little differently than you see you, and conversely you might see me differently than I see me. I invite you to comment to your heart’s content on how you see me, either here in the comments section, or on my Facebook page. It is possible that all my observations are incorrect. At any rate, this post is not directed at any specific person, it is rather directed at specific philosophies. And as any philosophy worth having is a philosophy worth critiquing, I hope not to lose any friends – in real life or online – over this post.

A little more biographical info about me: I quit going to church with any regularity in the early 2000s. The principal reason for this was that church had become less of a place that encouraged me to be a better person and more of a place where I was told what to think, who to vote for, and that sort of thing. Perhaps it had always been that way to a degree – I remember impassioned sermons from my childhood on the evils of gay people, for example – but following 9/11, politics and church became so intertwined I just couldn’t bring myself to go anymore.

For example: it was widely preached that every Muslim in the world supported Osama Bin Laden. It was widely preached that Islam and Islam alone was responsible for all the evils in the world, and that the only hope for the future was to either convert every Muslim to Christianity, or else to just bomb the daylights out of them.

Meanwhile, then-President George W. Bush was praying on TV, spouting similar nonsense left and right, taking money away from education and putting it into “faith-based” programs, talking in oversimplified Orwellian terms like “axis of evil” and “the terrorists hate freedom” and that sort of thing.

If memory serves, there was a dramatic upswing in church attendance in the years following 9/11. There are probably many articles written about this already, but I theorize that this dramatic upswing was due to fear as much as it was to anything else.

People wanted to know why the terrorists “hated freedom.” People wanted to know why 9/11 happened. And even though the mastermind behind the tragic event had specific reasons why he talked 15 fellow Saudi Arabians, two men from United Arab Emirates, one Egyptian, and one Lebanese fellow into perpetrating the attack, and even though this mastermind specifically said that he was protesting US involvement in the Middle East, nobody seemed to notice that he had done so.

To be sure, I am not trying to justify 9/11 to anyone. I want to make that crystal clear. What I am trying to do is point out that the perpetrators of 9/11 had actual tangible geopolitical motivations for doing what they did. And yes, while radical Islam was definitely a factor there – they would have been less likely to intentionally kill themselves to make a political point, I venture, were there no promise of a blissful afterlife – it was not the only factor.

But Evangelical Christians didn’t want to hear that. They didn’t want to hear that people in other countries had been affected negatively by the actions of our government. They didn’t want to hear that the USA was not, in fact, universally loved and cherished by everyone in the world.

I want to pause here and say that I am not “anti-American,” nor do I hold any sort of “anti-American bias,” and I don’t hate myself for being American, so if anything like that is bubbling up in your psyche as you read this, I advise you to go take a cold shower and compose yourself.

What I want you – as in you, whoever you are, wherever you are, you, the person reading this right now – to realize is a very simple fact of life, one your parents should have taught you as a child: not everyone is going to like you, no matter how good of a person you try to be. Something you say, something you do, no matter how well-intentioned, is going to piss somebody off. It’s a cliché, sure, but put quite simply you can’t please everyone. That should go without saying, but it unfortunately doesn’t most of the time.

This is true on a personal level, and it is also true on an international level. Even if we assume that the USA has never taken any military action that wasn’t for “the greater good” or whatever, somebody somewhere is going to be offended by that action. Somebody somewhere is going to have a friend or family member who was killed by US forces, somebody somewhere is going to have their livelihood disrupted by economic sanctions the US imposed, somebody somewhere is going to be pissed off that the US took the leader they liked out of office and replaced that leader with someone they didn’t like.

It doesn’t require any sort of “mental gymnastics” or “guilt” or “self-loathing” to acknowledge this. Strictly speaking, it requires all three of those things to deny that this is the case.

“Hold on,” the reader may be thinking, “I don’t remember any Evangelical leaders talking about ‘mental gymnastics’ or anything like that. What are you getting at, asshole?”

At the same time, roughly, that Evangelical pastors and politicians were promoting the idea that the US had never done anything anywhere in the world ever that could possibly motivate anyone to dislike us or want to do harm to us, and that Islam was by nature evil, and every Muslim in the world supported terrorism, another philosophical/political movement was gaining steam: the “New Atheist” movement.

I don’t know who coined the term “New Atheist,” but originally the definition was, essentially, “an atheist who actively speaks out against religion.”

And I want to make it clear that I am fine with the idea of atheists who speak their mind about religion and the harm it can do. I support that fully. I support free thought, I support free speech, and I support science and reason. I agree fully that until the world stops basing its decisions on religious ideas, we’re never going to advance as a species.

And here, someone could make the obvious argument, one I have already made, that without the promise of an afterlife, the 9/11 hijackers would have been less likely to have hijacked planes and crashed them. Islam was certainly a factor.

Just like Shinto – Japan’s native religion – was certainly a factor in the phenomenon of Kamikaze pilots.

Just like Christianity – yes, Christianity – was certainly a factor in motivating Adolf Hitler to try to kill every Jewish person in the world.

Just like Buddhism – yes, Buddhism – was certainly a factor in motivating the South Vietnamese people to side with the Viet Cong.

(To explain those comparisons, “Kamikaze” translates to “divine wind” in English. Kamikaze pilots believed they were doing a divine service to their native land by giving their lives to defend it. Do a quick Google search on “religious views of Adolph Hitler” to find quotations about how he believed he was serving God by killing Jewish people. And, if you have a couple hours to kill, watch the film “Hearts and Minds” on YouTube. It’s a documentary about the Vietnam war, and one Buddhist monk states [I am paraphrasing] that as long as the US remained in Vietnam, attempting to change Vietnam to suit its own ends, the Vietnamese people would continue to fight. And indeed they did.)

And here it may appear that I am, by pointing out that religions other than Islam have played roles in various wars, siding with the New Atheists. But somewhat perplexingly, this is actually where my views and those of prominent New Atheist thinkers part ways.

For example, many New Atheists conveniently overlook the fact that the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were at least partially motivated by George W. Bush’s religious beliefs. God told him to invade Iraq and depose Saddam Hussein. Bush actually said that.

Whether he truly believed it is irrelevant. He used it to reduce a complex geopolitical conflict, one that began a long time before 9/11, to a simplistic “Islam is evil” argument that Evangelicals just ate up with a spoon. And so did, amazingly, those beacons of “science” and “reason,” the New Atheists.

Although they’ll deny it, of course. Their thinking, they will assure you, is completely and totally motivated by “reason.”

As a supporter of reason myself, I would like to say that I admire the desire to think only in terms of reason. But I would like to also state, unequivocally, that it is impossible for anyone to base every decision and every judgment call on “reason.” It is impossible. It is, indeed, a consummation devoutly to be wished, but it is not something that is possible.

The most rational person on the planet is still subject to emotion. And like it or not, “fear” is one of the most influential emotions there is. For politicians – and for that matter, for writers who wish to sell books – it is also one of the most useful.

To be sure, New Atheist writers have exposed a great deal of terrible things that happen in the Muslim world. For that reason, I salute them.

But I have to call “bullshit” on their assertion that “Islam” is the sole cause of all the problems in the Middle East. And also on their delusion that US intervention in the Middle East had nothing to do with the religious beliefs of Americans.

I salute them for elevating science and reason over superstition. But I criticize them for the simple reason that this has inadvertently led them to believe that science and reason motivates everything the US and the West does. This is just as simplistic of a worldview as the one Evangelicals promote. This worldview posits that the actual, tangible, real-life military exploits of the US and the West have no effect whatsoever on the world.

The single most common rebuttal this worldview produces, when, for example, it is pointed out that Islamist terror has actually increased since the “War on Terror” began, is that whoever points that out “hates America,” has an “anti-American bias,” or simply suffers from “guilt” or “self-loathing.”

Try to wrap your head around that: if you, an American, acknowledge that not everybody in the world loves and cherishes you simply because you are an American, it means you hate yourself. This is presented as an argument any time any Westerner critiques US and/or Western military intervention overseas.

Here’s an analogy: let’s say you’re driving your car through a residential neighborhood. You’re obeying the speed limit, you’re not intoxicated, but you happen to glance down at your phone for a second, let’s say. You don’t see the dog bounding into the street, chasing an errant tennis ball, and you run the dog over, killing it.

The owner of the dog is standing in his front yard. He saw you look down at your phone, and just for the sake of argument let’s say this person has a high-resolution security camera on the front of his house, and this camera captures not only your car running over the beloved family pet, but also you taking your eyes off the road to look down at your phone, or at any rate to look down at something in your passenger seat.

The dog owner takes you to court, presents evidence that you were negligent, shows your negligence and its bloody result, but you insist that you are innocent. You refuse to apologize or even acknowledge, despite clear evidence, that you were in any way at fault. Your defense is that the late dog’s owner simply does not like you. It isn’t anything you actually did, he’s just an asshole and he hates you because he’s an asshole. You were not at fault in any way.

This is, essentially, the common worldview shared by Evangelicals and New Atheists. That the US and the West have never ever actually done anything that people in other countries could potentially get pissed off about, and that anybody anywhere who complains about US and Western intervention is simply an irrational asshole. And also, if you happen to be an American or a Westerner, and you happen to point out that some people in other countries might not like it when the US and the West invades them, well, you hate yourself. It’s mind-boggling, the level of selective blindness involved in this worldview.

The majority of people from these two groups never interact with each other. The majority of people from these two groups think that the other is their sworn enemy. They don’t realize, for the most part, that their views on international politics line up almost perfectly. They don’t realize, for the most part, that their shared selective blindness is a direct result of their seemingly opposing philosophies.

Many Evangelicals think that the only way to end conflict in the Middle East is to either convert everyone there to Christianity, or, alternatively, to bomb the daylights out of them.

Many New Atheists think that the only way to end conflict in the Middle East is to either convince everyone there to be an atheist, or, alternatively, to bomb the daylights out of them.

Because, both groups believe, people in other countries welcome bombing raids. People in other countries are ecstatic with joy and thankfulness when the US and the West flies overhead, dropping bombs and blowing stuff up. Anyone who dislikes the US and the West for flying over their country and blowing stuff up, both groups believe, is simply either evil or else suffering from some sort of mental defect.

Think about this: how angry were you on 9/11? How great was the feeling that you had been violated, that everything you had ever known and loved was now put in danger? How much hatred did you feel toward the people who perpetrated 9/11?

I know I felt a lot. I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but it certainly made me angry. I felt like the sanctity of my nation’s borders had been violated, for sure.

And that was from one single attack. It was a tragedy, I am not saying it wasn’t, don’t attempt to twist what I am saying into something it isn’t. What I want you to understand is that people in other countries do not simply welcome invasions and bombing raids as a show of good will, any more than any American welcomed 9/11. It does not require you to feel guilty to acknowledge this. It does not require you to hate yourself or hate America to acknowledge this, and it most certainly does not require any sort of “mental gymnastics” to acknowledge this.

Acknowledging that you have – even unintentionally – caused harm to someone else does not equate to “self-loathing,” no matter how many times anyone claims it does. It never has, and it never will. It is quite simply part of being a grown-up. A five-year-old might be forgiven for refusing to acknowledge that he hurt someone by pushing them down, but an adult shouldn’t be.

Let’s be adults, eh?

I hope you all have a nice day.


I suppose I spend more time than most people on social media, discussing various political and philosophical issues. I don’t necessarily see this as a bad thing: in addition to passing the time engaging others in dialogue, I often learn things I would not have learned otherwise. Sometimes these things change my outlook significantly. Sometimes they don’t. And sometimes, well, I just have to log out of Facebook, put my Samsung Galaxy S4 away, and go find something more constructive to do with my time.

Such as writing here on my blog, I suppose. As this is only my third blog post, I hope the reader does not assume that my blog will primarily be extensions of arguments I took part in on Facebook or Twitter or elsewhere. It will most certainly not be. But from time to time it will be, as I am confident blogging opportunities will occasionally make themselves apparent through my interactions on social media.

For the record, I do not intend to divulge the identity of anyone involved in these interactions, but I will give the names of published authors cited by these folks. I do not think ill of anyone I disagree with, and I hope they do not think ill of me, though I suppose they are entitled to if they so choose.

Anyways, the inspiration for this blog post came about as such: a female Facebook friend of mine – incidentally one of the most intelligent and well-educated people on my friends list; she also possesses a sharp wit and a keen sense of humor – made reference to something the late Christopher Hitchens once claimed: that women are not “as funny” as men. I believe he might have actually said women are not funny at all.

I will attempt to describe the expression on my face upon reading this: my eyebrows furrowed (not in anger but in incredulity), my bottom lip jutted out and curled up, and my jaw began involuntarily opening and closing, uncurling and recurling my bottom lip as it did so.

I thought back to all the times women (both professional comedians, actors, and women I know personally, not to mention women I know exclusively through social media) have made me laugh, and all I could think of to comment was:

“Women aren’t funny? Is that a joke?”

Someone mentioned that they agreed with the “evolutionary arguments” against women being funny, and due to my lack of vocabulary I can only tell you, the reader, that I only imagined my reaction before to be “incredulity.” If my confused, perplexed, not-believing-what-I-was-reading state of mind upon reading that women are not as funny as men could properly be called “incredulity,” my state of mind after reading that there were “evolutionary arguments” which explained why women are not as funny as men, well, again, my lack of advanced vocabulary demands that I describe my state of mind as either “incredulity in extremis” or “incredulity times ten” or something along those lines.

I commented again, asking if there were really “evolutionary arguments” that claimed to explain why women are not as funny as men, and someone replied “yes.”

As it was getting late, and as I am, in my 35th year on planet Earth, finally attempting to regulate my sleeping and waking patterns somewhat, I made a rather sarcastic comment, logged out, and went to bed, intending fully to continue the conversation in the morning.

My comment was something like this:

“That is hilarious. Heck, maybe it’s true. Men using ‘evolution’ to explain why women aren’t as funny as men…it’s pretty hard to top that!”

I logged back in this morning to find that the “evolutionary argument” regarding why women aren’t as funny as men is basically this:

“Men use humor to attract women. Men have done so for millenia. Therefore women are not as funny as men, because evolution.”

I went back and forth with these gentlemen a little, then finally had to bow out of the argument. They may have seen my exit from the argument as a victory; to that possibility I say “fair enough.” I made the points I am about to make here on my female friend’s Facebook page, and these arguments didn’t convince the people I was arguing with, so maybe they will not convince you, the reader. But anyways, here they are, in slightly expanded fashion:

Being “funny” is not something that is quantifiable. Whether a joke is “funny” or “not funny” is entirely dependent upon whether the person who hears or reads it finds humor in it. For any person who is thinking clearly (sorry for being condescending), the issue begins and ends precisely here.

Christopher Hitchens (God rest, hahahahahhaha)* did not find women to be funny. That is all that is quantifiable about any of this. He apparently debated Tina Fey and perhaps others over this issue, but ultimately the only real issue at hand was that Hitchens did not find women to be funny. Or not “as funny” as men, or whatever.

That anyone chose to “debate” this issue sorta indicates to me that maybe the whole thing was a publicity stunt of some kind. Maybe. I don’t know. What I do know is that attempting to use “Men use humor to attract women” as a reason why Christopher Hitchens or anyone else does not find women to be funny is as inane as me claiming that blue is the best color of all the colors because of the sky.

I would simply have let the issue drop, and not chosen to expound on my views here in my blog, were it not that this sort of illogical thinking is widespread among people who like to pretend that their actions and thoughts are guided entirely by “science” and “reason.” But first, let me explain what I mean with regard to the issue at hand:

Hitchens’ opinion regarding whether women are funny is just that: an opinion. He attempted to justify this opinion by making the observation that since men use humor and have used humor practically forever to attract women, then that means men are funnier than women. I have to believe that his argument went a little deeper than that, but as people who take that argument seriously did not go any deeper than that in trying to convince me it was true, I see no reason to pursue the matter any further. As mentioned before, I might as well tell you blue is the best color and get angry when you disagree. The premise of the argument is based entirely upon subjective opinion. It is unprovable outside the realm of subjective opinion, therefore any argument claiming objectivity is, to put it bluntly, inane.

This sort of thing is prevalent in a field of research I have only recently learned even existed. That field is evolutionary psychology. I am not dismissive of the field altogether; some of the claims made are valid, and like any field of research I support it fully. But I do not support the erroneous and pseudoscientific claims it sometimes makes, specifically regarding feminism.

As a matter of fact, most writings I have personally read on the subject are explicitly designed to do one thing and one thing alone: to discredit feminism and feminist thinkers.

Now I am not going to sit here and tell you that every feminist thinker, author, writer, whatever in the world is a genius and all of their arguments are flawless. To assume every person in any field of academic research is above and beyond reproach is, well, stupid.

The basic arguments against feminism by evolutionary psychologists are generally no deeper than Hitchens’ argument that women aren’t funny. I invite the reader to find any that are and point them out to me. I have not seen any. What I have seen is that these arguments primarily are used to justify sexist (and occasionally racist) attitudes using “science.” Again, if anyone can show me examples where this is not the case, I invite them to do so. I am not dismissive of the field entirely, I just haven’t seen much of it that couldn’t be described as I have described it.

If one were to look at the question of whether women are funny, or as funny as men, or whatever, I think it is a bit disingenuous to pretend that “funny” or “not funny” is something that can be objectively determined. As I have already said, humor is subjective. I might think something is funny that you find offensive. Or vice-versa. All the argumentation in the world isn’t going to convince either of us that something is or isn’t funny: we either find it funny or we don’t.

Which brings me to another point I raised on Facebook, though admittedly in a more terse fashion than I am doing here: if we want to determine the psychology of why we find some things funny and other things not funny, we should examine our own psychology. We should ask, “Why didn’t Christopher Hitchens think women are funny?” We should also ask, with regard to psychology, “Why did Christopher Hitchens feel it necessary to justify the fact that he didn’t find women to be funny through pseudoscientific posturing?”

The answers to those questions point to fairly obvious conclusions. To ignore those conclusions, and furthermore to not even ask those questions, is the epitome of unscientific thought. It borders on idolatry and dogma. As do many opinions put forth as “scientific fact.”

I was told that I was incorrect in my assertion that women are actually as funny as men, because millennia of men attracting women through humor proved it. It was in women’s DNA, I was told, the reason that they are not as funny as men.

Which let’s think about that for a second: “Women are not funny because of their DNA.” Let’s take that argument to a logical extension: “It isn’t that I simply don’t find women to be funny, everyone who finds women to be funny is wrong, because it is in women’s DNA to not be funny.”

If you are furrowing your eyebrows and involuntarily working your jaw with incredulity, know that you are not the only one who has done so. This argument is, in a word, inane. It is a perfect example of projection: it allows the person using it to blame their own inhibitions on other people.

To explain what I mean by that, let me point out that yes, there are a great many more male comedians than female ones. This has been the case since “comedians” became a thing, I am willing to bet. And just for the sake of argument, let’s say that there actually might be an “evolutionary” reason for this.

Perhaps, just perhaps, the reason has something to do with the fact that until fairly recently, women were not even considered to be actually people. This is still the case in a considerable part of the world. Women in the USA were not even allowed to vote until 1920.

“Evolutionary psychology,” at least in my very limited reading of it, does not take one irrefutable “evolutionary” fact into account: women, historically, were reduced to second-class citizens by virtue of the fact that men were able to physically dominate them. To say “women aren’t funny because of their DNA” ignores the fact that women were not allowed to speak their minds, much less be comedians that told dirty jokes, until fairly recently. It is my opinion, one I do not anticipate anyone will be able to change argumentatively, that the reason Hitchens didn’t find women funny was because he was uncomfortable with the idea that men and women are — or at least should be treated as — equals. In short, assuming his proclamation that women aren’t funny wasn’t a joke or publicity stunt of some sort, it should be obvious that this is only his opinion, and while that opinion may or may not have been sexist, his attempt to justify it using “science” most certainly was. May his sexist ass rest in peace.

To say that women aren’t funny because of their DNA is projection, plain and simple. It is attempting to justify the fact that you (if you agree with Hitchens) are uncomfortable with women who do not adhere strictly to the gender roles you have assigned to them in your mind. You are (if you agree with Hitchens) blaming your hangups on the people your hangups adversely affect. You are projecting.

I hope I do not drive anyone to fury by pointing this blatantly obvious fact out. But if I do, so be it. This is how people learn things. If you can prove me wrong, please do so.

At any rate, I hope you all have a nice day.

*Yes, as Hitchens was a prominent atheist writer, “God rest” is a joke, one I find immensely funny. However, if you don’t find it as gut-bustingly hilarious as I do, I promise not to attempt to convince you it is funny by using “science.”

To The Trump Supporter

I watched most of the Trump rally last night on CNN, and something became painfully apparent to me.

Before I tell what that something is, I want to first say that I am not trying to run anybody down. If you like Donald Trump, that’s your business. I can think of about a million reasons why you shouldn’t like him, but instead of making a long list of things that aren’t going to convince you of anything anyway, I am just going to point out one thing about last night’s Trump rally. Specifically about Trump’s speech at the rally.

Though Trump talked for what seemed like an eternity — the crowd cheering when he mentioned people they liked and booing when he mentioned people they didn’t like — he did not once actually mention anything about actual policy he plans to enact if he’s elected.

I take that back: he mentioned something about his idiotic “build a wall” plan to secure the Mexican border. Oh, and he mentioned that he would have a really nice, luxurious door for all of the legal immigrants to come through.

Other than that, the rest of Trump’s speech was simply him talking about how popular he is. He mentioned his reality show “The Apprentice” several times. He talked about how news outlets talked about how other candidates (such as Ben Carson) were “surging” in the polls, and even though he (Trump) was much more popular than he was, news outlets didn’t say he was “surging.”

The vast majority of the speech was eerily reminiscent of self-aggrandizing, crowd-manipulating speeches given by pro wrestlers and pro wrestling promoters. You know, where the guy would come out, talk about how cool he is, run down a few rivals (“I’m not allowed to say their names. Can I say their names?”), and get the crowd whipped up into a frenzy?

That’s what the Trump rally was. It was not a legitimate Presidential candidate telling about his plans to improve the country. It was a celebrity bragging about his own popularity. It may as well have been a WWE event, no disrespect intended to the WWE.

There was no substance whatsoever. No concrete plans for anything. Oh, and when he mentioned how those “hedge fund guys” would be paying “their fair share” if he got elected? Did you notice that he didn’t mention what “their fair share” is? Do you realize that Trump is infamous for running businesses into the ground, manipulating bankruptcy laws, and coming out financially ahead? Do you honestly think he’s going to go after the dishonest types of people who HELPED HIM STAY RICH?

Of course he isn’t. He has no intention whatsoever to punish high-level economic corruption. Trump is the poster boy for high-level economic corruption. He appeals to working-class white voters for three simple reasons: he is white, he is a loudmouth, and he is a TV star. Nothing he has done in the business world or on the reality TV circuit qualifies him to be president.

He is entertaining. He makes vague promises about making the country “better,” of making the country “strong again,” and this appeals to white, working-class voters because they are still under the horribly mistaken impression that the country has not been steadily improving since Barack Obama took office in 2009. The USA, domestically and abroad, has seen a dramatic upswing during the Obama administration. If you, the Trump supporter, do not believe me, do a Google search on the US economy. Do a Google search on job growth.

Hell, do a Google search on deportation levels. The Obama administration has deported a record number of illegal immigrants over the past few years. That should appeal to any rational person who thinks illegal immigration is a problem in the USA.

Of course, if you think “a big wall” with “a luxurious door” is a solution to any problem, you’re probably not thinking rationally to begin with.

Anyways, to the Trump supporter: next time Trump gives a speech, try not to get swept up in the excitement, or whatever it is that he inspires in you. Try your hardest to see if he is giving any concrete plans about what he will do as president, or if he’s just standing in the ring with a microphone, riling the crowd up, a la Vince McMahon of the WWE.

And if this post inspires you to actually look at Trump with a critical eye, and if looking at him critically makes you figure out that you’ve been manipulated — not only by him but by the party he (ostensibly) represents — well, put your new knowledge to good use: vote Democrat.

And do not — repeat DO NOT — attend a Trump rally, run down to the podium, and whack him over the head with a folding chair. I know it’s tempting, but even though Trump is attempting to turn American politics into something akin to pro wrestling, well, just do your best to contain the urge to help him do so.

New 9/11 Conspiracy Theory (that has as much basis in reality as all the other ones)

Osama Bin Laden was, in the early 1980s, an obsessive Wham! fan. When Wham! broke up in 1986, Bin Laden became deeply disillusioned with the world, particularly the western world. Despite his being a member of a very wealthy Saudi family, the breakup of Wham! solidified Bin Laden’s latent convictions that the west was evil, selfish, and who did they think they were, anyway, leaving the best dance-pop group ever to pursue a solo career?

Osama Bin Laden, following his post-Wham! breakup disillusionment, turned to religion, specifically an anti-west brand of radical Islam. Somewhat coincidentally — it is unclear whether Bin Laden ever sent fan mail or other correspondence to either Andrew Ridgeley or George Michael prior to 1990 — George Michael’s debut album “Faith” was released in 1987, one year before Bin Laden’s “faith” prompted him to form Al-Qaeda.

George W. Bush was widely criticized by many following his simplistic public statement following 9/11, that “the terrorists hate our freedom.” This was considered a grossly oversimplified explanation for Al-Qaeda’s motivation for the attack by many, namely those people who understand that the Middle East is not just one big country, but what these smarty-pants libtards failed to realize is that Dubya was quoting Osama Bin Laden almost directly in that statement. It was just a fairly dated quote:

In 1990, following the release of George Michael’s second album, “Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1”, Bin Laden — who had hoped that such a “lame” and “dumb” album as “Faith” would prompt George Michael to ditch his “stupid” solo career and rejoin Andrew Ridgeley in Wham! — wrote an angry letter to George Michael which contained the sentence “I HATE YOUR FREEDOM” in all caps. This letter was intercepted by the government, as by this time Bin Laden was making a name for himself as a radical Islamist, and for reasons unknown, the connection was only made over a decade later that Bin Laden had been talking about the song “Freedom ’90” from the aforementioned album, and not “freedom” in general. This was discovered after the rest of the letter was reread: Bin Laden had mentioned in the letter that he felt the lyric “all we have to see/is that I don’t belong to you, and you don’t belong to me” went against his radical interpretation of Islam, which says that wives are in fact the property of their husbands.

Also, none of this is true. I am making fun of conspiracy theorists.

Hopefully you realized that from the outset.