Pop Culture Mondays/2.24.20

Harvey is GUILTY!

Welcome to my brain…

by Brooke Hammerling on Monday, February 24, 2020

Happy Happy Monday my pop culture junkies! Winter Break is over for most people, and we have a FULL 5 day work week ahead, and we had no award ceremony or sporting event Sunday evening that we could all collectively discuss this morning. Coronavirus is hitting pandemic levels and events all over the world are being cancelled and cruise ships are festering petri dishes of despair (don’t take a cruise, just like a general rule of thumb) but we are ALL here and we made it another week and I am proud of us! So, sit back grab an Oatley Latte and enjoy a few minutes of an escape to kick off your week. And AS ALWAYS, we are a 100% Trump-free, calorie-free, guilt-free trip thru a candy store.


The little boy who could.


For those of us aware of this story, we all collectively found ourselves sobbing at the video and wishing we could hold this little boy and tell him it was going to be ok. For those of you NOT aware, let me break it down for you:

  • Last week, a heartbroken mom posted a video of her son (FYI it is really really hard to watch), Quaden who suffers from Dwarfism, hysterically crying in the back seat of their car and asking his mom for a rope so he can hang himself. That’s correct. A ROPE so he can hang himself. While he was clearly in distress, the mom was taping him while off camera was narrating that her son was in this situation because he was being terribly bullied and the school wasn’t doing anything about it and this is why so many kids are killing themselves. It was haunting.
  • The video went viral and the world reacted. SIDE NOTE: Some had issues with the mom doing this and therefore invading her son’s privacy, while others wanted her to put the phone down and instead hug her son and tell him it was all going to be ok. And I personally would like to think there were hugs before and after the video, but regardless, the video hit a nerve.
  • Everyone wanted to tell Quaden he was awesome and bullies suck and it gets better. Celebrities like the amazing French Bulldog-loving, Greenwich Village residing Hugh Jackman, who himself is Australian, posted a heartfelt video message to him. So did Jeffrey Dean Morgan who I am not sure is a household name but he’s great on The Walking Dead and sort of scary so this was a nice side of him to see.

So, whatever your thoughts are on what his mom did, I have to think that knowing you’re not alone and the world has responded, hopefully helps Quaden — and all the other children who are bullied — feel better and safer and more loved. I mean I cannot remember what I ate for breakfast yesterday but I remember being bullied on the school bus in 1984 — I remember what I was wearing, the smell of maple syrup on one of the girl’s breath as she tormented me and I remember through hysterical tears announcing to my parents I would never take the bus again and would never go to school again and believing the world was OVER because that’s what we all think at that age. So, take bullying seriously everyone. It has a lasting impact.

A star is born…

I like to assume everyone is like me and therefore they have seen Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in A Star is Born approximately 274 times and counting? Also like me, you have MAYBE tried belting outIn the Shallow” while alone in the privacy of your own home while standing in front of a full length mirror while holding a brush? No? Realllly? Well if not, YOU should try it. I digress….

So, I would like to believe this was totally not staged and totally organic and just ONE of those moments because we need those moments whenever we can get them. A guy named Kevin Freshwater, was going up to strangers all over London and shoving a mic in their face while filming them and would yell “Finish the lyrics!” and then sing a little bit of a song. Strangers would either comply for a minute or walk on by and thats all fine and good BUT then…there is Charlotte Awbery. This stylish woman with the most VOLUMINOUS hair (She MUST Use the Revlon One Step thingy) came walking thru a Tube station (that is the SUBWAY you unworldly Americans you!) and apparently was a total stranger to Kevin who apparently just broke into the most MOST song ever and she was OFF. Girl killed it and a star is born right before our eyes. Whether planned or not, I don’t care because I was here for it and I loves her. She has almost 400K followers on Insta and has the elusive BLUE CHECK so it could just be a super smart marketing campaign, but either way she is fabulous and we loves her.

THE OG: StaceFace (TM)


I am not blessed with a singing voice or any real talents whatsoever (though I put together a MEAN cheese plate) but I do have ONE talent I am especially proud of. I have a super power in picking BADASS lady friends. Really, each and every one of them are superheroes in whatever world they are in it’s really amazing. So with that, may I bring you the incredible Stacey Bendet, the founder & CEO & Creative Director of the spectacular Alice & Olivia brand, as well as devoted mother, wife, yogi, fashion icon, and everything in between. I have known Stacey a long LONG time and have tried to capture just an ounce of her spirit…for example, she once showed up at a restaurant for dinner wearing roller skates. A feat in and of itself but most especially as there was a full on staircase she tackled go up with her skates on without missing a beat and LITERALLY rolled up to our table. SHERO. ANYWAY, Stacey sued Betsey Johnson owner Steve Madden (you remember, the guy who LITERALLY is a convicted felon who spent years in prison for securities fraud and also makes knock off shoes and so forth…) for stealing HER TRADEMARKED image, StaceFace(TM). Not only is this LITERALLY her face that is used throughout the Alice & Olivia brand, it is actually trademarked. So imagine her shock when it started appearing on Betsey Johnson pieces.

ANYWAY, here’s what happened. Stacey, with her young daughter in tow, apparently runs into Steve Madden in a public place. Stacey said something to him about the theft of her image and let’s just say that Steve Madden is NOT accustomed to a young woman standing up to him and he went off. He told her twice to go “F*** yourself,” but don’t take my word for it, it’s ALL on video. It’s actually a pretty devastating video for a bunch of reasons but if you have never experienced being a woman yelled at by a man in an overblown attacking way, well then here’s your shot. The fact Stacey stays cool and calm and doesn’t lose her cool which GOD KNOWS I would have, is a sight to see. Remember she has her 4 year old with her as Steve Madden does this. It’s shocking.

The video went viral, natch. And Steve apologized, double natch. But Stacey took it a step further and suggested the apology come with a $1 million donation to the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) to set up a fund to help protect designers from Trademark infringement. BALLER.



I am not sure we will ever have a PCM where VAGINA doesn’t make it in somehow. What is PCM anyway without vagina, vagina, vagina? Though, I will say I wasn’t expecting it to be MCDONALD’S to follow up on this candle trend, but I am not totally opposed to it. This week, Mickey D’s announced it is selling a candle pack, with the scents of all the ingredients of a quarter-pounder with cheese (let’s be clear, also a BIG MAC). SOME OF US may recall the trusty little jingle that ensures all of us of a certain generation (ahem) know EXACTLY what is in one of these TASTY fast food burgers. And in case you didn’t, well then ALLOW ME (AND I AM SORRY as this jingle will take over your brain):

ANYWAY, congratulations world as the candle pack has SOLD OUT. Many of us are too lazy to go vote so we can have an actual real chance at saving democracy BUT we are not too lazy to get us some MCDonald’s candles. So there’s that!

Like hotcakes….but eggs


I have tried to ignore this trend like really I swear I have ACTIVELY ignored it for as long as I can but my Twitter will not let me escape it, so now I must embrace this whole thing. I could blame Mike Isaac of The New York Times for bringing this to the top of my Twitter feed but…yeah actually, I think I will just blame him. While his Grub Street Diary came out a month ago…it is burning up my socials. These egg bite things have apparently been around since 2017, but like all good trends, they had a slow build up to massive awareness. Apparently if you are a Keto-obsessed person you are already WELL versed in these egg bite things as every single blog known to man has their own version so you can make them at home vs having to choose which Starbucks to go to within a 45 foot radius of wherever you are.

INCIDENTALLY, sous vide is a cooking technique that I know some of my hipster friends (ie you live in Brooklyn, ie Candy & Lyds) live by. According to Wikipedia (Donate to Wikipedia!) — it is a low temperature long time cooking — a method of cooking in which food is placed in a plastic pouch or a glass jar and cooked in a water bath for longer than usual cooking times at an accurately regulated temperature.

Anyway, thank you Mike Issac for sharing your shame in eating these but I can confirm, they are IN FACT delicious.



OK guys….I actually don’t even know where to begin on this one. Other than, I think mental health issues being used in a reality show is kind of a dark, sad, twisted thing but yet here we are and maybe ALL reality shows have it to some extent. That’s not to say Love is Blind isn’t highly addictive and those of us watching it are all seemingly questioning ourselves as to why we can’t stop but then thats why the people at Netflix are seemingly genius. Look, I will be the first to tell you I have made some QUESTIONABLE dating choices throughout my life but I can stand strong in the knowledge I have not gone down this road and therefore feel pretty good in my life choices. The premise is this:

  • A bunch of attractive and straight (well that’s also debatable as there is one guy who really wants to marry a lady but he also has a love for the boys but doesn’t think ladies need to know that UP FRONT but I digress again…) singles, are hosted by THE LACHEYS who I am ashamed I even know anything about but there you are, they host dating shows now.
  • Men and women are kept separate from the opposite sex in what seems like weird studio space designed by Ikea meets West Elm meets Design Within Reach. There is a bar and comfy couch areas and they all come to gossip about their “dates.”
  • The “Dates” are held in pods where we can see both people, but they cannot see each other. And they talk and connect EMOTIONALLY and before I have had the chance to even pour myself a 2nd glass of rosé we have couples saying I love you and proposing. In order to stay on the show seemingly, you have to propose so obviously the cameras then have to follow you on your journey.
  • Guys. We watch some batshit crazy storylines and there are some people who need therapy not a relationship and then we hear about the sex they have or don’t have and it just goes on from there. It’s reality show GOLD.
Made to be a toy


Some of you don’t know, but Elon Musk isn really one of the patron saints of PCM. I mean he is LITERALLY the embodiment of the perfect POP CULTURE ICON and I thank the world everyday for giving us this creature. When he announced his REAL -SIZED Tesla truck, I mean I would say it was NOT my fave of his recent announcements. It seemed silly TERMINATOR-esque as we saw it tearing off from the parking lot of Nobu Malibu which EVERYONE knows you go to make a scene.

BUT…then I saw the magical news out of ToyFair, the massive toy trade show, this week from our friends at Mattel. A HOT WHEELS TESLA TRUCK and it took my breath away. I have never wanted a HOT WHEELS IN MY LIFE but as our other patron saint, Paris Hilton, would say, “it’s HOT.” THE ONLY bad news is we have to wait til NEXT Christmas apparently, but then it is game on. BUT PLEASE MATTEL COME OUT SOONER THAN CHRISTMAS. Whoever gets me one first, I will love you forever. Mean it!!

OK, so wow..another week flies by! There were other stories this week that captivated the nation but I honestly need to jump on conference calls today and get back to my real job so I have just put the links to those stories below for you to explore!

  • Ben Affleck is back…again! He regrets his divorce, he maybe regrets weird back tattoo and he’s sober and he has been given a million chances but here we go again!
  • SOMETIMES politics is funny and this is freaking funny and I have done dramatic readings of these all weekend long and it’s a hit! Nicole Najafi tackles what dating the Democratic candidates would be like…and it’s genius:


  • Mayor Pete brings us the feels when a 9 year old boy asks him to help him come out. #BRAVELIKEYOU
  • The Queen of England has said her grandson and his wife who have moved to Canada cannot sell candles or any other MERCH under a ROYAL brand so there have been statements made and everyone is upset.

Until next week my Pop Culture Junkies….

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