You’re quiet out there now that your leader is gone. Don’t expect us to lower the volume while celebrating this victory.

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

It’s funny how an election changes situations.

Many of you have been uncharacteristically quiet over the last couple of days, or maybe Facebook’s algorithm gods are just sparing my sanity. Either way, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the silence right now. Crickets all over.

Unfortunately, posts from some of you popped up all through Election Day/ week, when President-elect Joe Biden pulled ahead of Donald Trump in those crucial swing states. You started to plead with everyone to suddenly get along and sing “Kumbaya.” …

Read everything from Jeremy Helligar — and more.

Upgrade to Medium membership to directly support independent writers and get unlimited access to everything on Medium.

Become a member

Already a member?Sign In

No matter how much I try to evade, political rhetoric seeps into every conversation

Source: Getty Images

My friend was a force of sanity in this crazy world. But now, it seems like she picks a fight every time we talk.

The reason? The lead-up and aftermath of the 2020 presidential election. If you’re a liberal American with Donald Trump-loving friends, you may have noticed this inevitable shift since Biden defeated him back in November. Even when you deliberately avoid talking about politics, it worms its way into every conversation.

Since college, my friend has identified as an Independent, but I’m pretty sure she voted for Trump twice. …

In 1785, the third US president laid the lasting groundwork for a uniquely American brand of racism.

The 3rd US President Thomas Jefferson (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Thomas Jefferson was the Moses of America, one of our earliest political icons. The first US secretary of state, the second US vice president, and the third US president, he authored the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and coined the immortal phrase “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” He may not have parted the Red Sea, but as President, he nearly doubled the size of the country with the Louisiana Purchase, bringing us closer to one nation under God, from sea to shining sea.

This is the transcript of an interview with Jefferson that might have been. His responses…

Hint: Avoid the cliché.

Photo: Pixabay

Do you believe in life after love? I do, but back in my single days, I was never the type of lonesome loser to put on a song by Cher (“Believe”), Gloria Gaynor (“I Will Survive”), or Kelly Clarkson (“Since U Been Gone,” “Stronger”), crank it up to 10, and suddenly feel better about being kicked to the curb.

The clichéd pronouncements of well-meaning friends never worked either. Those included:

“It’s better to have loved and lost…”

“It’s their loss.”

“You’re better off without them.”

“They weren’t good enough for you anyway.”

“You deserve/can do better.”

“They don’t know what…

One is still White all over in its final season. Will the revival of the other be more of the same?

Younger’s Sutton Foster and Peter Hermann (Photo: TV Land) and Sex and the City’s Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, and Cynthia Nixon (Photo: HBO)

Every weekday after I finish watching the day’s latest episode of General Hospital on Hulu, something really annoying happens. The streamer automatically begins to play an episode of an old soapy drama series called Mistresses, which ran on ABC from 2013 to 2016.

Each time it starts just a little after where I turned it off the day before, so a year and a half after Mistresses belatedly entered my life, bits and pieces at a time, I’ve only made it through a few scenes. (If anyone knows how to end this annoying Hulu habit, please let me know in…

History doesn’t remember them all so fondly.

Clockwise from top left: President Richard Nixon (flickr), Marilyn Monroe (Wikimedia Commons), and King Henry VIII (Snappy Goat)

We’re all aware of the good deeds done by the likes of Florence Nightingale and Mother Teresa, but Benedict Arnold? Wasn’t he the guy whose name, like Judas Iscariot’s, is synonymous with traitor? History is filled with unlikely heroes and heroines — some of whom have been cast as villains — who actually did at least one thing to help improve life on Mother Earth.

One moral of the stories that follow is this: It’s never too late, until it is, for some of our least-favorite politicians to reserve an asterisk for their post-mortem reputations.

Benedict Arnold

His name has come to…

Celebrity ladies have long inspired a special brand of intense and irrational loathing.

Clockwise, from top left: Harry and Meghan (CBS), Britney Spears (Instagram), Shakira and Jennifer Lopez (YouTube)

In 1972, John Lennon released a single called “Woman Is the N****r of the World.” It was an unfortunate title for a song written by an ex-Beatle whose well-documented abusive tendencies toward the women in his life made him a huge part of the problem.

Sadly, so are the rest of us. In recent years, discussions of the subjugation of women have focused largely on sexual harassment and assault as well as sexism in the workplace, but the general public is more guilty of misogyny than we like to admit. I’ve covered celebrities and pop culture for decades, and I’ve…

It’s time to promote Black winners from the minors to the top categories.

Daniel Kaluuya wins sort of big (Photo: ABC)

This year’s 93rd annual Oscars — which were handed out April 25 in LA, with live feeds in London, Paris, and Sydney — will go down in history for a series of firsts.

Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson, the first two Black women to be nominated for the Best Makeup and Hairstyling Oscar, became the first Black women to win the award.

Minari’s Youn Yuh-jung became the first South Korean to win an acting Oscar and the first Asian woman to do so since Miyoshi Umeki, a Japanese-American, won Best Supporting Actress for Sayonara in 1957.

I haven’t checked my…

They’ve got to be kidding, right?

Green Bay Packers football legend Brett Favre (Photos: Arnie Papp/flickr and Sports Illustrated/flickr)

Lately, the Republican Party has me seeing, hearing, and reading double.

I get dizzy from all the double talk, those disingenuously two-faced arguments I keep seeing, hearing, and reading over and over — on cable news, on YouTube, on podcasts, in comment sections. An example: Cancel culture is the devil — but let’s cancel Taylor Swift for being a Democrat, Britney Spears for supporting Black Lives Matter, Republican US Representative Liz Cheney for voting to impeach former US President Donald Trump, and anyone who dares to kneel in public while the national anthem is playing.

Even more dizzying: the split…

I felt safer as a Black American man living in Sydney than I did in my own country.

Clockwise, from top left: George Floyd (Photo: flickr), Daunte Wright (Photo: Facebook), and Philando Castile (Photo: BLACKPAST)

I wrote a story titled “I’m proud to be a black American, but I’m wary of going home” for in 2016 while I was living and working in Sydney. In some ways, my words feel even more relevant today — after 10 and a half months bookended by White cops killing two unarmed Black men, George Floyd and Daunte Wright. I’ve been back in the US for a year and a half now, and it feels like my story* from five years ago is worth revisiting.

(*Edited slightly to reflect my improvement as a writer)

Many movie buffs think…

Jeremy Helligar

Brother Son Husband Friend Loner Minimalist World Traveler. Author of “Is It True What They Say About Black Men?” and “Storms in Africa”

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store