The Internet Is Exploding: 10 Must-Read Articles This Week 3/14

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Art AND: John Brothers

Damnnnnn! I spent most of my time on Twitter this week, which spent much of its time on Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah, and it was good. Highlights: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s interview with Oprah was all over the internet for most of the week, @SallyInHR, what we’ve lost, mutual aid, a year of fugue, and obscene private schools. 


1. CBS: Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A Primetime Special

Everyone on and off of the internet has been talking about this interview this week. Online, even if you didn’t watch the interview, the memes it produced have been everywhere. “In the special, Oprah speaks with Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, in a wide-ranging interview, covering everything from stepping into life as a Royal, marriage, motherhood and philanthropic work, to how she is handling life under intense public pressure. Later, the two are joined by Prince Harry as they speak about their move to the United States and their future hopes and dreams for their expanding family.” 


2. Bitch Media: Misogynoir Nearly Killed Meghan Markle

The scholar Moya Bailey coined the term “misogynoir” in 2008 after “wanting to name the pernicious and synergistically adroit anti-Black racist misogyny that dominated the public sphere,” Bailey writes. “I landed on the portmanteau ‘misogynoir,’ a word that many Black women have found useful because it succinctly articulates the degrading representations and the resulting disparate treatment they engender for us in society.” Here, Bailey uses the term to discuss the discrimination and violence Markle faced by both the media and royal family. 


3. For Harriet: Meghan & Harry and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Monarchy

This breakdown covers some of the same content as the previous article, delving delves into the royal family, British media, and other internet fallout from Meghan and Harry’s interview. But Kimberly Nicole Foster also celebrates Oprah’s prowess as an interviewer, provides some historical context, and questions some of Meghan’s apparent naivete such as not researching the colonial institution she was marrying into. 

This video encompasses what it felt like to be on the internet this week (sans the memes). 


4. Refinery29: Can We Talk About These Meghan Markle Interview Memes? Because They’re Perfect

The memes this week have been AMAZING! Just so many good critical memes. While my favorite meme, pictured above and posted by @thechubbygoddess on their Instagram story, isn’t included on this list, it is still a pretty good roundup!


5. Washington Post: Prince William says royals ‘very much not a racist family’

LMAOOOOO! Prince William was the first member of the royal family to address Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah, apart from “a 61-word statement by Buckingham Palace, in which the queen said that the ‘whole family was saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan.’” When asked by a reporter if he had spoken to his brother since the interview, Prince William said, “I haven’t spoken to him yet, but I will do.” The reporter followed up by asking if the royal family was racist, to which the prince responded, “We’re very much not a racist family.” 

The internet immediately reminded everyone of the historically accurate fact that the British royal family is very racist seeing as they colonized most of the world at some point in time. Further, “the queen is the head of state of Britain, a multicultural country, as well as the head of the Commonwealth, a voluntary association of countries representing over 2 billion people.” Most countries in the Commonwealth are former colonies with populations composed predominantly of people who are Black and brown. 


6. Instagram: @SallyInHR

Kelechi Okafor, “Actor/Director” and “Multi-Award Winning Baby Girl,” as part of her Instagram bio reads, is the creator behind @SallyInHR. Okafor posted a video of Sally answering Sade’s HR’s complaints and declaring that “SALLY IS BACK! For those who have not met @sallyinhr before, go check out her page and let her help you with your HR woes!” I spent the rest of my day CACKLING at this account. I also found it very useful in contextualizing British HR departments as Meghan Markle mentioned multiple times that she reached out to the royal’s HR department for support and they did nothing to help her. Further, Okafor, who is also a political commentator, has a very comprehensive analysis of how the British media is and has been treating Markle. 


7. Esquire: All That We’ve Lost

This week marked one year of the pandemic, at least in the country. As the subheading of this article by Jeff Sharlet articulates, “it’s still too early to explain all the whys of that which has been taken from us. We still need to name the what—loved ones, but also jobs, relationships, big breaks, last chances—and the what is vast.” One of the things that has constantly oscillated on the dichotomy between lost and found this year is language—language that can lend itself to Sharlet’s whats and whys. 

Hope has been frequently been spoken of over the past year, but “Maybe tender is a better word. My friend Jenna suggested it on a July day when the global death toll stood at 570,776. Tenderness, Jenna wrote me, is ‘what hope becomes when it’s earthed.’ Rooted, which is a kind of deepening. Hope demands optimism, she observed, but tenderness has room for both sadness and joy. You can hope alone, but tenderness needs at least two. It’s a recognition. ‘In those moments of mutual seeing,’ she wrote, ‘there is no need for hope. It’s enough, to see and be seen. What else would we hope for?’”

Jenna and Sharlet’s use of tenderness is seductive here, and I agree that “it’s enough, to see and be seen,” but so many of us are still unseen. 


8. New York Times: Our Year of Mutual Aid

Mutual aid has always been around, but over the past year, it seems to have gotten more visible. Every time I open any social media app, I see posts with short descriptions of people in need and their handles from Venmo, CashApp, PayPal, and other similar apps. Most of the posts I see are from Black people—many of whom are women, femmes, nonbinary, trans, and queer people. I donate when and where I can. 

I’ve been living in the suburbs for the past few years, but most of my friends from cities were organizing mutual aid funds in their neighborhoods, donating food, time, or money, anything they could spare throughout the pandemic. 

Maira Khwaja, Trina Reynolds-Tyler, Dominique James, and Hannah Nyhart, who are all organizers in Chicago and wrote this story, define mutual aid as “blur[ring] the categories of ‘recipient’ and ‘volunteer.’ We engage in mutual aid because we think we owe one another more than the tepid support our institutions provide.” While mutual aid might be more visible because of social media, and more needed because of the pandemic, it “has long been a way for communities to survive hostile systems. To call on a neighborhood mediator before calling the police, to raise your children alongside their play-cousins like a village, to cook for your neighbor who falls ill — these are not new concepts. Black, immigrant and Indigenous communities, especially, have long known the necessity of relying on your neighbors instead of calling on the state.”


9. NPR: Diary Of A Fugue Year

Fugue is one of my favorite musical concepts. Often associated with Bach, a fugue is a contrapuntal form of composition where a phrase is introduced then expanded on and developed by others throughout a piece. I love fugue not because of how it sounds, but because of its metaphorical implications—something that its use in music helps me understand. 

In her end-of-the-year editorial, which I somehow missed until now, Ann Powers describes 2020 as “a year of fugue.” Powers explains that “in a psychological fugue state, a person loses herself to the noise of the outside world. In a musical fugue, disparate melodic lines interweave to form a whole that never settles. Both definitions suit my 2020, my life of seeking signs.” 

The use of fugue in the piece encapsulates why I have such profound love and fascination for the concept.


10. The Atlantic: Private Schools Have Become Truly Obscene

I’ve gone to private schools for most of my life. It started with Montessori when I was two, then I spent four years in public school beginning in 7th grade before transferring to an independent fine arts boarding school. I then spent four years at a private art institution before going to a private art graduate school that is affiliated with an independent K-12 school. I spent my summers as a child at camps with people who attended some of the schools mentioned in this article: Dalton, Trinity, Harvard-Westlake, Greenwich Academy, and more. I’m very well versed in the obscenity of private schools. 

For a long time, there has been a shifting dynamic between parents and teachers, and schools “are spending more time focused on the demands and concerns of parents than they ever did in the past,” wrote Michael Thompson in his 2005 book, Understanding Independent School Parents, which is quoted here. The ultra-elite schools that Caitlin Flanagan focuses on in this article also pride themselves on being equitable and inclusive, but “a $50,000-a-year school can’t be anything but a very expensive consumer product for the rich. If these schools really care about equity, all they need to do is get a chain and a padlock and close up shop.”

Further, “Private-school parents have become so terrified of being called out as racists that they will say nothing on the record about their feelings regarding their schools’ sudden embrace of new practices. They have chosen, instead, anonymous letters and press leaks.” The pandemic has only heightened the entitlement of many private schools, and their parents, as it has with the rest of the world. 


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