Welcome to First of All, a new column we’ll be featuring where we talk shit on the people who talk shit! Or the people we think you should be talking more shit about!
A little background: I originally started this column in 2014 for a Spin Magazine-owned site called The Frisky; it was called #Problematic because it was 2014. It was flirty, and spicy, and evolved into my vehicle to vent my myriad frustrations with Taylor Swift weekly.
And don’t give me some, “But the Netflix documentary!” bullshit.
Miss Americana was obviously a timely PR stunt to shift her shady image with the release of her new record. But in my opinion, the point shouldn’t be convincing people that she’s not a megalomaniac rattlesnake anyway.
What’s far more important is realizing as a society that all celebrities are ridiculously fucked up, or just normal fucked up like the rest of us, but their shit’s on blast all of the time.
You don’t have to like a celebrity as a person to enjoy their art!
This is dicey logic, I know. In the cases of people like Woody Allen, and Bill Cosby and that racist fuck Chevy Chase, among others, it is hard to enjoy their art now. But if we’re going to properly police those kinds of monsters, we can’t cancel people for doing your run of the mill shitty things, like starting their own fragrance or shoe lines.
That brings me to the whole point of this column.
We’ve invented such a toxic cancel culture, holding everyone accountable to an inscrutable level of political correctness, that we’ve become even more bland.
In our attempt to get the world to stop being a woman-hating, homophobic, racist, capitalistic gang bang, we’ve taken the sense of “play” out of everything. We’ve lost our ability to engage in the absurd and provocative without fear that someone might call us the very thing we’re trying to subvert.
This column will be a space where I hold your hand as we wade through those murky waters of what is problematic and what’s not. It’s my opinion we’ll be operating from, so if you think I’m a self-righteous cunt, feel free to tell me at email@example.com!
So now that we’ve gotten all of that out of the way, let’s get into today’s problematic rant!
It’s weird times, y’all. We’re quarantined for a novel coronavirus. The economic and societal impact of it, along with the looming threat of a pneumonic death, is going to change our world forever.
We’re all scared, bored, sad and horny – all the while trying to make up TikTok dances to wind chimes. People are creating and we’re using social media to connect and share with one another, getting back to the roots of humanity.
Enter Timothée Chalamet, who performed a live reading of the play Tennessee, in which his character says the word “dyke.” Next thing you know #timotheechalmetisoverparty starts trending on Twitter, and people are criticizing anyone defending him for “protecting problematic people.”
NO. STOP IT.
First of all, lest we forget Timothée Chalamet plays one of the most sincere, nuanced and endearing queer characters in LGBTQIA cinema to date in Call Me By Your Name.
He also has been a vocal advocate of the LGBTQIA community and the nonprofits that champion it.
Secondly, art reflects our culture and there are slurs in our culture unfortunately. To only create art that reflects some shiny vision of a PC world would a) not fix the problem and b) proffer a lot of shitty art.
So calm the fuck down, and honestly…go watch Call Me By You Name. It’s amazing.
And hot take: reclaiming these slurs is also a real part of not letting hate win. If a lesbian wants to call her other lesbian friend a “fashion dyke” or a “homesteading dyke,” or say it in a play, it’s none of your business.
Also, if you were wondering what happened to the original column in The Frisky, here’s the lukewarm Oolong…
One day there was an editorial shift at the site. New editors were hired. They hired their friends, and published their own shit all the time (because that’s a fuckity thing that usually happens in those changeovers across most industries).
Eventually the new editors ghosted me and many of the old writers. At first I was shocked by that, but I’ve come to learn in my eight-year career in journalism and media, that this is actually very common (and I will try not to do it to you! Pitch me firstname.lastname@example.org).
But I got my revenge!
Not long after, the site got sold by Spin, and on Christmas Eve 2016 when they fired everyone. Those same editors were very vocal on Twitter about losing their jobs out of nowhere on a holiday.
I thought that was painfully ironic, because I’m petty – which brings us to present day. Some weird company has bought TheFrisky.com, and it is mostly low key porn now.
They’ve deleted most of my work except for one piece on incels and cunnilingus, that I’m still honestly proud of, and another piece talking shit on Taylor Swift!
My work is attributed now to some woman named Dragana Stepic, which I emailed them about, and they promised to change but never did.
I guess the point here is guys, be adaptable, things change – a career in journalism and media is not as glamorous as it sounds! But I’m really stoked to be the new Executive Editor here, so please email me your pitches and thoughts. We are going to have a lot of crazy, sexy, cool new content on here for you so stay tuned. And if you don’t hate me and are still reading, this will be a fun weekly space where we can get weird.
And lastly, yes, I’m the same Chloe Stillwell who wrote that hit piece on Ed Sheeran in Playboy that made a lot of people mad, especially Lady Gaga.