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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Although no one currently on the Alligator staff was in college in 2011, we feel confident in assuming that at some point in the year, a joke was made at the expense of "Friday" by Rebecca Black to introduce that week’s edition of Darts & Laurels. Although we would not stoop to such comedic lows, that isn’t going to stop us from using this information as an incredibly strained way to introduce this week’s edition of…

Darts & Laurels

On Sept. 18, news broke that since 2009, German car manufacturer Volkswagen has been installing software in many of its vehicles that manipulates a car’s pollution control. What this means is that a car’s pollution control function would only work when being tested to make sure it was meeting environmental standards; otherwise, the cars — which were "clean diesel" and supposed to be less harmful to the environment — have been spewing and polluting with the best of ‘em. In the immortal words of Jordan Peele, what will you think of next, Germany?

In just a few days, Volkswagen has managed to alienate its considerable consumer base, break several laws in several countries and lose its CEO. For so brazenly manipulating the system, Volkswagen gets a smoggy, climate change-inducing DART.

Martin Shkreli is the CEO who raised the price of life-saving drug Daraprim from an affordable $13.50 to an obscene $750 per pill. We don’t have to explain this one. DART.

Pope Francis — the most charming, humanist pope the modern world has ever seen or evil, liberal monster destroying the Catholic church from within? Whatever you think of him, there is no question his recent trip to the U.S. is a historic one, having been only the fourth pope to swing by the U.S.

While here, the pope discussed climate change, immigration reform and economic responsibility, irking many Republicans who otherwise use religion to champion their own selfish causes. Showing his bottomless reservoir of humility truly shows no signs of running dry, the pope rejected dining with Congress after his address Thursday to eat with the homeless of Washington D.C.

Despite our glowing admiration for the man, the pope, as we imagine he’d be the first to admit, isn’t perfect. His canonization of controversial missionary Junipero Serra is questionable to say the least. But for championing the downtrodden, directly confronting the largest existential crisis facing mankind today and being so damn affable, Pope Francis gets a zucchetto-clad Laurel.

After years of fictional characters singing odd iterations of the classic song "Happy Birthday To You," creators can now use the song without fear of having to pay absurd royalties to Warner Music Group. On Tuesday, a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled that WMG’s claim to the rights is not valid. We award a birthday candle-adorned Laurel to the judge for putting an end to a long national nightmare for the pop culture obsessives who enjoy realism in their fiction.

Taco Bell has started serving booze at some of its locations, rechristening them as Taco Bell Cantinas. While we’d like to give Taco Bell a Dart for adding even more unhealthy options to a menu already riddled with them, we award the fast food giant a Laurel for giving us — its patient and adoring customers —the opportunity to create all sorts amazing drunken memories at these Cantinas. BONG.

Finally, Jimmy Fallon reunited Kenan and Kel on a recreation of the "Good Burger" set. There are not enough Laurels in the world to give to everyone involved in making this impossible dream a reality — God bless us, every one.

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