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Heavenly New Comedy Lampoons Technocratic Rule

Two new sitcoms mark the start of fall premiere season.

'The Good Place''The Good Place' / NBCKevin Can Wait. CBS. Monday, September 19, 8:30 p.m.

The Good Place. NBC. Monday, September 19, 10 p.m.

Choose your metaphor—the buzzards returning to Hinckley, the lemmings to Lapland—but every year around this time, we swarm to our TV sets for the new fall broadcast season. And a few weeks later, like—choose your metaphor, sated ticks or Zika-bloated Aedes aegypti—we roll dazedly off our couches, wondering what just happened and why.

Between now and Halloween, as the networks roll out 21 new shows, the tube will reel with time-traveling homicide detectives, visionary doctors, bewildered corpses, Mexican exorcists, girl pitchers, Jack Bauer clones, doomed lovers trying to cross stuff off their apoca-lists, stay-at-home dads amazed to find out what wretched little swine they've spawned, and remakes of movies you hated the first time around.

Fully half the new shows debut next week as the nets, after several live-and-let-live years of staggering their premieres to avoid quick head-to-head knockouts, resume their ancestral kamikaze ways. The strategy is puzzling, especially since the networks are otherwise proceeding conservatively, avoiding the huge start-up costs of new series (20 is the smallest number in years) and padding out their schedules with sports and one-shot specials. But who am I to question the wisdom of the collective industry braintrust that gave us Supertrain and Viva Laughlin!

Admittedly that's a low bar, but the comedies that kick off the season Monday night are several hundred thousand cuts above those two epic disasters. NBC's The Good Place, in fact, is a gem of subversive mockery, trashing everything from New Age cosmic-muffin deism to central planning with gleeful comic bloodlust.

The Good Place stars Kristen Bell (Showtime's House of Lies) as Eleanor Shellstrop, an amiable young amnesiac who wakes up in a nondescript office that turns out to be the placement center for the afterlife. But, she's warned, "It's not the heaven or hell idea you were raised on."

And yeah, "warned" is the appropriate verb. The great beyond is managed not by some thundering Big Guy but a cadre of technocrats who assign souls based on a strict numerical scoresheet. (Was a commissioner of a professional football league, minus 824.5 points; never discussed veganism unprompted, plus 9,825.41 points)

Those like Eleanor who make the cutoff go to the Good Place, which is subdivided into neighborhoods made up of exactly 322 people "selected to blend into a blissful harmonic balance," explains Michael (Ted Danson), the rookie commissar of Eleanor's little chunk of eternity. As for those who don't make the strictly enforced cutoff—including Mozart, Picasso, Elvis, "basically every artist who ever lived," and even Florence Nightingale—Michael's ominously vague advice is "don't worry about it."

So Eleanor has the run of the neighborhood, including shops like The Small Adorable Pet Depot and Your Every Anticipated Need, as well as a just-the-right-size cottage decorated in the celestially approved Icelandic Primitive, all in the company of her kind-hearted, officially selected soul mate Chidi (William Jackson Harper, Paterson).

There's just one problem: mistaken identity. Eleanor, prior to shuffling off the moral coil, was not a lawyer who worked pro bono to get wrongly convicted inmates off Death Row, but a whorish telemarketer who huckstered old people into buying worthless herbal remedies. (Only rule: "We can't call it medicine because it doesn't, technically, work.") And though she doesn't tell anybody, the presence of a reprobate soul soon sends the Good Place off the harmonic rails, with attacks by giant rampaging ladybugs and other Old Testament-ish plagues.

From there, The Good Place becomes a whimsically cockeyed entry into the long Hollywood tradition of movies and TV shows about karma-challenged souls trying to work off their debts in the waiting room of the hereafter, going back at least to Spencer Tracy in 1953's A Guy Named Joe. (For the theologically disinclined, Christina Applegate's 2007-2009 series Samantha Who?, in which she played an amnesiac slowly coming the realization that before her accident she was an Olympian-quality bitch, is a kissing cousin of the line.)

What elevates The Good Place from sardonic wit to dark hilarity, though, is its withering lampoon of technocracy and the idea that human beings are interchangeable widgets for social engineers to play with. It's impossible to look away from the merry collision of Danson's bland assurance that he's capable of making the decisions for his flock of souls for literally all eternity with Bell's wide-eyed innocence as she systematically wrecks his plans. The imperfectability of man has rarely been so funny.

There's nothing revolutionary about Kevin Can Wait, though some female critics will doubtless call it devolutionary for its continuance of a Hollywood tradition of casting younger and hotter women against pudgy leading men, while the reverse is considered beyond the pale. No matter, I suspect, to star Kevin James, the plus-size comedian who is surely the patron saint of Scruffy Blue-Collar Chubs, after being married to hotties Leah Remini in the nine seasons of The King Of Queens and Erinn Hayes in this one.

Scrumptiousness disequilibriums aside, it's hard to imagine a more conventional sitcom setup than the one in Kevin Can Wait. James is a newly retired cop planning a decade-long playday with his pensioner buddies. But their dreams of go-kart paintball and indoor ziplines go awry when James discovers what his wife has known all along—that their three kids are a pack of sociopaths and idiots who need constant tending.

Even the daughter at college has announced her plan to quit school and move into the garage with her nerd fiance, who is too busy inventing the next big app to actually work for a living. "That's not a plan," sighs Hayes. "That is literally every stripper's back story." Like that one, the punchlines fly thick, fast and pointed in Kevin Can Wait, and enough of them land to make it a diverting, if unenlightening, experience...though not nearly as exciting as that indoor zipline sounded.

Photo Credit: 'The Good Place,' NBC

Contributing Editor Glenn Garvin is the author of Everybody Had His Own Gringo: The CIA and the Contras and (with Ana Rodriguez) Diary of a Survivor: Nineteen Years in a Cuban Women's Prison. He writes about television for the Miami Herald.

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  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    I don't bother with network shows. They have to cater to the average retard, while Netflix, Amazon, or HBO can afford to cater to a niche audience.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    You are a niche retard?

  • ||

    Niche deplorable.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Tits and swords better than endless allusions to tits and swords.

  • Dai wie||

    No. Just...no. Pick up a book sometime.

  • The Fusionist||

    You mean TV Guide?

  • ||

    Fuck, people never read that, they read that Reader's Digest, right?

  • DiegoF||

    Read it? I thought everyone just bought it to jack off to the photos.

  • Jerryskids||

    No, no, no. They don't buy Reader's Digest to jack off to the photos - you're thinking of Sports Illustrated.

  • ||

    Fuck, I thought it was Good Housekeeping that everyone jerked off to before the intertoobz.

  • The Fusionist||

    I see that Crusty is getting some competition in the gross/creepy area.

  • Johnny Hit n Run Paulene||

    It's an expanding market.

  • Libertarian||

    A trickle down economy, if you will.

  • PapayaSF||

    You youngsters! The correct answer is National Geographic.

  • Butts Wagner||

    The Sears Catalog! You Pervert!

  • Butts Wagner||

    Craftsman underwire is the preferred choice of 9 out of 10 Manzierre manufacturers.

  • The Fusionist||

  • ||

    Time to hear from the environmentalist pantshitters. Yeehaw.

  • ||

    The Great Indoors does actually look not terrible.

    Joel McHale and Stephen Fry! Making fun of generation snowflake! Maybe not completely awful!

  • That's A Bingo!||

    The concept has potential but the execution is... CBS.

  • Agent Cooper||

    THIS.

  • Agent Cooper||

    This would be vastly improved as a one-camera on-location show.

  • ||

    That's a deep pool of derp right there.

  • SimonD||

    I'm certain CBS will find a way to make it completely awful. It's what they do, after all.

  • DiegoF||

    Stephen Fry would not be my first choice for social commentary or any other sort of insight. Or for funny, lately.

  • Agammamon||

    I think somebody figured 'hey, Hugh Laurie did a really good job in House and Fry's not doing anything lately . . . '

  • ||

    we swarm to our TV sets for the new fall broadcast season

    People still actually do this? The last prime time sitcom that I regularly watched was Seinfeld. If you asked me what's been on the last 20 years, I couldn't even name more than 2 or 3 shows, all of which I've never seen, but just hear other people talking about.

  • LarryA||

    The only thing I'll be swarming to is finding where they moved the Friends reruns, which are the only thing on after the 10 p.m. News, which my wife watches. Even SciFi has lost its fizz.

  • ||

    If it wasn't for my wife's novelas, we wouldn't even have cable. Amazon Prime, Netflix, and the intertoobz is all I need.

  • DiegoF||

    No sports? That's why I still have TV.

    I can't wait until Latin America finally gets the Internet. Then they can put their novelas on Amazon Prime and I can tell my mom I am only sending money for that instead of cable.

  • ||

    What part of Latin America doesn't have the intertoobz?

    Sports? I can stream that on the intertoobz. I only watch American football and occasionally watch that fake football named soccer with the wife, I meant when it's a big game or something. I almost know the rules of fake football now.

  • DiegoF||

    I am a Puerto Rican, and of course we have even less interest in soccer than Anglo-Americans, so I do not have to put up with that shit.

    I was mostly joking; Latin America has the Internet, though I don't know about the penetration of the high-speed that is required for looking at anything more than GeoCities pages (we're not even likely to hit 100% in the U.S. in the next five years). But I don't think the culture is anywhere near advanced enough for there to be serious (even premature and exaggerated, as it is here) talk of "unplugging" from conventional TV; screen entertainment is probably pretty much in 2009 or so by our standards.

    I was under the impression that most broadcast licensees still verify that you are a cable subscriber before allowing you to stream. There will probably be a new business model firmly in place well before the next Summer Olympics; but for now I don't think it's quite fair of you to say Mrs. H's programs are the only reason for your cable subscription, when you are "riding" your streaming sports on the back of said subscription.

  • uunderstand||

    Penetration of the high speed doesn't sound like the fun would last long. Or be fun, for that matter.

  • The Last American Hero||

    I enjoy Dark Matter. OK, actually I enjoy watching the lovely Ms. O'Neill slink around for an hour, but still.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    the long Hollywood tradition of movies and TV shows about karma-challenged souls trying to work off their debts in the waiting room of the hereafter

    I know it is not an apples to apples comparison, but I now have a hankering to watch Albert Brooks' excellent film Defending Your Life.

  • ||

    When Albert Brooks did that documentary after 9/11 of traveling around trying to do stand-up in the Arab world and seeing what they found funny, what they found offensive, where the lines were, etc., I thought it was a wonderful undertaking. It was an interesting and inciteful artistic project that had the potential to really shine a light on human nature.

    Too bad it was Albert fucking Brooks trying to do the standup, so there's no way to tell anything about Arab humor, because nobody laughs at him no matter where in the world he is. The only funny thing he's ever done was Hank Scorpio.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I agree completely on the 9/11 docu.

    However, the rest of your post so incorrect that I can only assume that you are either mentally deficient or a fan of NASCAR.

  • DiegoF||

    Speaking of 9/11, I read a review of The Aristocrats that, as an aside, mentioned that it demonstrated to the reviewer's surprise that Jackie The Joke Man Martling is funnier than Albert Brooks. I never saw the film; did it do that?

  • The Fusionist||

    "Speaking of 9/11, I read a review of The Aristocrats"

    I bet you're the only person who ever began a sentence that way.

  • DiegoF||

    Perhaps. But the film was directly inspired by the Gottfried bit; and for many including Penn, and me (the parts that I've seen, at least), 9/11 hangs thematically over the whole production. If I were doing a piece on "films about/inspired by 9/11" I would definitely include Aristocrats as an "unorthodox" entry.

  • The Fusionist||

    OK.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I cannot remember either Brooks or Martling from that movie. Albert Brooks is not really a joke teller anyway. His brother is the joke teller, best exhibited by this famous clip from Curb.

  • John Titor||

    Also not an apples to apples comparison, but Dead Like Me goes the full cynical route. Your actions in life don't matter, you'll get a pleasurable afterlife in the end. Except for those poor bastards stuck harvesting souls as reapers, who are basically the unpaid, unwilling bureaucrats of the afterlife.

  • robc||

    Aldo the gravelings.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Big 3 Network TV is still a thing?

  • DiegoF||

    The ratings would suggest that is is still far and away the biggest "thing" out there, though of course big today is nowhere near what big was. From listening to the entertainment press talk about hot and cold shows on networks, cable, and streaming, you'd never guess that these arenas are still operating on completely different orders of magnitude.

  • JayU||

    If you're including NBC in that Big 3, then no. NBC has been absolute shit for a while now. And CBS has been dominant for Les Moonves' entire run essentially.

  • DiegoF||

    Yep. Huge difference between network "success" and cable "success." Also, NBC hasn't been in the shitter for some time now. They are outright number one with the young demo (even without the Olympics), which is easily the most important number.

  • JayU||

    I suppose I should've qualified that with "scripted shows" for NBC, which remain putrid.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    CNN, MSNBC, CNBC. Yes.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    The great beyond is managed not by some thundering Big Guy but a cadre of technocrats who assign souls based on a strict numerical scoresheet.

    Defending Your Life st. Meryl Streep and Albert Brooks.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Hollywood tradition of casting younger and hotter women against pudgy leading men

    Clearly, you've never seen any television out of the southern hemisphere.

  • The Fusionist||

    I don't know weather you're joking.

  • ||

    Brazilian soap operas are good also. I mean, I don't really know if they're good or not, but the scenery can be quite breathtaking.

  • The Fusionist||

    How many Brazilian soap operas have you watched?

    /old joke

  • The Fusionist||


    Trump Can Win the White House, If the GOP Embraces Black Voters

    "The base of the party is willing to be led down the path of engagement with the Black community by Blacks like me, as opposed to national party leaders who think they know more about the Black community than Blacks....

    "...The grassroots are more than willing to take advice as how to build the necessary relationships with the Black community. The base of the party is willing to admit that they need guidance from within the Black community, from political operatives with campaign experience, not from those Blacks who make them feel good."

  • Jay Dubya||

    yeah thats not going to happen.trump may get elected but blacks will go 90%+ for team blue like they have for the last 50 years.

  • The Fusionist||

  • The Fusionist||

    [A few years in the future]

    SON: "Mommy, you like to write things, did you write any articles about me?"

    MOTHER: "Yes I did, sweetheart, look at this."

  • DiegoF||

    Not even close to being the most embarrassing thing that journalists, or for that matter ordinary moms, post to the world about their kids. He's cut? Bah, do you really care who knows that about you? In an age when "Why we decided to safely supervise, not judge, our son for exploring his butt curiosity with his Pretty Pretty Pony playset (pictured: Aaron Leif Anderson-Tokohara, 9)" is barely enough to raise an eyebrow, this kid will be lucky if this is all he has to suffer through.

  • The Fusionist||

    "A candidate for the Legislature in the northern [Minneapolis] suburb of Blaine has resigned from his job as an aide to Minnesota House Republicans, following a report about his Facebook posts celebrating the Confederacy."

  • DiegoF||

    In his defense, perhaps he was merely expressing regional pride in northern Minneapolis's Confederate heritage.

  • The Fusionist||

    According to this, Blaine, Minnesota was named after the influential Republican politician James G. Blaine, who had recently opposed political rights for Jefferson Davis because of the treatment of Union POWs at the Andersonville prison camp:

    "It would seem as if the concentrated madness of earth and hell had found its final lodgement in the breast of those who inaugurated the rebellion and controlled the policy of the Confederate government, and that the prison at Andersonville had been selected for the most terrible human sacrifice which the world has ever seen." (pp. 363-64).

  • SIV||

    his history of publicly expressing admiration for the Confederacy and disdain for President Abraham Lincoln.

    West took down the posts and apologized for them, saying they "do not reflect who I am or what I believe."

    What a cuck !

  • The Fusionist||

    Did Reason cover this?

    The US Civil Rights Commission has come out against the First Amendment.

    "A majority of Commissioners ultimately found that "religious exemptions to the protections of civil rights based upon classifications such as race, color, national origin, sex, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity, when they are permissible, significantly infringe upon these civil rights."...

    "...some see these carve-outs as an excuse for discrimination—the Commission's chair, Martin Castro, argued as much.

    "The phrases 'religious liberty' and 'religious freedom' will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy, or any form of intolerance," he wrote."

  • The Fusionist||

    Comment from William McGurn at the Wall Street Journal:

    "Mr. Castro's contribution...is so bad it's good. For he confirms that the progressive argument is mostly about insulting Americans with differing views....

    "[dissenting commissioner Gail Heriot] recognizes the public-service aspect of publishing the chairman's prejudice: Though she first thought of asking Chairman Castro to remove his statement, she writes, on further reflection she concluded that it "might be better for Christians, people of faith generally and advocates of limited government to know and understand where they stand with him.""

    (McGurn also says this: "Even poor Gary Johnson, who embarrassed himself on television when he seemed to have no idea what Aleppo was, has come out against religious liberty—suggesting he understands even less about libertarianism than he does about Syria.")

  • See Double You||

    I agree that's always been a significant black mark on Gay Jay's libertarian bona fides. But I still prefer him over Darrell Castle. Sorry, Eddy.

  • The Fusionist||

    I've said a few times that, given the premises of many H&R people, it makes perfect sense to prefer Johnson to the other candidates, including Castle.

    I do like that GJ is posing a threat to the duopoly - not necessarily because he's tapping into libertarian sentiment, but because he's portraying himself as a reasonable centrist alongside Weld.

    But he's obviously making the duopolists nervous ("OMG how can you vote for a third party!?!?!?")

    And like Perot (another 3rd party "spoiler"), he's raising the issue of the deficit.

    I'll take my good news where I can find it.

  • SIV||

    I do like that GJ is posing a threat to the duopoly

    Whatchoo talkin' about, Willis?

    GayJay is a life-long Republican. Even now, he states he is "a Republican governor, running as a Libertarian". Trump isn't a Republican, he's just running on that fucked-up, traitorous Party's ballot line. If "breaking up the duopoly" is your goal STFU and VOTE TRUMP

  • The Fusionist||

    Wow, you've almost convinced me to vote Trump, just call me a cuck and you'll seal the deal.

  • The Fusionist||

    Or perhaps you're parodying the attitude of a Trump supporter?

  • See Double You||

    Islamophobia, Christian supremacy

    That's how you know Martin Castro is a lefty douche who should never be near the levers of power.

    And it's amazing how the left has turned the liberty-preserving rationale behind the Fourteenth Amendment into another tool of government oppression.

  • Stickler Meeseeks||

    Totes recommend Fleabag, Amazon's cheerfully nihilistic British comedy.

  • Sevo||

    Floating around the neighborhood BBS, wherein "Grocery" is considered a 'community facility' and:

    BUILDING AFFORDABLE, MIXED-USE NEIGHBORHOODS
    THROUGH COORDINATED
    NEGOTIATION, 33% OF
    THE PROJECTED 20,000
    NEW HOUSING UNITS WILL
    BE AFFORDABLE BELOW
    MARKET RATE.
    THESE
    UNITS WILL CONTRIBUTE TO
    COMMUNITY STABILIZATION
    THROUGH THE 40%
    NEIGHBORHOOD PREFERENCE
    PROGRAM, POTENTIALLY
    TOTALING OVER
    2,000
    AFFORDABLE UNITS
    FOR
    LOCAL RESIDENTS.
    http://oewd.org/sites/default/.....050516.pdf

    "community stabilization" is code for race preferences; the courts have tossed it, but the 'proggie' SF gov't is back in, arguing for segregation…
    Overall, a heapin' helpin' of statist planning here with enough jargon to gag Scott Adams.

  • See Double You||

    The courts could have recognized that rent control and the like are obviously a kind of regulatory taking that requires just compensation of the landowner, but that would have hampered progressives' redistribution schemes.

  • Sevo||

    I've discussed this with the folks at IJ. They are 100% in agreement that it is a "taking", but so far, the courts have simply ignored that in the favor of 'greater good', and the pathetic claim of 'local control' (slavery, anyone?)
    They are keeping an eye out for an especially egregious case with sympathetic clients; they're no dummies and they know full well that they've got to get the 'wise Latina' imagining a photo of herself on page one with an immigrant family facing foreclosure because of rent control.
    Nobody posting here is gonna be the "featured victim" of city takings...

  • The Fusionist||

    "Hello, there, this is Alistair Cooke. I've come out of, ah, retirement to bring you this episode of Spooky Shit Theater."

  • Ken Shultz||

    It's all about Longmire.

    And Vikings.

    And what's that show with the dwarf god of tits and wine? That one's pretty good.

    Also Salem. Just because a woman truly loves you doesn't mean she'll never have to shove a rat down your throat. . . . especially if it's for your own good.

  • The Fusionist||

    Rat on.

  • Derpetologist||

    In case you missed it yesterday, the most butt-hurt man in the UK about the Brexit:
    https://youtu.be/M1-7_lPsJYQ?t=6m43s

  • GILMORE™||

    The guy you linked to in that longish-vid is just a parody. I mean, come on, no one actually talks like that. He does the same shtick asserting that Pokemon Go is racist.. Why the hell the guy makes videos sitting in his parked car, i don't know.

    Honestly, i think its a little embarrassing (or should be) for grown men to think that the "best response" to political opinions they disagree with is to make a silly voice and mock some shallow, superficial, exaggerated version of their position.

    well, except when Warty does it. THEN its Hilarious!

  • Butts Wagner||

    well, except when Warty does it.

    *SLD

  • GILMORE™||

    But then i guess you already knew that. I hadn't got to the part where he claims the EU defeated Hitler yet.

  • Butts Wagner||

    EU just don't get it, do EU?

  • Mrs. Premise||

    His mom won't let him make videos in the house.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Paper cuts underneath the goddamn eyelids, scribe. Fucking slivers of deft super deep fucking worthless pain right across the goddamn corneas, scribe. This is your fucking television rancho vista Garvin.

  • R C Dean||

    Hey, AC. Good to see you.

  • Sevo||

    More OT, and Tony would make hay of it:

    Get an mailing, "Official Use Only, Penalty for Personal Use", bald eagle featured in the machine-generated franking.
    Open it, not dumb enough to presume it is some sort of gov't comm, and it turns out to be one of those magazine subscription boiler-room mailings where they sell you the 'scrip at only twice what the zine would charge you, and pocket the difference.
    Pretty horrible, right? 'Preying' on people who think their subscription is running out? Hey Tony, 'market failure'!, right?
    You bet! Using gov't indoctrination to peddle goods at twice the price! Who knows what they could get if the indoctrination went on through several more years.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Le' Tone, love is thread progolio adaptogen. His/her/it plugin exists to twitch/tweak/twerk.

    Like old wolves and wayward asteroids, Le' Tone receives the bulk unwarranted attention of bored poltergeist libertarians- who are almost always mystical and red-haired under the winds of a gothic moonscape shedding angels.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    I erased 12000 sentences of mamas screaming their goddamn lungs through shadowy piles of sentences lilting and fronting on rivers of lakes and shit because motherfucking reason ended a fucking Friday on a Hollywood splutterfuck. Jesus Allah fuck my sweet asshole with babies.

  • Trigger Warning||

    You could probably find somebody to do that, but eeewwww.

  • Derpetologist||

    Clinton's attempt at a quip this morning: "My pneumonia finally got GOP to care about women's health!"

    I watched part of the speech. She did this smug nodding thing periodically.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2YTlQDM-wE

  • The Fusionist||

    Meanwhile, they're calling Trump a sexist for advocating government-mandated maternal leave. What about the men?

    (and it oppresses women by stereotyping them, etc.)

  • Agile Cyborg||

    So the under the moon of goddamn desperate scripts we loft our fucking invisible pens?
    you know the keys under your fingers are taps into the stars right?
    the room you sit in right now is next to mine?
    Your dreams mix with me, man. Your sentences are not even fucking real. like me. on the box you read my lines
    but you don't even fucking know jackshit about what is penetrating you.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    stairways of the lights
    break the ice of roses
    around the corners of times
    a mind bows gently under
    the anger of thoughts
    and the corners walked back
    underneath the bowed clouds
    and I checked the sun and found
    vistas of lost paths

  • Agile Cyborg||

    My eyes look at you and I can't see you
    but I see the lines and feelings that break
    from you like sun oceans
    My eyes look at you and I question why
    I don't understand your reality because
    your visage imprints me like storms and time
    and old forests
    My eyes look into you and I start to eat you
    like oxygen and I suck your electricity into me
    and then at that moment I grasp reality with just you
    because your lines and prints and curves and wrinkles break into
    me like a personality thief

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Old songs are earth gardens left behind when life is momentarily interrupted by temporary nows
    gentle futures rest in the subtle keyboards of space butterflies plucking the heart strings of swerving nuclear bombs

  • The Fusionist||

    That was actually kind of sweet until the last couple words.

  • The Fusionist||

    Is Hallmark hiring?

  • Agile Cyborg||

    sounds break into the earth of my head like fucking wolves
    and my heart screams with hyenas shit from the goddamn planets, man
    all the canyons of space are like the fucking walls of my own goddamn consciousness
    comets and asteroids and atoms smash into me like sky oaks and guitar mountains

  • Sevo||

    OK, folks, here's the story as I understand it from the local rag and what wife tells me from the TV news (will not watch):

    Mom, a cop dispatcher, fishes cute (underage) daughter around to various bay area depts, gets bites and several of them. More than several, lots of them; dunno what the fee was, but kid and mom seem to have done well.
    Who knows the daughter is underage at the time? Well, that seems to be a bit unclear.
    At a high risk of 'blaming the victim', I present to you the answer to the question: (we already know what you are), 'What are you charging?'

    "Charges filed in police sex-abuse scandal as victim seeks $66 million"
    http://www.sfgate.com/crime/ar.....228444.php

  • PapayaSF||

    Yes, as is often the case these days, the Poster Child Victim of the Evil Police turns out to not be entirely a victim. Careful, that can be considered crimethink around here.

  • Fenris Wulf||

    Prediction: Police will suffer no consequences. Mother will suffer no consequences. Miss Gibs Me Dat will get an undisclosed settlement. The only people who get punished are the taxpayers.

    This reminds me of the Pepper Spray Cop incident at UC Davis. The original protest was over a tuition hike. The protest was organized and incited by the professors. Instead of addressing the UC system's bloated budget, they demanded more subsidies. The protesters were thoroughly briefed and knew exactly what they were in for. The "victims" got a settlement of $30,000 each, and so did the cop who did the spraying. The school acquired a glamorous reputation as a hotbed of civil disobedience, and got to keep its $2.4 billion annual budget. The whole thing was an expertly managed piece of political theater, designed to scam the taxpayers.

  • Fenris Wulf||

    And here's the innocent child in question.
    http://bit.ly/2ctR4y1

  • Butts Wagner||

    She was 17 when the cops were banging her while feeding her info about where Prostitution stings were being run.

    You are correct that taxpayers are the ones who will get fucked in the end.

    Where does it say the mom was involved? That is news to me.

  • Butts Wagner||

    So we ride whales and drag race time
    and I draw fires from the traces of trilobite hives.
    You sleep like God inside her womb.
    And you see clearly to the silicon wasteland they left inside my mind.

  • Sevo||

    AC, please meet BW. BW, let me introduce you to AC. I'll bet you folks have a lot to discuss.

  • Sevo||

    And is the drag race time under 12 seconds? Asking for an old fart.

  • Butts Wagner||

    And moonlight brings me back again to stay,
    and I know if she had a way I'd always be through.
    Tethered to a glass ring she keeps beside the phone,
    and never ever stepping out into.
    And moonlight brings me back again this day,
    and I don't feel a thing here anymore.
    The strings of information slowing to a stop,
    the tether's end is slipping from its knot, I'm stretching out in two.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    America is the concert of civilization
    She is the sexy symbol of earth.
    America is the playboy bunny to earth and space beyond.
    Because sex symbols in free cultures equate to advanced civilization.

    erase the pussy, cover up the female body- you chain an entire civilization

    the female body is man's last conquest of the gods and the gods are battling
    so goddamn fucking hard to cover up woman.

    Libertarians- love your gods but never love them so much that the female body should be chained- if so, you have died within and are no longer worthy of freedom.

    The ultimate battle of freedom is and will always be sex and the greatest representation of sex is the female body.

    You Christians who fucking clock in at your fucking Americanized bullshit offices of morality in media- while screaming at the fucking Islamists... what a FUCKING crock. SHUT THE MOTHERFUCKING FUCK UP. You are barely different you Christ whores. NEVER EVER FUCKING scream at Islam through your evangelical sheen at the sex worker you fucking horrible shit eating miscreant. Or, you emulate Islam.

  • The Fusionist||

    Never mind Hallmark, this guy should be on the Reason staff.

  • Derpetologist||

    Socialism: finally, a weight loss solution that really works!

    http://latino.foxnews.com/lati.....ng-hunger/

  • PapayaSF||

    But at least they're not being exploited by greedy merchants of food!

  • The Fusionist||

    Gary Johnson cuts into Clinton's lead
    Democrats thought he would take from Trump but polls show he's attracting voters who like neither candidate.

    "NEW YORK — Gary Johnson was never supposed to be a problem for Hillary Clinton.

    "The low-profile Libertarian's presence on the ballot would serve as an easy out for #NeverTrump Republicans, Democrats aligned with the nominee have long figured, and that could only hurt Donald Trump.

    "But as national and battleground polls tighten and Democrats' hand-wringing grows more urgent, operatives both within and allied with Clinton's political operation who are looking around to explain Trump's new polling strength are growing increasingly wary of the former New Mexico governor. His appeal with young and libertarian-leaning liberals, they worry, could create a growing headache for them in western states like Nevada, Colorado, and Arizona — if not yet reason to believe he could hand the states to Trump....

    ""My understanding is that Trump has remained fairly steady and the transition recently has been the Clinton campaign slipping in some of the polls, and where that happens it seems like [Johnson] or 'none of the above' is on the rise," said [former Democratic governor Bob] Miller of his home state [Nevada]..."

  • Butts Wagner||

    Everybody ride the TrumpTrain! Come on and ride the TrumpTrain!

  • PapayaSF||

    Right, except for the nonsense about Trump "remaining steady." He's gaining. Hillary is toast.

  • Butts Wagner||

    Somewhere through a thousand blues
    A dragonfly descends with just a whisper, I'm lonelier than God
    And all my wishes spin the fishes in the air
    And every one, a different shade of you

    And to the left where up is down
    Now stands a zebra made of shapes of me and silver and the sun
    So bring no guilt with you up above the flatline
    Let's just hit the sky exploding into one

  • The Fusionist||

    Gary Johnson Is Not Worth Any Liberal's Protest Vote
    He's a free-market ideologue who would work to undermine large pieces of the left's program.

    "It's Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, who's not only picking up a huge share of young voters, but is actually neck-and-neck with Clinton among them....

    "...support for minor-party candidates has shown no signs of ebbing the way it usually does by now. That makes sense in a race with two historically disliked major-party candidates. What's unusual, though, is that the young, liberal voters more aligned with Clinton are falling for Johnson....

    "...The single-year spending cut he's proposing in this year's run is around 20 percent, in line with lower annual deficit projections. A 20 percent single-year cut in federal spending would still be an absolute disaster—and yes, he would bring the budget into balance entirely through spending cuts, as he's barred any tax increases. (Consider, too, what it would mean in the likely event of a recession to have a president who will refuse to enact anything but a balanced budget.) His tax reform plan, meanwhile, is much like Mike Huckabee's beloved Fair Tax...Since we're talking about young voters here, too, don't ask Johnson for much help on college tuition. Same goes for your union drive."

  • The Fusionist||

    "Johnson would certainly be loath to launch new overseas wars—although, as Obama has shown, it's not easy to entirely resist the Pentagon, CIA, congressional hawks, and the entirety of D.C. foreign-policy groupthink once you're in office."

  • The Fusionist||

    And the hilarious climax:

    "Under Johnson, rich people would be richer, poor people would be poorer, and sick people would be sicker. Our only hope would be that the country could get too baked to notice."

  • Butts Wagner||

    A 20 percent single-year cut in federal spending would still be an absolute disaster—and yes, he would bring the budget into balance entirely through spending cuts, as he's barred any tax increases

    ::runs away screaming in terror::

  • PapayaSF||

    Anything but that! Every dollar spent is sacred!

  • Wizard4169||

    "Consider, too, what it would mean in the likely event of a recession to have a president who will refuse to enact anything but a balanced budget."

    Well, with less governmental fuckery distorting the market, it would probably mean a shorter, less painful recession.

    Slate's got me pretty well sold on Johnson.

  • PapayaSF||

    Great reply meme: http://imgur.com/9VKIRQ7

  • Butts Wagner||

    The only meme

  • PapayaSF||

    Yes, that's a great page. It's truly been a 4chan election.

  • Butts Wagner||

    I am still waiting to wake up from the dream I had where the Hillary website made a post addressing Pepe the Frog.

  • The Fusionist||

    The twist ending: After you wake up screaming, you get a cup of coffee to steady yourself, you go to the computer to check the news, and Pepe the Frog just got elected President!

  • Butts Wagner||

    Even worse(better?), I am Pepe the Frog.

  • The Fusionist||

    Media Research Center interview of Darrell Castle

    If you go to the part around 3:40, you'll see him talk about Gary Johnson.

    TL;DR version:

    Legal abortion deprives babies of life without due process of law. Castle wants to appoint judges who share this view.

    He believes in secure borders, but as for illegal aliens who are here already, he wouldn't go after them unless they commit extra crimes.

    Wants to pull out of NATO - stop helping European scroungers pay for their welfare state.

    Putin is a Russian patriot, whether Obama is a U.S. patriot, no comment.

    And why Castle is different from Johnson: Unlike Johnson he supports border security, opposes abortion and supports religious freedom.

  • The Fusionist||

  • The Fusionist||

    A right-wing site comments on the two interviews. Bottom line: Castle is OK except he wouldn't deport enough people and he ought to keep the U.S. in NATO.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Wait, that's not Stana Katie...

  • PapayaSF||

    Scott Adams was right. Trump is now basically running unopposed. And all her money won't save her. Only some huge black swan can stop President Trump now.

    She can't hide in the last weeks of the campaign, and we are now all primed to be watching her health. She is now required to do three debates with Trump, and make many public appearances and press conferences. If she tries to talk her way out of them, she's sunk. We'll know she's hiding something. And if she has just one more coughing fit, just one physical stumble, just one brain freeze, just one more "that's no problem, everyone gets this" illness, just one more flight of stairs she has to be helped up, it will confirm (fairly or not) the claims of the "conspiracy theorists." She's also sunk.

    Trump's associations: America first, law and order, keep out undesirable foreigners, anti-PC, jobs.

    Hillary's associations: America is racist and misogynistic, anti-police, pro-protest, pro-BLM, feminist, pro-Muslim, pro-illegal immigrant, gun control, welfare.

    Not much of a contest.

  • The Fusionist||

    Let's see if we can look at this from a prog point of view.

    (I'll try to pass the ideological Turing test)

    Trump: Authoritarian, Islamophobic, enemy of the constitutional rights of minorities, stirs up violent people and racists, the most dangerous candidate in years, totally sexist

    Hillary: For women's rights, for civil rights, for "women's health" and "women's reproductive health care," would break the glass ceiling, not Donald Trump

  • S1||

    He's still losing big in the electoral college, genius. Even after a near complete collapse by Hillary.

  • PapayaSF||

    He's taken the lead in swing states and in states Hillary thought were in the bag (e.g. Nevada).

    And Hillary's collapse has only begun.

    Just wait a while longer, genius.

  • R C Dean||

    He's still losing big in the electoral college, genius.

    Hmm. Let's take a gander.

    Likely voter polls covering the 9/11 collapse and after are stone cold dead heat. The average gives Clinton something like a 0.25 advantage.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.c.....-5952.html

    On the electoral map, Clinton's got likely/leans of 114 EC votes, Trump has likely/leans of 101 EC votes, with 174 tossup states. Another dead heat, in other words.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.c.....e_map.html

    And the trend is pretty strongly Trump.

  • The Fusionist||

    Once again, it's the battle of champions as AC squares off against James Joyce:

    "Let us now, weather, health, dangers, public orders and other circumstances permitting, of perfectly convenient, if you police, after you, policepolice, pardoning mein, ich beam so fresch, bey? drop this jiggerypokery and talk straight turkey meet to mate, for while the ear, be we mikealls or nicholists, may sometimes be inclined to believe others the eye, whether browned or nolensed, find it devilish hard now and again even to believe itself. Habes aures et num videbis? Habes oculos ac mannepalpabuat? Tip! Drawing nearer to take our slant at it (since after all it has met with misfortune while all underground), let us see all there may remain to be seen."

  • Fenris Wulf||

    RE Agile Cyborg and Butts Wagner. I think this is what happens when you hook up two chatbots to each other.

  • Butts Wagner||

    My honeypot for AC didn't work. You can find my "crazy" post in my favorite album

    Maybe tomorrow night.

  • Cyto||

    So, remember when Balko bolted for Huffpo and we all had to run over there and make accounts so we could keep our groin-callouses properly exercised? Remember how many crazies were in the comments section when one of his posts hit the main page?

    Yeah, I don't go over there very often anymore either. But I went this morning. Holy crap, they've given the craziest commenters a by-line! Here a partisan Clinton supporter goes full retard on the idea that Trump's claim that Clinton started the birther movement back in 2008 is "staggeringly false because he has long been the biggest "birther" in American politics."

    But that isn't the crazy part. No, that comes in at the bottom where the HuffPo editors chime in:

    Editor's note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

    This is the standard clarification from the editors on all Trump related articles. Why would anyone bother visiting this hack site? I don't think even Glenn Beck's editorial policy would go that far off the rails.

  • Cyto||

    Oh, I forgot to mention.... that article was the page 1, huge headline at the top article when I landed on Huffpo this morning. Not like it was some weirdo blogger buried deep in the bowels of HuffWorld.

  • The Fusionist||

    "So, remember when Balko bolted for Huffpo and we all had to run over there and make accounts so we could keep our groin-callouses properly exercised?"

    So you signed up for Huffpo so you could read Balko's news items about police abuse?

    BDSM aficionados are saying, "dude, there's something wrong with you."

  • GILMORE™||

    Meanwhile, former McClatchy Washington Bureau Chief James Asher tweeted Friday that Blumenthal had "told me in person" that Obama was born in Kenya.

    "During the 2008 Democratic primary, Sid Blumenthal visited the Washington Bureau of McClatchy Co.," Asher said in an email Friday to McClatchy, noting that he was at the time the investigative editor and in charge of Africa coverage.

    "During that meeting, Mr. Blumenthal and I met together in my office and he strongly urged me to investigate the exact place of President Obama's birth, which he suggested was in Kenya. We assigned a reporter to go to Kenya, and that reporter determined that the allegation was false.

    "At the time of Mr. Blumenthal's conversation with me, there had been a few news articles published in various outlets reporting on rumors about Obama's birthplace. While Mr. Blumenthal offered no concrete proof of Obama's Kenyan birth, I felt that, as journalists, we had a responsibility to determine whether or not those rumors were true. They were not."

    Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/new.....rylink=cpy

    Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/new.....rylink=cpy
  • Agammamon||

    YOUGUYSYOUGUYSYOUGUYS!

    LAPD HAS KILLER ROBOT

    and doesn't use it to deliver a bomb.

    http://mashable.com/2016/09/16.....DdYaW5IqqE

  • Agammamon||

    Christ that website is horrible.

  • Ted S.||

    Somebody elsewhere linked yesterday to a site where the sidebarred stories use GIFs.

    *That's* horrible.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Irony in a shoe that is supposed to be lampooning social engineering when it features it's own social engineering...

  • California Right To Carry||

    Anyone who doesn't like Supertrain is irrelevant.

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