This week, the impeccable Tom Rasmussen has his say on Angela Lansbury, Justin Timberlake's rabbit-thieving past and some wedding that people seem really, really into.
It’s time we all came clean about one thing. And that one thing is this: everyone hates weddings. I’m sorry to anyone who’s had one, and maybe I’ll feel different if I ever choose to waste a day of people’s time forcing them to watch me put on a ring, but they are just so dull. And instead of collections of memories which you look back on with fondness, everyone — and I mean everyone — just picks apart every wedding they’ve ever been to like vultures grazing a tulle-covered carcass, chucking about phrases like “Ooh I wouldn’t have had fish for the main course” or “Hmmm dusky pink bridesmaids' dresses? I’d have navy, pastels are so passive!”
...That’s why this week has been utterly bamboozling with the announcement of Meghan Markle and the better-looking prince’s wedding. It’s a wedding. And we, the taxpayer, are fronting the bill. Nothing about that is good. And what’s worse, in fact, is that there’s now literally no opportunities for me to marry royal unless Princess Beatrice gets wicked for gay guys. Even worse than that is that the dull white coat Meghan was wearing for the announcement sold out in 22 minutes. Come on folks.
But while the world buzzed with countless column inches about what she might wear, while email inboxes were flooded with ‘get the look’ spam from jewellery chains selling budget versions of the royal ring, the real point here is that the right-wing press had a field day adding their racist trash slant to the epidemic of press surrounding this royal engagement. If this wedding is good for anything it’s that perhaps Meghan — who is, admittedly, a vision of brilliance — will bring some much-needed diversity, engagement and representation into a system that is both born from and continues to perpetuate nationally justified white supremacy. As Arianna Davis wrote earlier this week, “many folks — like myself — are focusing on her race because we're simply proud that someone like Markle has finally made their way inside the historically white British monarchy.” That’s what we should be celebrating, not yet another dull-ass wedding.
Speaking of outdated systems, Justin Timberlake revealed this week where ‘sexy went’ before he brought it back so humbly some 11 years ago. Apparently, he revealed, "Sexy Back" was actually about a friend’s rabbit called Sexy (really) and they were worried Justin was gonna steal it (the rabbit). And so he wrote "Sexy Back" to let them know he was going to bring Sexy, the rabbit, Back. The more you know.
...And while J-Timbz brought "Sexy Back" back into the limelight, Victoria’s Secret once again brought Sexy backwards with their mind-numbingly pre-woke show. But, really, is anyone that surprised? Year on year it’s the same array of thin bodies, the same tone-deaf smattering of cultural appropriation, the same hollow odes to sisterhood and strength, all while churning out glitzy content on the glaringly obvious wheel of capitalism disguised as beauty, power and strength. In a world where people are, albeit slowly, catching up to the idea that beauty isn’t always white and thin, perhaps it’s time to ask Vicky what her secret really is. I always thought it was that she’d killed her cat when she was 11 by putting a rubber band on its mouth and accidentally suffocating it, but it’s actually that she’s a company built on cheap labour with eyes for cash over creating a space to celebrate all beauty.
Another celeb who landed themselves in hot water this week for erring on the side of pre-politically engaged dustiness was our old fave Angela Lansbury. Murder, indeed, she wrote: but this time it was the murder of her public profile. In an interview with the Radio Times, Lansbury said of post-Weinstein era Hollywood: "We must sometimes take blame, women. I really do think that. Although it’s awful to say we can’t make ourselves look as attractive as possible without being knocked down and raped.” Twitter, rightfully, went into critical meltdown — this isn’t about a generational gap, this is about victim blaming, which someone as smart as Lansbury certainly has the critical faculties to get on board with. It’s so disappointing, but here’s hoping somewhere out there Angie’s ready to listen, and learn about what her statements mean — we all need that sometimes.
...And while Angela hopefully gets the message from her fans, J.K. Rowling spent the week ignoring hers. Fans on Twitter reported that Rowling has been blocking them for bringing up the casting of alleged domestic abuser Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts movie. Instead of engaging, J.K. simply blocked. But we want answers. What’s odd is that she’s usually happy to get back to her critics — “there were no gays in Harry Potter” say us, “ummm Dumbledeezy was clearly into dudes guys, srsly u homophobes” she responded. It’s hard when your heroes let you down (she’s not mine btw, I’ve never read Harry Potter), but if the world is teaching us anything right now, it’s that plenty of our heroes are, really, far from it.
But to end on a positive note: The Grammys are finally starting to make up for their decades of looking over artists of colour, which was crystallised in their totally misplaced choice of best album last year, choosing Adele over Bey. Like, genuinely I talk about this most days and it’s a j-o-k-e that Lemonade didn’t win. Every other song on Adele’s album was good, yes, but Lemonade? Grammys, u ok hun? Turns out they are: This year, the Grammy nominations are the most diverse in history, with the most artists of colour ever receiving nominations across the board. My eyes are on you SZA, Cardi B, Jay-Z, Childish Gambino. My eyes are on you Kendrick, and you Lil Uzi Vert. While the Recording Academy got away with their years of outright racism with barely more than a few memes, it’s astonishing and wonderful to see them finally listen up to music that’s actually good. Good for you, Grammys, good for you!