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

Is it possible to have a very slow stroke that lasts an entire year? It must be, because I know no other way to describe the state of my brain at this time.


I am weary y’all, and the truly absurd batch of cases that landed on my desk this week did not help. I need a nap. A very long nap. Hibernation. Yes, I’m going to hibernate. Wake me up when Malia Obama is the President and we’ve figured out a way to make eyeglasses smudge-proof and Viola Davis has seven Oscars and in order to get a driver’s license you have to correctly identify three instances of shade. Yes, wake me then.

In this week’s Shade Court, it’s a struggle.

Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000217

Images of dumb men via Getty.

The Case: Mitt Romney joined his fellow Republican brothers in handing over their dignity and spines to Orange Beelzebub when he sat down for a nice dinner of humble pie with Donald Trump.

This was a mildly shocking turn of events because Romney spent the last few months publicly railing against Donald Trump and explaining over and over how utterly incompetent Trump is for the office of the President of the United States. Oops!

The Defendant: Buzzfeed

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: I am losing my mind.

As we trudge through these last days of a year I both abhor and never want to end, I can feel—minute by minute, headline after headline—the last remnants of sanity slowly draining out of my ears and into a puddle that will follow me around like Alex Mack for the rest of my days, reminding me of what used to be.


Long gone are those halcyon days when it seemed like clueless writers were at least trying to get this shade business right. Sure, they were dead wrong almost every time, but there was a genuine effort underscoring their wrongness.

This? This is downright evil. I’m not saying they did, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the team at Buzzfeed sat down to brainstorm the exact tweet to drive me completely over the edge. A shade infraction so egregious and nonsensical that it makes my question my very sense of reality as well as the futility of trying to make even a small difference in the world.

That got dark, folks. Welcome to my world.

The Ruling: Not shade

Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000218

Images via Getty.

The Case: I know this is hard to care about, but stay with me. Bella Hadid is a teen model and sister of Gigi. The Weeknd is a moody singing man who does a rather impressive Michael Jackson impression. The two dated for much longer than anyone thought they would until their breakup in November.

Then they both participated in a recent underwear circus where they ran into each other on the runway for what seems to be their first orchestrated photo-op since breaking up.

The Defendant: E! News

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: It’s E! News so my standards are downright subterranean but here we are.


The entire article in question is a bunch of nothing words about how Bella and Abel are best friends and still love each other and whatever else their publicists put down in the breakup dossier. The entire purpose of the story is to point out how not awkward things are between them. Why then, a thinking person might ask, would you compose a tweet that is the antithesis of that sentiment? Probably because you want Judge Brown to whack herself on the head with her own gavel until she forgets the utter asininity of the world in front of her.

So you “see the shade,” do you? What shade might that be? Is it the shadow coming from those ridiculous billowing sleeves stapled to Bella’s frightful-looking corset? Are you talking about a specific shade of lipstick? Perhaps they did pick up on some shade because I actually catapulted myself into the sun which shifted it ever so slightly, causing an abnormally shady moment at the exact moment this picture was taken.

I dunno. You tell me.

The Ruling: Not shade

Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000219

Trump image via Getty.

The Case: Did you know the Office of Government Ethics has a Twitter account? The Office of Government Ethics has a Twitter account. Earlier this week, the Office of Government Ethics went on a tweet rampage directed at Donald Trump urging him to divest from his business holdings before he takes office so he can avoid using the entire Constitution as a roll of toilet paper.

The Defendant: These people

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: I am flummoxed. My flum is oxed and my head hurts and my soul hurts and I can hear my eyeballs complaining: “We’re doing all this work to help you see shit and this is what you put in front of us?”

My goodness.

I’ll be honest, there’s a solid chance I’m completely misreading this because as it is, I cannot even begin to understand how anyone—even the woefully misinformed—could possibly get shade from these tweets.

The Office of Government Ethics is, if anything, mocking Trump via his own style of communication and drawing attention to the fact that he has not, in fact, decided to divest from his company to avoid conflicts of interest.


This is not shade and I won’t discuss it a second longer. What I will discuss, however, are the truly offensive word diseases. “Seriously sarcastic shade.” “Righteous shade.”

Someone over at Merriam-Webster is going to have to invent a whole new set of words for me to accurately express how awful those descriptions are.

While we’re at it, let’s throw in two more deeply embarrassing shade faux pas from this week. From Business Insider:

Spiegel also threw shade on Tesla CEO Elon Musk with a series of comments Musk has made, followed by rebuttals.

And Mediaite:

On the same day Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski was spotted at Trump Tower to meet with President-elect Donald Trump — on the same elevator with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski — one of her chief rivals took to Twitter to toss shade at her and colleague Joe Scarborough.

Yes, that faint sound you hear is me screaming into my pillow.