It’s been a busy week. Not necessarily a very good week, but it’s at least been busy. And there’s snow on the ground this morning, so there’s that.
The headlines from this past week span from Star Wars, to Hamilton, to Metallica and more. Let’s sort through the madness and take a look outside the bubble.
1) I’ll bet Steve Bannon totally loved “Phantom Menace.”
Breitbart executive chairman, white nationalist and all-around swell guy Steve Bannon was appointed Donald Trump’s new campaign chief strategist. Bannon is, in a way, exactly who Trump promised he would bring in- an outsider. Bannon has no political experience whatsoever.
He is also, in a way, exactly who Trump promised he would bring in- a guy with prejudice against pretty much every group that is not white, Christian or male. Bannon has had problems with women, Jews, Muslims, homosexuals, domestic violence, but you know who he doesn’t have a problem with?
Dick Cheney did some horrifying things as Vice-President of the United States, but at least he was a real person. Bannon goes on to then liken Cheney to Darth Vader and, in perhaps the craziest of leaps, Satan, as agents of Good in the world.
In the same interview, Bannon mentioned that he was proposing a “trillion-dollar infrastructure plan” that would be as “exciting as the 1930s,” inciting a movement on par with Jacksonian popularism.
“The conservatives are going to go crazy,” Bannon said.
I’m sure they’re not the only Stormtroopers Bannon would like to lead, either.
2) TrumpU still more useful than majoring in communications, amirite folks?
Donald Trump reached a settlement in his Trump University fraud case for $25 million. Trump was scheduled to appear in court later this month in response to three suits against him, including two California class-action suit and an action suit filed by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (per the Washington Post).
Yeah. Too bad that whole “getting elected” thing meant having to actually address fraud charges in the public eye. Poor guy. He had to sacrifice his record of never, ever settling in court even though he has literally settled in court plenty of times before.
Maybe settling is the new form of winning.
3) The Reynolds Pamphlet was the original Billy Bush tape.
Vice-president-elect Mike Pence paid a visit to Broadway’s hit rap-musical “Hamilton” Friday night.
It did not go well.
This is not the first time that Mike Pence has been booed at a public event. Pence threw out the first pitch at an Indianapolis Indians game back in April to a frigid reception.
After the performance, the cast of Hamilton wished to address Pence before he left the theatre. The cast implored the audience not to boo Pence, and asked if the future vice president would “hear them out.”
Brandon Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr, requested Pence represent all Americans equally of “all colors, creeds and orientations,” as they are a cast of great diversity. Dixon also said he hoped the performance “inspired” Pence.
“We welcome you, and we truly thank you for joining us here at ‘Hamilton: An American Musical,'” Dixon said.
The message was a bold stand, but executed tactfully and with respect. Dixon at no point attacked Pence, insulted him, and continually referred to him by his title of “vice-president-elect” or “sir.” It was a good-natured address to spark a conversation and reach out to an administration that is getting support from groups such as the Ku Klux Klan for its rhetoric and proposed policies.
Surely, then, given the magnitude and the thoughtfulness of the statement, Donald Trump took time to pause. I’m sure the president-elect, the new defender of free speech, representative of the American people, defender of equal rights, protector of the First Amendment carefully crafted a response-
Donald Trump be missin’ the point like:
I mean, my god. There is just so much to digest here. Hamilton ends with the vice president murdering the play’s protagonist and that vice president wasn’t the least popular vice president in the room. The show is about one of the greatest writers in the nation’s history, who worked non-stop writing 51 essays of The Federalist Papers, who was the speechwriter for George Washington and, and the current president-elect wants to disparage the show in 140 characters or less.
Maybe he’s just mad that he didn’t get to see it before Lin-Manuel Miranda left. Or that with his TrumpU settlement he can’t afford a ticket anymore.
I suppose it’s a good thing Mike Pence didn’t take a wrong turn into the theatre for “Kinky Boots,” huh.
Maybe Steve Bannon should go see “Fiddler on the Roof” next. Or “The Color Purple.” Or “Cats,” cuz you know what, why bring waterboarding back when “Cats” is still on Broadway.
The jokes write themselves, people.
Mike Pence went on “Face the Nation” and said that not only was he not offended by the remarks, but that he enjoyed the show. Ivanka Trump went to see the show back in March and had her expectations “exceeded.”
Dude. Shut up. Shut up about the New York Times being unfair. Shut up about how SNL isn’t funny anymore. And it’s not like this is old stuff that’s being rehashed- this is looking at his Twitter feed from the last 24 hours.
Miranda, the show’s creator and former star, tweeted his support for Dixon after the show.
Hamilton has also been releasing tracks from the “Hamilton Mixtape,” coming out December 2nd, these past few days. And they are straight fire.
To this point, there is no record of the Indianapolis Indians AAA-players apologizing to Mike Pence for the boos, though perhaps that, too, was settled out of court.
4) To be fair, I thought Golden State played in San Francisco until recently.
The Milwaukee Bucks’ Jumbotron guy deserves a raise. The “Bandwagon Cam” panned the arena for fans of the opposing Golden State Warriors. When they appeared on screen, captions like “Forgot Warriors blew a 3-1 lead” or “Doesn’t know which city the Warriors play in” accompanied them.
Milwaukee clearly has been taking notes from the scoreboard operators down in Dallas for the Stars, who have had plenty of their own fun trolling visiting fans over the years:
It’s so nice to see arenas take on a personality as opposed to just having the generic “wave to the camera” shot and the “kiss cam” that leaves everyone at the game with their sister thinking “please no please no please no please-”
5) “Hardwired to Self-Destruct: The Trump Presidency,” by James Hetfield
In the music world, Metallica had a massive build-up to their new album, “Hardwired…to Self-Destruct,” released on Friday. The band that once said that music videos were “selling out” released music videos to all 12 tracks on their new record every two hours leading up to what they dubbed, “Blackened Friday.”
The album, Metallica’s 10th from the studio, sounds pretty great. Even in their 50s, they can still thrash, and their sound is actually pretty reminiscent of their work from the 1980s.
But the story here is not even the album itself, or even the massive amount of effort and production value put into an overload of music videos.
It’s that Metallica, the Gods of Metal, the band that once was supposed to play the obscenity-free “King Nothing” at the MTV Awards in 1996 but instead played a cover of “So What,” perhaps the most vulgar song ever written just because, the band that once said “singing was for [insert homophobic slur here],” did…this.
Ironically, I think Lars keeps better time on the tiny snare and finger cymbals than he ever has live.
So if you think that things can’t ever get better, just remember: even Metallica can go from “So What” to playing with kazoos and xylophones.