Election 2016: America's Toddlers Decide

As of this year, Millennials form an equal portion of the American electorate as Boomers. Despite this important development, the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election will *not* be determined by Millennials. No, not because their levels of turnout remain far lower than any other generation--rather because this election will actually be determined by the generation below Millennials. I refer of course to Generation Z, the cohort of Americans born after the year 2000.

How is this possible, you might ask, given that no one in that generation is eligible yet to vote in the United States? Why, the unlimited power of technology, of course! On Twitter--a platform where the finest men, women, and brands all commingle--the takes of America's children can now reach vast audiences thanks to their thinkfluencer parents' accounts on Media Twitter.

As we already know, Millennials are killing all that is good in this country, so it's only right that these wunderkinder from the generation below would usurp them. Whereas Millennials foolishly pursue a Gender Studies degree in college and emerge indebted and jobless, their younger peers in Gen Z study history and political science under the tutelage of their wise parents--no loans required!

With the presidential primaries over, America could at last join the elite group of countries that includes Argentina and South Korea, places where a female spouse or relative of a former president could someday become president herself! All of this in spite of the deep, virulent sexism displayed by Millennials in choosing to favor a white male candidate instead. But even the most determined efforts of these "Bernie Bros"--male and female alike--couldn't prevent the awesome and historic nomination of Hillary Clinton! Now we live in a world where #gender bias will not stop a #daughter from dreaming about defying the online trolls and occupying the highest public office, assuming that she has access to vast financial resources and the support of large segments of the political, intellectual, and business elite.

The young folks of Generation Z *literally* spit at the sexism of their elders--how inspiring! They know that the most important manifestations of sexism in our society today don't lie in the lack of paid maternity leave, the stagnant wages among a service sector workforce dominated by women, the low quality and high cost of childcare services, or the difficulty in accessing the safe and legal termination of a pregnancy, but rather body language.

Despite having been born largely after 2004, Generation Z has readily absorbed the lessons of the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election. While Millennials have shamefully forgotten the horrors of the Bush administration, Gen Z kids know better! They're certain that Donald Trump is an aberration from the honorable norms of the Grand Old Party and will be quick to remind the public of the heartwarming love the Bush family has to offer America. They know that the best way to signal that They're With Her is by celebrating the endorsements of Reagan administration officials like John Negroponte--with years of foreign policy experience!--and the votes of Bush administration advisors like Paul Wolfowitz--a tried and tested expert in the Middle East. These #NeverTrump conservatives need to be courted--in their think tanks and stalled elevators alike--because they will support Hillary Clinton purely out of duty and honor to help our country.

The young prodigies of Gen Z know that there is nothing to fear, but Trump himself. Why? Because America is Already Great™! Among the developed economies of the OECD, the United States is #1 in per capita firearm ownership and fatalities, in the rate of incarceration, in the use of capital punishment, and in the number of those lacking health insurance; the U.S. also remains a close #2 in per capita carbon emissions and obesity and is working hard to increase its performance in areas like maternal mortality and rates of extreme poverty. Certainly, there is no way that Trump's fearful message might resonate among voters, given that no presidential election has even been won by stoking fears of disorder at home or anxieties about threats from abroad.

Though Gen Z remains committed to fighting Trump and his politics of fear, they are also sympathetic to the concerns of his followers. Trump may represent an unprecedented authoritarian challenge to our Republic and its Constitution, but that doesn't mean that those opposing his fascism should be rude or go so far as to advocate direct action. Heavens no! Rather than play the partisan blame game, the young'uns of Gen Z can see clearly that bad people come from Both Sides, and that what this election really needs is some Silicon Valley-style disruption, to shake up the Republican and Democratic Parties alike.

Masters of nuance from a young age, Gen Z kids know that while disrupting the two-party system is a good thing, actually voting for a third party is dangerous. A vote for the Green Party is actually a vote for Trump, no matter the circumstances. Whereas Millennials are flippantly and baselessly considering voting for third party candidates, Gen Z knows that this logic enabled Ralph Nader to deliver us the presidency of George W. Bush in the 2000 election, with no other factors influencing that election.

To conclude, let us salute this generation, patriotic and duty-minded from birth--or even before!--for working to save our Republic in this tumultuous and difficult year. These Griffins and Milos, Aidens and Bradens, Haydens and Jaydens--have done us all a great service. We should also be deeply appreciative of the ways that their Boomer and Gen X parents raised these bright young people, whose generations have definitely not created any of the problems addressed here, and who are certainly not cynical operators making up anecdotes about their children for attention and partisan political gain.


Cooking with Volidity: Pasta Bread Bowl

Americans are spending billions of dollars a year to avoid gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. However, recent scientific research is pointing to a new culprit, FODMAPs, as the actual cause of much of our contemporary gastrointestinal distress. Gluten, it seems, is perhaps not the enemy of humanity we once imagined it to be (unless you have Celiac Disease--sorry, guys!). Now that gluten has been exonerated by Science, the Volidity Report has decided to prepare a dish that celebrates this special protein in its many forms. For inspiration, we turn our eyes to a pioneer of glutenous meal combinations: Domino's, creator of the BreadBowl Pasta™.

For a mere dollar extra[!], Domino's will encase a pasta dish within the bready confines of a "bowl" made from pizza dough. Now, if in theory such an innovation appears brilliant, in practice it has met with some rather harsh critiques, claiming that "the result is pasta that's simultaneously mushy and dry, like baked ziti that has been sitting out a day too long" or that the dish is "a salty, sloppy, non-sizzling bowl." With this in mind, following a time-honored tradition, the Volidity Report has appropriated and then elevated the concept of the BreadBowl Pasta™ into a dish of gluten-filled joy.


The Top Ten "Top 10" of 2014

Was 2014 the worst year ever? Probably not, if you're someone who is aware of the years that have preceded it, such as 1914 (that is, unless you live in Ukraine). Good or bad, it must be noted that 2014 was a boom year for memes, series of useless books, and listicles, which are "rapidly becoming the lingua franca of new-media journalism." Taking that into consideration, as the Volidity Report is a serious journalistic enterprise, we embark once again on an annual tradition: the ranking of the top ten Top 10 lists from 2014, provided to you in helpful listicle format.

10) Spectator UK: My Top Ten Most Fatuous Phrases
Ron Liddle is right. If all goes well, in 2015, we'll all be using more words like "fatuous".

9) Golf Channel - Top 10 in 2014: Controversies
Were you as upset as we were when Patrick Reed called himself a top-5 player? Why, with declarations like that, he'll never make the top ten of golf statisticians, let alone critics!

8) The Top 10 Most Popular DARPA Stories of 2014
The U.S. government's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency proves it's still on the cutting edge with a self-referential Top 10 list compiled by the best and brightest of social media interns. We're excited to see how the DARPA #brand will grow in 2015!

7) Top 10 Items You're Too Old To Wear
Ladies! Fellas! Time to face the music. You’re just TOO OLD to wear those message T’s! "'The message tee boom was fueled by Young Hollywood [as] a way for people to express frustration.' And that doesn’t exactly come off as mature."

6) TOP 10 shipping container structures of 2014
Do you still think that shipping containers are *just* for shipping things? Then you're in for a rude surprise in 2015 when all your peers will have absorbed the lessons of this important Top 10 list.

5) Top 10 Reasons Libertarians Aren't Nice to You
Had a real Randroid meanie in your life this past year? Chris Cantwell totally gets it - and he's happy to explain why you deserved it!

4) The Top 10 Feminist Hashtags of 2014
As we all know, there's nothing the patriarchy fears more than ideas transmitted on a web platform preceded by a pound sign.

3) Minnesota State Fair Top 10 Places to Poop
If you were like me, you wanted to love the MN State Fair...but there was just no place to drop a load! And in Obama's America, you can’t just poop in the middle of crowded fairs anymore. But worry not Frustrated Fairgoers! Know that Cityblogs has you covered for next year with all the hot spots to squat.

2) Time Magazine: Top 10 Everything of 2014
Somehow anticipating the Volidity Report's meta-approach in trying to cover "everything," Time still managed to leave the assessment of Top 10 lists to us.

1) 10 Things Only I Will Understand
That feeling when Mallory calls you Steamboat...

№ 2, 4, 6, 8 & 9 suggested by Herrence Meritocracy and № 1, 3, 5, 7 & 10 suggested by LK Shov. All methodologies scientific.


Killing History

Producing a book of historical scholarship can be difficult, especially when one is writing for a popular audience. Take a gander at the New York Times Best Sellers if you want to grasp the nature of the problem. Just last week, your Editor spotted in the Top 5 Hardcover Nonfiction and Print/E-book Nonfiction a book with the word "Nazi" in the title, a book by a late night teevee comedian, a book by a conservative "comedian," and a book about a four year old's journey to heaven where he got to hang out with God and Jesus and the gang. America knows what it wants!

So perhaps we cannot totally blame teevee guy Bill O'Reilly for titling his history of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln "Killing Lincoln." It's simple, catchy, and more of a factual statement than Heaven is for Real. But if the American public has been an enthusiastic consumer of this book (and its made-for-TV special!), the U.S. Park Service has refused to sell Killing Lincoln where Lincoln was killed due to its numerous factual errors.

This didn't stop ol' Bill though. Using this template, he went on to co-author two more books on other subjects that have already been written about endlessly, Killing Kennedy and Killing Jesus. Given that O'Reilly's B.A. in History from Marist College (currently ranked 375th best in the U.S. by Forbes!) might not seem the strongest basis for being an author of various history books, Your Editor foolishly assumed that the co-author (always appearing as MARTIN DUGARD below BILL O'REILLY) must then be a trained historian with a Ph.D. in History. Au contraire! Mr. Dugard does not claim any degree and splits his time between writing and coaching high school track, making him that rare person honored as a New York Times bestselling author *and* "Girls Varsity Cross-Country Coach of the Year" in Orange County, CA.

Considering how successful the duo of O'Reilly and Dugard has been, why leave history writing to the historians? In fact, why even leave history writing to history? The Volidity Report has thus decided to write a history of the future, predicting what books might be next for Bill O'Reilly and other potential co-authors (assuming that Martin Dugard will be busy with track-and-field season). Let's review!


Venetian Doge

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog. This is despite the fact that dogs have gained rather great prominence on the internet, enough to even challenge the hegemony of the feline. One popular internet figure of late is a Shiba Inu dog named Kabosu, whose thoughts and experiences have been catalogued under the pseudonym "doge."

Americans may know their memes, but they sure don't know much about history. Now, as textbooks have been made obsolete by iPads, we must recognize the need for new teaching methods. By choosing the name "doge," the denizens of the internet have offered us an opportunity to teach the Youth about another set of doges. Hailing from Venice, the *Most Serene* of Republics (and thus the chillest), these doges were in fact humans elected to run the city-state and its maritime trading empire from the middle ages until 1797.

Thus, the Volidity Report presents the Venetian doges in a vernacular understandable to the internet:


Top Ten "Top 10" of 2013

2013--it was quite a year, containing many memorable months. Though we at the Volidity Report are often busy this time of year fleeing from Druid Rage and volunteering for the War on Christmas on the side of Black Santa, there is a tradition we need to uphold. As we internet consumers review the best photos of 2013 and look ahead to the inspiring images of 2014, there must also be someone to review the reviewers. Thus, following on our award-winning coverage of 2011 and 2012, the Volidity Report is proud to present the Top Ten "Top 10" of 2013:

10) Top 10 Overused LinkedIn Profile Buzzwords of 2013: Make 2014 your year by being as irresponsible as possible!

9) Top 10 Arizona Gun Stories of 2013: While some foolish liberals argue that the unrestricted ownership of firearms could be dangerous, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne thinks that it is "inexcusable for teachers, students and school staff" at Arizona schools not to be armed. Let's see how that works out in 2014!

8) The 10 Most Gifted Rappers in Nigeria: Igbo is a Nigerian language that made its way into Carribbean patois, which may explain why the accent sounds kind of familiar. It works for guys like Phyno, who raps in his native language.

7) Top Risks 2013: Emerging markets--still risky! But forget the indebted PIIGS or the rising BRIC, watch out for the JIBs as big structural losers next year.

6) Top Ten Pearl Jam Moments of 2013: Pearl Jam apparently had such a busy year that Number 10 starts at 12! Familiarize yourself with all the essential moments of 2013, including the genesis of the Pearl Jam podcast, the week they spent with Jimmy Fallon, and how they changed rock forever with their bold merchandising strategy!

5) Top Ten 'most hated' celebrities in France: Why can't Nabilla get any respect?

4) Top 10 New Species 2013: Featuring the world's smallest vertebrate and the only reptile whose name could be a protest or 1970s English punk song, the "No to the mine! snake"

3) The Top Ten Pony Videos of August 2013: What have the Bronies been up to this year? Who knows? Watch this video compilation and get more confused!

2) Top 10 World’s Best Intelligence Agencies 2013: Maybe if the CIA wasn't so worried about being "the most popular" intelligence agency, they could get back to Number 1 where they belong. After all, "the Agency has the credit of being one of most swift in dealing with every aspect of world issues."

1) Top Ten College Women of 2013: Women! In college? 2013 truly was the year everything changed.

№ 1, 4, 7 & 9 suggested by Herrence Meritocracy and № 2, 3, 5, 6, 8 & 10 suggested by LK Shov. All methodologies scientific.


The Ages of Civilization

What year is it? 2013 (of course!), you might say. Simple question, right? Well, other perspectives abound: it's also year 5774 of the Jewish calendar, 1434 AH of the Islamic calendar, 1392 of the Persian calendar, and CCXXII of the French Republican calendar. Over time however, these calendars were supplanted by the hegemony of the Gregorian calendar, with Papal revisions and later a nice neutral "CE" slapped on over "AD" for objectivity's sake.

Even if that debate has been somewhat settled, we are left with the question--in what age does 2013 AD/CE reside? Are we in the Atomic Age (1945-?), the Space Age (1957-?) or the Information Age (1947-/1958-/1969-/1977-?)??? Though we know at least that humanity will not enter the Jet Age until around 2062, the overlapping ages of today's world present a dilemma. Just what is the defining characteristic of our time? If academics cannot achieve consensus, are there other expert sources we could consult?