If 2016 was bad, 2017 has thus far been a waking nightmare of biblical proportions. In honor of the scariest day of the year, we’ve compiled a list of the most terrifying moments in Jewish pop culture since the month Donald Trump had the absolute biggest inauguration crowd ever, he swears.
1.Jerry Springer threatening to run for governor of Ohio
Jerry Springer is best known for mediating conflicts between people whose conflict resolution skills are far below the national average. Unfortunately, America has lately demonstrated a conflict resolution skill national average of roughly zero. We are a stupid, stupid country that has elected to its highest office a tabloid celebrity best known for hosting a reality television show sponsored by Bud Light Mango-Rita. It’s no surprise Springer saw an opportunity to govern one of our swing states. Springer still hasn’t decided whether he’s ready to give up the comforting chants of his studio audience for the feuding battle cries of the white supremacists who will almost certainly request his cooperation but even Springer’s “maybe” is enough to make this list.
2.Shia LeBeouf’s arrest
Shia LeBeouf went from “Even Stevens” to “even after having been arrested six times, you get arrested again and somehow make this arrest more embarrassing than all the other ones.” The actor apologized for using a series of racial slurs while being arrested for public drunkenness in Georgia this past year but sometimes it is too late to say sorry, even if you do call a referee. Luckily, because LeBoeuf is a man, his career continues to thrive. Still, this moment makes our list because we simply cannot ignore the glaring abyss between LeBeouf’s charisma in the musical episode of “Even Stevens” and his toxic racism in the non-musical YouTube video of his latest arrest.
3.Ivanka Trump’s transmogrification from tabloid heiress to presidential advisor
The 1931 film “Dracula” terrified audiences because it was the first time in cinematic history an onscreen villain hadn’t been explicitly monstrous looking. Count Dracula, played by Bela Lugosi, was a handsome, if pale, man about town. He was attractive to women, a seducer, someone who might be sitting next to you in a dark theater or walking behind you on the street without drawing any negative attention to himself. He looked just like you and I — but he wasn’t anything like us. He was a bloodsucking, undead killer.
Which brings us to Ivanka Trump. Like Dracula, Ivanka Trump occupies a better-than-average looking human form. Unlike her father, who does, in fact, resemble a film monster, she is easy on the eyes — and this is what makes her so dangerous. She uses a sheen of civility to shill her father’s proposed legislation, legislation that would tear families apart, further separate the 1% from the rest of us, destroy what’s left of our environment, and strip the marginalized of hard-won rights. That’s what we call scary.
5.The mere existence of Howard Stern.
Howard Stern was most recently in the news for calling men like Harvey Weinstein “freaks.” If men like Harvey Weinstein make up the freak show, Howard Stern is the circus ringmaster. As Jenny Singer wrote in her elegant takedown of Stern:
“Howard Stern has made a career of inviting women on his show in order to sexually humiliate them. If they don’t laugh along it hurts their careers. Stern uses his platform to invite other men onto his show to sexualize and rank women. It was on Stern’s show that President Trump confessed to barging in on naked beauty contestants unexpectedly, and encouraged Stern to call his daughter Ivanka “A piece of ass.” When Stern was pressed to release over a dozen hours of tape of interviews with Trump before the election, Stern said it was important for him to protect Trump. “It would be a betrayal,” he said.”
The mere existence of Howard Stern is scary. The fact that he is one of the richest celebrities in the world is petrifying.
6.Judge Judy’s negotiation skills
It has recently come to America’s attention that Judge Judy is not here to make friends, play games, be disrespected, make less than $20 million, or represent feminists. Judge Judy merits a different kind of terror, one that is imbued with respect. When details of her negotiation strategy were made public, what everyone suspected was verified: Judge Judy is Queen. People are afraid of how much they love her and you are sorely mistaken if you think she is not going to exploit that terror.
Shooketh, Queen Judy. Shooketh.
7.Drake’s dad’s music video
We are sorry … we just cannot condone this.
Becky Scott is the editor of The Schmooze. Follow her on Twitter, @arr_scott