What can I say Ellen? You seem to be a sweet person, though naive. How naive? You are discovering that being friends, or friendly with, someone just because you like them personally, despite their political views and presidential decisions, is fraught with landmines. You were seen on national TV sitting next to, and even laughing with, former President George Bush, and you didn’t grovel an apology when the Twittersphere erupted. You could have tweeted in response, “I only sat next to him because there were no other available seats” or “because he offered me free booze for a photo op” or “ I wanted to get close to a hot female secret service agent” (or secretly, a male one) or “I’m so apolitical I didn’t know who he was.” But no, you actually said on your show—again on national TV “Just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them,” you told the audience (and over 28 million viewers to date on Instagram and Twitter combined). “When I say ‘be kind to one another,’ I don’t mean only the people that think the same way that you do, I mean be kind to everyone.”
You were expecting maybe praise? Or perhaps you were simply doing the right thing. Or most likely, that’s just who you are. Instyle wrote that your take “earned the praise of many, including fellow celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Kendall Jenner, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Orlando Bloom, and Lenny Kravitz.” But sadly, those were in the minority, and none were URMs (under represented minorities) either. A dude named Tim Hendricks tweeted “Ellen killed people with kindness, Bush killed people with torture and bombs. Friends ‘til the end.” That was in response to Orlando Bloom tweeting “Kill ‘em with kindness.” I’m not exactly sure that Bloom was praising her though. Soledad O’Brien tweeted, “With love to Reese and Ellen—whom I don’t know. People who lost loved ones in New Orleans and elsewhere during Katrina because of a failed response by FEMA might find this kind of answer a little pat.” I never knew that poor prez Bush was responsible for hurricane Katrina, or the slow (compared to what?) response of FEMA. Terrible guy. Then Noah Michelson, who is probably not a MENSA member, tweeted “Privilege is Ellen DeGeneres explaining her friendship with George Bush by saying ‘just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean I’m not gonna be friends with them,’ as if what they disagree about is who was best dressed at the Emmys or what the best mayo is.” Privilege? How does that get in there? Remi Kenazi, no relation to Saddam Hussein (I don’t think), tweeted “If George Bush killed a million white women, I don’t think Ellen would be talking about her friend George Bush. But since it’s a million dead Iraqis and Afghans, no big deal.” Oh my, George Bush’s trigger finger must have gotten very tired, or maybe he was using a bumpstock. Remi, you’re not MENSA either, but take heart, there are others dumber.
The dumbest tweet is from Arlen Parsa, “So cool that Ellen has forgiven George W. Bush for trying to withhold human rights from gay people. I’ll never forgive Bush for his victims. Victims of the unqualified rich crony he appointed as head of FEMA. Hurricane Katrina killed 2,000 mostly poor black people. Needlessly.“ I guess Prez Bush really was behind Katrina! Actress Kristen Bell tweeted “she’s my 👑👑👑👑👑👑👑👑👑.” Huh? I am not sure what that means, but just in case the crown signifies privilege, several people commented on her post. Among them were people calling for the post to be deleted and pointing out what they called Bell’s “privilege.” “Why are celebs using this as an opportunity to let their privilege jump out,” one user wrote. Not to be outdone in the outrage sweepstakes, Vanity Fair, a publication certainly worthy of its name—not a compliment by the way—posted an op ed by Laura Bradley, writing “There’s something especially on-brand about DeGeneres’s plea for unconditional kindness; she’s made her name as a bubbly talk show host slash celebrity whisperer who can befriend just about anyone,” writes Bradley. “But the continued backlash against DeGeneres—even after her address—is also a sign that such a brand is incompatible with reality.” Backlash from certified non-geniuses, like conflating privilege with being friendly, is what’s incompatible with reality. My humble opinion: Ms. Bradley, you and Arlen Parsa deserve each other, do you want his #?
How can my “Pre-friendship” questionnaire be used? Only if your candidate for friendship answers “yes” to all the questions should you make your friendship public. Otherwise, keep it private. “Private” means no selfies, no tweeting, no Facebook posts, no instagram posts with your private, i.e. secret friends. Never meet at Starbucks or any place where both cellphone cameras and tables and chairs are present, because you can hardly claim you accidentally bumped into each other if you are sitting together, as you could at a Walmart, though just being seen at Walmart is bad enough in its own right, because you are either ugly or cheap. If you are both, then outing your secret friend is the least of your problems.
Question 1: Even if you don’t know what the word “woke” actually means, you love the sound of it. Yes___ No___
2. The right people are “woke”, the wrong people are “right.” Yes___ No___
3. People who live in L.A., San Francisco, New York City and Washington D.C. are smarter and better looking than those who live in the rest of the country. Yes___ No___
4. The truest, least biased news comes from CNN, MSNBC, Washington Post and NY Times. Yes___ No___
5. Donald Trump, Ben Shapiro, Jordan Peterson, Stephen Crowder and Rush Limbaugh all deserved to be hounded, hacked and hanged. Yes___ No___
All “yeses”? Tweet friend memes. All no’s? Wear a mask when meeting at Walmart.