Tuesday, May 19, 2020

This smells like Donald Trump’s rectum — a short meditation concerning the intersection of candle marketing, science, politics and bullshit

Prove it, Gwyneth!
The hullabaloo began, as probably everybody knows by now, when Gwyneth Paltrow’s tchotchkes-for-women marketing machine, an organization called Goop, began selling a candle scented with something called “This Smells Like My Vagina.” 

Let’s deal first with the Goop organization. Nearly everything you need to know about it comes from a couple of lines on its website that say, “Meet goop Lab, our 100 percent shoppable bungalow at the Brentwood Country Mart, home to a clean Beauty apothecary, a curated fashion boutique, and a fully stocked kitchen.”

Wait wait, what’s that again? 

What the hell is a “shoppable bungalow?” And what does “100 percent shoppable” mean? That everything for sale there is for sale there? No shit! And what’s “curated” fashion? The dictionary tells us that would be fashion collected by an expert. In other words, it’s a bunch of stuff somebody who presumably has some expertise about what sells, bought to sell to you.

I can’t really complain about “a clean Beauty apothecary.” I wouldn’t want to shop at a filthy anything, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, but the use of the word “apothecary” gives me pause. My Oxford English Dictionary tells me the word is archaic, and refers to a person who prepared and sold medicines and drugs.” Paltrow had better not be preparing and selling either, or off to the jug she goes. 

In other words, what she’s throwing over your eyes is a word salad of equal parts late Middle English and deftly curated bullshit, designed to blind you into tossing her a big pot of money. Her vagina-scented candles go for $75 bucks each. Throw in shipping and handling, and you could be close to paying $100 for a candle that may or may not smell like what it’s purported to be. I have no way of knowing, although I’m open to hearing any confirmation offers Ms. Paltrow might choose to make.

Slathering on  the pretension

Okay, time to move on, although I can’t move without noting that, evidently in the spirit of endless pretension, the candle describes itself on its own label as “Bougie Parfumée,” which in plain English simply means “perfumed candle.” In French, a bougie can be either a candle or an automotive sparkplug, so there’s that, I suppose.

Okay, as I was saying, it’s time to move on…but wait!  I still can’t move on without noting that the address of Paltrow’s shoppable bungalow at the Brentwood Country Mart is 225 26th Street, in Santa Monica. Listen, I’ve been to Brentwood. And I’ve been to Santa Monica. They’re two different neighborhoods. A Brentwood Bungalow in Santa Monica is kind of like talking about a “shoppable” Fifth Avenue townhouse in Rivington Street on the Lower East Side. And now I really, really need to move on.

Except for this: Someone in England, not to be outdone by Paltrow, has come up with a line of their own scented candles. One is called “The Local” and its descriptive copy tell us, “Handpoured in East London, The Local candle evokes the classic British boozer. Top notes of spilt beer, hair pomade and chip fat jostle amongst a pungent base of varnished teak and sticky carpet. A waft of testosterone gives way to the ersatz-lemon of a urinal block, as the salted breath of pork scratchings is soused in cheap rosé and freckled with cigarette ash. A potent fragrance that lingers, like the melancholy ramblings of an old inebriate.”

Now that’s what I call honest advertising! Which brings me around, however obliquely, to Donald Trump.

This smells like Trump
telling us more lies

Earlier this week, Trump told reporters that he has been taking hydroxychloroquine for several weeks. Here we go again! 

I thought Trump had gotten off that hobby horse. Evidently, he saw an opportunity to leap back on. And now the liberal blogosphere is buzzing with theories. I’ve seen it said that

 • He’s probably only taking micro-doses which have no negative effect. (Nor a positive one)

• That he thinks he’s taking it, while meanwhile his White House physician is feeding him a placebo

• That he’s taking it for real, and he’s lucky that his heart hasn’t galloped off into eternity with him

Personally, I intend to agree with Big Bad Bald Bastard who cuts through the bullshit and said of Trump, “I don’t believe that he’s telling the truth, primarily because he’s a serial prevaricator.” A bit further on, Big Bad Bald Bastard adds:
“I’ve gotten to the point where I’m just past caring. If Trump’s supporters, many of whom have co-morbidities, want to pop hydroxychloroquine tablets at the behest of their Dear Leader, they should go for it. The MAGA cult looks to be entering the Jonestown stage, all we need is for a Trump-branded sugary drink to wash the tablets down with. I doubt he’s taking it himself, but if he’s pushing it, it’s the second most dangerous drug he’s selling, the first of which is hate.”
My one personal wish is that when Trump made the announcement, there had been a reporter in the audience, someone far more astute and more pharmaceutically aware (if that’s a thing) than I am, who had asked the following gotcha question:

How Trump could have 
been nailed by his lie

“Mr. Trump, out of curiosity are you taking the five milligram pills or the ten milligram pills? And are you taking them once a day or twice a day?”

Since Hydroxychloroquine evidently only comes in 200 milligram pills, and the usual starting dose is between 200 to 400 milligrams once or twice a day, his response, whatever it might have been, likely would have been…shall we say “interesting?”

In any case, Trump’s veracity in this case (and in many other cases, for that matter) seems to smell like somebody’s rectum. And although I hope I don't need to point it out to the kind of people who read my stuff, I herewith do so anyway: Don't take Hydroxychloroquine. There's no hard scientific proof that it'll either prevent or cure Covid-19. But it might kill you.

And now this:


rclz said...

First time I've fallen in here. Good column. I'll be back.

The New York Crank said...

Feel free to flatter me any time, rclz. Why should Donald Trump be the only one who encourages ego massage?

Yours crankily,
The New York Crank

bt1138 said...

If you have ever been to The Brentwood Country Mart, as I have, you will know how ridiculous this Goop thing it.

Stevie said...

"Clean Beauty " is what I would consider a perfect example of performing white purity. Like serene white rooms or being too "healthy" to ever need or want to pollute one's body with vaccines. I suppose it's not such a far leap from believing that God or guns will protect them from all harm to believing that their whiteness will protect them from all harm. White supremacy was always a delusion.

Frank Uno said...

The drug causes hair loss. He's not taking it.