Caster Semenya (left) and Arya Stark (right) Cameron Spencer / Getty Images, HBO

Hi! Thanks for visiting me, Elinor Jones, on page five of the Portland Mercury. Come here *pats spot next to me on the couch*. Did you know that when young people like something, they snap their fingers instead of clapping, whooping, or slapping their knees like they’re at an old-timey hootenanny? I work with many people born in the ’90s who have probably never even been to a hootenanny, and whenever I say something cool (which isn’t often) they all start snapping. Every time it throws me off. Why aren’t they saying anything? Should I snap too? Or do I hold my hands up like that one emoji of the two palms facing out with the little string of triangles over them?? The best I can do is observe their habits; I’m confident that by the time I learn how to snap at them, it will have become terribly uncool, so I have that to look forward to! And you have this column, which reads as following:


Roving Gangs of Power-Seekers: DC Edition

The pool of democratic presidential candidates may need just a little more chlorine now that former vice president Joe Biden formally announced his candidacy after months of speculation, including several weeks where his history of handsiness and hair-sniffing seemed like a big deal, and people were like, “Women are recklessly accusing Biden of stuff that isn’t even bad, according to me, somebody who wasn’t there, and it will damage his reputation FOREVER!” Yet straight out the gate, Biden is leading in the primary polls against several candidates who have never been accused of inappropriately touching anyone. That’s weird!

To be clear, I’d vote for an un-housetrained basset hound over Trump in 2020, so whatever. The first caucus isn’t for 10 months. A lot can change. John Edwards was a frontrunner once, too. (BTW, did you know that John Edwards, who fathered a child with his mistress as his wife died of cancer, is now back to being a successful lawyer? Another life ruined by allegations of sexual misconduct... NOT. *snaps*)


Roving Gangs of Power-Seekers: Premium Cable Edition

(IT’S BEEN TWO WEEKS, DON’T READ THIS PART IF YOU’RE A NARC.) The only thing people are able to discuss these days aside from the aforementioned group of wannabe rulers is the fictional wannabe rulers of Westeros on Game of Thrones. Actress Maisie Williams, who plays MVP (most valuable pipsqueak) Arya Stark, shared that her real-life boyfriend responded to her recent game-changing murder of the Night King by questioning whether it was right that Arya had the honor instead of fortune’s bastard Jon Snow. The internet responded in unison with a swift and resounding “DUMP HIM!” Or as Arya would say: stick him with the pointy end. The other love in Maisie’s life (who is not me, sadly) is actress Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark. Last week Turner married Jonas Brother Joe Jonas, which means that, sadly, she has not married me. I know that she’s not really Sansa but: I’m happy that Sansa is happy. <3


The Drama of Your Moms’ Lives is HERE

Attention, baby boomers (hey mom, stop cyber-bullying Don Jr. on Twitter for a minute and get over here): The most interesting gossip of your age bracket is coming to light right now. During a recent interview with Vulture, Angelica Huston dished that she’s been in a 30-year feud with none other than Oprah freaking Winfrey, ever since Huston beat Winfrey for an Academy Award in 1986. The only thing that could possibly be better than being Oprah’s best friend is being her nemesis, so Angelica won big *two* times in 1986. (FWIW, my mom and I are team *both* of you.) Another delicious tidbit from the interview: Huston wasn’t able to maintain a friendship with Penny Marshall years ago because Marshall ALLEGEDLY used to stay up all night with the AC blasting, smoking ciggies, doing coke, and buying Beanie Babies off QVC. Those boomers knew how to party, I’ll give ’em that!


Some Dicks in Sports

South African runner, world champion, and Olympic medalist Caster Semenya has become the face of a recent sexist and racist ruling by the International Association of Athletics Federations. Due in part to athletes like Semenya, the IAAF will now require that women with increased naturally-occurring levels of testosterone either take medication to lower their testosterone levels or compete against men—despite being women—because it’s just not fair to the other girls. “But Elinor,” you say, “it’s not inherently racist and sexist, it’s just that the person who has what we consider to be an unfair biological advantage happens to be a Black woman!” So then I wondered about the most decorated Olympian ever, swimmer and white man Michael Phelps. I learned that his body was found to produce an abnormal amount of lactic acid, which directly causes his body to heal at dramatically faster rates than most athletes and is largely responsible for his huge wins, but he doesn’t have to take medicine to correct his biological advantage. I guess that’s just a coincidence. *snaps*


Get Your Shots

A kind of funny (but more alarming) bit of schadenfreude comes courtesy of the following story, which allows us all to simultaneously point and laugh at 1) anti-vaxxers, 2) Scientologists, and 3) people who take cruises. Someone aboard a cruise ship in St. Lucia was discovered to have the measles, resulting in hundreds of people being quarantined on the ship instead of disembarking and then getting on commercial flights and sprinkling their measles across the globe. That the ship is registered to the Church of Scientology, which has made a profitable religion out of bunk science, is just the icing of germs you coughed onto the cake buffet. BUT before you point and laugh, please note that some people who were vaccinated initially against the measles between 1968 and 1989 (raises one hand while covering mouth with the other hand) may no longer be immune, so please get a booster shot. THEN point and laugh.

In related news, People magazine reported that requests for medical consultations regarding herpes concerns went up 2,000 percent in Southern California during the weekends that Coachella was happening. A lot of people have herpes so I won’t tease anyone for that. But if I find out that you got herpes at Coachella... well, I’m sorry my friend, but I will introduce you to other people by mentioning that factoid until the end of our lives or the end of our friendship. (It will probably be the latter, because I won’t be able to shut up about this Coachella herpes thing.)


The Last Word

What a great column this was! *Snaps* me for writing it, and *snaps* you for reading it, and *snaps* me again for making snaps uncool so everybody can stop doing them. *SNAPS SNAPS SNAPS* *explodes* Bye!