For Whom The Cube Freezes

Meltdown May passed us in name, but fear not: June brought a new cavalcade of embarrassing public spectacles for once-beloved public figures. But while JK Rowling burnt the rest of her goodwill away by tripling down on her transphobia, another man sought to co-opt the clout of the recent Black Lives Matter unrest to tarnish his reputation even further. That man happens to be Ice Cube, notorious rapper and kids’ movie actor. Ice Cube has never been a stranger to controversy in his rap career (in many cases for good), but lapsed into embarrassment during a moment where he couldn’t seem to put down his phone. Some of the stuff coming out of his feed was just kind of ridiculous: foot fetish content disguised as Black Israelite imagery, claims that Olmec stone heads labeled “Olmec Statue” originate from Ethiopia, false claims that the Simpsons predicted Trump, and images of Trump in Joker paint (as well as some legitimately pointed political imagery, to be fair). The final nail in the coffin, however, came when Ice Cube cited an antisemitic (and frighteningly obtuse) simulation theory involving Zionist control of reality. The wounds are still fresh from the recent murders of George Floyd et al, and this provocation read as even more pathetic in that light.

Ice Cube isn’t the first public figure to use an activist pretense for grift or self-sabotage. Singer Erykah Badu disappointed many when she came out as an R. Kelly apologist, someone who had already attempted to co-opt black power imagery to defend against credible sexual assault and human trafficking allegations. The recent memory of many white celebrities not getting the hint from the ‘Imagine’ video and producing something even more embarrassing also illuminates a desire to suck up some of the movement’s oxygen. This isn’t just celebrities trying to performatively seize upon the movement’s popularity for woke points, either — it also has a lot to do with centrists trying to bend the movement towards them. This grift has even extended into the antiracism reading lists that are popular right now. Robin DiAngelo, the author of White Fragility, one of the most popular books among newly woke Twitter liberals, has used her clout to monetize diversity training (in deeply flawed models), something that’s bound to become an increasingly successful tactic in the near future. This isn’t so much a failing of the movement as much as an indication of the blatant cynicism of those who co-opt it for their own enrichment.

Likewise, it’s easy to form parasocial relationships with people who we perceive as activists. The Internet in late capitalism has erased many barriers between communication, which is undoubtedly a net good in countless social scenarios: There are examples, like rapper Noname’s online Book Club, of celebrities attempting to use their platforms to genuinely educate people. But for every one of these instances, there are several of public figures using their alignments for clout or worse. A good example of this cynical approach is writer Shaun King. King has often taken advantage of his position as a self-appointed leader of BLM to grift his way into a sea of consistently failing projects that have now jeopardized his goodwill with virtually all of his former allies. The most glaring example of this came with the collapse of his plan to rebuild Frederick Douglass’s North Star newspaper, which led to many funding concerns and outright lies about the treatment of employees. It’s now gotten so obvious that some of the biggest BLM advocacy networks have actively advised people not to donate to him.

Does that mean that there is no one in the movement to trust? Far from it. Across the country, BLM movements with boots on the ground have begun to form strong coalitions to bring home the goods. Using Detroit as an example, most of the actual work on the ground has been through organizations that organize over Facebook. Despite using an internet-based platform, it hasn’t devolved into performatism and has remained strictly rooted in the direct action that’s been going on in the street. It has leaders, but nothing close to self-declared ubermensch sucking away traffic from the core issues of the movement.

Dave Chappelle once struck a nerve by asking whether or not we really want to hear from Ja Rule in a time of crisis and unrest. In his recent YouTube special 8:46, he brought this back to specifically say that his voice does not matter in comparison to the masses in a world where every major city is in uproar. This isn’t to say that we should scorn solidarity from public figures – rather that we need to move beyond them. Whatever happens, in this movement or the next, it should happen with or without blue checks chiming in. 

Support Black Lives Matter here.

-L. Niño

Queer Eye for the GOP Guy

Sitting in my apartment during this pandemic has caused me to master a shameful lifestyle: watching hours of Netflix with an ever-refilling glass of rosé in hand and Keebler Elfwiches in my fabulous tummy.

Being someone who proudly identifies as “a little gay,” I found myself endlessly consuming one of my favorite shows: Queer Eye.

After this spring’s “Too Hot to Handle” craze, I found myself desiring something more sophisticated and far less straight. Although I spent plenty of time obsessing over Harry and Francesca’s delightfully high-cost dalliance, I found the show had too little actual sex appeal and too many British airheads. Queer Eye is a show dedicated to introducing schlubs to positive lifestyle changes which are acceptable by the standards of the bourgeoisie.

…So perfectly my style.

While binging Queer Eye, I had an epiphany: Conservative culture could really use a makeover. I am gonna give conservatives a good old-fashioned Queer Eye makeover in hopes of making them less cranky, angry, fearful, and racist! Otherwise it might be a little dangerous to introduce them to Karamo.

So here we go, my wonderful Muppets! Time to make Republicans young and old see how much they could improve their own self-worth through a few simple lifestyle changes!

Continue reading Queer Eye for the GOP Guy

Send Home the Cops

“This week, rioters have plunged many American cities into anarchy, recalling the widespread violence of the 1960s,” wrote Sen. Tom Cotton. He’s right. These gangs have terrorized our citizens with violence, suppression of free speech, and have radicalized an entire generation against the police. The perpetrators? The police themselves. 

In the weeks following the tragic police murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many other African Americans this year, the police had one final chance to take a stand against racism and rampant abuse of power. I shouldn’t have been surprised with what happened next. 

Continue reading Send Home the Cops

A Statement From The Evening Look

We, The Evening Look, believe that Black Lives Matter. Black Lives have Always Mattered. The past few weeks’ events have illuminated and mobilized a movement that we as a staff have been part of. Individual members of our publication have donated money, signed petitions, emailed officials, and are doing work to educate ourselves on our power and privilege.

Though we are anonymous, we would like to be completely transparent — our current staff is all white. We feel that as a publication that exists to counter conservative narratives about what’s going on at college campuses and the world, we are thus not fully equipped to represent the diverse perspectives of students who are targeted by those we critique. To that end, we would like to invite any talented BIPOC folks in the MSU community who are interested in writing/designing/doing social media/etc with us to apply at our Contact page or email us at theeveninglook@gmail.com.

Here are some action items we encourage you to take part in:

Petitions

Justice for George Floyd
Justice for Breonna Taylor
Justice for Ahmaud Arbery
Justice for Tony McDade
Fire Steve Hsu

Donating Money

Black Trans Travel Fund
The Okra Project
Color of Change
ACLU
NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Some Books

Educational

How to Be Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi

Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

General Fiction

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

An Untamed State by Roxane Gay

Beloved by Toni Morrison

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

Simulated Markets in the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Community: An Exploration

If you, like me, have been trying to find a timesink as COVID-19 strips you of most worldly pleasures, you’ve probably come across discussions of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. After years as something of a cult favorite, New Horizons has burst into the zeitgeist as it became the most popular Animal Crossing title to date. That’s not saying that any previous title could be considered “indie” in any sense, but rather that New Horizons has become virtually unavoidable across game communities and social media. With that, the community has revved up into full force, with a surprisingly intricate online network that tried to meet the community’s material and social needs. Across Reddit and elsewhere, the game has formed its own online economy, down to a literal credit rating as a form of digital citizenship.

If you spend enough time in this space, and have your brain rot just enough where things start to fit together, some phenomena become visible. Namely, that it essentially crashed and rebuilt itself on two separate occasions since March.

Continue reading Simulated Markets in the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Community: An Exploration

Call Me By Your Pronoun

As I lay, half-baked and alone on the couch, watching Call Me by Your Name for the 6.9th time, I couldn’t help but think to myself:

“I’m pretty sure I’m straight, but damn if I wouldn’t fuck Armie Hammer right now.”

I want to make it crystal clear that I would be more than willing to enter into a heated romantic relationship with Armie Hammer if it meant living in Italy, sipping on San Pellegrino Aranciata all day, and finger fucking peaches all night. I also have a deep desire to marry both Winklevoss twins at the same time.

Continue reading Call Me By Your Pronoun

Galaxy Brains of Farm Lane

Last week, I was walking down Farm Lane, as tends to happen when you have a painful walk to far South Campus for a class. I was minding my own business, blasting my tunes, and generally feeling okay about the state of humanity.

And then I saw it.


A white, gleaming table with a large sign in front, containing some of the purest examples of Farm Lane Guys I’ve ever seen.

Continue reading Galaxy Brains of Farm Lane

Four Score & Seven Shootings Ago

Author’s Note: Today, The Evening Look makes its triumphant return to the land of the living under horrific circumstances. I wasn’t sure that I should write this article and I’m still not sure it’s a good idea. I’m sure I could try to find some humor in this situation. I could mock Walmart or Neil Degrasse Tyson or write about how 30 to 50 feral hogs could produce better content than The Morning Watch. But I don’t want to do that. I want to do something I’ve never done before. I want to be taken seriously.

31. 31 victims. 22 dead in El Paso. 9 dead in Dayton. 3 dead the week before in Gilroy. I wish I knew all their names—I should learn all their names. But there’s too many of them. I looked up a list of mass shootings and there’s too many of them. Too many children. Too many parents. Too many people. And that doesn’t include the nameless, faceless, forgotten victims. The friends and families. The tears, funerals, and therapy. Pain outlives spectacle. Time heals wounds, but not the type of wounds created by an AK-47.

Now I could delve into the issue of gun control. I could tell you about how the US is alone in the world with its frequency of mass shootings. I could explain how there is no statistical differences in video game usage or incidence of mental illness compared to other countries, but there is a significantly larger number of guns in the US and access is easier. Or I could discuss the prevalence of NRA money in American politics and how the Dickey Amendment stunted gun research for twenty years. The obvious connections between the El Paso shooters manifesto and the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the Republican Party and conservative media. But you already know about that or can find it somewhere else, written and researched by a professional who has done a better job than I ever could. Instead, I offer something different, some free advice from Honest Abe and the greatest speech of all time: The Gettysburg Address.

Continue reading Four Score & Seven Shootings Ago

Climate Change Deniers are Munted

Munted:

(1) adj. refers to the property of an object (or person) as broken, ruined, significantly damaged, disfigured or deformed, often to the extent that it is not reversible or repairable.

(2) adj. an extreme state of intoxication by way of drugs or alcohol such that the subject’s ability to perform basic tasks such as walking and talking are significantly impaired.

Source: Urban Dictionary

Have you ever met someone so munted they adamantly deny the earth’s climate is changing? They tend to justify this with arguments such as:

  • Winter still exists
  • New York isn’t underwater, so it can’t be happening
  • Even if it were, only yuppie-liberal “intellectuals” would die so it’s not that bad
  • Sun cycles

Or possibly:

  • The earth is only 5000 years old, so your “science” is bullshit

If these arguments grind your gears as much as mine, then prepare to lube up.

Continue reading Climate Change Deniers are Munted