ICYMI: Here’s a round up of some of this week’s top stories.
NFL star Damar Hamlin in critical condition
In a game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night, 24-year-old Bills free safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field after being tackled, suffering a cardiac arrest that was promptly resuscitated by on-site medical personnel, according to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. In a display of hope and solidarity, players from both teams took a knee in support of Hamlin moments after the collapse.
The NFL has spoken publicly about prioritizing player safety—both mental and physical. However, many were taken aback when Joe Buck, ESPN’s play-by-play announcer, said that he got word that teams would get five minutes to warm up before the game resumed—just a few minutes after Hamlin collapsed. Since then, the NFL has denied any talk of resuming the game, which has now been suspended indefinitely.
Fox Sports host Skip Bayless also received significant backlash on Twitter following a tweet that seemed to trivialize Hamlin’s condition.
Many athletes and public figures replied in the thread—including Isaiah Thomas who responded: “I hope they fire you bro!!! For you to even THINK of the game is very sad.”
Since Monday, athletes, fans, and newscasters around the world have spoken out about the incident, opening up a broader conversation about the physical and mental well being of athletes in the NFL and beyond. Many have questioned how newscasters are focused on the fate of the game, as opposed to Hamlin’s life.
Just this morning the Buffalo Bills released a statement assuring the public that Hamlin’s condition has improved remarkably in the last 24 hours: “While still critically ill, he has demonstrated that he appears to be neurologically intact. His lungs continue to heal and he is making steady progress.”
The Rolling Stone 200 Greatest Singers of All Time List falls flat
On Sunday, The Rolling Stone released a controversial article that attempted to rank “The 200 Greatest Singers of All Time”. Given the fact that the art we love is subjective and personal, the list has caused quite the stir on social media. In the introduction, Rolling Stone adds a disclaimer: this list is outlining the Greatest Singers, not the Greatest Voices.
How did they rank the singers, you might ask? Through an extensive voting process that analyzed singers’ “originality, influence, the depth of an artist’s catalogue, and the breadth of their musical legacy.” Phew.
Some notable rankings: Taylor Swift ranked 102nd, Elton John 100th, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan at 91st, Lata Mangeshkar at 84th, Lady Gaga at 58th, Sade at 51st, Beyonce at 8th, and Aretha Franklin topping the list.
The timeline was up in arms for snubbing Canadian singer Celine Dion from the list.
If you ask me, the idea of trying to distill all the vast, and widespread vocal artistry in the world into a 200 person hierarchy seems ridiculous all together. Especially considering the fact that this list mostly featured American performers.
To me, the list existed as a vehicle for clicks. An article that was created to breed controversy and disagreement over global artistry that cannot be quantified or neatly packaged into a list. My list would have been vastly different, and I’m sure yours would be too. Sometimes, it’s best to take things as they are and just keep scrolling.
The Gossip Girl reboot both hits and misses
It seems more and more people are watching season 2 of the Gossip Girl reboot and folks have mixed feelings. For those of us who are diehard OG Gossip Girl fans, the first season of the reboot definitely missed the mark. Instead of featuring vapid, filthy rich teens who want to scandal their way to the top of the social ladder, the reboot tried to highlight the implications of class conflict. Though the original show had fans searching for clues about who the omnipresent gossip blogger was, the reboot tells us from the jump. Gossip Girl is a social experiment from the teachers at Constance in an attempt to reign in the behaviour of their privileged, disrespectful students.
The characters, who exist as adaptations of the original cast, seem to examine what it means to be rich and genuinely try to be “good” people—something we rarely saw in the original show.
Let’s be clear, we watch Gossip Girl for the mess. To revel in the campy dialogue and watch as people who are richer than we’ll ever be stop at nothing to sabotage the very people who stand by them through everything. We treat their moral corruption as a spectacle, and embrace the trashy one-liners and iconic fashion looks. Gossip Girl was truly a sign of the 2000s.
Season 2, however, seems to be slowly leaning back into the original iteration’s roots. Without giving too much away, the scandals seem more outrageous, and the stakes seem just slightly higher than the rest. Monet De Haan, played by Savannah Smith, is positioned as the reboot’s Blair Waldorf—ruthless in her leadership of the school’s elite—is fun to watch but just misses the mark.
This season’s Dan Humphrey is Otto “Obie” Bergmann, the son of a German billionaire who plays activist when it’s convenient for him. He’s probably one of the most insufferable characters I’ve seen unfold on television.
Each week, the tide seems to change on whether the reboot works or doesn’t. Some are growing to love the new season, citing stark differences from the previous one, and others have given up all together.
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
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