As the Trump presidency inches closer and closer to reality, everything feels a little helter-skelter, a little too chaotic for comfort.
Take the Golden Globes, which are mostly remembered a week later as the site of the slow, agonizing last stand of Tom Hiddleston (who tastelessly boasted that doctors struggling to save lives in Sudan love his show, The Night Manager), the resiliency of Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck (who shrug off bad press of alleged child abuse and sexual assault as easily as Hiddleston dreams of shedding his Swiftian mistakes) and the politically charged manifesto of Meryl Streep.
Ah, Meryl. Her speech about respect and inclusion ran into the expected detractors, as any Trump criticism does these days (oh, the irony of complaining about celebrities getting mixed up in politics), but even I found her strange, pointed distinction that sports (specifically, football and mixed martial arts) are not “art” painfully distracting.
Why make that distinction? It’s so dissonant with everything she was saying, and unfortunately feeds right into accusations about her snobbery and elitism.
Any fan of any sport can tell you that there most certainly are all the key parts of art involved: an ever-continuing narrative that bubbles with drama, ultra-talented stars that expend their all in the telling of that story, and artistry unique to the medium. The rise and fall (and further fall) of Ronda Rousey is a story as poignant as any film.
And come on, Meryl, what the hell has Colin Kaepernick been kneeling for all this time, anyway? It’s not like athletes are any less diverse or less affected by racism and xenophobia.
So, yeah, protip: When you want to make a point about diversity, try to avoid inserting arbitrary value judgments into your speech.
That’s not the point, you might say, I’m missing the point altogether — and you would be right. But as Brutus learned from Antony after Caesar’s death, facts are less important than feelings. And sometimes the means of delivery is most important of all.
And now that I mention that, it seems BuzzFeed had the same idea — why else would it have published a dossier filled with alleged, unsubstantiated claims about Trump’s golden showers with Russian hookers in a Moscow hotel?
BuzzFeed’s reasoning was that government officials and other decision makers have been reading (and sitting) on this report, so the American public has the right to see it, too.
I’ll admit there’s a certain logic to that, but after an election cycle peppered with “fake news” and a general American inability to identify it, the decision to knowingly publish a report containing unverified accusations seems counterproductive at best.
At this point, the report’s veracity is hardly important. It’s out there, and people either believe it and think less of Trump, or disbelieve it and think less of our nation’s media and intelligence apparatuses. (More likely is that everyone has a little less faith in everything everywhere.)
Well, as Shakespeare said, the fault, dear reader, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.