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

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Obviously Game of Thrones has been blowing up the internet, but I just started watching it so I’m ignoring that. Mariah Carey also threw her tissue on stage at the BBMAs, and Halima Aden became the first woman to wear a burkini and hijab for Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue.

The internet was v good this week! Highlights: John Singleton died, Carly Rae Jepsen is an enigma, Anjelica Huston gives no fucks, Wendy Williams is sitting in her own hot seat, Jerry Springer functions as a modern god, there is a raisin mafia, Caster Semenya is the GOAT, you’re not going to make it in the art world, Gertrude Stein found love, and Amazon Prime conquered the world. 

1. The Ringer: How John Singleton Made ‘Boyz n the Hood

Film writer, director, and producer John Singleton died on Monday. He was 51.

Singleton’s breakout film, Boyz n the Hood, was released when he was just 23, and tells the story of a group of friends living in his native southcentral LA. The film “earned $57.5 million at the domestic box office and received Academy Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Director; Singleton was the first African American and the youngest person to ever be nominated in the latter category.” 

After Boys n the Hood, Singleton made other classics such as Poetic Justice and Rosewood. Malcolm Norrington, a classmate of Singleton’s at USC film school, described him as “driven, almost, by destiny.”

2. Rolling Stone: Carly Rae Jepsen: Queen of Hearts

Whenever I hear the name Carley Rae Jepsen I immediately get Call Me Maybe stuck in my head for approximately three years.  I don’t listen to her music solely out of the fear that she has more catchy songs and I’m worried that my head may never be free of her music if I do.

Jepsen is “addicted to love, or more specifically the highs, lows and great rushes that make for blast-this-with-the-windows-down pop anthems that have become her calling card,” and it has earned her “an intensely devoted cult, inspiring memes, academic conferences and drag shows.” Every time I read a profile on Jepsen I want to listen to her music. Maybe this time I’ll follow through on that urge.

3. Vulture: In Conversation: Anjelica Huston

It is always interesting when celebrities get to the point in their careers where they stop giving a fuck and spill all of the industry tea. Anjelica Huston is at that point in her career.

Huston knows her worth and won’t “work without a trailer.” And apparently, Oprah has a silent beef with her?? When discussing her 1986 Oscar win over Oprah, Huston said “She never had me on her show, ever. She won’t talk to me. The only encounter I’ve had with Oprah was when I was at a party for the Academy Awards, a private residence. I was talking to Clint Eastwood, and she literally came between us with her back to me. So all of the sudden I was confronted with the back of Oprah’s head.” Guess that is just what happens when you beat Oprah ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

4. BuzzFeed: Wendy Williams’ Divorce Drama Has Put Her In The Hot Seat

Wendy Williams is divisive, often holding cringeworthy opinions, but she is also hella entertaining to watch. Wendy is perhaps most known for asking “how you doin,” the “Hot Seat” celebrity gossip segment on her show, being nosey as fuck and getting way too personal about other people’s business.

In 2017, however, an investigation in the Daily Mail revealed that Williams’ husband had been cheating on her for a decade, and Wendy has been in her own Hot Seat. Wendy is learning how to sit in the seat “By addressing her audience — sometimes directly, sometimes nudged by her own guests — she has finally been letting viewers into her personal life, showcasing the savvy that makes her such a compelling broadcast personality, and highlighting exactly why — love her or hate her — she’s stayed on our television screens for over a decade.”

5. Electric Lit: Worshipping at Jerry Springer’s Daytime Altar

I don’t know if I have ever watched a full episode of Jerry Springer, but I have caught plenty of glimpses of episodes while channel surfing. I never really thought about when the show started, or that at some point it would inevitably end. The Jerry Springer Show had “no room for subtlety––no grievances for emotional or psychological abuse, only tangible things like cheating, physical violence, or just plain getting tired of somebody,” it feeds on drama and is the perfect place to learn about storytelling.

The show is “a tribunal and Jerry is the judge presiding over the people’s court. The cases brought before him are those you can rarely sue over in a court of law, yet the need for justice remains.” The final episode aired in 2018, and “It seems appropriate that after 27 years on air, the show would end during the Trump era, when the very shock factor Jerry thrives on is all too abundant.”

6. New York Times: The Raisin Situation

I feel like if this story were about anything besides raisins I wouldn’t think that it’s so wild. But, alas, it is about raisins, and apparently, there is a raisin mafia that uses “intimidation, harassing phone calls and multiple death threats” to get its way.

Adding fuel to the raisin situation, the demand for them is declining, and “the number of acres given over to the Thompson seedless grape, traditionally grown for raisins, has been halved from 2000 to 2019.” Naturally, this is blamed on millennials not eating enough raisins.

7. Slate: The Decadelong Humiliation of Caster Semenya

CASTER SEMENYA IS A BADASS. Let’s just say that and get it out of the way. I mean the woman has won 30 consecutive 800 meter races. Like who does that?!?! Obviously only her.

Since 2009 Semenya’s legal battle with International Association of Athletics Federations over “hyperandrogenism regulations that required all women with ‘excessive production of androgens (testosterone)’ within the male range and without androgen insensitivity to undergo medical treatment to bring testosterone levels to within the regular female range.” Semenya will now have to take hormone suppressants if she is to compete in the “400, 400 hurdles, 800, 1500, and mile,” the events to which the regulations apply.

The science for such regulations, however, does not hold up. Many scientists and researchers, including “leading expert on testosterone, Katrina Karkazis” have written about “why testosterone is not the male sex hormone, how high testosterone—in any body—does not correlate with improved athletic performance, and why it is impossible to determine ‘a single biological criterion by which to exclude some women from the female category.’” But “Because men’s bodies and sports competition are the standard, men don’t have to prove they’re men.”

8. KubaParis: The 10 People Who Will Definitely Never Run the Art World, And Can Only Blame Themselves For It

Art and the art world are completely different entities. This list of people is so sad but so true it is hard to know whether to laugh or cry. In the art world, “success can be best achieved with three things: “hard work, blackmail, and nepotism” and if you don’t have those, you probably won’t make it. Another thing that helps, especially if you are a woman, is if you don’t have “a slightly above average body mass index.”

9. Granata: All I Know About Gertrude Stein

I always find the writers and historical figures people hold onto in personal ways fascinating. Most of my friends have a historical obsession or two. I’ve had many. Gertrude Stein was one for a while. I usually find a new figure when something changes in my life and I need structure. The person’s life becomes an armature for mine, scaffolding onto which I project my own histories and stories in an attempt to understand them. The person who’s structure I find the most comforting, the one I always return to, is Elizabeth Bishop.

Louise, this story’s protagonist, finds solace and a way to understand love through Gertrude Stein and her relationship with Alice B. Toklas.

10. Vox: The making of Amazon Prime, the internet’s most successful and devastating membership program

Amazon is a retail behemoth. It is common knowledge that Amazon started out as a bookstore, but the company’s real game changer was the creation of its subscription service, Amazon Prime. “This is the story of how the greatest retail innovation of the internet age was created, in the face of sound logic and reason that suggested it might very well be disastrous. It’s also a story of how a frankly bland idea — fast shipping — was powerful enough to alter consumer psychology forever.” This is the oral history of how Amazon has taken over our lives. 

This story is an adventure, to say the least.

*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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