Chinese fireworks, some sledging, cool-mom Clinton and a Fat Jewish
Words: Max Dylan Lazarus
Usually with Weekly Web Boners we jump straight in and talk about all the crazy things that have happened in news and music and sports and culture and it’s fun and crazy and funny, but look guys: A THEME! Turns out that all of the stories from this week can be (tenuously) linked to the Seven Deadly Sins (almost). Read, and enjoy!
Chinese fireworks take it too far (WRATH)
Welcome to Tianjin, the jewel of Northern China! The People’s Republic’s fourth most populous city with 15 million inhabitants, it has the nation’s highest GDP per-capita, an exceptional industrial sector, thriving tourism, a famous cultural hub, oh, and gigantic earth-shattering fiery explosions that could only otherwise be appropriate in Tommy Lee Jones’ excellent 1997 cinematic masterpiece, Volcano (how it lost to The English Patient I will never know). Seriously though, did you see the videos? Every single one is more terrifying than the last. Is it CGI? It must be CGI! Either that or China has really angered The Great Satan in the West this time. With at least 112 lives lost and many more injured, people are putting pressure on the government to explain how an accident of such a severe nature could occur in such a densely populated area. Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Saturday that the Tianjin blasts and other recent accidents exposed severe problems in workplace safety and urged authorities to heed "safe growth" and "people's interest first" in efforts to avoid such accidents. A brilliantly vague excuse in the face of tragedy – top class! And you wondered why our very own president is so keen to make all of us learn Mandarin…
Aussies behaving badly (ENVY)
No one really watches tennis. Sure people watch Wimbledon, but that’s only for the Pimm’s and G&Ts. The inbetweeny little ATP tour events, there simply hasn’t been a good enough reason to care about them for years – well until now at least. Meet Nick Kyrgios, Australia’s newest crime imposed onto an unsuspecting, innocent world. He’s in a bit of hot water for being a proper old bastard at the Montreal Masters last week, having been caught on the courtside microphones saying some pretty unsavoury things about opponent Stan Wawrinka’s girlfriend to try get him jealous, upset, and therefore lose the match (Kyrgios said that his good friend slept with her, and also that Wawrinka is sleeping with some barely legal girls himself). Kyrgios’ camp claims it was nothing more than a bit of sledging in the heat of the moment. Now sledging, for you guys that don’t know, is a practice best known from cricket, where the idea is to say scything witty put-downs aimed at throwing off your opponent. Tennis? Well it doesn’t really feature in its history; the worst there’s ever been was John McEroe and he just threw rackets around. More importantly, there’s nothing witty or funny about Kyrgios’ comments, he’s just an awful guy. His brother said after the event when it was reported that Wawrinka got into a scuffle with Kyrgios after the match, "He put his hands on Nick – grabbed him and said a whole bunch of abusive s**t. I've studied law and that s**t is abuse bro. Lucky we aren't pressing charges. The prick is lucky I wasn't there or he would have been withdrawing from the next few tournaments." Hilarious. Here’s hoping for some more bad-mouthing and fighting and gossip on the tennis courts in future; might actually make me watch the sport.
Urine trouble, Bear Grylls (GLUTTONY)
Oh Bear Grylls, your time has clearly come and gone. You were, for a while, one of the great pop-culture references, in a way you were the new improved Chuck Norris joke of 2007. But you came, you vomited in an elk carcass, you ate it, and then went on your merry way; what a time it was for television. Or so we thought; turns out a man needs to make a living, and as such Bear Grylls is doing everything possible to make sure his upcoming series with b-list celebs will get as much attention as it can. Last week Grylls made the news for intentionally marooning his 12-year-old son in the ocean as a right of passage, and also told the press about how, after all these years of doing disgusting things for ‘survival’, he finally did something that broke him: boiling a mouse in Michelle Rodriguez’s urine and drinking it. Read that again, just to be sure: He boiled a mouse in Michelle Rodriguez’s urine and then drank it. Right. So there we have it, we’ve entered the twilight zone between reality and parody. Nothing seems real anymore. If all that this horrific story made me do was laugh, then either society or I must be broken.
Swipe left (LUST)
It turns out that if Tinder was a human, it would be the worst kind of indignant, self-righteous asshole that everyone hates (is that really surprising actually?) Have you ever been rejected? It’s the absolute worst. The feeling that despite your best efforts, despite doing everything you can to be the best that you can be, it’s simply not good enough. When that happens to me, my response is to beat myself up a bit and disappear to my bed quietly, like an adorable hairy tortoise retreating into its shell. Others go on the attack, fuelled by a fiery sense of injustice. Turns out that Tinder, everyone’s favourite load-shedding hot-or-not casual sex app, is the latter. In response to a scathing article in Vanity Fair by Nancy Jo Sales, Tinder’s Twitter went on a rampage, breaking the conventional prescribed use of the medium by sending out dozens of tweets with cringey hashtags and references to how Tinder makes people happy in China and North Korea. So pretty much Tinder is just like your crazy ex-boyfriend. Tinder, please stop messaging me. Tinder it's not you it's me. Tinder it’s time to move on.
“I’m hip! I’m cool!” – Hillary Rodham Clinton (PRIDE)
Hillary Hillary Hillary, you’re 67 years old, what on earth are you doing? She’s an elderly stateswoman, one of, if not the most powerful in the world. That counts for more than anything! It’s not like there isn’t a precedent for a woman with her reputation becoming an elected national leader; so which idiot marketing analyst has told her to try be hip and millennial? Stop taking selfies with Kimye, stop trying to speak in young slang, stop with the patronising tweets! The internet went wild last week in response to the following message from Camp Hillary: “How does your student loan debt make you feel? Tell us in 3 emojis or less.” Nail in the coffin. There’s nothing wrong with not being cool, but there is an issue with trying hard and failing so badly. Hillary Clinton is fast becoming America’s cringey ‘cool mom’, telling her kids’ friends how ‘in fleek’ she is. Stop it mom, you’re embarrassing me.
Keep your eyes on your own work boys & girls (GREED)
The final bit of interesting news from this last week has to do with social media celebrity The Fat Jew who got signed onto the books of big-time Hollywood talent agency CAA. This is big, big news by the way – with them representing him in all areas, you can expect The Fat Jew (real name Josh Ostrovsky) to start appearing in film, on TV, in print, everywhere, taking advantage of his brand of humour which is the best representation of the funniest that the internet has to offer. And therein lies the problem – he doesn’t represent a type of humour, he simply plagiarises it. Throughout his career he has been highlighted for stealing jokes and memes around the web and sharing them under his name. This initially doesn’t seem like a problem, he certainly doesn’t claim it is (he says he’s just aggregating jokes and sharing it off his platform), but considering how these jokes are taken from struggling comedians and writers, and the Fat Jew claims them as his own creations, and then gets paid a fortune of money for having a popular platform built off the jokes of others – well its plagiarism, plain and simple. He’s made an absolute fortune, but he’s never actually created anything himself other than a brand that profits off the work of others (kinda like Buzzfeed). Since the announcement of CAA’s signing of the Fat Jew, many highly prominent people from Patton Oswalt to Neil Gaiman have come out lambasting him – now’s the time to see, with the spotlight on him, if The Fat Jew can make people laugh on his own.
Blogger too lazy to find seventh news story (SLOTH)
Sorry guys, I just really couldn’t be arsed, I have other work to do.