What a Week! Feb. 1-7

Winter is staying, according to Punxsutawney Phil; the internet exploded when Beyoncé announced she and husband Jay Z are expecting twins; Super Bowl LI was one for the record books.

Feb 8, 2017 at 12:32 pm

click to enlarge *More* winter is coming. - Photo: Anthony Quintano
Photo: Anthony Quintano
*More* winter is coming.

Law-abiding American citizens are being detained at airport terminals because of their nationality. A woman with zero public school experience was just confirmed to head the Department of Education. The U.S. president’s press secretary swallows giant wads of chewing gum every day. During a time when life could not seem more hopeless and uncertain, America’s true first lady, Beyoncé, changed the national narrative Wednesday afternoon when she announced on Instagram that she and husband Jay Z were expecting not just one baby, but twins. The internet exploded, everyone was excited if not perplexed by Bey’s HIGH ART preggo photoshoot… but what about Blue? Formerly the sole heir to the Knowles-Carter fortune, firstborn Blue Ivy has got to have mixed emotions. Sure, she was photographed kissing her mom’s belly, looking all cute and big sisterly, but she’s about to go from only child to No. 3. Jay and Bey better hope Blue didn’t pick up any voodoo tricks on the “Formation” set in New Orleans. If anyone spots her with a pair of cornhusk dolls, alert the Beygency!


Groundhog Day was Thursday and, spoiler alert: Winter is staying. The 131-year-old tradition of watching a rodent react to its own shadow and somehow predict winter weather patterns is silly, sure. But by this time next year, when the term “global warming” has been abolished from the country’s vocabulary and the EPA has been dismantled, Punxsutawney Phil will be all we have left of a voice on climate.


Yet another roundup of weird regional dishes made its rounds this week, so you know what that means: We’ve got another person shitting on Cincinnati chili. Thrillist published a post titled “Every State’s Grossest Food (That People Actually Love),” detailing state-by-state delicacies like ambrosia salad and “Eskimo ice cream.” Ohio is represented by the Cincinnati chili five-way, an interesting deviation from the typical three-way or cheese coney, which is apparently weird. “Also, a chili five-way is disappointing to hardcore TLC fans every single time.” WTF does that even mean? Our chili has been skewered left and right over the past several decades, and the best you can come up with is a dated reference to Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas? If you’re gonna come for us, you’re gonna need to top Deadspin’s “horrifying diarrhea sludge.”


Saturday Night Live was full of surprises this week. The show tapped actress Kristen Stewart to host, despite her not having really anything to promote and her generally not being known for emoting, let alone being funny. But Stewart slayed. She called out the president’s 11 tweets about her over the years, came out publicly for the first time — “I’m, like, sogay, dude” — poked fun at her apathetic, too-cool demeanor, then promptly let an F bomb slip — all in the monologue alone! She was actually a fantastic host. But the biggest shock of the night came from none other than Melissa McCarthy playing an enraged White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Easily a top iconic SNL moment. In Trump’s hatred and dismissal of SNL, he has made the longtime show more relevant than it’s been in many years.


Super Bowl LI was one for the record books, the first-ever to go to overtime and Patriot quarterback Tom Brady’s record-setting fifth win. Between plays, big-budget ads and Lady Gaga’s Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl LI Halftime Show™ gave us a lot to unpack. Commercials from Airbnb, Budweiser and Coca Cola and even smaller companies like 84 Lumber all made statements about inclusivity and progressivism, which normally would signal a desire to market to as large an audience as possible, but because our president surrounds himself with white nationalists, instead it seemed controversial. Queen of controversy Lady Gaga opened her performance on the stadium’s roof and lept Mission Impossible-style down to the stage on-field. Well, she presented the illusion of that — the drone light show and her “jump” from the tippy-top of the stadium were pre-recorded (wah-wah). The rest of the show gave multicultural Mad Max vibes as Gaga sang, danced and played her way through her biggest hits from the last decade. Aaand that’s pretty much it. For the chick known for meat dresses and passionate political statements, her halftime show was rather vanilla. There were no surprise guest performers, which was kind of a letdown after having them the past few years. And how dare you perform “Telephone” in Houston and not give us Beyoncé? Tease. Watching Super Bowl LI was kind of like election night 2016: We all stayed up really late to catch the results, and in the end the white guys won.


A tweeted photo of a minivan parked in Brooklyn with a dashboard full of VHS copies of Speed went viral this week. As the image spread, others who’d seen the car and its movie collection shared their encounters and others attempted to track it down in New York. Within days the van was identified as the touring vehicle for a band called Idaho Green. Years ago, some of the band members met a guy intent on collecting every copy of Speed on VHS. Ever since, whenever Idaho Green makes a new tour stop, they swing by a local thrift store to scope out its movie selection. They’ve amassed around 50 copies now, and the dashboard became the only open spot in the cramped touring van to keep the tapes. Thanks to web sleuthing, we now know about the van, Idaho Green and the “World Speed Project.” If only bored people on the internet could work together IRL to accomplish literally anything else.


The live-action Beauty and the Beast film’s trailer is out, and surprisingly silent are animal rights activists everywhere. After boycotting A Dog’s Purpose following the release of a behind-the-scenes video (that turned out to be edited to mislead, BTW), you’d think there would be some concern about another movie starring an animal. What, just because he’s a “beast” (rude, honestly), he doesn’t deserve the same rights as dog actors? 

CONTACT T.C. BRITTON: [email protected]