#Problematic: Nicole Arbour Succeeds, Matt Damon Fails & Iggy Azalea Gets Dumped
Hello, all! I hope you’re sitting on a patio avidly exploring your new iOS update, along with the Kardashian/Jenner apps, sipping on a pumpkin spice latte, celebrating your right to be a complete douchebag if you fucking feel like it. Isn’t it wonderful? Isn’t it freeing? Are you overwhelmed by the unimpeded spread of technology into our lives, and the impulse for corporate interests to integrate everything we do onto a device until we just wake up and press one button and all of the sudden our bladders have been drained, intravenous caffeine has been administered, your eyes have been uploaded with the morning headlines, you have been dressed like a fashion blogger chosen at random by algorithms unknown to you, and all of the sudden you’re sitting at your desk while a robot hand wearing a glove of skin shells you shed pets your cat!? Good, me neither.
1. Nicole Arbour Got Exactly What She Wanted
When I think about Nicole Arbour I get about as stressed out as I do when I watch those videos of that woman who kept way too many cats in one room. It is very frustrating to watch a person who did something so nauseatingly uninteresting get so much attention for it, even if the unanimous consensus is that her “Dear Fat People” rant is the YouTube video equivalent of the smell of hot urine in a subway station. What’s made me want to scream like one of those cats in those crowded cat rooms (I’ve been really preoccupied with those videos lately) is that there’s been plenty of rebuke for Arbour’s nasty sentiments for bigger folks, but nothing for the fact that this walking epitome of the millennial special snowflake syndrome has manipulated her way into being far more famous by putting a lowbrow video on the internet and then milking the fuck out of it. There has been plenty of rhetoric about how wrong she was, how she should apologize, etc, but nothing speaking to the fact that all of that squawking was most likely her desired outcome.
So of course ladies of “The View” invited her on. Thankfully they weren’t really having much of her bullshit. Whoopi was having absolutely NONE of it, actually. She interrupted Nicole right off the bat when she attempted to (bad) joke her way out of the first question with, “Ma’am you’re here. This is your shot.” Even though Whoopi tried to put her in her place, what remains problematic is that everyone continues to let this nonsense parade barrel down the street while that bitch throws confetti in our faces. She has used the gamut of excuses for the video, from “It was just a joke,” to “It was meant to be offensive,” to “It’s a character,” and it’s all proof of the tepid drip that is her mind. I know, I know: feminism. I’m not supposed to be mean to other women, and I just referenced her as a bitch and insulted her intelligence. BUT if she’s allowed to call fat people out for existing, then I’m allowed to call her out for having nothing substantive to say, and mistaking her own, dim regurgitation of internet jargon as a schtick.
There’s no comedy in what she does, unless comedy is saying a lot of obvious, already joked about things into a camera. She is that girl at the bar who thinks that ordering a very specific, but boring drink makes her interesting. She’s the kind of girl who says “I’m obsessed with that.” She is a woman who is trying to trick us into believing her bad Jenna Marbles impression. And yet here we are letting her tout her work as “satire” and “comedy,” while also forcing her to talk about body positivity and health, as though she is an authority on it.
The most problematic of all, because I’m a feminazi and damn proud of it, is that in all of her refusal to apologize bravado, she attempted to evoke the Mother Goddess Of the Female Protectorate (MGOFP) by suggesting that she is only receiving criticism because she is a woman. Sexism and the struggle are real, and I’ll be the first person to blow a not penis-shaped whistle on it, but that’s not what’s happening here. Nicole Arbour is trying to use the attention she is getting from this video to legitimize herself as a “comedian,” and suggesting that is relevant enough as such to be both censored and the victim of the patriarchal nature of the comedy world. Hopefully now that Whoopi, etc have spoken, Nicole can sloth off back to her tiny corner of the internet and continue to wow her cadre of lowest common denominator fans with whatever it is she does.
As #Problematic as … the phrase “YouTube personality”:
2. Matt Damon, more Frenchy or Terrier?
This week, America’s puppy dog, Matt Damon, did the equivalent of shitting on the carpet. And much like how such bad behavior is a reminder than your four-legged BFF is actually a flighty animal—we were all reminded that the seemingly incredibly likable Damon is still a cluelessly privileged white male! He is still incapable of seeing beyond his own privileged white maleness to fully comprehend the consequences of marginalization! And he is still too much of a privileged white male to let the black, female producer, Effie Brown, whom he invited on his show, “Project Greenlight,” as an advisor, finish a sentence!
Effie had a hard enough job explaining to a room of white men that having a black prostitute get slapped by a white pimp might be a more successful scene if it were directed by a person of color, but Matt could not help but remind her that diversity happens in casting, not production. And then we all went “Ohhhhh!” Thanks Matt! To make matters worse he insinuated in his public apology that his comments “started a conversation about diversity in Hollywood. That is a conversation we should all be having.” Leave it to a man whose favorite color is probably khaki to condescend to the minority in a public apology for doing that in the first place! I just can’t stop putting sarcastic exclamation marks in this!
But in all seriousness, what I find the most problematic in these situations is that the media zeros in on the offender to coax out an apology. What would be much more enlightening for the public would be to reach out to the party that was mistreated and give them a platform to further explain what diversity really should look like. But eh, America would rather click on a headline about a white celebrity poorly apologizing than learn something.
As #Problematic as … the casting couch:
3. Maybe We Should Be Nicer to Iggy Azalea?
Iggy Azalea is like those jars of jelly and peanut butter swirled together. No, silly, I’m not hinting at her rampant cultural appropriation—I’m talking about the fact that she contributes something to the music community that we thought we all wanted, but after eating her sandwich that is uneven and feels like a fraud, we don’t want it anymore. Her music is exhausting, and makes you feel old. She is blissfully defiant in the face of criticism. But having said that, does she really deserve to have her failures flaunted through the media? T.I. told New York’s Hot 97 that he “took a bit of a rest stop” from his former mentee. T.I. went on to attempt to defend Iggy, and at least prevented himself from coming off as an insensitive asshole who would publicly drag a former colleague through the mud.
What’s problematic is the very sexist way the entire issue is being framed. No one should be celebrating the career setbacks of another woman. There shouldn’t be a million “T.I. Cuts Ties With Iggy!” headlines. Women in the spotlight already have to wade through endless puddles scrutinizing their weight and romantic lives, and now they’re expected to sit pretty while a feverish media that already frequently misrepresents or underplays their successes shit talks the end of their professional partnerships—something that might I remind you happens all of the time in the creative industry, as well as outside of it, and just as often platonically as when it’s not. I can’t believe that I’m arguing for the right for her to keep making music that I turn off on the radio, but you know what, I’m an equal opportunist shit-talker.
As #Problematic as … trying to decide which Kardashian/Jenner app to download: