This Is By Far The Grossest National Park I've Ever Seen
I know bottled water is so much more refreshing than its free counterpart (just kidding), but should we really be selling this trash in our national parks? I think not.
The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.
In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.
As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.
And she inspired the Gardiner Brothers to add yet another element to the mix—Irish stepdance.
In a TikTok that's been viewed over 17 million times, the Gardiner Brothers don cowboy hats while they step in time to "Texas Hold 'Em," much to the delight of viewers everywhere.
Beyoncé 🤝 Irish dancing #beyonce #countrymusic
Michael and Matthew Gardiner are professional Irish-American stepdancers and choreographers who have gained international fame with their award-winning performances. They've also built a following of millions on social media with videos like this one, where they dance to popular songs, usually in an outdoor environment.
The melding of Irish dance with country music sung by a Black American female artist may seem unlikely, but it could be viewed merely as country music coming back to its roots. After all, country music has its roots in the ballad tradition of the Irish, English and Scottish settlers in the Appalachian region of the U.S. And despite modern country music's struggle to break free from "music for white people" stereotypes, it has roots in African-American traditions as well. For instance, the banjo, which has long been used in bluegrass and country music, was created by enslaved Africans and their descendents during the colonial era, according to The Smithsonian.
People are loving the blending of genres and culture that the TikTok exemplifies.
"Never thought I’d see Irish step dancing while Beyoncé sings country," wrote on commenter. "My life is complete. ♥️"
"So happy Beyoncé dropped this song and exposed my timeline to diversified talent 👏🏽👏🏽," wrote another.
"Beyoncé brought the world together with this song 😭," offered another person.
"Ayeeee Irish Dancing has entered the BeyHive chatroom… WELCOME!! 🔥🔥🔥" exclaimed another.
"I don’t think I can explain how many of my interests are intersecting here," wrote one commenter, reflecting what several others shared as well.
The Beyoncé/Gardiner Brothers combo and the reactions to it are a good reminder that none of us fit into one box of interest or identity. We're all an eclectic mix of tastes and styles, so we can almost always find a way to connect with others over something we enjoy. What better way to be reminded of that fact than through an unexpected mashup that blends the magic of music with the delight of dance? Truly, the arts are a powerful uniting force we should utilize more often.
And for an extra bit of fun, the Gardiner Brothers also shared their bloopers from filming the video. Turns out stepping in the rain isn't as easy as they make it look.
Beyoncé Bloopers #texasholdem #gardinerbrothers
You've probably been there. You're out and about and you see something that just feels ... off.
"Should I step in? ... But it's not really any of my business. ... And I'm not even sure they need my help..."
Our gut tells us to speak up, to ask questions, to tell someone. But often, we don't.
This happened to Malyk Bonnet, a 17-year-old from Montreal. But instead of ignoring his instincts, he acted brilliantly. It may have saved a woman's life.
Photo via CBC News.
He'd been waiting for the bus after a shift at the restaurant where he works when he saw a man and woman arguing. He sensed a red flag.
"The guy was screaming at her, the girl," Bonnet told CBC News. "He wasn't really gentle with her, and I started watching, because I thought he would hit her, so I approached them a little bit."
The pair asked Bonnet if he could lend them bus fares to nearby Laval, a city about 25 miles away from downtown Montreal.
Bonnet felt uneasy about what was happening. But instead of declining, he decided to get more involved. He helped the man and woman with their fares and told them he was also traveling to Laval (which was not the case).
"My plan was to keep them in a public place where he wouldn't hurt her," Bonnet told Dateline NBC. "I decided to be friendly with the man and have him think I was his friend. I played my game and he seemed to trust me."
After arriving in Laval, Bonnet suggested they grab a bite to eat. At the restaurant, he gave the pair $50 for food and excused himself to use the restroom. Finally having the opportunity, he called the police and told them "someone had been kidnapped." Officers arrived minutes later.
What Bonnet hadn't known at the time was that police were already looking for the perpetrator and his victim.
"We were looking for a 29-year-old woman who was kidnapped by her former boyfriend earlier that day," Laval police Lt. Daniel Guérin told CBC News. "We believed that man was very dangerous."
Previously, the abuser spent time behind bars for assaulting his ex and sending her death threats.
Bonnet told Dateline NBC that while he didn't speak with the woman after police arrived, he could see how relieved she was. "We made eye contact and she had tears in her eyes. She was really happy."
While this particular story unfolded in Canada — where roughly half of women have experienced at least one incident of sexual or physical violence since the age of 16 — you'll find similarly alarming statistics in the U.S.
Photo via Thinkstock.
Although it may seem easy to simply leave an abusive relationship in the dust, take it from some women who've been there — it's much more difficult than it seems from the outside looking in.
Instead of passing judgment, you can learn more about how you can help friends and family members who may be experiencing domestic abuse.
"His quick actions may have saved this young woman's life," Guérin said. The officers made sure to collect money so Bonnet could be reimbursed for the bus fares and food he purchased while trying to save the victim. "He now has 500 new friends in our department."
Thank you, Malyk, for reminding me that sometimes the bravest thing I can do is simply listen to that voice when it's trying to get my attention.
This article originally appeared on 08.20.15
She didn’t want the girl to “ruin” her photos of the trip.
A 42-year-old mother wondered whether she did the right thing by disciplining her 18-year-old daughter, Abby, who disinvited a friend from vacation because of her weight. The mother asked people on Reddit for their opinion.
For some background, Abby had struggled with her weight for many years, so she went to her mother for help. The two set up a program where Abby was given a reward for every milestone she achieved.
“Four months ago, she asked that I don't get her any more rewards and add it up to her birthday gift, and for her gift she wants a vacation I will pay for, for her and her friends instead of the huge party I had promised for her 18th. I said OK,” the mother wrote.
So, instead of a series of small gifts, Abbey wanted one large one, a vacation with two of her friends. The vacation would also celebrate Abby’s 18th birthday. The mother agreed and booked the trip for the 3 girls.
“Fast forward to last weekend, we started preparing for her vacation,” the mother wrote. “I called the other two girls' parents to confirm the girls would be and learned Abby's best friend Betty isn't going. Betty loves traveling and was looking forward to the vacation, so I asked why. Apparently, Abby uninvited her because ‘she is too chubby to look good in pictures.’”
When the mother approached Abby about the situation, she doubled down on her comments to Betty. “I calmly talked to Abby and reminded her how Betty would feel being left out for such a reason, and she went off with, 'I didn't work so hard for this vacation so my pictures will be ruined,'" the mother wrote.
Abby then asked Betty to contact her mom and say that she decided not to go on the trip because she wasn’t feeling well. Betty refused to lie, and Abby sent her a “ton of hateful texts and body-shaming insults.” Betty shared screenshots of the texts to the mother, and she promptly canceled the entire vacation.
Now, Abby’s father, who shares 50-50 custody with the mother, is livid, and Abby won’t speak to the mother. The mom asked the Reddit AITA forum to see if she was in the wrong, and the commenters overwhelmingly said she did the right thing. "Some of my friends agree on my approach, while others think I should have put my daughter first,” the mother said.
The most popular commenter was short and to the point.
"Teaching your daughter to not be a horrible human being IS putting her first," Due_Laugh_3851 wrote. "I commend your strength and parenting skills. This was the right thing to do and would've been hard to do. Well done, you deserve to go on the holiday yourself," Loud_Wallaby737 added.
"... uninviting someone because you only want skinny people in your pictures is a disgusting attitude frankly. Sorry, I just don't find a nicer word for it. I am totally with you that this needs to have consequences, and while I'm very much against breaking promises, I do believe this is an exception. Like you said, your daughter knows what it feels like. She (but anyone really) should be supportive of friends wanting to lose weight if that is the case and if it isn't they she should just mind her own
business body," SensitiveSires wrote.
One of the few people who thought she was in the wrong believed that the mother set her daughter up for failure.
"[You're wrong] for giving your daughter who is a child rewards for weight loss. Her behavior of value based on weight shows she likely has developed disordered eating patterns and attitudes and this will cause her a lifetime of pain," tamtheprogram wrote.
The silver lining to the story is that many people who commented said that even though her daughter did something very hurtful, she’s still a teenager and there’s a chance she’ll realize the error of her ways.
"The daughter is just a teenager, she still has a lot of time to learn and grow up. Writing off her entire future as a mean girl when it’s very rare to be the same exact person you were at 18 as you grow up is a lot," Stephapeaz wrote.
This article originally appeared on 9.18.23
She's reclaiming her confidence and sharing what it can really mean to be a mom with Crohn's disease.
Imagine being constantly tired, but in a way that even 15 hours of sleep a day can't cure. Imagine going to dinner, but every time you eat something as simple as a roll of warm bread, it feels like it might've had broken glass inside of it.
Then, it's time to go to the bathroom. Again. Is that the fifth time this hour or the sixth? You've lost track. It's a running joke now — your friends think it's funny, but nobody really talks about what happens when you step away. Because, really, you look fine. Just tired.
Crohn's, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is "a condition of chronic inflammation potentially involving any location of the gastrointestinal tract." But as defined by myself, someone with Crohn's, it's like having food poisoning all the time. The symptoms and presentation are different for every patient, but one thing is the same for all: It's an invisible illness, and it sucks.
And let's face it. Talkin' about your poop is taboo.
Nothing to see here.
A little privacy, please?
Stumble over to her Facebook page, Bag Lady Mama, and nearly every post has a reference to doing the doo.
Krystal, who lives in Perth, Australia, has Crohn's. She was first diagnosed at 15 years old, and by 22, most of her intestinal tract had been badly damaged by the disease. At that point, doctors decided to remove large portions of her large and small intestines.
Krystal Miller and her husband, Shannon, son, Lukas, and daughter, Arabella.
All photos by Krystal Miller, used with permission.
Now, at 32, she's sharing her daily experiences through Facebook.
Her posts show raw insight into her world. They're unapologetically blunt, they're full of curse words, and they're gaining traction — quickly.
In an interview with Upworthy, Krystal said she expected to have a few hundred Likes on her page within a month or two of launching it, mostly from close friends who knew about her life with Crohn's. But since it launched Jan. 25, it's reached more than 13,000 Likes.
Check out her posts and you'll see some serious granny-panty love.
All photos by Krystal Miller, used with permission.
"I did expect it to reach Europe and America because I have international friends," she said. "But I never expected for it to be as expansive as it has been. It's crazy — I actually got recognized at my local shops the other day!"
Her photos show off her day-to-day life with her two children, Lukas, 4, and Arabella, five months, and her husband, Shannon. Each is filled with her unabashed love for her body.
Krystal, 32 weeks pregnant and wearing her bag, and her husband, Shannon, during their son's fourth birthday party.
All photos by Krystal Miller, used with permission.
Scars, bag, and the ostomy itself are all on display in the hopes that she can help remove some of the stigma around Crohn's and what life with the disease is like.
"When I was first diagnosed, I was very uncomfortable. I would be in-tears uncomfortable if someone had to go to the toilet after me. ... And when you're young, it's embarrassing and it's pretty f*cking horrific. It's been slow progress , but I just kind of got sick of caring. Like, who gives a f*ck, it is what it is, I can't do anything about it."
She would go to extreme lengths to cover up the symptoms of the disease, especially when using public restrooms. But she credits the surgery that removed her rectum with alleviating a lot of that embarrassment as well. Once her permanent ostomy was in place, many of her symptoms were alleviated, and her experiences with "number 2" became more matter-of-fact than anything else.
"It's been slow progress , but I just kind of got sick of caring. Like, who gives a f*ck, it is what it is, I can't do anything about it."
From there, it became about reclaiming her sexiness and self-confidence, which started with revisiting how she looked at herself.
"When we look at other women, we don't see the same flaws that we see in ourself. And I've had to retrain myself to see myself the way others might see me, to not notice the finer intricacies that I see on myself. Other people don't see the sh*t that we see."
Krystal, Arabella, and Lukas.
All photos by Krystal Miller, used with permission.
But she hasn't stopped there. She also posts fashion tips for other women with Crohn's and shares advice on how to dress the way you want while still being comfortable with a bag.
Krystal speaking at Fremantle Hospital. She's studying to become a stomal therapist.
All photos by Krystal Miller, used with permission.
"We have earned that right to f*cking hate the world," she said. "We are entitled to f*cking be angry and to be sad and to have bad days. If you need to feel sorry for yourself, then feel sorry for yourself. But then pick yourself up and keep going."
This article originally appeared on 04.04.16
The school assignment was intended to spark debate and discussion — but isn't that part of the problem?
It's not uncommon for parents to puzzle over their kids' homework.
Sometimes, it's just been too long since they've done long division for them to be of any help. Or teaching methods have just changed too dramatically since they were in school.And other times, kids bring home something truly inexplicable.
"Give 3 'good' reasons for slavery and 3 bad reasons," the prompt began.
You read that right. Good reasons ... FOR SLAVERY.
Lest anyone think there's no way a school would actually give an assignment like this, Brown-Berry posted photo proof to Facebook.
In the section reserved for "good reasons," (again, for slavery), Jerome wrote, "I feel there is no good reason for slavery thats why I did not write."
Yep. That about covers it.
His response was pretty much perfect.
We're a country founded on freedom of speech and debating ideas, which often leads us into situations where "both sides" are represented. But it can only go so far.
There's no meaningful dialogue to be had about the perceived merits of stripping human beings of their basic living rights. No one is required to make an effort to "understand the other side," when the other side is bigoted and hateful.
In a follow-up post, Brown-Berry writes that the school has since apologized for the assignment and committed to offering better diversity and sensitivity training for its teachers.
But what's done is done, and the incident illuminates the remarkable racial inequalities that still exist in our country. After all, Brown-Berry told the Chicago Tribune, "You wouldn't ask someone to list three good reasons for rape or three good reasons for the Holocaust."
At the very end of the assignment, Jerome brought it home with a bang: "I am proud to be black because we are strong and brave ... "
Good for Jerome for shutting down the thoughtless assignment with strength and amazing eloquence.
This article originally appeared on 01.12.18
All language has a history.
As much as we'd like to pretend every phrase we utter is a lone star suspended in the space of our own genius, all language has a history. Unfortunately, given humanity's aptitude for treating each other like shit, etymology is fraught with reminders of our very racist world.Since I have faith that most of you reading want to navigate the world with intelligence and empathy, I figured it'd be useful to share some of the everyday phrases rooted in racist etymology.
Knowledge is power, and the way we use and contextualize our words can make a huge difference in the atmospheres we create.
According to Meriam-Webster's dictionary definition, a thug is "a violent criminal." Obviously, this definition leaves the word open to define people of all ethnicities.
However, given the frequent ways this word has been used to describe Black Lives Matter protesters, the 17-year-old murder victim Trayvon Martin, and sadly, almost every black victim of police brutality — there is an undeniable racial charge to the word.
When you consider the people who are called thugs — groups of black protesters, victims of racist violence, teenagers minding their own business, and flip the racial element, you'd be hard-pressed to find examples of white people being called thugs in earnest by the media (or really by anyone).
let me get this straight. Marshawn Lynch is "thug" because he doesn't talk enough, & Richard Sherman is a "thug" because he talks too much?— Coach Ray Hubbard (@Coach Ray Hubbard) 1422371279
Several prominent activists and black writers have written about the phenomenon of thug replacing the n-word in modern culture. In a popular press conference back in 2014, the Seattle Seahawks player Richard Sherman explained his feelings about the word.
"The reason it bothers me is because it seems like it's an accepted way of calling somebody the N-word now. It's like everybody else said the N-word and then they say 'thug' and that's fine. It kind of takes me aback and it's kind of disappointing because they know," Sherman said.
If a 1400 SAT score and a degree from Stanford makes you a "thug" then I want my kids to be thugs. @RSherman_25pic.twitter.com/MWuWWPNSWh— Bipartisan Sports (@Bipartisan Sports) 1440294552
When most of us hear the term "grandfather clause" we just think of the generalized description: a person or entity that is allowed to continue operating over now expired rules. But the literal meaning reveals the "grandfather clause" was a racist post-Reconstruction political strategy.
This is the historical definition, according to Encyclopedia Britannica:
"Grandfather clause, statutory or constitutional device enacted by seven Southern states between 1895 and 1910 to deny suffrage to African Americans. It provided that those who had enjoyed the right to vote prior to 1866 or 1867, or their lineal descendants, would be exempt from educational, property, or tax requirements for voting. Because the former slaves had not been granted the franchise until the adoption of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870, those clauses worked effectively to exclude black people from the vote but assured the franchise to many impoverished and illiterate whites."
In modern speak, this basically meant the Grandfather Clause let white people off the hook for new voting requirements because their ancestors were already registered voters. Meanwhile, black people were required to fill out impossible literacy tests and pay exorbitant poll taxes to vote. This in turn, meant many black people were unable to vote, while white people weren't held to the same standard.
The word "Gypsy" was (and is) a racial slur referring to the Roma people. The Roma people are descendants of Northern India who, due to severe marginalization and threats of violence by others, lived a nomadic lifestyle of forced migration for centuries.
During a fraught history, Roma people were taken as slaves in Romania and were targeted for genocide by the Nazis.
In a similar vein, the term "Gyp" or "getting gypped" means to cheat or get conned, and many connect this meaning as another racist extension of Gypsy.
The saying \u201cno can do\u201d and \u201clong time no see\u201d came from Westerners mocking Chinese immigrants https://twitter.com/trashyewest/status/995768305003610112\u00a0\u2026— Justin Beauchamp (@Justin Beauchamp) 1526397713
According to the Oxford Dictionary, the very common phrase "no can do" was originally made popular as a way to make fun of Chinese immigrants.
"The widespread use of the phrase in English today has obscured its origin: what might seem like folksy, abbreviated version of I can’t do it is actually an imitation of Chinese Pidgin English. The phrase dates from the mid-19th to early-20th centuries, an era when Western attitudes towards the Chinese were markedly racist."
"The phrase 'sold down the river' came from Louisville, Kentucky, where the enslaved were traded in one of the largest slave markets of the 19th century."https://www.citylab.com/equity/2017/02/louisville-confronts-its-redlining-past-and-present/517125/?utm_source=twb\u00a0\u2026— Pedro da Costa (@Pedro da Costa) 1524505436
Upon first hearing, many people associate the phrase "sold down the river" with the notion of being betrayed, lied to, or otherwise screwed over. While these definitions all technically apply to the origin, the root of this phrase is much more bleak.
"River" was a literal reference to the Mississippi or Ohio rivers. For much of the first half of the 19th century, Louisville, Ky., was one of the largest slave-trading marketplaces in the country. Slaves would be taken to Louisville to be "sold down the river" and transported to the cotton plantations in states further south.
This heavy connotation sadly makes sense, but also makes casual use of the phrase feel way more cringe-inducing.
The GOP argument on Obamacare has more than a whiff of Reagan-era racial "welfare queen" politics ---> https://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/a-brutal-translation-of-the-disincentive-to-work-20140206\u00a0\u2026— Ron Fournier (@Ron Fournier) 1391695820
This straw woman in Reagan's campaign served as a racially-charged exaggeration of one minor case of real welfare fraud used to pedal his platform for welfare reform.
Needless to say, the term has sadly lived on as a racially-charged vehicle used to undermine the importance of welfare programs, while peddling gross stereotypes about black women.
On top of all the other offenses, this stereotype is of course ignoring the fact that poor white Americans receive the most welfare out of any economically-disadvantaged demographic.
Obama's Shuck and Jive Ends With Benghazi Lies https://fb.me/1m3q5c2IR— Sarah Palin (@Sarah Palin) 1351093162
The term shuck and jive is both common and very obviously rooted in the language of slavery.
According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the phrase shuck and jive refers to:
"The fact that black slaves sang and shouted gleefully during corn-shucking season, and this behavior, along with lying and teasing, became a part of the protective and evasive behavior normally adopted towards white people in ' traditional' race relations."
Likewise, the modern usage of this phrase refers to pandering, selling out, or instances in which black people go along with racist white people's wishes. Again, not a phrase to be thrown around lightly.
The very commonly used greeting "long time no see" first became popular as a way to make fun of Native Americans. The phrase was used as a way to mock a traditional greeting exchanged between Native Americans.
This is the official definition, according to the Oxford Dictionary:
"Long Time No See was originally meant as a humorous interpretation of a Native American greeting, used after a prolonged separation. The current earliest citation recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) comes from W.F. Drannan’s book Thirty-one Years on Plains (1901): ‘When we rode up to him [sc. an American Indian] he said: ‘Good mornin. Long time no see you’."
The act of committing genocide is not limited to human lives, but also translates to a normalized cultural violence. Deconstructing, mocking, and erasing someone's language contributes to this pattern of colonialism.
Did you know the phrase 'peanut gallery' has racist origins?\n\nIt was the cheapest and worst part of the theater, and the only option for Black attendees. No one wanted to sit in the peanut gallery and today, no one wants to hear from the peanut gallery. #RewriteBHM #BHMpic.twitter.com/vwHHHWLeVP— Nat'l Urban League (@Nat'l Urban League) 1518542600
Originally, this term referred to the balconies in segregated theaters where black people were forced to sit. The nickname "peanut" was given due to the fact that peanuts were introduced to America at the same time as the slave trade. Because of this, there was a connection drawn between black people and peanuts.
MINORITIES MUST STAND UP TO ABUSE:\nKneeling to protest at games is tasteful yet effective. But white owners and racists think blacks are too uppity. \n"Uppity\nWord used by racist old white Southerners to refer to any black person who looks them in the eye." --URBAN DICTIONARYpic.twitter.com/CrRQJqTyTl— LJ Rochelle (@LJ Rochelle) 1527193180
As of now, the word "uppity" is often used as a synonym for "stuck up" or "pretentious" or "conceited." But the roots of the word are far more specific and racist.
So, basically, any black person who overtly stood up to racism. Given the heaviness of this origin, it seems best to leave this word at home when looking to describe a pretentious acquaintance.
Sadly, given our ugly history, there are many more words and phrases I could add to this list. In the meantime, hopefully this list is helpful for navigating the racism innate in our language.
The article was originally published by our partners at someecards and was written by Bronwyn Isacc.
This article originally appeared on 02.04.19