It's Been Three Years Since Election Night, And It's Time Look Back on the Chaos
Three years ago today, The New York Times was still proudly proclaiming the near-certainty that Hillary Clinton would be our president, and we all pretty much assumed they were right.
But if you were Biff Tannen in Back to the Future 2 (which President Trump absolutely is), travelling back in time with your future-knowledge, you could have made some good money betting on the election upset.
BTTF2: Old Biff Gives The Grays Sports Almanac to His 1955 Alter Ego www.youtube.com
In the UK, where it's legal to bet on these things, gamblers made millions by betting on Trump's victory. Still though, Trump's win is hardly the most surprising thing that's happened in the last three years. If you really wanted to get out there with your gambling, you could make some serious cash predicting stuff like…
Kanye Is Going to Come Out as a Trump Supporter
Dragon energy! Less than two weeks after the election, Kanye began the horrifying saga that is still underway by announcing that, if he voted, he would have voted for Trump. This is obviously a strange turn for the man who once visibly broke Mike Myers by saying "George Bush doesn't care about black people."
Considering the fact that 80% of black voters consider Trump racist, and only 8% voted for him in 2016, and that Trump and his father were actually sued back in the 70s by the Justice Department for refusing to rent apartments to black people, you might expect Kanye to have similar concerns about our current Commander-in-chief. You would be wrong, because Kanye knows that Trump has "dragon energy," which is why he wears MAGA hats and says that being enslaved was a choice.
Trump's Press Secretary Is Going to Be on "Dancing With the Stars"
Sean Spicer was bad at his job. He was easily flustered, combative, couldn't deliver a convincing lie, and was constantly distracted by having a colon literally packed to the brim with swallowed chewing gum. But once he'd resigned, it was time to start rehabilitating his image. The process began just a few months after he left the White House in September of 2017, when he made a theatrical appearance on stage at the 69th Emmy Awards—to the delight of Kevin Spacey—and joked about how he used to lie to America for a living. Since then, he's been a correspondent on Extra and finally achieved the pinnacle of his career in August of this year, when he was announced as a member of the cast of Dancing With the Stars season 28. Good luck, Sean!
He's Going to Give Omarosa a Job at the White House
Remember Omarosa Manigault? Back in 2016 the name might have rung a bell. She was the devious villain who lost the first season of The Apprentice and went on to have a successful career as "that awful woman from The Apprentice." Who better to work in the White House? After all, she recognized the importance of the office of the presidency as "the ultimate revenge", so… Actually, her addition to Trump's transition team in December of 2016 was pretty predictable. The only thing more predictable was the fact that she would eventually stab Trump in the back. The fact that she had to be physically dragged out of the White House is a nice bonus though.
An Adult Film Star Is Going to Describe His Mushroom-Penis
Everyone knows that Donald Trump has the best, classiest taste, so if he's going to cheat on his new wife with an adult entertainment star, you'd better believe that star is going to be a three-time "Favorite Breasts" award-winner, and the star of classic films like Trailer Trash Nurses 6 and Camp Cuddly Pines Power Tool Massacre. What might be a little less predictable is that said entertainer will write a book in which she compares Trump's weird penis to a mushroom.
He's Going to Compare "Button" Sizes with Kim Jung-Un
The Scottish Sun
Speaking of Trump's weird penis, you know what a dick-measuring contest could be a fun metaphor for? A series of reciprocated threats between two men comparing terrifying nuclear arsenals. What fun. You could definitely make some money predicting something so stupid, but what's really impressive is predicting that these two star-crossed madmen will then fall in love.
He's Going to Create a Sci-Fi Military Branch Called Space Force
Space Force? Okay, at this point your predictions are just lining up with what a ten-year-old would do with the presidency…which is actually a pretty good model for anticipating his behavior. Unfortunately, Space Force is not going to involve kickass, Starship Trooper space marines, but the ridiculous name alone is pretty great. What could be more childish than that? Other than…
He's Going to Look Directly at a Solar Eclipse
Do you remember being warned about solar eclipses as a child? It's like the number two thing about eclipses. Number one, the moon blocks the sun. Number two, don't look at it! Surely, no adult would be so stupid, right? In his ongoing effort to be a caricature of ignorant defiance, Trump ignored this warning and looked directly at the sun during the 2017 solar eclipse.
Now just remember this list when you hop in your time machine, and you should be all set. If you want, you could also cash in on some of the more predictable stuff, like appointing an "alleged" sex criminal to the supreme court and putting kids in concentration camps, but obviously the real money is in Space Force.
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Let's take a look at Nazi-inspired fashion.
Villains always have the best outfits.
From Darth Vader's polished black space armor to The Joker's snazzy purple suit, bad guys always seem to show up their protagonists in the fashion department.
Way more handsome than Batman. static.giantbomb.com
But could there possibly be a real world equivalent to the type of over-the-top villain fashion often found in fiction? It would have to be sleek and imposing, austere and dangerous. Probably black.
Maybe it's him. Maybe it's fascist ideology.
Let's call a spade a spade. From an aesthetic standpoint, the Nazi SS outfit is very well-designed. The long coat tied around the waist with a buckle portrays a slim, sturdy visage. The leather boots and matching cap look harsh and powerful. The emblem placements on the lapel naturally suggest rank and authority. And the red armband lends a splash of color to what would otherwise be a dark monotone. If the Nazi uniform wasn't so closely tied with the atrocities they committed during WWII, it wouldn't seem out of place at Fashion Week. Perhaps not too surprising, considering many of the uniforms were made by Hugo Boss.
Pictured: A real thing Hugo Boss did. i.imgur.com
Of course, today, Nazi uniform aesthetics are inseparable from the human suffering doled out by their wearers. In most circles of civilized society, that's more than enough reason to avoid the garb in any and all fashion choices. But for some, that taboo isn't a hindrance at all–if anything, it's an added benefit.
As a result, we have Nazi chic, a fashion trend centered around the SS uniform and related Nazi imagery.
History of Nazi Chic
For the most part, Nazi chic is not characterized by Nazi sympathy. Rather, Nazi chic tends to be associated with counterculture movements that view the use of its taboo imagery as a form of shock value, and ironically, anti-authoritarianism.
The movement came to prominence in the British punk scene during the mid-1970s, with bands like the Sex Pistols and Siouxsie and the Banshees displaying swastikas on their attire alongside other provocative imagery.
Very rotten, Johnny. i.redd.it
Around this time, a film genre known as Nazisploitation also came to prominence amongst underground movie buffs. A subgenre of exploitation and sexploitation films, Naziploitation movies skewed towards D-grade fare, characterized by graphic sex scenes, violence, and gore. Plots typically surrounded female prisoners in concentration camps, subject to the sexual whims of evil SS officers, who eventually escaped and got their revenge. However, the most famous Nazisploitation film, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, flipped the genders.
The dorm room poster that will ensure you never get laid. images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com
Ilsa was a female SS officer and the victims were men. She spent much of the movie wearing her Nazi uniform in various states, sexually abusing men all the while. As such, Ilsa played into dominatrix fantasies. The movie was a hit on the grindhouse circuit, inspiring multiple sequels and knock-offs and solidifying Nazi aesthetics as a part of the BDSM scene.
Since then, Nazi chic fashion has been employed by various artists, from Madonna to Marilyn Manson to Lady Gaga, and has shown up in all sorts of places from leather clubs to character designs in video games and anime.
Lady Gaga looking SS-uper. nyppagesix.files.wordpress.com
Nazi Chic in Asia
Nazi chic has taken on a life of its own in Asia. And unlike Western Nazi chic, which recognizes Nazism as taboo, Asian Nazi chic seems entirely detached from any underlying ideology.
A large part of this likely has to do with the way that Holocaust education differs across cultures. In the West, we learn about the Holocaust in the context of the Nazis committing horrific crimes against humanity that affected many of our own families. The Holocaust is presented as personal and closer to our current era than we might like to think. It is something we should "never forget." Whereas in Asia, where effects of the Holocaust weren't as prominent, it's simply another aspect of WWII which, in and of itself, was just another large war. In other words, Nazi regalia in Asia might be viewed as simply another historical military outfit, albeit a particularly stylish one.
In Japan, which was much more involved with WWII than any other Asian country, Nazi chic is usually (but not always) reserved for villainous representations.
OF COURSE. i.imgur.com
That being said, J-Pop groups like Keyakizaka46 have publicly worn Nazi chic too, and the phenomena isn't limited to Japan.
In South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand, Nazi imagery has shown up in various elements of youth culture, completely void of any moral context. For instance, in Indonesia, a Hitler-themed fried chicken restaurant opened in 2013. And in Korea, K-Pop groups like BTS and Pritz have been called out for propagating Nazi chic fashion. Usually such incidents are followed by public apologies, but the lack of historical understanding makes everything ring hollow.
So the question then: is Nazi chic a bad thing?
The answer is not so black and white.
On one hand, seeing Nazi chic on the fashion scene may dredge up painful memories for Holocaust survivors and those whose family histories were tainted. In this light, wearing Nazi-inspired garb, regardless of intent, seems disrespectful and antagonistic. Worse than that, it doesn't even seem like a slight against authority so much as a dig at actual victims of genocide.
But on the other hand, considering the fact that even the youngest people who were alive during WWII are edging 80, "forgetting the Holocaust" is a distinct possibility for younger generations. In that regard, perhaps anything that draws attention to what happened, even if it's simply through the lens of "this outfit should be seen as offensive," might not be entirely bad. This, compounded by the fact that Nazi chic is not commonly associated with actual Nazi or nationalistic sentiments, might be enough to sway some people–not necessarily to wear, like, or even appreciate its aesthetics, but rather to understand its place within counterculture.
Ultimately, one's views on Nazi chic likely come down to their own personal taste and sensibilities. For some, Nazi chic is just a style, an aesthetic preference for something that happens to be mired in historical horror. For others, the shadow of atrocity simply hangs too strong.
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The country band, FKA Lady Antebellum, are suing a Black blues singer over the rights to their new name.
Last month, the country band formerly known Lady Antebellum showed their support for the Black Lives Matter movement by changing their name to Lady A—a name that had already been used by Black blues singer, Anita White.
Now, Lady A (the band) are digging themselves an even deeper grave by suing Lady A (the singer). But, hey! At least their original band name isn't racist anymore.
"Today we are sad to share that our sincere hope to join together with Anita White in unity and common purpose has ended," Lady A (the band) said in a statement to CBS News. "She and her team have demanded a $10 million payment, so reluctantly we have come to the conclusion that we need to ask a court to affirm our right to continue to use the name Lady A, a trademark we have held for many years."
According to the lawsuit, Lady A (the band) had been using that nickname in tandem with their original name, Lady Antebellum, since as early as 2006, and it became an official trademark for the band in 2011. The lawsuit also reads that "prior to 2020, White did not challenge, in any way, Plaintiffs' open, obvious, and widespread nationwide and international use of the Lady A mark as a source indicator."
The suit says Lady A (the singer) has identified as that name since 2010, although she told Rolling Stone she's been using the stage name for 20 years, adding: "It's an opportunity for them to pretend they're not racist or pretend this means something to them. If it did, they would've done some research. And I'm not happy about that. You found me on Spotify easily—why couldn't they?"
Although Lady A (the band) and Lady A (the singer) have seemingly been in a constructive discussion over their shared name, the singer's ultimate opinion is that this is an issue of "white privilege."
No Weapon formed against me shall prosper #LadyABluesSoulFunkGospelArtist #TheRealLadyA https://t.co/KBYGnlw6Lw— Lady A (@Lady A)1594250961.0
Under a trademark coexistence agreement, it is possible for two artists to share a trademark so long as the artists in question don't interfere with each others' enterprises; for example, two singer-songwriters can both be known as Alex G because they access different markets. The Lady A debacle could possibly fall under this agreement, if both the band and the singer comply.
But, as Lady A (the singer) pointed out, Lady A (the band)'s decision to sue their namesake is indicative of their white privilege. From the start, the band's choice to change their name was met with a debate over whether or not it was actually constructive in achieving racial justice.
The world "antebellum" literally means "before the war," but it has since come to be most often associated with the Civil War; for example, the Antebellum South describes the period from the late 18th century to the end of the Civil War, when the southern United States depended on and profited off of slavery.
Due to the racist undertones of the word "antebellum" and the recent spark in Black Lives Matter activism, Lady A (the band) shortened their name—although we all still know what the word stands for. Though the band claimed the word "antebellum" was referencing the style of architecture of the home where they took their first band photos, to use the word at all was a gross move. To then adopt a Black artists' name as your own without doing your research and sue that artist is incredibly backwards logic.
Though it's understandable why Lady A (the band) would feel such a strong attachment to the name, perhaps they'd be better off changing their name entirely. Considering the fact that their only other statement regarding the Black Lives Matter movement was a photo of a Martin Luther King, Jr. quote (and no mention of Black Lives Matter at all), it seems clear that Lady A (the band) aren't set on achieving racial justice or effecting any real change—this legal battle is just an attempt at self-preservation.