Satire

Steven Mnuchin Can Give Greta Thunberg Life Advice After He Becomes Human

He's in Davos this week, deflecting questions and smelling with his tongue.

United States Treasury Secretary and noted lizard-person Steven Mnuchin was confronted about Greta Thunberg's policy proposals at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week.

Thunberg was in attendance at the event, advocating for divestment from fossil fuels as a minimal necessary measure to prevent a global climatic cataclysm, admonishing the all-powerful attendees to "act as if you loved your children above all else." Mnuchin, like all reptilians, can sense infrared radiation using pit organs above his mouth, but he has no capacity for love. So when a reporter sought Mnuchin's perspective on the financial ramifications of not destroying the planet, Mnuchin deflected the question, preferring to offer misguided life advice while his nictitating membranes—the translucent extra eyelids that protect his retinas from adverse conditions—slid across his eyes.

Nictitating membrane

"Is she the chief economist, or who is she? I'm confused," the secretary said, snatching a fly out of the air with one flick of his agile tongue before continuing, "After she goes and studies economics in college she can come back and explain that to us." Mnuchin, of course, studied human economics at Yale, where he was a member of the famous lizard-person club Skull and Bones. After graduating, he proved his economic expertise by executive producing 2016's Collateral Beauty, but prior to his time at Yale he would have been unfamiliar with human society—having spent most of that early period inside a leathery egg beneath the heat lamp that ensured he would hatch as a male. Thus he may not realize that young humans like Thunberg are cognizant of the world around them and the ways in which their future is being pillaged.

Further adding to the disconnect is the fact that Mnuchin is cold-blooded, meaning his activity level is subject to the ambient temperature. Given that Davos, Switzerland is cold this time of year, his thinking was likely too slow to provide a proper response. If he'd been allowed half an hour to sprawl out on a heat rock before answering questions, then he might have pointed out that avoiding a sharp spike in global temperature is not really in his best interest. While rubbing up against a brick wall to assist in the process of sloughing off his outermost layer of skin, he would probably have mentioned that he prefers a warm climate.

This might come across as heartless, but Mnuchin's lizard brain is not really capable of empathy, so expecting him to care about the billions of people who will suffer as a result of catastrophic climate change is not really fair. Fortunately, there are scientists studying the possibility of transplanting a new brain into an existing skull. If that technology ever progresses to the point where Mnuchin could actually become human, he might then have some basis to offer Greta Thunberg life advice. Until then, he should probably stick to having a single cloacal opening to handle both waste excretion and sexual reproduction.

To her credit, Thunberg seems to understand Mnuchin's limitations and offered him this sensitive and informative response on Twitter: "My gap year ends in August, but it doesn't take a college degree in economics to realise that our remaining 1,5° carbon budget and ongoing fossil fuel subsidies and investments don't add up… So either you tell us how to achieve this mitigation or explain to future generations and those already affected by the climate emergency why we should abandon our climate commitments."

Satire

To Donald Trump: 5 Ways You're Actually a Flawless Being Doing a Beautiful, Unbelievable Job Right Now

You could resign if you want to, but then who will keep America so GD great?

With Donald Trump making a visit to Bangor, Maine today, the editorial board of the Portland Press Herald issued an op-ed calling for President Trump to resign.

The harshly critical piece entitled "To President Trump: You Should Resign Now" was framed as an open letter to the president and got straight to the point with this opening plea, "We're sorry that you decided to come to Maine, but since you are here, could you do us a favor? Resign."

In recent days even George W. Bush has been critical of President Trump's response to protests, so this new piece quickly became a trending topic on Twitter. Obviously this is another baseless attack from the lying news media—AKA lügenpresse. Considering how delicate our president's ego is—he's our special little guy—we can only hope that Donald Trump didn't see the letter; but just in case he did, it's worth writing another one to lift his spirits. So here's our best attempt—with lots of pictures and flattery to keep him reading:

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CULTURE

How to Choose Between the Area 51 Raid and the Global Climate Strike

Who says you can't "find them aliens" *and* save the world from existential destruction?

Odds are, you aren't going to work or school tomorrow.

This Friday, you have the choice of whether or not to do two very different (but similarly insurgent, anti-government) activities. September 20, 2019 is the date of both the Area 51 raid and the global climate strike.

Area 51, the legendary military base in the Nevada desert that has long been at the center of speculation and paranoia about alien activity, will be the location of a mass Naruto run that will occur early Friday morning. The raid was conceptualized on a Facebook event page called "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All Of Us." The page garnered over a million RSVPs, and since then it's become a popular and beloved meme.

The event gained attention from the U.S. government, and an Air Force spokeswoman went on record at the Washington Post and discouraged people from trying to invade the base, saying that "the U.S. air force always stands ready to protect America and its assets." For some, the government's veiled threat to shoot down invaders only added fuel to the flames, as suicidal Gen-Zers and millennials doubled down on their commitment to "find them aliens."

Since the raid took off, Lincoln County, Nevada has declared a state of emergency, and they currently expect a crowd of 40,000 people. Things worsened when the creator of the original event, Matty Roberts, announced a music festival called Alienstock near the site. After it began to draw comparisons to Fyre Festival, the event planners pulled the plug—but all day, people have been showing up in Rachel, Nevada anyway, which makes sense when you think about the kinds of people planning on raiding Area 51 in the first place.

The actual Area 51 raid is expected to occur from 3AM to 6AM tonight. Currently, the highway leading to Area 51, also known as Extraterrestrial Highway, is expecting heavy traffic and will be heavily policed.

Tomorrow is also the Global Climate Strike, which is expected to be the world's largest day of climate change activism. This day of protest was started by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who began sitting outside her nation's Parliament every Friday in protest of global inaction on the climate crisis. The event quickly grew into a movement called Fridays for Future and has gained traction as the effects of climate change have become more undeniable and tangible.

Tomorrow, there will be an expected 4,638 climate strikes around the world, happening everywhere from Moscow to New York. In NYC, 1.1 million students will be allowed to skip school for the event, and millions more are expected to take to the streets. The strike has also garnered support from global trade unions and employees of giant companies like Google and Amazon. (Find and RSVP for your local strike here).

At first glance, these events seem like polar opposites. The main difference between the Area 51 raid and the global climate strikes is that the climate strikes are essentially dedicated to supporting life and ensuring a viable future on earth. On the other hand, the Area 51 raids are nihilistic, and a lot of the online discourse surrounding them seems to imply that there is nothing worth saving.

But when you look closer at the true nature of these parallel events, the more entangled their purposes seem. Attending a global climate strike means that you've accepted the terrifying notion that human civilization will end unless we mobilize on a mass scale, whereas the Area 51 raid requires a certain suspension of disbelief and denial, a certain faith in the extraterrestrial unknown, and at least a somewhat antagonistic view towards science and realism. That means that, essentially, the climate strike is way more punk than the Area 51 raid.

Maybe the events are more similar than they are different. They are both protests against the government and the people who are currently in power. They're both essentially products of young people's growing awareness that the world is not as it seems, that we don't have to listen to the rules we've always been taught, and that there's so much more going on behind the scenes than we know.

Obviously, the climate strikes are the way to go if you care about anything at all, want to make an actual change to the way the government and the world works, and/or want to avoid seeing poor and impoverished communities die in vast numbers over the next few decades while the rich take their spaceships to Mars. Unfortunately, in a lot of ways, raiding Area 51 and finding a bunch of aliens sounds more fun. It's kitschy and spooky; it's also more appealing if you're addicted to the internet or deeply depressed, due to its fundamentally apathetic and masochistic nature; and perhaps the climate movement could learn from the Area 51 initiative's viral nature.

Fortunately, the truth is that you don't have to choose between them. You can have it all: ou can honor your depressive and post-ironic impulses while still making an effort to change the world. The Area 51 raid is going to happen from 3AM to 6AM, so you technically can go to that and (if you don't get arrested) be at the Nevada City rally by midmorning. You can "find them aliens" and save the world, while evading capitalism and giving a middle finger to the U.S. government in the process.

Yes, that entire sentence sounds like something out of an absurdist comic book, and the simulation is becoming as glitchy as a group text with one Android in it. But like it or not, we're all in this messed up cosmic group text together. Now let's take this to the f*cking streets.