Pop Culture Mondays/9.12.22

The “God Save the Queen and God Save the King” Edition

Welcome to my brain…

HAPPY Monday my darling pop culture junkies. I AM BACK and I have to say I feel like I have been gone a month or two so it might take me a minute to get my groove back. Though to be honest, as much as I love you and love this newsletter, I could easily have given it all up to stay on the beaches of Mallorca swimming naked in the sea, day in and day out. It is really not a bad life. But thank you for waiting for me. Of ALL the weeks to take off, I sure picked a few busy ones. And if I tried to tackle all of it, I would be writing straight through til next Monday and still not even scratch the surface to be honest. SOME of the things that happened while I was away:

  • The Corn Song (we will get to it)
  • Drew Barrymore singing in the rain was apparently racist. (Do I have to get to this?)
  • Johnny Depp showed up at the VMAs and was celebrated. Maybe slightly tacky?
  • Harry, Olivia, Flo, Chris Pine DRAMA-O-RAMA. We will MOST def get to it below.
  • Foo Fighters concert at Wembley honoring Taylor Hawkins. Yup…more on that.
  • BURNING MAN. Look…it’s a NO for me. The only way I will go to Burning Man…and trust me a lot of people do it this way…is if I had a luxury set up, rose all day and a shower. THAT said, I would much prefer to do all of that where there are no people and dust. So the only thing to say abou0t this is Burning Man TikTok is where you go to learn the world is in fact ending soon. I REFUSE TO POST!
  • THE LEO MEMES. Yes…that’s how long I have been gone…those things were clogging up our socials only a short while. And if you forgot, don’t worry…I shall remind you.

But, before we get into any of that, let’s talk the Queen. Specifically, some of the memes, reactions and so forth making the rounds. And if you are new here…welcome. I am coming in to you HOT from Huntingon Beach, CA where I am attending and appearing at the amazing FUTURE PROOF Festival which is bringing together great minds from finance, fintech and just tech tech! I will be doing my pod this week FROM the Festival where it will be recorded LIVE in front of an audience so send your thoughts and prayers.

Grab some headphones and enjoy…

RIP

GRIEF IS THE PRICE OF LOVE:

I don’t know ALL of my readers, but I believe that a MAJORITY of you are under 70 years old. NOT all of you, I happen to know but a great many of you. And therefore, you have never lived without the Queen of England. And we will never see another stand-alone Queen in our lifetime. She was just always there. And even though I am only an Anglophile and not an actual citizen of the UK or the Commonwealth, I did have a great admiration for her. I mean the sacrifice she had to make for a role she was not born for initially, was obvious. Come at me about all the money and privilege and how that is NOT hard…but not being able to live a private life, having everything you or your family do covered in the press. Every up and down. Every drama or heartache. Every single rumor being explored and reported on to the extreme. I could not imagine a life worse. During her reign, there were 14 US Presidents and 15 Prime Ministers (JUST BARELY) and while her role was mainly ceremonial, there were a LOT of ceremonies. She saw her life and the lives of her family past and present become the subject of INNUMBERABLE movies and shows and books and she watched family members die tragically and yet, she always stayed the course. She gave her life to service and what a beautiful thing and a tragic thing it all is. And losing her, I don’t know…does it bring up loss you have had personally? I found myself being particularly nostalgic for my parents and grandparents and thinking about all the moments we shared together like gathering around the TV in the early hours in NY watching Diana and Charles marry. I remember wanting to read the tell-all book on Diana when I was in high school and my mom would not let the book into her home.

“That trash has NO business here”, she would say.

Which is saying a lot because I had convinced my mom to let me read V.C. Andrews “Flowers in the Attic”. Princess Diana died just a couple of months after my Mom and I remember how obsessed I was watching every second of the coverage and the pain I felt for those boys and the brother’s inappropriate speech at the funeral and the anger I felt for the Queen who initially showed no emotion and drove the public MENTAL.

But then she did something we all saw. She changed. She EVOLVED. NOT easy to do when you have been raised a certain way, that stiff upper lip, and the world modernized around you but you still have horse-drawn carriages and crowns. BUT…she evolved. She allowed her family to evolve. So when I saw all the outrage directed at her on the day she died, it made me sad. First of all, there is a time and place. Second of all, this was a woman who ushered her family and legacy into the modern world. What was ok 50 years ago, is not ok today. Hell, what was ok 10 years ago is not ok today. The Empire was a terrible thing for so many. Colonialism was BAD. FULL STOP. BUT…to wish a woman pain and suffering upon her death, well to me seems just as backwards thinking as the old ways of the world. SO…with that…let’s get into some of the social response and memes…and why I think we will begin to see a pendulum shift for Harry and Meghan….IF they play their cards right.

For those of you who want me to talk about the social media platform growing in popularity, BeReal, I am not ready to give in yet. But if you know, you know:

This is combining two PCM stories this week…so if you don’t get this…that means you DEF have to keep reading to find out:

And this was a way to comment on the issues with the monarchy in general without being gross:

Brands got into it for some reason:

Like WHAT?

I am sure she appreciates this….😳

Then some just weird ones:

(I think Cher meant to have the GOAT emoji but instead, she chose…the bull)

This one brings in the book I talked about a few weeks ago that I thought was amazing but….

AND….this was my fave:

WE DO HAVE A NEW HEART THROB THOUGH. RED ALERT.

Thanks to Charles now being King, along comes his EQUERRY, Major Jonny Thompson. Equerries are responsible for the detailed planning and execution of the royals’ daily programs. WE all need one me thinks. But let’s gaze up Major Jonny…

OK so they misidentified him in this but you get the idea.

And I did say earlier I think it is possible for the tides to turn and the world will begin to realize maybe they have been unfair to Meghan and Harry (though look, they have to stop doing dumb shit too, to be fair.) BUT…the socials going crazy over Harry opening and closing the door for Meghan while Prince William is like yeah yeah you got it love…

And then lastly, in honor of the amazing life of the Queen:

WTF IS HAPPENING????

“DON’T WORRY DARLING” BUT EVERYONE IS WORRYING:

Not since Baby Yoda himself, have so many people reached out asking me to explain wtf is going on with this whole storyline. I mean I have received dozens and dozens of messages on this. Most asked me to explain ALL OF IT and my response has always been, “How much time do you have?” So here we are. I will first start this by saying there are a LOT of layers. Just when you think you have it figured out, another storyline pops up. I will also say that this picture is upsetting to me for one reason and one reason only → Harry’s collar and Blue jacket with black pants are just a step too far. It’s not ok.

But I digress.

THIS WHOLE MOVIE drama is a movie itself. It will be fascinating to see if this translates into dollars…like how many people are going to see it who otherwise wouldn't have because of the drama? Or vice versa. We shall see. OK let’s get into it.

I am going to bring you our cast of characters first so you are not confused:

THIS is Olivia Wilde. She is an actress and director. Her first film she directed was the fabulous Booksmart which was delightful. She is the director of this new movie with all the drama, Don’t Worry Darling.

THIS is my boyfriend Harry Styles. No we don’t need an intro but look, he’s adorable so it’s a joy. He first came onto the scene on a reality talent show and was put into a boy band by Simon Cowell in said show and BAM, ONE DIRECTION was born. We have seen Harry act a bit here and there before but this is his first lead.

This is Florence Pugh aka MISS FLO as we all call her. I needed this photo in particular because this was her outfit to the premiere in Venice and I am obsessed. She is the other lead in this film playing opposite Harry.

AHHH…this is the dashing and quirky and I would imagine ALWAYS stoned Chris Pine. He’s a great actor and you have seen him in a lot of movies like Star Trek. BUT in case you still can’t place him…I ASSURE you, you know his daddy. Becase you watched CHiPs back in the day when you were home sick from school…..and ladies and gents let me show you…

HELLO DADDY

And finally…

We have the troubled actor Shia Labeouf who is NOT in the film but has a starring role in this whole drama.

Let us begin unravelling the layers and full disclosure I am piecing it together best I can…I don’t know ANYONE in this situation and I am not in the movie biz and I am telling you what is unfolding in the public as I have NO idea what is actually happening behind the scenes. But trying to CLIFF NOTES version this for you and explain the memes.

WHEN HARRY MET OLIVIA….

Olivia was in a long term relationship and has children with America’s Favorite UK Soccer coach, Ted Lasso aka Jason Sudekis.

Everyone assumes all is ok as we come to love Ted Lasso and friends. Olivia is getting ready to direct her next film with that amaze cast as I said above. Shia was out (more on that later) and it was reported in breathless ways, Harry Styles had joined the cast.

Then things took off. We began hearing mumblings…there were rumors coming out of the set that Olivia and Harry were more than director/actor and had become something more. NOW…here’s a little glimpse into that world. I had a relationship at one point in my life with a writer/director who we shall not name. Usually not a good sign when they name a nazi after you in a movie but weirdly, it didn’t end there. I DIGRESS. But when we first started seeing one another and we went to the premiere he pulled me aside to tell me that the main actress MIGHT not be that nice to me and I should just ignore it. “Why won’t she be nice to me?” I asked feeling INSANELY insecure at that moment. “Because, leads always fall in love with their directors. They allow themselves to be directed by us and in order to do so they have to let themselves completely go and we become their everything and that can be confusing emotions for some…”

Our relationship didn’t stick (PHEW) but those words stay with me.

But we are soon introduced to our new fave relationship…a woman who is ten years older than the beloved eccentric pop star and is our definition of Boho everything…

I cannot tell you how much I stared at this photo and tried to recreate this look (it’s not a look for me FYI, like I cannot pull it off). But they are a couple and we watch her dancing at Harry’s shows, we have seen fans tear her apart and call her grandma on TikTok and we watched (and wrote about here) Olivia be served CUSTODY papers in front of hundreds of people on stage at a film festival while cameras were filming. Not Jason Sudekis’ finest move but we hear he is “DIFFICULT” just an FYI. Ted Lasso fell QUITE a few notches I will say.

OK ok…you’re like, “I KNOW THIS PART. TELL ME ABOUT THE SPITTING!!!” I am getting there.

So, rumors began swirling ages ago if you live on gossip accounts like Deux Moi, that things between Miss Flo and Olivia were not good. ICY even.

I imagine Flo saying this to Olivia:

But again, these were just rumors. Fans noticed Flo had not yet said anything about the film on her socials. She had not mentioned it at all in press. Silence was deafening. There were a lot of theories but the one that kept rising to the top was that Flo, who was dating Zach Braff for a long time, was very upset when Olivia started seeing Harry on the set of the movie. Apaprently, Flo and Zach were close with Jason and the gossip is she was horrified when she watched this unfold behind his back. Now, there is some reporting that Olivia and Jason had split beforehand but no one really knows as of yet. But also, if that custody battle episode is any indication, Jason is an asshole.

I digress. AGAIN.

But the gossip and theories grow more each and every day about the drama between Flo and Olivia. Olivia talks about Florence being “a force” in interviews but that’s all we get and again, Florence says nothing. Other things start to come out about the film, mainly a lot of criticism for Harry’s accent in whatever it is supposed to be. NO ONE KNOWS.

SO let’s get back to the press. Remember Shia? Yes so it was reported he was fired from the film because he was not getting on with cast and crew and that’s how we got us Harry. Shia was in the middle of this gnarly battle with ex FKA Twigs who had accused him of physical and emotional abuse detailed here in the New York Times:

I could imagine it would be difficult to get anyone to want to work with him at that time but apparently that was the plan. Now, Olivia has been saying Shia was fired in interviews. And that would have been fine and good EXCEPT, Shia took issue with it and claims he quit due to lack of rehearsal time (which also sounds like BS tbh) and well….we have VIDEO. So first, here is what Shia wrote to Olivia (and then released to Variety):

Olivia,

I hope this finds you inspired, purposeful, fulfilled & well. I pray every night that you & your family have health, happiness, & everything God would give me. No joke, every night before I sleep.

I have a little girl, Isabel; she is five months old and just beginning to develop the last half of her laugh; it’s AMAZING. Mia, my wife & I have found each other again & are journeying toward a healthy family with love and mutual respect.

I have embarked on a journey that feels redemptive & righteous (dirty word but fitting). I write to you now with 627 days of sobriety and a moral compass that never existed before my great humbling that was the last year and a quarter of my life. I reached out to you a few months ago to make amends; & I still pray one day, you can find space in your heart to forgive me for the failed collaboration we shared.

What inspired this email today is your latest Variety story. I am greatly honored by your words on my work; thank you, that felt good to read. I am a little confused about the narrative that I was fired, however. You and I both know the reasons for my exit. I quit your film because your actors & I couldn’t find time to rehearse. I have included as a reminder the screenshots of our text exchange on that day, and my text to Tobey.

I know that you are beginning your press run for DWD and that the news of my firing is attractive clickbait, as I am still persona-non-grata and may remain as such for the rest of my life. But, speaking of my daughter, I often think about the news articles she will read when she is literate. And though I owe, and will owe for the rest of my life, I only owe for my actions.

My failings with Twigs are fundamental and real, but they are not the narrative that has been presented. There is a time and a place to deal with such things, and I am trying to navigate a nuanced situation with respect for her and the truth, hence my silence. But this situation with your film and my “firing” will never have a court date with which to deal with the facts. If lies are repeated enough in the public they become truth. And so, it makes it that much harder for me to crawl out of the hole I have dug with my behaviors, to be able to provide for my family.

Firing me never took place, Olivia. And while I fully understand the attractiveness of pushing that story because of the current social landscape, the social currency that brings. It is not the truth. So I am humbly asking, as a person with an eye toward making things right, that you correct the narrative as best you can. I hope none of this negatively effects you, and that your film is successful in all the ways you want it to be.

Every Blessing To You,

Shia

I mean….that’s some email. But wait…there is more. There is a video message from Olivia to Shia that seemingly shows her pleading with him to stay and throwing a WEE bit of shade onto Miss Flo:

And let me say this…even if Olivia had none of this going on, the crowd was slowly turning on her because society tbh. Young fans of Harry did not like seeing him loved up and certainly not with someone NOT like them…an older woman with kids? NOPE. So they were already turning and then they were given this and it was a feeding frenzy. Bloggers, creators, everyone turned into “OLIVIA IS A LIAR” people and it was not pretty to watch.

THEN came Venice Film Festival. Was Florence going? Was Harry? What will they do? Well CUE the drama. We learned that Florence would make the photo call but NOT the press conference. She was there for red carpet and the screening and then dashed back to another European country to resume filming her new movie. But she made quite the appearance with two outfits that sent socials mental:

There was a lot of analysis like this:

And then the fans started going crazy over whether Olivia and Harry MAY have broken up as the trusty TikTok detectives watched every move:

OK so that’s all unfolding in front of our eyes…we have CHRIS PINE enter the conversation. Look, before now, I had forgotten he was even in the movie…sorry Chris! BUT NO MORE. So before the spitting (we are ALMOST there) we had a press conference where Chris was I HOPE having a wild trip of some kind and realized he maybe took TOO much LSD right at the moment the cameras started rolling but the images were too good:

BUT THEN….we get the money shot. Harry and Chris in an interview together and Harry, sweet little nugget, decides to give his take on why the movie is great…because you guys, “it feels like a movie!” You can see Chris’ soul actually leave his body. Check out his neck like he is CLENCHING during this:

Next up, you have the red carpet moment and Florence and Olivia don’t engage and Olivia and Harry don’t engage…we have these press conferences come out and NOW….we have out grand finale….

It took me a few times to catch it but it def seems like Harry spit at Chris’ crotch and Chris looked down with amusement back at Harry like WTF. But my take is different than the masses…to me it seems like they are lads, as they say, who mess with each other. It feels Clooney and Pitt back in the day. I thought it seemed endearing, but the world went mad.

I mean it became late night fodder like:

And then Harry, back at the Garden in NYC, commented and made the world ok again:

And then ultimately Chris Pine people had to issue a statement to People Magazine:

“This is a ridiculous story — a complete fabrication and the result of an odd online illusion that is clearly deceiving and allows for foolish speculation.”

They added: “Just to be clear, Harry Styles did not spit on Chris Pine. There is nothing but respect between these two men and any suggestion otherwise is a blatant attempt to create drama that simply does not exist.”

SO there we are. Like I said…LAYERS. Meanwhile I personally cannot wait to see this movie regardless of the reviews and I hope Olivia and Harry are blissfully together and through the drama.

AND NOW FOR SOME OF MY FAVORITE THINGS (OR SOME OF THE DESPICABLE ONES…)

OK guys guys guys…that was a lot and I need to get into CONFERENCE mode as I am at the amazing FUTURE PROOF FESTIVAL and I want to GET TO it…so here’s a quick take on some things happening, some things that happened and some content I love.

  • IT’S CORN. If you have kids living in your house you may be already OVER this song…or it may be playing in your head at all times whether in the shower or standing there in front of the fridge deciding what to eat or while you’re driving to work. IT’S CORN. But if you have no idea…a quick rundown is this adorable kid was interviewed and talked about how much he loves corn. I mean the kid LOVES his corn. And then someone autoruned it and a REVOLUTION began.

I mean if you had not heard this song yet then you need to may need to get out more…because it went everywhere. But as this creator knows, if you had not heard it yet, that means you are on Insta and not TikTok.

Christian TikTok has to take everything and ruin it:

But both the kid AND corn have become superstars so you love to see it.

  • If you do have a kid on TikTok, you may have heard of Gabbie Hanna a creator with millions and millions of followers who started as a Vine and YouTube star, had a bit of a manic meltdown on TikTok the other week and posted 200 videos over the course of a couple of days. Police came to her house and she just grew increasingly more manic and paranoid and her followers were trying to get her help. Here is an example:

It was a lot. For more on this:

But like I said, TikTok was filled with this, the corn song and Drew Barrymore somehow being racist for dancing in the rain…

  • Y’all not sure you know but there are a LOT of racist people out there. It is just baffling. Like they are loud and proud and really ever since the ding dong Trump, racists seem to be way more vocal like they have been granted permission to be douchebags. So, what’s news here? Just that we have some movies/shows out with characters that are people of color and people are UPSET. In particular, House of the Dragon on HBO, the Lord of the Rings show on Amazon, Rings of Power…and now Little Mermaid, the live action film coming out in May, with a Black Ariel. In particular, Rings of Power is being review bombed by these crazy racists upset that people of color are playing roles they see as intended for white people. Even Elon (natch) got into it but he claims he was commenting on the lack of MANHOOD of the actors but…who is to say.

It got so bad, the show had to come out in defense of their cast and in support of them, on socials and in the press:

It is just so grim to be honest. It boggles the mind that people can be this horrible. For more on it:

And for ME personally, I cannot actually wait til May 2023 when Little Mermaid comes out!! TRY not to cry during this song…if you are in my gen, it will be hard!

  • Ok by now we know Leo DiCaprio and his girlfriend recently broke up shortly after she turned 25 which has been a prediction of MANY would happen. This chart someone made went viral as a result:

To be clear, this was made before his most recent split. And it was perfect. But more perfect were the memes, so here are just a FEW of my faves and thanks to the over 100 people who sent me their faves!

OK OK I need to stop. SO good though.

  • Lea Michele is NOT illiterate. It is such a ridiculous conspiracy theory that got so bigm it actually needed to be addressed. But there a million TikToks but here is a good video summarizing it all:

We are the worst.

  • One big life regret comes from JUST last week. I was invited to the Foo Fighters show in London. I was IN London but I would have to change my flight and dog sitter and I just was like it is TOO hard. Well, big mistake. HUGE. The Taylor Hawkins tribute concert by all accounts was INCREDIBLE. And moving. And this was the crescendo…his son playing drums. What a moment. (GET YOUR HEARTS CHECKED EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU REGARDLESS OF HEALTH AND AGE)
  • Guys, I read an incredible book whilst on holiday in Spain, called “Stolen” by Elizabeth Gilpin. I am in a memoir genre phase right now and I am GLAD I am. Elizabeth documents her trauma as a teen when her parents had her kidnapped by this group claiming they help troubled teens and led her to living in the woods for months with this outward bound group and then sent to a strict and horrible prison like school which clearly abused its students emotionally and more. It is shocking and sad and beautifully written. I mean, I was 100x worse than Elizabeth in high school…coming to high school with a water bottle filled with vodka comes to mind (sorry Mr. Godfrey!) but I am thankful my parents didn't know about this shit.

Buy it here or at your local bookstore:

  • Ok, I am LATE to the game on this one but when my friends Danny Passmand AND Britt Morgan-Saks tell me it’s the best show ever made, I knew I had to catch up. Industry on HBOMax is incredible. I am only still on Season 1 and I hear two is even better…but if you haven’t seen it, you must. But be warned…there’s a lot of fucking. A lot of drugs but a LOT of fucking.
  • YOU KNOW I LOVE A BRITISH ROMCOM. There is nothing better. It is why I worship at the altar of Richard Curtis. And now I worship at the altar of Jemima Khan, the writer of the new RomCom, Whats Love Got to Do With It? Or as they reference in the trailer “Love Contractually.” Also, full disclosure I already worshiped at the altar of Jemima so nothing new there. This looks fabulous:

THAT IS IT, my darlings…

I have skipped over a lot but this was a BEAST. I am so excited for this week’s pod which is being recorded live in front of an audience OMG. And a shout out to a fan I met last night, Joyce Franklin, who came to the festival to see my live pod and I am OBSESSED. She will be the only one in the audience I am guessing but that’s PERFECT by me. ❤️

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