Welcome to Derp Update, your occasional feature where we purge our browsers of stories that didn’t quite merit a whole post, but were too remarkably stupid to ignore altogether. Fear that your brain cells may be harmed by exposure to toxic weirdness? Dilute! Dilute!
- Top Derp this week goes to the rather pathetic sideshow to a great step in science. The European Space Agency landed a friggin’ satellite on a friggin’ comet, but the overall awesomeness of the moment was diminished a bit by a fashion fail. One of the ESA’s lead scientists on the lander mission, Matt Taylor, was all over teevee wearing a dumb bowling shirt printed with cartoony — not anime; we had a conversation about this — images of gun-wielding ladies in lingerie:And lo, there was much discussion of the shirt on social media, falling along fairly predictable lines: feminist people noted that it was a remarkably cheesy thing to wear, especially given the larger context of the shortage of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers, and others mocked the complainers for distracting from an awesome achievement by disparaging a shirt with some cartoon babes on it. That latter response ranged in tone from mild eye-rolling to more overt disgust at how silly the politically correct ladies are, because there’s absolutely no political significance in that shirt, you stupid broads, just shut up, because this is SCIENCE and here you are whining about what a SCIENTIST is wearing (lord knows, nobody ever talks about what women in politics or science or business wear. It just never comes up).
So, yeah, it got heated.
Eventually, Matt Taylor apologized, sincerely and tearfully:
That little pat on the back by his colleague is, frankly, the best part of the whole affair; it’s obvious that Taylor was taken by surprise by the uproar, and had no idea that the shirt might be a problem, and we even feel bad for the schlub. On the other hand, that apparent cluelessness is precisely the point, now isn’t it?
- Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-He’s Still Alive? Really?) made a funny joke at the Federalist Society’s annual conference Friday! He gave a speech about how he’s looking forward to using the new filibuster rules passed last year to “teach those blunderheads that they made a big mistake” just as soon as a Republican wins the presidency in 2016, and then won’t those stupid Dems whine!Beyond that, watch out, guys — he sees right through our special code word!
“I get a big kick out of them using the word ‘progressive,'” he said. “My gosh, they’re just straight old dumbass liberals anyway.”
Mercy! We’re just going to have to try to hide our agenda more — maybe we should vote for the Keystone XL pipeline and Republicans will finally like us. Also, keep your eyes peeled: Wonkette’s own Beth Ethier has been at the Federalist festivities, and will have a big wrapup of all the terrible that she witnessed.
- Remember how angry the GOP was when a guy sort of connected to the planning of the Affordable Care Act said that voters are stupid? It was an incredibly dumb thing to say, from a political standpoint, because you never snicker that you pulled one over on the voters. On the other hand, here’s some concrete evidence that Americans actually are stupid: A recent survey asked people to give their best estimate of the unemployment rate. When the survey was conducted, in August, it was at 5.8 percent. The average response to the question? 32 percent. Excellent news, America! A third of the country is not actually out of work!
- Along similar lines, a woman in Virginia Beach, Virginia, is apparently convinced that her 4-year-old son is a reincarnated Marine who died in the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. Or at least that’s the story she’s hoping will get the boy on a reality TV show about people who are absolutely, definitely, indisputably reincarnated. It is not known whether her son also wants to invade Grenada to prevent Fidel Castro from taking over all of South America.
- After many on the right spent September and October complaining that Barack Obama was trying to Ebola us all to death, a few other wingnuts are now complaining that Obama is paying far too much attention to Ebola in Africa, because why should we worry about a bunch of Africans dying? Yes, really. Big surprise: One of those Concerned Americans is rightwing Medical Expert Betsy McCaughey, who gave us death panels in 2009. During the brief period when rightwing America cared about Ebola, she had fretted that Obama was risking Americans’ lives for the sake of “political correctness,” and now, of course, she’s complaining that spending money to fight Ebola in Africa is a waste of precious foreign aid that should be going to Israel.
- Then again, a doctor from Sierra Leone arrived in Omaha today to be treated for Ebola at the specialized containment unit at Nebraska Medical Center, so maybe Obama is irresponsibly threatening us all with DEATH again. Dr. Martin Salia is an Actual African Person who has worked heroically to fight the disease in his home country, so expect more freakouts — he isn’t even American!!!