thing tank

A review of the very bad week in things


This was an awful week. Down arrow, down arrow, down arrow. This week was so bad that I’m feeling iffy about even attempting to wrangle it into the past tense — the horribleness has overtaken its weekness. The riot in Charlottesville cracked open the ugly in America and sent it spilling all over the Internet, which struggled to process what was streaming before its eyes. Of essential viewing is Vice’s report compiling several days of escalating tensions from the front lines in Charlottesville, including the terrorist attack that killed demonstrator Heather Heyer.


This all happened over an ugly statue of a loser, which is about as good a segue into this James Woods blurb as I’m going to find. “One More Time” has quickly become the most inspiring coping mechanism of this awful week: It’s a meme inspired by a tweet from possible recent horsekick recipient Woods, in which the actor suggested people enjoy the sight of the Iwo Jima WWII memorial “one more time,” that is, “before the #liberals find a reason to deface, destroy or degrade” it. Statue-hater hub Twitter responded to Mr. Woods’ call to defend . . . statues of things by posting statues of other things — Michael Jackson and Bubbles, Bob’s Big Boy, the Green Giant, etc. — presumably in the tsking crosshairs of snowflake sculpturephobes.


I’m sorry, what’s that you say, hashtag calendar driven by arbitrary corporate marketing initiatives? It’s #NationalRelaxationDay?! Well, that’s fantastic. Do you know what I’d find extremely relaxing right now? Straight-up strangling anyone who comes anywhere near me with #NationalRelaxationDay this week! Ahhhh, yes, that would really take the edge off! Maybe some cucumber water and a facial afterward. What do you say? LET’S RELAX.



I was going to tell you all about Funny Or Die’s, a fake-private fake-campaign site brimming with all kinds of fun fake-Pence-news (“Mike Pence has won seven (7) penmanship awards,” “Mike’s favorite part of the American flag is the bars,” his grandfather “who emigrated to America from the non-Muslim-majority country of Ireland”); but I’m not even sure what I should be laughing at right now. So, instead I’ll tell you that Pantone has created “Love Symbol #2” (a.k.a. that Prince symbol thing), a “standardized custom color to represent and honor international icon, Prince.” So there’s your purple lining.

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Michael Andor Brodeur can be reached at