We’ll start off with some trivial internet culture stories. Zoo Miami humanely euthanized one of their gorillas this week — their 49-year-old matriarch, Josephine, the grandmother of internet-sensation Harambe. Really, 2017? You’re going to hit us with that right off the bat? Please, internet, don’t turn this one into a 6-month-long meme. Thankfully, Josephine was laid to rest peacefully after years of failing health. But we throw a dart at the universe for setting 2017 off with another gorilla death just as we begged it for no more shenanigans.
On a more light-hearted pop culture note, Twitter superstar Chrissy Teigen tweeted a picture of her stretch marks Wednesday, and it instantly rocketed to the top of the internet. Some users thanked her for normalizing a part of human anatomy that’s so often airbrushed away, while others attacked her for, well, we’re not sure for what, but you know how internet trolls are. But here’s a laurel to Teigen for showing us stretch marks are normal, and even Sports Illustrated models have ‘em.
Now, let’s move to a more serious discussion, as the Obama administration leaves office and incoming President Donald Trump’s cabinet choices are preparing to be confirmed. For the most part, they are standard picks for their respective positions — some are aligning their views with the future administration’s platform, while others are not. Whether you personally agree with their political alignments is a separate discussion, but at least some of those individuals are qualified for their positions. Unfortunately, the rest of Trump’s picks are arguably not qualified, and they appear to completely contradict the purpose of the position they are nominated for, e.g., Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos, who wants to move away from public education and Secretary of Energy nominee Rick Perry, who in 2011 tried to discontinue the Department of Energy. So a few heavy-handed darts go to Trump’s unqualified cabinet choices. Let’s hope those in the Senate who are qualified will exercise sound judgment.
By now, you’re probably familiar with the protests that have been going on across the country as we enter a new presidential term. In a fabulous twist, a group of LGBTQ+ activists held a protest dance party in front of incoming Vice President Mike Pence’s rented house. This so-called “Queer Dance Party at Mike Pence’s House” — the official name on the Facebook event — had more than 200 people in attendance including Pence’s new neighbors from across the street. We bestow a dazzling laurel to the protesters who danced the night away, putting their own spin on our inalienable right to publicly organize.
And finally, we would be remiss if we did not address the topic on everyone’s minds today: the inauguration of our 45th president, Donald J. Trump. We bestow a laurel to our new president — but be warned, Mr. President. This laurel is not a trivial piece of decorum. It is not just a prize that one receives on a dreary January morning and then parades around for the next four years. No, this laurel is a carefully handled, heavy crown bearing the fate of more than 300 million people depending on its wearer. Heavy is the head that wears it. Let’s hope you can hold it up.