The Rebrief: Here's What Happened In August 2014
The Debrief: Ebola, Ferguson, #fappening and Robin WIlliams' death all happened in August - all make it a strong contender for worst month of the year
Illustration by Sophia Den Breems
A gaming developer who made a simple click-and-read app about depression, was accused by gamers of sleeping with a games journalist for good reviews. This soon escalated into #GamerGate, where certain parts of the old guard of white, middle-class, young gamers repeatedly refused to accept that the face of gaming had changed, or at least needed to change (for good reason!). They were so serious about maintaining the status quo, they sent death threats to female games journalists and got Intel to remove their adverts from a website that had criticised them. Rumours that Chris Martin and Jennifer Lawrence were dating left us stunned until we saw photos of them hanging out that basically confirmed they were A Thing. Not quite as weird as Zac and Michelle, or even Cara and Michelle, but still, a bit odd.
Sadly that was about the most exciting news of the month. Robin Williams killed himself, which led to a whole generation of the people he entertained discussing not only their nostalgia for his films, but depression and how it can affect people in certain ways, especially if reporting about suicide is done irresponsibly. His daughter, Zelda, was sadly trolled following her father’s death, with supposed fans getting angry that she didn’t upload any selfies of the pair. She handled it with inspirational composure.
The Home Office warned people from sharing videos of kidnapped photojournalist James Foley being decapitated by ISIS, as the gory video is considered to be terrorist propaganda. Then MI5 raised the terror threat level to ‘SEVERE’.
Another thing we shied away from looking at was the #Fappening, a leak of hundreds of private photos of celebrities at their most intimate. Jennifer Lawrence was one of the very few to admit that the images were of her, and probably because she’s the highest earning action star in the world, most discussion of the leak was centred around her. Later, she aptly described looking at the images, which were stolen from her possession, as a ‘sex crime’.
In Ferguson, an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, was shot and killed by a police officer, Darren Wilson, allegedly acting in self-defence. Protests against the killing soon turned to violence and looting, the police using tear gas to disperse activists.
Institutionalised racism extended to the worldwide refusal to recognise Ebola until the death toll reached 1,000, which was incidentally when the first white person contracted it, a Spanish nurse who has since recovered.
Hashtag activism and sodden celebrity faces capitulated around the internet as the ALS Ice Bucket challenge sploshed down the strata of public notoriety to everyone and their mum. Though the challenge came with its decriers, like people who like to conserve water, at the very least, it helped distract from the fact that there was literally nothing nice going on in the news.
Banger(s) of the month: This month marked the beginning of Taylor Swift's bid for world domination really good going with the video release of Shake It Off on the 18th. Cue a manic Swift-mania that's swept the world and shows no sign of abating any time soon.
We were watching: Will, Jay and rest of the gang returned in the Gap Year extravaganza that was The Inbetweeners 2. Largely hilarious (save for a scene involving poo that was in no way called for). Also, how about those sex scenes in Welcome To New York? Still struggling with those blow job scenes.
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Illustration by Sophia Den Breems
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