Some inconceivably cruel things happened on the internet this week, and so did some funny moments. Things that happened: Rashida Talaib was censured, Keke Palmer was granted a restraining order, Omarosa got got, Gaza continues to be attacked, The Committee, the SAG strike came to an end, Tierra Whack, turtles, and Omegle is no longer.
Author’s Note: The internet has been a lot of things since I started writing my weekly lists over 6 years ago. A lot has changed since the humble beginnings of The Internet is Exploding, and more change is afoot. I, and my editors, need a break from the constant chaos of the internet and existing on a weekly deadline. Over the holiday season, I and the dedicated BmoreArt staff that makes The Internet is Exploding possible are taking time to rest. We will be back briefly in late December with my annual lists of lists, and will return consistently in late January.
With Love, A.F. Oehmke
Representative Rashida Tlaib, the only Palestinian in the US Congress, was censured this week for explaining how the chat “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” is “an aspirational call for freedom.” The house argued, “the phrase ‘clearly’ entailed ‘Israel’s destruction’” in the 234-188 vote. The assertion that “from the river to the sea” carries genocidal intent is not true and has historically never been true.” In saying the liberatory chant, “we are calling for an end to Israeli domination, not for destruction of anyone but for the dismantling of unjust laws, systems, and practices.” It is\ calling for the end of a genocide.
Tiffany “New York” Pollard said what we all felt when she gathered Omarosa Manigault Newman on E!’s ‘House of Villains’. During a confrontation between the two stars of the show, New York—whose known for her time on ‘Flavor of Love’— had to remind Omarosa that she is “the original” before informing the former Trump administration member that “I find you to be a c—k-sucking, c—m-guzzling Republican c—t… and I sleep better at night knowing that you’re not in the White House.” LMFAO.
College basketball season is upon us and I cannot wait to watch all of the girlies! The Committee Sports Group is my go-to source (and Twitter Space) for anything women’s basketball related. Founded in 2021, The Committee “created a platform to elevate stories in the WNBA and women’s college basketball. We’ve had the opportunity to interview current and former WNBA players such as DeLisha Milton-Jones, Ticha Penicherio, Chelsea Newton, and Veronica Burton.” I love this group not only because of their expert coverage and analysis, but also due to their understanding of how race impacts the game and its media coverage.
The Screen Actors Guild has reached an agreement with production studios, and the 118 days strike ended at 12:01am on Thursday. The deal, which was unanimously approved by the union’s negotiating committee, “will see most minimums increase by 7%,” has a “streaming participation bonus,” and “will see the first-ever protections for actors against artificial intelligence.”
It is always such a joy when Tierra Whack premieres a new music video! On Tuesday, Whack dropped the video for Chanel Pit, rapping about how she is “that s**t you smell, yes… n**gas actin’ like they don’t see you, but deep down, thеy really wanna be you” as she rides through a car wash. Whack impressively holds her composure throughout the ride, living a lot of childhood dreams (or at least one of the dreams I had during childhood).
One week in elementary school our naturalism instructor brought in a bucket of newly hatched snapping turtles. Usually he brought in adult turtles we weren’t allowed to touch, but that day he gave each of us hatchlings to play with—their mouths were too small, snaps too weak, to hurt us. These were common snapping turtle hatchlings—not the monstrous alligator snapping turtles of the southern bayous.
Alligator snapping turtles are absolutely massive, and their meat is traditional in many cajun dishes. In the 1970s, they were considered endangered in Texas. “Due to [their] low fecundity, low juvenile survival, long lifespan, and delayed maturity” it is easy to overhunt them. But for some people, like the Dietz family, it is a way of life, and they have been hunting turtles since the 1890s.
When the turtles were declared endangered, it became illegal to hunt them in Texas, but that did not stop the Dietz family from smuggling them across the border to Louisana to sell for meat, as Sonia Smith reports on in this suspenseful story.
The anonymous chat room site Omegle has shut down after 14 years due to online safety regulations. The site, which paired random strangers together in chat rooms, “gained a reputation as a breeding ground for sexual abuse of minors, leading to a prominent lawsuit in which the website was accused of pairing an 11-year-old girl with a sexual predator.
The decision to shut down the platform comes at a time when global lawmakers are introducing strict online safety regulations to prevent child sexual exploitation.” Creating regulations to protect children online is necessary, and this also feels like the end of the era for a certain kind of internet.
This past Tuesday marked one month since Hamas attacked Israel, and the IDF launched its current campaign against Gaza. Since 2019 Atef Abu Saif “has been minister of culture for the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.” He was visiting family in Gaza, where he grew up, on October 7th “when bombs began to fall.” Since then, “sending voice notes to friends abroad, describing the fraying texture of everyday life, creating a diary of life under siege.” Here is a harrowing collection of excerpts from those messages, “which have been edited for length, clarity and style, track roughly three weeks, from Oct. 7 to 26, a time when about 7,000 Gazans were killed.”
Israel has not agreed to a cease fire, but is beginning to implement daily “pauses” for humanitarian aid. According to Al Jazeera reporter Kimberly Halkett, the pauses “will allow for the potential release of captives that Hamas is currently holding … and for medicine and food to get in and for those living inside Gaza who have dual nationality to get out.”
This is not enough and Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst has described the announcement as a “distraction” saying, “There’s an unravelling genocide in Gaza and we’re talking about some humanitarian pause, which is absolutely meaningless. [What] we should be focused on is the ongoing genocide, the ongoing killing, the ongoing expulsion, the ongoing ethnic cleansing, the mass slaughter of children.”
Keke Palmer was granted a temporary restraining order for her and her son against her former boyfriend and baby daddy Darious Jackson for domestic violence. Palmer was told to file for the restraining order by police after Jackson broke into her house on November 5th, where Jackson “trespassed into my home without my knowledge or consent, threatened me, then physically attacked me—lunging for my neck, striking me, throwing me over the couch, and stealing my phone when I told him I was going to call the police.” Security camera footage was included in the filing. This, however, was not the only incident, as Palmer states in the documents that she has been abused physically and mentally multiple times, and describes Jackson as “unhinged, volatile and dangerous to both me and our son.”
For many people, red flags went up this summer when Jackson “used social media to publicly shame her for wearing a sexy outfit while attending Usher’s Vegas show.” Usher is known for this type of audience engagement, and Jackson’s actions for many were a transparent effort on his part to control his former partner. Palmer has grown up in the spotlight, and it can be easy for people to feel like they know her, but we, in fact, do not. No doubt news of the restraining order “will lead to all kinds of hot takes on relationships, fame and domestic violence. However, it’s essential that everyone remember she’s been through a harrowing ordeal, so now is the time to extend grace while she and her son recover in peace.”