It's safe to say that One Direction's U.S. blitz--including a sold-out NYC concert at Radio City Music Hall (and van raid by fans afterward), an appearance on the Today Show and plans to host Saturday Night Live and get their own TV show--was a smashing success. Single "What Makes You Beautiful" is shooting up the charts, and album Up All Night, which has been out for a while abroad but just got released here March 13, is set to hit No. 1.
That's a pretty big deal, because if One Direction does top the charts, they'll be the first British band to do it with their first album. Ever. If you've ever heard of the British Invasion--any of them--or maybe of a certain band called the Beatles and all their imitators, you'll get it. That's a lot of history for a bunch of kids. A lot of boy bands have paved this path before them, and they've left a lot of trivia behind. Does One Direction know it? Do they know the Jackson 5 from 5ive? Can they tell you what an MMMbop is and spot "the cute one" on sight? What do they really think about The Wanted? We caught up with 1D while they were in town and quizzed them on all these and more.
In the opening pages of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Earth is destroyed. Now if that doesn't scream 2020 so far, what does?
In Douglas Adams's 1979 novel, which premiered as a radio series on BBC Radio4 in 1978 (42 years ago—but more about the significance of that number later), Earth is suddenly blown up in order to make room for an intergalactic superhighway. Now, in a year that has—after only 3 months, people—given us a contentious, confusing democratic primary, the death of Kobe Bryant, new and worsening facts about our climate and habitat at large, appalling leadership, and of course the rapid spread of and global shutdowns by the coronavirus (COVID-19), it seems impossible to turn to any source for comfort.
Enter The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: a novel that starts with the global annihilation that we might be heading for and then follows the characters as they cope with new realities, with isolation and loss, an endless information source that brings with it endless anxiety, and an egomaniacal, arrogant, selfish, attention-craving president of the galaxy.
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It's time to study.
Now that you've flooded Instagram with photos of black squares, it's time to hunker down for some real activism.
If you're a white person, you're sitting on top of about four centuries of institutionalized racism. In the wake of George Floyd's murder by police and countless Black Lives Matter protests across the nation, it's time to show up—with your body, with your voice, and with your brain.