I personally think it’s a great word (c’mon, say it out loud five times and tell me you’re not giggling) but I’ll bend to my audience when necessary. Or when the word “smegma” comes up. So, this year, we’ve renamed our yearly list of Exceptional Achievers in the Areas of Excellence and Awesome to The Platinum Pomegranate Awards. Which is all just our way of telling People Magazine that their “Sexiest Man Alive” has been kind of ridiculous since Mark Harmon won in the ’80s. Enough with the chit chat, though, let’s get to the good stuff.
Actors, Athletes and Other Performers
Awkward Black Girl, Issa Rae
We all think we’re going to be great and we feel a little bit robbed when our expectations aren’t met. But sometimes our expectations sell us short. Sometimes the expected simply pales in comparison to the unexpected. You got to wonder why we cling to our expectations, because the expected is just what keeps us steady. Standing. Still. The expected’s just the beginning, the unexpected is what changes our lives.
“Damn. Slaughterhouse 5 makes me want to simultaneously punch and hug the entire human race. The same stupid cycle over and over.”
Super Mayor Cory Booker
Democracy is not a spectator sport. It is a difficult, hard, challenging, full-contact, competitive, participatory endeavor… People who get comfortable of mind and intellect get dull. People who get comfortable in their spirit, they miss what they were created for. They were created to magnify the glory of the world, not simply reduce in size and fail to reflect that spirit.
I’ve come to learn in my life to embrace discomfort because it’s a precondition to service. I’ve come to realize to embrace fear because, if you can move through fear, you find out that fear is a precondition to discovery. I’ve learned in my life to embrace frustration because, when you get really frustrated, that is a precondition to incredible breakthroughs.
~Stanford commencement speech, June 17 2012
Feminism is itself a challenge. Feminism is a challenge to the way things are in the world. It is by definition an oppositional movement, because it’s trying to accomplish something. I’ve never felt like feminism was a consciousness raising effort in isolation. Everything about feminism is about getting something in the world to get better for women, and to get the world to be less stupid on gender bifurcation terms. I think that feminism over time gets better, or it gets better and worse and better and worse at achieving the goals that it’s trying to achieve, but the overall mission stays the same. I guess I don’t think of it as feminism versus anti-feminism; I sort of think of it as feminism versus the world. I don’t think of it as a competition; there’s no winning. In feminism, you’re always trying to make stuff better. It’s opposition to which you cannot attribute a tally.
U.S. Representative-Elect Tammy Duckworth
Ultimately, that’s what this election is about. Yes, it’s about the issues that matter to us: building an economy that will create jobs here at home and out-compete countries around the world. But it’s also about something else. It’s about whether we will do for our fellow Americans what my crew did for me; whether we’ll look out for the hardest hit and the disabled; whether we’ll pull together in a time of need; whether we’ll refuse to give up until the job is done.
~DNC Speech, 2012
U. S. Senator-Elect Elizabeth Warren
There is nobody in this country who got rich on their own. Nobody. You built a factory out there — good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory… Now look. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea — God bless! Keep a hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.
First Lady Michelle Obama
We should always have three friends in our lives — one who walks ahead who we look up to and follow; one who walks beside us, who is with us every step of our journey; and then, one who we reach back for and bring along after we’ve cleared the way.
And The Grand Supreme Most High Holy of Platinum Pomegranates Goes To:
Neil deGrasse Tyson
He’s winning every year I’m the editor of this mag.