I LOVED THE INTERNET THIS WEEK! Highlights: Cardi B broke the internet, Roxane Gay explores unruly bodies, Jersey Shore is back (get ready to GTL), thinking about reality TV is important, women described themselves like male authors, Howard University students are protesting, and the state of Michigan is no longer giving residents of Flint bottled drinking water.


1. Spotify: Cardi B Invasion of Privacy

Cardi B released her debut album, Invasion of Privacy, on Friday and broke the internet. The Album was certified gold in less than 24 hours, meaning that it was either streamed or downloaded over 500,000 times. Just about every place is publishing a positive review of the album. Even if you don’t like rap, it is worth listening to at least a few times. The album is filled with her personal narrative and commentary on other celebrities. Cardi even propositions Chrissy Teigen and Rihanna for a threesome in “She Bad.” TBH, I hope it happens.

One of the best things about reading reviews for Invasion of Privacy is how much the prose differ from Cardi’s lyrics. The whole album is very explicit in normal Cardi B fashion, but many of the reviews completely contrast that in their tone. I have yet to read one that just says “the album is fucking dope,” or something along those lines. The closest one I have seen that does that is Vulture’s on the best moments in the album. Reviews from Rolling Stone, Variety, and The Washington Post all seem less like reviews and more like translations from the language of Cardi B, to that of their target reader.


2. YouTube: Cardi B: Invasion of Privacy [Full Interview] | Beats 1 | Apple Music

We rarely hear celebrities speak honestly, and that is all that Cardi is. The worst part about this video is that they censor Cardi B… because she swears a lot and it is just annoying.

It is widely assumed the Cardi just became famous overnight, but that rarely happens to anyone. In this interview, we learn about the years of hard work she put in to get to reach success. Cardi talks about her process, and what it meant to collaborate with artist she has looked up to for ages. Before her album came out, there was much talk about Cardi being a one hit wonder. Her album has proved her haters worng, and this intervew shows why. 


3. Medium: Unruly Bodies

Unruly Bodies is a digital anthology edited by Roxane Gay, author of the best selling book Hunger, exploring the relationships people have with their bodies. In this month-long project, a new essay will be added each Tuesday of the month.

Each of the stories highlights different issues as their authors meditate on what it means to exist in their specific body. One story addresses the relationship a black male body has to guns in America. Another looks at the history of the Asian body in America as “a story about rules, money, race, and imperialism” and how that intersects with current issues of immigration and American healthcare.

We all have to deal with systems imposed on our bodies, and sometimes it is nice to learn how someone else copes.


4. Vulture: Jersey Shore: An Oral History

I am 100% a fan of Jersey Shore and there is nothing you can do about it. Jersey Shore is an ICONIC piece of TV and deserves respect. As its sequel, Jersey Shore Family Vacation, aired this week on MTV, the reminiscing on show’s glory days is also in full effect.

In this history, all sorts of funny and juicy facts about the show are revealed. Nicole Polizzi (aka Snooki) was not called Snooki before the show, but the application called for a nickname and “ One of [her] girlfriends used to call me that, just to be funny” so she wrote it down. She also showed up to her audition drunk “because it was at a bar.” As Doron Ofir, the casting director, recalls, Paul D was at the top of his list because “he owned his own tanning booth at his own house. A tanning booth is like $10,000. Who’s saving up coins and then buying a tanning booth?”

Everything in this is honestly hysterical. Even if you hate reality TV, it is an interesting behind the scenes look at how it is made, giving insights into why it is so popular.


5. The Paris Review: A Reckoning with Reality (TV)

I always find reality TV to be a contentious topic. Some people love it, others hate it and find it a stupid waste of time. I, per my love of Jersey Shore and Keeping Up with the Kardashians amongst others, love reality TV. More than anything else, I think reality TV functions as a metaphorical mirror to society. And not looking in the mirror does not change the way you look.  

Watching reality TV can often feel like an invasion of privacy. There is seemingly little mutual exchange, and “just because they’re still willing to show us doesn’t mean that we must oblige them.” But in obliging the subjects of a show our gaze also affords them a social power, and begs the question of “are we complicit” in the things that happen on a show? I don’t know the answer to that question, but I like thinking about it. I like thinking about what it means to “lust, to envy, to rejoice, to aspire” about something I know is emotionally heightened, where “formula and spontaneity combine and maybe combust.”


6. Virginia Quarterly Review: Seeker


It is hard to cope with the loss of a great artist because, in some ways, it can also feel like the death of their work. Denis Johnson always seemed to be acutely aware of this, and addressed it head-on in his final book,  The Largesse of the Sea Maiden, a collection of short stories published after his death. In “Triumph Over the Grave” Johnson writes, “It doesn’t matter. The world keeps turning. It’s plain to you that at the time I write this, I’m not dead. But maybe by the time you read it.”

I went to an artist talk about Jacobs Rhoads once, and he talked about “tipping a painting into existence.” He made paintings that exist on the threshold of being, some better than others. Some of the paintings were solidly a painting, and others completely fell apart. When seeing a series of them together, it became clear that Rhodes was not creating paintings, but articulating his own threshold for existence.

I had not heard of Denis Johnson before reading this article, but from what I have learned about him in the past week, he too was interested in thresholds, and his legacy is his capacity for being.


7. Twitter: Whitney Reynolds: new twitter challenge: describe yourself like a male author would

LOL!!!! After reading one too many bad descriptions of women written by men, Whitney Reynolds challenged the women of Twitter to describe themselves the way a man would. To say the responses are filled with satire, sarcasm, and irony would be an understatement. One woman said  “she had this way of bringing ideas together that I’d never thought of… it was like creative just came to her.  I realized I should have my meetings with her privately the day before the client meeting, to help me organize my thoughts” and chose to highlight workplace issues. Many women choose to focused on the tropes of losing “youthful resilience” and “if she” just changed the way she looked she would be more attractive. This thread is hilarious, poetic, raw, and honest.


8. The Atlantic: How the Howard University Protests Hint at the Future of Campus Politics

Students at Howard University are occupying the school’s Johnson Administration Building to demand changes at the university. The occupation was sparked by a financial aid scandal that revealed funds were being embezzled from the college. The students now have a list of nine demands, including the resignation of the school’s current president, Wayne A.I. Frederick.

Students in the past have also occupied the Johnson Administration Building, but this is the longest time it has been taken over to date. The consensus amongst the students is that the occupation will continue until Frederick resigns.


9. Inverse: The 20 Best ‘American Chopper’ Memes

This meme is taking over the internet and it is so funny! The meme has been around before, but the internet found it again when American Chopper“ announced it’s coming back to the Discovery Channel.”

One of the reasons for the meme’s success is that in its original format it allows for 5 text boxes, as opposed to the typical 2-3. Arguments made using the format can have up to three points supporting their position instead of the usual one. When taking on Brutalist architecture, or structural racism that can be very helpful.


10. Detroit Free Press: State of Michigan: No more free bottled water for Flint residents

Well, this is a load of bullshit. The State of Michigan has declared Flint’s water safe to drink and is no longer giving free bottled water to Flint residents. I grew up in Michigan and have family in Flint. There is a consensus by people living in the area that Flint’s water is still not safe to drink.

This decision also comes just days after the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality announced that it would allow Nestle to increase the amount of water they pump from the great lakes basin from 250 gallons to 400 gallons a minute. Nestle only pays $200 a year to pump all of the water. Many people were quick to point out the hypocrisy of the situation.


*All images taken from reference articles*

Have a suggestion for next week? Email [email protected] with the subject line “The Internet is Exploding.”