Hello again, and welcome to First of All–our column where we discuss all things problematic and sketchy. If you missed our intro column, you can catch up here. Boiled down: this is an unsafe space for toxic political correctness, prudishness and celebrities doing inane shit.
Today we’re on our–I read for thirty minutes last night before I realized my nipple was hanging out–day of quarantine. Despite the world being, for most intents and purposes, shut down to quell Covid-19, the gods of chaos still send us infuriating pop culture nuggets to Tweet about.
So here are the ones that distracted me from my existential dread, sourdough baking and gardening (that autocorrected to “fartening” at first) long enough to form an opinion–even though having opinions and pop culture both seem pointless now.
Ellen DeGeneres Is The Lesbian We Never Asked For, But Probably Deserve
Ellen DeGeneres returned to host her daytime talk show from home on Monday. Of course we’ve known for a while that Ellen, while being a pivitol gay icon, has not had her necessary software update in quite some time. But no one was expecting her to glaringly gaffe so hard on this reemergence.
One would think that the extreme backlash to her throwing her arm around George W. Bush (see “war criminal” in the encyclopedia) last year, and defending it with the undercooked 1%er pathos of “be kind to everyone,” would have given her pause to reflect and grow. But it was very obvious this week that no such illumination has occurred.
During her opening monologue she compared being quarantined in her mansion to “being in jail…it’s mostly because I’ve been wearing the same clothes for 10 days, and everyone in here is gay.” Yeet.
First of all, Ellen using her sexuality as a throw away joke is pretty unimaginative, reductive and honestly offensive to the queer struggle. But far more seriously is the spine-tingling tone deafness of her comparing her quarantine to jail.
That comment is a devastating punch in the teeth to everyone across the globe struggling with child care, who can’t make money, who have no savings or health insurance, who don’t have enough food and who don’t have adequate housing to comply with shelter in place orders – let alone those who are sick, or with sick loved ones, or grieving the dead.
The cringe and shock doesn’t stop there. You’d have to have your head so far up your lavender-scented rich ass to not have read about the catastrophe currently occurring in the prison system.
Inmates don’t have access to soap and hand sanitizers; prison workers are reporting unsanitary conditions, especially during the quarantine. Many detainees simply can’t make bail and are awaiting trial for nonviolent crimes, and yet have no recourse to get out to safety.
Prisons are reporting being overrun with Coronavirus, with Chicago’s Cook County Jail having the highest concentration of the virus of anywhere in the state. There is no infrastructure to separate the sick from the healthy. It is a Dante-esque situation that allows no room to joke.
Thus far no reps from The Ellen DeGeneres Show have provided comment, but the clip has been removed from all of its platforms. Ellen, a beacon of middle class revelry (even though she is mega rich), can’t seem to admit fault in these sticky misunderstandings of wealth and class disparity.
At some point we have to ask ourselves then if we should keep inviting her into our living rooms.
Louis C.K. Fucking Sucks 10,000 Dicks Forever
I’m not going to get in deep on this one, because I’m pretty sure my hair will catch fire. If you don’t know who Louis C.K. is, good on you. Skip this section, because you don’t need to waste brain cells on him, and honestly I wish I could delete him all together.
If you still love him, despite knowing what he did, sashay away. I think 4Chan is more your speed.
If you really want the update: C.K. is trying to make his comeback while we’re all stuck in quarantine by releasing a new comedy special ironically titled Sincerely. What’s probably way funnier is that he had to air Sincerely on his own website. No streaming platforms or production studios will touch him with a 10 foot pole – kind of like how the women he trapped and jerked off in front of didn’t want to either.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that celebrities were not made for this simulation. Their mere existence is revolting in the face of an economic collapse spurred by a global pandemic that threatens the sick, poor, disabled and old most of all.
The only silver lining I can offer, as Chrissy Teigen continues to tweet all day every day the gourmet meals she’s preparing from her mega mansion, is that perhaps when this is over we as a society will set fire to the altar we collectively built to gross wealth and senseless fame.
And if you’d like a reminder of the fact that oftentimes celebrity actually is born from salt of the earth humans making incredible art, keep reading…
John Prine Is The Best There Ever Was
It feels more and more each day that we are living in increasingly godless times. The news of John Prine’s death at 74 last night, due to complications from Covid-19, is shattering.
I wasn’t going to include anything about Prine’s passing in this edition of First of All, but I wanted to end this pop culture rant with something more meaningful. And that is the suggestion that you “blow up your T.V.” and go listen to some John Prine.
We love you all. Stay safe. Stay home if you can. And RIP to a legend, one of a kind that this world will never know again.