This week not one but two outstanding activist mockers managed to warm my cold little heart and ignite a tiny spark of hope for humanity, however fleetingly.
First via Raw Story, we learned of comedian Ted Androsky’s Twitter campaign to raise money for Planned Parenthood by taunting Sen. Ted Cruz in an effort to get himself blocked by the Republican presidential candidate. Cruz has promised to cut federal funding for Planned Parenthood if elected president, because like the True Conservative Christian™ he is, he really wants poor women to give birth to a whole lot of babies they do not want and to suffer from numerous preventable and curable diseases, all of which the state will have to pay for one way or another. In reality, of course—a concept with which conservatives are only minimally acquainted—it is already true that no federal funding can ever be used for abortion services, anywhere, precisely because of disease-loving Forced Birthers like Ted Cruz.*
After Androsky tweeted about getting blocked by the Church of Scientology, a friend dared him to target Cruz next by promising to donate $100 to the charity of his choice if the Cruz campaign blocked him. Game on.
What started with silly memes escalated when Androsky began urging supporters to use Planned Parenthood’s online form to donate directly, then “select ‘in honor of’ and use the name fields to make a joke about @tedcruz.” That led to screenshot captures such as gems such as:
“On behalf of everyone here at Planned Parenthood, thank you so much for your gift of $10 to Planned Parenthood, in honor of Ted Cruz’s Minions bath toys.”
“in honor of that time Ted Cruz tried to pet a dog but it farted and he cried,”
and my personal favorite:
“in honor of the time Ted Cruz pouted for a week because his wife wouldn’t sleep in the garage when she was on her period.”
There are so many more on Androsky’s Twitter timeline, peppered with outraged anti-choicer rantings about Planned Parenthood’s terrible Nazism etc. Good times.
The comedian also had some insightful things to say about activism and this Twitter stunt specifically:
“I think the reason this has resonated with people is because this Republican field is so cartoonish. They’re monsters and they’re dangerous, sure, but it’s so over-the-top now that it’s so easy to push it into comedy. Activism is a serious thing, but online activism in many cases is so self-serious that it gets in its own way of actually doing anything. Being another white guy who just complains or makes jokes about injustice while my life isn’t under any threat felt hollow.”
“Ted Cruz is truly evil,” he explained. “Why not combat it with targeted silliness?”
Why not indeed.
When asked how much money he hoped to raise for Planned Parenthood, Androsky said, “My goal is to raise $2,294,642, because that spells out ‘bazinga’ on a phone keypad.”
Well played, Mr. Androsky.
Next up comes a speech from perhaps our greatest living mocker, Stephen Colbert. It’s from 2012, but we only stumbled upon it recently—and it remains just as relevant today if not more so. The occasion was a gala celebrating Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people, and among the honorees were Colbert and notorious supervillain and enemy of all life on planet Earth, David Koch. The whole speech is fantastic, but the section directed to Koch is some seriously primo shit:
Of course, all of us should be honored to be listed on the TIME 100 alongside the two men who will be slugging it out in the fall: President Obama, and the man who would defeat him, David Koch. Give it up everybody. David Koch.
Little known fact — David, nice to see you again, sir.
Little known fact, David’s brother Charles Koch is actually even more influential. Charles pledged $40 million to defeat President Obama, David only $20 million. That’s kind of cheap, Dave.
Sure, he’s all for buying the elections, but when the bill for democracy comes up, Dave’s always in the men’s room. I’m sorry, I must have left Wisconsin in my other coat.
I was particularly excited to meet David Koch earlier tonight because I have a Super PAC, Colbert Super PAC, and I am — thank you, thank you — and I am happy to announce Mr. Koch has pledged $5 million to my Super PAC. And the great thing is, thanks to federal election law, there’s no way for you to ever know whether that’s a joke.
By the way, if David Koch likes his waiter tonight, he will be your next congressman.
It reminds me of a meme I saw on Facebook recently:
*Of course conservatives generally have no trouble at all funding the killing and maiming of brown babies and pregnant people on the other side of the globe with sanctions regimes, cluster bombs and drones. No word yet from the Republican presidential candidates on inflicting numerous preventable and curable diseases on these folks too, but we can assume statements from their respective campaigns on this important issue will be forthcoming shortly. I will promptly update this post when we have them.