Officially: Here for It, #237

Hi! It's R. Eric Thomas. From the internet?

I do love that America's Mom's Boyfriend, Dr. Anthony Fauci, sat down in front of Congress, swooped his bangs, and told Rand Paul to meet him outside.

I am confused about the far-right tactic of attacking Dr. Fauci, who is just trying to get everyone healthy so that he can go back to his main job--being the love interest in a Nancy Meyers movie. Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist who has not been certified by any state in over a decade, and his gang of charlatans have gone full Joker with the galaxy brain position "what if it's the doctors who are bad and the virus that is good???!"


Child, if it wasn't for bad faith this country wouldn't have any faith at all! I don't want to dwell on nonsense, tomfoolishness, and general quackery because it's bad for my complexion but I did appreciate how this tactic teased out testy testimony from Dr. Fauci, an 80-year-old Brooklynite zaddy who would have had a multi-episode on Golden Girls in which Rose, Blanche, and Dorothy compete to outbid each other for a charity auction date with him only to find that Sophia has had dinner plans with him the whole time. For free! Table for two at Shady Pines Trattoria, please!

Senator Paul, who is the Chairman of the Senate committee on Trying It, made an attempt to come for Dr. Fauci with a convoluted attempt to paint Fauci as some kind of COVID-19 puppetmaster and Dr. Fauci was like "Oh, okay, hmm. Respectfully, eff you, disrespectfully."

At a congressional hearing earlier this week, Dr. Fauci was sitting next to a Costco vat of Purell with an additional small bottle of hand sanitizer closer to him that looked like a germ-killing parent and child. The Judy and Liza  of hygiene theater. After Paul accused Fauci of lying to Congress, Fauci had had it. "Senator Paul," he said, "you do not know what you are talking about, quite frankly, and I want to say that officially, you do not know what you are talking about…" Quite. Frankly. HE HAS HAD IT!


(LOL at me wanting to make this dumb joke but spending 5 minutes searching for the least scary It poster because I don't want some evil clown messing up the energy of my newsletter.)

Dr. Fauci was like tap tap tap "Is this microphone on? Just want to let you know, Senator Paul, that unfortunately you have Jell-O pudding for brains and your word salad is wilted. This whole meal is going right in the trash and I'd like you to pack your knives and go home. Speaking to you makes me stupider by the second, you see, so I'm really playing with fire here. It's a real Catch-451 situation. But I do need to remind you that, quite frankly, you're a disingenuous boil on the butt of democracy. It is medically recommended that I--" [leans closer to the mic] "--tell you and all your work friends here that I have never had a more worthless conversation, I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul. Oh, and I mean that officially."

Dr. Fauci wanted that on record in the Hall of Congress. He was like "Wake Ben Franklin's ass up and tell him to start taking notes! PUT THIS IN THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE."

I do try to keep all of my messy takedowns in the hypothetical space because I'm just trying to have peace in my valley and I don't have time to be street fighting people in the nation's Capitol, but this particular Grouchy Fauci Ouchie has really inspired me. If I'm going to tell you about yourself, I want it transcribed and notarized! Send me a read receipt of my read!

Dr. Fauci didn't just casually remark to Rand Paul that Paul didn't know what he was talking about; Fauci was like "It is my official position that you're talking out of your ass and I would like to put that on a plaque or something and perhaps include it in the script for people who giving tours. I have commissioned an artist to paint you not knowing what you're talking about and me seeing it and saying 'haha' and it will be gifted to the National Portrait Gallery and displayed down the hall from the phenomenal Amy Sherald portrait of Michelle Obama. In conclusion, it is my sincere hope that in 1,000 years when Martian anthropologists are trying to find information about our ways and practices and why we kept letting billionaires go up and hack space, that they first record the anthropologists  find is this transcript in which, I repeat, I--a person who knows what he's talking about--tell you--a dodo bird--that you do not know what you're talking about. Officially."

Baby, at this point I wouldn't even tell Dr. Fauci my own name without double-checking it first. Look, I am not a medical expert (I've only watch 6 seasons of Grey's Anatomy) so I don't know the ins and outs of this particular Dr. Fauci non-troversy, but I do know that the bulk of the current attacks on him are not done in good faith and when it comes to public health, that's just evil. I also know that it is just a bad strategic move to go after Dr. Fauci because everyone knows that he is the popular second husband of the nation's Fun Aunts. You don't want to upset the Fun Aunt. That is the first line of the Declaration of Independence. "Thou has upset the Fun Aunt and now we're out. Fun is over! We're taking our chunky jewelry and we're going home."

The only thing worse than being told off, officially, by Dr. Fauci, is being told off officially by the Fun Aunt. You'll never recover!

How bout them apples?!

Yesterday, on her 52nd birthday, JLo made it Instagram official with photo of her smooching Ben Affleck and Dunkies stock went through the roof!

Going from this:

To this:

Previously On...

I'll tell you more about this next week, but I've been working on a new project that just launched on the Bulletin newsletter platform. Introducing PREVIOUSLY ON... A weekly essay on pop culture obsessions and instant nostalgia. One of the things I've missed since leaving ELLE is being about to go funny, chatty, and long on music, movies, and TV like I did when I wrote about nostalgia and Sleepless in Seattle or when I wrote about crying to Queer Eye and crying to the City of Angels soundtrack or how every outfit in While You Were Sleeping is pajamas or about the narrative burlesque of Watchmen. I have the opportunity to do that here, of course, but we have so much else to talk about, like Fauci snatching Rand Paul's wig (or yelling about space like we did in the paid subscriber weekly thread).

PREVIOUSLY ON... is a fun new experiment and you're welcome to check out the welcome post on My Best Friend's Wedding below. I'll also be posting the essay every week here in this newsletter in case you've got a little inbox overload going on.

Welcome! or, “Would you like crème brûlée or Jell-O?”
What is Previously On... and why should I subscribe?

Random Thing on the Internet

I re-read the play Choir Boy this week and it sent me down a YouTube rabbit hole re-watching videos of the cast singing. Incredible!

Table for two at Shady Pines Trattoria, please!