The Advantages of Political Buffoonery:

1) It leads opponents to underestimate the ability and intelligence of the buffoon.

2) It provides deniability — “it was only a joke.”

3) It appeals to core supporters (many Africans loved Amin’s teasing of the former colonial masters).

4) It serves as a distraction from the more serious, perhaps frightening or incompetent, actions of the leader, what we now call the “dead cat” tactic.

5) It leads to ambiguity (was it a joke or not?), producing confusion and uncertainty about how to respond.

Behind all this is clearly what Freud recognized as the aggressive nature of joking. I suggest that buffoonery is, at root, a quintessentially masculine characteristic.

Sound familiar?

Dear HR: What Skin Color Emoji Am I Supposed to Use? – McSweeney’s Internet Tendency:

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Originally “Simpsons yellow” was clearly the safest choice. It signified the “everyman” of the emoji. But is this a cop-out? Does the yellow represent the cowardice of Homer (the cartoon, not the poet) and his people? Am I making a statement by trying not to make a statement? And what about Apu and Carl, why were they not yellow?! Where’s their statement?

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This is just for white people, right? Like, if your name is Brock and you don’t want to get into trouble with other white people, you pick this? Like, you know what you did and you’re ashamed. But how white is this one? Dying-by-gently-coughing-blood-into-a-handkerchief white or detonating-thirty-gallons-of-gasoline-at-a-baby-gender-reveal-party white? Because those are two different kinds and that doesn’t seem fair.

Open offices have driven Panasonic to make horse blinders for humans | TechCrunch:

At what point do we just give up and admit we’re living in exactly the dystopian nightmare speculative fiction warned us about? It probably ought to be these horse blinders for people, which look like something straight out of a Terry Gilliam movie.

He-Man fans hate the new series because it has too much Teela in it | Boing Boing:

But the fans hate it anyway, because the opening “Search for He-Man” plot arc features too much Teela and is too “woke”. The show’s been review-bombed online. Smith is reduced to denouncing He Man’s angry fans in Variety magazine.

The best way to fight back against crap like this is to watch it, praise it, and make sure the loudest voices in the room aren’t the childish conservative snowflakes.

I Had Stopped Masking—Until Delta – The Atlantic:

But the pandemic is once again entering a new phase that feels more dangerous and more in flux, even for the people lucky enough to have received their lifesaving shots. A more transmissible variant—one that can discombobulate vaccine-trained antibodies—has flooded the world. It’s wreaking havoc among the uninoculated, a group that still includes almost half of Americans and most of the global population. After a prolonged lull, the pandemic’s outlook is grimmer than it’s been in months. I am, for the foreseeable future, back to wearing masks in indoor public places, and there are four big reasons why.

I personally haven’t felt like I could stop with masks in public… Despite being vaccinated, one of my two kids can’t be for a while… So when the vacicnation rate among eligible people basically stopped with less than half done, I have felt like we can’t change behaviors as if the threat was resolved…

Take My Husband…Please  – by Jessica Valenti – All in Her Head by Jessica Valenti:

That’s why the idea is so pervasive—whether it’s the bitching hour, sitcoms featuring hapless husbands with fed-up (but loving) wives, or entire genres of standup comedy. The more culture normalizes the idea that women ‘hate’ their husbands for being fuckups, the more women start to believe that their husbands being fuckups is inevitable.

That’s how equal relationships become fantasies rather than a reasonable expectation. 

Just as insidious? The counterpart to women ‘jokingly’ complaining about their husbands not doing child care or domestic work is men ‘jokingly’ complaining that their wives are nags. It’s a way to make men’s petty grievance that their wives want them to do housework seem equivalent to the understandable complaint that men aren’t doing housework!

I hate this trope. Hopefully articles like this shine a light on why it’s harmful.

Why I’m glad that I’m an ‘overthinker’ | Life and style | The Guardian:

The first time I remember someone telling me not to overthink was when I was trying to suss out breastfeeding. “Don’t overthink it,” said my friend, “just go with it.”

“Just going with it” is not something I do. I have to really understand what I’m doing and then I think through almost every possibility and eventuality, like a mind map on steroids. And I plan. When people say things like: “Who could have imagined XYZ would happen?” about some entirely predictable outcome, my most common response is “I could”. I have realised that for most people I am an overthinker, but for me, it is others who underthink. I just think.

Of course, this can be exhausting. And it is. I didn’t realise just how much I thought until one day someone asked me what I was thinking (as a child I was a natural daydreamer) because I was quiet. I went through what I’d been thinking about for the past minute and it was a different thought for every second. The look of horror on their face said it all. “All that in the last 60 seconds?” “Sure,” I said, “what have you been thinking about?” I asked. “Soap,” they answered.

I love some of the games Blizzard has produced. Overwatch’s PVP focus isn’t for me, but the gameplay would be fun with a PVE focus… The Diablo family is the perfect representation of the genre it birthed, where no other entry really matches the chemistry of the originals… Starcraft and Warcraft are some of the most fun RTS gameplay in their genre… And WoW’s siren call is amplified by the fact that it’s one of the first big games to make an M1 native version a priority.

All that being said, no matter how much I love the games, I can’t give a cent to the company that also breeds these stories:

Activision Blizzard sued by California over constant abuse of women employees | Boing Boing:

At one point Activision Blizzard is described as a “frat house”, but that doesn’t begin to capture the scale and gravity of the allegations. Women punished for becoming pregnant. Women kicked out of lactation rooms. Women punished for leaving the office. African American women denied full employment and subjected to unique requirements. A woman committed suicide on a business trip with a male colleague who brought along lube and butt plugs.

In the office, women are subjected to “cube crawls” in which male employees drink copious [amounts] of alcohol as they “crawl” their way through various cubicles in the office and often engage in inappropriate behavior toward female employees. Male employees proudly come into work hungover, play video games for long periods of time during work while delegating their responsibilities to female employees, engage in banter about their sexual encounters, talk openly about female bodies and joke about rape.

Female employees are subjected to constant sexual harassment, including having to continually fend off unwanted sexual comments and advances by their male co-workers and supervisors and being groped at the “cube crawls” and other company events. High-ranking executives and creators engaged in blatant sexual harassment without repercussions.

In a particularly tragic example, a female employee committed suicide during a business trip with a male supervisor who had brought butt plugs and lubricant with him on the trip.

Its response to this lawsuit is libertarian dogma about “irresponsible behavior from unaccountable State bureaucrats that are driving many of the State’s best businesses out of California.”

Activision Blizzard says interviewing diverse candidates for every opening “unworkable”

Activision Blizzard attorney told the SEC in January, “While the Company has implemented a Rooney Rule policy as envisioned [for director and CEO nominees], implementing a policy that would extend such an approach to all hiring decisions amounts to an unworkable encroachment on the Company’s ability to run its business and compete for talent in a highly competitive, fast-moving market.”

Activision Blizzard’s attorney further said the proposal was micromanaging in nature, and “leaves no room for the Company’s management or Board of Directors to exercise discretion in how new hire decisions are structured.”

Costs and poor leadership were why Blizzard’s Warcraft 3 reboot bombed

With Activision focussing on larger titles, such as Overwatch 2, and laying off 800 of its workforce in 2019, Classic Games would never receive the full support required to recapture Warcraft 3. Nevertheless, they plowed on, and even started taking pre-orders for the game. That left the team committed to releasing the title. A Blizzard spokesman told Bloomberg: “In hindsight, we should have taken more time to get it right, even if it meant returning pre-orders.”

Despite getting help from other Blizzard departments during the final development push, it was too late. The game was so poorly received that demands for refunds were upheld. Even now, 18 months on, the game is missing much of the promised content that it was sold on.

European Beach Handball Championships: Norway hit with 1,500 euros bikini fine – BBC Sport:

Norway’s Minister for Culture and Sports, Abid Raja, tweeted after Monday’s ruling: “It’s completely ridiculous – a change of attitude is needed in the macho and conservative international world of sport.”

That last quote could apply to nearly every sport, in one way or another.

The life cycle of a COVID-19 vaccine lie | MPR News:

Misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines can appear almost anywhere: From an uncle’s social media post to a well-trusted news commentator. But where does it come from and why do some myths spread further than others?

With the help of the Internet research firm Graphika, NPR analyzed the rise of one persistent set of lies about COVID-19 vaccines: