Charlotte's Web Thoughts
Charlotte's Web Thoughts
Five Things You Should Know

Five Things You Should Know

Vol. V
(a screen capture from the excellent documentary “Girls State”)

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Happy Tuesdays, folks! It’s that time again, though I admit I’m a day late. Regardless, the week is still young. Let’s make it easier to get into the groove of things.

Here are five things that are positive/interesting/fun that’ll make you smile, make you laugh, and make you think.

1. The Improbably Hilarious Beavis & Butthead Sketch on SNL

This past weekend, Ryan Gosling hosted Saturday Night Live, and although this season of the show hasn’t been stellar, this particular week was damn good. One of the highlights was—I kid you not—a sketch that featured Ryan Gosling and Mikey Day playing Beavis and Butt-Head lookalikes, respectively, while presumably being audience members during a town hall about the dangers of A.I. between Kenan Thompson and Heidi Gardner.

For those under 30, “Beavis and Butt-Head” was an adult cartoon that originally ran on MTV from 1993-1997 (it has since been rebooted). They’re basically dipshits who do dipshit things, yet somehow, they’re weirdly lovable in their dipshittery? It’s hard to explain. You just gotta watch it.

Written by Day and Streeter Seidel, the sketch is ridiculously funny. It’s the kind of brilliant idea that seemingly only comes from passing a joint back-and-forth for an hour.

Thompson, playing the “A.I. expert,” continues to prove that his line delivery is peerless. Gardner, who is always brilliant, playing the moderator here, managed to pull off the longest successful character break on SNL in recent memory. She can’t hold it together because Day and Gosling look goofy as hell and mildly incredulous they’re being confused for the cartoon characters.

Like… none of this should work, but it works flawlessly. I can’t remember the last time I laughed this hard through an entire SNL sketch. And the final shot is perfection.

2. Conan O’Brien Appears As a Guest on “Hot Ones”

If you haven’t watched the YouTube show “Hot Ones,” you’re really missing out. I mean that. Here’s the basic premise: host Sean Evans invites a celebrity guest for a half-hour conversation as he and the guest eat ten buffalo wings with increasingly spicier hot sauce on them, starting with a mild hot sauce (typically around 2,000 Scoville units, that’s the the index for measuring the spice of chili peppers and adjacent food items) and ending at an unbearably spicy hot sauce (typically around 2,000,000+ Scoville units).

For those doing the math at home, that final sauce is about 1,000x hotter than the first sauce. So, as the guest is asked questions with each subsequent wing, it becomes increasingly more difficult to offer a coherent answer. That’s one half of the fun in watching.

The other half of the fun is that Sean Evans, in my estimation, is one of the best interviewers working today. His questions are so thoughtful and so interesting and always geared toward fascinating conversation, brimming with curiosity. Thus, these very good questions are accompanied with the interviewee struggling to answer through spice-bitten lips.

He’s done more than 300 of these interviews, and this one with Conan O’Brien, released this past week, is instantly among the very best episodes. O’Brien, who always gives damn good interviews (his Actor’s Studio episode is one of my favorites of that series), oscillates between serious and hilarious with breathtaking dexterity, making the viewer laugh and think simultaneously.

Do yourself a favor, and take 30 minutes to watch this.

3. “Girls State” Documentary on Apple TV

In 2020, one of the more widely acclaimed documentaries of the year was “Boys State,” an Apple TV project directed and produced by Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine, which followed high school students attending the Boys State conference for Texas, an annual conference in which teenage boys simulate a state government in each state (except for Hawaii, where only Girls State is organized).

This month, Moss and McBaine released “Girls State,” which follows young women as they organized a simulated state government in Missouri in 2022, concluding just a week before the Dobbs decision was handed down by the Supreme Court.

As you might imagine, abortion features heavily as a topic of discussion, along with the sheer disparity between how Girls State is organized versus Boys State within Missouri. For example, the funding for Boys State is several times that of Girls State, there’s a dress code for participants in Girls State but none for Boys State, and most insulting: the sitting Governor of Missouri swears-in the officers for Boys State but not Girls State.

The only thing that kept me from being in a righteous rage throughout the film were the phenomenal and brilliant young women across the political spectrum, who work together and advocate for a state government in which disagreement is honored and even used as an advantage in governing.

I plan to write a longer review soon, but in the meantime, you should absolutely watch this documentary. It’s fantastic.

4. This AP Story on the Father of a Trans Daughter Will Give You Hope

From the Associated Press’ Heather Hollingsworth: check out this fantastic write-up on the father of a trans daughter who admits that he was once “a full-on bigot,” but when his daughter came out and faced horrific discrimination, he says: “When it was my child, it just flipped a switch.”

Look, I certainly get frustrated with the theme of folks who only seem to discover their own empathy when it’s someone they love being attacked, but regardless, we need stories like this. And I’m appreciative toward this father for being vulnerable enough to admit he was wrong and work toward a better world for his daughter and all transgender youth.

So, here’s my ask: read this article and share it with everyone you know. And then ask to talk about it.

5. Yet Another Record Broken by Women’s College Basketball

I’m sure some of y’all are tired of hearing about women’s college basketball, and that’s just too damn bad. Because I love every bit of good news coming out of this world.

Last weekend, the NCAA Division I Championship final between South Carolina and Iowa attracted an average of 18.9 million viewers, including a peak of 24.1 million viewers in the last 15 minutes of the game.

It’s the first time in history that the women’s final beat the men’s final in TV ratings, the latter of which scored a respectable 14.82 million viewers but still far behind the juggernaut of women’s basketball.

Times are changin’, y’all. Thank goodness.

Oh, and as always, if you liked this’s week edition and wanna show your appreciation, buy me a cup of coffee below.

yes, I would love coffee

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Charlotte's Web Thoughts
Charlotte's Web Thoughts
Charlotte Clymer is a writer and LGBTQ advocate. You've probably seen her on Twitter (@cmclymer). This is the podcast version of her blog "Charlotte's Web Thoughts", which you can subscribe to here: