I’m tired of starting every one of these roundups by telling you I’m tired.
Trying to pay attention to all that’s happening in the world right now is nothing short of gut-wrenching. It’s also so bleak to simply be scrolling through all of this pain, suffering, oppression, marginalization, and death at our fingertips in the comfort of our safe homes.
Rounding up “things I hated” often has to do with issues of inequality, inequity, and unfair power dynamics. It’s becoming clearer and clearer, though, that in the words of writer Wiliam C. Anderson, “The world’s ruling classes always win.”
It doesn’t mean we stop speaking up, though.
This week’s list is a bit heavier than usual given… everything, but let’s waste no more time and get into it, shall we?
Celebrities still can’t read the room
I really thought I had seen it all, and I will start by apologizing for making you watch this if you haven’t already, but we need to unpack.
Former 90210 star AnnaLynne McCord decided to take matters into her own hands amid the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, by reciting a poem directed at Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
This is worse than all of the overnight foreign policy armchair experts combined.
I do not understand the inclination of white women to center themselves in situations that quite literally have nothing to do with them, but McCord really went for it, and kept the video up despite the extreme ratio she got as a result.
This is the same energy as the girl at the party who is trying to intervene in a fight by grabbing an aggressive dude-bro and telling him, “Listen, look at me, this isn’t you,” or the energy of a girlfriend telling people that she can “fix” her shitty boyfriend’s behaviour.
What many people pointed out about McCord’s poem, which began with her discussing what she would do if she was Putin’s mother (???), was that it felt almost like an audition, with an uncomfortably horny intonation.
Is she asking for him to allow her the opportunity to talk this out? Does she think she will be able to de-escalate the conflict by giving Putin a hug?
She goes on to discuss how much pain he must've experienced as a little boy. “If I was your mother, if the world was cold I would’ve died to make you warm,” she goes on to say.
“On this night, instead of Mother Russia, you would call me, and I would set your mind quite free” she exclaims.
Girl! Get up!!!
The delusion to center yourself and your bizarre spoken word performance no one asked for, and also to blame a man’s mother for his actions is all just too much for me to handle.
As the situation between Russia and Ukraine intensifies, it becomes even more clear how capital and the interests of the rich will always be more important than human lives. Anything is expendable in the name of capital, and the headlines, coverage, and hot takes as the situation continues to escalate have only proven this.
On Thursday, the Financial Post published a story entitled, “Ukraine crisis puts East Coast LNG back on the map.” The article highlighted how the escalating conflict would benefit Canadian gas exports.
People are fleeing their homes, scared for their lives, and worrying about losing their loved ones while the wealthy sit comfortably in their homes counting their profits.
It’s not to say this is new—there are constantly wars raging throughout the world, and simultaneously, we are in fact living through a time where times are tough for so many people, costs of things are rising, and businesses and lives have been severely impacted.
The root cause of all of this, however, is our commitment to capital above all else.
And it’s a devastating consequence of capitalism to be sitting around discussing lost money while people are losing their lives. There are no winners either way we look at it.
Keeping power in the hands of those who already have an abundance of it, means that people who aren’t going to bed worried about the threat of looming war, are more fixated on the state of the market than the state of humankind.
Meg & Tory
This week, rapper Tory Lamez and excuse for a media personality DJ Akademiks were back in the headlines along with Meg Thee Stallion, who they keep continuously dragging into their bullshit.
As you all may recall, Meg alleges that Tory shot her in the foot in 2020, and the felony assault case was set to have a pre-trial hearing this week. The entire incident has been strewn with social media controversy, as Lanez continues to defame Meg and call her a liar.
The situation becomes even more insidious when we look at the fact that Meg gains nothing from lying, while Lanez benefits from her continued online harassment.
This week, DJ Akademiks tweeted about the pre-trial hours before it even took place, joining in on Lanez’ defamation of Meg and alleging that Lanez’ DNA was not found on the weapon.
Reporters later came out to deny Akademiks’ claims, stating that “there was zero mention of DNA at the hearing.”
Still, both Lanez and Akademiks continued their Twitter storm against Meg, only adding to the thousands of people who take joy in ridiculing her despite the fact that she was a victim of gun violence.
The nuances of the misogynoir surrounding Meg being a strong Black woman in the spotlight who also receives an abundance of criticism all for just trying to be herself, are often ignored in these moments. She’s left to fend for herself, while Tory supporters continue to deny any wrongdoing on his part. A man's reputation is often treated as more valued and important than a woman's safety.
Just because a woman is perceived as strong, doesn't mean she should always have to be.
Isn't it also rich that men that are the first to speak out about strong women almost never have a peep to say about the actions of other men? You can stand up to and call out a woman, but radio silence when one of your boys, or boys' boys is in the wrong or being problematic, huh?
Weird how many people will come forward to defend a man accused of shooting a woman, and to simultaneously deny her experiences and ridicule her along the way. Women, and Black women in particular, are constantly forced to show proof of the violence and aggression they face every single day—as if there aren’t countless examples everywhere you look.
TW: Police violence
A senseless tragedy in Calgary this past week showcased the police’s repeated failure to appropriately respond to people experiencing mental health issues.
Calgary police shot and killed #LatjorTuel last Saturday after he “allegedly attacked a police service dog while officers attempted to apprehend him near a bus stop.” The Calgary Herald reports that a video of the incident “shows an officer fire four shots as Tuel struggles with the dog. Tuel died of his wounds on scene.”
“How dehumanizing that be? (It tells you) they value the life of the police dog more than the Black man,” said Charles Odame-Ankrah, a friend of Tuel’s at a media availability by the Calgary African Community Collective.
The family says that Tuel’s lifeless body was left on the street for hours, while the police dog was taken to the hospital.
In an Instagram post, Tuel’s stepdaughter shared more about the incident. The caption is copied below, in full.
“On Feburary 19th, my stepdad was murdered by the police. they shot him dead execution style five times while he was sitting down, then they proceeded to leave his dead body on the street for EIGHT FULL FUCKING HOURS. they released a dog on him and he tried defending himself, like anybody would do out of pure instinct, and then they fired round after round into his body. they rushed their police dog to the vet but they let my dad bleed out for eight fucking hours on the street. my dad had extensive PTSD and mental health issues, he was a child soldier back in sudan. the police were called because he was going through an episode. they came with their weapons drawn and multiple officers and a k9 unit. All for what? one singular black man who has a stick? they’re spitting out lies saying they tried “reasoning with him” + claiming he had a weapon that they won’t specify because IT WAS A STICK. you dumbfucks tried reasoning with him for 1 minute, and how the hell are you going to reason with someone going through a full fledged episode while you have a bunch of weapons, lights, loud dogs and other sensory overloading shit all around. That would overwhelm anybody in their right state of mind, let alone someone going through a mental break. My dad was unjustly killed, and people seem to care more about a fucking dog that is doing FINE and is well and alive unlike my dad. this situation showed me people look at black people as less than human, and seem to be more empathetic to a dog than us. I was watching a news report on youtube and people were calling my dad racial slurs, and wishing the dog “a safe and easy recovery”. My dad didn’t deserve this and everybody in my family and my community is still in shock. Calgary Police you guys are incompetent trigger happy pigs, this was police brutality and you guys fucked up, the video proof does not lie. ACAB until i die. BLM until i die. Rest in peace and i love you so much. you did not deserve this.”
On Twitter, she also spoke a bit about her late father. “My dad was funny, friendly, and a good member of his community, we shared so many great memories together and he raised me and was there for me ALL THROUGHOUT MY CHILDHOOD.”
You can donate to his family’s GoFundMe Campaign here.
Black Lives Matter.
Jason Lee/Hollywood Unlocked & Queen Lizzie
I wanted to end off this week’s roundup with something that did bring some comedic relief. Earlier this week, a celebrity gossip blog, “Hollywood Unlocked,” preemptively tweeted a report that Queen Elizabeth had died.
The internet immediately began to react to the news, but more so to the chaos that would ensue if a gossip blog was the first one to break the story.
Despite the claims, it was refuted that the Queen was dead by a number of official sources, but the blog’s founder Jason Lee, then doubled down on his statement, saying, “We don’t post lies and I always stand by my sources. Waiting for an official statement from the palace.”
It was confirmed a day after Lee’s report that the Queen had in fact met with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the phone, meaning she couldn’t possibly be dead. Still, Lee maintained that his blog broke the news before any other publication.
According to BuzzFeed News, “Lee maintained to BuzzFeed News on Wednesday morning that he heard the news “directly” from a wedding guest of British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful. According to Lee, the Queen was supposed to attend the massive, star-studded ceremony in Wiltshire on Tuesday. (This flies in the face of the fact that the Queen was not included in any published guest lists, she has no personal relationship to Enninful, and she stopped in-person meetings after testing positive for COVID-19.)”
Lee claimed that a “guest close to the Queen,” received news via a phone call, and informed people of what had happened.
But as BuzzFeed reports, there may have been a misunderstanding that lead to Lee’s unfounded claims about the Queen’s death.
“One UK-based source suggested to BuzzFeed News there may have been a misunderstanding related to the death of Queens of the Stone Age singer Mark Lanegan, who actually died unexpectedly Tuesday at the age of 57. News of Lanegan's death was shared on Twitter within the hour of Hollywood Unlocked’s post about the Queen, which remained live on Wednesday but has been labeled by Instagram as “false information.”
On Friday morning, the blog posted an “apology” for getting the story wrong, entitled, “Fact Check: 10 Reasons We Believed Queen Elizabeth Was Dead.”
“Although I’ve never been wrong when breaking a story because this involves The Queen this is one time I would want to be. And based on Wednesday’s report from the Palace, I can say my sources got this wrong and I sincerely apologize to The Queen and the Royal Family.”
Remaining adamant that you are right when you couldn’t be more wrong is the general vibe of a lot of people at the moment. So thanks for the laughs Jason!
I’ll leave you all with that for now. Pray for humanity.
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