Image by Tara Jacoby, featuring the shade artist at a young age.

Does anyone else need a drink? Goddamn. Let’s do this.

In this week’s Shade Court, Hockey men do a thing, Kelly Rowland shows out and an important discussion about a troll versus shade.

Shade Court Docket #2017JZ000009

Images via Twitter and Getty.

The Case: Soon after Trump issued orders to turn away Syrian refugees (because I guess fuck those who are most in need?), the Death Valley National Park Service shared a few interesting facts on Twitter.


They went on a bit of a spree tweeting about the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII as well as climate change.

The Defendant: Gizmodo, Teen Vogue

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: This case opens the door for a very important and long-due discussion about a troll vs. shade. I would argue all shade is a troll, but not all trolls are shade. This is easy enough to remember in theory, but is understandably still confusing.


Much of it, I believe, lies in the eye of the beholder. For example, I found these tweets on inauguration day from the DC Metro to be quite shady:

Yet, for some reason, the tweets from Death Valley National Park are reading as more of a troll to me. Perhaps it’s because the tweets about the metro ridership point to a much pettier concern than reminding America and Donald Trump of one of America’s most shameful acts.

However, recent tweets from Merriam-Webster are not even trolls. They’re just the sharing of accurate information with the public.

Man, I’m getting tired. Is anyone else TIRED already?

I wish I could give you a trusty rule of a thumb but this seems like something to be determined on a case by case basis. The concerns of shade are inherently sort of petty and these blows at Trump are serious and very real. I’m not sure you can really shade someone over turning away vulnerable, innocent people from America’s doors.


More than anything, I’d rather not set a precedent for that. Let’s just find another word, shall we?

The Ruling: Not shade

Shade Court Docket #2017JZ000010

Image via Getty

The Case: Woke Bae Poppy McPopovich yet again shared his thoughts on the lumpy marionette running our country.

The Defendant: The Washington Post

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: The video they link to is titled “Gregg Popovich rips President Trump...” Any guesses as to how I’m leaning here?


The Washington Post has a truly terrible track record here in Shade Court and I find it baffling. Are they trying to be cool? Guys, you’re a newspaper. You’re not cool! You’re never going to be and that’s fine. Be yourself! Go and dispense clear, factual reporting and interpretations of our world! That’s plenty. Trust.

Does the Washington Post need a quick self esteem boost? Do you just want a bit of attention? You want me to put on a little Jessie J?

There you go.


The Ruling: Not shade

Shade Court Docket #2017JZ000011

Images via Getty and Twitter

The Case: Nobody went to Trump’s stupid ass inauguration becuase people hate him and his biggest supporters are probably saving their money for all the out-of-pocket medical expenses they’ll be responsible for once he screws them over.


As every one of us sadly knows, Trump and his cronies have been lying about his inauguration attendance because he is a small, sad silly little man who will melt into himself like moldy scraps of squash if his ego is not being stroked at all times.

Relatedly, the Dallas Stars, which I’m told is a group of men who play hockey for money, played a game recently.

The Defendant: The Huffington Post

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: I’m embarrassed to admit that for a moment I thought: Wait did one and a half million people go to that hockey game? 

Then I remembered that’s not remotely the dumbest thing I’ve ever said.

The problem we’re running into is most Trump shade is inherently going to be more pointed. Part of that is probably on purpose—to make sure this clod understands he’s being made fun of. Trump also lends himself so easily to being clowned, I imagine everyone is so bowled over with excitement they don’t pause to turn it down a notch.


Either way, I enjoyed this dumb joke. It’s simple, clever enough and takes just long enough to sink in.

The Ruling: Shade

Shade Court Docket #2017JZ000012

Images via Getty.

The Case: Lady Gaga is performing this year at a particularly poorly-named Super Bowl halftime show.

With no guests.

TMZ stalked Kelly Rowland after a dinner and asked if Lady Gaga would be able to outdo Beyonce’s 2013 halftime performance which included a Destiny’s Child reunion.

Kelly responded with a wink, a chuckle and a smile.

The Defendant: TMZ

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: Let me offer my halfhearted apologizes in advance because I’m sorry but only sort of. This case is a tad boring, but good lord I could not type that imbecile’s name again.

I like what Kelly did here. She kept her shade like her haircut: short and cute.

Lady Gaga is cool and all but please. There was no need for her to answer with actual words because we already know the answer to that question. As an insurance, Kelly’s lack of words make it much easier to explain away if need be. I wasn’t throwing shade. I didn’t even say thing!

Oh but you said it all, Kelly.

The Ruling: Shade