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Good News That Happened This Week

From the get-go of his career as an influencer, Christian Walker expertly weaponized his identity and its seeming contradictions: a young Black man who first gained prominence on social media by speaking out in viral rants against the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests; an effeminate man who says he’s attracted to other men but refuses to identify as gay, and who rails against the need for a Pride Month.

And it was making him a star: More than half a million followers on Instagram and another 566,000 on Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok combined. But now, Christian is perhaps best known for his hand grenades on social media that upended his father Herschel Walker’s Georgia Senate race in extraordinary ways.

On Oct. 3, Christian fired off a series of tweets in which he reacted in raw, spectacular fashion to a Daily Beast report that alleged his father had urged — and then paid for — a former partner to have an abortion. (A second woman came forward with a similar claim weeks later.) Following his father’s loss in Georgia’s runoff special election against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, Christian spoke with BuzzFeed News on the personal and political aftermath of his actions.

“What was so funny to me is people that were like, ‘Christian Walker’s taking down the campaign!’” he said. “No, they took the campaign down by saying a bunch of stupid crap, by lying, by running a candidate who’s a domestic abuser. I didn’t do anything. All of the scandals were already out there.”

Christian still an avowed conservative, but through his outspoken condemnation of what he sees as Republican hypocrisy, he says he’s come to hate a lot of people he once considered allies. “It was refreshing in a way because I did get to take a step back and see the bigger picture in a way I hadn’t seen before,” Christian said.

Putin braces Russia for a prolonged war

  • President Vladimir Putin warned the Russian public that the war in Ukraine “might be a long process.” Many are concerned that the Kremlin will announce another partial military mobilization in the coming months, the New York Times reports.

SNAPSHOTS

Elizabeth Holmes’s ex Sunny Balwani has been sentenced to nearly 13 years for defrauding Theranos patients and investors. Prosecutors argued that Balwani, who oversaw the company’s lab, was well aware that Theranos’s technology was “not only immature but also inaccurate,” yet he chose to ignore those issues and presented a “fake story” about the company to investors and patients.

Apple will finally let you encrypt iCloud backups, increasing your security against hackers, law enforcement, and Apple itself. Encrypting data “end-to-end” means that the digital key required to unlock it is only stored on someone’s device. iPhones and iPads have been encrypted for years, but backups of these devices to iCloud have not.

Advice on what to do when your heart is damaged beyond repair and your job is your whole personality, according to Eve 6’s Max Collins. “I am not a therapist. I am a Twitter-famous guy from a ’90s alternative rock band.”

People are revealing the cold hard data of their dating lives via TikTok’s #DatingWrapped trend. “The current dating landscape is that you do go on so many dates,” Alexandria McLean said. “Saying that I went on 21 dates, it seems like a crazy number, but it actually isn’t. It’s also just really fun to explain your dating life, because the people who have been in relationships for so long have no idea about what dating apps are like now.”

Drag queens are fearing for their lives as right-wing extremist attacks intensify

Just weeks since five people were killed at a gay bar in Colorado Springs the night of a drag event, performers across the country are determined for the show to go on, but fear what could happen next. More than 124 drag events were threatened or protested in 2022, according to a report published by GLAAD last month; this past weekend alone, shows in Ohio, New York, Florida, and North Carolina were targeted.

The backlash against drag stems from a growing wave of anti-LGBTQ hatred that has coalesced into a right-wing moral panic. Conservatives like Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert have repeatedly smeared the LGBTQ community as people who sexually abuse and are predatory toward children — baseless claims that have roots in age-old anti-gay tropes and conspiracy theories like QAnon.

“The use of language like ‘groomers’ or implying this is some sort of attempt at slow-rolling pedophilia are all moves to delegitimize the entire queer movement,” said Juicy Garland, who had far-right protesters show up to her library’s drag queen story hour last month. “And ultimately, to provide justification for anti-queer legislation in the long run.”

“We shouldn’t have to put our lives at risk to read storybooks to kids,” Garland said.

IMAGE OF THE DAY

Wednesday

Netflix’s fast-paced series follows the titular Addams family member (Jenna Ortega) as she joins Nevermore, a school for outcasts. Its eight episodes blend spooky aesthetics, coming-of-age hiccups, a love triangle, and a supernatural murder mystery. Fundamental to the show is Ortega’s ability to capture the minutiae of an oddball teen’s inner recalibration. As her single-minded pursuit of a killer creature in the woods starts to hurt the people around her, she realizes that it’s not actually OK to just do whatever she wants. —Estelle Tang

The Afterparty

The Afterparty follows Detective Danner (Tiffany Haddish), who takes it upon herself to solve the mystery of who killed actor and pop star Xavier (Dave Franco) at the afterparty he threw for his high school reunion. The writing on this show is clever and smart, and just as I thought I had the story figured out, it immediately changed course, so I was kept on my toes until the very end. —Zia Thompson

Players

Players is a mockumentary series about the highs and lows of a League of Legends team trying to win their first championship after years of coming close and fumbling it. The show is an excellent example of depicting young, emotionally unavailable men and their problems, no matter how silly they seem on the surface. You might not care for esports, or even video games for that matter, but the endearing and messy emotional core of Players is impossible to resist. —Cody Corrall

Psst. This isn’t the full list. The full list is actually here. Yeah. Don’t tell anyone.

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