Onion Singularity — Military Edition

As I’ve said many times, I believe we reached the Onion Singularity years ago. The Onion singularity is kind of like the Turing Test — it’s when the average reader can no longer reliability differentiate between “serious journalism” and satire.

This week brought yet another example of it.

Back in the 1970s, this (see below) was considered fun, family-friendly slapstick humor:

Cpl Klinger
Jamie Farr, playing Corporal Max Klinger in the hit Korean War themed TV show M*A*S*H, which aired from 1972-1983.

However, in [Present Year,] this (see below) is considered to be a matter of great seriousness and importance, and certainly not a joke:

bradley-manning-before-and-after
Former-Pfc. Bradley Manning, convicted of leaking nearly 750,000 secret documents to WikiLeaks, before and after his decision to come out as a cross-dresser.

How do I know how important the issue of cross dressers in the military is? Why, when President Trump announced this week that he no longer wished to permit such a thing, the entire mainstream press establishment was up in arms in a paroxysm of pearl-clutching. As the Washington Post printed in its op-ed page:

When President Trump casually ordered the Pentagon on Wednesday to ban transgender servicemembers from the military, he didn’t just undo months of work by military officers, civilian policymakers and trans advocacy groups. He also cut off transgender Americans from an institution that’s historically been viewed as a microcosm of society — and a bastion of steady employment. The effects of Trump’s shocking strike against the trans rights movement could be much more severe than anyone realized initially.

A man in a dress in the Army used to be a cheap, family-friendly joke. But now you’re not allowed to laugh any more.

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