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Celebrity Slam (08/30/2017)

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Hug me, brother!

Look, we’re well aware that Celebrity Slam is essentially fueled by our regulars, saying and doing the jerkwad things. Whether it’s the ongoing saga of Justin Bieber and assorted Kardashians or the shooting star of a Charlie Sheen, we thrive on celebrity idiocy.

However, beyond that there are two aspects of spotlight-seeking society on which we thrive – celebrity relationships (we love love LOVE portmanteaus) and celebrity beefs. We delight in famous people getting together and we REALLY delight in their petty feuds.

And there are few events on the pop culture calendar as rife with both as the MTV Video Music Awards. This is perhaps the preeminent event in terms of bringing together the vast array of people who tend to make appearances in this space.

There’s stuff to talk about to be sure.

We could talk about the fact that Katy Perry – who was hosting the thing – somehow managed to make herself scarce during the introduction of Taylor Swift’s new single. The pop pair still has plenty of bad blood (see what we did there?) between them, so it would have obviously been weird for Perry to do the intro, but it was also readily apparent that she had ducked the thing.

And speaking of that … it’s pretty clear that T-Swift – whose new single is titled “Look What You Made Me Do” – is definitely taking aim at yet another beef target. We’re not going to try and unpack the whole T-Swift/Kim K./Kanye situation – ain’t no one got time for that – but if you’re unfamiliar, you’d do well to do a little research. Suffice it to say, Ms. Swift has never been afraid to really lean into a grudge; if this song is any indication, she’s going HAM on Kanye and company.

(It should be noted that, at least according to sources close to the pair, that Kimye really could not give less of a crap about T-Swift. Their attitude appears to be that she is in a feud with herself and that they consider the whole thing old news. Regardless of whether that’s how they really feel, this dismissive attitude is some brilliant beef maneuvering; we look forward to seeing how things progress.)

But what we’re really here to talk about is not the perpetuation of beef, but rather its squashing. Because while there are plenty of celebrity beefs out there to enjoy, there are some that are instead rather sad. These are the beefs when two people who were once very close – as close as brothers, you might say – are driven apart by hubris and social media-fueled misunderstanding.

We’re speaking, of course, about Drake and Josh.

Drake Bell and Josh Peck came of age together on our TV screens, the stars of the eponymously-titled “Drake & Josh” for three seasons on Nickelodeon back in the mid-aughts. But their seemingly-unassailable friendship hit the rocks earlier this summer.

When Josh got married, Drake wasn’t invited. And Drake took to the internet to make his sad feelings about such a snub known. From there, it became kind of a low-key thing, with both guys offering evasive vagaries about the status of their relationship and generally making folks of a certain age feel both old and kind of upset.

But when both Drake and Josh turned up at the VMAs, the dynamic duo chose to put all of those bad feelings to rest. They both posted a photo of them embracing on social media; Josh captioned his with a simple “Hug me…”, a reference to a running bit on the show, while Drake went with a “Reunited and it feels so good.” They looked at each other, turned to their beef and said “NO MORE!”

In a world where beefs have become branding exercises and the VMAs an annual clearinghouse for doubling down on them, it was nice to see two guys who clearly didn’t want to fight anymore agree to put their differences behind them and hug it out.

The moral to the story is simple: if you want to be happy, you simply have to let this stuff go. Don’t be Katy Perry or T-Swift or Kanye.

Be Drake and Josh.


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