The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Dial M... for Moron.

I like to check in with sites dedicated to debunking e-mail forwards every once in a while. Not just because there's always something goofy/entertaining/weird going up, but because panicked chain letters (remember those from the late nineties?) still pop up all the time. And reading through those is frighteningly similar to reading right-wing blogs. It's been a while since I dove in, so let's see what been going on in 2007, shall we?

February, 2007: Four score and twenty MURDERS ago!

This is the first time I've seen the "Clinton body count" letter, but I certainly remember Jerry Falwell eagerly pushing the idea that the most obsessively scrutinized president and first lady in history were somehow running a murderous drug-running business.

All of these folks are indeed dead and it might all just be a tragic coincidence--- But I wouldn't want to be on their list of associates (just to be on the safe side)!!!!!!!!!!!


This is what happens when you have dirt on the Clintons...

That's followed by a list of more than 40 "mysterious deaths." Yep, more than 40. But in this case, one of the first rules of chain letters is still the best: there's an inverse relationship between exclamation points and reliability.

February, 2007: Brother, can you spare a MURDER?

The "Christianity on the brink of extinction" theme is as baffling as it is ubiquitous, but it's successfully made the jump to Fox News and publishing, it apparently still works with the gullible.

The U.S. Mint hopes the redesigned $1 coin will win acceptance with consumers.

It does not have In God We Trust on it. Another way of leaving God out.

Send this on and let consumers decide if it will win acceptance or not.

Terse, relatively calm. Accurate? Oops. While the image in the message shows the face of the new coin, In God We Trust is clearly present... on the side of each coin.

March, 2007: Come on, baby, light my MURDER!

Naturally, the business about Al Gore's (gasp!) electricity bill turned into a nutty, fact-free reactionary chain letter. The clincher manages to cover another e-mail red flag: cite a source.

­­­­­­The Tennessee Center for Policy Research is an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan research organization committed to achieving a freer, more prosperous Tennessee through free market policy solutions.

It helps if the source isn't easily actually a rabidly partisan and far-from-independent bunch of right-wing hacks, but I'm sure the forward button was hit long before wingers got to that point.

April, 2007: The choice of the MURDER generation!

Juvenile screeds are regularly ascribed to people who had nothing to do with them, although why you'd pick Jay Leno as a fount of folksy, right-wing wisdom is beyond me (as a latte-sipping sushi eater waging the war against Christianity, of course).

The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true given the source, right?

The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the president. In essence 2/3s of the citizenry just ain't happy and want a change.

So being the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, ''What we are so unhappy about?''

No, 'knuckle dragger' that you are, you concocted a moronic tirade that has nothing to do with current events and started sharing it with perpetually outraged conservatives.

Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. , yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have , and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.

I know, I know. What about the President who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The President who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same President who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled ungrateful brats safe from terrorist attacks?

It's much longer than that, of course, and while it didn't come from the mouth of any late-night comedian, it did come from the neo-fascists at World Net Daily. Who are at least smart enough to realize that a cross in one hand and a flag in the other are still sufficient to fool 25% of Americans all the time.

And there you have it. Now you shouldn't need to bother with that half of the blogosphere for another four months or so. I do recommend following those links, though. The breakdown of all the falsehoods is thorough and entertaining.