An essential roundup of the week’s buzziest topics of varying importance and consequence
Mike Pence emerges from his cave to spread more conspiracies
The world had almost forgotten Mike Pence existed. His last desperate attempt to salvage his reputation by distancing himself from the President failed in ways even he couldn’t have fathomed—even the wackjob conspiracy theorists turned against him. After being hunted by a mob chanting “hang Pence” at the Capitol, he decided his best move would be to slither into non-existence. Unfortunately, he has reemerged. In an op-ed for conservative think-tank The Daily Signal, Pence wrote about “voting irregularities” and the need for stricter voting regulations. It seems he thinks tying his reputation to that of our former President was not detrimental to his career. And he’s ready to jump back into bed with the people his family fled in terror from just months ago.
Dolly Parton gets “a dose of her own medicine”
Dolly Parton has always been and continues to prove herself to be America’s sweetheart. Last year, she donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which worked with Moderna on the development of one of the first authorized coronavirus vaccines. On Tuesday, the country singer received the shot she helped fund. “I’m old enough to get it, and I’m smart enough to get it,” she stated before breaking into a rendition of “Jolene” where “Jolene” is replaced with “vaccine.” Parton, in her eternal and infinite wisdom, wore a sparkly blue top with cutouts on the shoulders, an opening perfectly sized for the reception of her shot.
Seth Rogen launches weed company “people who love weed, by people who love weed”
Seth Rogen is a name that has long been synonymous with weed. Finally, he is ready to put all those years of experience to good commercial use. Houseplant, his weed and homewares company, is a decade old dream for Rogen. Now, his hand-picked strains and artful ceramics are available for public purchase south of Canada. The strains are named after weather systems, with Pancake Ice already becoming legendary as its over 33% THC, bringing it a measly percentage point off of the strongest strain in the world.
Whether you perceive HBO’s Allen v. Farrow as an important cultural flashpoint or high-production tabloid scandal, the common rejoinder from folks who seek to separate the art from the artist has always been: “Well, will you stop watching Woody Allen films?” What emerges from the latest episode in the docuseries is a new riposte to Allen’s defenders. Richard Morgan, the freelance journalist who poured over Woody Allen’s archival manuscripts—“The Woody Allen Papers”—at Princeton, detected a pattern: after reading Allen’s private production notes, character sketches and early film drafts, Morgan determined that Allen is “obsessed with teenage girls.” As the documentary unfolds, more details will emerge centering on allegations that Allen molested his adopted daughter, Dylan (Allen refused to be interviewed for the documentary). What is newly unambiguous in this documentary: Allen has spent a lifetime making films that condition an audience to accept—even normalize—his grooming and predation of young women. In standalone films, Allen’s cavorting and kvetching are written off as neurosis—but, when presented as a body of work, the narrative thread throughout his entire oeuvre makes this much clear: the art and artist are inextricably linked.
Getting back in touch
One of the emergent tropes in Paris is the newly-enhanced emphasis on texture as a guiding design principle for the major fashion houses. In a socially distanced world, fashion’s intense fascination with desire and touch has heated up like a tactile fever dream careening against reality. Issey Miyake’s pleated collection was inspired by “Nature within reach.” Marni’s ode to romance was “tactile and intimate,” full of cake skirts and ruffles. Chloe’s latest line—and designer Gabriela Hearst’s first for the French label—was a decidedly eco-friendly one, whose seamless integration of knitwear and leathers highlighted the importance of “tangible quality,” while Karl Templer’s Ports 1961 was full of cocoon shapes that are snug and intricate knitwear that hugs, which the brand’s accompanying release described as “intensely tactile.” The line, the brand also implored, is full of: “clothes suited for this moment.”