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Of course Rihanna is friends with Johnny Depp
and other news
Today I’m sharing my thoughts on Riri platforming Johnny Depp, the NYPD partnering with Ring Neighbors to police us even more, Elon Musk being a fascist, and the US being condemned by the UN for the Cuba embargo. Onto the news…
News that made me remind you hotness is not a scarce resource
Rihanna has made a lot of fans angry by inviting Johnny Depp, a known abuser, to be a guest on the Savage x Fenty show. Rihanna is like the lord, she giveth and taketh away. She gave you a song after all these years and she’s taking away the love and adoration you have for her.
We are right to be very angry with Rihanna. We are right to call her out for platforming an abuser. But can we also stop expecting celebrities to be better than the exploitative and abusive system which they benefit from?
Look, I get it. Rihanna is hot and she can sing, two things that capitalism and celebrity culture have made a scarce resource. We’ve been convinced that being hot and having the capability to carry a tune are so rare that being able to do these things makes you a god capable of doing no evil.
Well I’m here to remind you that, firstly, being hot and being able to sing is not a scarce resource. I used to go to church, I’ve seen very many hot people who can sing.
Secondly, being hot and being able to sing do not make you an infallible human. I also learned this from going to church.
Thirdly, being a hot rich person who can sing means you are definitely not an infallible human. Some might argue the opposite of infallible.
Rihanna, like any rich person, has obtained her wealth from stealing labor. And someone who steals labor is very capable of platforming an abuser.
Just because you excluded Rihanna’s tasty butt from the list of rich people you were going to eat doesn’t change the fact that she’s rich and rich people cannot be trusted to do good things. Even if they are hot.
We can’t say all wealth is acquired through theft and then say, but your music is great and you're hot so I guess we won’t eat you.
News that Karens everywhere are celebrating
The NYPD is partnering with Ring Neighbors. Ring makes those cute lil creepy cameras that people use as their doorbells. Neighbors is Ring’s dystopian free app that allows people to post “safety” and “crime” posts.
Isn’t it fun how they got people to buy their own surveillance system by just making them cute and people were like, let me get this cute lil doorbell for the government to watch me.
The NYPD says the collaboration between Ring Neighbors and NYPD will allow the NYPD “to look at View, Post, and Respond to Crime and Safety Posts” aka let people snitch directly to the NYPD from the comfort of their own home.
This is a great moment for Karens in NYC because they no longer have to worry about people recording them as they call the cop on their Black neighbors who are checking their mail. Karens can now DM the cops and snitch in privacy without judgment.
This is not a great moment for Karens’ Black neighbors who now have to worry about Karen DMing the cop about them checking their mail.
The NYPD and Ring partnership highlights how the government and corporations work together to reinforce racial capitalism because racial capitalism serves corporations. I would go as far to say that corporations and the government are the same entity pretending to be two different beings like Superman and Clark Kent. If they aren’t then why would a company owned by billionaire Jeff Bezos aka meaner Lex Luther, make snitching easier for Karens everywhere?
Yes, Amazon owns Ring and I’m freaking out a little bit more knowing that when Jeff Bezos is not preventing people from peeing, he is helping the NYPD watch me.
News that I didn’t want to talk about but I had to
I didn’t want to talk about Elon Musk. I told myself I wouldn’t talk about Elon Musk because that’s what Elon wants me to do. I don’t do what Elon wants me to do so I said I would not do it. Then I saw that Ye, an anti-semite turned rapper was listed as a “top” account to follow on Twitter at the same time as “the Jews” was trending and I had to say something.
Twitter is now a destination for anti-semites everywhere to air out their vitriol because this is what Elon Musk wanted Twitter to become. It’s like someone turning cake mix into cake, this was their goal the whole time. If they didn’t want to turn the cake mix into cake they wouldn’t have gotten the cake mix. No one gets cake mix to turn into carrots.
What I feel like people are not talking about enough is the fact that Twitter is not the only fascist social media site. In fact, Elon Musk probably saw what Zuckerberg did with Facebook and he said, I can do better.
Social media sites do not veer towards fascism by mistake. It’s not like me accidentally sleeping in my contacts and having to use a whole bottle of eye drops to get the contacts off my eyes.
Social media sites veer towards fascism because social media sites are created in a system that enables fascism by the exact same entities that would gain from fascism.
Capitalists didn’t create social media tools to help us destroy capitalism, they created these tools to reinforce capitalism. That’s why on Twitter “The Jews” were trending at the same time Ye’s anti-semitic rants were considered to be nuggets of wisdom necessitating a follow instead of racist nonsense no one should ever see.
It’s because anti-semitism is white supremacy and capitalism depends on white supremacy to exist like I depend on my alarm going off 100 times to wake me up.
News that made me laugh so hard I cried
The United Nations has condemned the United States of America for its embargo against Cuba. Now 185 out of the 187 countries coming together to tell another country they are wrong might sound like a bunch of people ganging up on one person but in this case the ganging up is necessary.
Of course a majority of the countries coming together to condemn the United States doesn't mean the United States is going to listen. The US has been condemned for 30 years for the Cuban embargo but the US is committed to being that roommate who makes it hard for people to live with them. The US is the roommate who refuses to wash dishes, takes other roommates things by force, and then when asked to stop acting out, pulls out their nuclear weapons.
After the vote condemning the embargo, the US claimed the embargo is actually a favor to the people of Cuba. I’m honestly still always impressed by the United States commitment to pretending to be the good guy. If there was an academy award for the imperialist state pretending to be a good guy act, the US would win every year.
John Kelley, a US political counselor, went as far as telling the UN General Assembly the purpose of the embargo is to free the Cuban people from a government that “has used harsh prison sentences, even against minors, intimidation tactics, arrests, Internet interruptions, government-sponsored mobs, and horrendous prison conditions to try to prevent Cubans from exercising their human rights”.
Excuse me while I wipe my tears from all the laughing I just did. If the US is embargoing Cuba to prevent human rights violations, then the US should definitely embargo itself.
To be clear, anti-authoritarianism flows through my veins like the sugar from the cookies I had for breakfast and I will call it out everywhere I see it. However, for the United States to pretend like the embargo against Cuba is to end authoritarianism and human rights violations while having weekly brunches with Israel is a joke that all those 185 countries who condemned the embargo don’t think is funny.
That’s it for the news, but don’t go yet
This newsletter will also be published in Shado Mag on Tuesday. Shado is a lived-experience led community of artists, activists, and journalists fighting for social change. Go over and check them out.
If you are looking for new cool art, I’ve added my brother’s amazing art to my Etsy shop. Look at it or buy it or do both. I’m giving him all the money from the sales to support himself.
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P.S. I’ll be going to Atlanta next weekend for the Red Clay Comedy Festival so I won’t be writing this column next week. Don’t be sad I’ll bring back souvenirs.