Lindy West

100 Days of Gibberish - Trump Has Weaponized Nonsense

With only a week left of his first 100 days in office – traditionally a milestone for American presidents – Donald Trump sat down with the Associated Press to reflect on his accomplishments (sic) and preemptively brag about future ones. This remarkable artefact, a transcript of which AP then released in full, captures, more than any other piece of media (except perhaps Trump’s Twitter feed), the unifying ethos of the Trump White House: weaponised nonsense.

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The 'Dear Fat People' Video is Tired, Cruel and Lazy – But I Still Fight for the Woman Who Made It

I didn’t know who Nicole Arbour was until this past weekend, when everyone I’ve ever met including my childhood dentist and your mom sent me Arbour’s Dear Fat People video, suggesting I write a rebuttal. Arbour, I quickly gathered, is a Canadian YouTuber whose popularity hinges on the supposed novelty of a woman being simultaneously opinionated, funny and conventionally attractive. (You might have come across her a month ago when her weird, slut-shaming excoriation of “Instagram models” went viral. Policing women’s bodies and self-expression under the guise of empowerment appears to be something of a signature move.) Arbour’s “funny” opinion this week, openly leveraged for attention – “Aaahhh, some people are already really mad at this video!” she chirps, four seconds in – is that fat people are lazy, disgusting, inconsiderate and smelly. It is six minutes of tired cruelty filed under “entertainment.”

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My Wedding Was Perfect – and I Was Fat as Hell the Whole Time

Aham and I got engaged on my birthday. He took me to dinner, suggested a “quick nightcap” at our neighbourhood bar, and then, surprise! Everyone was there – our friends, our families, the kids, four random people who were just trying to get a damn drink on a Sunday night without being accidental set dressing in somebody else’s raucous public proposal (sorry, dudes). I was so happy. He took my hand and led me to the back; there was a paper banner that said my name (the bartender made it – we go there a lot); there was a live string duet. I was confused. Why was there a sombre cello at my birthday party? Why was my boyfriend doing his Intense Face? Wait, it’s almost 10pm on a school night and we’re at a bar – why ARE the kids here? Then it all happened at once: the knee, the ring, the speech, the question, the tears. All the hits. It was a full-blown grand gesture.

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What Do the Politically Correct Brain Police Have Against Venerable Man Comedians Like Jerry Seinfeld?

Beloved funnyman of yesteryear Jerry Seinfeld (ask your parents!) took to the airwaves this week to offer his hoary wisdom on the state of modern comedy. A plague is upon us, he warns. Harmless jokesters and joy-bringers are literally being figuratively strangled by the long, thin goblin-fingers of “political correctness” (which is a fancy term for “not treating people who are already treated like garbage like garbage”), even though all they were trying to do was just say anything they want to, the way they always have, without ever being questioned or criticised by known killjoys such as “people of colour” and “women”, and with zero regard for the institutionally oppressed groups upon whose backs their industry has been stepping for generations in the service of shallow, straight white dude “catharsis”. Is that so wrong? Jerry Seinfeld, hero, is here to say “yes”; yes, that is so wrong.

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What Happened When I Confronted My Cruelest Internet Troll

For the past three years or so, at least one stranger has sought me out pretty much every day to call me a fat bitch (or some pithy variation thereof). I’m a writer and a woman and a feminist, and I write about big, fat, bitchy things that make people uncomfortable. And because I choose to do that as a career, I’m told, a constant barrage of abuse is just part of my job. Shrug. Nothing we can do. I’m asking for it, apparently.

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Why Is the Real American Sniper -- a Hate-Filled Killer -- Being Treated as a Hero?

I have to confess: I was suckered by the trailer for American Sniper. It’s a masterpiece of short-form tension – a confluence of sound and image so viscerally evocative it feels almost domineering. You cannot resist. You will be stressed out. You will feel. Or, as I believe I put it in a blog about the trailer, “Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper trailer will ruin your pants.”

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5 Most Pathetic Female Movie Characters

Last night I had the stinky displeasure of watching Catherine Hardwicke's Red Riding Hood, a movie that has been hailed as the vanguard of a wave of Hollywood movies to appropriate European folktales.

The movie pits the lovely Amanda Seyfried (nubility personified/human Keane painting/tube of lip gloss made flesh) against an angry, magic, sexually charged man-wolf. After the wolf kills her sister and makes it clear he's coming for her next (wolf telepathy is involved – don't ask questions), Seyfried's reaction is to… stand there. Wait to be rescued. Weep. Stand there some more. Quiver under the male gaze. Reapply lip gloss. Repeat. Oh, and sometimes she strides from one place to another place wearing a billowy cloak. She's so useless, in fact, that the film doesn't even let her use her feminine wiles or her sexuality as a weapon! It's just boring, old-timey, textbook damsel-in-distress.

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It's Crazy to Blame Fat People for Ruining Air Travel

I don’t want to intimidate anyone here, but I recently flew first class on an aeroplane. Yes, I know. You’re impressed. I know. No, I am neither a venture capitalist nor a sultan. Yes, I paid for the upgrade myself. No, I cannot invest in your start-up. (Yes, I know what a “start-up” is, kind of.) And no, flying first class is not a regular occurrence in my life. In fact, I can think of few things more glamorously, unattainably alien than sitting to the fore of that little curtain – that imperious cotton-poly shroud that separates the serfs from their betters. Yet there I was, up front, next to a businessman in a suit that cost more than my car, and behind a man who kept angrily attempting to sell a boat over the phone even after they told us to stop making phone calls.

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Everything I Screwed Up While Trying to Eat Like Gwyneth Paltrow for a Week

If there's one thing I love, it's cheese-covered gluten. And if there are two things I love, they're cheese-covered gluten and making fun of lifestyle guru and noted Veela Gwyneth Paltrow. So when I came across a copy of Gwyneth's 2014 diet book It's All Good ("delicious, easy recipes that will make you look good and feel great"), it seemed like a golden opportunity: What if I spent a week eating only Gwyneth's gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, meat-free, ingredient-free, my-children's-college-fund-free food? Would I look good? Would I feel great?

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How to Be an Atheist Without Being a Jerk About It

The following article first appeared on Jezebel.com. 

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