For our new subscribers, welcome. This is our weekly news and humor column. And wow, what easy work it’s been to find the jokes, Hama-right? (Like “am I right” but with Hamas, get it?) My name is Nellie. Also known as a liability. Come along for the ride.
→ War escalating: Rockets have started flying from Yemen toward Israel, as Iran-backed Houthi rebels (who control the country’s capital) enter the fray. Rockets are also being launched toward Israel by Hezbollah in Lebanon. China’s Baidu (basically Google but more so) removed Israel from its maps. And TikTok’s 150 million users in the U.S. were held like foie gras geese and fed pro-Hamas propaganda through their eye holes. Never before has a foreign adversary had a direct line to feed agitprop into the youth of their enemy, and that’s what China has with TikTok, the viral video app managed by (call me crazy) the Chinese Communist Party.
It seems fitting that all our national defense—the world’s greatest army!—was outsmarted by an app shimmying into our lives with fun viral dance videos, makeup tutorials, and instructional videos on how to have dissociative identity disorder. There’s a great new essay by tech entrepreneur and investor Sam Lessin: “TikTok needs to go.”
Basically, China realized that our army is strong but our minds are soft and weak and those minds need videos of people with pet ducks and we will accept an interlude of straight Hamas disinformation, then nurses doing the slide, then fine an interlude about how America is the world’s devil, so long as right after there’s a pile of happy kittens! Our kingdom for a fart joke.
Or here’s another analysis of the difference from the tech investor Anthony Goldbloom. Top one is the pro-Palestine content views over the last 30 days; bottom one is pro-Israel views.
→ RFK Jr. surge: If the election were held today and the race was between Biden, Trump, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a lot of people would vote for Kennedy, according to a new Quinnipiac poll. It has Kennedy polling at 22%, compared to Biden at 39% and Trump at 36%. This would be a dangerous presidential campaign for me personally, in that I read about RFK for a single week, nodded vigorously, and started watching a lot of UFO videos. Which is to say that my older mind is immune to TikTok but extremely receptive to anyone Asking A Few Questions. I don’t know what level of conspiracy (ie: truth) thinking I can achieve with more Kennedy exposure, but for now all I know is that fluoride is extremely suspicious.