Sweetest of Tuesday afternoons to you, Gawker Newsletter Opener. Thank you for opening this email as we close the official mourning period of the Queen. That lady really sucks all the air out of a room, even when she’s a corpse. I can see why they made her Queen, I guess. Meanwhile in the country formerly known as the 13 colonies, formerly known as the group of people renouncing the Queen’s family’s rule, formerly known as the British Monarchy’s subjects, we’re still fleshing out the “democracy” idea. There’s a new Jan. 6th in town, and it’s Sept. 24th. Have you heard? Everyone who is anyone is gathering to hear the charismatic, thought-provoking oration of Johnny Tabacco, professor David Clements, and others, including a boxer who was also on The Biggest Loser, making her a two-time loser. In the winner’s circle we have Ben Hard of Freeform’s “Dimes Square Reality Show,” which is actually called The Come Up, who strangely sleeps under the same roof as Gawker writer Fran Hoepfner. What are the odds?! One in a million, like Kate Berlant. Her new special is out – FINALLY – and is streaming on Hulu. Let us tell you about it. As the Queen would say, “Do sit [down on the couch and watch it].” Speaking of which, why do the British still have their monarchy? Shouldn’t it have been confiscated after all the shit they pulled? Something to ponder until we meet again tomorrow. Good night.
Meet the Stars of the "Jan. 6 Solidarity Truth Press Conference"
By Tarpley Hitt
From Johnny Tabacco to Richard Citizen Journalist, they are all real guys you've heard of before
It’s hard to forget the anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection, as the date is in the name. One might think activists looking to pay tribute to that fateful day might plan accordingly and schedule their big event for January. But this is America, where we can hold rallies on any date we want with the proper permitting — and so there is a “Jan. 6 Solidarity Truth Press Conference” scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022 in Washington D.C.
The rally is supposed to happen at the “corner of Constitution Ave NW and First St. NW (North of Reflecting Pool).” But it’s unclear what, precisely, will happen there. Neither the flier nor the conference website discloses its organizers, or declares a particular purpose. There is a brief description calling the rally the “biggest J6 event to date” and promising “over 20 powerful speakers confirmed!!” Continue reading
A Conversation with Ben Hard from 'The Come Up,' Who Is Also My Neighbor
By Fran Hoepfner
Freeform's Gen Z reality show hit a little too close to home (literally)
On a sunny fall day last September, I returned to my apartment from running errands and bumped into one of the building’s residents coming out. Tall and polite, my neighbor held the door as I walked up. “Hi, I’m Ben,” he said, and introduced himself as a new tenant in our building.
I saw Ben here and there over the course of the next year — coming, going, grabbing mail, on the staircase. He was a bright, friendly presence, always eager to say hello, never pouting or dour as I myself tend to be. An apartment building — full of residents of all ages and backgrounds, living their own private and insane lives — is rich with potential, secrets, and drama. So imagine my surprise at New York’s first look at Freeform’s “Dimes Square Reality Show” The Come Up when a photo of my neighbor Ben Hard appeared across my Twitter feed.
The Come Up is less a Dimes Square (the nouveau downtown NYC alternative to the downtown NYC alternative art scene, funded, in part, by VC capital) reality show and more of a nicecore look at New York creative life, told through the eyes of six early-20somethings just trying to figure it out. There’s model Fernando (son of Elite Model Management’s John Casablancas, brother to Julian Casablancas of The Strokes), charismatic and hilarious actor Claude, fashion line director Taofeek, steadfast photographer Sophia, life-of-the-party Ebon, and my neighbor, Ben Hard, a recent transplant from San Antonio. Continue reading
Kate Berlant and No One Else
By Tarpley Hitt
In her new/old Hulu special, Cinnamon in the Wind, the alt comedian has the stage to herself
For a stand-up whose influence on alt-comedy is so well-established that aping her has become its own insult, Kate Berlant can be hard to find on her own. In her recent work, the Los Angeles comic appears more often as a team player: on her podcast, POOG, alongside co-host Jacqueline Novak; in her sketch special, Would It Kill You To Laugh?, with comedy partner John Early; and on the show A League of Their Own, alongside an actual baseball team of comedy heavy-hitters.
Longtime fans will point you to her episode of 2016’s The Characters (a bet on new talent from an early Netflix, since algorithmically buried under shows like Is It Cake?), an art world satire where Berlant plays a delusional Marina Abramović-inspired conceptual artist working on a commission for Sprite (as well as her beta-male husband, her high-strung gallerist, and the teen host of a YouTube show called “So THAT’S a Thing”). But until recently, the only footage of her stand-up online consisted of either two-minute clips or cellphone videos shot from the back row.
She shot an hour-long stand-up special back in 2019, directed by Bo Burnham and produced by Jerrod Carmichael, but it was shelved for undisclosed reasons. Her one-woman show “KATE,” currently running at New York’s Connelly Theater, sold out its seven-week run in days, leaving lazier fans like me weighing whether to attempt standby. The good news is that its success, or some other corporate reason that has not been shared with me specifically, has pushed FX to unearth her shelved special and, as of Thursday morning, it is now streaming on Hulu under the title Kate Berlant: Cinnamon in the Wind. Continue reading
Why Does the British Monarchy Exist?
By Tom Whyman
This seems like a fair question to ask right now
Why does Britain have a monarchy? A lot of people would probably say it isn't really the time to ask this question. In fact, that's exactly what Republic, the “official” UK campaign to replace the Windsors with an elected head of state, have said — declaring when news of the Queen's death was announced that “there will be plenty of time to debate the monarchy's future” later, when people are done grieving.
But whatever you think about the ethics of asking these sorts of questions just after someone's human family member has passed on, it's obvious that events since the Queen's death have made debating the future of the monarchy in Britain seem a lot more urgently pressing.
The Queen's death has come at a time of national crisis, with many individuals and small businesses threatened by spiralling energy bills — parliament were finally beginning to work on emergency legislation to deal with this, but now all lawmaking has been suspended. Soccer matches have too (even friendlies between amateur sides, and kids games). So have rail and postal strikes, and cancer operations. Center Parcs, a midmarket chain of holiday resorts, was briefly telling people staying at its facilities that they'd have to move out on the day of the Queen's funeral (it has since revised its instructions to “you just can't leave your chalet” instead). Still more seriously, anti-monarchist protesters have been hit by a wave of arrests for “breaching the peace”: the sort of thing that would be written up by some sort of human rights watch if it happened lots of other places. If this is all having a monarchy gets you, why would anyone possibly want to keep it? Continue reading
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