If 2016 was a dumpster fire and 2017 was the smoldering ash remains of said dumpster fire, then 2018 seems like when the ash becomes a sentient monster that wrecks havoc and requires a Justice League to stop it. It doesn’t help that our news feeds have us constantly feeling like we’re living in a post-apocalyptic episode of Law & Order: SVU. In this world of hurricanes, forest fires, and bomb cyclones, we are desperately eager to hear good news from friends and family and we may even openly weep over the unexpected delightfully wholesome news story that occasionally makes its way into our social media feeds. It’s those stories that have us thinking of the lyrics from Watsky’s “Tiny Growing Screens, Part 3”: “Sometimes I throw my hands up like ‘this shit right here is hopeless’/ But today I throw my hands up like ‘this shit right here is the dopest.’”
Here are 10 things to remind you this week that the world isn’t a total dumpster fire.
- The Shoe That Grows: This nonprofit has created cheap, durable shoes that fit five shoe sizes so that children in developing African countries can have shoes that they don’t immediately outgrow. A single pair costs $15 and lasts for 5 years. Shoes are vital in preventing children from getting soil-transmitted diseases and parasites that cause severe illnesses and even death.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C59j0Rmucss
- Troye Sivan’s performance on SNL: Considering the people we have in our government currently, it is nothing short of wonderful watching openly-gay musician Troye Sivan perform his sensual and romantic new single on late night television. We hope this warms hearts, ignites the resistance, and gives hope to the U.S.’s queer youth.
- A new Sundance Now Original Series, This Close, features Deaf actors, writers, producers, and creators. Dancing with the Stars and America’s Next Top Model winner, Nyle DiMarco, is part of the cast. While characters with disabilities are becoming more and more common on television, it’s rare to see their stories portrayed by actors, writers and creators who actually experience living with disabilities.
- Nubby, the dog born without front legs: Ever since I ran across a video about Nubby, I’ve been following his life via his Facebook page. Not only is this video absolutely heartwarming, but following the Facebook page means your newsfeed will have at least one bright spot in it!
- 8 Desserts in 1 Pan Recipe: Whether you need proof that there is a God or you need to step up your comfort eating game, this dessert is mind-bogglingly AMAZING. Whoever thought of this needs a monument built to honor them. Hopefully just knowing this exists will help you get through your day.
- Pussies Biting Back & Bad Bitches: Huffington Post gives us this wonderful collection of pictures of dogs and cats who joined in the resistance as part of this year’s Women’s March.
- Ten Years After She Went Missing, A Black Lab is Returned to Her Owners: Yes, this is the third article on the list about animals. Yes, we still contest that there’s nothing quite like a story of pets reunited with their owners to warm our often icy hearts.
- Why Judy Blume Matters: From one badass gal to the next, it always makes me feel good to read stories about women empowering women. In this piece, Amanda Palmer, indie musician and overall expert at “telling it like it is”, talks about the importance of Judy Blume and the way she revolutionized storytelling for young girls.
- Why The Obama’s Portrait Choices Matter: The official portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama were finally revealed, receiving both praise and some mockery, for the First Lady’s in particular. No matter your opinion on the aesthetics of the work, I can’t help but feel excited and a little moved that this marks the first time a queer, Black artist has done this job. In true form, the Obama’s did not shy away from the chance to make a broader, important statement about contemporary American life.
- This Artist’s Teacher Told Her to “Dial Down The Feminism” so She Turned The Critique Into Art: Last but not least, who doesn’t love a nice old fashioned feminist clap back? Keep resisting, keep creating, keep translating truth into power!