mustique fantastique

Kelly Ripa's island does not have testing facilities, the staff or adequate location for quarantining

Hieee! Hope you had a good Memorial Day weekend! Brenden and I are still chocking through our film list of “films we haven’t seen but shouldn’t have.” This included Persepolis, Eyes Wide Shut, Reds, Blood Simple and Hereditary.

Reds is nearly 4 hours long a feels like it - so, you’re welcome. I can’t say I recommend it, even if it does star early Diane Keaton and is about writing and socialism. Just watch Dr. Zhivago instead.

I also published my first bonus podcast episode of Deep Downs about the almost-wedding of Julia Roberts and Kiefer Sutherland.

Leave a comment


🔗 Lynx 🐆

  • You have to read it. Daniel Hernandez’ “The Haunting of Girlstown” is the most wild read and it’s no wonder that Blumhouse bought it immediately to adapt. “Between October 2006 and June 2007, an outbreak swept through a Catholic school in Mexico. A piercing sensation in their legs. Nausea and fevers. Suicidal thoughts. What was afflicting more than 500 students of Girlstown?”

  • A Reddit user who used to work at a sandwich shop gives the recipe for how to get that Deli Sandwich Mouth Feel. It involves “meat fluffing.”

  • My friend David Hill’s new book The Vapors was just recommended by the NY Times. It’s about the mob and Hot Springs, Arkansas, and is being compared to Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Pre-order here.

  • Denmark is requiring people to “show proof of love” if they want to reunite with their sweeties at the border. “Intimate texts, love letters are photos are acceptable” but online-only relationships are not okay.

  • Skittles are going colorless for Pride, thank you Skittles. At least they’re donating a part of the profits to Rainn, but oh god here comes the onslaught of half-hearted corporate Pride tie-ins.



🌶️ Stars 🍵

  • Ariel Charnas, the influencer who got heat for fleeing to the Hamptons while infected with Covid-19 is under fire for stiffing the bill on 5 floral orders, then dragging the florist on Instagram. The florist has the receipts.

  • Tiger queen? Dakota Johnson says grandmother Tippi Hedron (The Birds) still has “13 or 14” pet lions and tigers, down from her original 60. Why does this matter? Dakota Johnson’s mother, Melanie Griffith, had her face mauled by Tippi’s big cats in a terrible accident on the set of Roar when she was a teenager. Roar was directed by Noel Marshall, Hedron’s husband and co-produced by Hedron, and featured their lions and tigers. More than 70 cast and crew were injured due to animal attacks, including Griffith who lost half of her face and had to undergo serious reconstructive surgery. Also, a famous 1971 Life spread shows Melanie’s childhood serving as tiger and lion bait, and treating the cats as casually you would a family dog. “By the time I was born, they were all in huge compounds and it was a lot safer — and it wasn’t as total psycho as it was when they first started,” Dakota clarified.

  • Amanda Bynes is back on Instagram. She’s still with her fiancé Paul, says she took quar to get 2 months of treatment for her social anxiety, and has re-enrolled in her degree program at Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising.

  • Jia Tolentino, the Jezebel writer and author of Trick Mirror (a book of well-written and interesting personal essays), was recently called out for a court case that alleged her parents were involved in human trafficking. She cleared all of this up in a personal essay on her website, but there’s some discussion about how she kind of glosses over this fact in her very personal book. I like this roundup.

  • Kelly Ripa, who we now know records LIVE from the Caribbean has been revealed to be on the island of Mustique. No that’s not a drag queen or a perfume brand. It’s a place.

    It’s an archipelago which though private, is technically part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The Post says Tommy Hillfiger is also there right now on a house he owns, and the NY Times did a story about the gala they chaired. They have been closed for awhile and a lot of people are bringing up this story in which she got Botox on March 13, while kind of joking about Covid-19, before she traveled. Saint Vincent has 18 cases currently, so I looked into their pandemic statement, which says…

    Mustique does not have testing facilities for the Covid-19, furthermore we do not have the staff or adequate location for quarantining any patients if they were confirmed as having Covid-19. The Mustique Company has identified 20 bedrooms with individual bathroom facilities should they be needed.

    I suppose this doesn’t matter now, but what about when it did back in March, before testing was available? How did Kelly know she was safe to not infect staff?

    It makes this throwback photo, shared to me by Cait Raft, so much weirder.

    Call me crazy but i like #cincodemayo 2018 way better
    May 5, 2020

A Personal Note

I’m definitely feeling the pressure right now of others desperately wanting the world to "open up.” Brands are spamming me with ads for vacations, restaurant gift cards, and summer fashions. It’s the cold reality that America cares more about the economy than civic responsibility and our elderly. Though California is still almost completely locked down, there are parties on our block nightly and people are inviting us to 6 feet apart hangouts. I’ve seen an influx of unmasked tourists checking out the Walk of Fame. Two men cat-called me on Saturday, following me for a block, making kissing noises and claiming “The virus is finished! Take off your mask!”

The Atlantic points to the patchwork reopening of America. Even though it was reported today that cases are rising in 17 states, I continue to see posts about how “we’re all in this together,” which, clearly we’re absolutely not. Celebrities are flying around to see their families. I miss my loved ones and life, too. But all you can do is worry about yourself and do what’s right for you. Nobody can make you do something you’re not comfortable doing. The virus is a non-partisan issue and I’m not sure why it has become one.

Let me tell you my own philosophy, with no judgement to your own. Because one of the most special relatives in my life is my 104-year old great aunt, I am observing social distancing and mask-wearing until my city and state relax guidelines officially. This is in solidarity with her, all the special elderly people in others’ lives, and front line workers. I’m also observing this because I do not want to get sick, be indebted thousands of dollars in medical bills or die. I don’t want to infect my husband and kill him, or suffer longterm complications to my heart and lungs. I know firsthand how fragile the human body is - when I was 18, I nearly had my leg amputated due to a small cut on my leg turning into MRSA. Things can go south really, really fast, even if you’re young and healthy. “It could never happen to me,” is the thinking I’m trying to avoid.

When this is over, I want to be able to say I tried my best. Three months is short in the scheme of things and I could go three more if needed - I’m tough like that. What I’ve experienced is nothing compared to what some people suffer who are incarcerated, POWs, refugees, undocumented workers, victims of domestic abuse, disabled, or mentally ill. We all have choices to make at this time, and those are the choices I’m making.

Going Downs is a free weekday newsletter, supported by readers like you, written by @clairecdowns. There are monthly and annual subscription options available, or you can just keep enjoying this freaky free premium content at no additional burden to your wallet whatsoever. Venmo is also always a perfectly acceptable option.

If you’d like a paid subscription but can’t afford it, just reach out to me and we can work something out. Community is important!