Week in Keeping Busy

by Muram Ibrahim, Harry Levine, Bilal Memon & Nick Roblee-Strauss

Illustration by Floria Tsui

published February 14, 2020


Celebrity gossip rarely startles us anymore. Impeachment proceedings and foreign assassinations have occupied our attention and chipped away at our sense of propriety until only the basest crimes elicit a response. That said, occasionally the headlines of tabloid news so trouble our preconceptions and shake the foundations of our reality that there is nothing more to do than spend the next eight hours scrolling online and arguing with strangers on the internet.

Our jaws dropped as we perused Twitter while brushing our teeth on Monday morning. Shocked, we accidentally swallowed our toothpaste when coming across what would be the first of countless tweets expressing confusion after videos circulated of rappers Megan Thee Stallion (Megan Pete) and G-Eazy (Gerald Gillum) kissing and cuddling. Megan Thee Stallion and G-Eazy emerge from starkly different spheres of hip-hop. Megan, as she has discussed in the past, comes from a line of Black women rappers who powerfully carved their own space in the genre. Lil Kim, Queen Latifah, and Nicki Minaj paved the way for artists like Megan Thee Stallion and Rico Nasty to be bashful, fun, and sexually liberated. The crux of Megan’s persona and her Hot Girl movement is about doing what one wants, when one wants to, and how one wants to—regardless of other people's opinions, especially those of men. In an interview with the Root, Megan explained the Hot Girl movement, “It’s just basically about women—and men—just being unapologetically them, just having a good-ass time, hyping up your friends, doing you, not giving a damn about what nobody got to say about it.” For many, Megan is the best of rap’s past and future: brash, upfront lyrics combined with a danceable beat through the voice of a modern woman. She likes anime! She’s in college! She is the shining star of rap music.

...And G-Eazy is decidedly not. A white pop-rapper from the Bay Area, he emerged from good time, white college rap—Blackbear and Hoodie Allen being the biggest exports of that scene. His music quickly shifted to a more lucrative lane, emphasizing moodiness and sex appeal. With his slicked back hair, leather jacket, and general unkemptness, G-Eazy exudes a Starbucks-branded biker appeal that proved popular, especially with young, white women. His most notable songs include “Tumblr Girls,” an ode to the girls with “skinny waists and drug habits.” G-Eazy’s manufactured aesthetic bled into his personal life. His previous famous partners, including Lana Del Rey and Halsey (the latter relationship ended in public acrimony), conformed to his style.

Seeing the video of G-Eazy kiss Megan on his Instagram story, people on twitter loudly shouted their criticism and anger at Megan for dating a white man. Twitter user @ilovesmokingmid said “megan thee stallion if you would like to disappoint your fanbase again pleaseee text me.” When relying on stereotypes to fill in the gaps of celebrities’ personalities, anything they do out of the archetype surprises us. Reducing celebrities to their archetypes is particularly harmful to Black women, who are often pigeonholed and punished when they move away from their predesignated roles. Black women rappers, who redefine femininity through empowering songs and powerful attitudes, are shamed and demeaned from the very start of their careers. Underlying many of these tweets is an entitlement rooted in misogyny and racism to police Black women. Ironically, Megan has insisted that she is not in a relationship with G-Eazy. “Just” celebrity gossip, Megan Thee Stallion became the #1 Twitter trending topic in the world: as soon as a Black woman acts outside of the strict boundaries placed on her, chaos ensues.

Celebrities project a curated two-dimensional persona. However, fans often mistake the two-dimensional for the three-dimensional. So, the public relationship between G-Eazy and Megan—the image of them hanging out and kissing—questions our entitlement to make judgements about them. We don’t know them! And that’s okay.


-MI, HL, & BM




Despite the optimism of hopeful Democrats to put Trump out to pasture, the impeachment process  finished this Wednesday to no avail. While the media churned out updates around the clock to satisfy the spectators at home, the nodding-off senators stayed up each night until two in the morning—well past any Boomer’s bedtime. Among the snoring crowd, however, savvy senators fought the urge to drift into slumber with some exciting new focus tactics.

Although the impeachment will be voted almost entirely along party lines, when it comes to passing the time, the distinction between drooping Dems and collapsing Conservatives is insignificant. Weary and without witness, these legislators lighten this lackluster litigation with the latest leisures of the youth. You guessed it! Those whirling doodahs of yesteryear are back: Fidget spinners have entered Congress. On January 23, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) passed out spinners and stress balls to keep his friends’ congressional claws in motion. The ‘publican posse zoomed their triangular trophies with all the enthusiasm of the tweens who first turned these teacher-taunting toys. Still, not all statesmen join Burr in his Gen-Z joys. “Sunflower seeds keep you alert and allow me to listen,” says Senator Tim Scott (R-SC). Having described in a Fox op-ed this impeachment as ‘political theater,’ it is good to know that Scott opted for a nutritious alternative to popcorn. Burr challenges this pragmatism by displaying his exposed ankles; this Carolinian elephant needs no socks. Hands and jaws in motion—for hours on end—leave these senators thirsty, but a dry impeachment is no drought for this dehydrated impeachment team.

For most senators, water alone is enough to satisfy a parched throat. And while U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and U.S. Representative Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) announced plans to introduce anti-single use plastic bottle legislation this fall, their respective Hydro Flasks were noted absent. Ukranian diplomat George Kent, alone in remembering his 64 oz. Nalgene, captivated the hearts and minds of plastic purgers everywhere. For the rest of the senators, single-use plastic reigned supreme.

While water is suitable libation for most of our elected officials, some need a beverage with more body to keep their impeachment faces glowing. While Representatives may ask ‘Got Milk?’ to no avail, calcium-deficient Senators, need not worry. Milk has been available to lactase-producing senators since 1966, when Senator Everett Dirksen requested something more nourishing than water.

Tom Cotton of Arkansas, a noted Drinker of Milk, enjoys his candies, cookies, and cakes with a creamy glass of moojuice. Although his love for the drink is purportedly routine, an anonymous Senate page reassured us that he nevers consumes the fatty beverage without a sweet solid its side. Even Elizabeth Warren was spotted entering the impeachment hearings with a glass firmly in her grasp, Perhaps  the presidential hopeful nods to the milk-manic voters in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, who could possibly swing blue for a Dem who’s pro-moo. As expected, Ted Cruz’s milk habits are less reassuring. The longtime dairy fan indulges in milk only in the dead of night, guzzling from his goblet just as the session comes to a close. Going back to 2014, he expressed his family’s love for the mammalian delight in a tweet: “Wow...the first sentence Caroline ever said was ‘I like butter.’” Mitt Romney, rebel as he is, slurped from a spotted plastic bottle of chocolate milk. As the sole Republican to vote for impeachment on grounds of abuse of power, this dig to the milk establishment suits his fresh 2020 image swimmingly.

For the Democrats and their beloved decorum, this impeachment has not been a success. While it is clear that a sitting president leveraging military aid for investigations into a political rival will be tolerated, Americans needn’t worry: the similarly hard-to-digest lactose will certainly be tolerated as well.