It’s become your daily morning ritual. Wake up. Open Twitter. And here come’s your fix. It’s something like, “Trump Surrogate Says Jews in the Holocaust Didn’t Have it So Bad!” and you’re off to the races. How could he!? Do they know how insensitive that is!? And so on, and so forth until tomorrow, when it’s something else. It’s the rage machine and it exists on both sides.
For every “Trump Eats Steak Well Done With Ketchup,” you see on on the left, folks on the right will see something like “Communist Sympathizer Lena Dunham Thinks Pedophiles Should Teach Kindergarten.” And the big secret is: both sides are getting played. The nonstop outrage engine is a contrivance, a counterfeit system made by people trying to profit off notoriety, and fueled by humanity’s physiological addiction to anger. We hate it. And we love it. And we can’t fucking stop.
THIS WEEK: Jack O'Brien is joined by Cracked editors Jason Pargin (aka David Wong), Katie Goldin and Alex Schmidt to break-down how the non-stop rage machine works, who’s profiting from it, and why this snake eating its tail is so addictive to the human psyche.
So, I promised @takemeawaytocamelot that this would be finished by the end of the week, and I always keep my promises!
This is a continuation of “Two Sugars, Extra Cream” which you can find here under Coffee Shop AU . Enjoy!
Chapter 2: Dates and Deal Breakers
6:30, and I was standing in front of the bathroom mirror contemplating what in
God’s name I should do with my hair. Steaming milk for 6 hours did wonders for
curls, and not in the good way. The only way to fix this was to shower, and I
simply did not have time for that.
you think Adso?” I turned to the small pile of gray fur in the doorway. “Is it
acceptable? Oh, gross!” He was licking his nether-parts. I wasn’t sure if he
did that for business or pleasure, but it was disgusting either way.
at my exclamation, green eyes bright in his charcoal face. He stared
unwaveringly, making me super uncomfortable after his previous activity.
to take that awkward stare as a yes, and assume I look all right,” I told him.
He meowed happily, and rubbed himself in a figure-eight around my legs. “Okay,
don’t trip me Addy. It’s one thing to have messy hair on a first date. It’s
another to have a broken arm.”
continued his rubbing, anyway. Obviously, he didn’t care about my feelings
whatsoever. But, what cat ever did?
to face the full length mirror on the door, and surveyed “The Outfit,” bottom
to top. Black boots, black tights, black dress. Black on black on black.
My eyes made their way to my
hair. Wild as ever, dark curls springing in every direction. There was no hope
Maybe I should put a headband or something in
A headband? What are you, Beauchamp?
I ran my hands through it, zooshing
it up a bit.
Shit, that made it worse.
Before I could destroy my hair
further, Adso startled me by yowling at the door.
Is that him?
And then the doorbell rang.
drove an obnoxiously large, obnoxiously red truck.
“Compensating for something, my
lad?” Jamie had my hand in his, carefully assisting me into his monstrosity
vehicle. He gave me a pointed look and slammed the door, but otherwise did not
acknowledge my hilarious joke. I watched the top of his red mane float across
the windshield before he appeared fully on the other side.
“Nay, ‘twas my godfather’s. He sold
it to me fer a guid price.” Jamie heaved into the truck using his grab handles.
He wiggled a bit in his seat, before buckling up.
“And what did your godfather need a
truck this large for?”
“I dinna ken. Tae hold his big
balls, most like.”
Jamie whipped his truck into the
parking lot of a place called Iggy’s Steakhouse.
“Well, I suppose it’s a good thing
I’m not a vegetarian…” I said, wrestling with the seatbelt. Jamie had already
unbuckled and magically appeared at my side, opening the door for me. He held
out his hand, and I used that as leverage to hop out of the truck.
“Aye… Perhaps I shoulda asked…”
“Perhaps. But you’re lucky. I eat
meat like nobody’s business.”
“Good.” He placed a hand gently on
the small of my back (!!!) and started leading me to the entrance. His hand was
large, and probably took up half the space on my back. But it was warm, and his
thumb was make tiny, almost imperceptible motions against my dress. I could
melt, and would happily be the small English puddle in his life.
Despite the name (Seriously, what
kind of name is Iggy? Is it short for something?), the inside was lovely and
proper. Small tabled were arranged in rows, each with a candle and a white
tablecloth. Small chandeliers littered the ceiling, creating a charming, dim
ambiance. I heard, amongst the chattering of patrons, quiet orchestral music.
This had to be the fanciest first date I’ve ever been on, and I told Jamie just
“Wow. This place is wonderful! I’ve
never heard of it before.”
“Well, it’s not a huge place, ken. My
mate Angus owns the place. That’s how I knew about it,” Jamie responded, as we
stepped to the hostess. “Two under Fraser, please.”
The woman guided us to our table. A
table with a card on it that read “Reservation”
in calligraphy. I suppose it pays to know the owner. Speaking of the owner…
“So,” I began, as I shimmied out of
my coat. “Your friend’s name is Angus. And he owns a steak restaurant… I can
taste the irony, and it tastes like cow.” Jamie chuckled, teeth sparkling in
“Aye. I dinna ken if he did that
purposely.” He took a small sip of water. “But, he’s the type that would, so…” He took another sip, this time including an ice
cube. He bit down on the ice with a crunch, and munched on it happily, very
much like a cow we were preparing to eat.
“Wow, Fraser. Hungry?”
“Bad habit. I’ve done it since I
was a lad. Anytime I would get hot or nervous, I’d eat ice. Deal breaker?”
“No, my bad habits are much worse,
just you wait,” I grinned. Jamie mirrored my grin.
“Nay, I doubt that. Ice crunching
is probably the worst habit anyone could have. It’s irritatin’ and it’s bad for
“You know what else is bad for your
“I dinna know you smoked.” I could
hear the trepidation in his voice. Obviously, that was a deal breaker for him.
“I don’t. I’m just giving you a fun
fact.” With that, he let out a breath.
“Yer always messin’ wi’ me,
“I know. I think that’s just how I
“Yer flirting wi’ me?”
“I’ve been flirting with you since
we first met. Thanks for noticing.”
Our dinners came out perfectly
arranged on silvery plates. A medium rare steak took up one half, a small salad
took up the other. It looked simply mouth-watering. And I, feeling more than a
bit peckish, started cutting into it immediately. Jamie, I noticed, did not.
“Oh, aye. Everything’s fine.” He
waved over the server; a blond boy no more than 17. “Excuse me, sir? Could I
maybe have a bottle of ketchup?”
“Umm, aye?” The boy answered,
perplexed, before scampering off. I was confused as well.
“What in God’s name do you need
“My steak, o’ course.” I stared at
him blankly. Surely he was joking…
“What? Have ye no seen a man put
ketchup on his steak before?” He seemed slightly miffed by my attitude.
“No! Never!” It was the truth. I
had heard of such blasphemies, but never experienced them first-hand. “You mean
to tell me that you took me this nice place, all to drown your delicious steak
in ketchup. And your friend owns the place, no less!”
“Are ye mocking my food choice?”
Was he truly hurt by this?
“No!” I assured. “I’m just…concerned.
Donald Trump eats his steak with ketchup, and I just don’t want you to end up
like that…” He rolled his eyes at me. At this time, the young server popped in
to drop off Jamie’s desecration, before leaving again. Jamie squeezed the
ketchup in his plate, cut into his meal, dipped it in said ketchup, and took an
enormous bite. Even more disturbing was him staring at me with wide blue eyes
the entire time.
“You’re killing me; you know that?”
“Aye. It’s why I’m doing it. Hope
this isn’t a deal breaker either.” I thought for a second, eyes to the ceiling.
“No, but you’re pushing it.”
Dinner tasted as good as it looked,
and I, thankfully, didn’t vomit while watching Jamie eat ketchup drenched
“We’re ready fer the check, please,”
Jamie told the boy-server.
“Aye, sir,” he responded.
“It was delicious Jamie,” I said
once the boy was gone. “You’ll have to tell your friend that he has a wonderful
“Aye, I will, Sassenach,” Jamie
replied as he took the check-holder from the server, and deftly slid his card
into the designated pocket before handing it back to him. “He’ll be pleased.”
wrapped his arm around me as we left the restaurant, which left me feeling all
safe and warm. He carefully maneuvered me back into his firetruck, before
floating over to his side.
he said seriously. This caught my attention. Usually we were playful, and
banter-y. This was different. He reached over, and tucked a stray curl behind
my ear. “I forgot tae tell ye how lovely ye looked tonight. I should have when
I picked ye up, but I was too busy staring, ken? Truly, ye are the loveliest
woman, inside and out.”
No one had ever spoken to me like that, with such sweetness and sincerity. I
wasn’t used to it, and I didn’t know how to respond.
Jamie. You look very handsome yourself this evening.” It was the truth. He wore
a green and blue plaid shirt that simultaneously brought out the red in his
hair and the blue in his eyes. His jeans were dark, and hugged his hips
lovingly. But it was more than that. It was the twinkle in his eyes. The deep
laugh. The small bump in his nose. The ears that stuck out just a bit. The
kindness and humour that came so effortlessly to him. I was infatuated. He
smiled brightly, pulling at the dimple in his chin.
Claire. Not just for the compliment, but fer spending the evening wi’ me.”
“It was my
“Shit.” I wasn’t sure if I had
ever heard Jamie curse, but I suppose there was a first time for everything.
wrong?” But I could already feel it. The truck was slowing down, with no assistance
from Jamie. He veered over to the shoulder of the road. “Did your truck just
out of gas.” I also don’t think I’ve ever seen Jamie angry, but tonight was a
night of firsts, I suppose. His eyes narrowed, and I saw him clenching and
unclenching his jaw. He jumped out of the truck, and slammed the door, hard. I
know he was trying to keep his voice down for me, but I still heard the muffled
profanities. Some I wasn’t even sure were real words. He circled the truck a
couple times, before opening the door again.
station, up over the hill. I’ll have to push it. You scoot over and make sure I
dinna push it into traffic.”
But he had already closed the door again, and positioned himself at the back. I
felt the truck start to move forward, so I moved over to the driver’s side, and
was how we spent the next hour: trying to get the truck up the hill. I offered
to push while he steered for a bit, but he was having none of it. So, I sat
there steering when I needed to, pushing the brakes when I needed to, but
altogether feeling quite useless.
made it to the station, Jamie was red-faced with hair sticking to his forehead
and neck. I wouldn’t tell him this, but it was kind of sexy.
Lord!” He exclaimed after filling his truck up. I could tell he was worn. He
was breathing harder than usual. Gone was the alive twinkle in his eyes. It was
replaced by glassy exhaustion.
need me to drive? You’re about to pass out.”
me help, Jamie.”
verra kind, but I’m completely awake. My muscles just ache.”
I could be
as stubborn as any Scot, and he could see it too. I had my jaw set and my eyes
narrowed, ready to be a mule.
We ended up
performing an odd sort of dance across the bench seat, so that we switched
places. If this vehicle seemed big as a passenger, it was completely enormous
as the driver. I carefully backed out of the space, and sped to a racing crawl
all the way back to my flat.
credit, he did not fall asleep as a drove. He was, however, staring unseeingly
at the street lamps passing by. When I parked at my flat, his reverie broke.
make it back okay?” I asked as he walked me to my door.
dinna live too far. Besides, I told ye, my body’s jus’ tired, no my brain.”
Dinna worry. I’ll text ye when I get home, okay?”
make me feel better.” Now here came the awkward part. The part I was never good
at: the goodbye after the first date. Do we kiss? Do we hug? Do we shake hands?
High five? Fist bump? Jamie placed a hand on my shoulder.
“I had a wonderful time, Sassenach.
Shall we do it again sometime?”
“You have my number.” I winked at
him. He blinked owlishly back. And then wrapped me in his arms in a crushing
that won’t do.
I pulled away from him, and pecked
him lightly on the corner of his mouth.
“Be safe, Jamie.”
Iggy’s Restaurant is a fake restaurant. Any resemblance to other restaurants past or present is complete coincidental.
Also, I did have the steakhouse written before today, but I just had to put the ketchup part in after ECCC panel. :)
….. “Nobody would care if an incoming
national security adviser had confidential conversations with an
ambassador of a hostile foreign government before Inauguration Day, if
it were believed that the conversations served a legitimate and
disinterested public purpose.But that is exactly what is doubted in this case.To put the story in simplest terms:
1) Russian spies hacked Democratic Party communications in order to help elect Donald Trump.
2) Donald Trump welcomed the help, used it, publicly solicited more of it—and was then elected president of the United States.
3) President Obama sanctioned Russia for its pro-Trump espionage.
4) While Russia considered its response, its ambassador spoke with the national security adviser-designate about the sanctions
5) The adviser, Flynn, reportedly asked Russia not to overreact, signaling that the new administration would review the sanctions; Russia did not respond.
6) As president-elect and then president, Donald Trump has indicated that he seeks to lift precisely those sanctions caused by Russia’s espionage work on his behalf.
of this takes place against the background of Donald Trump’s seeming
determination to align U.S. foreign policy ever closer to Russia’s:
endorsing the annexation of Crimea, supporting Russia’s war aims in
Syria, casting doubt on the U.S. guarantee to NATO allies, cheering on
the breakup of the European Union.
It takes place, too, in the
context of Trump’s murky corporate financial obligations to Russian
entities. “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate
cross-section of a lot of our assets,” Donald Trump Jr. told
an investor conference in 2008. “We see a lot of money pouring in from
Russia.” Exactly how much money is unknown to anyone outside the Trump
Organization, because of the president’s repeated refusal to embrace
financial transparency. But the pattern of Trump wealth-seeking in
Russia has been widely reported, including the multimillion-dollar
windfall profit gained from the sale of a Palm Beach mansion to a Russian oligarch
at a particularly tense time in the Trump family finances—the same
period when he was lending his name to such shabby operations as Trump
University and Trump Steaks.
Trump is a highly successful businessman. But he is not, as he claims, a highly successful dealmaker.
Trump is an incredibly talented, natural marketer. He was very good at convincing people they should want to buy Trump apartments, reasonably good at convincing people they should want to golf at Trump golf clubs, and for a time quite successful at getting people to want to watch Trump fire people on television.
Trump innately understands certain kinds of consumers, and he understood things about the electorate that none of his opponents in the 2016 election did. There are reasons he won an election that nobody believed he could.
He wasn’t very good at convincing people they should want to buy Trump Steaks, but then, nobody bats a thousand.
We know from what we’ve seen of Trump’s tax returns that he lost a great deal of money in the 1990s and that he was making a great deal of money by the mid-2000s. Not coincidentally, over this period Trump shifted the focus of his professional endeavors away from businesses that were heavy on dealmaking and toward businesses that were heavy on marketing, particularly arrangements in which he would rent his name to somebody else who was actually in the business of developing real estate.
Unfortunately, unlike the general endeavor of being a “famous, rich business guy,” there is no way to adjust the presidency, so it’s heavier on the marketing aspects and lighter on the dealmaking aspects.
It’s a president’s job to make deals. And Trump’s lack of talent for dealmaking is going to be a major liability for him in office.
Remember. Trump has failed at literally everything he has set out to do. If his past track record is any example, he will make big promises, and they will turn into so much shit. He will be fighting two parties the whole way, because he has made so many enemies just in the campaign.
Just watch the Trump presidency become as big a joke as most things with Trump plastered on them. Trump steaks, Trump University, Go-Trump.com, Trump airlines, Trump Vodka, Trump Mortgage, Trump magazine, Trump the board game, Trump Ice, Tour de Trump, A bunch of the Trump resorts, Trump TV, Trumped radio, Trump new media, the list is endless.
Let’s stick together for four years while the people who put faith in this cheeto dusted hairy yam realize that they have put a con artist in office who has a history of making big promises and delivering exactly zero percent of them. Hopefully both sides will be so upset, that he will get nothing done, and people will be so mad at republicans next election we can have a better shot at **cough BERNIE cough** someone who will actually try to make this country great for the first time, without reverting to when it was built on the suffering of anyone who was different and was only great for specific races and religions.