3 Facts To Unlearn During 2017

What you see before you is the Rick’s Super Buy: the greatest burger chain combo in the history of burger chain combos.

It can be purchased at a handful of locations throughout southern California, but the sincerest Rick’s Super Buys are made at the corner of Fletcher and Riverside in Los Angeles.

Odds are that you didn’t know that this is the greatest combo ever made, probably because you haven’t tasted one, and you’ve never seen a celebrity endorse the Super Buy, it’s never been the topic of a Sunday morning news program or made it onto any food shows. But had you been pummeled in print, social media, T.V. and cinema with the idea that the Rick’s Super Buy is the greatest combo in the history of combos, many of you wouldn’t need any further convincing. It would be a fact.

But, actually, we’ve gotten off on the wrong foot. The whole point of this dispatch is not to learn new facts, but to unlearn things that aren’t factual, before 2017 expires. And we’re running out of time. My apologies.

Non-fact 1. Little White Girls Shouldn’t Wear Moana Costumes

Here’s the logic according to Redbook:

If your Caucasian son or daughter doesn’t get to be exactly what they wanted for Halloween, encourage them to take a step back and realize that they’re awash in privileges that the real Moanas and Tianas of the world will likely never see, because the world is full of racist ***holes.

And those ***holes are becoming even more empowered. Our President is a hate group apologist who tries to ban refugees from seeking asylum in our country, simply because of their faith. Meanwhile, Black Americans continue to be killed by police, and anti-semitic voices feel louder and more powerful than they have in decades.

So what does this have to do with a seemingly innocent princess costume? Pretty much everything. It’s important to align with, and stand up for, people of color and minorities, and a key part of that is showing respect for their cultures. To pretend to be a racial, ethnic, or religious minority when you’re not makes light of their history — and reinforces a deeply problematic power dynamic, wherein white people use, then discard, pieces of cultures they’ve subjugated for centuries just because they can.

So in other words, your five year-old dressing up like a Polynesian has “pretty much everything” to do with race-based police shootings, antisemitism, whatever Trump decides to do, imperialism, mediocre Star Wars prequels, soggy hospital onion rings, human trafficking, every Counting Crows album, the color of Mountain Dew, the Nick Nolte mug shot and George Clooney Batman Movie, Hawaiian Pizza, the San Francisco Giants and The Fall.

Really?

Comrades, the don’t-appropriate-other-cultures nonsense, is nonsense. Whatever your melanin concentration, if you come across a culture with beneficial beliefs or practices, please appropriate it. Whatever the culture and whatever your skin tone, eat their foods, celebrate their customs, read their books, tell their stories, sing their songs. If the culture is useful to mankind, spread it far and wide. May it cover the globe and may the hyperventilating editors at Redbook find something better to do with their boring rag.

Non-fact 2. Only Congress Can Raise Taxes

Enough of this already! Everyone knows that Congress can’t force us to pay less of our income to the Federal government than we want to pay. All the bad guys can do is impose a mandatory minimum. So when Warren Buffett, Bernie Sanders and half of the country heroically rage that marginal tax rates should increase not decrease, reason demands that our heroes lead the charge, overpay every year by 10% or 20% or whatever percentage righteousness demands, and start reaping the benefits. Trust us, heroes, if you lead, we’ll follow… probably.

Non-fact 3. Expletive Laden Broad Stroke Descriptions Of The Political Opposition Are Useful

This phenomenon generally plays itself out in social media posts. The theory is that arguments from emotion can be reinforced with the F-word and made more convincing. The less rational the argument the more useful the F-word. Here’s a sample from @bakkoonn regarding the President:

“Everybody hates him and won’t stop talking s%*! about this greasy #%&@up and his rotting hot dog meat brain.”

Obviously @bakkoonn hopes that more people vote Democrat in 2020. But what good does that tweet do for his cause? I could be wrong, but I venture that if his tweet were read to every Trump supporter in the land, all it would do is make them more likely to show up at the polls in 2020 and recast their vote for Hot Dog Meat Brain.

Believe me, I understand exactly how frustrated people are with the direction the country has taken. I feel similarly about the fact that some dudes continue to wear turtlenecks. In all seriousness, why does this still happen? I was tempted to use this very page to bash the male turtleneck, but I decided not to because — on second thought — I’m not yet qualified to offer that critique. I simply don’t have enough facts. I came to that conclusion after asking myself three basic questions:

  • Have I ever read arguments supporting the dudes-should-wear-turtlenecks position?
  • Have I ever tried to talk a pro-turtlenecker out of wearing a turtleneck?
  • Do I have any friends who wear turtlenecks?

Since the answer to all three of those questions is No, I’ve decided to forbear. How can I feel confident offering a critique when I clearly haven’t investigated the other side? I’m tempted to though…

I’m really tempted… but I won’t. Not until I’ve done my homework. It just wouldn’t be right.

Comrades, 2018 looms on the fast-approaching horizon, and with it will come a jumble of facts and non-facts bundled together and presented as facts intentionally or unintentionally by celebrities, news outlets, T.V. shows, your social media contacts and your brother-in-law. Unless the fact being presented is that the Rick’s Super Buy is greatest fast food chain combo in the history of combos, be suspicious. Make all the data you consume pass through the turtleneck-sieve, retaining only those facts that withstand scrutiny.

In the meantime, here’s the Rick’s Super Buy again. It’s the greatest fast food combo in history and that’s a fact.

Happy New Year.

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