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To Think, "Fax" Outlived Them

« October 2016 »


It's my duty to inform you that this weekend, after a decades-long battle with politics, facts passed away this weekend due to complications from stupidity.

Facts were seriously ill a decade ago, when a new treatment, "fact checking organizations", were approved by the FDA. Unfortunately, the first time they called someone a liar that people liked, they lost most of their credibility, and then lost the rest of this when they tried to appease everyone by bending their judgments in the hopes of seeming even-handed.

And then, of course, fact-checking organizations had to deal with the Trump campaign. Facts were left reeling this weekend when Politifact was forced to address the validity of Trump campaign manager Kelly Ann Conway's statement that Hillary Clinton's donors threw gay people off of buildings. Keep in mind, as always, that Conway is the relatively reasonable one in the campaign.

Politifact found the claim "mostly false", because while Hillary Clinton does not currently accept donations from ISIS, the only organization known to throw gay people off of buildings, her foundation did accept donations up until 2014 from countries with a poor record on LGTB rights. Which should tell you everything you need to know about the usefulness of Politifact.

And, of course, the phrase "fact check" isn't copyrighted or trademarked. Anyone can use it. Even organizations who are completely unfamiliar with both the noun and the verb, like, say, Breitbart, who actually put out an article called "Fact Check: Hillary Clinton Claims U.S. Is A 'Nation Of Immigrants'". Their point is that her metaphor is technically incorrect because the majority of Americans were born here.

Their other point, the one they didn't include in this article but do include in the subtext of all their articles, is that the U.S. isn't a nation of immigrants, it's a nation of white conquerors who were anointed by God to take this land from the heathen brown hordes. But hey, why can't they do a fact check! This is 2016! Anything is possible! David Duke qualifying for a debate at a historically black college? Why the fuck not?

None of this matters, of course, because ultimately, facts need hosts in which to survive, and we have bred an entire generation of idiots immune to them. Which is a metaphor. I'm not saying all young people are immune to facts, but we have created an entire swath of the human population that are incapable of recognizing or accepting them. For example, Ryan Williams of Norwich, England, who recently became Internet famous because he thinks women can control period blood like it's pee.

Normally, even if you thought something this stupid, it would never come up in conversation, but Williams, a sort of fledgling Men's Rights Activist and right-wing garbage person, used his complete misunderstanding of reproductive biology to argue that tampons were a want, not a need, and therefore the tampon tax was completely justified.

If you enjoy hope, I do not recommend you click on and read this interview with Williams, but trust me when I tell you that the interviewer goes to great pains to point out to him the fundamental flaw in his thinking, and Williams utterly refuses to see or accept it, because facts are just opinions now, and everyone is entitled to both, in unlimited quantities, no matter how insane. Of course, when everyone has their own facts, nobody has any. So farewell, facts. It was, quite literally, nice knowing you.

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