MONDAY, MARCH 30
If Twitter were an actual person, you'd never want to hang out with it. While "Twitter the Person" can be hilarious and rally people around a righteous cause, it can also be a power drunk monster. Case in point, this week's Twitter outrage over South African comedian Trevor Noah stepping into the hosting shoes of The Daily Show's departing Jon Stewart. At first Twitter was like, "Yay! Biracial guy!" Then Twitter was like, "OMG. Did you see the insensitive twatters Noah wrote? Sure, three minutes ago I liked him... but now I HATE HIM SO MUCH!" In Twitter the Person's defense, the selected jokes written by Noah were sizeist and anti-Semitic (but mostly just not funny). For example, here's one Noah wrote in 2011: "'Oh yeah the weekend. People are gonna get drunk & think that I'm sexy!'—fat chicks everywhere." Ummm... BOOOOO. And here's one from spring 2014: "Behind every successful Rap Billionaire is a double as rich Jewish man. #BeatsByDreidel" Ummmm... ouch, and BOOOOOOO. While those tweets were justifiably called out, they're still only a few of the 8,850 tweets Noah's written—so maybe calling for an end to his career is a bit of an overreaction? Twitter the Person should take a deep breath, and read this quote from Jon Ronson (author of So You've Been Publicly Shamed) who spoke to NPR about the phenomenon of social media shaming. "I'm talking specifically about the disproportionate punishment of people who really didn't do very much wrong," Ronson said. "This weird surveillance society that we've created for ourselves since the advent of social media, where I think we're trying to define each other by the worst tweet we ever wrote. We're trying to see people's tweets as a kind of clue to their inherent evil, even though we know that's not how human beings actually are." In short, Twitter the Person, piling on and screaming about the sins of others doesn't make us think you're a better person. (And it's why we don't invite you to more parties.)
TUESDAY, MARCH 31
In news of the unbelievable, Academy Award-winning actress Julianne Moore has been fired for "poor acting." According to the New York Daily News, Julianne was hired by Turkey's Ministry of Culture and Tourism (TMCT) to appear in a promotional video to lure tourists to their country. (One could spend the rest of one's life trying to answer the question, "Why Julianne?"... but let's just move on, shall we?) Filmed last year, TMCT was reportedly unhappy with the result and wanted a re-shoot. When Julianne's people responded, "Ummm... Academy Award-winning actress Julianne Moore does not (sniff!) re-shoot," TMCT replied, "Well, ooh-la-la!" and threw the video away, blaming its failure on Julianne's "poor acting." (Apparently they don't see many Gwyneth Paltrow movies in Turkey.)
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1
It's time for "Relationship Roundup" in which we tell you "who is sticking their what into celebrity wheres." ITEM: Pop music's most vengeful star Taylor Swift is dating again—this time her new boytoy (and subject of a future angry revenge ballad) is, according to Us magazine, the "world's highest-paid EDM DJ" Calvin Harris. Congrats to the happy pair, and be on the lookout for Taylor's next hit, "An EDM DJ? (What Was I Thinking?)." ITEM: "The Godfather of Auto-Tune" T-Pain let it slip in an interview with Vulture that the idiotically named FKA Twigs is engaged to former Twilight star Robert Pattinson. (Dear Mr. T-Pain: Can you please auto-tune all the latest gossip? Anything about Gwyneth Paltrow will do!) ITEM: Speaking of Gwynnie, the Queen of Goop and ex-hubby Chris Martin celebrated their first "conscious uncoupling" anniversary by vacationing together with the kids in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. For those who've forgotten, "conscious uncoupling" is what higher-plane people do instead of divorcing. Higher plane people also drop $450,000 for a spring wardrobe, hang out with the Dalai Lama, and get their vaginas steamed. Keep on doing it wrong, peons!
THURSDAY, APRIL 2
In a hilarious example of backpedaling, today the governors of Indiana and Arkansas signed bills neutering their states' religious freedom acts, making it harder for businesses to discriminate against the gay community. Did they do so out of guilt or a sense of social justice? Hahahahahahaaaaaa... NO. Both governors were responding to the nationwide backlash which included major corporations such as Apple and Walmart (!) threatening to take their business elsewhere. Or as Indiana Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma put it, "[The religious freedom laws] are causing real harm to real people right now. I'm not talking about those who feel their rights are being infringed, I'm talking about commerce in a major, major way." Thanks, Mr. Bosma, for proving once again that there's one sure path to a Republican's conscience—through his wallet.
FRIDAY, APRIL 3
Hey, it's just what you didn't ask for—more news about Gwyneth Paltrow! (Sorry, everybody!) In her continuing quest to make Planet Earth utterly uninhabitable for the rest of us, Gwynnie has purchased the Hustler Hollywood store on Los Angeles' Sunset Strip—and according to TMZ, she plans to tear it down and turn it into an LA branch of London and Aspen's "Arts Clubs." And yes, it's as horrible and pretentious as it sounds: TMZ writes that the London location boasts "a fancy restaurant, a nightclub/lounge, and artsy stuff like poetry readings." But wait. "The club prohibits swearing. You can't bet inside, but you can play backgammon, but only if there are no stakes. Of course, there's a strict dress code." How much does all of this no-holds-barred backgammon and poetry cost? Well, in London, it's a mere $2,000 to join—and then $2,000 a year to maintain your membership. "The Sunset Strip club," TMZ notes, "promises to be way more expensive." IN RELATED NEWS... After years of withering criticism of how little they pay their employees, this week McDonald's made a token stab at being moderately civilized, promising to pay a whopping $1 above minimum wage for the 90,000 employees who work at the restaurants the company owns. (Alas, most McDonald's are franchises—which means 750,000 other McDonald's employees won't see any raise at all.) Given the common sense push for a nationwide $15 minimum wage, McDonald's PR stunt was just that—a stunt. "Even those employees who work for company-owned restaurants may see little change in their paychecks," the New York Times reports. "Consider Ashley Wiley, who works for a company-owned McDonald's in Queens. She currently earns $9.19 an hour. Under the new plan, her hourly pay will increase by 56 cents. 'It's not making a difference in my life at all,' said Ms. Wiley, 26, who relies on food stamps and Medicaid to help support her three sons." Sounds like somebody could use a cheer-up! How about a night out at Gwynnie's new club?
SATURDAY, APRIL 4
"I think it looks like a monster.... When you see it at night, it is frightening." So proclaimed the founder of the "We Love Lucy! Get Rid of This Statue" Facebook group, based out of Lucille Ball's hometown of Celoron, New York—where a hideous, 400-pound life-size bronze statue of Ball was erected in the town and has been terrifying residents. (And it does look like a monster. We'd tell you to Google image search it, but we don't want to give you nightmares.) Alas, Celoron Mayor Scott Schrecengost isn't optimistic about the chances of the atrocity being fixed anytime soon. "It would be a lot of money," he explained. Hey, think about it this way, horrified residents of Celoron: Your unsightly Lucy is still less disturbing than the bronze Vera Katz that, ever since 2006, has been terrorizing passersby on Portland's Eastbank Esplanade! We'll be the first to admit that Portland has a lot of terrible public art, but that... that thing? It is an abomination. A horror. A repugnant dead-eyed monstrosity that must be destroyed.
SUNDAY, APRIL 5
And now, possibly the greatest headline we've ever read, courtesy of Jezebel: "Michael Jackson Used to Anger Russell Crowe with Prank Phone Calls." And THANK GOD, the story doesn't disappoint! The tale comes from a Russell Crowe profile in the Guardian: "For two or three fucking years," Crowe complained. "I never met him, never shook his hand, but he found out the name I stayed in hotels under, so it didn't matter where I was, he'd ring up [and] do this kind of thing like you did you when you were 10, you know. 'Is Mr. Wall there? Is Mrs. Wall there? Are there any Walls there? Then what's holding the roof up? Ha ha.' You're supposed to grow out of that, right?" While Russell Crowe seems like a pouty l'il grumpums about all this (sounds like somebody could use a night out at Gwynnie's new club!), we're pretty sure this is Michael Jackson's greatest achievement. Forget about Thriller: If history remembers Jackson for just one thing, let it be that for years he called Russell Crowe, giggling while asking if there are any Walls there.