It’s a Thing

From awkward funerals to an attack on potatoes

President George W. Bush and wife Laura Bush greets President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, former President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former President Jimmy Carter, and Rosalynn Carter during a State Funeral for former President George H.W. Bush at the National Cathedral, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, in Washington.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Carolyn Kaster/AP
From left: Laura Bush, President Trump, Melania Trump, former President George W. Bush, former President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Rosalynn Carter at the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush.


Funerals aren’t much fun for anyone (unless you get to watch your own on the TV in the waiting room of eternity), but wow, the funeral forPresident George H.W. Bush showcased more awkward shade than me roller skating with a parasol, especially once Donny Trump: Kid President showed up. Dan and Marilyn Quayle dealt him the iciest of Wondertwin glares. Michelle Obama offered the most “we are in the same row on a plane for a short flight” handshake I’ve ever seen. Hillary Clinton didn’t even glance in his direction. And as soon as he took his spot at the end of the pew, the entire front row cooled from convivial inter-adminstrative chit-chat (complete with George Jr. and Michelle’s game of candy crush), to, well, the front row of a funeral which sure appeared to be mourning the passing of a lot more than just George.


Elsewhere in struggles with the void, Trump national cyber-security adviser and Halloween decoration you forgot to take down Rudy Giuliani has been attempting to use Twitter to communicate with humans and it has not been going well. After Giuliani accidentally created a hyperlink in a tweet, an industrious Internetter raced to purchase the domain name, linking Giuliani’s tweet to a page that reads “Donald Trump is a traitor to our country” forever — or at least until he learns how to delete tweets, which he hasn’t yet. Days later, Giuliani tried to blame Twitter for the disaster: “Twitter allowed someone to invade my text with a disgusting anti-President message. The same thing-period no space-occurred later and it didn’t happen.” All of which reminds me, I’d like to nominate my dad for cyber-security adviser.


Also deeply embarrassing for everyone involved this week was comedian Kevin Hart’s foray into almost hosting the Oscars, an endeavor cut short (and I’d just like to say that’s not a joke about him being short) when some deeply disturbing tweets of his surfaced from several years ago, like: “Yo if my son comes home & tries 2 play with my daughters’ dollhouse I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay.’ ” Hart first refused to apologize in a pair of Instagram videos, citing his growth and maturity since making the “jokes”  way back in 2011 (shortly after the It Gets Better Project was launched to counter anti-gay bullying and suicides among LGBTQ kids). He then relinquished his hosting duties and apologized anyway, perhaps realizing that doubling down on targeting kids with lame homophobic jokes was a bad look for someone at the alleged height of his career. (OK that was a short joke.) The Oscars have since announced they will shift to a self-checkout system. 



And finally, as if science needed more enemies right now, a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Hate Speech attacked potatoes (potatoes!) as “starch bombs” and then twisted the peeler even deeper: “I think it would be nice if your meal came with a side salad and six French fries.” The Internet reacted with the kind of righteous carb-fueled fury that would greet, say, a serving of six French fries. “I don't have time for this kind of negativity in my life right now,” tweeted “Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi. I say if this professor wants to go after someone, there’s footage going around of a dude in New York ordering bacon, egg, and cheese on a cinnamon raisin bagel.  Fight the real enemy!

Michael Andor Brodeur can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MBrodeur