Commentary

Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: Super Bowl ‘Crotchgate’ critics need to chill

Before we say goodbye forever to what I’m calling “Crotchgate,” let me try to womansplain why so many of us went out of our minds over the Super Bowl halftime show. I shall now base my findings on science-ish. Which is like regular scientific data but with fewer boring parts. My findings are based entirely on comments made by my Facebook friends.

I realize this sounds nuttier than squirrel poo but you have to understand I got a bunch of Facebook friends—a maxxed-out 5,000 on my regular account and nearly 10,000 on my author page. This is not to brag (although, dayum!) but rather to let you know Crotchgate opinions are pretty much evenly divided in my fairly large sample. You can’t argue with science-ish.

This even split is like presidential polls except with body suits and pelvic thrusts. Crotchgate has divided us in ways we haven’t seen since, ohhhh, last week’s impeachment arguments.

Now the thing that surprised me most was the whole Commanders from Handmaid’s Tale vibe of many of the male commenters. They were shocked and offended by the gyrations of two uber fit goddesses, ages 50 and 43, amen.

My response to the menfolk is simple: What part of you doesn’t get that you don’t have the right to tell a woman how to dress/act/think/be? Those of you who ranted about the inappropriateness of scanty clothing and camera angles that revealed body parts you believe should only be revealed in the delivery room, just don’t have a dog in this fight.

Whining that your kids were traumatized (TRAUMATIZED!) was laughable. No chirren were injured in the making of that halftime spectacle. Unless you’ve raised some laboratory-distilled snowflake, that is. One only hopes you get half as wrought up when your precious spawn is happily blowing the heads off hookers in Grand Theft Auto every night.

So, in conclusion, shut up.

Now…the women. My sisteren, my posse, my people…My, Lord. What is wrong with almost exactly half of y’all?

JLo and Shakira, rather than being admired for their athleticism and dance skills are being blamed for promoting sex trafficking and child pornography and using twerking to destroy the feminist movement. More than a few Very Upset Feminists claimed these two entertainers at a football game had destroyed the entire #metoo movement. That’s just silly. Shinnying up that pole just proved these women had thighs strong enough to crack Harvey Weinstein’s bald head like a walnut. Good on ‘em.

The vitriol aimed at these women puzzles me. It’s not like they did something truly awful like invent kombucha.

From where I sit, not twerking or, TBH, even walking all that much in my sixth decade, I find it inspirational, heroic, even, to see these mature women embrace their sexy, athletic selves for what appears to be exactly half of a grateful nation. The rest of you preachers-in-Footloose can keep looking for dark motives and deviancy.

But what a joyless way to go through life.

Celia Rivenbark is a New York Times-bestselling author and columnist. To inquire about speaking engagements or to read previous columns visit www.celiarivenbark.com.  

Commentary

Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: Reconnecting with the founding fathers (and their descendants)

Duh Hubby attended a conference in Philadelphia last week and I tagged along for the chance to try a real Philly cheesesteak (Carmen’s, since you ask, delectable) and do a bit of sightseeing. Lately, I’ve felt the need to reconnect with the vision of the founding fathers. I can’t quite put my finger on why. Oh, wait. Yes, I can.

Maybe the Late Unpleasantness explains why I got unexpectedly teary at the Liberty Bell, which you see immediately after a powerful video series of speeches by Martin Luther King Jr. It’s easily my second favorite bell and could knock off No. 1, Rocky style, if they served nachos and really cheap burritos in a little kiosk nearby.

The walk to the Liberty Bell, Constitution Hall, Betsy Ross’s house and Christ Church (where I sat in George Washington’s pew!) took about 20 minutes. I was feeling the need for actual exercise after the cheesesteak and some kind of amazing Amish apple dumpling thing they serve with heavy cream drizzled all over it. Don’t judge. I have impeachment stress weight gain. It is, too, a thing.

Along my route, I recognized the signature booming crazy of a street preacher up ahead. I grew up in a small Southern town that maintained a motley rotation of street preachers who stood on overturned lard buckets and bellowed at passers-by. So, yeah, I get it.

In the North, however, the street preacher is a bit more aggressive. With John the Baptist wire hair and a handmade cape of some sort, he lurched toward me waving a pages-falling-out Bible and blocked my path.

“YOU’RE GOING TO HELL!!!!” he bellowed.

“No, just Seventh and Chestnut,” I said.

He looked a bit deflated by this and shrugged before stepping aside so I could pass. He even bowed a little. So nice.

Along the way, I popped in for a coffee at something called Wawa. Philadelphians love their Wawa’s. It’s a holy place with an altar made of Philly-born Tastykakes in the center of the store. Lines were long so the well-dressed businessman ahead of me jumped out when another cash register opened. By the time he got there, everyone else had beat him.

“(F) me!” he proclaimed in a street preacher voice of his own.

“You’re going to hell,” I thought to myself. No one batted an eye.

But I loved it. Philadelphia is an open wound of a city where even the slightest hiccup is greeted with jovial profanity. It’s practically contractual.

And speaking of open wounds, if you go to Philadelphia, check out the Mutter Museum of medical oddities. Where else can you see a preserved 80-foot colon AND a harrowing collection of objects removed from the stomachs of adventurous Yankee children? You can thank me later.

We all need a refresher course on how we got here. And why it matters so much that we preserve the Constitution like a Tastykake, which is to say, forever. Otherwise, I’ll see you in…well, you know.

Celia Rivenbark of Wilmington, N.C., is a New York Times-bestselling author and columnist. Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.

 

Commentary

Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: Make mine Melania

If her life was a musical, I don’t think Melania Trump would spring out of bed merrily dancing down the street while belting an ebullient “Good morning, Washington!” like Tracy Turnblad in “Hairspray.” No, no. I picture her awaking to something more on the order of “West Side Story’s” achingly sad “Somewhere,” a reliable gut-punch to anyone who has ever wanted to belong. Which is pretty much all of us.

Maybe Mel greets the day simply dreading what kettle of fish-kies must now be dealt with. Life with HIM must remind her of that book about a bear hunt she surely read to her son in one of the many thousands of languages she is said to have mastered.

“Vee are going on a bear hunt…” she must have read, turning the beautifully illustrated pages in the children’s classic with her waxen hands. But, as we all know, the hunt is complicated. Troubles are encountered, decisions must be made.

“Can’t go over it, can’t go under it…vee must go through it!”

It’s Groundhog Day for Melania. What in God’s name is HE going to do today? Can’t go around it, can’t go under it or over it. We have to go through it.

The problem is, we’re all on this bear hunt and at least half of us don’t want anything to do with it. Can’t HE just go away, content to eat pudding and lie about his golf scores and business acumen? Why must he remind us how grateful we should all be he’s in charge? Of the missiles and the military and …OK, now I’m going to need a paper bag to breathe in.

You know that dinner party question where you are asked if you could spend 30 minutes with anyone—living or dead—who would it be? And how everybody always says either Jesus or Dolly Parton? While those are solid picks, I think I’d say “Melania Trump.” But not mannequin Melania, who sits silently beside HIM while the letters spell out HELP ME in little blisters on her stomach.

Kidding! She knows what she’s doing. She has shrewdly chosen this life. But what a fascinating chat if you could connect with the real  person who must surely be in there somewhere. Knock knock. KNOCK KNOCK.

I wonder if Melania ever thinks about escaping. Especially if HE wins again. Another four years would surely make her pine for the life chosen by those rapscallion royals Harry and Megan, who just made a spectacularly public run for it. Is some part of Melania thinking, “I didn’t even know you could do that!” Does she also want to leave the land of constant scrutiny and mandated semi-sheer pantyhose?

Maybe she could escape to Canada, too! Wait. That won’t work. Not after those pictures of her gazing at Justin Trudeau like he was the last Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich on earth.

There’s a place for her, somewhere a place for her. Find it, Mel, and call me.

Celia Rivenbark of Wilmington, N.C., is a New York Times-bestselling author and columnist. Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.

Commentary

Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: Trying to kick the impeachment football

While many Democrats celebrate the jaw-droppingly damaging revelations spewing from Rudy Giuliani’s associate, Lev Parnas, detailing what Trump knew, and when he knew it, I’m unimpressed.

Ditto the excitement about hearing from conservative curmudgeon and one-time Trump foot soldier John Bolton who is apparently just itchin’ to testify at the president’s impeachment trial.

Let’s put that champagne back on ice, shall we? First of all, Lev Parnas? If ever there was a sleazeball, it’s this guy. I’m just sayin’ if he was a character in “The Sopranos,” he’d be no stranger to the Pine Barrens.

Watching Parnas’s soft-spoken and world-weary performance with interviewer Rachel Maddow was fascinating. He came across as almost wry, at peace and eager to finally do the right thing.

And as delightful as it was to hear so much tea spilled against the likes of the repugnant Devin Nunes (Liar-California), I recall every Southern granny’s advice in matters of gossip: “Consider the source.”

When you pin your hopes on a louse like Lev, you’re fixin’ to get your heart broken.

Lev Parnas has all the authenticity of the odious Michael Avenatti, (former lawyer of Stormy Daniels) who has been charged with a bevy of crimes ranging from embezzling to domestic violence. These charges led this walking sack of ego to decide not to seek the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination. Thanks be to God.

And what of all this unbridled glee among my people when it comes to hearing from Bolton?

While my liberal heart stirs at the fantasy of Bolton’s boots kicking open the double doors to testify against Trump, I dunno. This is very much Lucy and the football stuff.

Bolton has spent his whole career carrying water for the far right wingnuts of his party. Do we honestly think he’s going to dump on Trump now?

But perhaps the most naïve thing I’ve heard yet is the notion that it’s possible a few Republican senators will join Democrats and vote to allow witnesses to be called at the impeachment trial.

Are all y’all high?

It’s a lovely fantasy, I’ll admit, but that’s a relic from bygone days when politicians occasionally put their own futures at risk by voting for something just because it was the right thing to do. No more. Mitch McConnell says witnesses aren’t needed at a trial. It’s like how brakes aren’t needed on a car, duh.

In particular, Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska –both representing fringy, snowy, states that don’t get that much attention, routinely do coy little dances with the press intimating they might just vote with the Dems… Perhaps you remember the less than dynamic duo from the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings.

These women only surface when they see a chance to dominate the news cycle by pretending to upset the apple cart. They are hick-teasers, obsessed with kickstarting their increasingly anemic candidacies.

Don’t fall for any of this. Let’s just win at the ballot box–if the Russians let us.

Celia Rivenbark of Wilmington, N.C., is a New York Times-bestselling author and columnist. Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.

Commentary

Weekend humor from Celia Rivenbark: Yes, the Hollywood elite are crazy, but they’re also…well…right

Am I the only one who thinks it would’ve been hilarious if someone at the recent Golden Globes had frowned in disgust and hissed at the waiter: “I had the STEAK!” when the vegan meal was presented with a flourish? Turnabout’s fair play and all that.

I always feel a little guilty when seated beside the woke banquet guest with a little “V” card at her plate to signal the wait staff she has the non-meat entrée. Sometimes, as an icebreaker, I’ll ask if she’s Vulcan.

Don’t get me wrong. Some of my best friends are vegan. OK, no they’re not. But they could be because it’s a noble concept which I hope to embrace someday. No, I don’t. Let’s face it: I’m just not that nice. Vegetarianism? Maybe. Vegan? I’d rather be forced to watch “Cats” on auto repeat with my eyes propped open with wires like that poor bastard in “A Clockwork Orange.”

The vegan meal was the talk of the night. Well, that and Jennifer Lopez’s freakishly oversized gold bow-enhanced gown—“Who’s it by? Thank you for asking, Ryan. It’s a new designer. She’s called Errybody’s nutty ol’ great aunt on Christmas morning…”

Much has been said about the hypocrisy of all the Hollywood elite chowing down on those vegan scallops (really mushrooms) just moments after arriving at the venue via enormous ozone killing limos.

To which I say: Oh, just shut up. It’s a big night. Did you really want Gwyneth Paltrow to explain to her Uber driver she wasn’t technically nude? I thought not.

Still, the Hollywood Foreign Press’s ham-handed (ha!) attempt at demonstrating concern for the planet by serving a meal in which no animals were harmed had the opposite result. That’s what happens these days. If you try to do the right thing, no matter how minor, you get lampooned and worse. In the South, this is known as “licking the red off someone’s candy.”

Was Scallopgate a bit overwrought and on the nose? Sure. It’s easy to skewer Hollywood hypocrisy on the reg but, if we’re being serious for a moment (which, y’all know I just hate), was it really such an awful idea to call attention to considering switching to a less meat-centric diet because it’s better for our dying planet? Nah. Nah, it wasn’t.

It’s the same way it’s fun for some to pounce on 16-year-old Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta Thunberg, making fun of how she won’t fly and instead crosses the ocean in an emission-free racing yacht. Yes, isn’t integrity HILARIOUS?! Isn’t she just the weirdest little thing with all that earnestness and caring? What a loser.

The new decade is a nice time to stop persecuting teenagers for giving a damn about the stuff (climate, gun control) that we “grownups” have avoided like a vending machine burrito up to now.

That said, I do hope we can do this with at least a little humor because, well, we need it. The Vulcans told me so.

Celia Rivenbark of Wilmington, N.C., is a New York Times-bestselling author and columnist. Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.