Victor Epstein was cruising his Facebook timeline alone Thursday afternoon, buck naked in the privacy of his living room, when the break in the social media clouds he’d been hoping for finally arrived.
The editor of the Cynical Times news and satire website had just been approved to join the President Hillary Clinton Facebook page. The steely eyed Bernie Sanders loyalist faced a difficult choice with his coffee cup nearly empty and his bladder about to burst: Attack the unsuspecting Clinton loyalists below or head for the relative safety of his bathroom?
Bracing himself for the task ahead, the lone humorist chose to roll the dice and throw caution to the wind
“I caught those elitist Moes with their pants down, bigtime,” Epstein said afterward during an exclusive interview in his team's newsroom. “The page moderator was out to lunch or something and the green troops in the discussion section were helpless against me. I had my way with them for a full 13 minutes, strafing everything in my path.”
The Bronx native started out in classic attack position, approaching the enemy from out of the sun where he was virtually invisible. The result was a sustained satirical assault that Occupy Wall Street group moderator Craig Boehman described as the most one-sided, prolonged attack on a fortified Facebook Page of the 2016 presidential campaign.
“The Clinton loyalists had just started one of those threads where they ask everyone where they’re from and I dropped into line like I belonged there,” he recalled. “Somebody says ‘Salt Lake City,’ somebody else says ‘Jacksonville’ – you know the drill. Then 'bam.' I type in 'Uranus' and link it to a meme comparing HRC to Tricky Dick Nixon (below left) and all hell breaks loose.”
Clinton loyalists were calling me a “troll” and crying out for their moderator, he recalled. It was pure comedic carnage.
“God must have been with me today, because the people in charge of the page were asleep at their posts,” Epstein said. “So I circled back for another pass before they could block me. And then another and another.”
Epstein emptied his intellectual guns before heading to the bathroom in triumph. Afterward, the dazed and exhausted political satirist struggled to recall the exact sequence of events.
“It’s all still a blur for me right now to be honest,” he said. “Someone named Mary Stubblefield called me a ‘pig’ and I replied with a link to my satirical piece about Hillary Clinton defecting to the Republican Party. That seemed to settle her hash.”
The prolonged contest was so one-sided that Epstein said he actually began taunting the humorless Clinton loyalists at one point. Shouting “why am I still here” as they searched frantically for the missing moderator and a champion capable of countering his caustic but good natured gibes.
"It was friggin beautiful," he recalled. "I was housing people like I was Brad Pitt in Troy, but without the full body wax job.
"I mean I was tossing bombs - you know what I'm saying? At one point the sheer butchery sickened even me and I remember posting ‘Why have I not been censored’ along with my anti-HRC meme featuring that kid from The Exorcist (below right).
“Then I wrote 'Isn't censorship the American Way for the beneficiaries of our rising American Police State? Get on the stick moderator. I can't keep giving you all these free tips.' ”
One of the Clinton defenders sent out a “troll alert” to the page moderator and Epstein responded by posting “Please, we prefer the term ‘Hater’ ”
Looking back, the Cynical Times satirist said he should have posted a companion meme with that gibe as well and would have, had he not been dazed by the onslaught of words crisscrossing the verbal battlefield in every direction.
“In my own defense, I had just linked to the Shake and Bake scene from Talladega Nights along with the words ‘The Treasured Tradition of the Great American Jackass Lives on.’ After that, I was purely going for style points.”
The much needed victory for the faltering middle class comes just two weeks after Clinton eked out a narrow win in the Kentucky primary on May 17. The preferred champion of multinational corporations around the globe narrowly edged out presidential rival Bernie Sanders with the help of several fortuitous rule changes by the Bluegrass State’s Democratic machine.
The Cynical Times endorsed Sanders on March 30, labeling him the only choice that makes sense for the faltering middle class. The nonprofit website denigrated both Clinton and Republican front-runner Donald Trump as elitist agents of global monied interests.
Epstein’s successful attack on the President Hillary Clinton Facebook page is unlikely to alter the strategic balance of power in the race for the Democratic nomination, according to Sanders Campaign Manager Jeff Weaver. However, it does provide Bernie Jesus supporters with a much needed emotional lift.
“This is a real shot in the arm for the folks who have been laboring away in relative obscurity in the phone banks, on social media and at the rallies,” Weaver said. “Epa is a hero to me personally. I still can’t believe he landed that Albert Einstein meme after rolling in for a fifth strafing run. We’ve been trying to hang that one on them for months.”
The Einstein meme shows the noted scientist saying: “Insanity is voting Democrat or Republican again and expecting anything less than full-on class warfare against the faltering middle class.”
Epstein set it up by writing “Please don't call me a troll my fellow Americans. What I really am is a dyed-in-the-wool hater of unprincipled politicians of all stripes.”
The gritty satirist executed nine successful stafing runs in all, departing the intellectual battlefield only after his coffee mug ran dry and he was out of ideas.
“I was literally running on fumes by the time it was all said and done,” Epstein said, passing a weary hand through his curly brown locks.
The clean-cut American patriot loves his mother's homemade apple pie and his hometown New York Yankees. Epstein said the first thing he plans to do when he gets home after the November election is marry fiancee Regan MacNeil. The young lovers plan to honeymoon in scenic Portal, Ga., the turpentine capital of the world.
"Hands off ladies," MacNeil said during an interview from her home in Pekin, Ill. "This working class hero is all mine."
The Cynical Times' co-founder needs only one additional intellectual victory to qualify as an ace. His prior wins came via satirical stories about Hillary defecting to the Republican Party, Policing your inner Trump, and a survey in which veterinarians were asked to pair the presidential candidates with the dog breeds they embody.
"Who counts such things?" Epstein said of his four wins. "That said, I'd already be an ace if the brass had properly tabulated my story about Nordic looking people being culled from airline flights by the FBI. There was a legitimate Bernie tie-in and I've never been funnier."
Thursday's one-sided battle drew criticism from The International Comedic Court in The Hague, which is investigating Epstein's alleged use of the prohibited Johnny Cash Bird in violation of the rules of online comedic warfare. Civilized social media networks chose to forbid the use of the controversial image in the Simi Valley Protocols of 2015.
"This disturbing image (shown at the bottom of this page) is simply too potent for routine satirical use," said Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who was among the treaty signatories.
Epstein would neither confirm nor deny deploying the Johnny Cash Bird against the President Hillary Clinton Facebook Page. However, he did admit possessing the banned comedic weapon.
"The JCB is strictly a defensive image for me - you know - a weapon of last resort," he said. "Please contact my attorneys directly if you have any other questions about it."
The devastated President Hillary Clinton Facebook Page remained a lifeless husk Thursday night, with no visible signs of intellectual activity that could be discerned from the Internet. Refugees from its smoking discussion section were still pouring into the nearby Silver Spoon Mofos for Hillary Facebook Page as this story went to press.
"It is what it is," Mofos Moderator Leah Cornishen said at press time. "The survivors are understandably traumatized. They've had a rough day and I don't blame them for wanting to shut the page down for a while."
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wassserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the head of the Democratic National Committee and a Clinton surrogate, vowed to reinforce the battered Facebook group. She said she expects to have it back up to speed by Monday.
"We've got a team of wealthy young undergraduates from Vasser who have never worked a day in their lives," she said. "They're scions of some of the wealthiest country club families in America and I'm confident they'll have it humming again in no time."
Epstein said he took no pleasure in the destruction wrought by his incredibly fertile sense of humor. The self-described feminist said he was a man of intellectual peace.
"The inhabitants of this elitist Facebook page brought this trolling attack on themselves with their wanton disregard for the suffering of the faltering middle class," he said.
"They put us all at risk by stubbornly clinging to a fatally flawed candidate solely on the basis of her gender." Epstein added. "Look, I want a female president, too, but I think we should hold out for someone just a little more principled and a lot more supportive of the hardworking American families struggling for basic survival amidst the worst economic climate for the middle class since The Great Depression."