Hello and welcome to a new era! I am not exaggerating when I say that I didn’t experience this level of happiness for the entirety of 2020 (for obvious reasons, and, again, I know I’m not alone). Watching the Inauguration, and even thinking about it right now, brings tears of joy to my eyes. There is finally hope in the air, after a grueling four years. Not that we’re anywhere near out of the woods, but at least now we stand a chance. Read on for more!
* Needless to say, there were a lot of standouts and stars at the Inauguration (Hello, Madame Vice President!), and at the top of everyone’s list is poet Amanda Gorman. Here’s a brief story: my friend’s 4-year old was watching the ceremony, and when Amanda took the stage she asked her mom to pause the show. She went to her toy chest, grabbed a tiara, and then returned to finish viewing the event. That’s how she felt upon seeing this amazing woman read her work. A princess, recognizing a Queen. The Biden administration kicked things off by introducing us to an exciting new talent. I can’t wait to see what Amanda does next!
* Speaking of good things, there’s a huge show tomorrow night (streaming, as you might’ve guessed, Sat. 1-23-21), benefitting The Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, which provides financial assistance to the millions of music industry professionals who are out of work due to COVID-19. Helmed by Rick Allen of Def Leppard, and his lovely wife, Lauren Monroe, it’s looking to be one hell of a lineup, including: Billy Idol, Jack White, Wynonna Judd, Tommy Shaw, and many more. Tune in if you can and help keep our music scene flowing! (In honor of this event, I just posted an interview from 2008 that I had the honor of conducting with Rick & Lauren! It was so fun to talk to them, and you can read all about it here. My husband’s fab interview with the esteemed Jack White is here.)
* I love Bernie Sanders and this is in no way meant as a sign of disrespect. That said, treat yourself to some Bernie memes, because this has been an amazing and delightful Twitter moment.
* In good news/bad news: Matt Damon is fine! Conjecture about the state of his marriage was rumbling about the internet in recent weeks when Damon was spotted without his wedding ring on multiple occasions, leading many to question if divorce was on the horizon. Turns out all is well with Matt and Lucia – the two were spotted boarding a private jet, heading off to Australia with their kiddos so he can film his Thor: Down Under cameo. So, let that sweet, sweet relief sweep through you – you’ve earned it.
Meanwhile, it’s bad will hunting for bestie Ben Affleck. Word is his year-long romance with Ana de Armas is done, with the reason possibly being due to a disagreement over starting a family in the future. (She wants kids, he doesn’t – want more that is. We can safely assume he’s happy with the three he’s already got.) It’s being said that she’s the one who pulled the plug and that Affleck is devastated. I’m right there with you, bud! I’m not a big Ben fan (sorry, I had to), but I have enjoyed the near-daily BenAna quarantine coffee strolls. Celeb gossip was scarce in 2020, and these two were more than generous with their time (aka planned paparazzi photo ops). That said, this is a very mature reason for a split, and, if it’s true, I applaud it. This is a HUGE choice that neither party should compromise on, and I wish more people were this brave. Bonus: now we get to guess who the two hotties will be boning next. BenAna is still the gift that keeps giving!
* Um… so, this Armie Hammer thing continues to get more disturbing, if that’s possible. (“It is possible,” she whispers sadly to her keyboard.) After “stepping away” (aka getting fired) from an upcoming rom-com with J-Lo (outstanding performance at the Inauguration, btw), Hammer flitted off to the Cayman Islands “to be with his kids.” While on his way to the luxury locale, he couldn’t resist getting in a dig at his ex-wife on social media, saying:
[“Well… my ex (for very good reason) wife is refusing to come back to America with my children. So, I have to go back to Cayman… which sucks,” he captioned the post, according to the newspaper. “Except there are a few silver linings. Like f–king Ms. Cayman again while I’m down there.”]
I feel like perhaps this is not the right tone to take – at any time, really – but especially when already emmeshed in a scandal of a sexual nature. Just me? No, not just me. Turns out the Miss Cayman Islands Universe Committee were not amused and Hammer was forced to issue an apology, clarifying that he did not mean to imply that he’s fucking Miss Cayman, Mariah Tibbetts, the current crown holder. While an important clarification, it’s pretty crazy that this is the only thing Armie has apologized for, thus far. Meanwhile, another woman has come forward with more accusations against the (terrifying) actor, and she probably won’t be the last. (I will keep up on this for you, even though it truly is making me sick to my stomach.)
* Seth Rogen roasted piece of shit fascist insurrectionist Ted Cruz on Twitter and it was as fabulous as it sounds! Vase maker and social justice warrior. I approve! (Meanwhile, Cruz wore a gun-themed face mask to the Inauguration, staying on-brand as one of the worst people alive. I do so very dearly hope he’s charged with multiple crimes in the coming weeks and removed from office.)
* Palace aides are resigning in quick succession as Meagan Markle’s lawsuit against the Daily Mail moves ahead. It’s thought that aides are decamping from both Prince Charles’ and William’s sides in an effort not to be called to the stand to testify. This does nothing to bolster Will’s claims that he “had nothing to do with” selling out Markle to the press… Here’s hoping Meagan triumphs!
* I know I’m super behind the curve on this, but one of my most recent binges was HBO Max’s Crashing and it is delightful. We just wrapped it last night and I keep thinking how perfect the final episode is. Granted, it wasn’t necessarily intended as such – the show got cancelled in 2019 after Season 3 and it’s a shame, because the series had truly found its stride and I wish there was more to come. But, as an endnote, it is so, so good. I’m sad it’s over, but it went out on one of the strongest notes I’ve ever seen. Highly recommend! Now, what to watch next?! Please send me your favorite pandemic picks!
* Taking us into the weekend is one of my favorite-ever photos of Dr. Fauci. This is Big Science Energy. I’ve missed it!
As always, stay safe and wear your masks. The only thing we want to spread around here is joy! (Which you can do by sharing this column! Ha-ha) Come back soon! Xo, Jenna