Let’s just start this off on a positive note: This last week on the web was a lot less combative than the previous seven days. Not that it’s been all peace and rainbows—this is still the Internet, after all—but at least this week had some kinder, gentler moments. (Kanye West has ideas to make the world a better place! An actor didn’t take a role just for the paycheck!) Here, as always, is the roundup of things you may have missed on our favorite series of metaphorical, metaphysical tubes.
Berning Down the Hashtag
What Happened: Not for the first time, a social media hashtag intended to show displeasure about Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders ends up going in a different direction.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter
What Really Happened: Bernie Sanders has been having a week, what with his supporters causing trouble at the Nevada caucuses, leading to a backlash that swallowed much of everything else, including his victory in Oregon, especially after he released a statement that did little to quell concerns.
It was a moment that made some Sanders supporters reconsider their feelings towards the candidate, and lead to this tweet:
— Laura (@princessomuch) May 18, 2016
Initially, the answers came fast:
— Sheesh Fondue (@sheeshfondue) May 18, 2016
— Cydniey Buffers (@cydniey) May 18, 2016
#BernieLostMe when I read his “plans” and realized he didn’t have anything viable. Economists back me up on that.
— Ann Malone (@ammboston) May 18, 2016
#BernieLostMe when he started spouting the same false rhetoric I’ve heard from the right wing for 25 years regarding the Clinton’s.
— Ann Malone (@ammboston) May 18, 2016
#BernieLostMe when he created a rage-filled, fact-ignoring cult and did all he could to encourage them
— Barbara (@ThisBarbara) May 18, 2016
— Sharon Chabot (@nhdogmom) May 18, 2016
And then, those who still support Bernie discovered the hashtag and decided to have a little fun with it:
— I Know Nothing (@jvgraz) May 18, 2016
#BernieLostMe when he refused to run a campaign that’s funded by corporate criminals. I really want a prez who’s grossly indebted 2 Wall St.
— Maia is: (@Goingtobelka) May 18, 2016
— Zach Haller (@zachhaller) May 18, 2016
Perhaps best of all were those who took the hashtag in a more literal sense, turning the whole thing particularly surreal:
#BernieLostMe after he led me into an underground labyrinth filled with snake people.
— Duncan Trussell PhD (@duncantrussell) May 18, 2016
#BernieLostMe at Toys “R” Us when I was 6 years old. He’s my grandpa, he was supposed to be watching me. I’m still traumatized
— Zach Schonfeld (@zzzzaaaacccchhh) May 19, 2016
— Rick G. Rosner (@dumbassgenius) May 19, 2016
#BernieLostMe in the forests outside Albany, New York. We were close that night, but the rain hid his trail and my hounds lost the scent.
— derek davison (@dwdavison9318) May 19, 2016
#BernieLostMe because I only like presidential candidates who have two open FBI investigations.
— Tim Black (@TimBartender) May 19, 2016
The Takeaway: Say what you like about the Sanders campaign and its supporters—and this week has shown that, well, everyone is already doing that, actually—but their social media game is strong. By Friday, the competing (positive) hashtag #BernieLoveWave was atop the Twitter trending list in the US.
Why Wasn’t This Hashtag Used When Ted Cruz Dropped Out of the Race?
What Happened: Depending on who you believe, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau might have elbowed a member of the opposition in parliament this week.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media think pieces
What Really Happened: The facts, as they used to say on Pushing Daisies, are these: On Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was at the center of a political firestorm after being accused of both manhandling Gordon Brown, the whip of the opposition, and elbowing Ruth Ellen Brosseau, a member of parliament for the NDP Party while in the House of Commons. This, of course, led to news coverage, but even moreso, it led to coverage of the social media fallout:
— Karen Preddy (@preddyk2) May 18, 2016
— Kristin Annable (@kristinannable) May 18, 2016
Geez, you leave Twitter for an hour and come back to Canada’s newest reason to hate everyone and complain about everything #ElbowGate
— Brit Mockler (@bamcklr) May 18, 2016
— Barrie Wrestling (@BarrieWrestling) May 18, 2016
— Sanney Leung (@SanneyLeung) May 19, 2016
— Colleen (@Mantrabus) May 19, 2016
Thank God for social media or I’d have no idea what I’m outraged about. #elbowgate
— Andrew Grose (@GroseAndrew) May 19, 2016
Everyone acted childishly today but to claim he molested that woman is a slap in the face to individuals who are truly abused #elbowgate
— Katie Taylor (@KTaylorYEG) May 19, 2016
#elbowgate was a tending topic for days after the event, as both sides argued about what actually happened in the face of an apology from Trudeau that, of course, just stoked the fires more.
The Takeaway: The best accidental exchange about the topic may have been this:
— Mary FH (@MaryFramilton) May 18, 2016
OK, it wasn’t a US content farm, but…
What’s the NDP MP complaining about? There are tens of thousands of women who would *love* to be manhandled by PMJT ? #elbowgate
— PatRiotChick (@HaikuVikingGal) May 19, 2016
Sorry For the Realness, Internet
What Happened: Kanye West vs. Ellen DeGeneres. It was never even going to be close.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media think pieces
What Really Happened: Kanye West showed up on the Ellen DeGeneres Show this week, and in the process, broke the Internet’s brain with an extended monologue about the state of art.
For the most part, it was his seven minute explanation of how he sees his place in pop culture—”I don’t care how much you sold, if you’re playing on radio. Are you connecting? Picasso is dead. Steve Jobs is dead. Walt Disney is dead. Name somebody living that you can name in the same breath as them… Don’t tell me about being likable. We got 100 years here. We’re one race, the human race, one civilization. We’re a blip in the existence of the universe, and we constantly try to pull each other down. Not doing things to help each other. That’s my point”—that drew so much attention. At least that’s what got the strongest reactions on Twitter. Well, that and how uncomfortable Ellen seemed during the whole thing.
kanye is all of us pic.twitter.com/vn6m3mRUce
— son of a gun (@12AMdesperado) May 19, 2016
How can you hate Kanye https://t.co/zITTHALfrE
— chef ali (@Brazylyfe) May 19, 2016
“Don’t tell me about being likable” – Kanye on The Ellen Show pic.twitter.com/2vsBh26rp1
— Hits on Hits (@HitsonHits) May 19, 2016
Preachhhh! Kanye crazy but he real af! https://t.co/KsR0ybYseV
— ~Wind[s]~47 (@KWindyflow) May 19, 2016
kanye on the ellen show is the funniest thing i’ve seen in a while
— & (@zweeIos) May 19, 2016
Yea Kanye alittle crazy but he’s very intelligent
— E• (@EricaBae_) May 19, 2016
LOL Kanye so awkward in this Ellen interview
— Navdeep Gill (@NavdeepGill93) May 19, 2016
Kanye is so passionate.
— Dejer(@OgDaize) May 19, 2016
Ellen during kanye’s rant pic.twitter.com/BtQy1TBl2G
— ms kdesf (@WHITNEYH0UST0N) May 20, 2016
Kanye West on Ellen..my head still hurts
— StyleSocietyGuy (@StyleSocietyGuy) May 20, 2016
Motivating speech Kanye made on Ellen. His passion provoked something inside me. He is the man of the people.
— Kayla Kardash (@kayloveskimk) May 20, 2016
The Takeaway: However strange the West’s monologue might have seemed, we can at least thank it for provoking this headline for the ages: “Payless Shoes Confirms That Kanye West Did Call Its CEO”.
Baby Got Backlash
What Happened: Blake Lively quoted a vintage rap lyric on social media.
Where It Blew Up: Instagram, Twitter, media think pieces
What Really Happened: So, here’s the thing. Blake Lively posted the following on her Instagram this week:
If that caption seems familiar, then…
However, it turned out that not everyone was supportive of Lively sharing her love of early ’90s rap classics.
“Blake Lively is unexpectedly racist” seems like some kind of 2008 Gawker-headline-predicting bot gone horribly wrong. AND YET!
— Sady Doyle (@sadydoyle) May 18, 2016
Another day, another rich white woman using WOC’s bodies as a punchline and commodity. As if Blake Lively wasn’t the worst already.
— Kat Bee (@katbeee) May 18, 2016
This is a reminder that Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds got married on a plantation where slave cabins still stand. pic.twitter.com/9rbKXH2WDc
— Melissa Radzimski (@melissaradz) May 18, 2016
With how gentrified Oakland has become, Blake Lively kind of does have an LA face with an Oakland booty.
— Ian Karmel (@IanKarmel) May 18, 2016
I want to follow Blake Lively just to unfollow after this LA/Oakland business. So much privilege even GOOP feels uncomfortable.
— Melinda (@mindamaureen) May 18, 2016
Before too long, the story wasn’t Lively’s appearance, or even her butt, it was the racism implied in the Sir Mix-A-Lot quote, with multiple stories centering on the offense it caused. This, in turn, led to a wave of those decrying the outcry:
Anyone who thinks Blake Lively is racist or misappropriating culture to some other ludicrous crap needs to STFU. The FAUXRAGE is absurd.
— Heather (@hboulware) May 18, 2016
If you think Blake Lively is racist for quoting Sir Mix-A-Lot, you shouldn’t ever be in a car with me when I’m listening to N.W.A
— Matt Walker (@funnymatt) May 18, 2016
The internet has nooooo chill whatsoever. Blake Lively can quote Sir Mix Alot without being racially insensitive. It’s a freaking rap lyric
— Simone Boyce (@SimoneBoyce) May 19, 2016
But, ultimately, only one opinion truly mattered here: that of Sir Mix-A-Lot, who spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the whole affair. “I think she’s saying, ‘I’ve got that Oakland booty,’ or ‘I’m trying to get it,’” he said. “I think we have to be careful what we wish for as African-Americans, because if you say she doesn’t have the right to say that, then how do you expect her at the same time to embrace your beauty? I mean, I don’t get it. I think it’s almost a nod of approval, and that was what I wanted. I wanted our idea of beautiful to be accepted.”
The Takeaway: Actually, Roxane Gay should have the final word here:
I refuse to worry about Blake Lively posting a sir mix a lot lyric with a picture of her backside. The revolution does not start here.
— roxane gay (@rgay) May 18, 2016
The Name Is Gone, James Gone
What Happened: As reports started circulating that Daniel Craig wouldn’t return to the role of James Bond after last year’s Spectre, Twitter couldn’t contain itself.
Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media reports
What Really Happened: According to a report from the somewhat unreliable Daily Mail, Daniel Craig turned down a £68m ($100m) offer to return as Britain’s favorite secret agent for two further movies. Twitter had a field day:
Daniel Craig quitting as James Bond? That’s exactly what a spy who wanted us to believe he was leaving would say!
— Tiernan Douieb (@TiernanDouieb) May 19, 2016
I can’t even imagine how much Daniel Craig must have hated Bond to turn down SIXTY-EIGHT MILLION to escape two further films
— Camilla Long (@camillalong) May 19, 2016
Working titles of next Daniel Craig 007 movies:
Dr No Thanks
Thunderballs to this
Golden Eye can’t be arsed.
— Robin Flavell (@RobinFlavell) May 19, 2016
i should be the #NextBond. Like him, I appeared in the 1950’s and I often have to repeat my name in case I forget it.
— paul bassett davies (@thewritertype) May 19, 2016
MGM: “We’ll pay $99M for 2 more films”
Daniel Craig: “No”
MGM: “How about the world?”
Craig: “The world is not enough”
— Mike Thomsen (@mikethomsen) May 19, 2016
DANIEL CRAIG: should I have turned down $68 million dollars?
DR NO: no
DANIEL CRAIG: why do I ask you anything?
DR NO: no
— Kalvin (@KalvinMacleod) May 19, 2016
Unsurprisingly, talk quickly turned to who should replace Craig.
“The name is McBoatface, Boaty McBoatface.”#NextBond
— Robin Grainger (@RobinGrainger) May 19, 2016
— Ms. Marya E. Gates (@oldfilmsflicker) May 19, 2016
— Josh Wilding (@Josh_Wilding) May 19, 2016
— SimmMasterFans (@SimmMasterFans) May 19, 2016
Everyone’s upset about an all female Ghostbusters movie but nobody seems bothered that they’ve cast Susan Boyle as the new James Bond.
— David Hughes (@david8hughes) May 19, 2016
— phoebs (@danakmulders) May 19, 2016
Here’s a list of people who could be the next James Bond & why they should get the role: pic.twitter.com/03dIgeLRGH
— Pixelated Boat (@pixelatedboat) May 20, 2016
Soon enough, reports were emerging that the role was essentially Tom Hiddleston’s, if he wants it, although some are very much on the Idris Elba side of the argument. Even the new mayor of London had an opinion to share.
The Takeaway: Everyone was having so much fun that it seems churlish to remind them that the initial report remains entirely unconfirmed by anyone who’s actually connected with the Bond movies.