an incomplete list of things i want to be invented in time for christmas
1. A Netflix filter that allows me to remove the entire careers of designated dirtbags, all the people who went to bat for those dirtbags, and entertainment that I used to love but that I can’t watch anymore because I have come to know the darkness inside myself and it hurts to watch a movie that my former self loved and see how comprehensively whacked it - and therefore I - is. Am. Whatever.
I'm at the point in my media consumption where 90% of mainstream entertainment puts a taste in my mouth that only neat scotch, Brooklyn 99, and Killing Eve can wash away.
I go to Netflix for something fun to watch while I fold towels and thousands of child shirts (the exchange rate for a single load of laundry sits at approximately 1 load = 8 towels = 7,100 child shirts) and I click on comedies. The results are pretty grim.
The Break-Up? Are we calling that a comedy? The movie in which Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston emotionally mutilate each other for an hour and a half? Even though I've got very little beef with the cast (Jason Bateman's Arrested Development Jeffrey Tambor apologia aside) the subject matter reminds me of the disproportionate distribution of emotional labor in so many relationships. My friends are tired. I'm tired. Hard pass.
Love Actually? Wait, is that the movie in which the PM of GB fires a "fat" woman whose jeans I could forreals borrow, after she is sexually harassed by the President of the United States? Or is that the one where Alan Rickman fucks around on Emma Thompson and there’s a whole slapstick bit with Mr. Bean elaborately gift-wrapping a necklace for his mistress, and he gives Emma a CD which she listens to, sobbing alone in her bedroom on Christmas night?
Oh, it's both? NEXT.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl? Little known fact! Captain Jack Sparrow hits his wife! How's that popcorn? Too salty for you? How about this for salt: That bitch is dead to me and he will never get a single penny from my pocket ever again.
The Big Lebowski? Remember when Jeff Bridges was like, "I hope Harvey Weinstein finds his way out of this difficult situation?" I DO.
The West Wing? Gosh, you know what I have really been missing? The strongly-held opinions of white men, about everything. Watch as Josh, Sam, Toby, Jed, and a slew of other pasty-faced haircuts in voluminous 90’s dress shirts talk over, patronize, and correct people who do not agree with them! Especially the girls! Who always listen while they talk! FOR THEY ARE THE ESSENCE OF WIT AND WISDOM. Truly, this is just what I need as I prepare for another Bernie Sanders run!
You know what? It would probably just be easier to invent…
2. “No straight white men’s art allowed” Netflix.
All of the good shit; none of the bullshit.
The source of all your favorite fresh-ass, queer-ass, female-ass, colorful interesting nontoxic arts and entertainment! The nudity shall be justified and joyful and not exploitative! The sex shall end when SHE FINISHES! Women will just BE there! Onscreen! Everywhere!
Nobody will think that disabled people are inspirational for going to the goddamn store! The people of color shall have backstories wherein their race is a cherished part of their identity that is neither ignored nor tokenized! The queer people will have identifying characteristics OUTSIDE of their QUEERNESS!
Todd will be like, “Let’s go to brunch and talk about my trip to Beijing where I discovered that I have a twin brother who was secretly adopted by my mom’s best friend whose family owned the movie theater, because my mother knew her parents wouldn’t support her if she brought home two babies out of wedlock, since she’d been impregnated by the priest who later became my mentor when I went to Catholic school on a mysterious scholarship that I never applied for... Plus bellinis!”
NONE OF THESE CHARACTERS WILL EXIST TO LEVEL-UP A WHITE MALE PROTAGONIST’S NICE-GUY CRED.
This “No Chads Allowed Netflix for Intersectional Feminists Who Are Done” will boast the first nonnegotiable ban on any piece of entertainment connected within 2 degrees of separation to any of the aforementioned dirtbags, as well as any piece of entertainment that centers on the musings of a mediocre white man and his disproportionately attractive love interest whose entire purpose is to flesh out the mediocre white man's sensitive side.
Was this movie green-lit by a guy named Les (not that one, but yes, also that one) who knows he could have done more with his life if goddamn Sheryl and affirmative action hadn’t conspired to keep him down?
NOT UP IN HERE.
Fine print: Projects that were created by women or other marginalized people in spite of the affiliation of dirtbags are welcome to remain in the queue. YOU CAN’T TAKE FRIDA FROM US, WEINSTEIN.
3. A Chrome plugin that asks me how I’m feeling before it shows me the news.
Picture this: You wake up. You weigh the pros and cons of quitting your job today so you can sleep more. You decide to give it one more day. You get out of bed. You pee. You pour your coffee. You open the internet to see if The War started this morning bc it’s already 10 on the east coast.
Before your homepage launches, a popup window greets you with a picture of your favorite baby animal, and speaks to you in Chris Hemsworth’s voice. Or Cate Blanchett’s. Or my pick, Alan Rickman’s (pour one out for that velvety oboe of a man). Alan says “Good morning, Katie! You look—
And then he gazes at me (YES HIS VOICE GAZES AT ME DON’T ASK ME HOW I’M AN IDEA WOMAN YOU FIGURE OUT THE DETAILS MIRANDA) and pauses, like I just literally took his breath away as I sat in front of my computer with my greasy bangs and my 6 am eye boogers, and it’s just
because he’s so
Then he asks me, “How are you feeling today, my love?”
And I can choose one of two options:
a) HELLA FUCKIN STRONG A-RICK. BRING IT ON.
b) Listen, I just… I can’t today.
If I choose option a, he winks at me and I plunge into the internet with a few extra tingles in mah shingles.
If I choose option b, two things happen:
First, $10 automatically gets donated from my checking account to a rotating selection of nonprofits working to beat back this septic overflow of a Presidential administration;
Second, every news source that I could possibly touch that day gets a self-care facelift for the next 24 hours, like so:
Come on people. Invent this immediately. In the name of Bitcoin, I summon the powers of Q Anon! Or whoever!
4. The same Chrome plugin, but specifically for Twitter.
5. An over-the-counter drug that I can legally give my children to make them stop talking for ONE GOD DAMN SECOND.
Now, hold on, hold on. I’m not saying I want to DRUG my CHILDREN.
I’m just saying… I wish there was a combination of chemicals and natural supplements, perhaps in liquid form (or, oooh! Perhaps a gummy!) whose effects would be to render a child silent and cooperative for a prescribed period of time, and that such a medication were available for parents to administer periodically to their children!
Listen, there’s only so long a person can tolerate the human train whistle that is my 4-year-old requesting Queen tracks with the politeness of a DMV photographer, while the human I’m-doing-a-load-of-bells-and-loose-change-in-the-washing-machine that is my 6-year-old rattles on nonstop about the powers of the Electro-shark and the power-up goldrush coins and how many he still needs to get to earn the Magneto-shark which looks a-ma-zing.
Transcript of my drive home from picking up Chicken from school this afternoon:
Me: How was your day at school, Chicken?
Chicken: Did you know that the electro-shark can eat jellyfish without losing any power points?
Chicken: Did you know that —
Me: Yes, Buster.
Chicken: — if another shark eats a jellyfish —
Buster: MOM TURN ON THE SONG AFTER FLASH
Chicken: — it takes 5 power points and that’s a lot of —
Buster: MOM TURN ON THE SONG AFTER FLASH
Me: Chicken, hold on please. Buster, I’m waiting for you to ask my for what you would like politely.
Chicken & Buster, at the same time: Mom?
Me: Chicken, I literally JUST asked you to hold on. Yes, Buster?
Buster: Mom? Could you please please please please please please pretty please—
Me: You don’t have to beg, you can just—
Me: — I SAID WAIT CHICKEN — ask for what you want in your normal voice.
Buster: Can you turn on the song after Flash please?
Me: Sure! Thank you for asking nicely.
(I take a shaky breath, unclench my fists, jaw, and sphincter, and cue up the track)
Me: Yessssssss Chicken.
Chicken: THE ELECTRO SHARK CAN SHOCK A WHOLE SCHOOL OF FISH—
(Queen starts playing)
Chicken, now yelling over the music: — AND THAT GIVES ME LOTS OF EXTRA COINS —
Buster: MOOOOOOOOOM I CAN’T HEEEEEAR IT
Chicken: BUSTER I WAS TAAAAAALKING
Queen: I’M IN LOOOOOVE WITH MY CAAAAAAAR
Okay? Tell me a drug isn’t the solution here.
That last sentence is not an invitation for you to give me solutions. I know what the solution is, and it’s a drug that hasn’t been invented yet, so don’t come at me with studies about French parenting techniques unless you’re also holding a baggie of Beddy-Byes, got it?