God Hates California

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Look, I know that I’ve made a lot of videos this month about the wildfires in California, but in my defense it’s really fucking bad, and also no one else seems to be talking about it. Seriously! This was something I saw on Twitter for the past week, people complaining that no one was talking about the fires, but I wasn’t sure if it was true. After all, the people experiencing a disaster might never feel as though it’s being focused enough in other places.

But the Washington Post found that cable news channels were significantly (and I mean that in the scientific sense as well as the colloquial sense) less interested in the wildfires compared to the hurricanes that plagued the East Coast a few months back, even though the Camp Fire has killed 77 people, with another thousand still missing.

Hurricane Irma received about four times as much coverage as the wildfires on CNN, and it was just as bad on Fox News and MSNBC. It’s not just that they all hate California — WaPo’s Phillip Bump suggests that there are a number of factors for it, like that hurricanes come with several days of warning during which cable news analysts can speculate about how horrible it’s going to be, while the wildfires just happened, like that. Once hurricanes make landfall, the coverage usually drops. Plus, even though a lot of people are dead and missing from the wildfires, hurricanes have a much larger spread — Harvey did 23,000 square miles of damage, compared to less than 800 square miles for the largest wildfire in California’s history, the Mendocino Complex Fire.

But yeah, it’s a huge fucking deal and no one is really talking about it, so I’m going to keep talking about it until I can go outside and not feel like I’m playing the worst Fallout game of all time. Yes, worse than Fallout 76. No matter how much you hate Fallout 76, it didn’t make you blow your nose and have black stuff come out. Yes, that happened to me.

But I’m not here to talk about how no one is talking about this! I’m here to talk about how David Johnson — no, not the decathlete, sportscaster, DC comics artist…you know, forget it, he’s county chairman of the Republican party for Ohio’s 6th District, and he posted a meme on Facebook saying that the fires are God’s punishment against liberals.

I was intrigued by this at first because I assumed he meant it was because of all the gay sex we have while smoking weed. But when Democrats called him out on it and demanded he apologize, he clarified that he only meant that it was God’s punishment for liberal policies of poor forest management. I went over that in my last video on the subject, so that’s not even true, but I had to spend several minutes trying to understand his logic, or the logic of his god. Like, you’re God, right? And you look down and see that your people have used “liberal” policies to fail to adequately clear out underbrush from their forests. You decide that the best thing to do here is to punish them, by….sending a wildfire? What kind of shit God are you? Just make the underbrush disappear you asshole. Why would you punish anyone for not keeping their forest tidier? Jesus. I mean it doesn’t matter because forest management isn’t the whole story and there is no god and we live in a cruel and uncaring universe, but still. Weird.

Even weirder considering that you’re not just punishing “liberals”… in fact, half of the people affected by these fires up north are registered Republicans, and the plurality of the county voted for Trump in 2016.

Finally I just want to point out the perfect font that Dave chose to really convey the feeling of being in Hell. It’s like generic Comic Sans, for when Comic Sans is too hoity toity. Is someone selling elderly people software like Printshop but just for making terrible memes, and the only thing it comes with are 3 different minion stamps, a photo of Tim Allen holding a wrench, and this font.

So anyway, no, Dave, the fires aren’t God’s punishment for liberals. They’re punishment for years of pumping CO2 into the atmosphere and for electing idiots like you who refuse to stop it.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon mstdn.social/@rebeccawatson Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky @rebeccawatson.bsky.social

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One Comment

  1. You can’t understand his logic. Because it’s not logic. FWIW, I live on the East Coast, and I’ve seen a lot of coverage about the fires, but I don’t watch much cable news, so maybe that’s it. It’s horrifying. We once had California on our “places to live” list, because I can definitely get on board with liberal gays smoking marijuana, and a state actually caring about its people, but so many fires have made us reconsider that.

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