Arts & Culture News

Dallas Became the Karen Capital of the World This Past Weekend

"Honey, what's this?" The OG Karen.
"Honey, what's this?" The OG Karen. Peter Kramer / Getty Images
In case you haven’t had the displeasure: “Karen” is an online term for entitled soccer moms whose sense of comfort is such a priority that they will cause whatever undue disruption is necessary for its sake. You know, the “Let me speak with the manager” types. The male counterpart to this archetype is “Ken,” and if you somehow find yourself addressing them as a plural or gender-neutral unit, “Ken-folk” would perfectly suffice.

Did we make that last one up? Maybe! But it’s important that we get these norms and social customs in writing, especially since this past weekend has found North Texas cementing itself as the de facto Karen capital of the world.

As we discussed on Monday, a Ken raised Cain via Twitter on Saturday as he and his wife waited a whopping 18 minutes for some shredded cheese at Mi Cocina’s Allen location. In this Karen’s defense, she was, as husband Jason Vicknair put it, “pissed” that he decided to post the tweet in the first place.

The tweet that kicked off Cheesegate has since been deleted, but in the early hours of the following Sunday afternoon, Shredded Cheese Karen met her match: Fiesta Karen.
The above video, shot by a man named Omar Guillen, shows a Karen chunking unpurchased items out of her shopping cart near the express lane of Fiesta Mart’s Oak Cliff location. Apparently, this hostility was in response to someone requesting that she wear a face mask.

The identity of Fiesta Karen has not been confirmed as of writing, but a Twitter user with the handle @dfwkarenwatch alleges that she is a former employee of Baby Doll’s, a Northwest Dallas strip club.
Fiesta Karen’s outburst was plastered all over Twitter as high-profile users such as Chrissy Teigen, Ana Navarro, Perez Hilton and Kirstie Alley shared the video, but it wasn’t the last time this weekend that Ken-folk put Dallas on the map. Two hours after Fiesta Karen’s virality, Democratic candidate for the Texas House Jason Rogers tweeted that his brother got into a physical altercation at a checkout lane for an unspecified retailer in Oak Cliff after a man attempted to grab his mask. Apparently, the unmasked man was provoked after Rogers’ brother requested that he maintain a 6-foot distance.
The greatest example of the Karenpire striking back came courtesy of a St. Louis couple who became the symbol of the All Lives Matter movement after "guarding" their mansion with poorly held weapons, becoming endless meme fodder in the last 24 hours.

Mark McCloskey and his wife, Patricia, are (ironically) personal injury lawyers who both attended Southern Methodist University, where they met before going on to become the MAGA Bonnie and Clyde. While we certainly don't want to claim them as locals, it's undeniable that Dallas played its part in the creation of this 2020 memento.

The McCloskeys are another stain on SMU's name, which has already seen its share of bad press after the hashtag #BlackatSMU began trending again this week, with students denouncing racism on campus. Meanwhile, Karens on Twitter are still wondering whether the name "Karen" is racist toward white women, and Ultimate Karen, Dallas salon owner Shelley Luther, continues asking to speak to the manager of coronavirus, this time encouraging bar owners to take a stand against government-ordered shutdowns that took effect on Friday.

She wrote on her Courage To Stand Facebook page, “Texas Bar owners: Let’s work together to stay open!!! Announcement coming!"

Karens are uniting.

And let us not forget political Karen, Tomi Lahren our (and that's a reluctant "our") OG Karen, queen of worthless complaining, mainly against civil rights. Thank God for Erykah Badu and St. Vincent.
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Garrett Gravley was born and grew up in Dallas. He mostly writes about music, but veers into arts and culture, local news and politics. He is a graduate of the University of North Texas and has written for the Dallas Observer since October 2018.
Eva Raggio is the Dallas Observer's music and arts editor, a job she took after several years of writing about local culture and music for the paper. Eva supports the arts by rarely asking to be put on "the list" and always replies to emails, unless the word "pimp" makes up part of the artist's name.
Contact: Eva Raggio