Jeff Bezos exposing the Enquirer's attempt to blackmail him was good and right. But everything else about the story is so, so wrong.

Apparently 2019 is on a mission to outdo the past two years on the "How is this real life?" front.

If you've missed the big news this week, the National Enquirer tried to blackmail and extort Jeff Bezos with embarrassing photos, but Bezos published their threats in a blog post instead. But that's really not the whole story, because that's simply not absurd enough for this day and age.

The biggest headline in America right now is that the richest man in the world, worth an estimated $137 billion, is being blackmailed by the most ludicrous and illegitimate tabloid paper because they got a hold of his dick pics. That's an actual news story.


And that's not all. The publisher of this ludicrous and illegitimate tabloid, whose unbelievable name is David Pecker, has a special relationship with Donald Trump—the philandering billionaire reality TV star who also happens to be the President of the United States.

You can't write this stuff. Seriously, if I had sent this storyline as a book proposal to a publisher five years ago, I'd have been laughed out of the writing business. And yet, here we are. Welcome to 2019.

I don't understand why we're not all running around and screaming, "THIS IS NOT NORMAL!"

I'm not sure where to start with how bonkers literally everything about this is. Since I'm not quite ready to take on Jeff Bezos' pants tent yet, let's take a look at what $137 billion actually is instead.

There's rich, then there's filthy rich—and then there's Jeff Bezos. I mean, good for Bezos for building up a business from scratch in his garage (yay, capitalism!), but wealth hoarding in a world where billions of people struggle to put food on the table is obscene. And make no mistake, anyone worth $137 billion is a big ol' hoarding hoarder.

To illustrate, if you did nothing but count dollars for 16 hours a day, guess how long it would take to count $137 billion. Just guess.

Did you guess somewhere in the vicinity of 33,000 years? If not, you'd be dead wrong. Most of us have no concept of how large even one billion actually is. And while wealth isn't bad, that extreme amount of wealth is obscene, especially when your own employees pee in bottles and live in fear in the workplace.

Now that that's out of the way, back to the story of Jeff Bezos' junk pics.

Bezos exposing the National Enquirer's attempt to blackmail him was good and right. But everything else about the story is so, so wrong.

Bezos is being hailed a "hero of democracy" for taking on the all-powerful tabloid and not giving in to extortion attempts. And yes, good on him. But the fact that Bezos was cheating on his wife seems to be getting lost in the "He's a hero!" narrative.

Of course, rich and powerful men have been unfaithful throughout history. But should we just accept that as normal? Perhaps we have no choice in an era where my 10-year-old son can click a button and listen to the President of the United States say he "tried to f*ck" a married woman and that he can grab women "by the p*ssy." Good times, America!

And how about this absurd little tidbit: The letter threatening to publish Bezos' private photos if he didn't make the statement they wanted him to make came from the National Enquirer's lawyer. And the way it's written makes it sound like a legally binding contract. Seriously? Aren't these shady threats supposed to take place in a seedy bar someplace? If we have to be living in a badly written crime story, at least give us the level of drama we expect—and frankly, deserve—at this point.

I don't know, y'all. Everything has become so bizarre and dumb and surreal. Forgive me if I don't have the will or energy to cheer on a billionaire adulterer's spat with another billionaire adulterer, both of whom are embroiled with a gossip tabloid run by a man who makes his millions selling salacious stories about celebrities.

We don't have to keep living like this, America. We can do better, even if it is 2019. I promise we can.

President Biden/Twitter, Yamiche Alcindor/Twitter

In a year when the U.S. saw the largest protest movement in history in support of Black lives, when people of color have experienced disproportionate outcomes from the coronavirus pandemic, and when Black voters showed up in droves to flip two Senate seats in Georgia, Joe Biden entered the White House with a mandate to address the issue of racial equity in a meaningful way.

Not that it took any of those things to make racial issues in America real. White supremacy has undergirded laws, policies, and practices throughout our nation's history, and the ongoing impacts of that history are seen and felt widely by various racial and ethnic groups in America in various ways.

Today, President Biden spoke to these issues in straightforward language before signing four executive actions that aim to:

- promote fair housing policies to redress historical racial discrimination in federal housing and lending

- address criminal justice, starting by ending federal contracts with for-profit prisons

- strengthen nation-to-nation relationships with Native American tribes and Alaskan natives

- combat xenophobia against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, which has skyrocketed during the pandemic

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True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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via WFTV

Server Flavaine Carvalho was waiting on her last table of the night at Mrs. Potatohead's, a family restaurant in Orlando, Florida when she noticed something peculiar.

The parents of an 11-year-old boy were ordering food but told her that the child would be having his dinner later that night at home. She glanced at the boy who was wearing a hoodie, glasses, and a face mask and noticed a scratch between his eyes.

A closer look revealed a bruise on his temple.

So Carvalho walked away from the table and wrote a note that said, "Do you need help?" and showed it to the boy from an angle where his parents couldn't see.

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via TikTok

Menstrual taboos are as old as time and found across cultures. They've been used to separate women from men physically — menstrual huts are still a thing — and socially, by creating the perception that a natural bodily function is a sign of weakness.

Even in today's world women are deemed unfit for positions of power because some men actually believe they won't be able to handle stressful situations while mensurating.

"Menstruation is an opening for attack: a mark of shame, a sign of weakness, an argument to keep women out of positions of power,' Colin Schultz writes in Popular Science.

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