John Oliver Eviscerates Our Obsession With Fireworks

‘They’re like sparkly guns you can shoot in the sky.’

Leave it to John Oliver to poke some clever fun at one of America’s most sacred sources of a good time: Fourth of July fireworks displays. The bespectacled snarkmeister’s team of premium satirists fired away for the holiday with an evergreen package on the silliness that so often accompanies those “sparkly guns you can shoot in the sky.”

Not to say Oliver DESTROYED our lusty love for the annual blast-fest. On our nation’s birthday, our ritual of the habitual has the same sort of droll dignity as, well, singing the Happy Birthday song. Equal parts goofy and grounded, it’s got that irresistible mix of the timeless and the fleeting about it.

That’s the magic of tradition—especially tradition that doesn’t cramp anyone’s liberty. We die-hard mass consumerists are as easy to lampoon now as we were when George Romero set his sequel to Night of the Living Dead in a mall beset with zombies mindlessly mimicking what they did best in life: shop. But we’re not all relentless spenders. Sometimes, for what always ends up feeling like just a few minutes, we like to sit on a damp blanket in questionable weather and endure a theatrical barrage with our closest friends and family (and whatever randos from the neighborhood happen to have scored the prime patch of viewing ground). Yep—that’s how we do thoughtful reflection on our place in the warp and woof of time.

There’s often something inescapably awesome about doing irrational things we’ve been able to keep up for longer than anyone can remember. You can tell that suiting up for Independence Day fireworks is one of them. When we’re all done laughing along with Oliver and company, we’ll march right out into a field after dinner and enjoy the show.

via International Monetary Fund / Flickr and Streetsblog Denver / Flickr

Seventeen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg made a dramatic speech Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

In her address, she called for a public and private sector divestment from fossil fuel companies

"Immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies and immediately and completely divest from fossil fuels. We don't want these things done by 2050, or 2030 or even 2021 — we want this done now," she said.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin mocked the teenager on Thursday during a press briefing in Davos.

Keep Reading
The Planet

Even though marathon running is on the decline, half a million people signed up to participate in the 2020 London Marathon. It seems wild that someone would voluntarily sign up to run 26.2 miles, but those half a million people might actually be on to something. A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that running a marathon can help reverse signs of aging.

Researchers at Barts and University College London looked at 138 first-time marathon runners between the ages of 21 and 69. "We wanted to look at novice athletes. We didn't include people who said they ran for more than two hours a week," Dr. Charlotte Manisty, the study's senior author and cardiologist at University College London, said per CNN.

Keep Reading
via David Leavitt / Twitter and RealTargetTori / Twitter

Last Friday, GOOD reported on an infuriating incident that went down at a Massachusetts Target.

A Target manager who's come to be known as "Target Tori," was harassed by Twitter troll David Leavitt for not selling him an $89 Oral-B Pro 5000 toothbrush for a penny.

He describes himself as a "multimedia journalist who has worked for CBS, AXS, Yahoo, and others."

Keep Reading