Man, What The Hell? Happiness Is Hard to Find Edition

Plus: Kinks, syrup, and some serious monkey business.

Welcome to Man, What the Hell?, a series delving into the stories that made us go, “Man, what the hell?”

The past few months have been, to put it mildly, extraordinarily shitty. Honestly, the past four years have been pretty shitty too, but boy did things take a nose dive this spring, huh?

And yet. I’dunno, I’ve been feeling kind of…optimistic this week? Or, if what I’m feeling isn’t optimism exactly, it’s at least something optimism-adjacent.

Poll after poll shows President Trump flailing about wildly as more and more people realize that “let them die” and “do racism” isn’t a great re-election pitch; his big Tulsa rally was not only a bust, but a hilarious cavalcade of self-owns and ass-showing; hell, he literally came home hat in hand when the whole thing was done.

Is this the sort of petty schadenfreude that feels good, but doesn’t make much of a practical difference? Sure. Do I care? Nope.

But my nascent—and truthfully, uncharacteristic—cheer isn’t limited to the painfully normie “Orange Man Bad” strain of distracting self-care, either. In the Twin Cities, where I live, real steps are being made to address the systemic racism and failures of a criminal justice system that let George Floyd die on the streets of Minneapolis at the hands of local police. On Friday, the Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to advance a proposal to dismantle the local police department, and replace it with a “department of community safety and violence prevention.” This is not just a pledge to action, or empty platitudes aimed at placating a wounded and angry city—it’s a concrete move toward something resembling equality and justice. A step forward on that long bending moral arc toward justice.

And Minneapolis isn’t alone. In Colorado, the attorney general has been ordered to reopen an investigation into the police killing of 23-year-old Elijah McCain. In Georgia, the three men accused of lynching Ahmaud Arbery have been indicted for murder. And in communities across the country, progressive candidates this week seem poised to expand their political power, thanks in part to the growing wave of leftist energy that has crystalized in the face of the horrors of the past few months and years.

So, yeah, I’m feeling surprisingly upbeat, or whatever passes for positivity these days. I can’t help but marvel at how much good has already come out of so much pain and trauma. We’ve a long way to go. Shit is still, on the whole, pretty bad. It’s entirely likely to get worse. Still, it’s nice to finally feel something other than dread and despair all the time, isn’t it? Keep it up. We’ve got the momentum and the opportunity. Don’t let it go to waste.

And now for the rest:


No bull

Of all the ways to deal with an invasive species, I’d like to point your attention to Utah, where the state’s Department of Wildlife Resources is encouraging concerned citizens to catch and cook “enormous bullfrogs.” They’ve even created a helpful .gov landing page that includes appetizing culinary tidbits, like a recipe “that requires removing the skin from the legs. You can do this by cutting the skin around the frog's ‘waist’ and then pulling the skin down, like taking off frog trousers.”

Very cool and normal way of talking about dinner.

Here’s another fun fact:

The largest of all North American frogs, bullfrogs can grow to a length of 8 inches or more and can weigh up to 1.5 pounds. So target the big ones — they have the most meat.

Mmmm! Thanks Utah!

Who lives? Who dies? Who tells you to shut da FUK up?

Meghan McCain, a person who would never dare capitalize on someone else’s achievements, is positively livid that former National Security Advisor and certified lunatic John Bolton would have the audacity to use a benign line from a massively popular Broadway play as the title of his book.

We simply do not deserve happiness in this cursed, fallen world.

Emancipation Pancakelamation

Here is an incredible history lesson that really stands on its own two feet. However, I would add that when my great grandmother came to this country from Romania, she did so knowing that with hard work, perseverance, and a little bit of luck, she too could someday achieve the American dream of becoming a pancake syrup.

What a country!

The King is dead, long live the new king

Iowa Republican Congressman and committed racist shitbird Steve King may not be long for the U.S. House of Representatives after losing his primary race earlier this month. But just because Congress won’t have Steve King to kick around anymore doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of aspiring ghouls clawing their way from the depths of hell to take his ignominious place.

Meet Minnesota’s Jim Hagedorn, a first-term Congressman representing his state’s First Congressional District. Jim, you see, has some thoughts about Black Lives Matter:

POC “at war with our country, our beliefs and western culture”? Wow, it’s like Steve King without the warmth and charm.

Incidentally, Hagedorn proudly describes himself as residing in Blue Earth, MN—a town that, like many in Minnesota and around the U.S., reflects “our nation’s identity” and “Judeo-Christian values” by being named after the Indigenous word for the area.

Quit monkeying around

Yeah yeah, nature is healing, blah blah. But what if, actually, nature wasn’t “healing” so much as getting super horny and morbid and violent?

As tourism dropped to negligible levels in the Thai city of Lopburi recently, the 6,000 or so monkeys that call the place home suddenly found themselves without one of their main sources of food: Gullible visitors who ply the macaques with treats when they visit. As a result, the monkeys of Lopburi have reportedly become violent—particularly when anyone tries to come near an abandoned movie theater the macaques have turned into their de facto home-cum-cemetary. To placate the simian hordes, some locals have begun feeding them junk food, which some claim only winds the monkeys up into a suger-addled, sex-crazed mania.

“Their excrement is everywhere,” one resident told the Daily Mail. “The smell is unbearable especially when it rains.”

This, I’m afraid, is how it begins.

Twitchcraft

Far be it for me to kink-shame someone for whatever it is that safely gets them off in the privacy of their own home, but when a dedicated lawsuit troll sues the video gaming streaming service Twitch for $25 million bucks, all because of its “overly suggestive and sexual content from various female streamers,” well…

Look, it’s one thing to criticize Twitch for its history of rampant sexual abuse, but if your problem with the service includes the allegation that one time you came so hard you broke your computer and short circuited your entire apartment, I suspect you might have a hard time making your case in the court of law.

Speaking of kinks…

Blast off into the weekend!


Did anything make you say “Man, what the hell?” this week? Perhaps out loud to a roommate, loved one, or disinterested household pet/plant? Misery loves company, so share your personal what the hells in the comments below!

(pic via imagine entertainment - I’m an idiot. You’re an idiot!)