Pop Culture Mondays/6.8.20

The BLACK LIVES MATTER Edition

Welcome to my brain…

Well. How are YOU doing? We had quite the week guys. I don’t know about you but I have lived more emotions in a week than I even knew existed. Certainly more than I ever knew I had. I mean I actually cried and laughed at the same time. Not a “laughing so hard I cried” situation but I was ACTUALLY crying and then someone made me laugh but I was still crying it was just that kind of week. I came back to a different NYC than the one I left almost 3 months earlier…and despite all the boarded up storefronts and a couple burned out cars, there was beauty to it and I don’t mean that in a “I find beauty in all ugly things” kind of way either. People came together. On the corner of 9th and 6th Avenue for example, an amazing band was rocking out and everyone was dancing with one another (though I am worried about the lack of social distancing but I digress…) and the protests were huge and peaceful and it just felt different. It felt like real change could come and there is REAL HOPE. I am ignoring the pictures of the dumb ass white people standing there with their guns all lined up as BLM protestors walked by because those people LEGITIMATELY do not count in society. I am talking about real change, and I am HERE for it.

So, another maybe heavier than normal PCM but then again, WHAT is normal these days? For those new subscribers, we reallllly try to remain TRUMP-free as much as we can. But as always, PCM is meant to be candy for our soul or whatever your “LEGAL IN MOST STATES” vice may be. Mine happens to be a mix between ALL cheese, Rosé, and Haribo Gummy Bears so it’s a bit all over the place. Also, I am actually MOVING today like legit movers are coming soon so send me thoughts and prayers and that is why PCM is a bit earlier than normal this week. Happy PCMing…

Black Square/Big drama

BLACKOUT TUESDAY:

So much has happened this week that it is a tad daunting to try to write about it all so I am choosing to start with the thing that TOOK over everyone’s Instagram, that black square. Let me back up for a second as there is a lot of misinformation flying around. Blackout Tuesday was a spin off of a movement created with the intent of making Tuesday a day of reflection. And it didn’t start out as Blackout Tuesday — it started within the music world with companies like Live Nation (disclosure I work with Live Nation and I love Live Nation) and Spotify announcing on Monday that they would cease operations on Tuesday to mark the death of George Floyd and it had the hashtag, #theshowmustbepaused. There were rumors that this was manufactured by a record label for cynical reasons, but according to reports I read including The New York Times, which this is quoted from:

“…was the brainchild of two black women who work in music marketing, Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang.”

This was a movement meant to get the music world to take pause and acknowledge and help its employees AND executives to learn and to be heard and to be seen and to come together to actually gets things CHANGED. This was about taking a day to educate, to be educated, to reflect. This was all going on while protests were getting bigger.

Blackout Tuesday grew FROM this movement into something else entirely…from the Black Boxes on Instagram to many brands and media companies taking to social media as well as changing their home pages to announce their support of Blackout Tuesday and it felt like for a moment, everyone was together.

Or not.

While I was liking every black square on my Instagram feed to show support, and in fact posted one myself, I was then alerted to the fact you shouldn’t tag it with #blacklivesmatter which makes sense as it was clogging up the hashtag so people couldn’t see real content for BLM and important news and alerts. But then people started criticizing the black boxes in general.

And side note — look, posting a black box on Instagram DOES NOT MAKE YOU AN ACTIVIST. Just like these people are NOT activists:

But my take was that it was starting a conversation and bringing people together and to see your screen filled with black boxes from people all over the world I thought it was powerful but only if there was more education and more action (DONATE HERE) and more of everything that came with it. I understand it angered or annoyed a lot of people but that in itself was good because we were ALL talking about it.

BUT, and a GIGANTIC BUT, by just posting a pic or tweeting a tweet -it’s not enough and if that’s all we do, it’s just performative. And that does nothing. We need to educate ourselves. We need to take action. We need to sign petitions. We need to raise awareness. We need to donate. We need to vote. We need to get involved in public service. We need to get involved in GENERAL. We need to change.

ROUNDUP:

I obviously am not a journalist or a columnist so I am not going to try to tackle ALL things Black Lives Matter nor weigh in on things that already have covered by the professionals, but I wanted to highlight some of the incredible things that came out this week from images to videos to stories that captivated us. So let’s go:

This video is about 40 minutes. But I urge you to take the time to watch it. Take the time, because I promise you it is worth it. Janaya Khan, known to many as Future, is the co-founder of Black Lives Matter Canada and according to Khan’s bio, “Khan is a Black, queer, gender-nonconforming activist, staunch Afrofuturist, boxer, and social-justice educator.” And really the first person in recent memory that took my breath away. Janaya’s quote on privilege has been used a lot, and that’s because it is perfect.

“Privilege isn’t what you HAVE gone through. It’s about what you HAVEN’T had to go through.”

And Janaya talks about this in this video and in this moment when there is so much rage and fatigue and frustration and when more and more white people are trying to figure out what to do…well, start by watching this video.

I mean….this PHOTO. I don’t really have the words. These ballerinas who are 14 btw…FOURTEEN…are in front of the defaced (as it should be) Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond, Virginia.

Happy Happy Birthday Breonna.

The murder of George Floyd kicked off a revolution. Because everyone has had enough. There have been too many murders at the hands of over-zealous racist police.

I guarantee you, if the Louisville, Kentucky cops had a tip that a drug dealer was in MY apartment, they wouldn’t break my door down without knocking, without identifying themselves as cops and they wouldn’t shoot me, while I was holding NO weapon whatsoever and was not even the suspect they were looking for, 8 times. Breonna was an emergency room tech who had a beautiful and bright future ahead of her. She had been gearing up to help people sick with COVID-19 when she was murdered on March 13th. And on her 27th birthday this week, she was celebrated and so many people wanted to make sure she was not forgotten in this revolution. #Sayhername.

Here are some things you can do:

This has massively surpassed the goal and I hope it grows more:

Kenny DeForest is a stand up comic and writer and actor and he is ONE HELLUVA a storyteller. He tells us in a thread on Twitter about a night in 2015 when Dave Chappelle came into a comedy club to a show that Kenny was hosting and, well you just have to read it. It takes place at the time following another murder of a black man in America, Eric Garner, at the hands of cops. But basically, Dave Chappelle is a HELL OF A GUY. (PS: If you have not seen the Rick James bit which I am sort of referencing here from the DAVE CHAPPELLE SHOW, here you go you HAVE TO though not suitable for children or anyone near you really.)

NEVER did I think I was going to be a K-pop fan but after this whole thing, not only am I fan, I am a fan of THEIR fans. Because they are VICIOUS in all the right ways. Read the story above but basically fans saw a Twitter account of Dallas police asking people to send videos of people behaving badly at protests and the fans decided to attack…they flooded the responses with videos and pics of K-pop so as to make it impossible for cops to see the videos of protestors.

And then some crazy racist stuff on Twitter (I refuse to re-hash here as it doesn’t deserve oxygen) which BY THE WAY SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO BE ON THE TWITTER (ahem, Jack Dorsey) and the K-pop fans went NUTS and it blew up all around the world and these crazy racists lost their voices as they were replaced by K-pop everywhere. Super group, BTS, then announced a $1 million donation to BLACK LIVES MATTER. And then their fans….MATCHED IT. Can you even? In like a day. I want to be a member of the BTS ARMY!! Probably weird as a woman in her 40s but a girl can dream.

Lady G

SORRY NOT SORRY:

You were NOT expecting this were you? Like WTF? Lindsey Graham in PCM? This is Trump-Free zone so what IS he doing here?? Well my darling readers, this isn’t about the current president. WELL not really, other than this whole story would never have taken place if Lady G (more on that soon) hadn’t sold his soul to the devil to support Trump in every which way (or more likely, protecting himself from whatever videos Trump-team HAVE of Senator Graham doing awful, terrible, NASTY things.) BUT, I digress.

For my non-America readers, the above is Senator Lindsey Graham, a senator from South Carolina and remarkably similar to a character on True Blood, or really any horror movie with blood sucking vampires. Hat Tip to my pal Justin who alerted me to what ALL OF GAY TWITTER was talking about and that, my friends, is LADY G.

So, it’s widely believed that Lindsey Graham is gay and in the closet. Nothing surprising there. HOWEVER, what IS surprising is that he is a self-loathing one clearly as he is as anti-LGBT as they get (he wasn’t always terrible by the way). After being vehemently against the current president prior to the election, he did one of the biggest 180’s in recent memory and became his staunchest supporter. ALSO widely believed that this is definitely due to some crazy dark shit the administration has on him. (I urge you not to let your mind wander to what this could be as it can get very dark.) And as so many of us have wondered, “WHAT CAN WE DO TO MAKE THIS ALL END,” I give you Sean Harding. Sean Harding is an adult film star…PLEASE NOTE, his Twitter is a mix between activism and hardcore porn SO just maybe be warned on that….who tweeted this thread that stopped Gay Twitter in its tracks:

And people started sharing their own personal stories. The “LG” who Sean references is OBVIOUSLY Lindsey Graham, who is apparently known as Lady G by ALL the gay sex workers he has hired. Now, look…it’s not ok to OUT someone ever* — *HOWEVER, there is a caveat for people who are actively trying to suppress the rights of the gay community. Then it’s like, YOU GO BOO.

Apparently Senator Graham has hired a LOT of sex workers and they are coming out. AND side note, Senator Graham apparently — NO SHOCK HERE — the self loathing Senator from South Carolina, makes everyone sign NDAs. ANYWAY, I cannot wait to see where this story goes so GRAB SOME POPCORN.

DEAR CLASS OF 2020:

WE NEED WARM AND FUZZY after that last post because that was some dark shit. SO may I present you with YouTube’s 4 hour virtual commencement for the class of 2020. I THINK this was made with the help of the Obamas as many people referenced that on their videos but PLEASE correct me if I am wrong here.

Yes, there was another graduation ceremony done a few weeks ago and it took over prime time and I cried if you recall. BIG BIG TEARS when our President, Barack Obama, spoke to us. So here we are AGAIN in a 4 hour masterpiece brought to us by YouTube (Google trying to be less evil and I am cool with it!) This LITERALLY had all of my favorite people who have been FAVE topics in PCM before:

  • The Obamas
  • Alicia Keys
  • Beyoncé
  • Bono
  • David Rose, his sister Alexis Rose and family and friends from “SCHITT’S CREEK”
  • BTS (remember I am a super fan now)
  • Lady Gaga

I thought I would skim through it but NOPE, I watched all 4 hours (a good excuse to avoid packing boxes) and I loved it. As ALL amazing things tend to be, it was kicked off by Alicia Keys. Who let us know that some of the videos were filmed before this past week when everything changed which was important context. But there are a lot of videos that were clearly re-done to reflect what’s happening today. Here are some of my fave clips:

And this…brought me to tears. Bono, I love you friend. And I love this version of Beautiful Day.

And finally, ROSE FAMILY, I LOVE YOU SO SO SO SO MUCH. Watch this whole clip to the end I promise you.

And if you want to watch the whole thing:

OK so I have gotten in the habit of posting some of my favorite things each week but honestly, everything above WERE MY FAVORITE THINGS this week. I have nothing left. I am depleted. I have laughed and cried and sobbed and raged and I did this ALL while on a week long detox so I did NOT have my beloved rosé and cheese to lean on but I made it thru because of all of the above. Now, next week’s PCM will be coming from my new location of West Hollywood which is all sorts of weird because I am a NYC girl thru and thru so wish me luck. I am moving for a better life for my dog Potato because THAT IS WHAT WE DO.

Until next week my Pop Culture Junkies ….PLEASE get involved everyone. Have a voice. Don’t stand on the sidelines. And share the love. As Alicia Keys said in her BREATHTAKING, AWE INSPIRING performance at the grammy’s this year (WATCH IT OVER AND OVER):

“It when good people do NOTHING that the bad guys win.”

If you aren’t already a subscriber and want this in your inbox please send an email to: subscribe@popculturemondays.com or CLICK SUBSCRIBE HERE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS NEWSLETTER! AND PLEASE SHARE THIS!! With your friends, your NEMESIS, your family, your Instagram dog. Whoever.

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