While You Were Offline: Trump Loves ‘Hispanics,’ Taco Bowls
What a week this was on our Internets: New Radiohead! New Justin Timberlake! New Boaty McBoatface! Yes, that last one is real. Even though the Natural Environment Research Council chose to ignore the web’s McBoatface name request and dub its new vessel RRS Sir David Attenborough, it turns out that Boaty lives on as a remote-controlled undersea vehicle. Boaty McSubface? Whatever. Let’s just all agree to be happy with what we’ve got, because there’s more than enough to get upset about elsewhere. Don’t believe me? Oh, friends: Just take a look at what you might have missed over the past seven days or so.
Ill-Advised Cinco de Mayo Greetings From the Donald
What Happened: Now that he’s all-but-certain to be the Republican nominee for president of the United States, Donald Trump used Cinco de Mayo to try and win over some new fans.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media think pieces
What Really Happened: In a piece of news that surprised many this week, Donald Trump became the presumptive presidential nominee of the Republic Party after winning the Indiana primary in such a fashion that his remaining rivals, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, dropped out of the race. (Cruz did, thankfully, exit with an appropriately meme-worthy maneuver.) It’s not that people didn’t think Trump would get it, as such; it’s more that they didn’t think he’d do so this soon, and with so many questions remaining about how he’d pivot to a general election. How, for example, would he win over Hispanic voters after the many, many racist things he’s said in the primary?
Oh, don’t worry; the brain behind Celebrity Apprentice had a plan, tweeting this on May 5:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 5, 2016
Response on Twitter was exactly as should be expected, as well:
6am – call Morning Joe
7am – Tweet
10am – inspect gold finishes
1pm – yell
2:30pm – eat taco bowl at desk
4pm – classified briefing
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) May 5, 2016
— W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) May 5, 2016
The best taco bowls are made by immigrants who resent a rich prick calling them rapists. Love inauthentic Mexican! pic.twitter.com/9tEORJxoZp
— Full Frontal (@FullFrontalSamB) May 5, 2016
.@realDonaldTrump That’s either a HUGE fork or you’ve got tiny hands, man.
— Andrew Kirell (@AndrewKirell) May 5, 2016
Donald Trump is eating a taco salad on top of a bikini-clad photo of his ex-wife, Marla Maples. pic.twitter.com/sW2itGBAOK
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) May 5, 2016
So viral was Trump’s bizarro outreach effort that one woman’s response to it on Facebook also went viral. To be fair, Andrea Mucino’s response was an impressive takedown: “Too bad a taco bowl isn’t Mexican, the Trump Tower Grill isn’t either, you’re not eating taco bowls from New York because you’re in WV today, Cinco de Mayo isn’t a Hispanic holiday, it’s a Mexican one, and you are the same color as the taco bowl shell,” she wrote. “But I digress!” Still, at least one Fox News contributor was convinced, and that’s half the battle.
The Takeaway: If nothing else, we should perhaps congratulate Mr. Trump on being consistent:
A taco bowl is just a taco with a big, beautiful wall around it. https://t.co/Xmo771Jr2D
— Karen Tumulty (@ktumulty) May 5, 2016
But Really, How Does the Republican National Committee’s Twitter Account Feel About Trump?
What Happened: Actually, how is the GOP dealing with Trump being the nominee? One tweet suggests the answer is “with a strong case of denial.”
Where It Blew Up: Twitter
What Really Happened: Of course, the Republican race for the nomination has been universally acknowledged as a mess by almost everyone, with the party split between those pledging loyalty to Trump and those pledging #NeverTrump or #StopTrump. Even House Speaker Paul Ryan is publicly saying that he can’t support Trump yet, joining the two living former Republican presidents (and the guy who ran for the party last time) in withholding support. So how did the official Republican National Committee Twitter account greet Trump’s ascendancy?
Thank you to the entire Republican field for a hard fought race. The Party is better for your efforts.
— GOP (@GOP) May 4, 2016
Yes. That seems convincing. Look, these people are convinced:
— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) May 4, 2016
— pourmecoffee (@pourmecoffee) May 4, 2016
— JB (@JB_August) May 4, 2016
— Joecephus (@_joecephus) May 4, 2016
— The Soap™ (@SoapView) May 4, 2016
@GOP By “better” do you mean “near collapse” or “on death watch”?
— Robert Stribley (@stribs) May 4, 2016
Perhaps the most notable response came from Ben Sasse:
I assume this is a parody account? https://t.co/kPOoDpVmU7
— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) May 4, 2016
Why is that reasonably restrained tweet notable? Well, in itself, it’s not—but Sasse is the Republican senator from Nebraska, and was so moved by the way in which his party has responded to Trump’s candidacy that he wrote an open letter on Facebook of all places to explain that he could not support Trump.
“Please understand: I’m not an establishment Republican, and I will never support Hillary Clinton,” he wrote. “I’m a movement conservative who was elected over the objections of the GOP establishment. My current answer for who I would support in a hypothetical matchup between Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton is: Neither of them. I sincerely hope we select one of the other GOP candidates, but if Donald Trump ends up as the GOP nominee, conservatives will need to find a third option.”
The Takeaway: Yes, the party is definitely better for current events. Definitely.
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) May 4, 2016
What Happened: Spinning out of recent events and the fact that May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, a new hashtag brings focus to Hollywood’s lack of Asian-American representation.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media think pieces
What Really Happened: One subject that has been much discussed lately is the lack of Asian representation in movies, especially in light of the Scarlett Johansson-featuring first image from the all-white Ghost in the Shell remake and the sight of Tilda Swinton playing the traditionally Tibetan “Ancient One” in Marvel’s Doctor Strange. The combination of those two—hardly unusual, sadly—decisions has led to a lot of people talking about how poorly Asian actors have it in Hollywood.
With May being Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the Nerds of Color site teamed up with Margaret Cho and We Need Diverse Books to launch something called #WhiteWashedOUT, a month of online discussion about this very topic. Discussion on Twitter quickly showed the need for this kind of thing:
Asian Americans deal with contempt & erasure everyday. We need our allies to help raise our voices. Help us stop being #whitewashedOUT
— Ellen Oh (@ElloEllenOh) May 3, 2016
— Stan Yee (@stanyee) May 3, 2016
I’m participating in #whitewashedOUT because I want to stand up for Asian Americans in the film industry!
— Amitha Knight (@amithaknight) May 3, 2016
Many Americans are confused by Filipinos (Asian faces, Hispanic names?) because of ignorance. Our history has been #whitewashedOUT
— Jennifer de Guzman (@Jennifer_deG) May 3, 2016
Was asked to teach white actors how to do “Asian” make-up for a show bc they didn’t cast AAPI. I refused #whitewashedOUT
— Thien-Kim Lam (@thienkim) May 3, 2016
#whitewashedOUT means that we get the message time and time again that white people are better at being Asian than we are.
— Swapna Skywalker (@skrishna) May 3, 2016
— Fangirl Jeanne (@fangirlJeanne) May 3, 2016
When fellow Americans compliment my English, I try to always respond, “Your English is great, too!” (I was born in Illinois) #whitewashedOUT
— Hannah Bae (@hanbae) May 3, 2016
— Grace Hwang Lynch (@HapaMamaGrace) May 3, 2016
#whitewashedOUT meant it took years for me to realize writing Asian protags was possible. I cast myself as the sidekick in my own stories.
— Sarah Kuhn (@sarahkuhn) May 3, 2016
POC identify w white protagonists all the time R white people so devoid of humanity they can’t identify with POC heroes? #whitewashedOUT
— David Mura (@MuraDavid) May 3, 2016
In high school when people asked who I wanted to play me in my life story, I only ever had 2 choices: Ming Na or Lucy Liu. #whitewashedOUT
— Jenny Han (@jennyhan) May 3, 2016
Being #whitewashedOUT is having white people get the credit for telling (terrible) versions of your stories while yours are ignored.
— Shveta Thakrar (@ShvetaThakrar) May 3, 2016
— lauren. (@wckdstiles24) May 3, 2016
— Margaret Cho (@margaretcho) May 3, 2016
#whitewashedOUT means being repeatedly told I should write under a “white” pseudonym because “no one would buy a book by someone Chinese”.
— Marjorie Liu (@marjoriemliu) May 3, 2016
— Constance Wu (@ConstanceWu) May 3, 2016
The campaign has been noticed by a number of outlets, but the real question is, will Hollywood itself notice… and if so, do something to fix the problem?
The Takeaway: If nothing else, we can rest assured that at least one person in Hollywood has been paying attention: Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson, who tweeted this midway through the week:
Raw anger/hurt from Asian-Americans over Hollywood whitewashing, stereotyping & erasure of Asians in cInema.
I am listening and learning.
— Scott Derrickson (@scottderrickson) May 4, 2016
Pounded in the Hugos, So to Speak
What Happened: Despite an attempt to co-opt dinosaur erotica writer Chuck Tingle for a rightwing agenda, things have gone rather strange and wonderful when it comes to this year’s Hugo Awards.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, blogs
What Really Happened: Late last week, the nominees for the 2016 Hugo Awards were announced, and on the list this year was the Internet’s favorite dinosaur erotica specialist and Bernie Sanders fan, Chuck Tingle—an inclusion that had some wondering if he was a plant of the anti-progressive agenda’s continual attempt to disrupt the awards.
That theory was seemingly confirmed by a blog post by a big dog in the Rabid/Sad Puppies continuum, Vox Day, wherein he wrote “Chuck Tingle’s nomination is not a joke. Well, all right, it is. But it’s arguably less of a joke than N.K. Jemisin’s affirmative-action reward for hating the ‘beardy old middle-class middle-American guys’ who created the field.” But how would Tingle react to the truth behind his nomination? With absurdity, initially. (Well, after Slammed In the Butt By My Hugo Award Nomination, but you expected that, right?)
feels weird to be best author in the world everyones trying to get you to hum their buckaroo tune. no way buddy im humming my own song
— Chuck Tingle (@ChuckTingle) May 2, 2016
some buckaroos try to prove life is soft when we all know REAL LOVE makes life hard as rocks for ALL buds who kiss pic.twitter.com/x6wfdOkBvx
— Chuck Tingle (@ChuckTingle) May 3, 2016
He also turned his attention to Vox Day himself, recasting him as “Voxman,” also known as the father of Keanu Reeves and writer of the first two Matrix movies. Oh, and those who follow Vox’s lead are, in Chuck’s world, “devilmen.” Don’t ask, just go with it:
BING SEARCH voxman kissing other angry authors on the weiners and putting them in his butt (in the matrix)
— Chuck Tingle (@ChuckTingle) May 3, 2016
we all know this classic moment of dealing with VOXMAN (kenna reves proud dad and writer of matrix 1 and 2) pic.twitter.com/YVc5qTq3dF
— Chuck Tingle (@ChuckTingle) May 4, 2016
But his finest move? Protecting his true identity by declining to attend the Hugo Awards ceremony, and choosing the ideal person to attend in his absence.
IMPORTANT: cant go to hugos award so to thwart devil plans, true buckaroo ZOE QUINN (name of @unburtwitch) has agreed to accept award for me
— Chuck Tingle (@ChuckTingle) May 5, 2016
Yes, Zoe Quinn. The game developer and original target of Gamergate has been tapped to go in Tingle’s stead. Just in terms of trolling the trolls so very, very hard, let’s just give Tingle/Quinn the Hugo now, please?
The Takeaway: What’s next in the cold war between Tingle and Vox et. al? Chuck has an idea:
— Chuck Tingle (@ChuckTingle) May 5, 2016
The Weirdest Premiere in Cannes History
What Happened: How to get buzz for your movie: Promise not to screen it for 100 years, and then announce that you’re showing it at Cannes. Kind of.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, Media think pieces
What Really Happened: This is just surreal. This year’s Cannes Film Festival will debut 100 Years—the Movie You Will Never See, a new movie by Robert Rodriguez, starring John Malkovich… kind of. It will, you see, literally debut the movie… except that it won’t screen the movie. That won’t happen until the year 2115, apparently; what will be seen at Cannes is a safe that allegedly contains the movie, because that’s a thing.
When Twitter addressed the subject, it was suitably skeptical:
This project always repulsed me and I hope the world is in flames before in like 80 years https://t.co/Yft7SxWkM5
— cameron maitland (@camfess) May 5, 2016
Ok…that’s one way to make a statement. Hope we take better care of earth so she can play host to Cannes 2115 https://t.co/btFd2JWnkJ
— Shannan Leigh Reeve (@shannleighreeve) May 5, 2016
— Melanie Buford (@MelanieBuford) May 5, 2016
Watch 100 Years open at Cannes 2115 and it turn out to be one of the worst films ever made
— Willy Smith (@BigWackyWilly) May 5, 2016
John Malkovich locked a film in a vault that won’t open until 2115?!
*safe opens 100 years later*
*Black Sails on DVD is nestled inside*
— Christian Lynch (@monsterLUNCH) May 5, 2016
They should go old school by only showing it in theaters instead of on demand beaming https://t.co/6M6Ef7UVGv
— Jason Burger (@jason_burger) May 5, 2016
John Malkovich wrote & stars in “the film you will never see”, to be released in 2115, directed by Robert Rodriguez. it’s like they know me!
— Campbell Andrews (@gurghi) May 5, 2016
The Takeaway: If nothing else, we can congratulate the movie industry for finding a new way for actors to avoid admitting that they haven’t had any jobs recently: “So, what have you been up to?” “Oh, filming a new project.” “That’s great! When will it be released?” “One hundred years from now, after you’re dead. It’s one of those movies.”
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