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'The Ringer' Picks The Single Best Day To Be Online

Mar 12, 2019
Originally published on March 12, 2019 7:44 am
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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

On the Internet, there is sure enough anger and fury and general unhappiness to go around. But the last decade online has also had some great days that brought people together. Victor Luckerson is a staff writer with The Ringer. He ranked those days in a top 10 list, and it included March 2, 2014.

VICTOR LUCKERSON: That was the day of the 2014 Oscars, when Ellen DeGeneres posted a selfie of herself and, seemingly, half of A-list Hollywood in a tweet. The tweet went super-viral...

GREENE: (Laughter) That was amazing.

LUCKERSON: ...Got more than 3 million retweets. And it sort of became the story of that Oscars.

GREENE: And I think we actually have some tape of something else that happened on that day. It involved John Travolta.

(SOUNDBITE OF 86TH ACADEMY AWARDS TELECAST)

JOHN TRAVOLTA: Please welcome the wickedly talented, one and only Adele Dazeem (ph).

(LAUGHTER)

GREENE: I don't know if I've ever heard a name butchered that much. Idina Menzel is who he was trying to introduce, right?

LUCKERSON: Right. Yeah, I don't know why he did it. But I do remember that immediately afterwards, that was, like, a humongous thing on Twitter. Twitter seized on that.

GREENE: I have to ask you about No. 4 on your list. February 26, 2015 - it's a day you're calling the Llamas, the Law and the Wardrobe. What was happening?

LUCKERSON: The first thing that happened that day was these two llamas in Sun City, Ariz., escaped (laughter).

GREENE: Right.

LUCKERSON: And they were just running through the city trying to be captured for I think a couple of hours. And the news helicopters in the city were recording the entire thing. So you could, like, watch it live online. So basically everyone who had an office job just, like, stopped what they were doing and watched these llamas try to escape for two hours.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: It appears that we've now got a zone defense working on them. The man - the llama defense proved ineffective, and now we're rocking a zone.

GREENE: That's amazing.

LUCKERSON: Oh, for sure.

GREENE: Well, let me take you to your No. 1 day. It was June 26, 2015. Let me play a little tape of that day to set it up, then I want to ask you about it.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BARACK OBAMA: (Singing) Amazing grace...

GREENE: So President Obama, of course, singing "Amazing Grace." Take us back to that moment. Remind us what was happening.

LUCKERSON: So President Obama was delivering the eulogy for Reverend Clementa Pinckney, who was one of the nine victims of the Charleston church shooting. It started off as a speech, essentially - you know, a presidential speech. But it sort of became this sermon. If you are somebody who had gone to black church before, you were sort of, like - praise Him, Reverend President and that kind of thing. So it became this very sort of celebratory moment in the midst of a very tough situation, I guess.

GREENE: And that was just - that was one big story that day. Right? I mean, that was also a big Supreme Court decision.

LUCKERSON: Oh, yeah, for sure. The Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was legal throughout the United States. And I think for people, especially young people, that's like - they had never seen a civil rights decision that affected so many people so suddenly. So I just think the excitement and jubilation of that was something that a lot people experienced online, too, because that was when Facebook changed profile pictures to put the rainbow filter over your profile picture, which was fun. #LoveWins became very popular on Twitter and also sort of people online talking about their own personal stories about why this mattered to them.

GREENE: It's interesting because so many of the other things we were talking about are, like, just sort of pure random fun. But the No. 1 day very much involves someone, you know, at the center of politics. It involves, you know, a government institution, the Supreme Court. What should we take from that?

LUCKERSON: I think ultimately and actually it's a good thing to sort of remember a day like that because it sort of illustrates how the Internet is not only a distraction. You know, it can be a place where people gather to celebrate important events. So I think the idea that the Internet can actually bring us together is a very positive sentiment and something that we could hopefully aspire to return to.

(SOUNDBITE OF TEEN DAZE'S "ALWAYS RETURNING (BRIAN ENO)")

GREENE: That was Victor Luckerson with the sports and pop culture website The Ringer. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.