Key Take-Away by Petersen: Timberlake has long reminded me of the mischievous neighbor boys I grew up with. Maybe it’s the fact that I watched him grow up, alongside those boys, on the Mickey Mouse Club; maybe it’s the sense, woven through his comedy in particular, that there’s a small, playful devil on his shoulder. He’s not unlike Huckleberry Finn, who, like Timberlake, wanted to flee the burden of dealing with the racialized reality of the South: “I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest,” Huck famously said, “because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and civilize me, and I can’t stand it. I’ve been there before.” As Limerick explains, the West has long served this function: a “mechanism” to escape the “trials and burdens” of American civilization and the heavy tensions of the South in particular.
“The theory was the same,” Limerick writes, “the West is remote and vast; its isolation and distance will release us from conflict; this is where we can get away from each other.” The “Wild West, but now” is where we can get away from the internet and Twitter and Instagram, away from the hard questions that make us consider things we’d rather not. But that belief is as mythical as the rest that shape the West in the popular imagination, and Limerick has little patience for its perpetuation: “the workings of history carried the opposite lesson,” she writes. “The West is not where we escaped each other, but where we all met.” It’s where, in other words, the larger questions of privilege, whiteness, power, and masculinity seem to crystallize themselves in their most potent forms.
The great privilege of white masculinity has always been to avoid those questions. But these days, none of our contemporary Huck Finns — whether Donald Trump Jr., or Justin Timberlake — can excuse himself from those conversations without consequences.
Key Take-Away: The Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA 22nd) Shitshow has crossed into the comedy realm now. One couldn’t act more guilty of malfeasance than Nunes. I expect that we will start hearing stories shortly about how a large percentage of his Net Worth is tied to Russian Money. Specifically, as it relates to his farming business. Regardless, I expect him to end up in prison. He has, with the the aid of Speaker Paul Ryan, destroyed one of the most sacred House Committees. That will be their legacy. I also expect the other ranking members of the Intelligence Committees to start publicly castigating him.
Key Take-Away: Sebastian Gorka is a very dangerous man. He was fired from The White House shortly have John Kelly arrived, in large part because of his affinity and relationship with racist groups. The fact that he wasn’t vetted thoroughly by The IDIOT and Les Miserables speaks volumes.
Key Take-Away: My suspicions are that these funds were used as Walking Around Money and/or Monies used to donate to Republican Political Candidates. I suspect that some of this money ended up in The IDIOT’s Campaign. Either way, we are Deep Down the Money Trail, with Mueller and the Senate Intelligence Committee having a shitload of receipts. Great reporting by Leopold and Cormier; as well as, Buzzfeed.
Also, hearing that Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) see this as career defining for both. They will be the lead Senators in bringing down The IDIOT and Les Miserables. A great job of putting Country before Party.
Key Take-Away:A celebrity does not have to be explicitly political to become a massive celebrity. But her image must subtly suggest a solution — or, at the very least, provide a salve — to the tensions in a societal moment. And in this moment, the vast majority of white women, regardless of their personal political persuasions, serve as inflammations.
The dominance of female celebrities have always, in some way, been a testament to the endurance of white supremacy. The election of Obama and the so-called “browning” of America created an anxiety that some assuaged by voting for a different kind of celebrity who promised to reverse it. For many, the lived reality of that decision is too much to bear — and certainly too much to be reminded of while consuming entertainment.
There might be a white female celebrity around the corner, just waiting to make people feel better about white women in America today. Taylor Swift might heal the world, but I doubt it: This might not be the moment when whiteness ceases to rule the celebrity industrial complex, but it could be the rupture that shows that it doesn’t have to.