Submitted by Norman Burgundy
As many of us are nervously watching our waists while eye-balling leftover pumpkin pie and other fatty foods in the fridge in the odd, frantic period between Thanksgiving and Christmas (which used to be called “Advent”), Martha Stewart, the queen of American home decor and official gatekeeper of (mostly white) American holiday dinners, has inaugurated the 2017 holiday season by launching a television show with a former convicted drug dealer, pimp, and hip artist who claims to smoke 80 marijuana joints a day.
Yes, but, upon further reflection, not really, for the story of the rise and fall of Martha Stewart from fashion model and media mogul to single and visibly depressed old lady is the story of the rise and fall of America in our boring, depressed, and degenerate but still tolerably tasteful age.
Rising from a notoriously hot-tempered basement run catering service boss to the head of a global media empire, Martha Stewart, ironically the daughter of Polish parents, kept alive the last flames of American wholesome WASPness in the 90s and into the 21st century. Martha’s flagship magazine Martha Stewart Living, filled with recipes for “Slow Cooker Pot-Roast” and guides for “Reusable Lunch Bags” became a sort of Bible for stuff white people like and made sure that the comfy cozy Eisenhauer America won by the greatest generation at least made it through era of George W Bush and the iphone.
Martha Stewart in her prime was a living icon for American whiteness. Martha had a knack for mom things that made them cool and even “feminist”–but not in a gross cat lady librarian sort of way. Martha transcended political barriers and made even such boring white people things like “DIY Lip Balm” and “Preserving Fall Leaves” seem chic and attractive. Her holiday specials were always splendidly and triumphantly white with tables full of “Perfect Roast Turkey” and the very goyish “Glazed Holiday Ham.”
However, what was most appealing about Martha Stewart was that she was the boss of her household, ruling her elegant seven homes like a terrible ancient Roman matron known for her gentle devotion to the fatherland as well as her torturing her slaves brought in from the barbarian hinterlands. Marching in front of the adoring and jealous camera, Martha’s tours of her houses populated with dozens of nervous workers revealed a world of squeekly clean white people elegance ruled over by a WASP-accented Slavic mother bear with a will of steel.
Rather than having to nervously cringe under the probing chubby paw of a very gross Harvey Weinstein promising her her big break, Martha Stewart gave orders, and men listened. It was always a rare pleasure to see lisping florists and bakers scurry about with flower stuffed vases under the piercing gaze of Martha.
However, all good (and, thankfully, also bad) things come to an end, and Martha, perhaps, feeling the pinch of having to maintain seven homes, has had to come terms with the vulgar, t-shirt adorned reality of a diverse 21st century America.
At the age of 76, Martha is still gorgeous and triumphantly and majestically the queen of the American holiday season. However, her ability to charm away “bad Martha” has faded with the years, and in her media appearances, we see occasional outbursts of angry, old white lady behavior.
No where is Martha less Martha than on her brand new show with balding hip hop artist Snoop Doggy Dogg who now just goes by “Snoop Dogg” or the monosyllabic “Snoop.”
While Snoop had made millions by marketing himself as a hardcore gang banging murdering criminal, he, in fact, has matured into a smooth old black cat, working the very white and very gay audience for special guest appearances on the stylishly tomboyish but depressed lesbian Ellen Degeneres’s show.
On the show, despite Martha moments, Snoop’s black cat charm largely makes Martha look like the confused and angry white neighbor who is forced to deal with the nouveau riche homeboy next door.
And for the record, the appearance on Ellen almost completely fell apart with the usually cocky, wise-cracking Ellen nervously commenting on air that her director–some fellow named “Andy” (who, if he is not a homosexual with a temper worse than Martha Stewart herself at 4:30 in the morning, then your humble author is a kangaroo)–is telling them to “hurry along.”
On the campy and awkward, “Martha and Snoopy’s Potluck Dinner Party,” Martha Stewart, once the platinum blonde queen of the American home, has become like a formerly mighty circus bear who is awkwardly trotted out in front of a nervous crowd that revers more the memory of what she once was than what is before their very eyes.
However, at home on the pages of her elegant magazine and her very tasteful and very, um, white-looking website, Martha is still Martha, ready with a tray of delicious holiday treats and a perfected warmly WASP accent.
While our country goes down the diversity drain and Christmas seems less Christmasy every year, we can be sure that all of Martha Stewart’s days will be merry and bright and all her Christmases will be very white.