Friday News Bites: Tributes, Entertainment News, LGBT Issues + More

This week we’ve got tributes to the dearly departed, gun violence statistics, Freddie Mercury biopic news, and more. Let’s get right to it.

Although this was posted last Friday, it was past my deadline: TK at Pajiba has a beautiful, moving post on Nelson Mandela, and what it was like to have spent his early childhood in South Africa under Apartheid.

You’ve probably heard all about the selfie President Obama took at Mandela’s funeral, and all the over-analysis of Michelle Obama’s expression. At Salon, Roxane Gay talks about how problematic that over-analysis is in terms of racial bias:

More than anything, the response to these latest images of Michelle Obama speaks volumes about the expectations placed on black women in the public eye and how a black womon’s default emotional state is perceived as angry. The black woman is ever at the ready to aggressively defend her territory. She is making her disapproval known. She never gets to simply be.

Maybe the first lady is irritated with her husband or someone else, maybe she’s indifferent, maybe she’s thinking about the long plane ride home, maybe, just maybe, she’s recalling Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy. We will never know.

In other memorial news, Director Eric Heisserer posted a wonderful tribute to the late Paul Walker on Imgur, featuring images and memories of his work on the Hurricane Katrina-centered film, Hours. I was never one to pay too much attention to Paul Walker, but it’s lovely to see that his “nice guy” image was reality.

And one more bite of Tribute News: It appears we’re finally getting a Freddie Mercury biopic, and Ben Whishaw (The Hour, I’m Not There, etc.) will play the man himself.

One year after the shootings in Newtown, NBC investigative reporter Bill Dedman examines the patterns of child homicides, including the “at least 173 children under 12” who have died from gunshots in the U.S. since then.

Also from NBC News: “India goes ‘back to the Dark Ages’ by banning gay sex — again.”

In other LGBT Issues: Vladimir Putin defended Russia’s anti-gay laws:

In an apparent reference to the laws banning “propaganda of non-traditional relations,” the Russian president said that on the international arena, Russia sees itself as a defender of conservative values against what it considers an assault of “genderless and fruitless so-called tolerance” which he said “equals good and evil.”

Oh, shut up, Putin.

This isn’t news, exactly, but The Guardian has an interview with comedian/musician Reggie Watts, and since Reggie Watts grew up in Great Falls, Montana (where I’m from), I am compelled to get all, “Woo! Great Falls Reprezent!” 


The New Yorker has a roundup of some of the female executives who have been featured in the magazine since the 1930s. Too bad the list isn’t more complete (or that there aren’t more women in these positions to talk about, period!), but it’s something.

With Christmas approaching, I wanted to share this link from The CFIDS (Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome) Association about how to deal with increased holiday activity, as well as vacations and other special events. It’s potentially useful for anyone who has any chronic health problems like chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and other similar conditions.

Let’s end on an upnote, shall we? The BBC has released a boatload of still images and a trailer for the upcoming Doctor Who Christmas Special, “The Time of The Doctor,” in which Matt Smith will regenerate into Peter Capaldi. To say I’m excited is an understatement.

Until next time, friends…

By Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of microfiction, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus, Pajiba and Word Riot, among others. Her book reviews and other commentary appear at Glorified Love Letters, and she is the co-manager of Electric City Creative.

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