Today is a weird, rough sort of day. We know there’s a cliff coming up, we can see the cliff very clearly in front of us, but we’re not quiiiiiite there yet. Instead, we’re spending a lot of time thinking about the cliff, and whether we’ll make it across the cliff or fall and go splat, and exactly how many people in Maricopa County need to turn out in order for the splat to be averted.
It’s a little tense and jumpy and odd, is what I’m saying. Which is why I’m genuinely grateful to the Joe Biden campaign for what it’s providing the people of America and the world today. Specifically this video:
Yes, that is 77-year-old Joe Biden touting Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” in a campaign video. The video itself features the song, of course, along with images of essential workers and people in line to vote and Biden in a mask walking purposefully in one direction and then in another. Also, the word “VOTE” has a prominent role throughout.
I reacted in phases to the Biden/Eminem collab—which, don’t @ me, is not funny because it is telling people to go vote, it is funny for other reasons!!! My first reaction was “nooooooooooooooooooo.” My second reaction was uncomplicated laughter. I love when people like Joe Biden, who was resolutely square even as a young man, pretend like they have any connection at all to contemporary popular culture—not that the nearly 20-year-old “Lose Yourself” is even really that!
My third reaction was a little wistfulness. There has not been enough terrible interaction with pop culture this cycle. Biden didn’t dab, he didn’t tell anyone to “take the Animal Crossing to the polls,” he didn’t give us the 2020 version of “Fight Song.” It wasn’t that kind of year. There was that briefly horrific moment he tried to dance to “Despacito,” but that was about it. 2020 has been too depressing and serious and horrible to accommodate a lot of this sort of presidential campaign embarrassment. The 2020 version of that is Trump getting COVID and Biden, idk, talking about how awesome it is that he’s not a socialist?
So thank you, Joe Biden, for coming through at the last second, just when we needed it the most. I really needed a laugh today.
PS thank you also to New York‘s Hunter Harris for reminding us that Eminem did “Lose Yourself” at the Oscars THIS YEAR! It feels like literally 500 lifetimes ago that that happened.