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Pop Goes The Political Culture, January 19, 2019

Pop Goes The Political Culture, January 19, 2019

Abe Lincoln Is Judging Some of Us.

By Rebekah Kuschmider, MPU co-host

Greetings MPU-inverse! I’ve been taking a bit of breather from covering culture but it appears that culture is not taking a breather from needing to be covered. So, I am back and ready to tell a tale of two viral videos this week!

As I type this, rumor has it that Trump is about to try offering some temporary protections to Dreamers in return for $5.7 billion for his wall. If I recall correctly, this is very similar to a deal Schumer had agreed to in 2017 but Trump blew that up at the time. If I were one to predict such things, I would say that Democrats will counter with a lower dollar figure and permanent protections for Dreamers. But don’t quote me on this because when nothing is normal, nothing is predicable.

Now let’s get into the viral video portion of our blog post. Here is all the news that’s not fit to ‘cast!

Cardi B Right: Cardi B took to Instagram this week to break down the current situation for federal workers affected by the payroll stoppage due to the partial shutdown. Unlike me, Cardi B doesn’t use phrases like “payroll stoppage” and frankly, she gets the point across better than I ever have. Take a look but be forewarned that she uses swear words.


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Reaction to the video has been mainly positive because, hello. She’s right. The shutdown is stupid, the wall is stupid, going to work without a paycheck is stupid and this all needs to end.

But there are some people mewling about her choice of syntax and wondering why she has to swear. I have an answer to that: it’s because she is Cardi B and she is talking to Cardi B fans. She is speaking in the vernacular most comfortable to her and to her audience.

I have no doubt Cardi B can code-switch to more formal American English but why should she? It isn’t necessary to express herself in this context. If she were on stage accepting a Kennedy Center Honor then yeah. Maybe code-switch for the occasion and the audience. But on her own Insta, talking to the community of fans she has built. Nah. She doesn’t need to talk any way but how she talks. If it makes some viewers uncomfortable, well, maybe those viewers aren’t the intended audience and the appropriate reaction is to go find a different messenger.

And  one other thing? You really should go get your pussy checked at the gynecologist. There’s no co-pay for annual exams and pap smears under ACA regs so make that appointment like Cardi B says.

March or Mob?: If you mention the March for Life to DC residents, they’ll probably heave a big sigh and ask what the date is so they can make plans to avoid it. Every year, on the anniversary of Roe v Wade, tens of thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators show up to have a march and other related events. They seem to schedule everything at a time and location to cause maximum headaches for anyone trying to get around town that day.

A major cohort of March for Life participants is the busloads of Catholic School kids who come in for the day. Their schools bring them en masse. They are teenagers and they behave like teenagers. They clog up sidewalks and Metro escalators and block doors and crosswalks. They leave their signs lying around town when they leave and they are generally a nuisance.

If you think I have a chip on my shoulder about them because they’re against abortion, you’re right. But they are also one of the only major advocacy groups that schedules events this large on a weekday. Most groups come on weekends so they’re not underfoot when you’re trying to get home after work.

Annnnnyway. Yesterday, was the 2019 March for Life and also the Indigenous People’s March, a far smaller event to be held at the Lincoln Memorial. The mission of that event was:

On January 18, 2019, we are uniting the Indigenous peoples across the World to stand together to bring awareness to the injustices affecting Indigenous men, women and children. Indigenous people from North, Central and South America, Oceania, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean are a target of genocide. Currently, many Indigenous people are victims of voter suppression, divided families by walls and borders, an environmental holocaust, sex and human trafficking, and police/military brutality with little or no resources and awareness of this injustice. We Must Unite and Help!!

If you are bracing yourself for some kind of clash between these groups well, stay braced and watch this video of what happened when some of the March for Life teens encountered Elder Nathan Phillips of the Omaha Nation at the Lincoln Memorial.

Here’s video of the same moment taken from a different angle.

As you can see, the name of their school has been discovered. The school has since taken the social media accounts and website private because of the reaction. I’m sure they are huddled with lawyers and the Diocese trying to figure out what to do.

Meanwhile, they have already failed as an educational institution and this is the proof.

Take away all the other biographical facts, erase all the reasons these people were in the same place, negate all the political backgrounds, and what you are left is a group of teenage boys taunting an old man as he peacefully makes music. If you can’t teach children not to do that, close your doors. Stop trying to be a school. You have failed.

Elder Phillips spoke of this with more grace than we should have any right to expect after such a jarring situation. We should take our lessons from him, not from the people teaching those boys how to behave.

That’s all I have for this week. The rest of the gang and I will be gathering to talk about the week’s events and spread our particular brand of sunshine to the podcasting world. Check us out when the new episode drops!

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