What Got Us Through This Week: Ted Cruz Porn Tweet Edition

Image: Emmanuel Hapsis / Calendar icon courtesy of Vexels

It was a week which saw Trump saying that his border wall might be postponed, and then, after the collective mouth of his base foamed with avenging venom, swiftly recommitted himself to the idea. The White House also suggested that ESPN fire its black female cohost of SportsCenter, Jemele Hill, for tweeting that Trump is "a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists" — a conclusion that literally hundreds of thousands of other people have arrived at. (Guess free speech only applies to white Miss America contestants from the south!) And, just to fully cap the week's journey through racism, Trump's Justice Dept. is now supporting disgraced former Sheriff Joe Arpaio in his bid to get his criminal conviction dismissed.

But, of course, this was also a week in which Ted Cruz's Twitter account officially fav'ed a porn tweet, and he was summarily called upon by CNN for a very, very awkward apology and delayed denial that it was, in fact, he who had personally fav'ed the porn. What a world.

Here's what got us through this week.

this dog. that talks. is good boy

In this week of hurricanes, fires, earthquakes and politics, I’ve turned to a trusted friend and advisor: my dog Maizey. Those deep brown eyes, her fondness for wrestling and pulling things, her love of ball -- they’re all a tonic for my frazzled nerves. But our communication is limited. For one, she’s regularly distracted by a compulsion for licking her nether regions. And two, she’s a pretty big introvert. But this guy isn’t. He’s a talker. And a tweeter.

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Thoughts of Dog is what it sounds like: a Twitter account chronicling the skittish activity of a dog's brain. Recurring themes include odes to tonguing peanut butter from a spoon, the inability to make a numerical list, staccato punctuation, and, most poignantly, a burning obsession with the lost skittle underneath the fridge. —Laura Klivans

Mainstream Beauty Brands Tripping Over Themselves to Compete with Rihanna

For years, mainstream makeup brands ignored darker-skinned women’s calls for products that matched their skin tones. But then came Rihanna’s makeup brand, Fenty Beauty, which enjoyed an extremely successful roll-out last week. Its 40 foundation shades span the spectrum of ebony to ivory, and women of all hues have been singing its praises online. Shortly after Fenty launched, brands like Kylie Cosmetics, Kim Kardashian’s KKW Beauty, L’Oreal, and Estee Lauder began posting diversity-oriented marketing on Instagram, striking an inclusive tone that was conspicuously absent before. Leave it to Rihanna to shake up the industry from within and look amazing while doing it. It's a shame it took the other brands this long to catch up. —Nastia Voynovskaya

Finally, Peter Dinklage Sings Taylor Swift

I spent much of the last month watching Game of Thrones and listening to Taylor Swift, so you can understand why a “Look What You Just Made Me Do” remix made from spliced-together snippets of GoT dialogue would be right up my alley. But you don’t have to like either pop culture phenomenon to get a kick out of it, and respect how much time it probably took to make. —Emmanuel Hapsis

The Crazy Life Story of the Man Behind Vallejo's 'Murder Dog' Magazine

I'd picked up issues of Murder Dog sporadically over the years, but I never knew it was based in Vallejo, and I certainly didn't know it was published and edited by a Sri Lankan-born immigrant who once sang for a San Francisco punk band. That is, until 2014, when a lengthy interview with Murder Dog editor Black Dog Bone appeared online by Andrew Nosnitsky, owner of Oakland's Park Blvd. Records; and this week, when a comprehensive profile connecting Black Dog's separate lives and political reawakening appeared on Pitchfork, written by KQED Arts contributor Sam Lefebvre. Black Dog Bone's life story is Bay Area to the core, spanning experimental art, radical politics, stringent individualism and creative hustle; his experiences are an immediate reminder to follow your instincts and never concede. —Gabe Meline

Sax player Otoe Mori, trumpeter Marty Arvan and band perform at Main Street Bistro in Guerneville.
Sax player Otoe Mori, trumpeter Marty Arvan and band perform at Main Street Bistro in Guerneville. (Photo: Jim Ratcliffe)

This Jazz Combo in a Guerneville Restaurant

Until the other night, I'd never ventured into the Main Street Bistro, an old-school restaurant on the strip in the small, touristy town of Guerneville. But I was drawn in by one of the most infectiously grooveworthy jazz-funk bands I'd heard in a long time — and also one of the most diverse. A mixture of African American and Asian musicians, both young and old, male and female, shared dynamic versions of Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock and other standards that put a smile on my face and a wiggle in my hips after a long, tiring week. Sax player Otoe Mori and trumpeter Marty Arvan led the tight, five-musician outfit. The drummer, they told us, had played in Hancock's band. The bass and guitarist more than held their own too. It turns out the Main Street Bistro offers jazz and blues music almost every night of the week. I'll be back for more. —Chloe Veltman

BoJack Horseman's Gloriously Empathetic Fourth Season

TV, in all its narcotizing comfort, is the only thing keeping me from catapulting headfirst into the abyss of Twitter discourses and Washington Post push notifciations. I finished four shows this week, and the bleakest of them all somehow ended up as the one that got me through it all.

BoJack Horseman’s fourth season crafts a sad world of inherited trauma, crumbling marriages and personal crises out of countless animal puns and sight gags and other acts of glorious jokesmanship. The introduction of BoJack's alleged daughter, Hollyhock (Aparna Nancherla), puts into motion a series of events that concludes with a season finale so affecting that somehow made it rain on my face on a sweaty Monday afternoon.

BoJack Horseman, for all its smarmy wit par excellence, is fundamentally about crummy people learning to be better — for themselves and for the people they love. Empathy is in short supply lately, and this show about a '90s-famous horse has it in spades. —Joshua Bote

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