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Donald Trump even screwed up boy bands

In case you missed this story—and you almost certainly have missed this story—there’s some major political turmoil within (gasp) the Backstreet Boys.

Stay calm.

As first reported by Buzzfeed’s Matt Stopera, it appears Brian Littrell (aka: the forgettable one) is not merely all in on MAGA, but all in on QAnon.

First, as relayed by Buzzfeed, there’s this …

Then, even worse, there’s this …

Save for Nick, who seems to avoid all things political, the other Boys didn’t hide their anger/disgust toward Brian. Particularly noteworthy is Kevin Richardson, Brian’s cousin, an open Biden/Harris backer and a guy who (hint, hint) Tweeted about the sadness of losing a friend to the MAGA/QAnon madness.

And here’s the thing that gets me. That really gets me. Boy bands are a pleasurable illusion. They’re enlistees in a fantasy land, where four or five handsome dudes hang out, create some harmonies, present beautiful women with bouquets of flowers and never dare break your heart. They don’t fart or burp or even use the toilet. There is no such thing as snot, or a tushy crack, or hepatitis C. They don’t fuck, they make love. They don’t make out, their lips softly touch your lips. They always walk together in a straight line, telling innocent jokes and wrapping arms over shoulders, arms over shoulders.

This is the boy band illusion.

This is the boy band illusion.

This is the boy band illusion.

The Backstreet Boys, in particular, mastered the art. Several years ago, when Nick Carter (the cute one) was accused of raping a woman, the news was swiftly (diabolically) brushed beneath the table. Rape? Nick could never rape someone. Not with those doe eyes.

So they continued being the Boys—performing daily in their Las Vegas residency, packing the room with mid-40s women looking to relive a fantasy, singing over recorded tracks of “I Want it That Way” and “Quit Playing Games With My Heart.” My daughter and I actually attended a show, and it was preposterous, stupid, mindless fun.

AKA: The reason boy bands never die.

But now, all has changed. Members of a boy band can age. Members of a boy band can get married. Members of a boy band can even be gay. Fuck, members of a boy band can be accused of rape. But when your entire illusion rests upon the pillar of WE’RE ALL BRUHS, having a member support a government overthrow and a racist aspiring dictator simply does not work. At this point, it is impossible to believe Kevin and Nick and A.J. and the other guy (Howie! Right—Howie!) want to spend any time with Brian and his nutjob political beliefs.

It is impossible to believe in the Backstreet Boys.

PS: And here’s the crushing part: My awesome sister-in law met Brian several years ago. He gave her a bagel, and this blog post followed. Yesterday I had to tell Jessica, a new mother (of my first niece!) about the whole Brian shit-show. Here was our exchange …