Arch Stanton Guest Post: Episode 9 in Today I Learned – the Finland Conspiracy

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Do you ever get tired of the same old conspiracy theories? I think people just got tired of trying to convince normal people we never landed on the moon or that 9/11 was an inside job, and that’s how we ended up with a new brand of asshole who thinks the earth is flat. Personally, I’m onto newer and edgier things like the Sun is actually cold (I swear this is real, you can look it up) and, a personal favorite, Finland does not exist.
Before we get into the details/I blow your mind – name one thing you know about Finland. I have nothing. I know it’s somewhere in Scandinavia near Sweden and Norway, but I have no idea which is which, and I think I once read something about how they were trying a universal basic income that was failing dramatically. The point is – you don’t know SHIT about Finland. Don’t be embarrassed, because it doesn’t actually exist. Not in the sense that there isn’t a Finnish government, but more in the sense the land we identify as Finland is open ocean.
This FACT was first brought to us from the most reputable of sources, Reddit, from a delightful thread about the weirdest things your parents taught you as a kid (truly worth a read: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/2qjohv/what_did_your_parents_show_you_to_do_that_you/cn6pn30/). A poster unspooled a thread about how his parents casually broke the news to him about how Finland was concocted by the Russians and Japanese during the Cold War. Unrelated to the theory, but I would LOVE to meet this guy’s parents. The theory goes that the growth of environmentalism and preserving the earth and all that hippie bullshit pushed the USSR and Japan into adding onto their already numerous secret alliances dealing with fishing rights among other economic concerns dating back to 1925. Consider: Japan and USSR had almost no direct conflicts during WWII despite being so geographically close, Japan signed a peace treaty with the USSR just months prior to Germany declaring war on the USSR, and how great their relations were despite stark ideological differences in the Cold War. During the final days of the USSR, Gorbachev made frequent trips to Japan and remarked how their relations continued to improve despite their rapidly declining standing with the rest of the world. (“Twilight Zone” theme song plays).
These two countries had always looked out for each other because they were fishing the region of the ocean between Sweden and Russia. The theory posits the Japanese were free to ignore all fishing limits or regulations in this area because, ya know, no one knew it existed, and the Russians benefited from receiving a part of the fish while the Japanese returned the rest to their homeland because obviously Japan is starved of fish given its geographical location in the middle of the ocean. In fact, the Trans-Siberian railway was built in order to expedite the transport of fish across Russia and back to Japan. Wouldn’t other nations notice thousands of trains full of fish going back and forth across Russia? One step ahead of you – the company Nokia – yes, the phones you had in high school – is actually a faux Finnish company that ships all of its products to Japan in order to cover their tracks.
This is all patently insane right? But don’t worry, we have answers to your concerns. Helsinki is a massively and internationally respected city, but it is merely located in eastern Sweden. What about all the Finnish people and” culture”, whatever that may entail? They exist and are real, but they are really just a cluster of small towns and enclaves along the eastern Swedish border, the western edges of Russia or northern Estonia. But c’mon, if you fly there you would certainly notice ocean where land should be? BUT WOULD YOU? YOU WOULDN’T NOTICE BECAUSE IT’S ALL THE SAME AND FINLAND IS BASICALLY FOREST SO WHO COULD EVER REFUTE THIS? GPS and satellite imaging, all faked, duh. Pilots and astronauts are all in on it as well. Let’s go even further and examine the name “Finland” – since this is a libertarian fisher’s dream, the “fin” is for fish fin, get it?  This conspiracy has been so deeply rooted it has been propagated by children’s movies like “D2: the Mighty Ducks”. Guys, the Finnish Flash was really just the Swedish Flash.
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Unlike every other conspiracy you read on the internet, this one has the most plausible reasoning (note – “most plausible” does not equal “actually” plausible). OF COURSE other nations have noticed this glaring omission of terra firma, but they originally held this in their back pocket as a bargaining chip. What you would bargain for with this information, I have no guesses, but eventually other countries used the concept of Finland as something to aspire to. You see, Finland consistently rates highly in education, healthcare, gender equality, literacy rates, stability, least corruption, individual freedoms, etc, and this can ONLY be because other countries want to inspire their own people to improve. I don’t think Finland’s literacy rate has inspired me to be a better citizen, but that must mean the conspiracy has rooted itself deeply in my subconscious. To quote directly from the Reddit page “No country in the world can possibly be that good.” Well, when you put it like that, that’s just irrefutable. Finland is the country equivalent of the girl you made out with at a party with last weekend who was a model, but she went to a different high school and you wouldn’t know her guys, definitely don’t look her up online. Finland is actually an ocean, because that is more believable than a small population has wholeheartedly bought into free market capitalism with high social safety nets.
I swear this is a real conspiracy with actual constituents. There are people who legitimately believe Finland was faked by the Soviets and Japanese, and the rest of the world went along with it because, fuck it, why not? The Nokia phone you had in high school was actually made of fish. The good news is the subreddit also operates as a support group for Finnish people going through the trauma of realizing their entire existence is a Soviet lie. Here we should consider Poe’s Law, which states “it is impossible to create a parody of extreme views so obviously exaggerated that it cannot be mistaken by some readers for a sincere expression of the parodied views.” This is a real theory that has been parroted on multiple sites, and I have no idea if it is something people sincerely believe in, but I know I will tell the next (or the first) Finnish person I meet to suck my dick because their existence is a lie.
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Arch Stanton Guest Post: Controversial Opinions

– The nine best Queen songs are better than the five best songs of any other band in history (“Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Save Me”, “Don’t Stop Me Now”, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, “We Are the Champions”, “Fat Bottomed Girls”, “Somebody to Love”, “Another Bites the Dust” and “Killer Queen”). These can be swapped out for at least five others and still remain true.

– I still don’t understand why I needed to learn trigonometry.

– Being intelligent doesn’t mean you are smart.

– If you pay attention, the Grinch doesn’t actually hate Christmas, he just hates people. I identify with the Grinch.

– Non-chronological feeds or timelines are bullshit – WHY WILL INSTAGRAM NOT HEAR MY CONCERNS.

– Saying “#winning”, “like a boss” or “adulting” means you definitely aren’t.

– Seinfeld is infinitely better than Friends.

– Having strong opinions on bourbon or craft beers is a shoddy alternative to having a real personality.

– Avoiding foods with GMOs is the same as being anti-vax.

– Strip clubs are the worst idea, until they are the best idea.

– Harambe will never stop being funny.

– Trial by combat should be a socially acceptable alternative to litigation.

– Taco Bell is delicious (is this even a controversial opinion?)

– You shouldn’t get tattoos that are exposed above the neck line or below the sleeves of a dress shirt. I didn’t think “not getting tattoos on your hands, neck and face” was controversial, but here we are.

– It’s pronounced “JIF”.

– Free speech is whatever your employer says it is.

– Queens of the Stone Age will be recognized as one of the greatest bands of our generation.

– Everyone who uses the modifier “back in the day…” in order to demonstrate how things used to be better are naive or uninformed and just paranoid now.

– I’d rather be wet than have to carry around an umbrella all day.

– We should encourage public displays of affection.

– Cultural appropriation isn’t a thing. You can’t call America a melting pot if everyone else’s culture gets distilled but the one’s you like.

– I will never be as excited for anything again the rest of my life as I used to be about Scholastic book fairs in elementary school. Sorry future wife and kids.

– Nickelback is not the worst band ever. I will listen to Nickelback for the rest of my life rather than a moment of a Coldplay or Train or Imagine Dragons.

– Bacon: vastly over appreciated.

– Flat Earthers are the funniest people on the internet.

– I don’t care what Chick-fil-A’s stance is on marriage. In fact, I don’t care what any corporation’s political stance is.

– The best part of Trump being elected was Anthony Scaramucci. I’ll miss you, my sweet prince.

– “Bye Bye Bye” by *NSYNC is the best boy band song, but the next ten are all by the Backstreet Boy (“I Want it That Way”, “The One”, “Never Break Your Heart”, “All I Have to Give”, “Larger than Life”, “Show Me the Meaning”, “The Call”, “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)”, “As Long As You Love Me” and “Shape of My Heart” are all better than “It’s Gonna Be Me”).

– Taylor Swift is attractive. We have all grown too comfortable shitting on her that this needs to be reiterated.

– “Mad Men” > “The Sopranos” > “the Wire” > “Breaking Bad”.

– The meat section of the grocery story is really just a terrible zoo if we’re being honest.

– If the Second Amendment doesn’t apply to assault rifles, then the First Amendment doesn’t apply to the internet.

– Hunter S Thompson – not that great a writer.

– “Happy Endings” deserves praise and a following after its cancellation like “Arrested Development” or “Party Down”.

– Modern country music is really just pop music, and equally formulaic and recycled.

– Physical books are better than ebooks or books on tape.

– Randy Moss > Jerry Rice.

– Whatever TV show or band you are extremely nostalgic about probably wasn’t very good. Just accept that nostalgia does not equal quality, and that’s fine, but stop trying to say bad things are good.

– No politician is your friend. None of them think about you as more than a statistic and they would just as prefer you die than talk to you directly.

– Look, I like Chrissy Teigen too, but we do’t need to fawn over every single thing she says and does.

– None of you have Asperger’s.

– Derek Jeter was a subpar second baseman.

– The internet makes us dumber rather than vice versa.

– No on Oxford commas. I KNOW AND UNDERSTAND THEY ARE NECESSARY FOR CONTEXT AND IN ORDER TO MAKE SENSE I STILL DON’T LIKE IT.

– Receiving gifts is stressful.

– There should be an aptitude test for voting. The left and right would each lose a chunk of their base, but school curriculum would scramble to teach useful information.

– Being into Star War is not a suitable replacement for a personality.

– Pizza is not Italian food. In a similar vein, flatbreads are fucking garbage.

– The door-raft would have sunk had Rose made room for Jack.

– Serving in the military, or being a police officer, or a firefighter, or a teacher, or a nurse does not inherently make you a hero and worthy of praise.

– Adam West was the best Batman.

– We should be using nuclear power far more than we currently are.

– “The Sandlot” is a boring movie.

– I’ve had enough of James Corden’s bullshit.

– The Office isn’t funny.

– There should be an aptitude test in order to have children.

– Harry Potter should have ended up with Hermoine instead of Ginny.

– The Harry Potter books aren’t THAT good, and you should grow up if they remain the best books you’ve ever read.

– The government (state or federal) should provide free birth control. This will solve a lot of down stream issues. (Disillusioned Dilettante addition: “upstream” issues too!  This joke may have landed on a slippery slope and is now just haphazardly fallopian around)

– Ed Sheeran seems like a pretty cool guy.

– Superhero movies are kinda boring, but they’re the only thing anyone will remember about this era of movies.

– Whatever food you like is fine.

Disillusioned Dilettante Additions:

Thank you, Mr. Stanton.  I loved these and agree with most.

You’re right, The Office wasn’t funny, craft beers suck, Scholastic book fairs were the shit, bacon is overrated, The Sandlot sucked, Hunter Thompson wasn’t a great writer (but neither are we), Ed Sheeran is probably a cool guy,  Taco Bell is amazing, physical books are far better than eBooks, and people who say “back in the day” and are younger than 70 are just morons.

You’re wrong, I’d rather have an umbrella than get wet (just like Christopher Robin), Imagine Dragons and Train are far better than Nickelback, who the F is Chrissy Teigen, Oxford commas make more sense and look better, um, that’s it.

Let me provide some additional controversial opinions of my own:

– The aisle seat is infinitely better than the window seat.  And fuck people sub 5’10” who think they’re entitled to armrests.  Can’t they bring their own, personal booster armrests?

– Queen is the GREATEST band that ever lived and Freddie had the GREATEST mustache that ever lived.  We all know that Sean Connery’s chest hair is my spirit animal, but Freddie’s mustache is my spirit nut brush. (Slightly related, think of the famous dongs that thing graced.)

– Public transportation is best left to nerds and lesbians.  I only take it because it’s by far the most convenient mode of transportation for my commute.

– Hunting animals is depressing, disgusting, and undignified.  Unless it’s British fox hunting, then it’s the shit!

– The beach blows balls.  Sand everywhere.  Sun doesn’t “feel good” like most idiots will have you believe.  Swimming in the water is pointless unless there’s a real activity.  Sand fucking everywhere.

– New England sucks.  It’s a beautiful region and the hunting is absolutely terrific, but the people suck donkey dick (and I don’t say that to be an ass).  Cocky, arrogant swine, better left to their craft beers and American futball.

– Does anyone watch hockey?  Anyone?

– Celebrities always have opinions.  I.  Don’t.  Care.

– Johnny Cash, while sounding great, is overrated.  This one pained me to write but it’s true.

– People who hide behind their blogs while spitting out antiquated opinions and worthless vitriol are cowards

– Rollerblading, while a bit gay, is still absolutely awesome.

– I don’t know what “food culture” is and I don’t care to find out.

– The ONLY reason a trip to Europe seems even REMOTELY appealing to me is because of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May.  Thank you, Top Gear, for opening up my mind to European cultures.

– Grand Tour sucks compared to Top Gear.

– Fuck Ellen Pao.

– There was a time when watching The Simpsons was an enjoyable experience.  And although I haven’t seen an episode in 10 years, I’ve been disappointed for 20 and imagine it’s still filth.

– If you’re not an engineer, doctor, lawyer, or financier, you don’t work a demanding job and “too busy” is a bullshit excuse for anything.  NEXT.  QUESTION.

– If you don’t take lunch at your desk, you don’t have a demanding job.

– NINE NINE NINE, Make American Great Again, and Rent is Too Damn High are the great political messages of our time.

– My palms were hairy before I started masturbating.

– Social media is just a platform for scum to boast about their questionable achievements.  Get off the media and back to taking two hour lunches at the bistro, away from your “demanding job.”

– John Wayne is better than Clint Eastwood.  (I’m so, so, so sorry, Clint.  Please forgive me)

– Reagan.

Meet Bill Wald, The World’s Greatest Troll

I’ve heard tale that Donny-T is the greatest troll who ever lived. I thought that was true…until I saw a comment while perusing the WSJ. World, meet Bill Wald. Bill has nearly 14,000 comments on WSJ articles and his irreverent demeanor makes Mr. Trump look like Mr. Rogers.

I ask you to please step over my uncontrollable erection.

BIG Hair, Don’t Care!

Taken from her LinkedIn profile. I’ve spent the better part of the last week trying to determine if 1) this woman’s hair was blown up to 3x its natural size or if 2) this woman’s head was shrunken down to a pin. Is there a camera filter that reduces flesh but leaves inanimate objects unadulterated? Can someone please get this woman a fucking coif?!? She looks like the woman from Mars Attacks, if her hairdo sank down another 12 inches:

Speaking of awesome hairdos, I bumped into a suggested contact on LinkedIn who’s trying a littttttle too hard to mimic our stable genius who’s currently enjoying his position in Lady Liberty’s oval…office:

And finally, the world’s best intro for a LinkedIn profile below. The guy is a customer service representative and was previously a lacrosse coach after graduating from Illinois State University.

Did he just google “business buzzword” and start listing shit?!? There’s more linear thinking in the Oval Office than in this profile.

I’m Reading a Book About Anti-Gravity…

It’s impossible to put down!

Only messing, brah. Gotta keep it clean today – it’s just one of those nights. Before I begin, can we all appreciate the beauty of this pink house in Charleston, South Carolina/East Georgia?

The house and the flora are gorgeous. To quote my boy Jackie Chiles,

Back to more immature matters. I’ve been reaching out to a number of marketing industry participants recently and came across, figuratively, 1) Sean Creamer, Merkle Inc and 2) David Sackman, Lieberman Research Worldwide. Email addresses? Screamer@merkleinc and DSackman@LRW. One of these guys would do well at Chicago’s DOM Capital Group. The other? Might not.

My black colleague (I also count him as “my black friend” and yes, I’m allowed to double up) had to leave work last week to watch his son participate in a fun run. I blurted out “this sounds more like a color run” followed by a long and rather uncomfortable stare.

From time to time, I’m willing to resist the teaming masses of potential suitors at my door and focus on having sex with my hand. If prostitution is the world’s oldest job, giving a handshake to Russel the love mussel is the world’s oldest hobby. But what if having sex with your hand is a bit too 20th century for you millennials? Well, now, you can have intimate, tantric sex ON your hand!

Andddd obligatory Arrested Development shoutout:

Ladies and gentlemen, or maybe at this point, just gentlemen, I can assure you that my knowledge at the confluence of romantic doggy boning and personal electronics knows no bounds. It’s probably best that we don’t let Tim Cook see these fuck pieces, lest the next version of the iWatch get banned from religious institutions and public schools. I don’t need two dongs for hour and minute hands nor do I need to watch some gilded, versatile men contemplate who’s taking the next hour hand chode.

And there certainly wouldn’t be a market for children. Although I could see a market developing with Subway’s Jared. The Subway Guy may indeed have more DNA on his collection of children’s watches than they have in an entire chicken breast footlong.

And finally, I give you the world’s greatest company slogan:

So much better than those assholes over there at Ford or the homos at General Motors.

Song of the Day (4/26/2018)

Today’s song of the day is Ball and Chain by Social Distortion. I’d love to give a shoutout to the 1990s but this little doozy was released in 1990 – crazy to have come out so early in the decade given it’s squarely a 1990s feel.

Staying on the topic of balls and social distortions: Donald Trump’s PEN15. Maybe you’ve seen it, maybe you haven’t. We agree it’s there and it’s probably been inside at least one B-list pornstar’s fun box. A couple of amusing articles on the topic:

Changing subjects, a currently relevant photo that I loved:

And the world’s best email sign-off:

And a couple of baller license plates. You’ll have to be patient, I meant to do a real post here but ran out of time.

Article: Alzheimer’s Disease Is Completely Reversed By Removing Just One Enzyme In New Study

Article link is here.  See below for the article:

An experimental treatment completely reversed Alzheimer’s disease in mice by reducing the levels of a single enzyme in the animals’ brains. The results further bolster the theory that amyloid plaques are at the root of this mysterious brain disease, and that addressing these plaques could lead to an eventual cure for Alzheimer’s.

The study, published February 14 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, found that slowly reducing levels of the enzyme BACE1 in mice as they aged either prevented or reversed the formation of amyloid plaques in the brain, a hallmark sign of Alzheimer’s disease.

Amyloid plaques, formed when bits of protein clump together in the brain, are found in high amounts in Alzheimer’s patients. BACE1 is a protein that naturally forms in the brain and helps produce beta-amyloid peptide, a protein also involved with brain plaque formation.

Scientists at the Cleveland Clinic theorized that reducing BACE1 in the brain would have a trickle-down effect, reducing plaque formation. In their experiment, they examined mice bred to both develop Alzheimer’s and gradually produce less BACE1 enzyme as they age, the latter through the removal of a crucial gene. These mice should have developed Alzheimer’s disease, but without BACE1, they did not. Instead, they developed normally and remained healthy well into old age.

The researchers observed that reducing BACE1 levels not only prevented Alzheimer’s in mice, but also reversed the disease in animals who had already begun to show signs.

Offspring of the original BACE1 knockout mice also showed a similar reduction in their BACE1 levels. But these offspring did not have the initial protection from the disease and eventually began to form brain plaques. As the second generation of mice continued to age, though, they continued to lose BACE1 activity. Eventually, their brain plaques began to disappear. By the end of the study, the mice offspring showed absolutely no plaques at all in their brain.

Dr. Richard Isaacson, director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine told Newsweek that the results were promising and added further evidence that BACE1 inhibitor could be an effective Alzheimer’s treatment. But he warned that it’s too early to celebrate just yet. Mice are too different from humans for us to take these results as anything.

“The completely other side of the coin is that 99 percent of all clinical drug trials [for Alzheimer’s disease] have failed, and we don’t know why,” said Isaacson, who was not involved in the new study. “Maybe amyloid [plaque buildups] isn’t the right target.”

And even if amyloids are the right target, Isaacson explained, we’d still have a minimum of five to seven years before we would know if the same approach is helpful in humans.

Still, Dr. Daniel Franc, a neurologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, said that regardless of whether this exact finding can be successfully translated to humans, the results are still important.

“I would say that this is an incremental finding. It’s not revolutionary, but it does add further support to current ongoing approaches,” said Franc, adding that if anything, the research simply gives him hope that we are on the right path to finding a viable treatment. “I don’t think there has ever been a better time to think that we will have interventions for Alzheimer’s.”

FUCK YEAH, AMERICAN INGENUITY!