Derp Roundup: Your Weekly Waltz Through A Wonderland of Weird

Welcome to another Derp Roundup, where we take a wire brush to our browser tabs, douse 'em with brain bleach, and bring you the stories that were too stupid to ignore. We recommend a healthy portion of your favorite reality-dilution elixir before reading on.

  • Our Top Derp goes to the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition with a Barbie doll on the cover (or at least on this cover mockup). On the one hand, it's a pretty audacious bit of trolling, seeing as how the magazine and the doll have both been derided for promoting unrealistic body images for women. There's a valid argument there, we think, but that's not where the Derp is coming from -- no, we were truly captivated by this Elisha Krauss blogpost on Ben Shapiro's Internet Rage Machine, in which Krauss excoriates SI for teaming up with Mattel to perpetuate unhealthy images of women -- all framed in the weird language of rightwing fauxmenism. There's a note that Barbie's proportions are nothing like the shape of real women, and that if she were real, she'd probably be anorexic. And Krauss does not buy the magazine's hollow excuses:

    Sports Illustrated's swimsuit editor said that Barbie fits the magazine's message of "empowerment" for women. Because, you know, empowering women means objectifying them half nude on the cover and throughout the pages ... But the message SI claims they send -- the message of "empowerment" -- is questionable especially when they are going to feature a doll that many little girls see on the shelves at toy stores and then spend their entire lives trying to emulate, because they think Barbie is the norm that men want them to be.

    Whoohoo, Ms. Krauss is on the patriarchy-hatin' hairly-legged feminist bandwagon!

    And then we get this odd turn:

    SI and Mattel will never feature women like Marissa Mayer (CEO of Yahoo), Condoleeza Rice (first female Secretary of State), or Bethany Hamilton (one of the top pro women surfers in the world who espouses her Christian faith and only has one arm.) Instead they decide to push the narrative that bigger boobs, blonde hair and hopping from career to career (Barbie has been a yoga instructor, doctor and President of the United States) is more important to society.

    Ummm... OK, leaving aside that SI did feature Hamilton back in 2003 as part of a "Year of Courage" profile, AND that the first female Secretary of State was Madeline Albright, what on earth is the conservative case against Barbie having a bunch of different imaginary jobs? (She's also been Dana Scully, incidentally.) We're going to hope that Krauss isn't actually suggesting that girls should only get dolls that are wives and mommies, is she? Or was she just flailing for a final line? Dammit, Barbie, get serious and get a real job.

  • Krauss may need to have a word with Fox News talker Martha McCallum, who is hopping mad that Obamacare is undermining our traditional value of working two or three jobs. Oh, sure, maybe Obamacare will allow people to escape dead-end jobs that they only stay in for the health insurance, but that's a dangerously European way of living.

    the Europeans have their way of life, but what's uniquely American is that people tend to want to work more, work harder, make as much as they can for their families. Some people work two and three jobs to make ends meet and that is a value that has been considered for a long time to be something, you know, that is... that is... has merit.

    By golly, that's the spirit! So nice to see someone who makes a living from sitting on teevee and pontificating against the poor come to the realization that working multiple jobs is a great thing -- we look forward to hearing all about Martha McCallum's second job mopping floors somewhere.

  • We're pleased to note that Victoria Jackson is aware of our endorsement of her campaign for a seat on the Williamson County (Tennessee) Commission, but puzzled that she thinks we are "deriding" her. V-Jack, we think you're the awesomest possible candidate for a government office whose decisions we will never be directly affected by. But in all sincerity, thank you for acknowledging that we quoted you accurately -- we think you're a very special kind of wacky, but we don't need to exaggerate a single thing you say. And we totally agree with your suggestion "that Wonkette listen to me while they mock me, maybe they will learn something." We always learn things when we listen to V-Jack.
  • Politico brought us the Best Correction of 2014 (so far), from the New Jersey Star-Ledger:

    An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Drewniak referred to the Port Authority's executive director as a "piece of crap." While Drewniak did call him a "piece of excrement," it was David Wildstein who referred to the executive director as a "piece of crap."

    As former Kids in the Hall star Victoria Jackson knows, accuracy in reporting is everything.


  • And then there's the ongoing rightwing freakout over a January 26 episode of a Disney Channel sitcom that we've never heard of called Good Luck, Charlie, which has been around since 2010 somehow. The episode featured a plotline in which the little girl of the family has a playdate with another girl who has two mommies, which the show didn't make a big deal out of. Pearls were fainted upon and couches were clutched, and the Usual Suspects proclaimed that the Disney Channel was no longer a safe choice for family viewing (which it never was -- with the exception of Gravity Falls, its programming is almost universally insipid). Pete LaBarbera, the head freak at "Americans For Truth About Homosexuality," called for America to adopt a Russian-style "Gay Propaganda" law to prevent Disney from "propmoting lesbianism to kids," all twelve ladies in One Million Moms called for a boycott of the show's advertisers (but not of Disney itself, because maybe the Moms are tired of being laughed at), and some nice people sent death threats to the five-year old star of the program, who needed to be held responsible for her actions, we guess.And, a little late to the fray but timely enough for Derp Roundup, one of our favorite minor-league culture warriors, fired Navy chaplain Gordon "Chaps" Klingenschmitt, called for a Disney boycott and explained that Disney is infected with demonic spirits:

    I believe these tempters now at the Disney Corporation are being influenced by demonic spirits who want to recruit your children into sin ... God bless the children, not just the ones who are actors in this show whose innocence is being violated, but also your children at home who may be having access to this kind of programming.

    Of the many, many reasons we think The Mouse, Inc. may be demonic, a couple of lesbian mommies on a saccharine little sitcom are not even close to making the list. The other thing we're wondering about is why there's this much drama over a few minutes of gay mommyhood on the Disney channel, but very little fuss over the similarly nonshocking Chevrolet ads that include gay and interracial families -- there have been a few mutters from nutters, but nothing like the thorough hate-on that the single Disney show provoked.

  • And finally, this make-of-it-what-you-will story of a beautiful prank in Detroit. It happened last summer after the city declared bankruptcy, but at Derp Roundup, we feel no obligation to deprive you of stuff just because someone sent a tip long after something happened (on the other hand, please don't do that). See, Detroit has this big statue commemorating Joe Louis, and it's a mighty fist:

    Well, OK, maybe a little context? Fist First off, it's not a photoshop; the artist "Jerry Vile" installed the can of Crisco as a comment on the inevitable pain that the bankruptcy would cause the city. Sadly, it was removed as "abandoned property" by 2:00 of the afternoon he dropped it off. Some people got no sense of humor.

  • [Truth Revolt / Crooks and Liars / Media Matters / Victoria Jackson / RawStory / RightWingWatch / AfterEllen / PikDit / DeadlineDetroit]
Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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