Hello, and welcome back to This Too Shall Pass! Not that I didn’t think you’d come back, of course. I hope you’ll consider me the McRib of columns: sweet, salty, kinda gross, and yet whenever I reappear you’re like, “Okay, sure!” Oh man, did the last two weeks kick anyone else in the rear? Remember learning how to drive a stick and it made that CLANK CLANK CLANK sound and you were barely moving forward even though you were trying so hard and it seemed like your neck could snap? That’s how the last two weeks have felt. But the news doesn’t stop, and neither do I.

So a thousand years ago, when I was working on my first column, I hoped to make it through without mentioning our idiot president or any other man who’s been accused of sexual misconduct, and I failed miserably. But it’s a new (two) week(s)! Maybe this will be the time for bad men to behave so some other stories can have a little light?

Ugh! Brett Kavanaugh!

Crap. By the time you’re reading this, SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh will have either testified before the Senate about what happened with Christine Blasey Ford, or withdrawn from consideration—so everything is fine! (Let me have this fantasy.) Meanwhile various media sources have been referring to her credible accusation as a “decades-old sexual misconduct allegation.” To me, “decades-old” is a qualifier used to make something seem irrelevant. “Wow! That floppy disk is decades old!” Sexual assault allegations don’t go in a drawer with your old cell phones until you eventually throw them out. They are the Twinkies of life experiences: They never go bad. “But many people were dumb in high school” say many people, correctly. Because it’s true! And many people shouldn’t be on the Supreme goddamn Court! (Allegedly) attempting rape isn’t “dumb.” Making and then smoking weed out of a homemade apple bong in front of your home-ec teacher’s house is dumb; trying to rape someone is evil. Meanwhile, Donny Trump Jr. shared a disgusting joke making fun of the whole thing with a classic “she wanted it!” implication, because he is the worst, and his horrible father, who is unfortunately our president (even though he lost the popular vote by 2,864,974 votes) insisted on Twitter that the assault would’ve been reported to the authorities if it was so bad, sparking a new hashtag campaign, #WhyIDidntReport. It’s been really hard and sad and frustrating. Can we take a shower now?

Showering with John Legend and Chrissy Teigen

A metaphorical cleansing shower, I mean! But wouldn’t a real one be nice? J + C are the best and I’ll use any excuse to talk about them. John Legend just became the 13th person in history to obtain EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) status for playing none other than freakin’ Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar Live. Not to be overshadowed, Chrissy Teigen is out with a new cookbook and line of kitchen doodads for Target. I’m going to buy and eat it all. Even my baby boomer mom is into this, informing me recently that “Chrissy Teigen is funny on Twitter.” Um, I KNOW, MOM! GOD! (Also my mom: “Do you follow @pdxalerts?! So many hatchet attacks! Be careful!” Get off Twitter, MOM!) John Legend and Chrissy Teigen are my closest friends who I’ve never met (after the Obamas) and I wish they were the whole news. Let’s find more light.

Bert & Ernie & Justin Bieber are All Married

For one: YAY! And for two: NO DUH! Muppets’ writer Mark Saltzman recently confirmed in an interview with Queerty that the “special” muppet friendship between Ernie and Bert was based on his real-life romantic relationship with another man. This had a lot of people “YAS KWEEN”ing, until the official Sesame Workshop Twitter came in and dumped on everyone with puritanical baloney about Muppets not having a sexual orientation. This is like some estranged, clueless dad insisting to his buddies at the bingo hall that his daughter is actually straight while not being invited to her lesbian wedding. Cheers to Bert and Ernie! May you take baths and bicker for years to come.

Speaking of married people! When I ran my initial draft of this column past my editor, Wm. Steven Humphrey, he crumpled it up and whispered quietly, in that calm, scary way: “Elinor, where is my Justin Bieber content?” [Wm. Steven Humphrey responds: “You signed a contract, Elinor.”] So you’ve got him to thank for the following:

Justin Bieber, 24, got married to Hailey Baldwin, 21. People reports that it was a small courthouse ceremony, so we haven’t gotten any good pictures yet, but every paparazzi picture of the pair shows them in shorts, so I’m going to assume their wedding attire was closer to something I’d wear to buy boxed wine and gummy peaches from Walgreens than the normal nuptials of tiny millionaires. I can’t wait for the actual blowout wedding party! I bet you $4.20 they’ll bring back the Britney/K-Fed coordinated wedding sweatsuits. In other Bieber news, according to TMZ, Biebs has applied for his US citizenship. He’s definitely tacky enough to be an American, but from years of working in immigration law, I happen to know that one of the questions on the naturalization form is “Have you ever committed a crime for which you were not arrested?” Have fun, lawyers!

Let’s Hear It for the Women

Tennis powerhouse Serena Williams lost the US Open to Naomi Osaka after confronting the referee about his controversial calls. Cynthia Nixon lost the Democratic primary election for governor of New York to Andrew Cuomo following massive voter turnout (a good thing!) and Nixon’s well-publicized snack of a cinnamon bagel with lox and capers (sounds gross to me, but Jesus John Legend Christ, let a lady snack in peace). But I’m calling these two losses a general win for our gender, because outspoken women are a force for good, and I salute and celebrate them for being in the news and saying, “I will not accept this bullshit.” From a Miranda to the Cynthias and Serenas (and Debbies and Christines): Thank you, I love you, please keep being you.

The Last Word

That’s all for now, friends. I hope the next two weeks are easier on our collective manual transmissions, and that we’re able to keep moving forward, even if it’s only a little bit, without breaking our necks.