Let's meet some of the lowest-performing white men in the world.
I have apologized for this article. Please see my full statement here.
Every December since 1927, TIME's Person of the Year award has recognized the most influential person (or group of people) on the global stage.
Its ranks include almost every sitting US president since the award's inception, alongside world leaders, business moguls, and activists. The magazine does not necessarily endorse every winner––sometimes their pick for most influential person (i.e. Adolf Hitler in 1938 and Joseph Stalin in 1939) reflects the destructive ends of global influence. But regardless, for most recipients, especially those in the activism space, the award is viewed as an honor––and in 2019, it most certainly is.
Time's 2019 Person of the Year is Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate change activist who has traveled the world speaking to politicians, leading protests, and urging everyone to stop turning a blind eye to the myriad ways that humans are destroying the planet.
But even though 97% of climate scientists agree that global warming and climate change are both real and caused by humans, right-wing lunatics (read: very angry white men) hate Greta Thunberg, because...?
Much of their adult hatred directed towards a child dedicating her life to trying to making the world sustainable for future generations stems from the fact that they are, in reality, literal babies trapped in hairy, pale, man-bodies. But their main reason is the fact that their God-King (they're too stupid to understand how elected public officials are supposed to work), Donald Trump, hates her, too.
So because Donald Trump doesn't believe in climate change (putting his stupid ass in disagreement with his own government's science divisions), his even stupider supporters don't either. Now they're real mad on Twitter over Greta Thunberg being TIME's Person of the Year, so they're sh*tting their diapers for all to see. It's great. Let's meet some of the lowest-performing white men in the world up close and personal.
@TIME @GretaThunberg Yeah but so was Hitler.— Count Dankula🏴 (@Count Dankula🏴)1576071690.0
Oh, who's this angry white boy trying to compare Greta Thunberg to Hitler? Why, it's "Count Dankula," the Scottish YouTuber best known for teaching his dog to perform a Nazi salute gesture and respond positively when asked, "Do you wanna gas the Jews?" Apparently it was couched in typical alt-right "just a joke" bullsh*t, but Dankula, whose real name is Mark Meechan, later joined the right-wing populist UK Independence Party (UKIP) alongside frequent milkshake enthusiast Carl Benjamin, so...yeah, really funny! All that being said, when Meechan equates Thunberg to Hitler, he might be trying to give her a compliment.
Pissed off kid who hasn't changed a thing named Time's "Person of the Year." I'm guessing Colin Kaepernic was the… https://t.co/EPOVDmM9rc— Bill Mitchell (@Bill Mitchell)1576075657.0
Here we have Exhibit B: An angry boomer Trump stan/far-right stooge named Bill Mitchell who earned his blue checkmark by hosting a less successful online version of Alex Jones' show. While his opinions might only be relevant to people with actual brain damage, he does have a particular knack for defrauding his followers out of money. Which is to say that yes, at the very least he follows the right-wing ideals of preying on stupid people and attacking children.
Time leaves out the Hong Kong Protesters fighting for their lives and freedoms to push a teen being used as a marke… https://t.co/YJYyhqoT7s— Donald Trump Jr. (@Donald Trump Jr.)1576074163.0
Lastly, we arrive at the poster boy of white male mediocrity: Donald Trump Jr.––a man so talentless that he needed his daddy's friends to buy up his book, a man so pathetic he got absolutely slaughtered on The View, and a man so self-unaware that he'll probably go his entire life without ever realizing that if his dad wasn't rich, he'd be just another schlub.
There's a reason pathetic white men spend so much of their time crying about the accomplishments of better, more useful people on Twitter. Because at the end of the day, they're absolutely worthless, and deep down they know it.
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Breaking down the bias of comfort films.
With the constant onslaught of complicated news that 2020 has brought, sometimes you just want to be able to shut off your brain, relax, and feel happy.
Enter comfort films. These are the feel-good movies that feel like a warm hug when you finish them, the ones that allow you to escape for a short while. We often turn to these types of films in times of trouble or extreme stress, and when we're not sure what films of this nature we should watch, we turn to the Internet for options.
Rivera's "Glee" character was not just important, she was groundbreaking.
As a young queer girl growing up in the south, I was lucky that my parents weren't homophobes.
My parents believed that people were sometimes born gay, and while they wouldn't "wish that harder life" on their children, they certainly made me and my sister believe that gay people were just as worthy of love as anyone else. I was lucky.
Still, in my relatively sheltered world of Northern Virginia (a rich suburb near Washington D.C.), homophobia wasn't as blatant as hate crimes or shouted slurs, but it was generally accepted that being straight was, simply, better.
In high school, it wasn't uncommon to use "gay" as an insult or for girls to tease each other about being "lez." While many of us, if asked, would have said we were in support of gay marriage and loved The Ellen Show, being gay remained an undesirable affliction.
Even more insidious, I was instilled with the belief—by my church and my peers—that if gay and lesbian people could be straight, they would. But since they were simply incapable of attraction to the opposite sex or fitting into traditional gender roles, we should accept them as they are as an act of mercy. At the time, this kind of pity seemed progressive and noble. Those in my close circle of family and friends weren't openly dismissive or condemning of gay people, but we saw homosexuality as a clear predisposition with no gray areas.
Specifically: Gay men talked with a lilt, giggled femininely, and were interested in things that weren't traditionally "masculine." Meanwhile, gay women dressed like men, had no interest in makeup or other traditionally female interests, and probably had masculine bodies and features. In my mind, before someone came out as gay, they did everything in their power to "try to be straight" but were eventually forced to confront the difficult reality that they felt no attraction at all to the opposite sex. I viewed homosexuality not as a spectrum, but as a black and white biological predisposition that meant you were thoroughly, completely, and pitiably gay.
As a child, when I began to experience stirrings of attraction for other girls, I would reassure myself that not only had I definitely felt attraction for men in the past, but I also liked being pretty. I was a tomboy as a child, sure, but as I got older I recognized that my value was increased in the eyes of society if I tried to be a pretty girl. As it turned out, I even liked putting on clothes that made me feel good, I liked applying makeup, and I liked some traditionally "feminine" things. In my mind, this meant that I couldn't be gay, because gay women didn't like "girl" stuff.
As a teenager, I began to learn more about the difference between gender and sexuality, and the fluidity of both. I began to let myself feel some of the long-suppressed feelings of queer desire I still harbored.
Still, in the back of my mind, the instilled certainty of sexuality as an extremely rigid thing sometimes kept me up at night. What if I was gay? Would I have to change the way I looked? Would I have to give up some of the things I liked? In my mind, being gay meant your sexuality was your whole identity, and everything else about you disappeared beneath the weight of it.
But then, Santana came out as gay on Glee.
GLEE - The Santana 'Coming Out Scene' www.youtube.com
If you didn't watch Glee, than you might not know the importance of Naya Rivera's character to so many queer young women like myself. Santana was beautiful, she was popular, she had dated boys, she was feminine, she was sexy, and she was gay. There's even evidence that Santana had previously enjoyed relationships with men.
But the character came out anyways, not because she had to or because it was obvious to everyone around her that she was gay, but because her attraction to women was an aspect of her identity she was proud of. It wasn't an unfortunate reality she simply had to make the best of; it was an exciting, beautiful, aspect of her identity worth celebrating.
Before Santana, it had never really come home for me that being gay wasn't an entire identity—that it wasn't an affliction or disorder, but just another part of a person. She also didn't suddenly start wearing flannels or cutting her hair after coming out. She was the same feminine person she had always been. I had never realized that being a gay woman didn't have to look a certain way. Santana and Brittany's gay storyline showed two femme-presenting women in love, and for me, that was a revolution.
If it wasn't for Naya Rivera, we may never have had that important story line.
"It's up to writers, but I would love to represent [the LGBTQ community] because we know that there are tons of people who experience something like that and it's not comical for them in their lives," Rivera told E! News in 2011. "So I hope that maybe we can shed some light on that."
While Rivera herself wasn't gay (the importance of casting gay actors in gay roles is a separate conversation), she understood how important her character was to the queer community. "There are very few ethnic LGBT characters on television, so I am honored to represent them," Rivera told Latina magazine in 2013. "I love supporting this cause, but it's a big responsibility, and sometimes it's a lot of pressure on me."
Rivera wasn't just a supporter of the LGBTQ+ community on screen. In 2017, she wrote a "Love Letter to the LGBTQ Community" for Billboard's Pride Month. In it, she wrote, "We are all put on this earth to be a service to others and I am grateful that for some, my Cheerios ponytail and sassy sashays may have given a little light to someone somewhere, who may have needed it. To everyone whose heartfelt stories I have heard, or read I thank you for truly enriching my life."
Now, as we mourn the loss of Naya Rivera, at least we can take comfort in knowing that her legacy will live on—that the light her Cheerios ponytail and sassy sashays gave us won't go out any time soon.
Excuse me, I have to go weep-sing-along to Rivera's cover of landslide now.
Glee - Landslide (Full Performance + Scene) 2x15 youtu.be
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