The Internet is Exploding: 10 Must-Read Articles This Week

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Photo Essay: Baltimore Gay Pride 2018

Apart from Jeff Sessions using the Bible to defend an immigration policy that supports children being separated from their parents and Trump meeting with Kim Jung Un, the internet was kinda boring this week… I didn’t really like it.

Highlights: Beyonce and Jay-Z want to be cool kids, the days of contour might be over, adults don’t know what SKAM is, VQR is my fave, Amy Poehler doesn’t do fluff, Donald Trump and Kim Jung Un appeared on The Office, the Stanford Prison Experiment might be a lie, John Kidd has been found, Nebraska loves fried grilled cheese, and the Olive Garden is “more Italian than necessary.”


Give me a chance to shit on Beyonce and I will happily do so. (Don’t @ me, just give me gin and I will go on a rant for you.)

Anyway, Beyonce and Jay-Z released a new video and album last night. I have yet to listen to the album, but the video feels derivative and mostly relies on the fact it was filmed in The Louvre. There is a little bit of work done to point out how people of color are represented in the artwork in the museum, but nothing Kehinde Wiley hasn’t already handily done. The music and imagery in APES**T are not that interesting and are what you’d expect from them. The whole song relies on their personal narrative as a couple, which people have never really been convinced was built on love. 

I have only watched the music video a twice, so maybe my opinion will change when I listen to the album. But I probably won’t listen to the album because it is only on Tidal.

2. BuzzFeed: Why Are So Many Stars Rocking The Barefaced Look?

Although I do not own any makeup, I kinda love it. I love going over to friends’ houses and watch them put on makeup, asking them a thousand questions because I don’t know what anything is. I don’t know why I don’t like makeup for myself? I think it is a combination of not liking things on my face (note that my hair is always pulled back) and being lazy (note that I have 6 pairs of the same pants that I wear in almost constant rotation). But in the past few years, celebrities have been starting to go barefaced.

Perhaps most notably Alicia Keys declared that she would no longer wear makeup in 2016 (something she has only loosely stuck to). Keys came under criticism for being able to do that because wearing makeup is linked to an increase in employment options and salary. In this sense, not all women can afford to go barefaced.

Keys, amongst other barefaced celebrities, have associated it with being more open, vulnerable,  and honest promoting a sense of effortless beauty “the most coveted virtue” for women’s bodies. It is a beauty coming from seemingly nothingness, and if the beauty industry can find a way to commodify nothing they will.

3. Facebook: SKAM Austin

Apparently, SKAM and SKAM Austin are things adults don’t know about. I first learned about SKAM, a Norwegian TV show, a few years ago when episodes were just starting to have good English translations and be dubbed. I have never been a diehard fan of the show, but I have loosely followed it over the past few years. SKAM is interesting to me because I am slightly too old for the show based on high school life. My life has moved just past the scope of the show, but the ideas of navigating high school social dynamics are often apt at capturing the feelings of navigating post-grad life.

SKAM Austin differs slightly from the original series in that it is released on various online media platforms and actively uses social media to engage with fans and cultivate content. This never seemed bizarre to me because that is the way life is. But for people who do not understand their life as mediated by social media, the new format of the show, which is revolutionary, can be hard to follow. The New Yorker recently published a piece that reads as an adult translation of the format of SKAM, which functions somewhere between a traditional TV show, web series, and collection of social media accounts. 

4. Virginia Quarterly Review: The News From the World of Beauty

First of all, Virginia Quarterly Review is one of my favorite places on the internet. I do not like or agree with everything they publish but the quality of the writing and editing is beautiful.

This piece follows the saga of Kathleen Fuentes, a white beauty blogger, saying n*igga in a Snapchat video and the fall out of her actions.

5. The Hollywood Reporter: The 40(ish) Most Powerful People in Comedy

I only picked this because of Amy Poehler’s responses. The Hollywood Reporter just released its picks of the most powerful people in comedy. Along with a short bio, each person also answered a few questions for fluff interviews. Amy Poehler was having NONE OF IT.

Poehler shows her strength as a comedian, and of the genre when she responds to the prompts such as “college comedy audiences are…” with “kids that are afraid they will be shot in their own schools.” Nothing about gun violence is funny, and Poehler knows that. The best comedy isn’t fluff, and it functions as a tool to discuss difficult topics. That is just what Poehler does in her interview.

6. YouTube: The Oval Office – Season 1 Ep. 1 Trump Meets Kim Jung Un

It is not a recent phenomenon to turn clips of Donald Trump into the opening credits of The Office. When Trump met with Kim Jung Un this week, the videos were almost too perfect not to make another clip in the tone of the iconic TV show. It is the most The Office thing since The Office.

7. Medium: The Lifespan of a Lie

Honestly, this article is so fucked up I don’t even really know how to explain it. But basically, the Stanford Prison Experiment was conducted by Phillip Zimbardo in the basement of the school’s Jordan Hall. Zimbardo “stocked it with nine ‘prisoners,’ and nine ‘guards,’ all male, college-age respondents to a newspaper ad who were assigned their roles at random and paid a generous daily wage to participate. The senior prison ‘staff’ consisted of Zimbardo himself and a handful of his students.” The experiment, which was supposed to last for two weeks, shut down after 6 days after the guards began to play their parts too well.

The SPE, which has become a cultural icon, “is often used to teach the lesson that our behavior is profoundly affected by the social roles and situations in which we find ourselves. But its deeper, more disturbing implication is that we all have a wellspring of potential sadism lurking within us, waiting to be tapped by circumstance.” But the whole thing might have been a lie.

8. New York Times: The Strange Case of the Missing Joyce Scholar

There are many versions of James Joyce’s Ulysses.  The book itself is complex offering, almost countless interpretations. Joyce once said, “I’ve put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant.” Ulysses kept John Kidd, “once celebrated as the greatest James Joyce scholar alive,” determined to publish its most perfect, complete edition for most of his life. That is until he fell into obscurity. For years no one quite knew what happened to Kidd, except that he fell down a literary rabbit hole.

Food & Wine: People in Nebraska Are Eating Deep-Fried Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Like It’s No Big Deal

I read this title, then read the article, then asked a friend that grew up in Nebraska if it is true and she said, “Uh yeah of course! I’ve had like a million. Don & Millie’s, bro.” My mind is still blown. I don’t think it is so interesting that there are fried grilled cheese sandwiches because, America, but that it is a regular thing!

Anyway, they are called Cheese Frenchees, although no one is really sure how they got that name, and you can get them at your closest Don & Millie’s as part of a “two for $6 deal on hamburgers, cheeseburgers, footlong hot dogs, a grilled chicken sandwich and a four-piece Cheese Frenchee.”

10. Twitter: Olive Garden Bot

So someone on Twitter forced a bot to watch over 1,000 hours of Olive Garden commercials then write one. Needless to say, the “Gluten Classico” was a favorite and things got “more Italian than necessary.”

*All images taken from reference articles*

Have a suggestion for next week? Email with the subject line “The Internet is Exploding.”

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