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‘I am once again asking you to cum’: the Bernie mittens meme is now a porn genre

By Malavika Pradeep

Jan 29, 2021

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US Senator Bernie Sanders probably didn’t think much of Rule 34 before deciding on his wardrobe for President Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony last week. He pulled off his iconic brown parka with a pair of Vermont mittens and a surgical mask—a cosy outfit choice against the cold January winds. He then sat in his designated, socially-distanced chair, completely oblivious to the fact that the move would later inspire adult entertainer Elle Hell to spearhead an entire PornHub genre with a video titled I am once again asking you to cum.

“Too many hard-working Americans are working two, three jobs just to make ends meet,” Hell starts, entering the frame donned in her version of the Bernie outfit with the subtle addition of a manilla envelope. “I think Americans should be able to work one job to take care of things,” she continues with a brief pause, giving viewers enough time to digest the innuendo. The five-minute “instructional video” takes a quick 360 after Hell rids herself of the manilla and everything vanilla. The mittens, however, miraculously stay on throughout the video.

In an interview with Vice, Hell admits to being a longtime fan of the Senator and hoped to see him in the 2016 and 2020 primaries and presidential races. She further states, “Porn doesn’t always have to be sexy, penetration, or even masturbation. Sometimes it’s silly and gives you a laugh. At the end of the day, whether someone laughed, came, or both, I am happy that it was enjoyed.”

This surprisingly isn’t the first porn parody feature of Bernie Sanders on the internet. Weekend at Bernie Sanders’ was published way back in 2016, featuring the Senator renting out a room to a widow during the annual maple syrup convention in Burlington—we’re digging the specifics too. It was followed up with The Day I Really Felt The Bern in 2019, a response to the controversial rape fantasy essay authored by the Senator himself. These eroticas however, second an orgy parody made by the adult site Cam Soda featuring Sanders alongside Donald Trump, Hilary Clinton and Megan Kelly.

Bernie Sanders has always managed to stay on the internet limelight with tons of meme entries dedicated to his name. The most recent inauguration meme, however, has a timeline of its own apart from the porn parody.

Hours after the Senator sported his iconic mittens, Twitter nerds tracked down the source—Jen Ellis, a teacher from Vermont—to get their hands on a pair themselves. Official Bernie Sanders merchandise, featuring the meme on a sweatshirt, sold out hours after its release and has helped raise a whopping $1.8 million for charity. People can also order cookies, candles, bobbleheads and valentine’s day cards exclusively dedicated to the meme. The trend doesn’t stop there—people around the globe are now getting it tattooed on themselves. All of this was triggered by the initial photoshopping of the Senator’s cutout into literally every corner of the world—and we’ve rounded up some of the best ones (so far):

‘I am once again asking you to cum’: the Bernie mittens meme is now a porn genre


By Malavika Pradeep

Jan 29, 2021

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Americans need to keep a close eye on Biden and hold him to his promise

By Yair Oded

Jan 22, 2021

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“Democracy has prevailed,” declared President Joseph R. Biden at his inauguration ceremony on Wednesday—his words echoing through tablets and smartphones and TV screens of Americans exasperated by four noxious years under President Trump. As the centrist septuagenarian was sworn into office, millions across the US (and the world), felt a great sense of relief and optimism that normalcy will be restored and that American democracy will survive the scourge of the MAGA movement.

Biden’s inauguration took place against the backdrop of the Capitol riot that erupted just weeks before the ceremony, as a mob of Trump supporters stormed Congress in an attempt to subvert the certification of Biden’s victory. “We learned again that democracy is precious, democracy is fragile,” Biden has aptly remarked in his inaugural address, referring to the violence that raged through the Capitol and the obstinate campaign of lies launched by his predecessor and his GOP allies in a bid to steal the presidency.

But as we welcome the 46th president as a potential harbinger of a new era of civility, humanness, and democracy, we must pause and re-examine our myopic definition and understanding of what constitutes democracy and what has characterised the US’ relationship with it thus far.

More specifically, we should ask ourselves: why is it that only when the pillars of democracy within our own borders are visibly shaken we raise the alarm? After all, for decades, administrations of presidents from both parties have—while carrying the banner of leaders of the free world—waged senseless, illegal wars abroad, committed atrocious crimes against humanity, and orchestrated the overthrow of governments around the world in order to serve America’s strategic and economic interests. Such actions, for the most part, we met with bipartisan complicity and silence.

America’s legacy of bloody interventionism dates back to the Vietnam War. Tangled in the thicket of the Red Scare, presidents Lyndon Johnson (Democrat) and Richard Nixon (Republican) have repeatedly lied to the American people about a Communist threat emanating from Vietnam in order to perpetuate an illegal war that had cost the lives of more than 3 million people (more than half of whom were Vietnamese civilians) and saw the expansion of the military industrial complex.

The US then set its sights on South and Central America, where socialist governments had threatened the West’s unbridled market access. In an attempt to overthrow the socialist government in Nicaragua, for instance, presidents Ronald Regan had George H. Bush had funded brutal militias, known as Contras, between 1979 and 1990. As the crimes committed by the Contras and their murder of innocent civilians (including women and children) became known, the Regan administration downplayed the severity of the atrocities and opted to continue backing the militias. The funding of the Contras persisted even after it was finally banned by Congress, through covert deals with the government of Iran.

And then, there is the Middle East—a region in which US interventionism continues to sow unfathomable destruction of innocent lives and vanquish any real chance of progress and democracy.

In the early 1990s, under the direction of President Clinton, the US had simultaneously launched a bombardment campaign and placed crippling economic sanctions on Iraq, which had devastated the nation and its civilian population. An estimated 576,000 Iraqi children under the age of five had died as a result of the sanctions alone, according to a 1995 study by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation. Yet Clinton’s administration exhibited no remorse over the tragedy. During a 1996 interview on television, Clinton’s Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, replied, “We think it’s worth it,” when she was confronted about the staggering death toll among Iraqi children as a result of the sanctions.

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks rattled the US and the world, former president George W. Bush capitalised on the nation’s pain and hysteria in order to launch his notorious global War on Terror. While expanding surveillance capabilities at home and sanctioning abhorrent torture programs of prisoners, President Bush repeatedly lied to the American people about Sadam Hussein’s nuclear capabilities in order to escalate the war in Iraq and justify a regime change there as well as in Afghanistan.

Then came President Obama, who, for all his supposedly good intentions and his bombastic rhetoric of hope, had nonetheless followed in the footsteps of his predecessors and embraced American imperialism in the Middle East. During his first 12 months in office, Obama expanded the US drone programme and surpassed the total number of drone strikes launched throughout the entire Bush era. Obama’s drone strikes, which were expanded to Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, resulted in the deaths of between 384 and 807 civilians, according to current estimates.

Under President Trump, the US drone programme was expanded even further in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Somalia, which led to thousands of deaths of innocent civilians. He had also vetoed a resolution by Congress to terminate US support of Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, thereby exacerbating one of the world’s greatest humanitarian crises.

Yet the vast majority of Americans remained utterly silent as, over the decades, images of the suffering engendered and exacerbated by US imperialism flickered on our screens; America remained, as far as large swaths of the public and a crushing majority of representatives were concerned, the purveyor and protector of democracy. It was only when swarms of unruly Trump supporters invaded the Capitol building that many Americans began to question the country’s ostensibly unshakable bond with democracy.

In his inaugural address, Biden turned to the nations of the world, pledging to repair alliances and “engage with the world once again.” He vowed that the US “will lead not merely by the example of [its] power, but by the power of [its] example,” and that it will be “a strong and trusted partner for peace, progress, and security.” These are mighty words, and it is the responsibility of us, the public, as well as our elected officials, to hold him to his promise. Biden’s track-record on national security, as well as a number of hawks with arms-industry ties already nominated to his cabinet, make it clear that we will have to be particularly vigilant.

At this hour of catharsis and hope, and in the face of the colossal challenges ahead, we must ask ourselves: what is the value of our democracy if it thrives only within the borders of our fortress?

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Americans need to keep a close eye on Biden and hold him to his promise


By Yair Oded

Jan 22, 2021

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