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

Today is a very bad and extremely sad day.

I’m going to try for a bit of levity now.

By the way, that was not shade and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

In this week’s Shade Court, Rick Perry is a dumb dumb, I am personally trolled and the Obamas bring it home.

Shade Court Docket #2017JZ000005

Images via Getty and the New York Times

The Case: Rick Perry is an idiot who thinks glasses have some sort of special metal in them that literally makes you smarter when you put them on. Rick Perry is also probably going to be the next Secretary of the Energy Department. As you can imagine, people are talking about him—specifically, here’s the New York Times.

For Mr. Moniz, the future of nuclear science has been a lifelong obsession; he spent his early years working at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Mr. Perry studied animal husbandry and led cheers at Texas A&M University.

The Defendant: 80% of the people who read the article

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: I’ve been railing against the New York Times lately for publishing what seems like an endless stream of sympathetic stories humanizing the bigots, or about those who don’t have a problem with bigotry, who voted for Trump. However, I can give credit where it’s due.


The beauty here is in the construction of the graf and the comparison between Rick Perry and our previous secretary Ernest Moniz that was formatted in a mostly unnecessary way.

The writers extol Moniz’s many, many qualifications and then pivot to Rick Perry’s utter lack of any useful skills whatsoever with such speed it damn near gave me whiplash. I mean, the animal husbandry shit is bad enough, but “led cheers at Texas A&M University” is just savage. They basically delivered a cake to Rick Perry’s doorstep but inside was a“YOU’RE STUPID” grenade.

And don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with being a male cheerleader other than the fact that it in no way qualifies you to run a major government agency. Plus, frankly, it’s almost an insult to even group this clown in with the decent, steady male cheerleaders who actually do their part to support women.

The Ruling: Shade

Shade Court Docket #2017JZ000006

Images via Getty.

The Case: California Congresswoman Maxine Waters has emerged over the past couple weeks as a beacon of sanity and straight talk-ed-ness that we are are desperately lacking. She announced her plan to skip Trump’s inauguration explaining: “I don’t honor him. I don’t respect him. And I don’t want to be involved with him.”


In general, Waters has been running around DC speaking her damn mind and looking fly while doing so.

The Defendant: Elle Magazine

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: I was loathe to even include this because it seemed designed to irritate me, but today is all about doing shit you don’t want to do so here we go.

I very much appreciate this ode to Congresswoman Waters who is indeed a boss ass bitch. However, why must it be dripped with such affronts to the shade we know she can throw when she feels like it? The author even admits that none of her recent comments are shade:

I’m tempted to elect Congresswoman Waters as this week’s Shade Bae, but shade is subtle. Waters doesn’t have time for subtlety. Waters knows that desperate times call for shadier measures. She is reading this town for filth.

And then goes on to use shade three more times because that certainly makes sense.


I know the the phrase “parade of shade” is very cute and all but it would be even cuter if it were actually true.

For like the 4,578th time, the author laid this out in plain English:

Shade comes from reading. Reading came first.

Shade developed from reading but it is not the same. If they were the same thing, there wouldn’t be two different words now would there? There would not be a rather straightforward explanation about the different between the two. I would not be pulling my hair out of my scalp and then if they were the same. My eyes would not be sitting on my coffee table right now because they plopped out of my skull during an extremely painful eye-roll!!!! There would not be a giant hole in the floor after I spontaneously tasmanian devil-ed out of control. WOULD THERE?

By the way, this court does not appreciate having its time wasted!!!!!!

The Ruling: Not shade

Shade Court Docket #2017JZ000007

Images via Getty.

The Case: You will of course remember when the man who is now in charge of the nuclear codes insulted civil rights icon and national hero John Lewis ahead of Martin Luther King Jr. weekend after John Lewis publicly chucked the deuces at Trump’s pathetic-ass inauguration.


Two days later, Michelle Obama, who will never not be my First Lady, tweeted her own thoughts on the occasion.

The Defendant: Bipartisan Report

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: Not that John Lewis isn’t amazing and it certainly matters that he’s currently a congressman, but she didn’t have to namecheck him specifically. There’s a whole list of other civil rights leaders she could have mentioned along with MLK, so the choice here was OBVIOUSLY deliberate.


Now, this is not necessarily her best work if only because it’s pretty transparent and certainly didn’t take too much effort on Michelle’s part, but it gets the job done. Besides Trump does not deserve any additional consideration than he already receives.

But wait. Stay with me. Perhaps therein lies the beauty.

This is a woman who stumped through an entire campaign and never once uttered the name of Hillary Clinton’s opponent. Her attention to petty detail is unmatched. So maybe because this was such an easy display of shade, requiring nothing more than a passing chuckle and a flick of the wrist, within that shade is even more shade. A sort of double scoop of shade, if you will. (If I understood Inception better I might be able to come up with a clever, related metaphor. Just pretend I did.)

So little effort for a man worth exactly that. Brava.

The Ruling: Shade

Shade Court Docket #2017JZ000008

Images via Getty.

The Case: For some background: Donald Trump’s inauguration committee spent the past few weeks scraping together all the D-list celebrities they could to perform during the festivities. One of their few gets was a Bruce Springsteen cover band.


To be clear: they did not get Bruce Springsteen himself. They got a group of men who pretend to be Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band for a living. The cover band eventually cancelled.

Bruce Springsteen, as you might have heard, has been a loyal Obama supporter and also supported Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. It’s worth nothing for no good reason other than I want to, that Bruce Springsteen cannot stand his biggest, dumbest fan, Governor Chris Christie.

Anyway, as a thank you to White House staffers, Obama tapped Springsteen to perform a private set days before the end of his term.

The Defendant: Ira Madison III

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: Barack Obama’s presidency has been marked by many things. Despite how you may feel about him, his dignity and self-control while in office cannot be argued. He is extremely selective with his words and rarely shows his temper. For that reason, some shade here and there has been an important tool for Obama.


So it makes sense for him to cap off his presidency with a final “fuck you” to the moronic, bankrupt, racist sexual predator who will take his place—the “fuck you” he can never say publicly, but that we know is in his soul.

Trump got cancelled on by a Bruce Springsteen cover band and Obama got the actual Boss to come do a private acoustic set just the fuck becuase.

I mean, this is so goddamn rude. So incredibly petty. This classy ether. This elegant obliteration. This regal slander.


Who knows how the timing went down or how long the Real Springsteen Concert was planned. The point is, unlike Trump people actually like Barack Obama and they both know it.

I don’t tell you you’re ugly but I don’t have to tell you because you know you’re ugly.

I don’t tell you you’re ugly and Bruce Springsteen don’t like yo ass because you know you’re ugly and Bruce Springsteen don’t like yo ass.

What a dagger. What a man.

The Ruling: Shade