Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for allegedly meddling in the 2016 presidential election,” Stephen Colbert announced the other night, “charging them with conspiracy to defraud the United States. First of all, no one saw this coming. There were no leaks. Mueller’s office does not leak. That place is tighter than Mike Pence’s sphincter.”
Of course I laughed. It’s a funny line — at first. But then my guffaws suddenly stopped. Colbert had forced me to think about Mike Pence’s sphincter, and the joke was no longer amusing.
The first question: to which of Pence’s sphincters was Colbert referring? The answer may seem obvious, but we strive for precision at Media Circus; it’s important to get things right. We can rule out the pyloric sphincter — the one at the lower opening of the stomach that leads to the duodenum and opens only when a peristaltic wave passes through the region. Why? Because the pyloric sphincter is just not that funny. Also out of the question is the sphincter of Oddi; it, too, is associated with the duodenum. This little beauty regulates the flow of bile and pancreatic juices through the ampulla of Vater. Frankly, before researching this column I didn’t know I even had an ampulla of Vater, let alone a sphincter of Oddi, both of which sound like locations on a map of Mordor. This is a lack of knowledge I’m sure most of my readers share. Thus we can rule out the sphincter of Oddi as the subject of Colbert’s joke on the grounds of obscurity.
Two other important sphincters function in the human body — the cardiac sphincter, which curiously is not located in the heart, and the urinary sphincter, which is really a faux sphincter, for reasons even I see no need to explicate here.
So we can safely conclude that the Pence sphincter to which Colbert was referring was indeed his anal sphincter, the one that regulates the flow of the vice president’s faeces.
This knowledge only made Colbert’s attempt at humor all the more disturbing. The late-night talk show host was actually forcing his viewers to think about the passage of Mike Pence’s shit through his ascending colon, his transverse colon, his descending colon, his sigmoid colon (my favorite of the various colons, because it functions as shorthand for Sigmund Freud), and his rectum, stopped mercifully by his anal sphincter so that the vice president doesn’t spew forth shit in random squirts at, say, the Winter Olympics at PyeongChang, where Pence was a fairly pointless guest, or the White House, where is also a fairly pointless guest, but rather into a convenient toilet at the vice president’s pleasure and control.
Now I, for one, would rather not think about Mike Pence’s faeces, especially when the reference is to leaks or the lack thereof. I dwell upon it here simply because I am a media columnist, so when a comedian of Stephen Colbert’s stature uses the vice president’s sphincter as the subject of a one-liner, I would be thoroughly remiss if I didn’t explore every aspect of the story. Had Colbert delved into the quality of Pence’s shit — its texture, color, and water content — then naturally I would have been obliged to comment on those aspects as well. Lucky for all of us, he didn’t.
“UN ‘Sex Education’ Standards Push LGBT Agenda on 5-Year-Olds” blares the headline of a particularly crankish column on thenewamerican.com. Written by Alex Newman, the piece reads like a broad parody of a gay-hating windbag with a malfunctioning sphincter. (Don’t worry; I’m merely providing a bridge from the first part of the column to the second.) “In yet another bid by the United Nations to sexualize and indoctrinate your children at younger and younger ages,” Newman writes, “the UN Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) just unveiled a new set of ‘Comprehensive Sexuality Education’ standards for humanity. Among other controversies, the UN’s planetary sex-ed scheme advocates masturbation, abortion, gender confusion, homosexuality, homosexual parenting, contraception, fornication, and more. The document, which cites abortion giant Planned Parenthood almost 20 times, represents a full-blown assault on parental rights and traditional morality that critics say could devastate a generation of young people. But the UN wants it to be mandatory for every child on the planet, starting at age five.”
It’s highly unlikely that UNESCO “advocates… gender confusion.” More likely, it advocates the healthy resolution of gender confusion. Newman plunges on: “The UN document, dubbed ‘International technical guidance on sexuality education,’ purports to provide an ‘evidence-based approach’ to teaching young children all about sex, homosexuality, gender confusion, and more. But as the document itself makes clear, much of the ‘evidence’ comes from extremist organizations that promote abortion, sexual ‘liberation,’ fornication, and more. Planned Parenthood, for instance, provided much of the alleged ‘research’ and ‘evidence.’”
Fornication? Two times in the first two paragraphs, no less. Somebody ought to point out to Newman that the word went out with high-button shoes. And I love the way Newman puts quotes around liberation.
The whole thing only makes sense when one glances to the right-hand column of ads that accompanies this inane screed and espies an ad for the John Birch Society. Talk about going out with high-button shoes! For those of you who are too young to remember the Birchers’ heyday, here’s its entry on RationalWiki: “The John Birch Society was a radical right-wing organization founded by candy manufacturer Robert W. Welch, Jr., in 1958 as a wingnut red-baiting propaganda machine last line of defense against the massively ongoing, clandestine Communist takeover of the United States. An early book by Welch, ‘The Politician,’ became controversial after it became widely known that an early manuscript included the accusation that President Dwight Eisenhower was a ‘conscious, dedicated agent of the Communist conspiracy.’ It’s basically the KKK but with a thin, stringy veneer of political theory (read: more fears of fluoridated water controlling their brains).”
A little more history, along with a personal touch: In the 1940s, public water authorities began adding fluoride to the water supply to help prevent children’s teeth from rotting. But by the late 1950s and early 1960s, wingnuts across the country decided the whole thing was a communist mind control plot. At the time (and long thereafter), my father was the solicitor for the local water authority. My mother asked him whether they’d ever considered adding fluoride to the water; my father calmly replied that they’d been doing it for years. Shocked, my mother asked why there had been no community uproar, as there had been everywhere else in the US. “Simple,” my father replied. “We just didn’t tell anybody.”
From the DailyMail.uk website: “EXCLUSIVE: ‘Wasted’ Heather Locklear, 56, arrested after almost biting her boyfriend’s nose, calling cops ‘f**king a**holes,’ and kicking one in his privates — all in front of her 20-year-old daughter Ava.” Nothing more needs to be said.