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The Buzz Cut: We Thought ‘The Activist’ Was Bad but the Apologies Are Worse

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Sep 18, 2021

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Image credits: Vogue, Getty Images

In The Buzz Cutwe bring you a round-up of all the weird, controversial, and wonderful stories we’ve been reading all week.


There are many things The Activist’s to-be judges could have said about the show’s failings. Instead, they chose to put the burden of guilt on viewers. Priyanka Chopra Jonas, for instance, mentions in a post “the show got it wrong” or “I’m sorry that my participation in it disappointed many of you.” The Activist is a lesson on how to not to apologize.

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Comedian Norm Macdonald’s death this week felt jarringly personal to many. Was it his pursuit for unadulterated laughter or the ability to touch the rawest of nerves with sensitivity? There’s no better ode to the comic than this observation: “In the old days, they’d go, ‘Hey, that old man died.’ Now they go, ‘Hey, he lost his battle.’… I’m pretty sure if you die, the cancer also dies at exactly the same time. So that, to me, is not a loss; that’s a draw.”

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Sally Rooney’s new book responds to social anxieties while also acknowledging personal pleasure. There’s climate change, existential reckoning, political chaos, but also sex and lust. “Compared to global inequality, sex is obviously unimportant. But maybe it’s also the entire reason for being alive?”

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The latest SpaceX mission carried the first all-civilian crew into Earth’s orbit. It also took collectibles and merchandise that will be put up for sale after the crew’s return this week. Think of an NFT recording of a Kings of Leon song or $2,000 Martin Guitar ukulele. Here we are, humanity at the edge of space, jumping to do some product placement.

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Two red pandas, a cancer-treating tree, a new frog species. The result of genetic science in the Himalayas has led to the discovery of genetic diversity. Using genes to identify species can also help with conservation: “genetic assessment could help to look at the future vulnerability of a species and how they could adapt and evolve.”

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Who would have thought this would be an age where we can subscribe to get food? A fast-food chain has made the first pivot to this model. There is also some introspection about the endpoint of tech taking over every facet of consumer life. For now, beware, “Netflix for tacos” is going to be a phrase we all have to endure in the future.

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Assam has been ranked as the worst state for women’s safety once again, according to the latest data. The story of a rescued human trafficking survivor from the state explains the circumstances that prompted them — like hundreds of others — to leave home.

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Written By Saumya Kalia

Saumya Kalia is Associate Editor at The Swaddle. Her journalism and writing explore issues of social justice, digital sub-cultures, media ecosystem, literature and memory as they cut across socio-cultural periods. You can reach her at @Saumya_Kalia.

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