Dear Americans, queer people, Muslims, Latinos, Floridians, queer Floridian Muslim Latino Americans, people with souls, people with hearts, and people with brains:
This has been a rough week.
There's a thing that happens when it's your job to cover pop culture and something as unspeakably horrifying as the Orlando massacre takes place. It's a cousin to writer's block, but louder, and more like a vacuum -- an overwhelming, dog whistle-pitched white noise occupying the corner of your head usually reserved for germinating Hot Takes on Taylor Swift or Ghostbusters or Peter Thiel. If it were a song with words, they would go "How on Earth am I supposed to write about this shit like it matters right now / dear god what is it that I actually do for a living / give up, retreat, crawl under the covers and do not move from the fetal position until the world stops seeming so dark and it feels okay to be entertained by Smash Mouth's Twitter feed again." (I never said it was catchy.)
And then, inevitably, slowly, the paralysis subsides. In its place, alongside righteous anger, is something softer. Something like: After you've cried and screamed and written letters to your congressperson and danced and drank and used whatever coping mechanisms you might personally use to try to make sense of something that's the very definition of senseless, there is a place and a purpose for silliness. Levity, entertainment, diversion -- stupidity, even -- they all have jobs.
There's a reason, after all, that Hollywood enjoyed its first golden age during the worst of the Great Depression. In the 14th century, when the bubonic plague was devastating Western Europe, people made up jousting, for Christ's sake. I'm no expert, but archaeologists would probably tell you at least a few of mankind's earliest cave paintings, rendered by humans under constant threat of death by the elements or woolly mammoth, were essentially prehistoric Cathy cartoons.