An Open Letter to Saturday Night Live’s Second Presidential Debate Sketch

To Saturday Night Live-

Let me start off by saying I’m a big fan. I can’t remember when I started saying cheeseburger cheeseburger cheeseburger Pepsi no coke, and even though I was only twelve during the 2008 Presidential election, I watched your election coverage religiously. I knew another twelve year old who loved to imitate Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin, so much so that when running around fields and playing with him, you could hear him bellowing I CAN SEE RUSSIA FROM MY HOUSE as loud as he possibly could.

This year is no exception. Your political sketches have been incredible. Kate McKinnon and Alec Baldwin have been nailing it. The real proof of how great you guys are doing is in Donald Trump’s tweet about how unfunny you guys are. Donald Trump saying you’re terrible (or “nasty”, if you will) is generally a sign that you’re doing something right.

Which is why a certain joke in your Second Presidential Debate sketch disappointed me so much.

In the sketch, Baldwin’s Trump brings up Bill Clinton’s “mistresses” and how he brought them to the debate. McKinnon’s Hillary pretends to be horrified and grief-stricken until she says “get real, I’m made of steel, this is nothing. Hi girls!”

But here’s the thing- they’re not his “mistresses”.

These women are saying that they were sexually assaulted or harassed by Bill Clinton.

When you say “mistress”, you’re stating that the sex was consensual. You’re saying that both parties were willing to sleep with each other, and that’s what happened. But what these women are saying is not that both parties were willing. They’re saying Bill Clinton violated them.

In the sketch, Baldwin’s Trump goes on to say the women who are accusing him of sexual assault need to “shut the hell up”. It gets laughs, and normally I would be laughing too, except you can’t do that.

Listen. I absolutely loathe Donald Trump. I think he’s a racist, sexist pig. I think him becoming President would not only be a national embarrassment on the part of the American people, but would be a disaster for this country. I am not a Make America Great Again person, and nothing could make me become one.

However, these jokes raised the hairs on the back of my neck, because you cannot attempt to play both sides of the issue. You cannot ignore the allegations made by a group of women against the husband of one candidate and then bring up the allegations made against the other candidate. It displays favoritism, in an unpleasant manner.

One of the reasons I was so disappointed is because I know that you’re better than this. You have been so good with your points about this election. You have been relentless about both Trump’s many scandals and Hillary’s emails. You are so much better than that joke. You didn’t have to make it. But you did, and while it doesn’t exactly break my heart, it plummets my stomach in the saddest sort of way.

Sincerely,

Kate Cipolla.

Good Things #2 & #3

I missed yesterday because I made a cavalcade of bad decisions that resulted in me being extremely tired and busy. So here’s the one I missed and the one for today.

Good Thing #2: My Dog

This is my dog, Harley (Quinn).

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We didn’t know her name for a while. She came to us as Sadie, during which I called her Sadie Parker Doyle after the Thrilling Adventure Hour. Then we tried calling her Asta, from The Thin Man. Then we actually, y’know, checked her paperwork, discovered she’d originally been named Harley, and we’ve called her that ever since. It helps that Harley is the only name she’s responded to yet. I called her Harley Quinn, which stuck. My mother found out only later that Harley Quinn is a comic book character, and has been giving me shit ever since.

My dog is the best goddamn sausage. I’m not kidding, she looks like a sausage. She is a fat little dog. We believe she’s hound/lab mix. The lab would explain all the neediness because holy shit is this dog demanding. She comes up to you and noses you under the hand until you pet her, and if you stop she does it more aggressively.

She’s so weird, too. She likes to roll on the floor once everyone comes home from their separate ways, sometimes if just one of us does. Then occasionally she’ll just lie on her back. Just lying there, chilling. She did it for four minutes once. We timed her.

She is weird and she is fat and she is a little crazy and she is mine. I love her very much, and she is super duper a Good Thing.

(FYI my brother’s Instagram is almost entirely photos of this dog. He’s doing Instagram right)

Good Thing #3: That Scene Where Rey Wrecks Kylo Ren’s Shit in The Force Awakens

It’s almost been a goddamn year, so if you haven’t seen this by now, that’s on you, buddy, not me.

Okay, go watch this and come back here. 

Okay, so holy fuck wasn’t that great.

The lightsaber flying past Kylo Ren to Rey while that music plays is, first of all, goddamn iconic.

Secondly, the female protagonist kicked his ass but good.

Chewbacca may come in the Falcon to save her and Finn afterwards, but during that fight, fending off Kylo Ren, Rey doesn’t need anyone swooping in to save her. She destroys him all on her own. How often do you see that for women?

She is barely learning the scope of her powers, but she takes down Ren anyway, someone who’s been established as powerful in the Force. That’s how strong she is. Rey doesn’t know what she’s doing, not really, and she’s strong enough in the Light Side to win anyway.

Get fucking wrekt, Kylo Ren.

 

grab em by the pussy

women-

trust not men who shrug and laugh

and say “i’ve said worse than that”

they are snakes clumsily cloaked as friends.

 

women-

trust not the man who heckles you every day

chanting slogans with an ugly smirk

he is danger loosely clothed in human skin.

 

women-

your breasts, your bottom, your vagina,

these belong to you

no matter who tries to take them from you.

 

men-

take our outstretched hands

offering a single finger

grab those.

Good Things #1: An Explanation and Furiously Happy

Mild self-harm thoughts in the third paragraph, trigger warning, danger Will Robinson

So, I had the worst week of my life.

I’m serious, everything about my life blew. I’m not going to go into super specifics, but here’s an overview: I’ve got Bipolar II, and sometimes it looks at my life and goes “you know what would be great? throwing a wrench into everything that is important to you.” The wrench beans me in the head each time. The bipolar, the stress of school, and switching medications over (“the changing of the guard”, I dubbed it, even though my medication does not march or wear funny hats) turned into a hurricane of a shitstorm, totally messing up my head.

This morning, I woke up okay for the first time in a week. It was amazing. No anxiety in the pit of my stomach, no weight on my chest, no urge to cry or scream or stab pens through the palm of my hand. Figures that my self-harm thoughts would be just as weird as I am.

But this weekend, when I wasn’t okay, I made a decision. Every day this week I’m going to post something that is important to my life. Something excellent in the w0rld. Something that makes me happy. I’m going to post a Good Thing.

Whether this lasts just for a week or for longer, I don’t know. But it definitely starts today, it definitely goes on for the next five days, and I’m definitely going to ramble about it.

So, here goes.

Good Thing #1: Furiously Happy, by Jenny Lawson.

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This book is something I wanted to read more than sleep.

This sounds like a bad recommendation. Lemme explain.

When I’m depresssed, there’s nothing I want more than to sleep. This is actually true of most of my life due to the sleep apnea, but it’s especially true when I am depressed. After school almost every day last year, I would come home and crawl into bed, passing out to music.

My mother’s boss recommended Furiously Happy to my mother, saying she thought I’d like it, so I picked it up from the library at my college. I haven’t had the energy to read for a while (thanks, bipolar! it is appreciated), but it was recommended to me, and I knew I’d feel bad if I returned the book without reading it and Mom’s boss asked me what I’d thought of it. So I started reading it.

I couldn’t stop.

I laughed like a maniac in the library, my hand pressed over my mouth as tears leaked from my eyes with the effort of not losing my shit too loud. I texted all my friends HOLY SHIT I’M READING THIS BOOK AND IT’S INSANELY GOOD I HAVEN’T BEEN THIS HAPPY IN AGES which I’m sure they appreciated. Actually, they were probably just happy that I was happy. My friends are pretty awesome.

I was also mildly irritated, but in the best possible way. I’m currently writing a book about being crazy and was before I started reading the book, and it is set up exactly like Furiously Happy is. So if I ever get my book published, I’m going to have to email Jenny Lawson and say “hi, I’m sorry, I didn’t actually try to rip you off or anything”. Which will be awkward, cause I always ramble too much in emails and she will think I am a weirdo.

Which I am.

But still.

Anyway, I get home from school, and I head back to my room. I curl up in my bed and queue up a playlist on my iPod. And the weirdest thing happens. I’m tired, but I don’t want to sleep. Not remotely. What I want to do is go over to my backpack, fish Furiously Happy out of it, and keep reading. So that’s what I do.

This book is one of my be-all, end-alls for books about being mentally ill. This and Wishful Drinking are pretty much my Bibles when it comes to that. My mother bought me my own copy and I have underlined the passages important to me. I gave a copy to a friend as what I called “the beginner’s manual for being crazy”. The other day, when I desperately needed to listen to a human voice but couldn’t stand to talk to any of the actual humans in my house, I listened to the audiobook until I went the opposite direction and couldn’t bear to listen to a human voice unless it was singing. Mental illness is weird, man.

There’s lots of reasons this book appeals to me. Jenny Lawson is tough as hell, so funny it’s crazy. So many books about mental illness are designed to feel almost condescending in a way, to comfort and coddle you. Lawson doesn’t do that. She lays bare all sides of mental illness, from the funny to the devastating, the awkward to the ugly.

Reading some mental health books feel like someone is trying to say “this is what is in your head and here is how we will try to fix you, take deep breaths and think about trees”. Lawson explains mental illness in a way that feels like someone is saying “hey, I get it. It’s fucked up, right?”

And sometimes, that’s all you really need.

Find Furiously Happy here on Amazon.