Monday Madness: 900 snarks and counting.

Over the weekend, I conceived of a new kind of blog post that I would attempt to write regularly every week, showcasing the limits of human stupidity. I mean, I talk about all sorts of examples of human ingenuity, but sometimes people do things that really make you wonder if they are members of our species. I took a couple pictures of signs in preparation for what I will now call, Monday Madness.

Many bloggers have friday fun-posts. This doesn’t make too much sense to me because friday is typically a happy day as it is – what with the weekend looming over the heads of people that don’t like their jobs or need a well-earned break. But it is usually the case that when the weekend is over, and everyone goes back to work, that the most levity is needed. So what could be better than laughing at outrageous gaffes in a regular, timely, alliterative fashion?

I was all set to show some pictures, but fortune has provided for me the ultimate example of pure madness this Monday (via Pharyngula). Apparently a “pro-life” blogger by the name of Pete has given the blogosphere the funniest thing in a long time. This austere Australopithecine read a satirical article in The Onion, and took it a little too seriously. Okay, he made a monkey out of himself.

A fictitious writer named Caroline Weber claimed in the Onion article that she was “so psyched” about her abortion – that she was looking forward to it.

I’ve got an abortion to plan, and I just know it’s going to be the best non-anesthetized invasive uterine surgery ever!

And what did Pete think of this?

Miss Weber, you have killed your child, which you admit is a baby/human being, intentionally. That does make you an admitted murderer.

It gets so much better… there was one grain of truth in the article, the connection between restriction of contraceptives and unwanted pregnancies, thus abortions. Typically, anti-abortionists are not against abortion so much as they are for enforcing a certain sexual morality.

The funny thing is, I actually have the pro-life movement to thank for this opportunity. If my HMO wouldn’t have bowed to their pressure not to cover oral contraceptives, I never would’ve gotten pregnant in the first place.

Given the fact that contraceptives prevent pregnancies, and that in some cases the inability for women to get even emergency contraceptives from their doctors causes pregnancies that are aborted. So it would seem that they would be for increased availability of contraceptives to reduce the number of abortions? No.

Sorry ma’am, if you hadn’t had sex you wouldn’t have gotten pregnant, it’s not the HMO’s fault for not supporting your promiscuity while not married.

Notice how they always blame the women who get pregnant, when it takes two gametes to make a zygote. And notice how having sex is at fault. Yes, tell that to the rape victims, children abused by their families, and married post-menopausal women that still get pregnant. Anyway, Pete didn’t blame the woman because well, there was no woman. Caroline Weber does not exist (at least this one, someone probably possesses this name combination), so this not only shows how incredibly ideologically idiotic Pete is to believe a widely known satire magazine’s article was real, it also shows exactly what kind of thinking goes on behind that blog. Next to none.

Pete’s blog post was fairly short, and extremely stupid. But the real guffaws come from the comments. Last night there were 100 comments, as I began writing this post there were exactly 400. In the last 15 minutes the comments have shot up to 456, and still counting! These comments are some of the most hilarious snarks I have ever read, and I assure you that this post will give you laughs all week. It’s not just pro-choice people pouncing on this idiot, pro-lifers are jumping all over him too. And every 30 comments or so, someone says “pssst, don’t listen to this liberal commies… please tell us more about what inspires you.” I’ve only read the first 150 comments, so far my favorite is one near the top:

I’m pro life, but sweet Jesus you’re an idiot. For your next post, how about a passionate speech on the need to immediately free Prince Albert from the can?

It also became someone else’s favorite on the comment list, too. Johnathan Swift also comes up every 50 comments or so.
Last night, the question in my mind was: Is Pete paying attention to what is going on? Is he going to stick his foot in his mouth, retract and erase his post, or continue to assert that Caroline Weber is real? Think about which one would be the dumbest course of action – and you would be right.

Yes, following Pete’s newfound fame for taking the onion seriously, he decided to make another post, titled “Satire?” Instead of realizing that he just revealed the need to check if he was on the road to becoming a silverback, he decided to say that despite the fact that the Onion piece wasn’t real, that there still really are people out there like that. Yes, without any evidence anymore, Pete falls back on a bald assertion that yes, women look forward to abortions! (I don’t even look forward to having any of my orifices probed during regular checkups, and Pete honestly thinks that people who are pro-choice like getting abortions? The ultimate goal of everyone on either side of this debate is to reduce abortions to zero if possible.)

Pete brings up a conversation he once had while setting up some anti-abortion posters:

There are just things that happen the way they do
> What?
There are many things that happen & we don’t have control over them, that’s just the way it is
> An abortion is just killing a child at an early age right?
> And that’s ok with you?
Might be
> “Ok, let me pose this scenario to you, let’s say there’s a woman standing in front of you. Her young daughter is yanking at her dress pulling on it saying “mama” over & over, let’s say she’s a real pest.
> Then, suddenly, her mother reaches down & strangles that child to death. Is that okay with you?
Might be

About this time I have goose bumps & for one of those many moments in my life I’m really scared of another human being.

> I say, all right, how about this, a man comes up to you & rapes you viciously, cuts your throat & throws your lifeless body to the ground, only to walk away with a smile on his face…would that be okay with you?

Her – Maybe…it would just be the way things go, so be it.

My first impression was that this gal who Pete approached while lying on a blanket was shining him on. Not very many people want to get in a real conversation with these people, and her “eh, whatever” responses seem to be pretty indicative of the fact that she does not want to talk to this person. If the conversation with this sunbather really proved that there are people who love abortions out there, then why did Pete bother bringing up the Onion article? Why not just relate this revealing conversation with this unwilling participant, who might have just been trying to make you uncomfortable? Because Pete was willing to believe that it was real, and that’s all that counts. He brought up the fake Onion author again:

Mess Weber summed up her article with:

“If my HMO wouldn’t have bowed to their pressure not to cover oral contraceptives, I never would’ve gotten pregnant in the first place.”

Exactly, people like her blame their pregnancies and consequential abortions on the pro-life movement. It’s all our fault that she would go to bed with a man who would be more than happy to get her pregnant.

Funny how given the chance, Pete didn’t attempt to put any blame on the men that are “more than happy to get her pregnant,” nor a social system that teaches them to want that. He still blames Miss Weber. Oh wait, I forgot, CAROLINE WEBER DOESN’T EXIST!!

I think I did a good job of turning the “satire” right back at them, don’t you?

No. You’ve revealed that you have the intelligence of a well-trained chimpanzee. On methamphetamines. After a lobotomy.
Seriously, if someone was to come long and kill this person, we would have to count their chromosomes to determine whether or not a murder was committed! Humans have 46, the other great apes have 48. (Just in case the sarcasm is not apparent to everyone, I am not suggesting in any way that this person be harmed.)

So enjoy the show, everyone! As I wrap up this post, the comments on Pete’s first post are at 504, and the comments on his second, lame attempt to salvage a demolished reputation are at 439. This brings us to a combined total of 943 snarks… and still counting. The first hundred had me laughing all night. The next 800 + comments will keep me laughing all week. I wonder how many Pete will get before he tries to make excuses for himself again? I wonder how high it will all go? 2000? 3000? It has only just hit the blogosphere. This is almost as big as Steven Colbert’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner videos. Two final comments:

Gosh, I’m sorry you got confused. It must be kind of embarrassing. I thought maybe you were doing a Colbert-style parody, but… uh, the other stuff in your blog suggests to me that that is not the case.


The Colbert Report is also satire – just so you know.

Hope you’re not disappointed.

Every Monday I hope to find (or create) something to entertain, something science-related if at all possible. Here you will find the most egregious cases of human stupidity, or at least what would be if they were real. Things that make you wonder how many chromosomes some of our fellow primates actually have. Click back here for Monday Madness!

Update: 22:25 PST, and the comments now total 1,337! Click on the SiteMeter button and you’ll find that Pete’s readership this week has skyrocketed to 90,000 people. They will never again see these kinds of numbers, doing what they do normally. Now he has another post calling his commenters un- Ejumacated. 214 more comments there, with a grand total of 1,551! Palindromic!

Update #2: July 12, 11:00 PST. Pete has put up another post, repeating the “hey don’t swear at me for making a stupid mistake” sentiment. (Okay, he didn’t admit it was stupid.) But this time he’s picked up on the one grain of truth in the Onion piece, the connection between contraception restriction and increases in unwanted pregnancies, thus abortions. Peter Shinn, bloviating blogger.He reveals his ideological blindness when he claims that oral contraceptives cause abortions, which, as many of the commenters have pointed out, is false. And I’ve covered one such claim here before.

Contraception is the direction of the pro-abortion movement, because they know America is waking up to the fact that abortion kills human beings…

And it seems that Pete is not waking up to the fact that he is now at 2126 snarks and climbing. This doesn’t count the spillover into a few other posts of his. And he still quotes The Onion, accusing the “satire” of a hidden agenda. This could go up to 5,000…


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Karl Haro von Mogel

Karl Haro von Mogel serves as BFI’s Director of Science and Media and as Co-Executive Editor of the Biofortified Blog. He has a PhD in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from UW-Madison with a minor in Life Sciences Communication. He is currently a Postdoctoral Scholar researching citrus genetics at UC Riverside.

9 thoughts on “Monday Madness: 900 snarks and counting.”

  1. Hmmm, what might be better is to take bets on how long it takes for him to admit that it is indeed satire (without the quotes). He’s going to be making more posts every day with all this attention, but so far he’s just digging deeper. I would bet a friendly blogging hat-tip that it will take him 2-3 weeks (from today) to finally admit he made a mistake. I think it will take a week for this to get maximum attention, and then when it peters out, he’ll look to get more attention. He won’t be sorry, he’ll just look for more attention, probably because he thinks it will help his cause.


  2. he said on his newest one his response was a satire on the satire..but not really.  – Yeah, his story keeps changing, I wonder what he’ll say tomorrow, or when he finds out that his mistake is now permanantly recorded on Wikipedia. Whoops! -KJM


  3. Thanks for this, I came to this idiot late in the game courtesy a friend and since all the comments were gone from the site, I was really hoping that people had put this jackass in his place…glad to confirm that was the case


  4. What is amazing is that the March for Life site gets over 20,000 hits per day at least according to its site meter…so I guess if you tell big enough whoppers, people will come. Sounds a wee bit like the intelligent design folks.

    They really don’t care if they lie, they know full well if they repeat a lie often enough a significant fraction of people will believe it.


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