The other day I was scrolling Twitter and saw a video with many views and heart-eyes emojis after it, some funny guy doing his Karen act. He had the wig, the flat comfortable sandals and as he pulled on a pair of capri pants I realized, Um, wait, that’s me.
I wear capri pants in summer because my short-short days are long past, and I know the minimum inseam on any pair of shorts I might wear outside the house (9 inches). Even if you keep up the struggle, exercise, eat right, there comes a time when your thighs have given up, and you don’t show them to anyone other than close friends and the people you swim with, who are all old like you and have the bods to show for it.
One of the struggles I gave up this year was hair denial. I let the gray come in, and I’m very happy I did, as for once, the timing was perfect; my last haircut was two days before the salon shutdown. I got the last of the blonde highlights snipped off, and so spent the last three months not sweating my roots growing out. With a million new things to worry about in 2020, it was freeing to let that one go.
But now I’m about as Karen-y as Karens get, at least from the outside. Anyone looking at me would sum me up at a glance: Karen. Boomer. Enemy. And so on.
So now it’s the day before the holiday weekend starts, and I’m sitting inside because it is hot as hell outside and will be getting hotter for the foreseeable future. We’ve had a very angry few days here in Detroit. Two women got into a shouting match over a hip-check in the doorway of a Chipotle, and a gun was drawn, a truly insane confrontation. Was it captured on video? Do you even need to ask? And yes, one of the women involved was a Karen, as we understand the term these days: White, middle-aged, hair-trigger temper.
The night before, a cyclist shot a motorist dead on the street in front of the RenCen, probably the closest thing Detroit has to a Magnificent Mile district. It was a road-rage thing, we’re told. The motorist yelled at the cyclists, the cyclists yelled back, he stopped and got out of his vehicle with a knife in hand. One of the cyclists, a woman, was packing (legally) and fired one shot, enough to send him to Elysium. Must have been the surprise of his life.
It so happened I had to do the aggregation — short rewrite/summation, with link — of both of these stories, to Deadline. I posted them to Facebook, because that’s where we get our traffic.
So I’m circling back a few hours later, checking engagement, and start reading the comments. Are comments good for anything anymore? No. It’s all memes and the same catch phrases over and over. The preeners are the worst: Do better and Check your privilege and You spelled ‘racist’ wrong and Fixed it for ya and I guess someone here has work to do. I guess this is a byproduct of people being out of work or working from home where they can check social media all day. And of being angry, and of it being about 900 degrees outside, with cases spiking.
Anyway, I think I’ve had my fill for the day, and for the weekend. I’m taking my Karen-ass self out to walk the dog, if she’s up to a jaunt no longer than around the block. If I meet any black birdwatchers, I will not be calling the police. In fact, I may just leave my phone behind.
Now, with the cameras squarely and vigilantly in the hands of those who are sick of being hassled, the “Karens” show depressingly confirms some of our worst suspicions about people in general, wielding a similar power of stereotype. “Karens” triumphantly flips the “Cops” dynamic. The Karens of our world relied too long on the power of racism and intolerance, threatening to call the authorities on anyone who offended or unnerved them. Now Karen is the bad guy, getting the comeuppance she so richly deserves. (Whatcha gonna do, Karen? Whatcha gonna do when Instagram comes for you?)
I had more, but it’s stale by now. News gets stale in 10 minutes these days. Enjoy your holiday, and may the deity of your choice bless America.