The Company We Keep: CPAC, Marjorie Taylor Greene and White Nationalism…

The Company We Keep: CPAC, Marjorie Taylor Greene and White Nationalism…

Last weekend was CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Committee, so a ton of Republicans went down to Orlando to watch some speeches and maybe visit the new Star Wars exhibits that Disney has. CPAC’s chairman is Matt Schlapp, who famously left Michelle Wolf’s speech at the White House Correspondence Dinner with his wife, Mercedes, when he claimed that Wolf was an out of touch elite liberal who didn’t speak for the American people. Look, no one should be punished for their name, but if Schlapp was going to speak for the American people, he should have changed his wife’s name, just for one night, to “Gently Pre-Used Honda Civic”.

Anyways, CPAC has this wonderful thing happen every year where some loud racist conservative says something racist and says it quite loudly. This is then followed by the RNC trying to disavow the comments as quick as they can so they can spend the entire weekend complaining that the media is only covering one loud racist and not the other racists who are much more cool about keeping their feelings hush hush. My bet is a lot of CPAC members don’t visit Epcot.

So, did this happen this year? Yes. Well, kind of. And it leads to some thoughts about why we say the things we say in front of the people we say them to.

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You Can Receive 81,282,632 Votes And Still Have Nobody Like You

You Can Receive 81,282,632 Votes And Still Have Nobody Like You

At the time I’m writing this, President Joe Biden has an approval rating, according to the FiveThirtyEight site, of 41.8%, and that is not a good number. It’s not the worst his approval ratings have been at, but I don’t see it taking any monumental changes anytime soon. It appears that Biden will have the same fate of former President Trump, whose approval rating always seemed to stay between 40-43%.

Liberals are disappointed with him because he’s unable to do any of the things they want him to do because of the razor-thin Senate majority. Conservatives hate him because their hearts are mostly empty, like the Grinch in the beginning and middle of the book. The media doesn’t like him because they cannot fill their day like they did with Trump. This is just speculation, but I bet even the White House chefs don’t like him, because he seems like the kind of motherfucker whose idea of a perfect meal is just plain white rice and a glass of tap water.

We all don’t like the dude. But we also knew that when we elected him.

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Are You (Joe Rogan) Experienced?

Are You (Joe Rogan) Experienced?

This is going to be another one of those stories where we talk about something that many comedians have been discussing on social media. Maybe you’re a comedian and this interests you. Maybe you’re not a comedian but keep your finger on the pulse of comedy news. Maybe you’re an alpaca and your farmer is reading this to you.

Like the other stories I’ve written in this vein about people like Shane Gillis and Dave Chappelle, this is a story where I take a look at speech and consequences and the concept of a “cancel culture”, though the fact that I’ve put quotes around that term should tell you where I stand on it. There’s a lot of stuff you could also cover, from toxic fandom to how so many people are using a climate of fear for their own personal gain.

So, strap in, kids. Let’s talk about Joe Rogan.

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It’s Like They’re Not Even Trying: A Brief Study At Debunking COVID Misinformation

It’s Like They’re Not Even Trying: A Brief Study At Debunking COVID Misinformation

As we are weeks away from entering the third year of living with COVID, one cannot help but see what a toll has been taken on the world. People have gotten hyper-emotional. We’re all mad and sad and scared and confused. We all just want answers because we have so many questions.

Sadly, too many people have turned to the internet to find answers. In theory, this should be a wonderful thing. The internet can be, when used properly, an amazing wealth of information. However, like most good things, it can also be used to cause considerable harm.

I get that there are a lot of bad faith actors out there; people who just use the world wide web and all of its applications to confuse people. I just wish some of them weren’t just so fucking stupid.

Here is one example.

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Farewell Girl Group Goddess

I’ve always had a fascination and affinity for the name Veronica. As a an Elvis Costello fan, his 1989 single bearing the name is still a favorite of mine. In the Archie Comics universe, I choose her over Betty. In the film Heathers, Winona Ryder played its heroine with the moniker. I also have been heard to say that I love the name because of a cute nickname that can be given to it….Ronnie.

Sadly and too soon, we lost one this week. The one, only and unforgettable Ronnie Spector (born Veronica Bennet in case you weren’t aware).

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Standing Out By Fitting In: Why Olivia Rodrigo Made 2021’s Song Of The Year

Standing Out By Fitting In: Why Olivia Rodrigo Made 2021’s Song Of The Year

There were just so many factors this past year that made it impossible to absorb as much media as I usually do. When you have a baby and a demanding job and the world is burning because of a fucking pandemic, it’s a little hard to get to the movie theater my usual 35-50 times a year. This isn’t to say that I don’t have a favorite movie (The Green Knight) or a favorite television episode (the 8th episode of the third season of Succession) or a favorite album (Tyler The Creator’s Call Me If You Get Lost), but because I don’t feel like I’ve experienced enough pop culture, it’s hard to me to hold something up and say, “This is the best the year has to offer.”

Except when it comes to the best song of the year.

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Still A Child: the Lost and Lonely Youth of Adele

Still A Child: the Lost and Lonely Youth of Adele

On 30, Adele’s first album in six years, she grapples with the fallout from her divorce, both in herself and through the lens of her son. There is an art to bring pragmatically selfish. Trying to stay together for the child or separating, the inevitability of trauma forces those involved to consider their own needs as well. The nuance of mental health for all parties involved creates a void that is only filled by the realization that the best thing to do is often the worst thing to do. The album is a loose concept based on the reconciliation and justification of her big decision, and it’s one that hits close to home for a generation speeding headlong into middle age, trying desperately to not make the mistakes of our parents.

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What Is The Best Movie From Each Of The Ocean’s Eleven Actors: A Deep Dive

What Is The Best Movie From Each Of The Ocean’s Eleven Actors: A Deep Dive

Released twenty years ago this December, Ocean’s Eleven made $450 million dollars at the box office, and it is not hard, at all, to see why. Director Steven Soderbergh (who gave us this year’s very fantastic film No Sudden Move) made this Las Vegas heist movie fun and cool, and that was exactly what we, as a nation, needed. No one does fun and cool like Soderbergh, which is impressive considering that “cool and fun” is maybe his second- or even third- best gear. Soderbergh is aware of how successful the Ocean’s trilogy is and how well they’re known in popular culture; in his 2017 heist film Logan Lucky, he has a reporter refer to the caper as “Ocean’s 7/11”.

It is fair to say that Soderbergh stacked the deck with Ocean’s Eleven, as it seems impossible not to make a cool movie when you have Don Cheadle, Brad Pitt, and George Clooney in your cast. David Mamet (in his own heist movie, appropriately titled Heist) had a character describe a master thief this way: “My motherfucker’s so cool that when he goes to bed, sheep count him.” It’s impossible to not have these words apply to any of the three actors I listed above.

Ocean’s Eleven had a massive strength in that it had a ton of cool and fun and impressive actors all working in harmony. And while some of these actors have gone on to have more successful careers, it’s hard to imagine anyone in this movie being recast. In this film, they are all perfect. And it led me to ask myself: What are the best movies that were made from each of Danny Ocean’s (Clooney) crew that isn’t an Ocean’s Eleven movie?

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What We’re Really Talking About When We Talk About The People Talking About How They’re Upset At People Talking About Dave Chappelle

What We’re Really Talking About When We Talk About The People Talking About How They’re Upset At People Talking About Dave Chappelle

On Tuesday, Dave Chappelle released his sixth Netflix special, The Closer, and that could only mean one thing: my social media feeds were intolerable for most of the week. You think it’ s bad hearing about your Aunt Janice’s nonstop bout with carpal tunnel? Just become a comedian and, I promise you, after twelve hours, you’ll be begging to hear more about wrist guards.

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