Dear T-Swift

Dear T-Swift,

Speaking on behalf of every sentient being in the universe, we were all quite happy to hear that you finally broke up with Calvin Harris.

Honestly, what took so long? We hadn’t seen a more clear-cut case of the too-good-for-him’s since Rihanna got back together with Chris Brown. (And no, I’m not suggesting that Calvin Harris is even in the same league of evil as Chris Brown, but you know, at least Chris is technically a musician.)

As for your rebound with Tom Hiddleston, well played, my dear. We don’t care whether it’s a PR stunt. We’re just delighted that you’re finally hooking up with celebrities again. Yes, that’s right. Calvin was never really a celebrity. It’s true, he achieved a minor degree of fame as the world’s shittiest DJ, but at best he was merely celebrity-adjacent, and we’re sorry, but we can’t have you fucking below your station.

You were never meant to mate with mere mortals, Taylor. Sure, those at your level are allowed a weekend fling with the occasional high-fashion photographer, and we don’t mind if a hedge fund manager’s douchebag son invites you to Cannes on daddy’s yacht, but we can’t have you writing love songs about long-term boyfriends who don’t have their own publicity team. Celebrity culture has rules, darling. They’re grotesque and unfair, but such is life, and being an A-lister has its price.

Not that you’re deserving of any pity. After all, Tom Hiddleston seems like a fun way to spend a week in London — he’s got the boyish charm of Benedict Cumberbatch combined with the smoldering sex appeal of Michael Fassbender. He’s dangerous and goofy all at once — the kind of guy who could totally get away with naming his penis “Big Ben.” Plus, he’s taller than you, which means you won’t have to go back to wearing ballet flats all the time. (Oof. I really felt sorry for you during the Harry Styles days.)

One bit of advice, though. If this whole #Hiddleswift thing becomes more than just a manufactured tabloid romance and you actually start spending some time across the pond, whatever you do, please don’t pull a Madonna and turn up with a fake British accent.

We can forgive you this year’s Met Gala dress, but if you suddenly start talking like a freshman at Hogwarts, we’re gonna turn on you faster than you can say Gwyneth Paltrow.

Yours in publicity,

The Coquette

Dear Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar

I felt like reposting this open letter I wrote to the Duggar Family. I did this shit for The Daily three years ago, but it seems awfully relevant at the moment. (I hate to say I told you so, but seriously, what a bunch of fuckin’ creeps.)

 

Dear Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar,

You are horrible people. There, I said it.

I know there are plenty of basic-cable watching Americans who’ll tune in to your new season on Tuesday night and rush to your defense. They’ll scream that it’s not my place to judge, but screw that. I just watched you bury the miscarriage of your 20th child in an ammunition box on national television, so you know what? I’m judging.

You are unfit parents. More than that, you’re a pair of glassy-eyed wingnuts who’ve latched on to a dangerously narrow interpretation of an already ridiculous belief system, and you are using it to inflict serious psychological, emotional and spiritual damage on your nineteen children. No one ever seems to call you out on it, though.

You’ve trained your brood to smile and tuck in their shirts, and apparently that’s enough to fool everyone into thinking that your sinister program of isolation and indoctrination is a legitimate form of parenting. It’s not.

Your syrupy-sweet wholesome schtick doesn’t work on me. I see right through to the underlying cruelty, and it breaks my heart to think what will happen to Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah, Jennifer, Jordyn or Josie (just the youngest eight, mind you) if any one of them should turn out to want a different kind of life.

How will you treat the boy who has the heart of a nonbeliever? How will you treat the girl who has the mind of a free-thinking individual? How will you treat the teenager whose sexuality isn’t heteronormative? Let’s not pretend for one second that they won’t be tortured with shame, repression and authoritarian violence.

I know, I know. That’s not the part they show on your outrageously exploitative reality television program, but the brutal truth is that for a quiet minority of your nineteen children, their lives will be a soul-crushing hell.

By all means, live your lives of ignorant bliss on the lunatic fringes of red-state America. This is a free country, and you have every right to practice whatever creepy fundamentalist nonsense makes you happy.

That being said, it is morally reprehensible to treat your uterus like a clown car, and what you’re doing to those kids is wrong.

Yours in judgment,

The Coquette

Dear Miley Cyrus

miley

 

Dear Miley,

I know Dolly Parton is your godmother and all, but there’s a fine line between homage and outright plagiarism. You should be horrified that this quote — the crown jewel in Dolly Parton’s collection of shit-kicking, self-deprecating one-liners — is attributed to you.

This kind of bullshit bubble-gum intertextuality reeks of a crass and transparent desperation. Furthermore, it should be stated that no matter how hard you try to position yourself as heir apparent to Dolly’s country-crossover diva legacy, you will never — I repeat never — be the next Dolly Parton.

Stick to the smirking, self-reflexive exploitation of teenage rebellion thing you’ve got going. It seems to be working just fine.

Yours with a wrecking ball,

The Coquette

 

Dear Royal Highness, Fetus of Middleton

Dear Royal Highness, Fetus of Middleton,

Congratulations on your recent conception! On behalf of all Americans who are inappropriately fascinated with the monarchy, I’d like to say how excited we are to hear you’ll be making your way into the world sometime next Summer.

Kudos to you for being the lucky zygote with the legal claim to the British throne. It doesn’t matter whether you eventually become a girl or a boy, as it seems the Realms of the Commonwealth have recently done away with the centuries old law of primogeniture. How very progressive of them to spice up the divine right of kings with a dash of postmodern gender politics!

I do so hope you’ll turn out to be a princess. Word on the street is that if you’re a girl, your parents might name you Diana. You’re much too young to appreciate the irony, but I know your grandfather and great-grandmother will be keeping a stiff upper lip about the possibility of England eventually being ruled by a Queen Diana.

Speaking of princesses, I was terribly sorry to hear that your mother was recently hospitalized. It seems she was suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which apparently is a spell they teach at Hogwarts to make muggle-born princesses vomit for two straight days. I hear she’s feeling much better now, so that’s good news.

Have a wonderful time being groomed for the throne. Never forget that it’s all just an elaborate game, and try not take any of it too seriously. If your head ever gets heavy from the crown, just do a little neck yoga, and remember to stop and smell the rose petals beneath your feet.

The entire world looks forward to meeting you in a few months, but for now, just enjoy being in the womb. It’s the most privacy you’re ever going to get.

Yours in a tiara,

The Coquette

Dear Red States

Dear Red States,

There’s been a lot of post-election talk about unifying the country, so I’m writing to you on behalf of the blue states, in the hopes of chipping away at some of the bitter divisiveness.

You see, I’ve lived on both sides of the great American political divide. I was born and raised in a God-fearing, gun-toting, Fox-News-watching red state, a place that refers to itself as the Heartland. My family members are all conservative, church-going Republicans. They are good, honest, self-made people — the very job creators that guys like Mitt Romney are always talking about.

Of course, as soon as I was old enough to drive, I made my way to the other side of the country, all the way to California, the bluest of blue states filled with godless Hollywood liberals, pro-choice homosexual union members and other assorted socialist heathens that filled the nightmares of my right-wing parents.

I am intimately familiar with the rift in America’s socio-political landscape. I’ve spent my entire adult life trying to bridge the divide between red state and blue state, and it’s never been more difficult than during this past election year.

Politics have polarized this country to such a degree that the two sides don’t even represent the same realities. I watched time and again as cold hard facts were debated as if they were political opinions. I’ve bitten my tongue as tempers flared, because everything has become so deeply personal. Respectful disagreement doesn’t even seem possible anymore, because both sides aren’t just defending their politics — they’re defending their identities.

Thankfully, the election has come and gone. The worst is over for now, and we can all go back to our regular lives. The Democrats happened to win the day, but under slightly different circumstances, it could have been the Republicans. It might as well have been a coin toss for all the stress and anger it’s caused us, and perhaps that’s the most glaring irony of this process. Half of this country votes red, and half of this country votes blue. We’re two sides of the same coin that gets flipped every four years so that a tiny sliver of undecided swing staters can call it in the air.

I for one am tired of all the divisiveness. We have our differences of opinion, and that’s okay. We shouldn’t let our politics come between us. Now how about we all sit down for an election-free Thanksgiving dinner, and finally talk about something else?

Yours in America,

The Coquette

Dear Sesame Street,

All politics aside, I wanted to take a moment out of this ridiculous election cycle to say thank you. You have entertained and instructed four generations of children in over 140 countries. You have revolutionized the way we think about education and childhood development. You are an American institution, and you have made the world a better place.

Wall Street gets all the money, and Main Street gets all the love, but Sesame Street has steadfastly been going about its fundamental purpose of preparing kids for school since 1969. It is without a doubt the most important children’s program in the history of television, and all of its denizens — be they Muppet or human — deserve a certain measure of respect.

Big Bird, you certainly deserve better than to be made a political symbol. The last two weeks have marked a low point in the national discourse as pundits and political operatives on both sides have played a big, yellow, feathery game of tug-of-war. It would be silly if it weren’t so degrading, and all because the tiniest fraction of our tax dollars account for a small percentage of Sesame Street’s budget.

It’s fine if the grown-ups want to squabble over whether federal funds should be used to subsidize public television, but let’s not forget where we learned our 1-2-3’s. Sesame Street is one of the single greatest cultural achievements in American history, and there’s not another instance where we’ve gotten so much educational impact for so little money. (If the Count helped us do the math, no doubt he would laugh at how good a deal we’ve all gotten. You can almost hear him now, “AH! AH! AH!”)

On behalf of everyone who understands the importance of early childhood education (and everyone who loves the Muppets), thank you for doing your job, and for doing it so well.

Yours where the air is sweet,

The Coquette

Dear Lindsay Lohan

Dear Lindsay Lohan,

This past week, you were arrested. Again. This time, it was for leaving the scene of an accident after hitting a pedestrian on your way to a downtown Manhattan nightclub in a Porsche borrowed from one of your Euro-douche artist friends that happened to be registered to one of the Real Housewives of Miami.

I know that’s just a typical Tuesday night in your whacked-out world, but sweetheart, that kind of absurdity should really prompt you to take a hard look at your life choices. For starters, it’s time for you to hand over the keys. You don’t get to drive anymore.

I know, I know. This latest incident wasn’t your fault. Nothing is ever your fault. Not taking responsibility for your actions is a recurring theme in the storybook nightmare you call a life, but hey, for the sake of argument, let’s say that this one isn’t on you. Let’s assume that the guy you grazed in the driveway of the Dream Hotel really is some shady dude looking for a quick payday. So what? Just because you didn’t bolt à la Halle Berry doesn’t excuse the fact that you were behind the wheel in the first place.

What the hell were you even doing driving to a club in New York? Nobody drives in New York, much less a train-wreck paparazzi magnet on parole with a D.U.I. conviction and a history of hitting things in her Porsche. Come on, girl. You should know better by now. Hire a damn driver already. He can chauffeur you around in another Porsche if you want, but please, let a professional with insurance get you from party A to party B.

It’s a shame that your mother and father can’t be the ones to rein you in when it comes to this kind of nonsense. Unfortunately, you were raised by fame-hungry wolves who’d rather be your publicists than your parents. I’m genuinely sorry that you are the offspring of such shallow, narcissistic monsters, but at a certain point, you have to realize that Michael and Dina will never be a positive influence on your life.

You’re on your own, kid. Sure, you’ve still got a team of lawyers, stylists and other assorted handlers, but you’re the captain of the sinking ship that is your career. “Mean Girls” was an awfully long time ago, and this upcoming Elizabeth Taylor made-for-TV monstrosity is going to be a disaster even by Lifetime Movie standards.

The sad truth is that you don’t have much time left before the pop-culture celebrity machine is finished chewing you up. If you want to be remembered as something other than a hot Botoxed mess, you’d better step up and accept some personal responsibility for your behavior.

Get it together, girl. Start acting like an adult before you flame out forever.

Yours in obscurity,

The Coquette

Dear Chris Brown

Dear Chris Brown,

Three years ago, you punched your girlfriend repeatedly in the face while screaming that you were going to to kill her. You smashed her bloodied head against a car window, bit her ear and fingers, and placed her in a choke hold until she began to lose consciousness. The beating was brutal, sustained, and left your girlfriend hospitalized.

That really should have been it for you, but you hired a crisis management team, expressed an obligatory amount of remorse, and a surprising number of your idiot fans were willing to overlook the fact that you savagely beat a female.

This past week, you revealed your freshly inked neck tattoo, and it’s plainly obvious that it’s the face of a battered woman, one that bears a striking resemblance to your ex-girlfriend.

Of course, being the little punk that you are, you denied that the tattoo was of her likeness. Instead, your publicist went into damage control mode and made the ridiculous claim that your tattoo was based on a MAC Cosmetics face chart inspired by a Mexican sugar skull. To cap off the absurdity, you tweeted, “I’m an artist and this is art. Dia de los Muertos.”

I’m sorry, but you are not an artist. You’re not even a man. You are a stupid, violent child with a minor talent, and you don’t seem to realize how easily replaceable you are. If Ne-Yo and Usher each produced one extra auto-tuned B-side a year, no one would even notice you were gone.

Your music is cheap candy, a bunch of heavily processed garbage filled with artificial sweeteners and no nutritional value. That’s fine. There’s a market for R&B flavored bubble gum, but don’t go around calling yourself an artist, and let’s not pretend that your new tattoo is art.

Your tattoo is nothing but a toy badge, an empty threat from an angry boy who resents his role as a pop culture villain. Well guess what, Chris? You’re always going to be the villain. Nothing is ever going to change that, and if you don’t like it, then feel free to step off the stage.

No one will miss you.

Yours in disgust,

The Coquette

Dear Ann Romney

Dear Ann Romney,

I saw your speech the other night. Thanks for talking to me from the heart, because you pretty much confirmed what I already knew to be true, which is that you’re the type of lady with hand sanitizer coursing through her veins.

I’ve known wealthy, astringent women like you all my life. I grew up around them. Not with them. Around them.

My mother always looked up to women like you. She respects you, and she wants to be more like you. Like the Oscar de la Renta you wore for the speech, you are an aspirational brand for women like my mom. That’s fine. I understand why she thinks that way, and, like Laura Bush before you, my mom is entitled to her heroes.

That’s not to say I don’t respect you. I certainly do. I know how hard it is to maintain that level of poise, and I’m familiar with the pathological dedication it takes to keep up appearances. Women like you are a special breed, and like all your fancy prancing horses, I know how incredibly difficult it is to make it look so easy. (By the way, can we just take a moment and savor the delicious irony of a politician’s wife who competes in dressage? Mmm. That’s some Tom Wolfe-level stuff, right there.)

For the record, I’m not going to vote for your husband. Don’t worry, though. My mother definitely will, and if your husband happens to win, I have no doubt that you’d make an excellent First Lady. You were born for that kind of thing. You’d rock the East Wing Jackie style with a Republican twist, and I’m sure you’d pick one helluva china pattern.

Whichever way it goes in November, you’re destined to continue living a fine life filled with philanthropy and politics. You’ll always be important to some circle, and I’m happy for you. Speaking for the rest of us, though — and this is coming from my heart — stop using your money and influence to chip away at women’s reproductive rights.

That great collective sigh you’re hearing from the women whom you profess to “love” so much isn’t because we had a rough day. It’s because we don’t appreciate the hypocrisy of someone like you kissing our asses on national television while quietly working against us.

Please feel free to do whatever you like with the window dressing, but don’t spend another second advocating against a woman’s choice. At a certain point, that kind of thing is really unforgivable.

Yours in a red dress,

The Coquette

Dear Justin Theroux and Paul Ryan

justinpaul

 

Dear Justin Theroux and Paul Ryan,

Congratulations are in order, gentlemen! It appears that Jennifer Aniston and Mitt Romney have both finally chosen running mates, and you two are the lucky C-list celebrities who’ve been carefully selected from a small group of thoroughly vetted candidates.

The next few months are going to be a flurry of activity as America gets to know each of you, and I have no doubt you will prove to be better than some of the choices made in the past. You’re both relatively good looking, physically fit and have had your own respectable careers outside of the spotlight. Still, you’re in the A-list crowd now, and nothing you’ve done up to this point can prepare you for the ridiculousness to come.

Get used to being photographed wherever you go, and prepare yourself for a lot of stupid questions. People are suddenly going to care what you think, but try not to let it go to your head. Sure, you play a valuable role in the life of a VIP, but you’d be surprised how little your opinions matter. This is show business and/or politics (really, what’s the difference?) so get comfortable in your roles as highly styled arm-candy and never forget who brought you to the party.

Your partners are both very famous, very wealthy and very bland. It’s not that they don’t have broad appeal, but let’s be honest. They’re vanilla flavored members of the super-rich elite who’ve spent their lives skating by on generic good looks while making outrageous fortunes pretending to be regular middle-class folks.

That’s fine. Good for them, but that kind of life tends to make people lose touch with reality a bit, and you need to take that into account as your relationships enter this new phase. Remember, you are part of a couple, but you are not the star. Whatever you do, don’t outshine your partner. That will lead to a public relations nightmare, and things could end in a matter of months instead of a matter of years.

Keep your eyes on the prize, fellas. Don’t get caught up in any scandals, only speak when spoken to, and do your best not to screw this up. If you’re both incredibly lucky, then sometime next year you’ll be saying your wedding vows or swearing an oath of office.

Either way, good luck playing second fiddle.

Yours in subservience,

The Coquette

 

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