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The Current State of the Union

Call me Massie Block because it's time for this month's Ins and Outs

The Current State of the Union

There are about 30 different ways I can start this article, but the best is to say this is not another political piece.

Now that we're all marginally sedated by the prospect of a moment without politics, I present my second strongest opening: It pains me, keeps me up at night, haunts my every waking decision that there are people that never read-- nay, never heard of Lisi Harrison's iconic series The Clique. The Clique made you feel seen before that was a turn of phrase, it made you feel remarkably judged before Twitter existed, it completed you without any satisfaction before the Internet became a cesspool of violent and virulent opinions. These books were the epitome of middle school girl privilege and I ate them up.

Anyways, in these books, the HBIC was named Massie Block and every month she would put out her Current State of the Union. This was essentially the ultimate deciding voice on what was hot and what was not. Massie could literally make or break your entire life with this list without making a single remark about the actual State of the Union address. Thus, in rekindling the ghost of Massie Block that truly haunts us all, I plan to do the exact same thing. Welcome to my Current State of the Union.


Meryl Streep's Presumptive Emmy

I know I jumped through hoops to explain the whole Clique thing to everyone, but if you don't know which Meryl I'm referring to when they say the name "Meryl", then you don't deserve to be graced with the recollection of her diverse and extensive filmography. Also, and I say this with love, how the fuck do you not know who Meryl Streep is?

Meryl has been so generous as to grace one of my all-time favorite shows, Big Little Lies, in its second season and it has been a beautiful trip so far. Meryl plays a grandmother figure (it hurts me not to say more for the sake of spoiling it) and is scary good. But then again, I ask, what is Meryl not good at? I rest my case.

Joining a runaway hit that keeps getting better is probably one of the smartest moves Our Lady of Perpetual Iconic Roles has ever made. We should just give her the Emmy now.

The Relationship Between Women and Their Aestheticians

I think one of the most interesting relationships that can exist between two women is that of an everyday woman and the woman who is pouring hot wax somewhere on her body. I think it's wildly fascinating because once a month, I find myself there and I think about it for the duration of my wax. I guess it also exists between the woman who does my mom's eyelash extensions and her, but it's my state of the union.

I think this is a dynamic that we should talk about more because of how bizarre yet oddly comforting it is. I'm friends with the aestheticians I go to and I'm friends with them because for the first few times I went to them, I wouldn't stop talking. How can you? You have hot wax on your face, your arms, your vagina and you're just supposed to sit in silence?? No! So you talk and then you see them the next month when you're due back and then suddenly you know a lot about their lives and they know an aggressive amount about yours. And now you're friends.

We should celebrate that. How often do women get to have relationships that exist outside of the norm like this? By "outside of the norm", I do mean "that arise from having one person ripping hair off of another's body."

Pete Buttigieg Telling Us That We've Probably Already Had a Gay President

First of all, happy Pride Month.

Second of all, I know I said I was keeping this apolitical and I am. This is about culture. This is the kind of news we need more of. We need more out elected officials saying that their "'gaydar doesn't even work that well in the present, let alone retroactively'" but that statistically, we have already had some number of gay presidents. I think that is beautiful and Mayor Pete is a new American icon. And potentially the patron for my new play: a production of the Abraham Lincoln musical featured in Will & Grace.


The Cost of Subscriptions to Everything

As I mentioned, I am ecstatic to have Big Little Lies back on the air. That show is truly a gift to us all. But until an hour before the show premiered, my family did not have an HBO subscription because we were not Game of Thrones people.

Long story short, I found out very quickly how much HBO costs and I think it's egregious. I also just got a New Yorker subscription on the cheap thanks to my newfound addiction to the podcast, Lovett or Leave It. The annual subscription? Also egregious. Why do companies need to charge so much? Even Amazon Prime, my literal best friend at 3 am when no one is awake to stop me from impulse shopping, has an egregious subscription fee.

I want a presidential candidate who will campaign for me and my core values which is making all of the stuff I love cost nothing and making ice cream very expensive to deter me from eating it while I shop on Amazon at 3 am. End of politics.

Non-Faceted, Single Dimensional Female Characters (Especially Manic Pixie Dream Girls)

I'm really harping on the return of Big Little Lies, I know, but bear with me a little longer.

The five leads on this show are astounding. Not just the actresses who are icons and are actually masters of their craft, but the characters they play. None of the five has anything short than a rich background with incredible nuances and tics and remarkable dialogue. They are all complex and scary and hilarious and brilliant beings.

But I can say the same about the two female leads on Netflix's Dead to Me. Or Jessica Jones. Or Grace and Frankie, which if you are not watching, you should be. That goes for everyone; this show is literally a national treasure and it is so important that everyone sees it.

Women are not going back to flitty, underdeveloped roles in media because women do not live flitty, underdeveloped roles in life. Even the person you know in real life who is closest to that grossly overused manic pixie dream girl trope has a rich background with incredible nuances and tics. You don't have to like every woman you encounter in real life or on the screen, but you owe her at least the chance to tell her story. I'm over female characters whose only role is to propel the unfulfilled male protagonist's story further and you should be too.

The Floor of the Downtown 5 Subway

Listen, I know this one may be a bit too niche but I dropped my phone on the subway the other morning. Since then, I've had a crippling fear that each day will be the one that I wake up with an incurable terminal illness caused by one or all of the diseases that I definitely picked up from the part of my phone that touched the subway floor.

I am accepting prayers in the form of cash money or positive affirmations, thank you.

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