Well, that happened...

In a time where the news can feel suffocating, overwhelming and all-out hard to consume, there is no better time than now to reignite our ‘Well, That Happened’ blog. Each week we will pick out a few news highlights that are easy for you to digest, as well as keep you up to date and informed with our weird, wonderful, worrying world.

Well, that happened...

We are around eight weeks into 2021, and although it’s been less eventful as our old friend 2020 (so far), things certainly haven’t slowed down either. From new strains of the already rampant Coronavirus appearing seemingly every other week, to the attempted coup at the Senate, Biden’s inauguration and Trump’s impeachment, there is no such thing as a slow news day. 

To kick the series off in style, we’re going to do a bumper episode. Here are the top 10 stories from the last two weeks, from the bizarre beauty choices of Tessica Brown to the lawyer who tried to convince the Judge he wasn’t a cat, to a new round of Harry and Meghan bashing from the British media. 

Welcome to the first of many, ‘Well that happened…’, it’s good to be back.

Michaela Coel Golden Globes Snub

Award season is upon us, which seems crazy because without the luxury of cinema releases, I have found it hard to keep up with anything outside of Netflix. Last year we saw a lack of diversity amongst the nominees and sadly this year is no different. However, the biggest controversy comes from Netflix’s ‘Emily In Paris’ being nominated over Michaela Coel’s ‘I May Destroy You’; a fact that TV and film fans everywhere were outraged over. Coel’s series was the toast of 2020 because of its hard-hitting, honest storyline. We were sure Coel’s triumph was going to get the accolades it deserved, but the fact that Emily In Paris overshadowed it proves that tired, unsubstantial tropes still take precedent over the stories that matter. That, and the fact that Black storytellers, no matter how good of a story they tell, are still overlooked by the powers that be.  

Oldest woman in Europe beats Covid-19

After Sir Tom Moore’s sad passing we needed a coronavirus win this week: enter Sister Andre. The French nun who survived two World Wars, the flu pandemic of 1957, and testing positive for Covid-19, celebrated her 117th birthday with red wine, an honorary mass, and a baked Alaska. Coronavirus or no Coronavirus, this nun – who is thought to be the second oldest person in the world – is living the dream, and if her history is anything to go by, it will take a meteor to this woman down. Covid-19 has taken a lot from us since it landed in 2019, but Sister Andre is a much-needed beacon of hope.

The lawyer behind the cat

Since the world moved from the office to the comfort of our own homes, we have all had our fair share of Zoom call blunders. From being interrupted by children to displaying sexual inanimate objects in the background of a live broadcast, it was hard to guess what the next hilarious hiccup would be. Welcome, Texas lawyer Rod Ponton, who turned a very serious situation into a viral laughing stock during a virtual court trial. Ponton hasn’t quite mastered Zoom, as he pleaded with the Judge, ‘I am here, I am not a cat’, after having (unfortunately for him, but fortunately for us) managed to get a cat filter stuck on his face. It’s the’ I am not a cat’ line for me that makes this video even more hilarious than it was, and I’m sure Ponton made a lot of people’s days.

To vaccine or not to vaccine

With over 15 million people being vaccinated throughout the UK, it seems that we may be on the road to recovery from this crippling pandemic. However, many anti-vaxxers are still sceptical of the vaccine and continue to protest worldwide, prompting celebrities, influencers, and activists to take to social media to encourage people of this vaccine’s importance. With promises being made that every adult in the UK could be vaccinated as soon as August, we can only hope that those who refuse don’t cause repercussions for the rest of us. I’ve had all I can take of England’s fickle weather and would feel much safer travelling if I knew everyone had had the jab. 

Oh Tessica, Tessica, Tessica

In case you don’t know who Tessica Brown is, she is the woman who has gone viral for using Gorilla Glue to achieve that slick shine so many Black girls covet for their crowns. You know what Gorilla Glue is, right? That bonding glue that is so strong it can hold up a shelf for years on end, and yep, Tessica Brown put that on her hair. As you can imagine, this didn’t end well for Tessica, who is now in need of $9000 plus treatment to repair the damage. 

Luckily for her, a surgeon has taken mercy on her and offered to do the treatment in gratis, but as a fellow Black woman, I can honestly say this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. As Black girls, we relax our hair, bond, weave and braid, but with tried and tested products. Black girls if you are listening, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. Sleek, her hair may have looked, but for goodness sake, one day without edges isn’t going to ruin your life, but spraying Gorilla Glue on your head certainly will. Just ask Tessica Brown.

Nothing is ever really forgotten

Actress Seyi Omooba lost her case against the Curve Theatre and her former agents after they dropped her when an old homophobic post resurfaced on her Facebook. Omooba was set to play the famous role of Celie in the theatre’s portrayal of ‘The Colour Purple’. Omooba willingly accepted to portray a lesbian role knowing full well that it went against her beliefs. So why was she suing them in the first place? Bizarre. I don’t get it either, but the fact is she lost her ridiculous case where she attempted to claim over £128,000 in compensation from her agents and the theatre for being dismissed. Omooba’s post was about how homosexuality is wrong and how she disbelieved people were born gay. What a charmer.  

Are things looking up?

The Covid R rate is the lowest it’s been since last summer. With talks of loosening the lockdown and sending children back to school as early as March, health professionals have warned it would be a mistake to lift lockdown until the NHS can cope. Another government official has suggested we wait until cases are less than 10,000 a day before considering it. On the other hand, with 15 million-plus being given the vaccine, Boris Johnson has a tough decision on his hands, but I am wholly confident that he will make the wrong one.

Another Pompeii or a mere fly in the ointment?

In other news, Mount Etna in Sicily has erupted. According to a report by The Independent, Sicily’s people don’t seem phased in the slightest, whereas the rest of the world are questioning whether the situation will be another Pompeii. With terrifying scenes of gushing lava and rocks being blasted into the sky, it is a miracle there have been zero casualties. My thoughts are with Sicily, but maybe don’t add this to your plate of things to worry about if they aren’t even concerned about it.

Farewell, Harry and Meghan

Yes, I thought we were done reporting about these two as well, but apparently not. A congratulations is in order for Harry and Meghan, who have announced they are expecting their second child. But who couldn’t have seen that them posting an adorable candid photograph would send shockwaves through the British media and reignite the relentless mockery the two have faced from the very beginning. Matters were only made worse when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they would not be returning to their royal duties – surprise, surprise. I mean, what is Harry’s problem? How dare he not want to serve a country that has done nothing but humiliate and ridicule the woman he chose to call his wife? We might never know…

Cultural appropriation but the culturally appropriated

That’s quite a mouthful, I know, but it’s the only way I can sum up the nonsense of Rihanna’s semi-nude Instagram post where she has the deity Ganesh dangling between her breasts. As a Black woman, Rihanna should know how incredibly frustrating it is to have your culture used for bait by those who don’t understand it’s significance. Yet, here she is doing the same thing that has been done to Black people for decades to the Hindhu community. As a Twitter user so insightfully observed, Rihanna has more than enough resources to know and do better. 

Well, that happened will be published every Sunday. 

Header Image Credit: Polina Zimmerman

Author

Saskia Calliste

Saskia Calliste Voice Team

25-year-old writer/blogger living in London. I have an MA in publishing, a BA in creative writing & journalism and am a featured author in The Women Writers’ Handbook. I write about all kinds of things but nothing beats a good opinion piece!

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