It’s been a strange week on the Internet. The combination of the deaths of David Bowie and Alan Rickman, the State of the Union, and the possibility of winning a fortune thanks to a “power” “ball” overwhelmed the World Wide Web for the majority of the last few days, making things seem like even more of an emotional roller coaster than usual. But you already know about those things. Why don’t we talk about some of the other things you might have missed while all of that was going on? As ever, here are the highlights of some of the other things happening on the Internet over the last week.


What Happened: The Oscar nominations were announced, and for a second year running, prompted the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite.

Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media think pieces

What Really Happened: The nominations for this year’s Academy Awards were announced Thursday, and as we pointed out, there was a distinct lack of nominees that weren’t white, despite 2015 offering up movies like Beasts of No Nation, Straight Outta Compton, Tangerine, and Creed. In fact, there were no people of color in any of the acting categories, which seems unthinkable.

The oversight did not go unremarkedupon, unsurprisingly, leading to the return of the hashtag coined last year to mark the lack of diversity amongst Oscar nominees: #OscarsSoWhite.

There was even a spin-off hashtag, #OscarsSoWhiteAndStraight:

The Takeaway: The unpicking of institutionalized bias (especially unconscious bias) in the Academy isn’t something that’s going to happen overnight, and it’s not as if the problem isn’t larger than just the Oscars. So what’s the solution? Sadly, probably a lot of frustration and patience as pressure from the outside slowly forces change. Be prepared for #OscarsSoWhite2017, is all we’re saying.

That’s an Interesting Definition of Essentials

What Happened: The militia that has taken over an Oregon government building asked the Internet for supplies. In return, the Internet sent sex toys.

Where It Blew Up: Twitter, blogs

What Really Happened: You’ve probably heard of Ammon Bundy and his gang of followers, who took over the Malheur wildlife refuge building back on Jan. 2 while the rest of us were recovering from New Year’s Day. You might even know that, days after they look over the government building, the militia turned to social media to ask for supplies. But it’s what happened next that was surprising. It started with an update from Jon Ritzheimer, one of the group, on Facebook:

It’s sad that there are people who would spend this kind of money on this rather than spending it to do good in the world. I’m done living in fear of an oppressing force. I’m going to uphold my oath to the Constitution and sleep great at night knowing that I did everything in my power to ensure what our founding fathers did for us will not be lost. To my family, I love you very much and I am sorry I can’t be there with you. Please look at this as a deployment, only this time I’m actually serving my country rather than being sent over seas to line the pockets of corrupt politicians. It is our sacrifice as a family that will make this country great again, not some election. And we are not alone. I am among some of the most honorable, and selfless people I have ever met. People who are dedicated to making the same sacrifice for this country. Read the constitution people. Get educated and don’t let your rights be taken. If your a Patriot and you feel the calling in your heart then all I can say is follow your heart. Don’t let the fear consume you. We all have lives but if we don’t make the sacrifice what kind of country are we leaving for our children. The status quo can’t go on any longer. We either take a stand against tyranny or we fail. Come be a part of history. And I am so proud that our country has become civilized enough that we can bring about change and right this wrong without any bloodshed. America is blessed.

Posted by Jon Ritzheimer on Monday, January 11, 2016

Yes, Ritzheimer was appalled that people would “spend their money on hate”—although, really, sending dildos isn’t necessarily hate—but everyone else, it seemed, was thrilled, with the video unsurprisingly going viral almost immediately after it was posted. Twitter, similarly, was into the idea:

And people were willing to help out, too:

No, no; we said help out:

Isn’t the Internet a wonderful place?

The Takeaway: It looks like the message got through. And, you know, something besides the message.

In Which Real World Politics Passes Beyond Parody Once and For All

What Happened: Donald Trump’s presidential nomination race unveiled its official jam. Your mind may be blown.

Where It Blew Up: Twitter, media think pieces, blogs

What Really Happened: There’s really no context we can give for this video, which appeared online Thursday:

OK, we can give you this context: It’s actually real. There is actually an “anthem” for Donald Trump, sung by three young kids, which goes “Cowardice/Are you serious?/Apologies for freedom/I can’t handle this” and, astonishingly, “Deal from strength or get crushed every time!” Of course, such musical wonder was speedily shared across the Internet, with Twitter finding itself somewhere between appalled and admiring:

The Takeaway: The very fact of this anthem’s existence feels like some wonderful, terrible omen about 2016 as an election year. As if we thought it was going to be crazy, but we haven’t even scratched the surface yet. How long before people start doing covers of this and posting them to YouTube?

Official Proof That Crafting Can Be Bad For You

What Happened: A mother has knitted herself a replacement son, as an “art project.” No, this is not a joke.

Where It Blew Up: Twitter, blogs

What Really Happened: Meet Marieke Voorsluijsi, an everyday mother from the Netherlands who likes to knit. In fact, she likes to knit so much that she decided to knit a life-size version of her own son. Because that’s not strange at all, even though she likes to call it “a fun art family art project!”

As the Internet shared the surreal and disturbing project, Twitter came to grips with the idea in its traditionally understated manner:

Admittedly, it is a little unusual. If only there was a word to describe this whole thing. But what word could that be?

The Takeaway: Yeah, OK; this might be creepy, but also kind of tragic: What led to this woman deciding to try and replace her child with a Doctor Who monster waiting to happen? Shouldn’t the Internet be offering to send her affection and/or small animals to take care of, instead of complaints that she’s freaking us out?

Check Your Sources

What Happened: The death of Alan Rickman led to a beloved quote going viral. The only problem was, the quote didn’t actually come from Alan Rickman.

Where It Blew Up: Twitter

What Really Happened: The unexpected death of Alan Rickman, coming so soon after the similarly unexpected death of David Bowie—both 69, both dead from cancer—broke the Internet Thursday, with social media flooded with loving tributes from fans who’d enjoyed his work in movies such as Die Hard, Truly Madly Deeply, and the Harry Potter series. It was his involvement with that latter series that prompted one of the most common tributes to appear, in fact:

There’s just one problem: the quote didn’t come from Alan Rickman. Instead, it came from a Tumblr user called MyPatronusIsYou, who took to the site to claim ownership:

The Takeaway: Sure, the mix-up might have been embarrassing for those who had believed it was a genuine quote, but at least it launched another meme:

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