Moments that made us smile: 2021


It all started with a bang, the sound of metal crashing onto the sidewalks of Washington, DC as hundreds of Trumpers stormed the Capitol. This continued into another pandemic year; for every two steps we took with vaccines and testing, we were repelled by variants and by those who valued personal freedom rather than the health of society. We went deeper into the internet, the metaverse, the cryptosphere – remember a time before NFTs? – and walked out the other side perhaps feeling a little less connected to our humanity.

But there were things to be thankful for, brief glimpses of hope and happiness in what could be one of the most difficult years of our lives. Thus, the staff of Rolling stone took this opportunity to dig out moments that reminded us that the world isn’t always a cold and hard place, even in 2021.

January 20: Amanda Gorman becomes youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, welcoming Joe Biden to power

There was no clearer incarnation of the break with the darkness of the Trump era than when Gorman, 22, took center stage on the day of the inauguration of the West Front of the United States Capitol. United – in his bright yellow coat and bright red headband, flashing an exuberant smile – to read his ode to the new presidency, “The Hill We Climb”.

Her slender fingers punctuating the air like a conductor, the young poet spoke hopefully about the trauma of the nation. “Somehow we have stood up and seen / a nation that is not broken but just unfinished.” Her poem, a powerful rebuke of those who would “break” America’s promise “rather than share it”, spoke of the hope for a “new dawn” that “blossoms as we release it.” . For there is “always light” Gorman tells us – “if only we are brave enough to see it.” / If only we were brave enough to be. It was a reminder that after a gloomy winter there might be sunshine ahead. –Tim dickinson

March 25: Lil Nas X releases video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”

When Lil Nas X released their highly anticipated debut album Montero earlier this year, it was no surprise that the Conservatives took up arms. But no one could have expected him to bait trolls in the most spectacular way possible: by releasing a super gay and super sexy video in which he twerks about the Devil in Hell. When it was released last March, the video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” infuriated conservative interest groups around the world. However, he got a resounding endorsement from Satanists, one of whom said Rolling stone that Lil Nas X “obviously does his homework“on Satanism. A take from the Devil himself? There is nothing more rock and roll than this. -Ej Dickson

May 15: Olivia Rodrigo makes pop-punk cool again on SNL

When Olivia Rodrigo performed “Good 4 U” on Saturday Night Live, social media users quickly picked up on the similarities between the catchy new single and Paramore’s 2007 hit ‘Misery Business’ – and people were to feel it. For a glorious moment, bridge between generations, it seemed like everyone was jumping up and down on that adorable pop-punk sound, elevating the Anthem of Breakup to the top of the song of summer. As Rob Sheffield wrote of Rodrigo at the time, “She doesn’t cling to stylistic or historical boundaries – in her songs the old and the new school play out and draw inspiration from each other. Anything old is new again, and anything in the past can be the start of something new, as long as an artist like Olivia can find a way to use it. -André Marques

May 21: Les Linda Lindas perform “Racist, Sexist Boy” at the Los Angeles Public Library

It was May 2021. I had just read the 25th article on how we all hit the seventh pandemic wall when I was scrolling through the video published by the Los Angeles Public Library, with a group called the Linda Lindas.

The clip, which eventually went viral, begins with Mila de la Garza, the then 10-year-old drummer, wearing a green scrunchie and a black Bikini Kill t-shirt, telling the story of a boy from his class whose father told him to stay away from the Chinese. Mila and her bandmates, sister Lucia, Eloise Wong and Bela Salazar, then engage in a primal scream of a song “Racist Sexist Boy”.

You are a racist and sexist boy
And you have racist and sexist joys
We rebuild what you destroy
You are a racist and sexist boy

There was something so refreshing about the straightforwardness of the lyrics and the power of their loud, screaming vocals and catchy punk beats. These children let go of their pent-up rage and invited us all to do the same. A few days after the video, the Linda Lindas signed a deal with Epitaph records and they released two songs “Oh” and “Nino”(The band’s second song on a cat) and have Riot Grrrl personalities like Kathleen Hanna and Carrie Brownstein among their fans.

May 29: half of the United States gets the jab

Do you remember the first person you visited after getting vaccinated? Mine was my college roommate in May, who had just had her first child. We screamed and kissed on the sidewalk outside his Philadelphia home. Memorial Day weekend 2021 was a highlight of our Covid year. That Saturday, CDC data showed we had reached the milestone of vaccinating more than half the population. With the snap, he was finally sure to visit loved ones, organize dinner parties, and even plan a vacation. Little did we know what Delta (and now Omicron) had in store, the proliferation of vaccines last spring ended the era of total lockdown and, for many, dramatically reduced the overall misery of work, school. , home life and, well, existence. -A M

July 20: Wally Funk goes to space

In 1961, NASA chose Mary Wallace “Wally” Funk as the youngest of 13 elite female pilots to train to become astronauts in the nation’s first manned space flight program. But she never got to go – until now. In July 2021, Funk, at 82, became the the oldest no one at the time to go to space aboard Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket, fulfilling his lifelong dream (and making the Amazon founder’s publicity stunt a little more meaningful). After Funk returned from the 11-minute suborbital flight, she said: “I want to go back, quickly. “-A M

Beginning of October: R / Antiwork brings the Great Resignation to Reddit (and beyond)

Millions of people have left their jobs this year, frustrated by exploitative employers paying poverty wages during a pandemic. There was an imbalance of power, some of them noticed – in these tough times bosses needed hired workers more than hired workers needed crappy jobs. In the fall, some of the textual interactions that led to these mass walkouts began to go viral. The concept was simple: a boss asks for something unreasonable (cover a shift with just a few hours’ notice; cover during a scheduled vacation), gets angry when the employee says no, then becomes desperate when the employee quits. instead of nodding to an abusive boss. R / Antiwork, the Reddit forum where many of these texts first appeared, had been around for eight years, but it was the pandemic that drew nearly a million members. “It’s crazy,” said host Doreen Ford, a 30-year-old dog walker in Boston. Rolling stone in October. “We never really thought something like this would happen. I have never been part of something so successful in my life. -Elisabeth Garber-Paul

October 18: Noodle the Pug’s “No Bones Day” goes viral

There is nothing the internet loves more than old and / or weird animals. Case in point: the meteoric rise of Noodle the Pug, the old and laconic pug who accidentally became an indicator of the national vibe when owner Jon Graziano launched a TikTok series declaring it a “Bones Day” (that is, ie, if Noodle gets up on his own accord) or “No Bones Day” (if he falls down right away). On Bones Days, maybe you could try to be productive; on No Bones Days, ditching the outerwear and becoming one with the sofa was totally okay. “Bones / No Bones Days” quickly became part of the national vernacular, with even the governor of louisiana have fun using the meme as a way to promote the Covid-19 vaccine. -ED

December 6: Ramones Ducks

Although actor Coyote Shivers and his partner Pleasant Gehman started visiting LA’s Hollywood Forever Cemetery at the start of the pandemic, it wasn’t until last December that we found out that they had trained ducks to visit. Dee Dee Ramone’s gravestone every day. They used the Pavlovian tactic of a “dinner bell” ringing to the tune of “Blitzkrieg Bop”, titled “Duckskrieg Bop”.

“Sure enough, it worked like the song of the ice cream truck in the summer,” Shivers said. Rolling stone early December. “Children run up when they hear it.”

It might not have been much, but a few goths finding joy in the graveyard were enough to warm our hearts. The fact that one of the Dee Dee wrote the theme of Animal cemetery didn’t hurt either. –OF

December 13: The saga of Jorts the cat

This viral story of two cats in the workplace appeared in mid-December on the “Am I the asshole” subreddit. A user posted about a dispute involving two cats who live at their workplace: a smart tortoise shell named Jean and a not-so-bright orange cat named Jorts, who has a habit of falling into trash cans and getting stuck in the dust. accidentally close in cupboards. A conflict arose when the user’s coworker tried to teach a stupid cat new tricks, like how to clean himself properly, and the user suggested that Jorts might not have the ability to do so. (To quote one of the top commentators on the thread, “Can’t believe she’s fucking buttery Jorts.”) HR gets involved. A debate erupts over who manages cats. In one update, we learn that cats have staff biographies. What is this company – and is it recruiting? It is impossible to know if the post is true or if it is just an online storytelling brio. It’s not serious. The Jorts saga is pure happiness. -A M



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