Hi! It's R. Eric Thomas. From the internet?
This week: Captain America has a hot take on Doritos, while Mitt stans for Twinkies, but the only opinion I care about comes from Beto's dog, Artemis.
I had a tweet quoted in a Breitbart article this week and yet, shockingly, my life is not currently terrible. I think the reason is that the quoted tweet wasn't used in service of one of those "Look at these pinko snowflake college scamming drag queens and their triggered safe space chakras!" articles. I have had tweets quoted in those kind of articles before and, let me tell you, it is a treat. Sometimes I get a heads up from Google News Alerts telling me my name showed up somewhere. It's literally just Whoopi Goldberg's face from Ghost. Nothing else. I understand immediately.
Other times, I only know because I get misspelled angry non sequiturs randomly showing up in my inbox and DMs. I actually love that the most because then it's like a mystery game. "Hmm. This email says 'Our greet president will put you in jail for lying abot Chrismas!' Let's see if I can use context clues, Al Gore's internet, perhaps a conspiracy theory or two, to figure out what this is about. The timer... starts... now!"
I would definitely watch a TV game show in which people had to figure out what angry internet comments were referring to while a countdown clock ticked in the corner and hosts Lindy West and Samantha Irby made pithy commentary in the background. Anyone who has ever started out reading an article about a coffee shop and ended up in a comments blackhole about 9/11 conspiracies knows that the head and the tail of the snake never look anything alike. It's not even a snake! It's a cat-dog or something. A cat-dog that believes in chemtrails. (To wit, this week someone on Twitter posted an article I wrote about Beto O'Rourke's dog and tagged me; 12 hours later I was reading a response tweet in which a man screamed about how only true comics fans should have thoughts on Marvel movies. The reach would humble even Mr. Fantastic.)
Humanity was a mistake.
If you haven't read the gold standard of comment section disasters, the Rainbow Cake recipe that devolved into a heated argument about communism versus fascism, do yourself a favor and read it immediately. It is the only thing that should survive when the internet crumbles after the Shadow Government releases the Lizard King.
Anyway, what was I talking about? This newsletter is literally a one-man comments section. What a nightmare. Truly, this is also how I talk. Poor David will be listening to me talk about my day at work one minute and the next minute I'm like "Which is WHY is outrageous that Anna Paquin won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar over Holly Hunter in The Firm and yes, I know, Holly Hunter only has like 20 minutes of screen time. SHE MAKES THE MOST OF IT, OKAY??!! And I know she won the SAME YEAR for the SAME FILM that Anna Paquin was in. BUT I DON'T CARE. I think I read that John Grisham is super conservative now which makes sense but I don't want to Google it because, honestly, I'm just sitting here trying to have a pleasant life. That said, The Firm was the first time I learned about hiding money in off-shore accounts and for that I am truly grateful. And you will be too, one day. WINK. How was your day?"
Oh right! The Breitbart article. It was some piece about how "LIBS" are criticizing Beto O' Rourke and they quoted a tweet in which I was like "hmm, this is a weird turn of phrase Beto used." So, of course, the writer of the article was like "HOLLYWOOD HOMOSEXUAL ERIC R. THOMAS DUNKS ON BETO." I mean, not that but probably that. I didn't read it. I was busy in the comments section learning who really shot the Archduke Ferdinand and, surprisingly, getting a great recipe for French Onion soup. The internet was a mistake.
But since we're here... This week, Mitt Romney's favorite treat is the Twinkie (not a euphemism, surprisingly), Project Runway returns, and Chris Evans has some thots about snacks (ALSO not a euphemism, surprisingly!). But first, THAT DOG WHO IS BAD AT REVIEWING MARVEL MOVIES!!!!
Some may frame the story as "about O'Rourke" and "exclusively focused on his life, ideas, and quotes," but true visual artists will note that the eye immediately travels to the ambivalent black dog in the lower right corner like the focal point in a Wyeth painting. While the candidate does his best impression of your high school prom date posting a striking good Instagram photo on vacation, Artemis can't be bothered to even acknowledge the lens. This is true power. [READ THE FULL COLUMN]
The Liam Hemsworth to Cool Ranch's Chris Hemsworth, Nacho Cheese Doritos is the perpetual also ran. Great in its own right but not usually chosen over its sibling. Third place feels fair here, but do we need to take a bolder stance on the red bagged triangle chip? Have we been sleeping on Liam Hemsworth? [READ THE FULL COLUMN]
No person of any age, stature, or station in life has ever reacted with as much unadulterated awe as Mitt Romney laying his eyes on a birthday cake made of Twinkies. Now, let's take a moment to acknowledge that few of the words in that sentence belong together. A cake. Made of Twinkies. For Mitt Romney. Sure, okay. We've reached the point where the news is just MadLibs so this tracks. [READ THE FULL COLUMN]
While some people can't even make it on to their significant other's Insta grid, Harry Macklowe, the 81-year-old starting forward on Team Extra, is proclaiming his love with a 42-foot-high photo of his new wife, Patricia Landeau, on the side of a New York building. There's Facebook official and then there's real estate official. You know it's true when he has to hire of a team of workers to scale a skyscraper for you, Spiderman-style. [READ THE FULL COLUMN]
I am very excited to be recapping this new version despite having to Google every other word I hear on this show and my reaction to every look being to sincerely shout “Florals? For spring! Groundbreaking!!!” [READ THE FULL RECAP]
Let's Hang Out
Tomorrow, March 19 -- hosting the Moth StorySlam at CityWinery DC
Monday, April 1 -- hosting the Moth StorySlam in Philly at World Cafe Live
Random Thing on the Internet
I am writing a romcom (sort of; it's also about grief and gentrification; I have no idea how to give the people what they want!). Anyway, I came across this article on Nora Ephron and the gold standard of romcom dialogue during my research and I like it very much.
I'm just sitting here trying to have a pleasant life,