Nigerian citizens are protesting the inattention paid to the kidnapping of roughly 275 teenage girls more than two weeks ago. Of the girls, who were abducted from the state school they attended by “armed militants,” 53 have reportedly escaped. But 223 are still captive.
The protesters, who include many of the parents of the missing girls, are criticizing the Nigerian government’s treatment of the tragedy and demanding they do more to recover those still missing. The protest leader Hadiza Bala Usman said it best: “If this abduction of 236 girls happened anywhere else in the world, the nation would be at a standstill.” Our thoughts are with these girls, their families, and all of those in Nigeria who are refusing to accept violence and terror for their young women.
The essay “Memoirs of a Non-Prom Queen” by Ellen Willis is the best thing I read this week. It debunks the myth that people who are/were popular in high school are somehow less cool/authentic than those who aren’t/weren’t. It’s in the collection The Essential Ellen Willis, a book of the late critic’s essays that came out earlier this week. I intend to pounce on it posthaste.
Since Broad City ended a few weeks ago, we’ve felt like our best friend moved away—we miss seeing Abbi and Ilana every single week! Thank god for this week’s episode of Ilana’s web series, Chronic Gamer Girl! The series started out chronicling (hehe) Ilana playing a bunch of video games while smoking weed and snacking, and has evolved into whatever she thinks is funny and cool…and we are 100% here for it. This episode is a “(wo)man on the street”-style jam where she approaches strangers in a park and asks them when they first had sex, and the results are equal parts sweet, hilarious, comforting, and totally adorable.
This week, the White House released a video of President Obama, Vice President Biden, and various male celebrities calling for an end to sexual assault. The “1 Is 2 Many” campaign reminds men to respect women when we don’t (or can’t) give consent, to avoid victim-blaming, and to take action when they see sexual assault occurring. It’s a message that can never be reinforced enough.
The video for “Salute,” the title track from Little Mix’s second album, just came out, and it rules! It shows the Little Mix girls looking fierce, cool, and sexy as they dance, bare their teeth, and sing about female empowerment.
Recently, Mickey Easterling, a New Orleans socialite and philanthropist, passed away, and her funeral was as truly outrageous as she was. Mickey was known for throwing the most flamboyant and lavish parties around, so it wasn’t much of a surprise to those who knew her that she wanted to attend her own wake… dressed in a pink feather boa, one of her trademark hats, and a rhinestone brooch emblazoned with the word bitch. That’s not all—she was holding her usual accessories: a champagne flute and a cigarette holder. OK!!! Clearly, Mickey was a REALLY EXTRAORDINARY WOMAN. R.I.P., you shooting star.
This week, I’m crushin’ on Natalie Westling, a 17-year-old model and skateboarder who made a video for i-D about skating tips. As a lady skater myself, I love discovering girls who can pop ollies just as well as dudes can. Skateboarding, like most sports, is very much a male-dominated field, so it’s always encouraging to see a girl shredding. I’m hoping that the next time I see Natalie on the runway, she’s riding nose manual in a couture gown.
The future is here, everyone. This week, a team of London-based designers unleashed their latest creation, a pen called LIX that allows you to draw in 3D. Instead of regular ink, the pen is filled with a plastic filament that comes out as a liquid but cools rapidly into a solid, creating a li’l structure. Though the pen is not yet for sale, the company is currently running a Kickstarter and plans to put it on the market this fall. Technology is magical, isn’t it?
This amazing piece on the beauty of necks by the Beat poet Max Blagg is a part of a series by Oyster called “Private Parts” that focuses on writers’ favorite body parts. I highly recommend reading the whole series (one installment of which is an interview between Rookie’s own Tavi and Petra).
Like Rachael and Amy Rose, I think sea creatures are some of the best things ever, so I was really distressed to learn that along the West Coast, scientists have found that the shells of pteropods (aka sea snails or sea butterflies) are being badly damaged by carbon emissions polluting the Pacific Ocean. Oceanographers knew this was coming, but it happened much earlier than they expected, and now they are scrambling to figure out what larger implications it might have. What happens to the pteropods could impact the well-being of salmon and other marine life, and since our planet is one big web of life and we’re all in this TOGETHER, it will ultimately affect people too.
This sad story is the latest installment of “Sea Change,” a series by the Seattle Times about the impact we’ve had on our oceans; all of the pieces are worth a read and some deep thought. As Jan Newton, co-director of the Washington Ocean Acidification Center, said, “I think [these findings are] a huge flashing light for us that we need better observations and monitoring of our natural environment.”
This week on BuzzFeed, a piece by Joshua Mohr, an alcoholic, described how writing with an addiction is not fun or cool—it’s an epic battle. The “drugs-and-booze-fueled artist” has long been an archetype that young writers, myself included, often glamorize and aspire to, even if we’re only using it to justify our own substance abuse and escapism. But this beautifully written story on the struggle to stay sober is a wake-up call that anyone dealing with, or interested in, the truth about addiction and art should check out.
In 2005, Lisa Kudrow starred in the HBO comedy series The Comeback, which was created by Kudrow and Michael Patrick King (head writer on Sex and the City). Kudrow played Valerie Cherish, a sitcom star who is trying to make it on television again in her 40s, and failing somewhat miserably (her character on her new sitcom is named Aunt Sassy, for starters). As a fan and an armchair television critic, I think the only logical explanation for why The Comeback ran for just one season is that it was totally ahead of its time, because straight-up, it was THE BEST COMEDY SHOW EVER MADE. You may think I’m exaggerating, but it was announced this week that The Comeback is coming back, and I’m not the only one freaking out: E! called the show’s return “the best news in the history of everything,” TV by the Numbers predicted that after you watch it you’ll “probably name your firstborn Valerie,” and Grantland’s Molly Lambert tweeted a simple “YESSSSSSSSS.” Catch up on every episode (you can stream them on HBO Go), and get at us when you start dropping catchphrases like “I DON’T WANT TO SEE THAT!” UGH VALERIE CHERISH I LOVE YOU.
A guy named Rob Rhinehart has invented a drink that contains every nutrient you need to stay alive and be healthy, and he lives on it almost entirely. His dream is to replace our need for food with the shake, which is called Soylent and is going to be available for public purchase this month.
Now, because I love nachos and pizza, I want to hate him instantly, but his idea could potentially reduce world hunger, even if it sounds CRAY. He says, “I’m looking forward to the point where we don’t have to worry about hunger or nutrition. Where people make food just because it’s beautiful—like gardening, or painting. I’m looking forward to the point where food can just be art.” Hi, Rob—I do not want my food to be art. I want my food to be shaped like a burrito, and in my mouth. Why are you trying to take away one of the major pleasures of life?! Still, I have to admit that this is kind of rad. ♦