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S07.E26: World Health Organisation

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Main topic:  World Health Organisation (WHO)

Other topics: Amy Coney Barrett's note pad; how to best ask Trump a question at a town hall; sayings in politics; The John Oliver Memorial Sewer Plant!

John's back, likely brimming with joy that the Danbury, CT sewage treatment plant is being named after him.  Our John is now a star in the sewage treatment world!  First you get a koala chlamydia clinic, then a sewage treatment plant.  A celebration is in order. 

Original air date 2020.10.17 

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Danbury! 

At least the focus on WHO opened a lot of its history on why it is important to cast our vote. My dad didn't like it, but comedy goes a long way! At least I know the important message, John! Vote! Vote! Vote! 

Not a solid return, but okay in my opinion.

Edited by Robert Lynch
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God, I love this show :D. 

I love that the town businesses got as involved as they did. That is fantastic. And I love John actually watching the city council meeting regarding the naming. That's...that's just so awesome. Good on ya, Danbury, for being so cool about all of this, and making this joke into something worthwhile and beneficial to a lot of people. John's little speech at the end actually did give me some hope. 

"Smallpox is essentially the Circuit City of viruses, and it's equally as missed." LMAO. Also enjoyed the bit about the importance of considering other elements of an orgy. Valid point :p.

As for the main story, I'm really appreciating how John's not even trying to hold back on his frustration and anger anymore when talking about whatever latest craziness is coming from this administration. What a bizarre loophole for our country to have in place-but yes, definitely even more incentive for a change come November. Hearing Trump going on about the WHO in those clips had me thinking of all the stories I've heard about how easily distracted and uninterested he's been during briefings about other important topics. You just know that even now, he likely still doesn't know and couldn't tell you squat about the organization's methods and efforts or its history or other things of that sort. Of course the only part he'd focus on is the money. Nothing else matters to him beyond that. 

It's just maddening that someone like him is in charge and making all these reckless decisions with no actual backup plans on what to do when we pull out of these important groups and agreements and such. This is why it's important that we have people in office who actually know what they're doing and talking about, and who have the expertise necessary. 

(It is strange, though, to see Trump dumping on China as he does, considering how much he seems to praise and want to emulate Xi.)

Also not surprised to learn that some of these issues can be tied back to the Reagan administration. Our country really is still paying one hell of a price from that era, aren't we? Also, Tucker Carlson's "subservient to their master" comment about the WHO and China was...quite the interesting choice of words. 

Just. Ugh. The whole thing is so infuriating. 

"Dead armadillos." Mmkay, well, there's an mage. 

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“He’s got a smile that could light up a cross.”

If I may say, solid burn.

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I am now wondering what the story with the Brazilian Politician who had shoved money up his butt was about….

Anyway the Town Hall was a fun watch, mostly because the moderator didn't allow Trump to get away with hedging or avoiding the question, and called him out with facts when he tried to lie (well, as much as this is possible without turning it into a fact checking show).

 

Anyway, regarding the segment: There are actually honest concerns regarding the influence China has on the WHO, which predates Corona. For example, they basically accepted Chinese remedies, even though for most of them aren't scientifically proven. And during the crisis, they basically ignored warnings and data from Taiwan, due to the political BS John mentioned. So yes, there is a need to take a close look at the WHO. But naturally Trump isn't really interesting in improving it, he just wants a fall guy, and while there are points in the handling of the WHO of Corona which are questionable, their handling has been the hell better than Trump's.

 

But I honestly didn't know that this is ANOTHER thing Reagan f... up. I am always stunned that he isn't listed under the worst presidents the US ever had - well, until I remember some of the presidents they had.

 

I just imagine the US being responsible for international health….considering their track record (Spanish Flu, HIV, Corona) they are pretty much the LAST country I would trust with this.

 

Wow...I didn't know that we are so close to getting rid of Polio...Go WHO!!!!!

 

When John basically thought that nobody would care about visiting a sewage plant I had to grin, because it was indeed more or less a given in my primary school to visit the local "Wasserwerk", meaning the place where water is cleaned and turned into drinking water. The process of cleaning water is actually very interesting. If Danbury does this right, they actually might have a shot of turning that sewage plant into something educational.

 

 

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2 hours ago, ahisma said:

“He’s got a smile that could light up a cross.”

If I may say, solid burn.

I loved that line, too :D. 

34 minutes ago, swanpride said:

I am now wondering what the story with the Brazilian Politician who had shoved money up his butt was about….

YES! I have so many questions! And yet, at the same time...do I want to know the answers :p?

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Anyway the Town Hall was a fun watch, mostly because the moderator didn't allow Trump to get away with hedging or avoiding the question, and called him out with facts when he tried to lie (well, as much as this is possible without turning it into a fact checking show).

I couldn't bear to watch it, myself, but that's what I've been hearing from the highlights I'd been reading online, yeah. Which is good. As is the fact that Biden's town hall did better in the ratings. Not because that proves he's "winning" or anything like that, but because I like to think that's a sign that even the "watch the chaos unfold" element of Trump is losing its appeal with people, if it hasn't already. 

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But I honestly didn't know that this is ANOTHER thing Reagan f... up. I am always stunned that he isn't listed under the worst presidents the US ever had - well, until I remember some of the presidents they had.

It is rather odd, isn't it? I was too young to remember Reagan's presidency as it played out-I was born the year he was elected to a second term. So everything I know about it is what I've learned in school and from my parents (who did not support him) and other sources that talk about that era. It often seems the people who make those kinds of claims basically point to a few notable events from the time period and some of his more prominent, stirring speeches* as examples of what made him such a strong president, and then the criticized elements of his presidency tend to get mentioned as more of an afterthought. We tend to have a rather hard time looking at the past with critical eyes in this country, it seems. 

And, yes, when you compare him to some of the other presidents we've had...it makes for a very interesting attempt at ranking, for sure. 

*Regarding the speeches, I mean...the guy was an actor at one time before he got into politics. Of course he'd probably be really good at delivering speeches as a result. 

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Yeah, that is the thing...they always mention his "tear down that wall speech" and me being German, I have a very different PoV on that speech, because it had absolute nothing to do with why that wall actually went down (and arguably, it was more a hinderance than a help). The Americans always go on and on about that speech, and for Germans the one speech which actually really means something is the "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech from Kennedy. We don't give a sh... about Reagan's theatrics.

So what exactly was so great about the Reagan years? As far as I can tell his politics mostly planted bombs which went off in the years after (mainly 2008 and now).

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That's why it is important to focus on that part of Reagan. Too many people turn a blind eye and look where we are now.

Edited by Robert Lynch
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Folks, This is not about Reagan.  If you'd like to chat one on one about that, please take it to a PM.  You can include multiple folks.  Also, while John did mention the town halls, please keep the discussion to the points he raised.  We do need to adhere to the site politics rule.  We give a bit more leeway in this forum, but cannot stray too far.

If you have questions, please PM @PrincessPurrsALot.

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Excellent show. I liked getting more info about WHO. Some of it I knew, but John always clarifies things more. Seems I'm left wanting his segments to air in their entirety on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and, well, Fox -- I can dream, can't I?

Then the story about Danbury. Loved it. John walking out in that ridiculous haz-mat getup was awesome. 

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I wonder if John ever had a legitimate beef with Danbury or if he just picked that name out of a hat. I also want to know what's behind his obsession with Adam Driver. It's hilarious. You know, Adam Driver is not traditionally handsome - in fact taken apart feature by feature he might even be considered homely. But damn, does he know how to work it.

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1 hour ago, iMonrey said:

I also want to know what's behind his obsession with Adam Driver.

Any reason that made him drop the tedious Olsen Twins bit is divine intervention...

Edited by paigow
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21 minutes ago, paigow said:

Any reason that made him drop the tedious Olsen Twins bit is divine intervention...

You're in on it too, aren't you?

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Add me to wondering whether the feuds are set up ahead of time. John is never serious in these situations. He's right about not being threatening at all, which makes threatening men, women and children that much funnier. A seven-year-old with asthma can sneeze and knock John down. As long as people benefit in a good way and John doesn't sink his teeth with the gusto that he has for certain public figures, it's all good.

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Do not speculate as to the main or other topics. Watch the show, then post.  Capice? Don't make me send a koala with chlamydia after you!

Okay, John buying Russell Crowe's jockstrap and that money going into the koala chlamydia ward was something that was NOT worked out ahead of time. I'm thinking it just worked out that absurdly beautiful. Thanks for the warning and mental image, @PrincessPurrsALot!

Pipe organ? I don't know what goes on in the president's head. Great for John to spotlight the W.H.O., yet another global organization made into a scapegoat. That was something worth learning.

Edited by Lantern7
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"You're either fucking someone or getting fucked." Pretty much sums it up.

Can't unsee that damn squirrel.

 

Edited by xaxat
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1 hour ago, xaxat said:

"You're either fucking someone or getting fucked." Pretty much sums it up.

Can't unsee that damn squirrel.

 

There's a lot more going on at the orgy than that!  😁

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10 hours ago, Lantern7 said:

Pipe organ? I don't know what goes on in the president's head.

Probably thought of Organ Grinder & Monkey but got confused...

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11 hours ago, xaxat said:

"You're either fucking someone or getting fucked." Pretty much sums it up.

Also: “You are never responsible for cleaning up after an orgy.” That’s one of those thoughts from John that you don’t want to hear, and then you start thinking about the logistics.

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Here's the story in our local paper, The Danbury News-Times, about John's visit.  I live in a town about 15 minutes north. Wish I had known about it, I would have loved to sneak a peek (from a distance of course), but they kept it secret.https://www.newstimes.com/local/article/John-Oliver-visited-Danbury-in-a-fake-hazmat-suit-15659461.php

The “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” episode featuring Boughton and the much talked about sewer plant aired Sunday night, featuring Oliver showing up in a plastic suit and face shield. That outfit, Boughton said, was a riff off of Jude Law’s character in the 2011 film “Contagion” and the first time the mayor saw the comedian in person.

“That suit was absolutely hysterical,” said Boughton, who did not see Oliver before filming started.

“They didn’t want us to meet until on camera,” he added.

Very few people knew Oliver was coming to the Hat City. Boughton announced last Thursday the comedian would be at an eventual ceremony. The ceremony, however, had already been filmed days earlier.

The public works director was told, as well as another staffer who helped coordinate, but was not permitted once Oliver arrived, O’Brien said.

O’Brien said she did not have to sign anything keeping the visit a secret, but due to the coronavirus pandemic HBO staff wanted to prevent crowds from gathering. A COVID safety officer is on set, and staff have their temperatures checked, she said.

Oliver had another appointment afterward, she said.

“I know a lot of people wanted (Oliver) to stop and hang around,” O’Brien said. “Unfortunately, he was very busy.”

‘A lot of excitement’

The city got its first indication that Oliver would come to the ribbon cutting when teachers said he had donated to their Donors Chose’ projects. HBO called the city a few days later and O’Brien helped coordinate the visit, she said.

“I just feel like you knew him after this back-and-forth for so long,” O’Brien said. “There weren’t too many nerves, but a lot of excitement.”

The back-and-forth started in August when Oliver ranted about the city on his show, inviting its residents to “come get a thrashing.” After some playful banter in which Boughton offered to name the sewer plant after the comedian, Oliver offered a $55,000 donation in exchange for the renaming. They mayor and City Council agreed.

Producers shot footage of the Danbury Railway Museum and Uncle Sam statue before Oliver arrived, Boughton said. The comedian was in the city for about 1 1/2 hours, but did not go inside the plant.

O’Brien met the producers around 6:30 a.m. and Oliver arrived at 9 a.m.

“I was actually standing by his car and I didn’t realize it,” she said.

He came out of the car, they introduced themselves and he saw the “John Oliver Memorial Sewer Plant” sign his producers had already installed.

“He just said ‘This is amazing,’” O’Brien said. “He was really excited.”

Oliver was wearing his mask, so she directed him to a different part of the property to change into his suit.

Beforehand, Boughton had wondered whether he would need to come up with any funny lines.

“Him (Oliver) being in that moon suit—that was the comedy,” Boughton said.

The producers told Boughton to do a standard ribbon cutting and “be yourself.”

“It was pretty easy to do,” he said.

Besides Oliver, about a half dozen crew members came, Boughton said. The crew battled the sun and shot multiple takes. Boughton pretended to cut the ribbon in the different shots until they were ready.

Oliver gave a speech after the ribbon cutting, where he describes the renaming of the plant as “inspirational.”

“He did that without any notes or cards,” Boughton said. “I was pretty impressed with that.”

There was little variation in the speech in the three to four takes, he said.

“He (Oliver) said ‘I know what the theme is and I just riff off the theme,’” Boughton said.

Oliver’s episode also featured clips from the Danbury City Council meeting where the name was approved. Oliver said on his show that he watched the meeting with “bated breath.”

Boughton said Oliver did not have the Zoom credentials for the meeting, so he watched on YouTube like the public.

City Council member Paul Rotello, who was featured on the show, said about 50 people have texted him about the episode.

“John Oliver works very hard to be funny and, for the most part, the bit succeeded,” Rotello said.

Oliver told city officials he enjoyed the letters from residents in support of the name and loved the video responses from the Danbury Hat Tricks and 8-year-old Caio P. Leaf.

Gifts and donations

Off camera, Boughton thanked Oliver and the two exchanged gifts.

Boughton gave a mock toilet bowl, an official copy of the resolution renaming the plant and a quarter zip that said “John Oliver Memorial Sewer Plant.”

Oliver gave merchandise from his show and signed some T-shirts that will be auctioned to benefit a fundraiser for area food banks that was started in honor of the renaming. He also promised to donate $55,000 to area charities.

“It was all really in good spirit,” Boughton said.

But Oliver did not a get “Danbury Dundie”—an award based on the NBC show “The Office” that Boughton has been giving to his guests on his “Live @ 5” Facebook updates.

Boughton said it is unlikely Oliver will be able to appear on the Facebook show.

“You never know though,” he said. “Maybe we’ll get him on ‘Live @ 5’ when we complete the fundraiser.”

That fundraiser has raised more than $55,000 in about a week, with $45,000 of that money coming from local banks. Oliver mentioned the fundraiser on his show, using a screenshot from an article in “The News-Times.” 

“I’m really excited about being able to help people and put food on their tables,” Boughton said. “Definitely it gave me a good chuckle with all the things going on in 2020.”

Oliver told Boughton that he did not pick on Danbury in his Aug. 16 episode for any particular reason.

“He said it was totally random,” Boughton said. “He said they just threw a dart at a map of Connecticut and it hit Danbury.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for posting that article.

54 minutes ago, ALenore said:

due to the coronavirus pandemic HBO staff wanted to prevent crowds from gathering.

Good foresight.

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4 hours ago, ALenore said:

He came out of the car, they introduced themselves and he saw the “John Oliver Memorial Sewer Plant” sign his producers had already installed.

“He just said ‘This is amazing,’” O’Brien said. “He was really excited.”

This is so cute :D. 

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Oliver told city officials he enjoyed the letters from residents in support of the name and loved the video responses from the Danbury Hat Tricks and 8-year-old Caio P. Leaf.

Gifts and donations

Off camera, Boughton thanked Oliver and the two exchanged gifts.

Boughton gave a mock toilet bowl, an official copy of the resolution renaming the plant and a quarter zip that said “John Oliver Memorial Sewer Plant.”

Oliver gave merchandise from his show and signed some T-shirts that will be auctioned to benefit a fundraiser for area food banks that was started in honor of the renaming. He also promised to donate $55,000 to area charities.

 

And this is just awesome. I'm so glad that people are going to get some much needed help from all of this. I also love that he didn't use notes or cards during his speech. 

Thanks for the article! Nice to get some more info on how it all went down. Kudos to the people for taking all the necessary safety precautions and such as well. 

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On 10/19/2020 at 2:55 AM, swanpride said:

The Americans always go on and on about that speech, and for Germans the one speech which actually really means something is the "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech from Kennedy.

Is that the one where he actually got the wording wrong and ultimately said "I am a donut"? I just remember that routine from Eddie Izzard.

I really didn't know the history of the WHO other than they are always the go to people in every outbreak, world ending virus, or zombie movie. It does make sense to have a voluntary donation and being able to dictate what you want that money to focus on. Not every country has the same types of threats or outbreaks. Pretty shameful that a large country like China would then chip in the bare minimum.

Every week more and more is added to what needs to be unfucked by the next administration. Sure we can refund WHO, get back in the Paris agreement but there is no way that in 2 years we can reverse everything to where the uninformed public can see the results. This will just open up another "tea party" situation in the midterms like 2010. I truly hope that isn't the case if Biden does win the presidency.

The Danbury bit had a happy ending. I always can't help but cringe a little at these things though. While he always has good intensions it does come off that he is using the town for easy put downs. Those townhalls showed that with a few of the people against the idea. It isn't much different than Kimmel's Dildo sister city campaign. All started from a simple joke that eventually snowballed and got the whole town involved. The charity donations should soften any hard feelings.

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3 minutes ago, lynxfx said:

Every week more and more is added to what needs to be unfucked by the next administration. Sure we can refund WHO, get back in the Paris agreement but there is no way that in 2 years we can reverse everything to where the uninformed public can see the results. This will just open up another "tea party" situation in the midterms like 2010. I truly hope that isn't the case if Biden does win the presidency.

I think and worry about this a lot, too. Yeah. It's going to take an awful lot of much needed patience. 

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Is that the one where he actually got the wording wrong and ultimately said "I am a donut"? I just remember that routine from Eddie Izzard.

No, that is the one which turns up in every history reel in Germany....

Seriously, as others have pointed out, the idea that he got it wrong is an absolut myth. German is a complicated language, in which certain phrases can have different meanings, but context is everything. And in this special case, the "Berliner"  (to jelly donut) is called this way pretty much everywhere in Germany EXCEPT in Berlin itself, so there was no way to misunderstand it anyway. That the myth even exist is kind of insulting, because back then, the words meant a LOT for a war torn and split up Germany, which was on the naughty chair in the eyes of even its former allies.

 

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Every week more and more is added to what needs to be unfucked by the next administration. Sure we can refund WHO, get back in the Paris agreement but there is no way that in 2 years we can reverse everything to where the uninformed public can see the results. This will just open up another "tea party" situation in the midterms like 2010. I truly hope that isn't the case if Biden does win the presidency.

Even if the US rejoins and refunds, the lost years will result in a lot of lost lifes down the line. Just think about it, if the WHO had been properly funded, they would have been less dependent on China's good will in which case they might have at least relayed the warnings from Taiwan which, if the world had listened to, might have lead to better preparation and therefore less victims.

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No.  Fuck YOU, John.  The Jets are way way WAY worse than the Giants and I will not stand for this slander!

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36 minutes ago, mojoween said:

No.  Fuck YOU, John.  The Jets are way way WAY worse than the Giants and I will not stand for this slander!

In his defense, the episode was filmed before Sunday's game. Also, the Giants might have also gone 0-6, but "Riverboat Ron" going for two points against the Giants backfired, and the Washington Washingtonians took the loss. But yeah, Jets are the worst team no matter what.

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10 hours ago, mojoween said:

No.  Fuck YOU, John.  The Jets are way way WAY worse than the Giants and I will not stand for this slander!

If getting things full of shit named after himself is a continuing bit, there are several NFL teams that fit the bill....

  • Atlanta Cartoon Birds
  • Washington Mnuchin Doppelgangers 
Edited by paigow
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PrincessPurrsALot

Do not speculate as to the main or other topics. Watch the show, then post.  Capice? Don't make me send a koala with chlamydia after you!

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