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robb elementary, gun violence, if anything happens I love you

A film from 2020 still rings true.

In her book “Atlas of the Heart,” researcher and public speaker Brené Brown defines anguish as “a mix of shock, incredulity, grief, and powerlessness.” She adds that the feeling of powerlessness is particularly painful.

After yet another school shooting, this is the raw emotional space that many Americans find themselves in.

Whether directly impacted, scrolling through tragic headlines or perhaps even wondering when your own loved one will pop up in the casualties, there’s an undeniable sense of collective helplessness. Pleas and protests for more gun safety laws that go unanswered only exacerbate the unease. When it feels like things will never change, we find ourselves once again asking: What to do with all this rage, sadness, frustration and heartbreak?

Though originally released on Netflix in 2020, the animated short film “If Anything Happens I Love You” explores this particular kind of grief in a way that still feels poignant and timely. And sometimes, when we have no earthly idea how to understand our difficult emotions, let alone act on them, art can be a valuable place to start.

The Academy Award winning short, directed by Will McCormack and Michael Govier, tells the story of two parents mourning the loss of their daughter, a victim of a school shooting. You can watch the trailer below:

Govier explained in an interview with Salon that the filmmakers wanted to focus on what “grief and loss really look like” for a parent under these horrific circumstances, rather than the typical, sterile news cycle narratives.

There is no dialogue throughout the entire 12 minutes. Yet through touching music, sparing use of color (the film is mostly in black and white) and characterized shadows, the audience becomes immersed in the full spectrum of each parent’s emotions. The love, the fear, the longing, the regret. All of it.

McCormack added that though the piece centers around parents immediately affected by a school shooting, the message is universal.

“Gun violence is not indiscriminate,” he told Salon. “It's not someone else's problem, it's everyone's problem. It happens in schools, it happens in grocery stores, it happens everywhere … This is something that affects everyone in all walks of life now, so we felt drawn to write about it.”

One thing becomes painfully clear by the end of the short film: The mother and father are in so much agony that they are disconnected from anything in the outside world, even each other. They share dinners in silence as their shadow counterparts fight with one another, then go off into their own private worlds to be alone in their despair.

It isn’t until the spirit of their daughter urges them to rekindle their connection that they can once again embrace one another. It seems like a gentle reminder that to create lasting change, more compassion is needed. If we don't connect with each other on a human level, history is bound to repeat itself.

Grief isn’t easy. But art can at least help us make the pain inside a bit more tangible, which can lead to more inspired action.

If you’d like to watch the full film (I highly recommend it), you can still find it on Netflix.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


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Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

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She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75

Lynch is part of a growing line of newlyweds going against the regular wedding tradition of spending loads of money.

Making a priceless memory

Upon first glance, one might think that Jillian Lynch wore a traditional (read: expensive) dress to her wedding. After all, it did look glamorous on her. But this 32-year-old bride has a secret superpower: thrifting.

Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

You can find that exact same dress on Revolve for $220. Lynch bought it for only $3.75.
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