Pandemic Journal Interviews the Public Relations Director for ANTIFA

They’re everywhere these days. On politicians’ lips. Spreading like wildfire on social media. They’re ANTIFA. But who are they, really? And what do they want? ANTIFA Director of Public Relations Ted [surname redacted] joined us to set the record straight. The following interview is lightly edited for clarity.

What or who is ANTIFA?

Great question. We’ve actually been around since the late 1930s, though we really didn’t hit our stride and become a known brand until 1941. It sounds kind of grisly to someone my age, but killing Nazis was a huge attention-grabber. It became the ANTIFA brand. The more Nazis we killed, the more Americans liked the us. The whole thing just kinda snowballed.

I won’t speak ill of my predecessors, but after WWII the organization got a bit lazy. They probably thought they had momentum and could coast along on their reputation.

It happens to a lot of brands.

Yeah, they weren’t immune. It’s not like there weren’t opportunities – McCarthy, the KKK and Skokie Nazis. But instead of showing what the brand was all about, they stuck to the margins. Revenue and headcount dropped, and we were looking at having to sell our headquarters in Manhattan. George was thinking it was time to either close us down or sell.

George?

Soros. He’s not very active these days. Sometimes he hangs around the offices, offering to get us coffee, checking Google to see who’s talking about him. I think he’s just bored.

What happened to check the decline of ANTIFA? These days you can’t read social media without seeing someone mention you.

Nazis, man. They’re everywhere these days. It reenergized the organization, brought in some new thinking. We owe the Nazis a lot.

You joined ANTIFA recently, correct? Why?

I’m a longtime amateur anti-fascist, but it wasn’t until last year I decided to go pro. They recruited me pretty heavily….

Recruited?

Yeah, one of the little known facts about ANTIFA is they have a really amazing HR department. They not only know how to spot talent, but the onboarding, mentoring and review process is topnotch.

It sounds very corporate.

Well, ANTIFA is a B-Corp, and they have their shit together. Good pay, vacation from day one, a 401K with a 50% match, paid maternity and paternity leave, health insurance. and free cookies on Fridays.

ANTIFA is all over the news. That’s down to you, right?

I’d love to take the credit, but honestly this job sometimes just runs itself. Anything bad happens and some guy on Facebook starts screaming about ANTIFA. Sometimes nothing happens and we get the credit. And now that the administration is threatening us, we can’t get off the front pages. Believe me, not all attention is good attention.

Most days, I spend my time trying to point out that actual Nazis are responsible for a lot of stuff that gets broken. But people and the press just think I’m trying to get the Nazis in trouble.

You probably never imagined a day that Nazis would be more popular than anti-fascists?

Who would? I wish I could go back to a simpler time when Nazis were the bad guys.

Pandemic Journal: An Open Letter to the Clergy and Congregants of First Church of the Redeemer

Folks,

First, I want to thank you for allowing the Pandemic Journal editorial team to make an appearance at Sunday’s 11 AM gathering. These are particularly challenging times for publishers and you provided us with the perfect forum to remind readers that we are alive and dedicated to maintaining the status quo, and to promote advertising sales while cloaked in the culturally unimpeachable character of Jesus. Thank you for your support!

I suspect that some of you are dwelling on the news reports about our attendance. “Traumatic” is a word that many carelessly toss around, but you know better. When I recover my mobile phone from the authorities I look forward to sharing the many selfies I took with the padre and his flock during our brief few moments together. And Agnes, my deepest apologies for the slight shove. I hope the hip is feeling better!

Now, about the elephant in the room. Technically, I was not responsible for ordering the parking lot to be tear gassed in advance of our arrival. And was my finger on the triggers of those “guns” that shoot non-lethal rounds? Of course not. So it’s unfair to blame me for the temporary blindness, respiratory distress and internal bleeding that heralded our arrival. We have places to go and things to do and expect to maintain an orderly schedule. And it was my assistant, whose name I will not release lest the angry mob outside dox him, who gave the orders. 

I want to redirect your attention to your own good book, specifically the chapter where a few annoying sheep have to be slaughtered to feed the wolf. That’s a lesson all of you, including dear, dear Agnes, should consider. It might serve you well if the day comes that you once again find yourself in the path of the Pandemic Journal goon squad.

Praise be,
The Editor

PS You might get a bigger turnout if you served better wine. I snatched a bottle for myself but am now asking why I bothered.

Second Thoughts: An Update from Pandemic Journal

Our crack team of writers had a beauty of an entry queued up and ready to offend. But as I sat in front of my keyboard, single malt scotch in hand and a finger poised to press “publish,” the words of Killer Mike came to me.

“We must be better than this moment.”

Second thoughts rarely interfere with my decisions, but our latest satirical hot take hovered there like a limp, sinking balloon, dragged down by two images that were on my screen.

One, the facade of the White House, looking like a home on Halloween night where the owners had forgotten to buy candy, switched off the lights and sat in the dark hoping no one would notice that all the cars were in the driveway.

Two, Tweets from a friend who was clubbed by a NYC cop (covered badge number and body cam, per union regs) for failing to walk faster than the crowd in front of her, during a non-violent protest.

So today, Pandemic Journal is going to sit down, shut up and let Killer Mike do the talking.

I pray that everyone chooses to be better than this moment.

An Update to Pandemic Journal’s Editorial Policy

“These are the times that try men’s souls.”

We’re kicking off today’s Pandemic Journal with some Thomas Paine, who in my not so humble opinion was writing not only about those who failed to take up arms in support of colonial rebellion, but who willfully looked the other way in the face of a growing crisis.

Those “summer soldier(s) and…sunshine patriot(s)” had the good sense to pour another drink and watch the carnage from a safe distance before cashing in on the clean-up. After swift and decisive deliberation, the Pandemic Journal editorial team has decided to follow this worthy model.

Starting today, our readers’ comfort is our north star. All editorial choices will be judged by how little they rock the boat, make waves, upset the apple cart, disturb the peace, or challenge the status quo. At this moment stonemasons are hard at work carving our new motto into the granite facade of our grand headquarters: It’s All Good.

Indeed, it’s all good and no one can tell us any different.

We sprang from the grand tradition of Jonathan Swift and Joseph Pulitzer. Pandemic Journal only punched up, and only in the service of comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable. But these are tired beliefs, and hugely unprofitable. We trust you share our enthusiasm about consigning them to the dustheap of history as we fanatically embrace whatever crazy or misguided beliefs reside in our readers’ noggins.

Current events are like a heavily rutted road, eroded after decades of neglect. As of today, Pandemic Journal is the ’78 Buick Regal of publishing, wallowing over the damage as our readers luxuriate in total comfort.

Enjoy the ride.

Pandemic Journal: Truth is Relative and Doesn’t Matter Anyway, but We’re Here to Help

There’s plenty of consternation at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue about the busybodies at Twitter fact-checking 0.000000000000000001% of the prodigious output that emanates from the West Wing. Cooler heads may wonder if this isn’t like tossing a billion feathers into a monsoon and getting upset because one blew back and landed on his sleeve, but each 280 character missive is the lovechild of caps lock and zero impulse control, and lord help whoever suggests that each and every word doesn’t deserve a chance to travel freely among all in This Great Land. So I get the temptation to respond by gutting Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, although in the unlikely event it happens the moderation team at Pandemic Journal will probably have to track down and kill every commenter who visits us on the dark web, to prevent anyone offended by their ravings (See Humankind, each and every one) from suing us into oblivion.

Facts are tricky things, as Facebook honcho Mark Zuckerberg so aptly noted. How can any social media platform be an arbiter of the truth, when Truth-with-a-capital-T is so elusive? If dueling narratives about Mark Zuckerberg surface on Facebook – that he is either the CEO of the largest social media company on earth OR he murdered and ate a child during his brief time at college – how are we to know the truth? Either seems equally plausible and who could possibly present evidence that supports either theory?

I know. Floating in a truth-less vacuum is disorienting, but we’re here to help. Pandemic Journal has compiled a guide to separating fact from fiction. Follow these simple guidelines and you’ll never be bamboozled.

Were you sent a link by Aunt Becky in Cedar Rapids, who casually throws around phrases like “real America” and “know their place”? Yeah, you’re going to want to delete that.

Get an email that promises untold riches if you simply share banking details with a cheerful Nigerian fellow? There’s a good chance it’s a scam, but in its defense the email is probably more true than anything that falls out of Kayleigh McEnany’s mouth. If you have to believe one or the other, stick with the email scammer.

Unshakeable belief in God and country will prevent you from getting COVID-19. If someone tries to tell you anything different, put your fingers in your ears and shout “Freedom!” until they go away. When you are suffocating in an ICU you will realize the folly of your actions, but you will appreciate the reliability of firsthand knowledge.

Cheese and peanut butter can fix anything. At least that’s what my dogs think and are you really going to tell them that’s not true?

The following are almost never true: Hot takes on things that happened three minutes ago, the spewings of Colin Cowherd, and rosy declarations that next week things will be back to normal.

Finally, if it demonstrates a complete lack of common sense or flies in the face of reason, you can accept it as undeniable fact.

Pandemic Journal is Back and Boy We Are Pissed

Events this week have been too much to bear. So much so that in search of an outlet to broadcast my disgust I got Warren Buffet on the blower and prepared to add another zero to his net worth in order to retrieve Pandemic Journal from his terrible clutches.

He was way ahead of me. Turns out A1 Payday had taken a stock market nosedive after readers recoiled from reading Pandemic Journal’s take on living paycheck to paycheck. For the price of an Egg McMuffin, my baby was back where she always belonged.

Now, I’m coming at you like Samuel L. Jackson. Not the cuddly man who read “Go the Fuck to Sleep” to your kids. This is Samuel L. Jackson channeling Jules Winnfield from Pulp Fiction, paraphrasing the Bible and killing everyone in the damn room.

I’m talking to you, White America (hey, Black and Brown America, read on if you like because I don’t get to tell you what to do).

We’re halfway into the week and you need a wakeup call. Your inability to treat fellow human beings appropriately is off the charts, and I want to give you some guidance.

So, for you people who act like 9-1-1 is customer service, these are the things black and brown people get to do without you poking your nose in:

  1. Birding
  2. Exercising
  3. Walking dogs
  4. Having a barbecue
  5. Jogging
  6. Meeting with business associates
  7. Shopping
  8. Doing military cosplay with AR-15s and shit in the Michigan statehouse because if white people get to act stupid so can anyone else
  9. Every other goddamn thing that’s legal

Further, here is something that black and brown people should be able to do without being murdered: Commit misdemeanor crimes.

Oh, you think that committing a misdemeanor is license to take someone’s life? The next time you do a rolling stop at a traffic light, then you should be fine with someone stepping on your neck to subdue you.

Can’t breathe?

Pandemic Journal sends its thoughts and prayers.

Pandemic Journal Entry 21: Pandemic Journal has been acquired by Berkshire Hathaway; publisher to retire with a nice farmer and his wife somewhere in the country

I founded Pandemic Journal nearly a century ago or so it seems, and in those early, hungry years of March I never imagined handing over the reins to another owner, much less a soulless corporation captained by a man who gets his breakfast from a McDonald’s drive through every damn day of the work week.

So the announcement of Pandemic Journal’s sale to the polyester suits at Berkshire Hathaway is bittersweet. Technically, Pandemic Journal has been acquired by A1 Payday Lending, who was previously the target of a hostile takeover by The Ghouls of Omaha. But the result is the same.

Beginning pronto, Pandemic Journal will shift editorial direction to payday lending propaganda and softball interviews with customers, or as the C-suite at A1 calls them, “perpetual revenue streams.”

My overlords in the Great Plains are sending a new publisher to, in their words, “right the ship.” I know that he is from Ohio, is obsessed with grits, and desires only to serve his masters.

New leadership means new opportunities for me. Although the boys in Nebraska said in their joking way, “it’s time for you to be put down,” I see this as a beginning and not an end. So, although I’m stepping into this pickup truck of my own accord, to start my journey to a really nice farm where I can run and play, assure your children that I’m having a great time and will be back soon to visit and share another laugh with all of you.

Thank you for reading.

Pandemic Journal Entry 20: Our organization’s moral and ethical rot has only one cure: Killing the messenger

Friends, I’ve called this extraordinary session to share the results of an internal audit that examined the values and governance of our organization after concerns arose in connection with recent events. What I have to tell you isn’t easy, but I’ll temper this news with foreshadowing of a plan to take swift and decisive corrective action.

Our organization’s brand is founded on values embraced by most of humanity and represented by our team for over 250 years. At times I worry that publicly articulating these values may sound pious or even pompous to some, and I admit that pride allows me, during moments when we fail to completely live up to these standards, relief that we can skate by without anyone noticing.

The matter at hand – this audit – represents a challenge to the Teflon sheen that cloaks us. You have the weighty document in front of you and I have no doubt that you are repelled by its contents. Phrases like “a fish rotting from the head down,” “morally vacuous,” and “lacking the slightest whiff of ethics” are not justified by the auditors’ assessment of our actions. Even those actions outlined in 577 pages of appendices (specifically, appendices C, E, I, P and S).

In the face of this indictment we cannot shirk our responsibilities. We will take strong action. We will kill the messenger.

Two to three decades ago, we would not have killed the messenger, or even threatened the messenger or the messenger’s family. But killing the messenger is a rich part of our brand’s history and it’s time to resurrect the practice of killing messengers just like the middle generation caretakers of our brand used to do with some regularity.

I recognize that our bylaws require unanimous consent to take this unprecedented – perhaps extreme – step. But given the urgency of the situation the executive and cabinet have signed off on killing the messenger. We will have time for discussion, but you should know that the decision to kill the messenger is irrevocable given that the messenger’s lifeless body is swinging from the light pole in our parking lot.

Now, are there any questions?

None? Good.

Pandemic Journal Entry 19: I won a 2020 “Kushy” Award and this is my acceptance speech

Gosh. Wow. I did not expect this. I definitely didn’t imagine I’d be at this podium only a year ago, when I was reeling from a series of business failures that, if one believes in hindsight, were extremely avoidable.

But here we are.

Without those failures, as well as the many, many others that followed, and the other failures that followed those, I would not have arrived at this historic moment.

To quote the sacred motto of the Kushner Participation Awards, AKA the “Kushys,” “None aspire, fewer endeavor, okay is good enough.”

Like all of you in my tax bracket I grew up sneering at the idea of participation trophies. Just showing up, phoning it in, or doing it half-assed never seemed like a life goal – or a business model. Then I learned that the act of participation itself is just enough. As my ethical role model Woody Allen once said, “Showing up is 80% of life.” And friends, if just showing up gives you that much of an advantage, why bother with the other 20%?

The video you just watched, highlighting members of the Kushy Hall of Fame, acquainted you with the foundation’s most important values: Don’t be afraid to stumble into things. Never sweat the details. Experience is overrated. And, remind yourself and others, every day, that no matter how things turn out you’ll be able to add whatever situation you’ve found yourself in to the win column.

My humility prevents me from claiming to embody those values, so you’ll need to connect the dots on your own. But we all know the story about my most recent endeavor to remake global affairs.

It’s a bold tale, in which the scion of a failed real estate developer, freshly graduated from B-school and having burned his way through his and others’ substantial inheritances by doubling down on rural shopping malls, was tasked by a prep school buddy with sorting out a simple little situation called Korea. My intuition was enough, and after a couple press conferences that grabbed the horrified attention of leaders on both sides of the DMZ I judged my mission accomplished. The smoking remains of North and South Korea notwithstanding, I’m proud of my success and have little regard for what historians, who lacked the good sense to pursue real, revenue-generating degrees, will write.

I see the bar is open. I’m finished here, folks.

Pandemic Journal Entry 18: Our sheepdog is blind because dog groomers are not considered essential workers

Despite my ever-more-frequent pleas to the governor, state legislators and president of the American Canine Optometric College, dog groomers are not considered essential and must remain at home where they are unable to restore my sheepdog, Ben’s, eyesight.

Ben’s vision failed as Hemingway might describe: Slowly, then all at once. I blame the government, and my electric clippers that stopped working and are out of warranty.

I faintly remember Ben’s close-cropped black and white coat, fluffy ears and puffy tail. His clear dark eyes stared at the treat in my hand, his embarrassment at looking like a giant Maltese momentarily forgotten. I resist anthropomorphizing animals, but I could almost imagine Ben seeing the future and it tasting like peanut butter.

Days passed and with them Ben’s hair grew. Oh how we laughed at the week we called “his teenage years,” when an emergent forelock covered his right eye. I’d love to believe that Ben was laughing along with us as he bounced around the house, just like he had always done.

I doubt that our aging mutt, Rox, saw the humor in Ben’s playful and increasingly inerrant thrusts at dog-shaped objects he encountered. As Ben’s hair grew longer and longer and longer still, his ability to distinguish between humans, other household pets and pieces of furniture become less acute.

I became worried when I observed him sitting in front of a coat tree for twelve hours, apparently believing it to be a visitor who had something tasty to share.

What would Darwin say about the genetic composition of a canine who is unable to naturally shed excess supraocular hair? As an alternative, one could reasonably expect sheepdogs to develop the capacity for sonar detection. Their lack is a strike against the very idea of evolution.

It has also necessitated a fiendishly clever strategy we have implemented to help Ben overcome almost total blindness. We either 1) use our fingers to sweep his hair aside before commanding “eat!” or “play!” or some other imperative, or 2) we kick back on the sofa and watch him chase what he believes to be Rox around the living room, as she sits comfortably in our laps.

We pray our accommodation is temporary, and cling to the hope that Ben will one day return to the world of the sighted. Please help us and call the governor.