The Zeitgeist Chronicle: May 29th-June 4th
This week: Tiger Woods’ DUI, Kathy Griffin and Trump's severed head, something about “covfefe”, the NBA Finals, and Wonder Woman.
Welcome to the Zeitgeist Chronicle. Each edition of The Zeitgeist Chronicle will catch you up on the past week’s most culturally-significant events. If you have a fear of missing out, or you just want to know what’s going on in the world, we’re here for you.
Tiger Woods’ DUI
Early Monday morning, Tiger Woods — 41-year old winner of 79 PGA titles and 14 majors — was found in his car, on the side of the road in Florida, with the car’s blinkers flashing and the engine running. Woods passed breathalyzer tests, but was visibly confused and was unable to pass other sobriety tests.
He has been charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. and has since released a statement attributing the incident to “an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications.”
One interesting note was the arrest report, which identified Woods as black, which isn’t entirely accurate, as Woods himself has consistently identified himself as biracial, or “Cablinasian” (Caucasian+Black+Indian+Asian).
Kathy Griffin’s Photo With Trump
Does free speech, political protest, and Art have a line? If it does, it’s certainly being tested this week, thanks to comedian Kathy Griffin — who, if you’re around my age, will most likely recognize as co-host of CNN’s annual New Year’s Eve coverage with Anderson Cooper.
The photo, posted on Tuesday and taken by Photography Tyler Shields — who is not without reputation — is provocative, for sure. The outrage one might expect (“She’s condoning/glorifying violence”) ensued, followed by the expected retorts (“It’s political protest through art”). Trump’s response:
Kathy Griffin originally defended the photo, but then gave in, admitting she had crossed a line:
While this protest has, so far, costed Griffin the previously-mentioned CNN New Year’s Eve gig, there is some symbolism at play here, most notably: 1) beheading a political figure; 2) a woman implied to be the beheading a man.
Something About “Covfefe”
Another day, another Trump tweet. This one, on Wednesday, was less consequential than most, although not without controversy. Context leads one to believe Trump meant “coverage”, and Trump could’ve provided clarification and ended the situation, but, of course, he didn’t. He sent out Sean Spicer, for whatever weird reason, who proceeded to make it seem like “covfefe” was not a typo and we just didn’t get it. Trump himself also had some fun with the situation:
The NBA Finals: Cleveland vs. Golden State, Round 3
Round 3. The 3match. The trilogy. We have not been able to settle on what exactly to call these NBA Finals, but in case you haven’t heard it enough, this is the first time in NBA history two teams have met in three consecutive Finals.
Golden State won the 2015 meeting despite a truly Herculean effort by LeBron after Kyrie Irving injured his kneecap. Cleveland came back from down 1–3 to win last year’s meeting. That dramatic loss contributed to the Warriors bringing in former-MVP Kevin Durant, setting up this 3rd meeting.
After a dull playoffs, we finally got exciting, competitive basketball, but it lasted only about 2.5 quarters as the Warriors pulled away and won Game 1 in Oakland. Game 2 played out very similarly, and with the series shifting to Cleveland, now, the end could already be near.
Wonder Woman: The DC Hero We’ve Been Waiting For
She’s finally here. The excitement leading up to Wonder Woman was a bit of a first for the current iteration of the DC universe. Man of Steel was too obsessed with destruction, Batman v. Superman was messy and dark, but this Patty Jenkins-directed entry appears to have adjusted. The costume, and film, is noticeably more colorful, the action sequences aren’t a meaningless excuse to destroy things, and many are saying it’s DC’s best outing since the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy. The biggest Wonder Woman fan I know was not disappointed, which is probably the best review the film could get.
Wonder Woman is the first female superhero film in a very, very long time, it’s the first superhero film directed by a woman, and it has already earned upwards of $100 million, breaking the record for biggest opening weekend by a female director (previously held by Fifty Shades of Grey). All this quantifies an importance I think is already intangible. It’s amazing (or rather, wonderful) to see women across the globe (excluding Lebanon) and across generations connecting with and empowered by Diana Prince, and it’s safe to say the film’s impact will go way beyond it’s box office performance.