To put it lightly, it's been an intense week in the news cycle. The events in Charlottesville, Virginia last Saturday and their wake have left many Americans feeling confused, shaken, outraged, and disenfranchised, with fears that the increasingly outspoken alt-right faction of white supremacists and neo-Nazis is only gaining traction—and validation—in our country, with little meaningful political opposition from the Trump administration and further violence feeling imminent.
So, instead of engaging in hand-to-hand combat with a bunch of Hitler-worshipping skinheads, why not head to the nearest supermarket and stuff your face into a good old-fashioned white-flour sheet cake? At least, that's what Tina Fey's suggests in a new Saturday Night Live bit that has some viewers charmed and others fuming.
In the clip, which was part of their recurring Weekend Update, Fey—who is an alum of the University of Virginia—starts off by saying that she was "feeling sick" at Trump's tepid reaction to Charlottesville and that "Nazis are always bad."
That part of her appearance wasn't particularly controversial. But then, Fey went on to tap into many Americans' quandary of wondering to themselves, "What can I do?"
"Instead of participating in the screaming matches and potential violence, find a local business you support—maybe a Jewish-run bakery or an African-American-run bakery. Order a cake with the American flag on it, like this one, and, um, just eat it, Colin," Fey says.
"I'm sorry—how is that supposed to help?" Colin asks, to which Fey responds, "Love is love, Colin." She then touches on some points about wanting to yell at "white boys in polo shirts" that their claims of "taking their country back" are phony, since we basically stole this country from Native-Americans, and then goes on an impassioned monologue about Standing Rock, police brutality, and how Ann Coulter resembles a "yard sale Barbie."
"When you want to yell that, don't yell it at the Klan, Colin—yell it in the cake," she suggests, before stuffing her face with, well, cake. "'Sheet-caking' is a grassroots movement, Colin. Most of the women I know have been doing it once a week since the election."
RECIPE: Toasted Coconut Cake
"I really want to say, to encourage all good-saying Americans to treat these rallies this weekend like the opening of a thoughtful movie with two female leads: Don't show up. Let these morons scream into the empty air," she concluded.
While the skit was clearly intended to be a lighthearted statement about the necessity (or at least prevalence) of stress-eating in the midst of political turmoil, reactions were mixed. Many viewers applauded Fey's remarks, and found the cake bit relatable, funny, and apt:
But others thought that her strategy of refusing to engage Nazis was insufficient, to say the least, and rife with white privilege. Twitter users who were less than enthused with the "let them/us eat cake" ethos argued that it highlighted the growing chasm between liberal Democrats and leftist activists. And, naturally, there were Marie Antoinette parallels to be drawn, as there tends to be with most cake-related political matters:
Just a few months ago—or maybe we should say years, at this point—there would have been near-unanimous agreement in America's public cultural dialogue that Nazis are bad and cake is good. But, in case you needed a reminder, a hole ripped in the space/time continuum Donnie Darko-style when David Bowie died in early 2016, and since we've been living in a parallel universe where Kid Rock is a viable political candidate and even the once-reliable animatronic Chuck E. Cheese band is breaking up.
While the jury is still out there on what will be the most effective strategy for eradicating neo-Nazism and racism in America, the only thing certain is that outrage may have reached terminal levels, and sensitivities are most certainly running high.
If nothing else, it may be the juggalos that fight the good fight. Let them drink Faygo.