This is a preview of our pop culture newsletter The Daily Beast’s Obsessed, written by senior entertainment reporter Kevin Fallon. To receive the full newsletter in your inbox each week, sign up for it here.
It’s that thing most people have experienced at least once or twice or 47 times in our lives, where you have a blissful night out that’s so euphoric you keep throwing back another drink, then “just one more,” and next thing you know it’s morning and you sit awake in a jolt, absolutely confused.
She has rarely put a foot wrong in the course of her 68-year reign, so it is entirely unsurprising that Queen Elizabeth did the right thing this week, and announced that she was cancelling the traditional Royal Christmas.
For the first time in 37 years, Elizabeth and Prince Philip will not be taking the train to their country home, Sandringham, will not be joined by close family, and will not throw a big party at Buckingham Palace for the extended clan of royals in the last days of Advent.
Instead, they will sit out Christmas at Windsor Castle, alone with their servants. All family interaction, as it has been for the past nine months, will be carried out on phone and internet lines instead.
With Republicans slowly starting to come to terms with President Trump’s defeat this year, there’s been talk about how “history will judge” his administration.
Sometimes that refrain is used to reassure that there will be an accounting for the awful things that have happened on his watch, while others are using it to argue that we should just let the past be the past and move forward; let’s forget about investigations, truth commissions, or prosecutions and leave the judgements to subsequent generations of historians. All of those invocations of history are implicitly celebrating a return to “normalcy” under a President Biden.
But historians know better. We know that history is not some abstract collection of truths, but is subject to the deliberate manipulations of people aided by the vagaries of time. If history is going to judge Donald Trump, we’re going to have to do a lot of work in the present, despite some recent claims to the contrary. History itself isn’t an actor; people determine how things are remembered, and historians can only render a reliable judgement if we judge him and his administration now.
On Wednesday night, Chet Hanks joined Clubhouse and created the chatroom “All Love.” The actor, who’s a descendant of Hollywood royalty and perpetual fave Tom Hanks, is one of five or six recognizable names you might find browsing Clubhouse—the audio-only, invite-exclusive platform—on any given day.
Chet Hanks has made a decent career of his own after stumbling out of the blocks the way most children of famous people do. He is neither the youngest Hanks, nor the oldest; neither the most famous, nor the most talented son (Colin fills that role). For what it’s worth—and so far, it hasn’t been much—he does understand how to command the spotlight. At the Golden Globes in January, Hanks set social media ablaze with a clip of him mimicking Jamaican patois on the red carpet. Chet is also an aspiring musician who, according to his Instagram, had spent a chunk of time in Jamaica going on a “dancehall deep dive,” to paraphrase him. The responses to his antics ranged from genuine delight at him amplifying Jamaican culture in this decidedly not-Jamaican space to taunts about the middle Hanks’ seemingly endless, winding journey into Black identity. (During his tenure as the rapper “Chet Haze,” he freely used the N-word, and later apologized for it.)
As he kicked off his “All Love” room, however, he faced the critique from Jamaicans and others that he was using what’s considered Black lingo without meaningfully engaging with Black struggle. It’s a problem many white admirers (and usurpers) of Black culture face: how can they benefit from the cool factor that the culture endows while paying none of the cost?
ATLANTA—Faced with a steady drip of reporting on his conspicuously timed stock trades, Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) is defending himself with a line that his biggest ally, President Donald Trump, has practically made into a mantra.
“Totally exonerated,” declares a newly released television ad from Perdue, which claims he has been fully cleared by the Department of Justice and the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.
President Trump’s critics have never lacked for legitimate complaints. His unpresidential behavior has included dishonesty, personal attacks, a petty lack of loyalty, and a Twitter feed that makes most Americans cringe. On the international front, he has cozied up to dictators, insulted allies, and abandoned trade agreements.
Trump also had his share of domestic policy failures: soaring budget deficits, runaway spending, tariffs, an immigration crisis at the border, and the lack of a fully-formed health plan to expand access and reduce costs. The president’s inconsistent downplaying of the coronavirus pandemic did not inspire confidence either.
However, we should avoid the knee-jerk partisanship of entirely dismissing Trump’s domestic policy record. There have also been successes that can inform future lawmakers and presidents.
Some people unbox beauty products on TikTok; Sadie shows off surgical scars. At home in front of a bathroom mirror, wearing floral printed leggings and a chestnut brown sweater, Sadie pointed out three tiny incision marks coming on their belly button, and both sides of the hip.
“Yep, you fucking heard it,” Sadie (@sadieanneliza), a 26-year-old Uber driver from Denver who uses they/them pronouns, said in the video. Their voice slurred—they admitted to being “fucking zooted” off of pain medication—as they talked about the sterilization procedure they’d had earlier in the day.
“They didn’t just tie my tubes either, they fucking took them,” Sadie went on. “They took them from me, never, ever to be pregnant. I’m fucking stoked.” (Sadie asked that The Daily Beast keep their last name private.)
Every time another mysterious, silvery monolith is discovered in the remote wilderness, Nay Krisanda grows more fed up with the phenomenon. “If the first one felt like a marketing gimmick,” Krisanda told The Daily Beast, “the second two solidified that feeling.”
Three times in recent weeks, tall metal obelisks have been found standing upright like giant dominoes in the wild. The first, discovered in a Utah canyon, was removed by environmental activists last week. Another monolith appeared on a Romanian hillside shortly thereafter, followed by a third on a California mountaintop this week.
But for a growing anti-monolith crowd, the whimsy has worn off with each subsequent discovery. If it’s art, it’s not particularly good art, they argue. If it’s a publicity stunt, just cut to the chase and say what it’s advertising. If it’s aliens, they can go to hell.