Five More Hand Gestures That Are No Longer Acceptable in Our WOKE Society

We aren’t going to beat around the bush with these. We’ll get straight to the point. These hand gestures might have been OK (Sorry! Too soon!) at one point in time, but that time is well behind us. Just like the “OK” sign, these need to be harshly deposited in the dustbin of history and never used again.

The Raised Fist (AKA: Fist Pump)

Hitler used this hand gesture when speaking in public. Need we say more? If you do anything that evil monster did then you are just like him. We all now know that if someone evil did something, no matter how innocuous, that thing they did is now evil for everyone else until the end of time. It’s basic logic.

Don’t be like Hitler.

The Thumbs Up

Trump does this. Enough said. See Point One if you need further explanation.

The Thumbs Up is no longer okay in any context. If your elderly parents give you a thumbs up, disown them.

The Devil Horns

This one has been bad for a very long time. A lot of bands in the 80s used this symbol to show their allegiance to Satan. We all know that bands in the 80s and Satan are pretty much the worst things ever. Flee from all appearance of evil and all that.

The Hand Wave

How could waving at someone actually be offensive? Easy. If you wave at someone it means you are trying to be nice and only privileged people have the time to be nice in 2019 America. The rest of the country is living in apocalyptic chaos. There’s no time for the niceties. It’s a war out there and wasting time with friendly hand-waving is only giving the enemy more time to destroy our nation, our culture, and our values. If you are doing things that are not furthering the cause of JUSTICE, you are part of the problem. Hand waving is flippant, superficial, and triggering. Stop doing it.

The “I’m Number One”

This might be the worst of them all. How arrogant and patriarchal can you be to actually think you, or the group you represent, are number one? The arrogance is obvious. Anyone claiming to be the best at anything is so full of pride they can’t see how demonstrably foolish their little hand gesture actually is. Yet it’s even worse than that. Gesturing that you are number one demeans and belittles everyone who has not been given all the benefits and opportunities you have been privileged to receive. That gesture shouts to everyone who can see, “I am better than everyone else even though I have done nothing to earn my position!” It’s unconscionable to still use this gesture in 2019.

Are there any we missed? Let us know in the comment section below.

Five of Our Favorite Chewbacca Scenes in Honor of Peter Mayhew’s Passing

Actor Peter Mayhew died on April 30, 2019. He was 74 years old. You might not recognize that name. While Mayhew’s face did appear on screen in a few films, he is best known for helping create the character of Chewbacca for the Star Wars films. Peter was a tall man – 7 foot 3 inches at his tallest. He brought Chewbacca to life with his mannerisms, his physicality, and his presence. Through Mayhew’s impressive performance, we always knew what Chewie was thinking and saying even though we couldn’t understand the language he used. He took what could have been a mostly forgettable creature and turned Chewie into a fan favorite. Seriously, ask any Star Wars fan how they feel about Chewbacca and you won’t hear a negative word. So, in honor of Peter’s life and his work, we want to spotlight some of our favorite Chewbacca moments from the Star Wars films. We hope you enjoy reading our favorites and we would love to read about some of yours in the comment section below.

Chewbacca Reunites With a Recently Decarbonized Solo – by Benjamin Plunkett

The entire trilogy is very clear that Chewbecca would have done anything for Han Solo. So it comes as no surprise at all when at the end of Empire Strikes Back he joins Lando on a dedicated mission to rescue Han in his carbonated imprisonment. I don’t think Return of the Jedi gives the exact details of what went down between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, but the beginning of Return of the Jedi features bounty hunter-costumed Leia “selling” Chewbecca to Jabba the Hut, Solo’s captor. (“At last we have the mighty Chewbecca”). Chewbecca self-sacrificially allows this daring stunt solely so Leia could have the chance to free Solo in the dead of night. But after the plan is foiled at the last minute, Solo is tossed into prison with Chewbecca. The reunion is awesome.

I kind of wonder if Chewbecca knew of or expected a plan to help him escape or if his sole concern was sacrificing his own freedom to help his best friend. Whatever the case, he took the risk because Han was that important to him. While this might not be my very favorite Chewbecca moment (ROTJ is full of my favorite Chewbecca moments), it is at least equal to the best of them.

“Let the Wookie win.” – by D.A. Speer

My favorite Chewie moment is the iconic “let the Wookie win” scene in A New Hope. R2D2 and Chewie are facing off in a game of Dejarik, and C-3PO tells R2 to be careful. R2 makes a good move and Chewie gets upset. Han says “Let him have it. It’s not wise to upset a Wookiee.” C-3PO replies “But sir. Nobody worries about upsetting a droid.” Then Han says, “That’s cause a droid don’t pull people’s arms out of their sockets when they lose. Wookiees are known to do that.” Chewie leans back and puts his arms behind his head with a smirk on his face. That’s just stellar acting, and I laugh every single time. 3PO’s advice to R2, “new strategy…let the Wookie win,” is the icing on the cake.

Chewbacca’s Defining Character Trait – by Phill Lytle

I don’t have one specific scene that stands out above the rest. I have a character trait. Chewbacca was fiercely loyal. You see it repeatedly throughout the films. One of my favorite examples comes on Cloud City (Bespin) when Chewbacca finds out that C-3PO is being torn apart and destroyed. He yells, rages, fights, and somehow finds all the parts that have already been ripped off, and protectively shields them from any more damage. He then puts C-3PO back together in hilarious fashion, but he does it lovingly.

My other example happens in the final scene between Chewie and Han. In The Force Awakens, Han confronts his long-lost son, Kylo Ren (AKA: Ben Solo) who is on his way to fully embracing the Dark Side. Chewbacca watches it all happen from a distance. When Kylo strikes down Chewie’s oldest friend and companion, he loses it. He shoots everything in sight while releasing a heartbroken cry only he could make. It broke my heart to see Chewie hurt like that. But, it also solidified in my mind that it would be impossible to find a better friend than Chewbacca.

Chewie Saves the Day! – by Gowdy Cannon

My favorite Chewbacca scene is in Return of the Jedi on Endor when an AT-ST (yes I had to look that up) comes towards Han and he is sure he is caught and the top flings open and out pop Chewie! Things are so tense as the three climactic battles—Lando and his crew in the air, Han and his crew on the ground and Luke vs. The Emperor and Vader—rage on. And then this happens and for a few seconds, all the intensity is lost in laughter. That one moment in time represents everything I have loved about that character for nearly 40 years now…comedy and heroism. He is a fantastic combination of both and yet he is so much more than comedic relief or even just a sidekick. Something special is lost without his presence.

The Goodly Wookie and His Stomach – by Nathan Patton

I’ve always felt that Chewie and I have a lot in common. We’re scruffy but lovable. Intensely loyal and brave. Intelligent. Possessing superhuman strength. Speak mostly in grunts and growls… and have a tendency, despite the aforementioned superior intellect, to do dumb things when we’re hungry.

This is why I’m quite fond of the scene in Episode VI on the forest moon of Endor when Chewie and the rest of the gang are searching for Leia. The natives so graciously left a choice cut of meat in their path, and it would’ve been quite rude to ignore it. They needed to keep up their strength to continue the search anyway.

Of course, it was a trap, quite obvious in retrospect, but that’s what happens when you think with your stomach rather than your brain as even the best of us are wont to do on occasion.

The Pursuit of Perfect Fiction

Hours after coming home from the theater and watching a certain popular movie (okay, fine, it was Endgame), I found myself coming back to some all-too-familiar thoughts: “I wish that this certain scene hadn’t been in the movie” or “This one thing they did undermines what they are trying to say” and so on. But, most unusually, I woke up around 4 AM with those thoughts still on my mind…and with me realizing suddenly that I am much more like those I seek to criticize than I would have dared to admit hours before.

There is seemingly just no end in sight for the need to feel “represented” on the big screen. No longer content to be passive in the experience of art, specifically when it comes to the movies, so many of us want to reach forward and rearrange the things we see. Take this character out, or add more of this character. Take this one scene out, or add in three more. My sudden realization was that in my own desire for movies to give a better, more fully-realized picture of the things that are “true and beautiful”…was I not also asking for the same things?

A good story is unique in the way that it moves our hearts because it doesn’t come to us as a pedantic teacher, slapping our hands and pejoratively instructing us on right and wrong. Instead, it comes to us like a child, sweetly and authentically. We willingly allow a good story to get past our defenses…to get to those places that we stuff way down inside and never like to talk about. The places where a therapist could spend a lifetime and never reach. The emotions we feel when we read or see, or even hear such a story often resonate with us down to the very core of our being. So naturally, when we are so moved, we are also unnerved. What next? Now that these emotions have been brought to the surface, what now? So often the answer seems to be that we then attempt to “play god” with the stories, making them into something much bigger than they are. We want the characters to not just be characters any longer, we want them to be ours. Or to put it a better way, we ask of the film, or show, or game that it be our god, that it would be perfect, and we will settle for nothing short of that perfection. In many ways, we get in the way of any reasonable criticism when our unreasonable demands are ever front and center.

Our stories themselves cannot bear that kind of burden, no matter how good they are. Even if I were to write a story (and I have tried), there will always be some aspect with which I assuredly would never find a deep, moving level of satisfaction. The problem isn’t so much in our limitations in creativity, although that is a problem we have to wrestle with. The problem is much more than movies and characters can only go so far in meeting the needs that they have the ability to touch. We reach out for their imaginary hands and find nothing but air, bringing ours back figuratively empty and leaving an uncomfortable void. And so, we lobby that much harder for the next character, for the next movie, or for the next game to be the “right one”, pushing ever onward in an obsessive quest for a utopia that will never come.

From a materialistic perspective, stories are just mere evolutionary traits that are exhibited by life-forms with an advanced intellect that ultimately serve no purpose other than the survival of our species. In these terms though, the difficult feelings that stories bring to the surface end up forcing despair on us. After all, from such a philosophy, there is no real hope beyond the physical.

From a particularly Christian worldview, however, good stories, even in their imperfection, are gifts given to us that point to a much greater Story. They are small peeks behind the curtain so that we can get small tastes of the greater reality, those Beautiful and True things that lie in wait for us. We have a Story where the hero is real so that when we do reach out our hands, the grasp is met. A hero who can be, actually and fully, ours (Keller has a great perspective on this in the third point of an Easter sermon here). And a hero whose hands, figuratively, can bear the very real burdens of pain, suffering, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, restlessness, sadness, brokenness, and even death.

“All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” – Matt. 11:29-30

Five NBA Playoff Predictions

After making preseason NBA predictions for two consecutive years I failed to do so for the current NBA season. REO received thousands of emails from distraught readers wondering why they were not getting any predictions. To be perfectly honest, I have no excuse and I am sorry for the pain I have caused. The following article is my attempt to make it up to our loyal readers. Here are five predictions for the 2019 NBA playoffs.

1. There will be an inordinate amount of close playoff series.

Each year there are a total of 15 best of seven playoff series. I am defining a close series and one that lasts six or seven games. On average, over the last five seasons, eight series per year have been extended to at least six games. I predict we will have at least 11 such series this year. The first round generally gives us several sweeps and for the last few seasons the Golden State Warriors have dominated and finished off quite a few teams in four or five games. I don’t see that happening this year. The talent is spread out pretty well around the majority of the playoff teams and we should see quite a few close series. Closer series usually mean exciting series so if this prediction comes true it will be a very good thing.

2. LeBron James’ name will be mentioned at least 874 times during NBA broadcasts throughout the playoffs.

For those who haven’t been paying attention, LeBron won’t be in the playoffs for the first time since 2005. Even more remarkable, it will be the first time since 2010 that LeBron won’t be playing in the finals. So why would a guy who is not even participating in a single playoff game this year be mentioned so many times? Many people don’t realize that the league’s television and radio broadcast partners are contractually obligated to mention LeBron’s name at least 10 times per game whether he actually is playing in the game or not.

3. Someone you interact with on social media will enlighten you with their vast basketball knowledge.

This is an easy one to predict because it happens every year. A Facebook friend will watch five minutes of a playoff game (the first actual NBA game he or she has watched all year) and suddenly become an expert on everything that is wrong with the league. He or she will then proceed to lecture all of us on the finer points of playing the game the right way. If you are really lucky your friend will take his or her basketball complaint and attempt to make a broader point about society in general. Good times for everyone involved!

4. Steph Curry will lead all players in total points scored during the playoffs.

Several factors come into play here. First, Golden State will need to advance pretty far in the playoffs for Curry to play enough games to lead all players in scoring. I believe they will and I’ll elaborate on that in my next prediction. Second, Curry himself will need to stay healthy (not a given) and lead his own team in scoring (also, not a given). I predict he will and I think the team wants him to win finals MVP so they will do their best to feature him during that series. Which leads me to my final prediction . . .

5. The Golden State Warriors will win the 2018-19 NBA title.

This will be their third straight championship and fourth title in the last five years. Many are tired of the predictability. Others celebrate their greatness and their unselfish style of play. Wherever you stand, it is foolish not to rank them among the all-time best teams. They certainly deserve to be in the conversation. With the impending free agency of several of their top players, this could be their last title run. I believe they realize this and will be ready. I don’t expect them to breeze through the playoffs, but I do expect them to win it in the end.

Unprecedented Celebration Erupts After Hillary Clinton Announces She is Not Running for President

Washington, D.C. – In a show of unity not seen since the days after 9/11, the entire nation has come together to rejoice and celebrate the announcement that Hillary Clinton has finally given up any delusions of ever being the President of the United States. A party has broken out all over the country. Socialists and hard-core Capitalists are hugging in the streets. Ted Cruz and Nancy Pelosi were seen sharing a delicious ice cream sundae. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Donald Trump performed an inspiring Karaoke duet of Kool and the Gang’s classic, “Celebration.” Rachel Maddow and Tucker Carlson won the three-legged race tournament that was co-sponsored by MSNBC and Fox News. Bernie Sanders literally cannot stop smiling and laughing. Even the weather has been in the best mood ever, with temps in the mid-70s and nothing but sunshine as far as the eye can see.

Already three days in, there are no signs this newfound harmony will dissipate any time soon.

Creed II Spoiler Review: Two Sequels, One Film

The belt ain’t enough. You need a narrative. One that sticks to the ribs.”
[Buddy Marcelle, to Adonis]

“Don’t you pretend this is about your father.”
[Mary Anne Creed, to Adonis]

A truly notable aspect of the original Rocky is that there is essentially zero background given for any character. A quote of advice his dad gave him and a brief glance at picture on his mirror of himself as a child is it for Rocky himself. The fact Stallone was able to make people love this character based entirely on what happens in that one film and not on some sentimental life circumstance, like being an orphan, is amazing. With seven subsequent stories, each movie serves as its own background for the next and that is why the franchise has been so successful over four decades.

In this respect, Creed II is such an avalanche of sequel (I can’t think of a better noun than that) I needed two passes to take it all in. I didn’t mind, of corse, as I watch all Rocky movies over and over and had zero doubt I would want to see this one at least twice in the theater.

The reason I allude to above that I needed two viewings is what makes this movie special. The first viewing I was so consumed with the continuation of the Rocky IV story that I had a hard time assimilating the Creed narrative. Rocky IV, while not the best of these films, is the most re-watchable to me and is exploding with personality. You can’t have an all-time American sports movie icon vs. a roided-up Russian in the 80s with death on the line and not get a movie to remember. And that fight is the best sporting event in film to me. So in every scene in Creed II with any combination of Drago and Rocky, I was locked in like a fat guy watching the dessert table at a church potluck.

As such, everything that happens with Donnie and Bianca and even Rocky’s story arc from Creed needed a second viewing to truly appreciate. With substantial background from two movies to consider, my brain just couldn’t take it all in. And as I watched it a second time in the theater back in November it was then I realized this movie is truly two sequels in one and that I, personally, needed to see it twice: once with “Rocky IV Part 2” eyes and once with “Creed I Part 2” eyes. It is through this lens I will be giving this review, which is packed with spoilers.

Rocky IV, Part 2

As I said in my Rocky rankings back in November, I deeply and significantly appreciated that in Creed the producers masterfully blended an old story with a new one, giving fresh life and a younger audience to one of the great stories we have in America cinema. I didn’t assume that Creed would pay meaningful homage to Rocky. I knew he was in it but I assumed this new Michael B. Jordan character would be the dominant focus and the Rocky universe would play a minor role. That didn’t happen. Stallone’s Rocky was prominent and major and minor allusions to the previous six movies were everywhere.

This movie does the same, but on steroids. If you loved Rocky IV, you can’t help but adore the bulk of this movie. It’s literally Apollo Creed’s son vs. Ivan Drago’s son in a boxing ring. That as a premise is epic in and of itself, and I know that word is overused these days so I use it sparingly and accurately here.

But Rocky’s history with Drago is even more intense. The moment in the trailer when Rocky comes face-to-face with Drago in the ring for a Donnie/Viktor bout flooded my soul with joy and is without question made me want to see this move more than any other trailer has for any other movie ever. My favorite moment in the actual movie is when Drago stops by the restaurant to chat with Rocky, at which point I nearly passed out from all of the oxygen leaving my head causing my heart to beat a gazillion miles a hour. This whole scene immediately became an unforgettable part of Rocky lore. And the crowning jewel of that scene is when Drago opens up his dialogue by noticing that there are no pictures of his fight with Rocky on the wall, as there are of all of Rocky’s other legendary victories. Rocky replies, “No, there ain’t nothing from that in here.”. Later, Rocky is trying to talk Donnie out of taking the Drago fight and he says, “He broke things in me that ain’t never been fixed.” Both of those quotes not only caused me to feel deep emotion, they both do something that I profoundly appreciate: they make me love Rocky IV even more. Knowing the impact of the events of that fight for Rocky 33 years later only serves to make those events even more entertaining. This is something I am hoping these extra Harry Potter plays and movies would do but have not yet[1. The Fantastic Beasts movies are still good, for what it’s worth.].

Something this movie does that Rocky IV didn’t do is to give Drago and his son actual character. Drago was sensational as the villain in Rocky IV in one snese, but he was pretty flat and cartoony (a legit critique I made for Rocky IV in general in my last articles) and only had like 7 lines, half of which aren’t in English.[2.Because apparently his tongue didn’t come through customs.] Drago and Vicktor by contrast are not simple characters in this installment and they even make you feel for them at the end. I was thrilled to see Viktor and his father as humans, and not just “Bad Russian Men.” Even if the plot to achieve that was a tad cheesy and the standard “They are messed up because the mother/wife left them” trope. The moment at the climax where you think Drago is going to walk out as Viktor’s mother did, but instead throws in the towel, is tearjerking. And while it was quite different in key ways, that simple action also took Rocky fans back to IV.

Lastly I will add that even though the Rocky references (both subtle and unmistakable) are mainly from IV, there are plenty of plot points and dialogue that recall the other movies. A huge one is the fact that Adonis fights and loses and then wins the rematch, which has echoes of Rocky III. A more obvious one that I loved with my whole heart was when Donnie was extremely nervous about proposing and asked Rocky what he said to Adrian. Rocky quotes himself from II directly: “I asked her if she wouldn’t mind marrying me too much,” which is classic Rocky vernacular. I do think they missed a fantastic moment to have Rocky recall that he asked her what she was “doing the next 40 or 50 years” prior to that, but maybe they felt it would have made the scene less poignant. As a Rocky fan, I feel Rocky’s entire marriage proposal to Adrian would have been worth quoting.

Creed 1, Part 2

Not to be diminished by the Rocky IV hoopla is how beautifully and satisfying Donnie and Bianca’s narrative is advanced. After one viewing I wasn’t sure how I felt about all of these plot points, but after I had a chance to focus on them my second viewing (instead of the ‘other’ sequel), I lauded them.

First, Donnie being nervous about proposing allowed the callback to Rocky II, but it was also not lost on me that this cocky, smooth-talking, champion boxer was overwhelmed and flummoxed by the moment and needed help. This was a touching scene and made Donnie a relatable everyman for a moment, and hence, a better character. This kind of humility will always endear me.

And the storytelling wrenches the heart even more when this young couple has to deal with the possibility that their daughter inherited hearing loss from the mother. The moment when Bianca sees her husband break down when their daughter doesn’t respond to the test was some of the finest acting I saw in 2018. One of my brothers (the same one who allegedly tears up at the end of Rocky II, but I still will not name) texted me after he saw the movie to say that he shed tears at several moments but this was the toughest one.

For my money the most emotional moment was also on his list: Donnie visiting Apollo’s grave at the end. I wept for sure. A close second is also at the very end when Rocky visits Robert and his grandson he doesn’t know. It saddened me that they did not include Robert in Creed but for one passing comment, but I assumed it was because Sage Stallone had recently died and it would have been awkward for real life Sly Stallone for his fictional son (once played by Sage) to be included. Why else would Robert not show up when Rocky had cancer? As they kept mentioning him in this sequel, it was killing me that Rocky was estranged from him and his only grandchild. Rocky was a family man before Adrian died and it is almost perverse for him be going through life with only a surrogate son in Donnie. So when he predictably travels to Canada in the very last scene, I beamed like a new parent at a newborn child. I also nearly jumped out of my skin when it was revealed that Robert was again portrayed by Milo Ventimiglia, reprising that role from Balboa. My wife will testify that as Rocky got close to the house, I kept nudging her and whispering “Will it be Milo? Will it be Jack?” (His name on This Is Us) to the point of being annoying. Having Milo and Michael B. Jordan in the same movie should be illegal it’s so good.

One Unified Movie

I do not want to imply the movie was fragmented at all. The writing and direction blended the two sequels magnificently, like two lines that run so closely together they are distinct yet clearly connected, and that touch at key points. Perhaps the best illustration of this is how both Donnie and Rocky cannot escape the demons of the 1985 Creed-Drago fight and specifically Apollo’s death: Rocky for not throwing the towel and Donnie for never knowing his father. They produced one sequel to two classic movies so well so that I am tempted to put this chapter in the Rocky saga near the top of the rankings, just behind the original. It is that good. The heart of Rocky and the spirit of Creed are interwoven together like magic and I am excited that now it is on Blu-Ray and DVD, I can watch it as many times as I want.

Five Stars out of Five

Experts Now in Development of Artificial Theology (or A.T.) Designed to Update Scripture and Christian World to Modern Technological Standards

In January of 2020, a team of technologists received the Nobel prize after inventing the first phase of Artificial Theology. The first theological premise generated by this advanced divine program is that the universe was created by a gigantic 3D printer. To date, absolutely no proof has come to light to support the theory, yet techno-savvy scholars the world over are fully on board.

Since that time the new technology has continued to relate further new and exciting biblical-ish facts about the book of Genesis. While the Genesis project is yet at an early stage, debatably the most stunning new fact generated is that the I.R.S. was the original tempter in the Garden of Eden. This has confirmed the long-held belief that they are a thing of great evil. But this is only the beginning. After Genesis, A.T. will generate exciting new truths and facts about the rest of the Bible.

In less than two years, A.T. is anticipated to give birth to a further technology known as Artificial Christianity (or A.C.). In about six years, the project developers anticipate A.C. to have the capability of creating authentic Christian robots pre-programmed to follow a detailed A.C. instruction manual. This will include such protocol involved with things such as ushering, sound booth supervising, security, librarian, choir membership, nursery worker and many other roles.

In addition, the robots will be completely waterproof so they will be able to perform water-based ordinances such as baptism and feet washing. According to an early draft of the A.T. manual, human congregants can stay home on feet washing nights since the robots will be doing it on their behalf. (It is not yet known if robots at any stage can safely ingest foods and liquids so as of yet there are no plans for research and development of robots taking communion).

Expert futurists predict that when the entirety of this ongoing project is completed, the only human Christians doing anything at church except filling a pew will be the pastor, who along with his other duties, will be assigned to robot control.

There is much excitement in the Christian community regarding these imminent developments.

Veronica Samuelson voiced the thoughts of many fellow human Christians: “I can finally just sit in the pew without the guilt of not doing anything!”

Added fellow congregant Roger Ellerson, “Preach it! It will be great not to feel obligated to act on our faith.”

In light of the continuing promise of A.T. and A.C. advancement, theology professors of some of the top secular universities in the world anxiously await the final eradication of all remaining active human faith in the original Bible. Although the predictions exist, its full implications on the future of Christianity are not yet known. However, it is widely known that technology makes everything better, so expectations are high. Its so…exciting!

An Open Letter from Maude, the Farting Cow

Hi, Maude here.

It’s come to my attention that a few Democrats recently introduced a new bill called “The Green New Deal.” It’s full of all sorts of wonderful ideas, including retrofitting or rebuilding every building in the United States to meet with new energy standards. That doesn’t sound too difficult to pull off. I mean, it’s not like there are 100s of millions of buildings in the US…

Most of the stuff doesn’t affect my life at all. I am a cow. I have simple needs. Grass. Water. Some room to roam. You know. The usual. If I say so myself, I don’t really ask a lot from the world around me. Me, and others like me, are simple creatures. So, you will share in my shock and horror that this new bill specifically targets me and my, how to put this delicately, flatulence. This bill wants to eradicate, and I quote, “farting cows.”

Excuse me! I will have you know that I suffer from a very common malady among my kind. I have a touch of irritable bowel syndrome. It’s no laughing matter by the way. It can be a bit embarrassing from time to time, but the other cows understand exactly what I am dealing with, as so many others have this or similar gastrointestinal issues. It’s not like we sit around and try to see who can pass the most gas every day. (Well, Henrietta does that but no one likes her and she is giving us all a bad name.) Sometimes, you just have to let one fly. Is that so wrong? Is this where we are as a society that we are going to not only shame cows that are passing gas but plan to get rid of them? That’s a nice way of saying we are going to exterminate all gassy cows. I won’t stand for it.

So, this letter is for Ms. Ocasio-Cortez (or Ms. Ocasio-Cowhater as I am going to call her from now on) and her friends that helped write this new bill calling for my death. We reject it out of hand! We will have nothing to do with this blatant and offensive bovine shaming. We ask that everyone else, cow or human or any other creature that struggles with a rumbly tummy, stand with us! Say no to the “Green New Deal” and its ridiculous attempt to get rid of cows. Mooove over, sister and let the adults handle things from now on!

Five More Facial Expressions That Are No Longer Acceptable in a Tolerant Society

This weekend, the entire world witnessed an unspeakable horror. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, violent racism was deployed in the most damaging manner possible. A young MAGA hat-wearing bigot got in the face of an innocent and totally upstanding Native American elder. He stood there. He looked through his arsenal of privilege and he chose his weapon of choice.

He smirked.

Everyone of sound mind and heart instantly recognizes the hatred, rage, and condescension that comes with that smirk. Most of us have been on the receiving end of a smirk like that. It is a searing knife, plunged into our very souls. Sadly, it is not the only facial expression deployed by the depraved and craven in their attempt to silence those of us on the right side of history. No, there are many more facial expressions of hate, racism, bigotry, misogyny, and intolerance that confront us on a daily basis. Here are five of the most offensive that you need to recognize and eradicate from your life, posthaste!

The Single Eyebrow Raise

There is nothing wrong with your average single eyebrow raise. You know when you lift one eyebrow a little higher than the other. It is an extremely time-honored expression. Abraham Lincoln often raised an eyebrow at his fighting men. So did Helen of Troy when she launched a thousand ships. Very elegant indeed. That being said, the eyebrow-raiser is well advised to avoid it these days. Such expressions are frequently taken as sarcasm, pretension, and various other forms of belittling. This dreaded expression is often effectual in instigating feelings of rage and inferiority. It is henceforth deemed inappropriate if one eyebrow is lifted a least one millimeter higher than the other, and/or if causes the forehead above said eyebrow to be furrowed.

The Non-Flirtatious Wink

We are all aware of the total devastation that occurs when a person (99% of the time a man) winks at another person (99% of the time a woman). We have made great strides in eradicating such toxic behavior in society. Yet the wink’s destructive powers do not end when decoupled from flirtation. The wink, in all its forms, contexts, and deployments is a thing of unbridled hostility, superiority, and vulgarity. If you are a winker, you are a part of the problem. Repent of your winking ways and come to the side where no non-verbal communication of the visual kind will ever be tolerated or condoned.

The “Jim Halpert” Face

Jim (from TV’s “The Office”) was a nice guy. A decent guy. Almost everyone liked him, except for Charles Miner for some reason. He had fun at work, drove Dwight crazy, and got the girl of his dreams. And while he never had a catchphrase, like so many classic TV characters from days gone by, he had a catch look. The look. The “Jim Halpert” face.

Yeah, that’s the one. The problem with that face is that it was often used as a way to deflect any responsibility for all the sexism, racism, and generally offensive behavior of his boss, Michael Scott. It was the look of a coward. In light of how things are progressing in Donald Trump’s America, we have no room for cowards.

The Yucky Food Face

This is something civilized diners should never do. Naturally, it is not good to offend the food preparer in this way, but that is a secondary issue. Of primary concern is 1) disrespecting the animal, fruit, and/or vegetable who died to give you sustenance and 2) offending a stranger who happens to see you across the restaurant and thinks you have been talking about him or her and therefore also thinks that your grimace is directed at them. According to social media, this second is one of the top ten social problems facing our country today. When eating in a public place it is, therefore, best to maintain a straight face at all times so as to avoid this sort of thing. It may even be a good idea to wear a hockey mask when you go out so no one will be mistakenly offended by your Yucky Food Face.


Let us be honest here: there are some of us who are simply not allowed to smile anymore. Our smiles are loaded weapons and even if we intend no harm, they leave a swathe of destruction and chaos in their wake. Smiles are just the latest manifestation in a long line of hate and privilege and we just cannot afford to be party to that sort of evil. Until further notice, stop smiling. Our betters in society will let us know when it is safe and proper for all of us to smile again. One last point: If you are unsure if you are allowed to smile, then your complete ignorance about how a progressive and tolerant society works is a clear indicator that your smile is not needed or wanted for this moment in time.

As you can see, if we are not careful we can do great damage even with something as seemingly innocuous as our face. Therefore, we humbly suggest that until the “all clear” is given, let this be your only facial expression:


Visionary! Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Nominates Hank Pym, Tony Stark, and Shuri To Science and Energy Board.

Washington, D.C. – On the steps of The U.S. Capital Building, surrounded by supporters and members of the press, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, newly elected Congresswoman and rising star in the Democrat Party, officially offered three names to head the newly created “Climate Change and Renewable Energy Board.” Based on the three people she submitted, she is not afraid to think out of the box. “We have to get off fossil fuels and we have to do it soon. Our planet is dying and the time to start is now. I looked around and these people are the most qualified to lead us into a bright and clean future. I mean seriously, who is smarter than these three? As we all saw in Ant Man, Hank Pym invented the “Pym Particle” for crying out loud! And everyone knows all the great stuff Tony Stark has done – The Arc Reactor and he even helped create a new element! How awesome is that!?! We just need him to give up that whole warmongering, Iron Man stuff. And what can I say about Shuri other than she is a fierce, independent, minority woman who just so happens to be the world’s expert on working with Vibranium. Plus, getting her would allow us to open more channels for trade and information exchange with the thriving nation of Wakanda and it’s wonderful ruler, her brother T’Challa, or Black Panther as most people know him. It’s definitely a win-win.”

Representative Ocasio-Cortez’s office has reached out to Pym, Stark, and Shuri but has received no response from them or their representatives at this time. “We’ll get in touch with them soon. I’m sure they understand how important it is for us to fix this massive environmental mess Big Oil and their Republican cronies have created. They’ll want to be on the right side of history and that side is fighting for renewable energy and a clean environmental future.”

When a reporter from Fox News pointed out that all three of these “people” are fictional characters in recent Marvel films, Ocasio-Cortez simply danced around the steps and said, “This is not the time to get hung up on specifics and ‘facts.’ We have been called to do the impossible so that is exactly what we will do.” The crowd full of her constituents, supporters, and press exploded in cheers and joined in the dance.

It is clear that we are in very good hands indeed.