Daily Bafflements

The BafflerApril 27, 2016
In the name of science, or democracy, or whatever. A roundup of gross innovations. / Carmen

In the name of science, or democracy, or whatever. A roundup of gross innovations. / Carmen

Politico alum Jim VandeHei’s recent WSJ column on third-party candidates, Mark Zuckerberg, and “Normal America” (presumably composed of folks Mr. VandeHei has never met or previously expressed much interest in) has left many in the media scratching their heads—including our own Chris Lehmann and David Rees. You’ll find as many turds in David’s “poop and farts”-themed take on the column as there are in VandeHei’s original text.

• An Italian neurosurgeon claims to be prepared to perform the first head transplant. (May we back up a moment and suggest Mr. VandeHei as a worthy candidate?) But as Corey Pein wrote in Baffler no. 30, such advances are often not all they’re cracked up to be, and the quacks behind them soon begin to prey on the desperate. Take Valery Spirodonov, the 31-year-old software programmer suffering from a muscle-wasting disease, soon to take part in the first attempted head transplant, or Kim Suozzi, the 23-year-old dying of brain cancer, who became the recipient of a dubious chance at a future as a frozen head.

• Even media critic Jeff Jarvis, who takes everything very seriously—especially himself—took to Medium to weigh in on the VandeHei column, sort of. More to the point, Jarvis was quick to point out that he was DEFINITELY NOT RESPONSIBLE for the VandeHei praise emanating from the parody Twitter account that bears his name, and that now has a byline in Esquire. Rather than weighing in on the (complete lack of) merits of the VandeHei column, Jarvis is intent on reminding readers of his (non)role in the melee. The possibility of his VERY IMPORTANT OPINIONS being misconstrued, the real Jarvis wrote, “was personally upsetting. My anxiety was pushing my heart back into afib for the first time in a few years.”