Never paid a huge amount of attention to Katy Perry. I remember loving the sound of her first album, questioning “Ur So Gay,” not liking Teenage Dream much and even getting a note from her publicist asking why on earth I didn't have a Katy Perry category on my blog.
Yeah, that's how long I've been around — long enough that I remember a time when Katy Perry's publicist cared about Boy Culture for a hot second.
But I definitely like her more esoteric, melodramatic songs, and I am utterly hooked on “Chained to the Rhythm” after initially being fairly unmoved. I feel like it has a propulsive pop beat reminiscent of delightful junk like “Rock On” by Michael Damian and “The Safety Dance,” yet the music is so “Ain't Nobody” by Rufus & Chaka Khan. Plus, the lyrics are smart and provocative considering she's supposed to be fluff and nothing more.
I can not get the chorus out of my head — and I don't even like music anymore!
Now, after that totally distracting lyric video, it looks like February 21 will be the drop date for her official video, at least according to a mysterious announcement (what else?) video, which also features a George Takei voice-over ...
I like Katy Perry's “Chained to the Rhythm,” even if a song with that title should be a lot more hard-driving. Good lyrical content. Reminds me of something latter-day Madonna would try, packed as it is with political buzz words:
Not enthusiastic about Gaga's “John Wayne.” Great video, but the song is really bad, not catchy in the slightest and lyrically it basically embraces the concept of blue-state liberal women just needing to get balled by a redneck. In case you think that's a reach, she literally sings about “a red-state treasure.”
The real John Wayne was as right-wing as they come, BTW.
I shot this at 5:40 p.m.—I thought it looked artfully ominous. (All images by Matthew Rettenmund)
We won't have Hillary Clinton to kick around anymore, and you won't have to read about her on my blog (much) anymore. She will, I suppose, effectively retire. And probably won't ever be investigated again, let alone indicted, let alone convicted of anything.
The evening started with joy.
I met my friend Jason at the Javits Center, where we were to attend Hillary Clinton's Election Night (presumably Victory) Party. I'd waited in line for the tickets this weekend, and we went into the hall pretty quickly. Granted, we were packed into a holding pen with a bunch of people who didn't have hard tickets and who were surprised that this huge influx of newcomers had overrun them, leading to an uncomfortable hour or so.
Finally, they let our section go through a wanding, then we were pointed outside, where we came upon a small stage with a pretty hokey, smalltown-looking lectern. We figured we'd get to see, close up, some low-level stooge talking to us as the results came in. Keep in mind there were next to no workers anywhere! It was almost self-run.
Anyway, as time went on, it became clear we had lucked out. Jason and I were dead center at this stage, and there was a growing bank of media to the left and several photographers assigned to the area. I wondered if Hillary herself might make a pit stop here later in the night.
The paint was on the face, the writing was on the wall.
What was really frustrating was there was a giant screen (with that soon-to-become taunting blue H-with-an-arrow on it) towering nearby, but we weren't being shown any election coverage; instead, we were listening to a bad-ass mix of pop/dance tunes. This was not how we envisioned things, since we were literally outdoors, not under that soon-to-become-taunting glass ceiling of the Javits.
Finally, the screen began offering a mix of the same Hillary bio reels and also CNN coverage. At first, it felt like things would be as positive as we'd hoped. No surprise calls were happening, and we began to realize we were getting really good speakers, and that the speakers' words and images were being projected inside the convention center. Would we even get Madame President?!
The people who spoke included Mayor de Blasio, Governor Cuomo, Khizr Khan—it was pretty cool. Was.
Mothers of the Movement
Then something dire happened. During the speeches, we had no updates. After a rousing set of short speeches by the Mothers of the Movement, when CNN came back on, the tone was hard to miss—Trump was outperforming Romney, and expectations, in Florida. And, um, elsewhere. I was frantically looking at my phone for DailyKos commenters' opinions, and they were decidedly mixed.
Hillary was not automatically winning some states in her firewall, and none of the battlegrounds were quickly going her way. They started going the other way. It was like a light switch only capable of turning the light off.
Katy waiting in the wings—fully aware we were fucked.
From then on, the speeches, which soon dried up, had the air of having been hastily rewritten to take into account that Trump could win. Katy Perry came out right before our very eyes, a lovely vision in red, but she looked shook. And her speech noted that her (super religious) parents had voted Trump, but that they'd still be family and still have Thanksgiving. It wasn't much of a roar, not that I fault her for it—it must've been all she could do not to burst into tears, which I do not doubt appeared soon after.
I knew before a lot of people around me. I kept hearing them cheer useless newsflashes, Clinton wins that were smaller than they should be, news out of Florida that was superficially hopeful. I told my friend it was dire and we were losing. He asked me, The whole thing? I said, Yes. The Senate, any House gains, the presidency. (The Supreme Court.)
I wanted to go walk my dogs, but it's hard to leave when the Mothers of the Movement were gamely running through the photography pit encouraging us to shout that we still believed Hillary could win. I did not, at that point.
When Michigan became a squeaker regardless of who eventually won, and then when Wisconsin looked actually not even like a squeaker but a flat-out win for Trump, I urged my friend to leave with me.
Everyone around us was demoralized, stunned. It's Manhattan, so plenty of us were white dudes, but I am sure many had the same building resentment I did (and do) toward the uneducated white folks who had shown up out of nowhere to make this a red wave, the total opposite of what was predicted two weeks ago, before Comey's letter.
(Image via New York Daily News)
And now for my guesses as to why.
Comey probably didn't help at all, and I continue to believe his actions and the actions of his agency are tantamount to a coup attempt. I think WikiLeaks and its idiotic followers were complicit in this, for their own agendas.
But looking at it all in a clear-eyed way, I think the hard truth is the most obvious: People just fucking don't like Hillary Clinton. I don't fault her for running—she is immensely qualified and thought that plus her resources made her a a favorite. But never again can Democrats attempt to run a candidate that people should like.
We were able to get a black man through twice. Why? Partly his message, and partly because people did like him.
Or the country is more misogynist than it is racist. Clearly, there are many diverse reasons that the election went the way it did—fear of immigrants, fear of terror, fear of gay marriage, fear of a woman in control, fear of government corruption, fear of gun control. Everything added up.
But I am not going to try to pretend that the ultimate reason was that we tried to make people like someone more than they do.
I'm sorry for Hillary Clinton, but I'm more sorry for America, which suddenly feels like a failed—or at least a time-locked—experiment, one that just expired.
And I'm angry at uneducated white people who bought this grifter's message to their own detriment.
I'm not sure which of his many sketchy promises he can actually deliver (how would he dismantle gay marriage? build a wall?), but I do know that he and his Congress—both houses!—will unceremoniously destroy Obamacare. I hope they fail to replace it with anything. I guess maybe then they will realize how good they had it under Obama, and how good they would have had it under Hillary.
The lesson is: Lie loudly, including telling people you are the best when you know you are nowhere near it. The dumbest people who hear that message will accept it, and there are apparently just enough dumb people in the U.S.
Hillary conceded in a private call to Trump, but left the reviled John Podesta to tell her party attendees to go home; she'll speak in the morning, I gather.
The night ended with a real bang, with a text from a friend gloating (he never liked Hillary) that I'm sure will be echoed by a few commenters who have disliked my support of Hillary. You learn a lot about people when they are more interested in being right than they are in what they were right about.
Finally, Trump gave a gracious acceptance speech in which he sounded nothing like Candidate Trump.
I don't know what I am going to do or how I will feel going forward. However, I do know that I will never come together with a person who is racist, sexist and anti-gay. Also, how can I come together with a person who led my sweet mom to post this: