Hello and welcome back to the week that was, with me, your dictator.
→ America the Exhausted: It turns out the majority of Americans are just like us. They look at the politics of the day, the battles, and the options we have, and they say: oh god, this again? And: really? And: it must be time for bed soon, right? From a new Pew report: “Nearly two-thirds of Americans (65%) say they always or often feel exhausted when thinking about politics, while 55% feel angry. By contrast, just 10% say they always or often feel hopeful about politics, and even fewer (4%) are excited.” I want to know the 4 percent who think of a Biden vs. Trump election, or who look at our endless border crisis finger-pointing, and think “I’m pumped.” Me, I think to describe the particular exhaustion of the moment we must turn to the most exhausted people in the world (the French) and their perfect word: ennui, which translates to a sort of deep boredom or tedious pain. TFP readers need to start smoking and wearing berets and then we’re all set. There’s no more Moral Majority. We are the Exhausted Majority. Our slogan is Please, Just Stop.
→ Obviously I don’t support giving hand jobs at Beetlejuice: I want to start with that. But let’s back up: Lauren Boebert, a right-wing congresswoman from Colorado and a real loon, was on a date at the Beetlejuice musical when she and her male companion started getting frisky in the theater. AS ONE DOES. But it turns out, as you sit in a dark theater, exceptional night vision cameras are pointing at you all the time. And of course the footage leaked, showing her date giving her a breast exam and showing Boebert doing something I need a straight woman to explain to me. Over the pants, mind you, but it didn’t seem right. On the one hand, the trashiness on display here is profound. Beetlejuice? It’s a family show! But on the other hand, TGIF is pro-sex. And for a Congress on the brink of death, with our leaders nodding off and periodically freezing on camera, it’s remarkable to see someone with a. . . I guess we could say. . . a pulse.
→ Fetterman, meanwhile, refuses to wear a suit: Senator Chuck Schumer has softened the Senate floor dress code to accommodate America’s older cousin, John Fetterman, who prefers cargo shorts and oversized sweatshirts. Now, I know the proper argument here: decorum and standards. First it’s Beetlejuice hand jobs and now sweatshirts (not chic, trendy ones like you might find in Silicon Valley—I mean horrible, baggy ones). Yes, I agree we have fallen. But I have to admit: I’ve never been to a formal event that a pair of Tevas couldn’t complement. Summer party? I’ve got lovely pastel Tevas. Formal occasion performing my role as wife of a media CEO? That’s okay—I have them in platform black. I guess the depressing part is just that our senators don’t take themselves any more seriously than your average L.A. mom. A feeling is coming over me. Say it with me: ennui.
→ We must save democracy by establishing one-party rule: There’s a line going around media circles: this election is about “saving democracy” (aren’t they all anymore) and as such, no one should report critically on Biden, our president. Here’s NBC’s Ben Collins, concurring with Guardian columnist Margaret Sullivan: “With democracy on the ballot, the mainstream press must change its ways.” Ben and Sullivan are arguing that “both-sides” reporting misinforms the public, since it’s not two parties but Democracy versus. . . something maybe illegal. And so stories like Biden’s age or finances are not important to cover given the broader situation. “Everyone outside of the news business should demand cable TV networks, newspapers and news outlets abide by it,” Ben writes. And what I say to that is: yes, Ben Collins! We agree! No one in your smart, educated milieu full of good reporters should report on anything interesting regarding our president, and those that do should be shamed into submission to you, Ben Collins. The only place Americans should be able to get both-sides misinformation is at bad places like www.thefp.com, for only eight bucks a month.