Pop Culture Mondays/6.15.20
The 🌈 PRIDE Edition
HAPPY PRIDE my darling pop culture junkies! While it’s been a helluva week (weeks, months, year) and just when we felt real change was coming, we believed real progress was happening, we were sent back to the beginning it feels like with more needless killings of black people by cops. But, we do see a lot of people coming together in ways I have never seen in my 46 years and for that I am hopeful. This is my first Monday in LA and the few days I have been here I have already seen a sense of community I haven’t felt when I have been here before. And Pride has combined with Black Lives Matter protests and it just feels like people of all generations (there are exceptions to everything — I’m looking at you Karens and you crazy confederate flag loving bozos) but everyone else is coming together peacefully but with conviction and passion and anger and action and I don’t think that goes away. But I must admit, I have found myself looking for occasional escapes from the heaviness at times and for that I have been consumed by TikTok and there is a new trend involving parents spilling water on their babies which sounds really cruel and maybe it is but it is FUNNY AF and I could watch them all day. And actually, I have. I reallllly have:
So for those new to PCM, we really try to be a Trump-free zone (TRY) and some ask WHY when some of the biggest pop culture moments involve him for better or for worse and I will tell you why: BECAUSE I SAID SO and we need a break really. WE NEED A BREAK YOU GUYS. So think of this as a walk thru a candy store, or a cheese shop, or MedMen..whatever brings you joy.
NOT YOUR FATHER’S STAND-UP (AND WE ARE HERE FOR IT):
Dave Chappelle is truly one of the funniest comedians of ALL time. He’s fearless, brilliant, cutting, shocking, and human. But this week, it wasn’t his humor that made an impact, it was his 27 minute performance on Netflix called 8:46 — the amount of time George Floyd had a cop’s knee on his neck. So let me explain what this performance was as it wasn’t hyped (at least no place I saw) and we weren’t expecting it. It just sort of dropped out of the sky. AND THANK GOD IT DID. As Dave explained, this show really was making history as it was the first show of its kind in this pandemic. He was on a stage outside. People were seated (vs being in cars) but socially distanced apart. on a grassy field it seems. Everyone was wearing masks. And the stage was set back. A trip for the audience I am sure. But a hell of a trip for Dave Chappelle who as a performer I am sure has a certain relationship with his audience and proximity and so forth have always played a roll. So it was a trip.
He comes out smoking a cigarette and he just starts talking and talking about how weird it is to perform this way but he’s just going to do it and then he just starts talking about George Floyd and how he’s not even sure what to say but then you KNOW he has a lot to say. Somehow, Chappelle has an incredible gift to speak to where your heart stops but at the same time your heart rate accelerates, I cannot really explain it. But I didn’t breathe for a bit but my heart was racing. It’s not stand up comedy, per se. It’s more of an oral critique of what is happening in the world today. Though there were funny parts, I MEAN MY LORD HE EVISCERATES Don Lemon and Candace Owens in a way I had to legit pick my jaw off the floor. Two people with two very different views on very different sides who are spared NOTHING (rightfully so) by Chappelle. In fact, his criticism of Lemon calling out celebrities to speak up and have a voice, was perfect IMHO (that’s short for IN MY HUMBLE OPINION for those of you who have never ever known what this stands for and I KNOW there are some of you..)
“DO you want to see a celebrity right now? Do we give a FUCK about what Ja Rule thinks? Does it matter about celebrity? NO! This is the streets talking for themselves, they don’t NEED me right now!
As I have said here before, if you haven’t watched “Chappelle’s Show” before, I encourage you to do so (here are some amazing clips) . And anything he has ever done — including his role in “A Star is Born” which was unexpected but the role that humanized the characters because Chappelle just HAS THAT THING that brings things to a level thats necessary.
ANYWAY, both Lemon and Owens apparently took his criticism in stride, surprisingly. I mean Candace Owens is a ridiculous human but she made a smart move by saying it’s important to be able to laugh at yourself so CALL ME SHOCKED AT THAT. Because, she’s right after all.
So nothing more important that watching this when you can. Nothing.
For many of you, your Instagram feeds on Sunday, began being flooded with pics of President Obama. Was it his birthday? Nope. Is there an actual holiday for Obama? Nope. (Well, not yet.) So, YES we are Trump-free here, but this is important. It was HIS birthday yesterday, June 14th. You know those videos of kids who have birthday parties but no one shows up and your heart breaks for them and then the local fire department comes with the whole team and bring presents and your heart melts? Yeah so EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE OF THAT. No one wants to celebrate that guy’s birthday — NOT EVEN his wife — and no one is crying over it, but humans are amazing. And instead, decided to celebrate Obama in their feeds and call this day and we HOPE every June 14th moving forward: OBAMA DAY. No, it was not his birthday, which is actually August 4th (I mean OF COURSE he is a Leo, am I right?) Now, there was some talk this was under a hashtag “All Birthdays Matter” which makes no actual sense here so I am choosing to ignore that whole situation.
The point is, there were SO many pics of Obama flying around. Some of us used photos we had the honor of having taken with him…like mine for example which I am SHAMELESSLY showing off but let me give you some context:
This picture was taken on a snowy March day in 2017 and taken by the incredible photographer Danny Clinch. My friend Reyna and I were given an incredible opportunity by a friend to arrange a video message of the President for a friend’s upcoming birthday. This was only a few months into the new President’s term, and rights of women, the LGBT community and immigrants were all in danger so I wore my amazing WOMAN sweater by Bella Freud which he commented on and I nearly fainted, but I digress.
We were told we would have a few minutes with the President — that turned into a very chill 45 minutes where we laughed and he told us stories and we gossiped about mutual friends and then of course as it was coming to a close, we cried to him. I VERY NEARLY pulled a move a toddler would do when her parents were going out and leaving her with the mean old lady babysitter— I actually envisioned falling to the floor and wrapping my arms around his ankle begging him not to leave us. PLEASE DON’T LEAVE US. I don’t even think his Secret Service detail would have stopped it as everyone was IN THAT ZONE.
Alas, my parents came back eventually to relieve the old mean babysitter when I was a kid. That’s NOT how this story ends, BUT we all have these amazingly beautiful and inspirational pics to get us thru.
J.K. ROWLING HAS BEEN CANCELLED:
While we can be grateful to Rowling for giving us the brilliant and fun world of Harry Potter and Hogwarts and Quidditch and Muggles and when it’s safe to go back to theme parks (don’t go back yet guys, seriously) RUN TO UNIVERSAL in Orlando and go to the Harry Potter World as it is TRULY the most incredible and fun experience ever and buy yourself a $100 wand that unlocks things throughout the park but nowhere else so years after you spent that $100 you STILL think about it and have anxiety…but I digress..
For SOME reason which only Rowling and her therapist know, she decided to publicize her belief that trans women aren’t women and as an advocate of women’s rights she just seemingly felt the need to share this viewpoint — about her fear of trans women using women’s bathrooms, among other things. I mean, if this was not a cry for attention at the moment when the world does NOT need this ridiculous commentary but somehow she felt it was her duty. I am not sure of the psychology behind her outburst, but people erupted, including the actors who became famous for playing her characters Harry Potter, Hermione and Ron Weasely. Some took umbrage with them speaking out, claiming they were biting the hand that feeds them, and Emma Watson in particular was criticized for being an outspoken feminist and not supporting Rowling (CIRCLES YOU GUYS. Circles.) BUT they did NOT stand down.
Here’s the deal. For whatever reason, Rowling has chosen Transphobia as her platform. Not against transphobia NOPE — but very very very very much FOR IT. This is not new, she has been sharing her feelings for years whether liking transphobic posts on Insta or making stupid comments in other arenas. It is hard for us to imagine a person with so much creative genius, could also be an asshole. But there is nothing new to this concept. Some of the most famous painters and sculptors and filmmakers and scientists and actors, are also terrible people with ignorant views. Can we separate their art from their beliefs? SHOULD WE? Anyway, she is claiming these are her viewpoints due to her own experience with domestic violence and I KNOW it takes a lot for me to connect the dots even when it was one of those connect the dot books where you literally go from 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 and I would mess it up, BUT this is really reallllllly hard for me to connect the dots on. She doubled down when criticized and I am just exhausted by the whole thing. Trans Women ARE Women. Full Stop.
ANYWAY, here is her blog post about it, ironically with a warning this is not suitable for children — a children’s writer but OK girl maybe a sign you should just stick to writing children’s stories and keep it at that:
J.K. Rowling Writes about Her Reasons for Speaking out on Sex and Gender Issues - J.K. Rowling
Warning: This piece contains inappropriate language for children. This isn't an easy piece to write, for reasons that…
And here are some pieces that helped me understand a lot:
Harry Potter Fans Reimagine Their World Without Its Creator
When J.K. Rowling was accused of transphobia about two years ago for "liking" a tweet that referred to transgender…
A lot of you know my love for Lizzo. LIZZO as a performer. A creator. A spectacular flutist. A Fashionista. As a woman who really has tapped into the mindset of the moment…or maybe truly has helped define that mindset…which is LOVE YOURSELF. Take pride in yourself. Be accepting of others. Be transparent with others. Work hard. Play hard. Bring people up. Don’t bring them down. And she has an incredible platform that helps spread that mindset and positivity to everyone it touches.
So this past week, she did it again. After facing some haters who made nasty comments about her, she set the record straight on TikTok. I am telling you, this was the week I finally really became consumed with TikTok so please don’t mind me as I work on exploring how to do all those clever TikToks, but again I digress I know. Here is Lizzo being Queen:
And I think that’s the lessen whether for JK Rowling or all the Karens and all the people protesting AGAINST BLACK LIVES MATTER — I will close with Lizzo’s quote here:
“A lot of y’all need a fucking cleanse for your INSIDES…” 👏
AND THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS….
I am now writing this from the West Coast for the foreseeable future which means have mercy on me on Mondays because I start writing at 5AM. I am on my 4th coffee and my dog is looking at me like he is going to trade me in for the owners of the realllly fancy house up the street from me which I actually would understand TBH (this stands for TO BE HONEST for those of you who have never known what this means but were to embarrassed to ask…)
Despite the trauma of the week, here were some moments of light:
- After 100 years, Band-Aid FINALLY had the brilliant idea to come out with Band-aids for all skin tones. I mean it’s weird to celebrate something that is so shockingly LATE but look, it’s progress.
Band-Aid Is Finally Adding Brown and Black Skin Tones-But People Are Questioning What Took So Long
This week Band-Aid announced it would be expanding the shade offerings in their products-but many are rightfully asking…
- NASCAR has made the most surprising move this week and that is BAN the Confederate Flag. I mean OBVIOUSLY this should have been done long ago, but NASCAR (For the love of sweet little baby Jesus watch “Talladega Nights” if you have never done so. And if you have, watch it again now.)
Anyway, they did this despite knowing a GREAT many of their fans would be horrified and they did it anyway. Oh and they have publicly stated it’s ok to kneel during National Anthem. THIS IS CHANGE you guys. NASCAR?!
For black NASCAR fans, the Confederate flag ban is welcome but long overdue
Growing up in the middle of nowhere, Marc Wiley said he had two choices for recreation: "Go fast and shoot stuff."
- And because WE ALL NEED THIS:
Until next week my Pop Culture Junkies…I know I have skipped over some things…I assure you, TOTALLY intentional. Like all the upheaval and cancelling of executives at media companies and beyond (note these are mostly women being cancelled so we should really be looking at THAT situation, but I will leave that to professionals for now. Anyway, please stay SAFE. Wear 😷 when you are out in public and be kind to one another.
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