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Social media is the new bodycam

2023-04-02 10:27:23

Social media is the new bodycam

Childish Gambino warned us in 2018. This is America, right?

Social media is the new bodycam(图1)

It's been a brutal week for anyone who doesn't live with their eyes closed. The proof is right there on Twitter and other social platforms. It used to be that we relied on police bodycams to hold officers accountable for their actions. But in this difficult moment, citizen journalism is carrying that bucket instead.

Something snapped in the United States as former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee against George Floyd's neck until he died on May 25. Floyd was black and Chauvin is white. It was a sadly familiar scene of what looks to rational observers like a clear case of police brutality.

But this time, we hit a breaking point. The gruesome reality of Chauvin's actions as captured on camera is certainly part of it. He held his position on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes, until after the restrained man died. The camera captures it all in vivid, horrifying detail. Add to that the ongoing pandemic, and historic levels of unemployment. People's nerves are frayed and the callous inhumanity of Floyd's death was a last straw.

So cities exploded over the weekend with widespread protests and grim scenes of violence. Even as much of the country outside of major cities continues to hunker down behind stay-at-home orders, social media has brought all of us to the front lines through citizen journalism and shared news reports.

These ongoing protests are about stopping racial violence and police brutality, and they're hundreds of years in the making. I think the images and videos, and the actions of the people portrayed therein, tell the whole story. Thank you to all of the protesters and members of the press who are out there doing your part to make sure the realities of this moment won't soon be forgotten.

It hasn't all been as completely terrible as the above visuals suggest. Protesters are out in force and many of them are skipping the violence in favor of working to send a message, lift up the people in their community, and generally just keep the peace. Many others are just doing the best they can to peacefully work through the days, weeks, months, decades of pent-up anger they've been carrying.

They've even been joined in a few cases by police officers and departments that have managed to maintain a level of trust with their local communities.

SEE ALSO: How to demand justice for George Floyd and support Minneapolis protesters

I don't know what else to say. Take care of yourselves, folks. And please, keep on documenting this moment in any way that you can.

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    12. Trump's notes to self

    One thing aides around the White House have to do, apparently, is to remind President Trump to act, well, presidential. That fact isn't all that disturbing; presidents are busy people and little notes to keep them on track or to remind them of certain things are a necessity.

    Except these notes were so simplistic, so seemingly unnecessary that you can't help but wonder what goes through Trump's head. Such as the notes that were given to Trump before he met with victims of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting that read like a list of "how to sound like a human being."

    Other times, his notes were either misspelled ("colusion") or he just straight-up ignored them, such as the time he was told "DO NOT CONGRATULATE" Vladimir Putin and he turned right around and offered those congrats.

    13. Lowering the flag

    Trump holds grudges. We know this. But it was still shocking to see that twice -- TWICE -- Trump let those grudges spill out into a time of mourning by dragging his feet on lowering the White House flag.

    Following the June 28 shooting deaths of five journalists(opens in a new tab) in the Annapolis, Maryland newsroom of the Capital Gazette, President Trump, no lover(opens in a new tab) of the media, reportedly denied(opens in a new tab) a request to lower the White House flags to half-staff to honor the victims though he had done so several times before to honor victims of mass shootings. Several days of criticism later, the White House relented(opens in a new tab).

    Then, when Senator John McCain, a Trump nemesis who had been the target of Trump verbal attacks, died in August, the White House faced criticism(opens in a new tab) for raising the flag after a day at half-staff and for Trump's prolonged silence about McCain's passing. Both of these were remedied, but not before Trump's pettiness showed through.

    14. The "shithole" heard 'round the world

    We should have known 2018 was going to be a wild year when, in January, Trump kicked off the year by referring to countries like Haiti, El Salvador, and some African nations as "shithole countries" while discussing immigration with lawmakers in the Oval Office.

    The racist comments got a worldwide reprimand; they also kicked up a hornets nest of anger at debate here at home. But perhaps nothing was as powerful as the testimonials that came from people who had immigrated to the U.S. from the countries Trump slandered.

    The responses were as inspiring as Trump's comments were awful. That didn't take away the stench from the White House, though, another example of the lurking racism of the current administration breaking through the surface to remind us all what dark days these are.

  • A campaign to unfollow the Fyre Festival promoters is gaining traction

    A campaign to unfollow the Fyre Festival promoters is gaining traction


    If you want to understand the zeitgeist of the last decade, just scroll through FuckJerry's Instagram account — it's a growing archive of viral jokes and videos sourced from every corner of the internet. But social media users are over FuckJerry's unfair content stealing, and #FuckFuckJerry is working.

    Comedians are leading the campaign to unfollow FuckJerry, a massive meme account and media giant that "curates" and reposts content from other creators. The account is run by Elliot Tebele and a team from Jerry Media, and since its creation in 2011 has gained a following of 14.3 million.

    SEE ALSO: This 'Fyre Fest 2019' parody ad is way too real

    The account has been criticized for years, but the recent pushback against it stemmed from FuckJerry's involvement in both the disastrous Fyre Festival and the Netflix documentary about it.



    View this post on Instagram
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    Jerry Media promoted Fyre Festival, and was enlisted in running its social media in the months leading up to the event. After the festival fell apart, the company produced a documentary about it in partnership with Netflix and Vice.

    The Hulu and Netflix documentaries were released within days of each other, and shortly after Vulture(opens in a new tab) published an article pointing out that FuckJerry and Comedy Central were using other comedians' jokes as captions to advertise Comedy Central shows. The account has been using other people's bits for years, but it was "particularly egregious" that it was using stolen jokes to promote Broad City, Corporate, and The Other Two.

    In addition to being a production and media company, FuckJerry also sells a meme-themed card game and a tequila. Vulture editor Megh Wright also tweeted a hefty thread asking Twitter users if they were paid for FuckJerry advertisements.

    FuckJerry has been wildly successful — according to AdWeek(opens in a new tab), the company charged $30,000 for a single sponsored post in 2016. The Verge(opens in a new tab) says "its following has nearly doubled since." Its critics are calling for people to unfollow it so it devalues the brand.

    Since the Wright's thread went viral, the hashtag #FuckFuckJerry is gaining traction — even John Mulaney spoke out, calling it a "garbage account." A majority of the critics are comedians who say the company took advantage of them, and profited off their creativity.

    View this post on Instagram
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    Comedy Central pulled all of its ads from FuckJerry's account on Friday. In a statement(opens in a new tab) to Vulture, a network spokesperson said, “We have no plans to advertise with Jerry Media in the future.”

    The company has also been rapidly losing followers — on Saturday, Wright said 50,000 accounts have already unfollowed FuckJerry.

    Responding to the backlash, FuckJerry promised to stop posting content without the original creator's permission. In a statement(opens in a new tab) posted to Medium on Saturday, Tebele announced the policy change "following the renewed discussion on social media." Mashable tried to contact the company directly, but a spokesperson opted against speaking on the record and instead said to wait for Tebele's official statement.

    In that statement, the FuckJerry founder wrote that although he's made a "concerted, proactive effort" to credit creators in the last few years, "it is clear that we need to do better."

    Under the new policy, FuckJerry will only post screenshots with permission.

    "Effective immediately, we will no longer post content when we cannot identify the creator, and will require the original creator’s advanced consent before publishing their content to our followers. It is clear that attribution is no longer sufficient, so permission will become the new policy."

    As the social media landscape changes, we know our policies will have to continue to evolve, and we look forward to engaging with our followers and Instagram in conversations about these important issues.

    FuckJerry hasn't clarified whether it would compensate creators for the jokes and content it already used in advertisements, and hasn't stated whether creators would be paid to be reposted.

    "We want to apologize to anyone who feels we have wronged them in the past," Tebele apologized in the statement. "We want to do the right thing by creators by seeking permission and giving them the credit they deserve."

  • Try not to laugh at these really funny tweets from this week

    Try not to laugh at these really funny tweets from this week


    If I had a dollar for every genuinely funny tweet that was tweeted, I'd probably reach billionaire status, a la Kylie.

    Instead of money, we get laughter, which is arguably better than money. Just kidding. Unlike most of our bank accounts, though, funny tweets are bottomless.

    We must warn you: laughter could occur from viewing these tweets. If you're trying to remain stoic at your desk while pretending to work right now, these carefully selected gems might blow your cover.

    1. Dog owners will get it.

    2. Finally, an essay I can get behind wholeheartedly.

    3. For those who've wondered what Elon Musk would look like with a pixie cut:


    SEE ALSO: Elon Musk and The Rock bonded over these cursed Photoshopped memes

    4. It really does feel like spring is gonna flake on us.

    5. This old video of Taylor Swift's reaction to being asked if she smokes weed is definitely a big fibbing-at-the-doctor's-office mood.

    6. Who can resist a baby saying something they definitely shouldn't?

    7. If given a choice, I will always choose a 1995 hit single that is now only played ironically.

    8. It's "Nine in the Afternoon" somewhere, right?

    9. The Ashley vs. Ashleigh discrepancy thickens.

    10. As a first time viewer of this performance, it's my civil duty to make sure everyone stops what they're doing and watches it:

    11. Someone alert TurboTax of this new clause ASAP.

    12. When Pizza Hut tries to be trendy on Twitter:

    13. Lady Bird does her own stunts.

    14. This story :*)

    15. We can all relate.

    16. Finally, a musical more relatable than Wicked.

    17. And no Twitter roundup is complete without a contribution from jaboukie:

    OK, you can go back to whatever you were doing now. We just really needed you to see these tweets before they get swallowed by the twittersphere, never to invoke laughter, or at the very least, a reluctant exhale, ever again.

  • This mother-in-laws wedding fail turned out to be a surprisingly wholesome story

    This mother-in-laws wedding fail turned out to be a surprisingly wholesome story


    Aah, wedding season. It's a time for buying expensive gifts, coping with awkward seating arrangements, and strapping your flesh vessel into the worst bridesmaid or groomsman outfits known to humankind.

    There are a whole bunch of rules when it comes to being a wedding guest. Some are just common sense (don't be playing Candy Crush on your phone during the wedding ceremony), others may be relics of olden times, but will still get you side eye if you don't abide. Like: Don't upstage the bride. Related: Definitely don't wear white to a wedding.

    SEE ALSO: 'Plus One' is the charming rom-com to get you through wedding season

    As part of another round of hashtag games kicked off by Jimmy Fallon(Opens in a new tab), Twitter was asked to share tales of their wedding woes. Amy Pennza(Opens in a new tab) shared a photo of her mother-in-law not just wearing white, but wearing an actual wedding dress to her wedding.

    But before r/JUSTNOMIL(Opens in a new tab) could jump in with their own opinions, or anyone could call up the (wedding) fashion police, Pennza decided to explain the situation in a Twitter thread — what led up to the dress, what her MIL is like, and why this was not a family relationship ruiner.

    According to Pennza, she had no idea what her MIL was planning to wear that day, and hadn't thought to ask (why would she?) But then, it happened.


    She reportedly doesn't remember much about the wedding day, as, like most people say, it was a blur. However she does remember telling her MIL, "You... You could be the bride..." Yikes.

    Thankfully, the wedding unfolded "without bloodshed, or anyone being shoved into the Champagne fountain." Now that's what I call keeping it classy.

    Whatever you might think, this was not a malicious move on the part of the MIL. Pennza provided some much-needed context that set the story in a different light.

    According to Pennza, her MIL grew up in extreme poverty, which has affected her money-saving habits to this day. She's a "bargain hunter to the bone," but that doesn't necessarily make her "hard. Or cruel. Or selfish."

    In fact, Pennza describes her as being incredibly generous, regularly showing up to the house with bags of clothes for her kids (all thanks to those kickass bargaining skills). It just so happened that when she saw That Dress™ at an incredible bargain, she couldn't help but buy it. "If you ask her now, she says she feels terrible about it," Pennza tweeted.

    But it seems like there is no ill will between the two, just a funny wedding anecdote they can laugh about.


    Famous, indeed. At least she won't forever be known for saying the bride's sister's name during the ceremony(Opens in a new tab) or bringing the rings in a Ziploc baggie(Opens in a new tab).

  • Ryan Reynolds cant help himself when it comes to rumors about his marriage


    Ryan Reynolds cant help himself when it comes to rumors about his marriage

    The only thing better about oddly specific celebrity rumors is when said-celebrities have the time of day to respond to them—and Ryan Reynolds is the latest to do so.

    The Deadpool actor took a moment out of his Saturday to set some rumors straight about his relationship with Blake Lively after a headline from IBTimes India(opens in a new tab) claimed the couple were having challenges when it came to spending time together.

    SEE ALSO: Ryan Reynolds totally nails Valentine's Day with a glorious Instagram post

    The IBTimes article(opens in a new tab) in question refers to an OK! Magazine piece, quoting a source that claims the Lively-Reynolds children have been taking a toll on the couple's marriage.

    While the article eventually admits that none of the rumors are true, the headline "Deadpool Ryan Reynolds and Wife Blake Lively struggling to spend 'quality time'" doesn't necessarily debunk things right way. Reynolds himself responded to the headline by cracking a joke.

    "I wish. I could use a little 'me time,'" he tweeted.

    His cheeky response quickly accumulated your average share of "husband of the year" and "relationship goals" comments—and some Deadpool reaction GIFs were tweeted at Reynolds for good measure.

    Welp. There you have it!

  • Busted: Looks like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did the Breakfast Club dance in 2010

    Busted: Looks like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did the Breakfast Club dance in 2010


    She's really finished this time.

    Right-wing critics, who have long been obsessed with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's past, have just exposed her past involvement in a grievous crime: doing that choreography from The Breakfast Club.

    A video featuring the freshman Congress member dancing was circulated on Twitter Thursday, ostensibly in an effort damage her reputation. Unfortunately for the haters, though, it seems to have had the opposite effect. This is probably because it's a pure and wholesome expression of joy, something which with the online right is unfamiliar.

    SEE ALSO: Beto O'Rourke and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have mastered Instagram Stories


    Despite captions to the contrary, the clip is not from Ocasio-Cortez's high school years -- it's from 2010, when she was a senior at Boston University. The audio in the video going around isn't original, either. As Parker Higgins pointed out in an extensive Twitter thread(opens in a new tab), it's actually part of an early meme. In mid-2009, a video mashup(opens in a new tab) of the dance sequence from The Breakfast Club and Phoenix's song "Lisztomania" went viral, eventually inspiring a group of people in Brooklyn to create a shot-by-shot remake. "Then a group in SF did it too and it was off to the races," Higgins wrote, "with versions popping up all over the place."

    The version Ocasio-Cortez appears in -- also a shot-for-shot remake of the original -- is Boston University's contribution.

    Even if you don't know the video's origins, though, it speaks volumes that anyone thought it would affect Ocasio-Cortez negatively at all. In fact, the clip seems to have made her even more popular on Twitter -- something she's had no trouble with anyway.

    We imagine Ocasio-Cortez will address this fun viral moment when she returns from being sworn in to the United States House of Representatives.


  • Twitter flags GOP reps tweet for altering comments from activist with ALS

    Twitter flags GOP reps tweet for altering comments from activist with ALS

    U.S. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, the third-most powerful Republican in the House of Representatives, posted a video to Twitter on Sunday featuring commentary from politicians and activists. The minute-long collection of clips was meant to show how Scalise believes the Democrats are destroying America.


    But the video was manipulated to make at least one of the people shown sound like he said something he never did. That person is activist Ady Barkan, co-founder of the Be a Hero political action committee(Opens in a new tab), who has ALS and uses a voice assistant to speak.

    Scalise's video took a July interview with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and Barkan from NowThis News(Opens in a new tab). But instead of showing it as is, Scalise's version combined audio clips from different parts of the conversation(Opens in a new tab) to make it look like Barkan said, "Do we agree that we can redirect some of the funding for police." The unaltered version doesn't include "for police."

    Barkan called out Scalise for the alteration and demanded he offer an apology to the "entire disability community" for taking advantage of Barkan's manner of speaking.

    This prompted Twitter to label Scalise's tweet as "manipulated media(Opens in a new tab)" with large exclamation point and a link below the video. Twitter further explained why the tweet was tagged and included a page devoted(Opens in a new tab) to the background behind the manipulated content.

    SEE ALSO: Hey look, it's a day ending in 'y'! Time for Twitter to flag another lying Trump tweet.

    Later on Sunday, Scalise pushed back against the manipulated label, claiming his video accurately represents what Biden and other Democrats believe. He tweeted that "Dems & their partners in the media want to blame 'editing'" and linked back to the full Biden-Barkan interview.

    "See for yourself," he wrote.

    Let's be clear, though. The video Scalise shared took advantage of the manner by which Barkan communicates to make him say something he never actually said. There's deceptive editing, and then there's making stuff up. Whether Scalise wants to admit it or not, he's guilty of the latter.

  • Jon Stewarts face as Mitch McConnell walks by him is priceless

    Jon Stewarts face as Mitch McConnell walks by him is priceless


    Every so often a photograph captures a facial expression so priceless that you feel compelled to print it out, frame it, and do something really dramatic like sneak it into the Louvre.

    Today I am pleased to announce that I had one of those moments.

    The museum-worthy photograph to which I'm referring was taken on Tuesday afternoon by Roll Call photojournalist Bill Clark. He happened to be standing by the Ohio Clock Corridor in the Capitol at the absolute perfect time, and was able to capture the smug grin on Jon Stewart's face seconds after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell walked past.

    The photograph is especially powerful because it was taken hours before the Senate voted on HR 1327, the renewal of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act.

    SEE ALSO: Jon Stewart went on Fox News to slam Rand Paul for blocking 9/11 first responders bill


    The comedian and former The Daily Show host has been publicly supporting the reauthorization for months, as it would extend funding of health care for first responders through 2090(Opens in a new tab).

    Back in June, Stewart made a special appearance on The Late Show to directly address Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and urge him to meet with first responders and get the bill passed as a standalone.

    Instead, since Stewart made an emotional speech before Congress the bill has gone up for a full House vote, and was blocked in the Senate by Republican senators, Rand Paul and Mike Lee. Stewart recently called Paul and Lee out on Fox News alongside first responder John Feal, and has yet to see action from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

    With the fate of the bill scheduled to be decided on later today, the photograph made quite an impression on social media.

    Stewart's smile must have grown much larger since the photo was taken because the Senate passed the bill(Opens in a new tab) 97-2 on Tuesday afternoon. President Donald Trump is now expected to sign it.


  • Of course Elon Musk and Grimes spawned a beautiful new meme


    Of course Elon Musk and Grimes spawned a beautiful new meme

    In case you haven't heard, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and electronica musician Grimes are now dating.

    The duo apparently bonded over a niche and very nerdy joke and have subtly been flirting on Twitter for about a month.

    SEE ALSO: Elon Musk and Grimes are dating thanks to a super nerdy joke

    They made their public debut at the Met Gala on Monday night, with Musk in a standard white tuxedo and Grimes sporting a Gothic robot-looking ensemble.

    Tech nerd and goth girl are a media staple. Credit: Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

    The internet quickly noticed that this pairing of nerdy dude and edgy girl seemed familiar. Very familiar, in fact, and images of "Elon Musk and Grimes" quickly started to flood Twitter.

    The most popular comparison was Scott Pilgrim's Ramona Flowers and Gideon Graves, which you won't be able to unsee.

    But they were not just limited to Scott Pilgrim.

    It's a pretty simple formula, really: take a geeky or intellectual (or both) dude character and find a pic of him with a darkly-dressed counterculture female and there you have it.

    The comparisons range from old cartoons to some throwback live-action shots.

    Some opted to cast a slightly different light on Elon's character, though the Grimes stand-ins were still standard "edgy" girls.

    This Kim Possible comparison works on both counts, as well as serving as a subtle reminder that fictional eccentric geniuses often try to take over the world.

    Congrats to the new couple. May they follow in the footsteps of their many, many dopplegangers -- though maybe without the world domination part.

    Want more clever culture writing beamed directly to your inbox? Sign up here for the twice-weekly Click Click Click newsletter. It's fun – we promise.

  • The 12 best LGBTQ candidates for The Bachelor

    The 12 best LGBTQ candidates for The Bachelor


    As a queer person, it's long been my dream to see my community represented in the lowest form of entertainment: The Bachelor.

    On Wednesday, comedian Billy Eichner decided to rise to the challenge and offer himself up as fresh meat. "I actually do think it would be cool to do a gay season of The Bachelor," Eichner wrote(opens in a new tab), "and hey @BachelorABC, I'm single."

    Eichner's tweet was met with non-ironic enthusiasm on Twitter. FYI, haters: The LGBTQ community likes trash corporate television like the rest of y'all. Just because it's heteronormative poison doesn't mean we're not on board! We, too, love passing fauxmances and manufactured drama between morons.

    The time has come for queer and trans bachelor(ette)s to reclaim this cultural wasteland.

    SEE ALSO: The best queer moments in culture in 2018

    It's never been a better time for a queer bachelor. 2018 included multiple, painful queer breakups(opens in a new tab). And the Queer Eye guys showed the world they can be even more popular than the straights on streaming television. Even if you hate The Bachelor (highly understandable), queer representation matters, wherever you can find it.

    Here are the queer and trans celebrities we believe are single (though of course these things can change) and could most benefit from a scripted romance:

    1. Jonathan Van Ness

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)

    Jonathan Van Ness is one of those rare celebrities who's loved both by the normies and the radical queers alike. We all grieved for Jonathan after his relationship ended with soccer player Wilco Froneman(opens in a new tab) this winter. Now we all hope for the same thing for him: the opportunity to go an ice-skating date with a big ol' gay bear on broadcast television.

    2. Amandla Sternberg

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)

    Now that the arm wrestling posts have stopped(opens in a new tab), it's believed that queer couple King Princess and Amandla Sternberg has gone their separate ways.(opens in a new tab) It's fine, it's not like we were depending on two 24-year-olds in the throes of young love for our personal happiness.

    The Hate U Give star probably hates this show. We'd like to offer her the opportunity anyways.

    3. King Princess


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    Listen, we're not taking sides in this breakup, okay? They're both very good on Instagram.

    4. Hayley Kiyoko

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    Jesus might have been single, but "Lesbian Jesus(opens in a new tab)" doesn't have to be. Just imagine the brutal take-down pop anthems she'll make when she inevitably dumps whatever silicone dud wins the show.

    5. Trace Lysette

    Pantsuit goals Credit: Chelsea Lauren/REX/Shutterstock

    This Transparent star and trans advocate is far too good for The Bachelorette or anything on network television, but in the event she feels like dipping her toe into our disgusting lowbrow universe, we're here.

    6. Laith Ashley

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    Single or not, it doesn't matter: Everyone [who is good] wants this trans model and activist to achieve maximum possible representation. The world is a far hotter place because of him.

    7. Keiynan Lonsdale

    He's here, he's queer, and he could theoretically be single. Please sign this actor-singer-beautiful-human up.

    8. Janelle Monaé


    Monae at the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards Credit: Matt Baron/BEI/REX/Shutterstock

    Based on recent interviews, it no longer appears that she and Tessa Thompson are dating one another.(opens in a new tab) And unfortunately for Janelle, no one is good enough to be at her level. It'll be cute to watch her lessers try.

    9. Abbi Jacobson

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    Abbi Jacobson came out as queer earlier this year and frankly it's all I've been able to think about since. Someone please put her on the show so I can get back to my normal life, aka googling other queer celebrities.

    10. Alia Shawkat

    This is the face of someone who hates being on this list. Credit: Dave Allocca/Starpix/REX/Shutterstock

    I can't think of anyone who would hate being on The Bachelor more than the incredibly talented and deeply, darkly funny Alia Shawkat. Still, good entertainment.

    11. Nyle DiMarco

    Would watch 12 hungry men eat him alive Credit: Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock

    Male model Nyle DiMarco is rumored to be both single and kind. How rare a combination is that? Someone please find him love.

    12. Billy Eichner

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)

    Billy Eichner runs a good goddamn show and is one of the few smart people on Twitter. Most importantly, he's big and famous and he offered to do it.

    Sorry, Michelle Obama. For some kinds of change, we need more people who are high to stoop low. That's just how this country works.