I forgot about the Internet this week and it was so nice… Until I started working on this list. Highlights (from what I remember): The NFL is a HOT MESS, Arrested Development does not understand #metoo, Harvey Weinstein was charged with rape, Betty Davis maintains her mystery, Facebook is a metadesigner, Ireland approved abortion, Drake invoiced Pusha T, John Mayer memed himself, I forgot about the Billboard Music Awards, and people are stealing owls in Sweden.
1. NFL: Roger Goodell’s statement on national anthem policy
The NFL released a new policy that said, “All team and league personnel on the field shall stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem.” If players do not comply they can be fined by the NFL and their teams. Obviously, the internet hated this. The NFL has been trying to stay out of politics for the past few years but this policy is anything but political. One Republican lawmaker that supports this policy compared the protests to “giving Nazi salutes.” I have never liked professional football.
2. NPR: Under The Skin: Why That ‘Arrested Development’ Interview Is So Bad
I never got into Arrested Development, but I always wanted to. However, when I heard Jeffrey Tambor would be on the show after he was fired from Transparent, I knew there was no hope that I would ever watch it. I was, and still am, shocked that Netflix produced a show with Tambor in it.
The new season premieres on Netflix May 29th and the cast has been doing press for the show. Tambor gave a now infamous Hollywood Reporter interview where neither he or the reporter, Seth Abramovitch, seem to understand why his actions were fireable. This lack of awareness only continued in an interview published in the New York Times by the cast. Jessica Walter, who plays Lucille Bluth, recounted in the NYT interview that “in like almost 60 years of working, I’ve never had anybody yell at me like that on a set” after a “blowup” she had with Tambor, for which he later apologized.
The most upsetting thing about the whole NYT interview is that most of the cast of Arrested Development seemed to blindly support Tambor. Jason Bateman, the cast’s lead, even stated that “I won’t do it without [Tambor].” Bateman has since apologized, but all of this support for Tambor was shown while sitting next to someone that has experienced his wrath.
3. Variety: Can Harvey Weinstein, the Poster Boy of #MeToo, Get a Fair Day in Court?
Harvey Weinstein has officially been charged with “three counts, including first degree rape, third degree rape, and forcible oral sex, with a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.” This is a big moment for the #metoo movement as its earliest cases are moving for the court of public opinion to the court of law.
4. New York Times: Betty Davis Was a Raw Funk Pioneer. Her Decades of Silence Are Over.
People always ask me who the woman on my phone screensaver is. It’s Catherine Deneuve. I don’t always agree with her stances, but I am deeply interested in how she engages with her image. Deneuve rejects social media because “Being a star entails glamour and secrecy” and with social media “it’s hard to keep any degree of mystery nowadays.” If there is one thing Deneuve knows how to do, it is appear to have a secret. Afterall, she is known as an Ice Queen.
Betty Davis was an icon of the funk era but has since faded to the back of cultural memory. I had heard about Davis’ music for a while before I ever listened to it. To me, for the longest time, she existed as a rumor. I have only recently started to listen to Davis’s music.
What got me about this interview is how intentionally Davis also curates her image. She broke her silence for the new documentary Betty: They Say I’m Different because she “figured it would be better to have them cover me when I was alive than when I was dead.” When the inevitable question of touring again came up, she was not interested. “With age, your looks change… I want to leave them with what they had.” Nowadays, leaving things as they were seems radical and seductive, but perfectly in line with someone that is deeply invested in their image.
5. The New Republic: Escape From Facebookistan
Amongst my many rants about design is one on meta-design and meta designers. Metadesign is basically when a designed system creates the final designed product instead of the designer themselves. Essentially, design is designing design.
In many ways, Facebook functions as a meta-designer, and it, along with other social media platforms, designing our political system. “With 68 percent of Americans currently using Facebook, it has become the nation’s de facto digital public square, at least in part because the country’s political leaders lacked the civic imagination to insist on a public alternative… to participate in a politician’s Facebook group or a Facebook town hall meeting with an elected representative, you have to be a member of Facebook.”
Facebook is a system where algorithms decide what content you see, fake news is promoted, and things are tried in the court of public opinion. All of which have an effect on our political system. This is all without the help of other social media platforms, such as Twitter, which Trump likes to use for official statements and policies. “Even if you aren’t on Facebook, your world is being powerfully warped by its dominance.”
6. The Independent: Irish abortion referendum result: Yes defeats pro-life campaign with double number of votes, official count reveals
Ireland repealed their 8th amendment which banned abortion. The amendment, which was voted into effect in 1983, was repealed by a margin of two to one, with only one region voting to keep the ban. “The result opens the door for the Irish government to introduce legislation allowing abortions and ministers have promised to do so by the end of the year.” YAY IRELAND!
7. The Root: What’s Beef? Drake Immediately Claps Back on Pusha T & Kanye West in a Most Savage Manner
I love a good celebrity feud. They are so entertaining! Honestly, this feud happened so quickly it was hard for me to keep up. But basically, Pusha T released a diss track about Drake and Drake was not having it, so he released his own diss track. Pusha T accused Drake of using a ghostwriter and the clapbacks expanded exponentially. Drake did not deny using a ghostwriter, but the speed at which Drake was responded is leading the internet to assume that he was not a ghostwriter for his responses, but if he was, the writer should get a raise. The whole thing ended with Drake invoicing Pusha T “for professional services rendered re: promotional assistance and career reviving.” LOL!
8. YouTube: John Mayer – New Light (Premium Content!)
Yes, this is ~PREMIUM CONTENT~ and I am not even really sure what it is. John Mayer released what looks to be a home video from the 90s. The whole video is a meme. John Mayer memed himself. Please watch for your enjoyment.
9. Keep It: Do The Royal Thing
Keep It might be turning me on to podcasts. The only thing I hate about this podcast is that it comes out on Tuesdays so sometimes the content feels more relevant to the previous week. BUT seeing as I’m in Europe right now and missed some things last week (like the Billboard Music Awards!?! Honestly, IDK how I did that.) this episode is a great recap. Also, they talk about La Croix, one of the great loves of my life.
10. The Atlantic: The Owl Thieves of Sweden
I rarely carry cash. I find it annoying to take out, and most places I go to take cards. Often, the only time I have cash is for event covers. I have been traveling around Europe (France, Portugal, and Italy) for the past few weeks, and people here love cash.
However, Sweden is quickly becoming cashless. “In 1661, Sweden became the first European country to print banknotes; several centuries later, it might become the first country to get rid of them.” Currently, the country has the lowest number of ATM withdrawals per capita. Cash is no longer valuable to steal, and human ingenuity has turned to taking other high priced items such as computers and endangered animals. As more of the world becomes cashless, you have to wonder what new crimes will be invented to compensate for the devaluation of printed money.
*All images taken from reference articles*
Have a suggestion for next week? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “The Internet is Exploding.”