Smiling Through

by Michael Potemra


One of the best comic memes of the year has emerged in just the last three weeks, since the election: “Drunk Nate Silver.” The consensus in the political world — and it’s a consensus that I am not qualified to challenge in any way, so I leave any quibbling about it to others — is that the successful election predictions of the New York Times’s Nate Silver were an amazing feat, on the order of pulling off a breathtaking magic trick. The “Drunk Nate Silver” meme has taken off on Twitter and elsewhere. I just ran across a roundup of the best ones; it can be found here. A few of my own favorites:

“Drunk Nate Silver sends you a text at 2:00 a.m. that says ‘It’s 9:32 a.m.’ And that’s when you read it.”

“Drunk Nate Silver counting out exactly five hundred and thirty-eight french fries at McDonalds, then slowly dipping 206 of them in ketchup.”

“Drunk Nate Silver points at the night sky. The star he is pointing at flickers then dies.”

You get the point. As one of the commenters at that link pointed out, it’s basically a political-science-math-and-stats version of the old Chuck Norris jokes (a genre I still love today). Salon’s Alex Pareene recently had a piece at The New Republic excoriating journalists for investing too much effort in trying to be funny. I could not disagree more: Our country’s in pretty awful shape, and we need the laughs to help us keep going. My slogan for our current depression is: “Brother, can you spare a meme?”

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